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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
85
very good

178 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 178
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 4
Gots: 30 | FT: 5
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:
Contract brewed by Unibroue.

(Beer added by: djaeon on 11-16-2013)
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Ratings: 178 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TubbyDullard
TubbyDullard

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +5.5%

12-23-2013 02:24:07 | More by TubbyDullard
Photo of DbbC
DbbC

Illinois

4/5  rDev +5.5%

12-23-2013 02:12:10 | More by DbbC
Photo of Tsar_Riga
Tsar_Riga

Indiana

4/5  rDev +5.5%

12-23-2013 02:00:37 | More by Tsar_Riga
Photo of OldhouseRecs
OldhouseRecs

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

12-23-2013 01:14:18 | More by OldhouseRecs
Photo of ZEB89
ZEB89

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

12-23-2013 01:07:43 | More by ZEB89
Photo of Novabrewer
Novabrewer

Virginia

3/5  rDev -20.8%

12-22-2013 22:52:59 | More by Novabrewer
Photo of aaroncom2005
aaroncom2005

California

3/5  rDev -20.8%

12-22-2013 05:36:35 | More by aaroncom2005
Photo of JoeMans
JoeMans

New York

2.75/5  rDev -27.4%

12-21-2013 04:12:34 | More by JoeMans
Photo of Eisen
Eisen

Washington

3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Trois Pistoles goblet: An initially thick coffee-colored, over-foamy head that faded medium quickly into a thin layer with no lacing. Smells mostly of light booze, dark fruit, chocolate, coffee....Sweetness of high alcohol malty beer is well balanced by toast and hops. Very drinkable and great for the price, and thus great for anything.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 22:33:52 | More by Eisen
Photo of sgoro
sgoro

Illinois

4/5  rDev +5.5%

12-20-2013 15:00:40 | More by sgoro
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

12-20-2013 04:12:52 | More by brandoman63
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque deep brown with amber highlights and one of the foamiest heads I've ever seen, which is cappuccino foam in color.

Notes of raisin, peach, green apple, plum, and fig erupt from the glass. Yeast esters are extremely prolific. Hints of banana and clove emerge as it warms. There's an underlying sweet candi sugar base.

Flavor is less complex than the aroma, with green apple character surfacing initially, followed by fairly bready, nutty malt. Further investigation reveals cola notes, pear, and peach esters, which are more restrained than anticipated. Hints of plum, pepper, clove, and banana emerge in the aftertaste. The finish is fairly dry and earthy. Not as sweet as expected from the aroma.

Body is moderate to slightly low, with fairly high carbonation and moderate alcohol warmth.

Phenomenal aroma, just wished the flavor followed as strongly to suit. There's a completeness lacking in the flavor profile. I notice this with a couple other unibroue beers. May need more malt backbone and a touch of sweetness. Still, great brew, excellent value, and can't wait to see this with some age on it.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2013 19:14:30 | More by barczar
Photo of davegray
davegray

California

4/5  rDev +5.5%

12-19-2013 03:15:19 | More by davegray
Photo of TimHitchings
TimHitchings

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +5.5%

12-17-2013 01:41:41 | More by TimHitchings
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
1000lbgrizzly

Illinois

4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Great dark red/purple hue, monstrous light brown head. Strong carbonation can be seen at the edges of the glass. Capitalized Trader Joe's at the top of the bottle makes for pretty lame art. The Unibroue held within is the only thing that drew me to this beer.

S: Heavy spices, some sweet grape, toffee, and malt in there, too. Middle-of-the-road Unibroue style (that's good).

T: Muscat, heavy blend of heated spices, almost herbacious, that faint toffee is still there too. Semi-sweet. Everything works well together, good balance and depth.

M: Fluid, prickly carbonation. Makes for a refreshing, lively drinker, even if somewhat mouth-drying.

O: Buy one bottle with the official Unibroue art for your collection, buy many discounted bottles of this one for frugal enjoyment. A great BSDA, if you like the style you will not be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2013 06:32:45 | More by 1000lbgrizzly
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

bottle picked up locally at trader joe's. proclaimed unibroue fanboy (one of the breweries that got me into craft). enjoyed from a unibroue taster tulip (coolest glass i've ever seen...a mini tulip!!!!)

a - so glad this year is a BSDA...one of my fav styles...and no one does it like unibroue! poured perfect...dark purple with a monster head and lacing to rule the world. coated the glass like a milkshake.

s - what can i say? smells like a unibroue BSDA. has that signature yeast strain with some soft spicing for the holiday. a vast improvement fresh from the previous few years. can't wait to dig in.

t - much more spicy than the nose suggested. a bit heavy handed on the spicing actually. looking forward to sitting on my other bottle to let that zing chill out. classic unibroue wondeful BSDA base, but just so much spice added to it to make it a holiday beer...too much so, but i guess if they didn't do that, it would just be trois pistoles or maudite (more like trois that maudite).

m - zingy. crisp, but fizzy. almost a bit heavy handed on the carb.

o - overall, a step in the right direction from previous years, but still an overspiced belgian like the others. i should just stop getting these and just pick up a bottle of trois pistoles since that's what i love from unibrou (one of my all time favs). these vintage ales really just seem to be unibroue classics with a ton of holiday spice added. at $5 a pop, a deal to be had, but i'd rather pony up the extra $4 or $5 to get a version without all the spice. the nose is the star of the show and in a few years, i'm sure the taste will catch up. it is kind of funny that every year i save these with the hope that the spicing will fade and they will eventually just taste like the base beer without the spice.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2013 02:45:10 | More by cosmicevan
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Biff_Tannen

Missouri

3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

12-15-2013 21:55:52 | More by Biff_Tannen
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tbryan5

Louisiana

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

12-15-2013 04:28:07 | More by tbryan5
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi

California

3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hi, my peeps.

Just chillin' on the low with a '13 Vintage and feeling it like a hummingbird in the Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands. Dark fruits, rum, raisins...and smooth. Woo! Now, this isn't the best Belgium Dark Ale; it wasn't when Raul was at his zenith after ingesting a certain substance while in said gardens... but it's still quite nice.

Verdict? For $4.99, this should be the new "value meal."

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 02:49:38 | More by RaulMondesi
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carrollmel7

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

12-15-2013 02:14:48 | More by carrollmel7
Photo of MarioM
MarioM

California

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

12-14-2013 07:16:44 | More by MarioM
Photo of scottwurst
scottwurst

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

12-14-2013 04:21:12 | More by scottwurst
Photo of Moby
Moby

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

12-13-2013 00:57:01 | More by Moby
Photo of geocool
geocool

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

12-12-2013 22:25:19 | More by geocool
Photo of MCain04
MCain04

Illinois

4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle for $4.99! Poured into Bourbon County snifter.

Pours a dark red/amber body with a light coco-cola head which is extremely frothy but good retention and lacing.

Nose is of cinnamon, nutmeg, and other various spices overly the dark fruits and belgian yeasts and malts.

Taste is of sweet and spicy malts akin to the style. Cinnamon and nutmeg with heavy dark fruits and sweet dark malts. Very drinkable. Smooth. No alcohol detectable.

Mouthfeel is smooth, medium carbonation, drinkable, mildly dry.

Overall a very drinkable and tasty belgian winter ale which sneaks up on you with dangerous drinkability with 9% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2013 03:35:21 | More by MCain04
Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.