1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

202 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 202
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 4
Gots: 32 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 202 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rydev24
4/5  rDev +5%

rydev24, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of Fcolle2
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Fcolle2, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of TubbyDullard
4/5  rDev +5%

TubbyDullard, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of DbbC
4/5  rDev +5%

DbbC, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%

A - Nice opaque black beer, with a light tan head that forms up big and tight, and is slow to fade. Not much lacing once the head comes down, though.

S - Sugars and raisins, a sourness suggesting citric acid, perhaps a slight hint of lemon rind.

T - Following the nose, with sweet dark fruits and subtle sour flavors. Earthiness in the close. A slight hint of clay. Some soapy notes, but these are kept in check.

M - Thick and full, but with spritely carbonation that keeps things from becoming cloying or taxing.

O - This a big brew, but it comes across as fairly approachable. Watch it, though, there is enough in a single bottle to knock you on your backside. Not a stellar brew, but good, and a great deal for the price.

Tsar_Riga, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of OldhouseRecs
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

OldhouseRecs, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of ZEB89
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

ZEB89, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of Novabrewer
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Novabrewer, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of aaroncom2005
3/5  rDev -21.3%

aaroncom2005, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of JoeMans
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%

JoeMans, Dec 21, 2013
Photo of Eisen
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Eisen, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of sgoro
4/5  rDev +5%

sgoro, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

brandoman63, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of davegray
4/5  rDev +5%

davegray, Dec 19, 2013
Photo of TimHitchings
4/5  rDev +5%

TimHitchings, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4/5  rDev +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.

1000lbgrizzly, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of Biff_Tannen
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Biff_Tannen, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of tbryan5
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

tbryan5, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of RaulMondesi
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
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."

RaulMondesi, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of carrollmel7
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

carrollmel7, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of MarioM
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

MarioM, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of scottwurst
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

scottwurst, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of Moby
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Moby, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of geocool
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

geocool, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of MCain04
4.19/5  rDev +10%
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.

MCain04, Dec 12, 2013
Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 202 ratings.