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Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

196 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 196
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 4
Gots: 33 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Contract brewed by Unibroue.

(Beer added by: djaeon on 11-16-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 196 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mitch3114
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

mitch3114, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of s4s
3/5  rDev -21.1%

s4s, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of 2GOOFY
4/5  rDev +5.3%

2GOOFY, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of SFNC
4/5  rDev +5.3%

SFNC, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of 2dogbrew
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

2dogbrew, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of pod
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

pod, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of bwarren82
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

bwarren82, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of Beejay
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark brown/black in the glass. Some tan head, with very fine bubbles.

S: Some light fruitiness, definite yeast character as well as a little bit of tartness in the finish. Perhaps maybe a little funkiness in there as well. Some lovely dark fruit notes, as well as brown bread, and caramel.

T: Nice dark fruit, with some light tartness. Fruit and caramel come through as well as some toffee notes. The finish is raisins and spices.

M: Medium light on body, carbonation is fine and plentiful. The finish is dry.

O: Overall quite a decent beer, perhaps a little watery in the finish but overall fairly good. Pretty good spice notes, and fairly interesting.

Beejay, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of DaveRinn
4/5  rDev +5.3%

DaveRinn, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of johnnnniee
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle provided by Santa.
Pours a solid dark brown with the faintest of ruby highlights at the edges when held to light. Fluffy creamy off white head shows moderate retention and lace. Aromas of pepper and clove with bits of brown sugar, toffee, and caramel. Light dark fruit aromas round out the nose. The flavor is a dark sugary spicy affair. Dark sugary maltiness that gets assaulted by peppery clove and other spices. Light prune and molasses round out the flavor. Medium to thick body with a spirited level of carbonation and a sweet bubbly spritzy mouthfeel. Glad I got to try this, but I felt this a bit too spicy for my tastes.

johnnnniee, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of lisalsd1
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

lisalsd1, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of Mikegonzo
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Mikegonzo, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of AndrewMichael
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

AndrewMichael, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of LeahM
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

LeahM, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of Belittle
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Belittle, Jan 10, 2014
Photo of Falcone
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Falcone, Jan 09, 2014
Photo of rangerred
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet out of a 750ml bottle.

Pours a very dark, deep ruby with a one finger light tan head. Not really much lacing but the head retention is downright incredible.

The aroma contains a huge metallic note which really detracts from the entire beer. I can tell there are some spices lingering underneath but they are completely drowned out by the metal. There is a little bit of dark fruit in there that does begin to come through after awhile.

Fortunately, the flavor leaves the metal behind but is a bit overspiced. Lots of orange and anise lending a licorice note along with cherries and figs. I think I can detect some cinnamon in there too. As the beer warms, more traditional Belgian yeast esters begin to take hold and the spice eases up somewhat. Mouthfeel is full and silky with just the slightest bit of warmth along with a mildly sweet finish.

Overall, a good beer but a bit unrefined. I think some age would help tone down the spice and balance everything out. The price is right so i might need to pick up another one of these to age.

rangerred, Jan 08, 2014
Photo of Lucoli
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Lucoli, Jan 07, 2014
Photo of tigerbeer90
4/5  rDev +5.3%

tigerbeer90, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of BeerDocT
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at the Trader Joe's in Alpharetta, GA, which I hate. I really wish TJ's would open up a new store closer to North Atlanta so I would never have to go that particular location again.

Poured into a chilled La Trappe goblet.

Appearance 3.75: Poured out jet black with a creamy white, 1/2" head. Head quickly dissipated, leaving very little froth behind. Lacing non-existent.

Smell 4.0: Nice bouquet. I smell toasted grains, star anise, cloves, orange rind and spicy Belgian yeast. All of it is well balanced and subdued.

Taste 4.0: Front is slightly sweet, but much more dry than last year's batch. Middle is where the spices come in: cloves, orange, anise...but all very well-balanced and not overwhelming. In the Finish, a certain smoked grains taste seeps in along with a taste of cocoa. Finish is also where I noticed a subtle hop flavor and a very light sweetness. Aftertaste is remarkably (and woefully...I did not want it to end!) short and gives the palate one more kick of spice and subtle malt. Absolutely NO hint of the 9% ABV this baby packs.

Mouthfeel 4.0: Ideal carbonation for this beer. Pleasing on the palate and refreshing.

Overall 4.0: Excellent holiday brew...in fact, this is my favorite holiday brew. The master brewers at Unibroue have stepped up to the plate again and knocked another one out of the park. Light, refreshing and perfectly sessionable. Recommended, even if you have to navigate a horrible TJs like the one in Alpharetta, GA. **shudder**

BeerDocT, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before 8/1/16.

Pours an opaque brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, yeast, must, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with dark fruit and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but there is nothing really memorable about it.

UCLABrewN84, Jan 04, 2014
Photo of MWilt
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

MWilt, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of Wsherry1
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Wsherry1, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of sachie23
3/5  rDev -21.1%

sachie23, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of jmjwolfman
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

jmjwolfman, Jan 02, 2014
Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 196 ratings.