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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

190 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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 Gregwa
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Gregwa, May 31, 2014
Photo of longisland1983
4/5  rDev +5.3%

longisland1983, May 30, 2014
Photo of menacho1
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

menacho1, May 29, 2014
Photo of Smarty_Pints
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Smarty_Pints, May 27, 2014
Photo of Hoggo
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Hoggo, May 26, 2014
Photo of frlrv1020
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

frlrv1020, May 20, 2014
Photo of deereless
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

deereless, May 19, 2014
Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev +5.3%

mhaugo, May 18, 2014
Photo of jerefreakinmiah
4/5  rDev +5.3%

jerefreakinmiah, May 14, 2014
Photo of allstar255
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

allstar255, May 07, 2014
Photo of derryd
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

derryd, May 03, 2014
Photo of KYGunner
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Called a Dark Ale for a reason , this poured a deep dark ruby with a course of bubbling. These bubbles built an inch of single file of horizontal brown lines that was capped by a dense khaki froth.

Peppercorns, cloves, carriage and anise meet the nose as this hints towards the "Brewed with Spices." There's some light fruit sweetness like prunes and plums.

The flavors are spicy as well but the malt is more substantial. There seems to be some caramel malt, dried dark fruit and more of a black licorice flavor. There is clove spice, and carraway, but the cloves seems to dominate the last of the palate.

This drinks with a slight alcohol warmth and a bit of dark fruit twang, but it's full enough to satisfy.

The cork read Unibroue and my guess is that it's contracted brewed through the Canadian brewery. That makes complete sense as the yeast characteristics seem to be close to many of their products.

KYGunner, May 02, 2014
Photo of TruePerception
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've heard a bunch of people say this is really good, especially for the price ($5 for a 750mL)!

Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale, dark ale (brewed by Unibroue). 9% ABV.

Good pop, with a nice haze! Didn't even need the cork screw to pop the cork!

A: Pours a distinct tamarind color. Very dark brown, almost black, in the glass. Half a finger of head. No lacing.

S: Sticky sweet aromas take over, at first. Deep molasses, dark caramel, slight toffee. Prune. Slight herbal coolness (peppermint?). Raisin smell comes out as it warms.

T/MF: Ooh! It has a coolness on the palate. Notes of spearmint and menthol. Very dark molasses. Slight sweet char. Very slight raisin/prune backing. Just the slightest hint of rosemary. Slight ginger as it warms. Very interesting flavor going on in this one. Not typically what I would look for, but pretty good!

Seems like it would go well with holiday food, but I'm not sure which food.

Poured from a 750mL bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

TruePerception, May 01, 2014
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a deep dark brown color ale with a medium brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet Belgian malt notes with some candi sugar notes with light spices and typical Unibroue yeast notes. Taste is a well balanced mix between some candi sugar notes with some light spices, some fruity notes and some Unibroue yeast. Body is relatively full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very enjoyable but I think I preferred the two previous years vintage which were less fruity and a bit more pronounced on the spicy notes.

Phyl21ca, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of Ohmmygawd
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Good quality beer! I'm pleasantly surprised about this beer. Nose is bright and fresh and the body isn't heavy and full of flavor. It finishes with a nice feeling of spice and cloves and leaves a little tingle on the very tip of your tongue.

A- pours black with a thick head.

S- bananas and

T- Bananas with cloves and cinnamon

M- Clean and light and finishes with a nice tingle on the tongue.

O- Not an overly complicated beer and really does well what it brings to the table.

Ohmmygawd, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of BigPlay1824
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

BigPlay1824, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of tpauer
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

tpauer, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of mnredsoxfan69
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

mnredsoxfan69, Apr 19, 2014
Photo of Fettpopps
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Fettpopps, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of elNopalero
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a cola color with lots of foam.
I don’t get much aroma. Some light root beer notes. (Not artificial root beer.)
The flavor has something similar, with a root beer/sarsaparilla/cream soda character, followed by some sherry and eucalyptus . I find a taste akin to tree bark and orange peel rounding it out. Thinly bodied with a drying finish. For the price it’s a steal. I’ve found I tend to appreciate these TJ Vintage beers with some age on them, so revisiting this might be in order down the road.

elNopalero, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of Rick778
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Rick778, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of verge
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

verge, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of Minnesota_beer_guy
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Minnesota_beer_guy, Apr 04, 2014
Photo of beertunes
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

beertunes, Apr 02, 2014
Photo of Willcook
1/5  rDev -73.7%

Willcook, Mar 25, 2014
Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 190 ratings.