Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale - Trader Joe's Brewing Company
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Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
3.83/5 rDev +0.8%
750mL bottle, bottled on 1 Aug 13 (label imprint reads 02131837, with an expiration of 1 Aug 16). Poured into a Chimay goblet. Labeled a Belgian dark ale, but strikes as a Belgian strong ale, brewed by Unibroue and consistent with their well-known dark, strong Belgians.
A - First pour was about 300mL. The head was light tan in color and fizzy rapidly diminished with no lacing. The body of the beer was a dark-brown to black, and almost no light passed through.
S - The aroma is slightly boozy, no surprise at 9% abv. Very spicy aroma with pronounced notes of clove, allspice and cinnamon. Smell of molasses and coffee is slight, but clear.
T - The flavor profile is complex. Starts with a malty sweetness, layered with clear, almost overwhelming, spice notes and a pronounced molasses note to the malt, coffee flavor doesn't come through. Finishes with a light acidity as the sweetness fades. The strong spice notes remain throughout.
M - The carbonation is mellow and consistent. The beer has a light to medium body with a clear boozy character that is not overpowering or that interferes with the flavor.
O- A very enjoyable beer. At 9% abv it is surprisingly not difficult to drink, and as the stronger Belgian style beers go is smooth, but could stand to age for another few months. If you plan to pick any up, do it quick, TJs will soon be out, and I recommend you save a bottle or two for next year to compare.
12-28-2013 03:48:57 | More by Badger6
3.9/5 rDev +2.6%
Pours black in color with a big 2 finger light tan foamy head that retains nicely. There is a very vigorous amount of bubbling all over the glass that is interesting to watch.
Smell is good. Lots of spices, notes of cinnamon and clove forward followed by a Belgian peppercorn phenol and toffee malt on the back end.
Taste has some semi sweet dark syrup like toffee malt that is balanced nicely with some Belgian peppercorn flavors. Very light residual earthy hop bitterness nearly undetectable through more spices in the backend.
Mouthfeel is good medium to thick body is cut with a sharp vigorous carbonation. Slightly dry finish.
12-24-2013 03:55:32 | More by Fcolle2
3.73/5 rDev -1.8%
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.
12-20-2013 22:33:52 | More by Eisen
4.01/5 rDev +5.5%
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.
12-19-2013 19:14:30 | More by barczar
4/5 rDev +5.3%
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.
12-16-2013 06:32:45 | More by 1000lbgrizzly
Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.