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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.
very good

190 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 190
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 4
Gots: 33 | FT: 7
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 190 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MidwestBA
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

MidwestBA, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of SLOTerp
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

SLOTerp, Nov 29, 2013
Photo of MattyG85
4.29/5  rDev +12.9%

Poured from a corked 750 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Best before date of 08/01/2016.

Appearance: Pours a very deep and dark brownish amber with some ruby. Lots of bubbles and a huge four finger tan head with decent retention. Leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A yeasty, spicy, and toasty Belgian style aroma with big hints of fruit and caramel malt. Big upfront scent of Belgian yeast with good hints of funk, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and black peppers. Spices give a cola like scent. Toasted malts with hints of caramel, toffee, toasted bread, biscuit, straw, and grains. Scent of banana and apple. Dark fruit hints of grapes, raisin, fig, cherry, prune, plum, and dates. Hints of candied sugar as well. A pretty solid spicy aroma.

Taste: Like the spicy aroma hints at, a yeast and spice driven Belgian aroma with big notes of fruit and toasty caramel malt. Big taste of Belgian yeast with some funk. Big spice presence giving an old school cola like taste. Notes of clove, black peppers, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Bready toasted malts with notes of caramel, toffee, biscuit, toasted bread, straw, and grains. Fruity taste of banana and apple along with dark fruit notes of grapes, raisin, fig, prune, cherry, dates, and plum. Some candied sugar sweetness as well. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Spicy, juicy, and fairly drying on the finish. A little alcohol heat is felt.

Overall: Another really solid year for this brew. Good mix of spices and fruity esters with a nice toasty malt presence.

MattyG85, Nov 29, 2013
Photo of djaeon
4/5  rDev +5.3%

djaeon, Nov 29, 2013
Photo of Sarmartay
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Sarmartay, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of taospowder
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

taospowder, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of jim_carignan
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

jim_carignan, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of kmoen
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

kmoen, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of IndyDad
4/5  rDev +5.3%

IndyDad, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of atone315
4/5  rDev +5.3%

atone315, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of Chaney
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%

Served in a Boulevard tulip.

A: Huge thud from the cork for sure, with a dark, dark disposition on the brew for sure. Looked like a stout.

S: Much more understated than I was expecting, however, the Belgian yeast strain, as well as Unibroue's signature profile was still there. Nice raison and fig component.

T: Reminded me so, so, SO much of DFH's "Sahtea." Seriously, it was uncanny! Lots of spices that made mince meat of the dark fruit.

M: Truly carbonated to the 10th power, and the lacing was pretty substantial.

O: The best of the Trader Joe's brews!

Chaney, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of TaylorK
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

TaylorK, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of Beersnake1
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Beersnake1, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of notchucknorris
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%

A: Pours black with a two finger fizzling light brown head. Nice retention.

S: Subtle spice notes with that sweet, signature Unibroue yeast lingering in the background. Clove, ginger, wheat bread crust, doughy malt, light booze and some molasses.

T: Toasted malt, followed by a lot of sweet Unibroue yeast. Light ginger, molasses, clove. Finish is slightly dry yeast with a touch of toasted grain husk. A pretty big improvement over the last few years. I'm liking this one.

notchucknorris, Nov 19, 2013
Photo of calebkeen
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%

Purchased at Brookline, MA Trader Joe's on 11/16.

Poured 40 cl. into a Hill Farmstead Belgian-style glass

Three fingers of caramel-colored head from a moderately fast pour. Head retention is acceptable for the style. First taste registers burnt sugar, a nice amount of yeasty spice, molasses, "dark fruit" and just a bit of alcohol heat on the end of the sip. Everything is balanced quite nicely. My experience with the TJ Vintage Ales over the last five years is that the flavors might all be acceptable in their own right but are out of balance with each other / a hot mess on the tongue. This beer is tasting surprisingly solid for a Belgian strong ale from the first taste.

At $4.95 this is an incredible value, and I'll be drinking at least one bottle a week until it's gone.

calebkeen, Nov 18, 2013
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Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 190 ratings.