1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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
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)
View: Beers (21) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 178 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of damndirtyape
damndirtyape

Ohio

3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

750mL corked and caged bottle, split between two people, served in Tulip glasses.

Appearance: Dark cola brown to black. Light tan thin head with plenty of carbonation coming up through the beer. Minimal lacing - a few strands and tiny islands.

Smell: Roasted malts, fresh cooked pasta, hint of noble hops.

Taste: Fruity, spicy, candi sugar sweetness all mixed together. Robust flavors. The finish was leafy, part noble hops, and part wintergreen. Definite wintergreen finish as the beer warmed up.

Mouthfeel: Airy & lively carbonation, but not fizzy. Tiny bit sticky on the teeth under all that carbonation.

Overall / drinkability: Good, but not great. Did not pair well with Salmon. Didn't clash, but wasn't a good pairing as suggested by the bottle. I think it would be better with grilled meats. Interesting and flavorful, with notable noble hops and an good use of wintergreen as a flavor note. I think however, I could not finish a whole bottle by myself. Alcohol is well hidden and will sneak up on you. I'll have to see how the other bottle I bought shakes out - I'll let it age another 6-9 months and we'll see how it holds up.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2014 00:23:08 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of BDeibs
BDeibs

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

03-03-2014 15:08:40 | More by BDeibs
Photo of LMH88
LMH88

New York

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

03-02-2014 19:46:25 | More by LMH88
Photo of wc94wc
wc94wc

California

4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

03-02-2014 01:13:59 | More by wc94wc
Photo of levineju
levineju

California

3.01/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Opened one of two for this review, cellaring the other for a few years. Poured from a corked bomber (750ml) into a tulip pint glass.

A - Shows a dark cola brown with red-orange highlights. A little muddy to the eye. Lots of head, about three fingers and sandy-beige in color. Carbonation is moderate. A little bit of lacing on the glass, agitation does not yield back much head.

S - bread-y; lots of banana; malt; a little medicinal; fermented, like wine; grape; red fruit. A little dank in the glass.

T - a little coppery; malt; getting grape/red wine again; no discernible hops; metallic on the exhale, coppery, almost like blood. Anise/root beer as it develops.

M - sharp, acidic

O - it's ok. I have another for cellaring, so we'll see if there is a noticeable difference in a few years.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 22:58:33 | More by levineju
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

02-28-2014 21:42:19 | More by tdm168
Photo of waiting4lunch
waiting4lunch

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +5.5%

02-23-2014 16:26:47 | More by waiting4lunch
Photo of Drumboy410
Drumboy410

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

02-22-2014 00:34:25 | More by Drumboy410
Photo of Mavigo
Mavigo

Michigan

3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in a chalice.

A: Pours a murky, dark brown color, has a 1/4 beige head that lasts for a few minutes before dissipating to a thing ring.

S: Smells of plums, cherries, malts, barley, brown sugar, licorice

T: Quite sweet, tasting of plums, brown sugars, malts, yeast

M: Full bodied beer with ample amounts of carbonation. A bit too carbonated, takes away from the flavor profile, which could be more pronounced.

O: I've been getting a bottle of the Trader Joe's Vintage ale for the past 3 years, I think I liked last years better, but none the less, it's worth the price.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2014 00:30:24 | More by Mavigo
Photo of Jd2391
Jd2391

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

02-19-2014 03:49:23 | More by Jd2391
Photo of Morakaton
Morakaton

Michigan

4/5  rDev +5.5%

02-19-2014 03:25:49 | More by Morakaton
Photo of Caskaway
Caskaway

Illinois

4/5  rDev +5.5%

02-15-2014 03:48:46 | More by Caskaway
Photo of Snowdog
Snowdog

Ohio

4/5  rDev +5.5%

02-14-2014 23:00:46 | More by Snowdog
Photo of ArtZan
ArtZan

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

02-14-2014 20:48:50 | More by ArtZan
Photo of sblanton83
sblanton83

Michigan

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

02-14-2014 15:53:54 | More by sblanton83
Photo of PEIhop
PEIhop

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

02-11-2014 00:21:29 | More by PEIhop
Photo of chadski
chadski

California

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

02-10-2014 04:08:00 | More by chadski
Photo of Whiskeydeez
Whiskeydeez

Kansas

4/5  rDev +5.5%

02-10-2014 02:49:45 | More by Whiskeydeez
Photo of Wizzman
Wizzman

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

02-10-2014 00:58:10 | More by Wizzman
Photo of csmartin6
csmartin6

New York

3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

02-09-2014 02:06:19 | More by csmartin6
Photo of mcphish22
mcphish22

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

02-07-2014 03:07:10 | More by mcphish22
Photo of Drew88
Drew88

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +5.5%

02-06-2014 03:34:29 | More by Drew88
Photo of Nugganooch
Nugganooch

California

3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

350ml C&C bottle split two ways – FW snifter glass for me.
Notes taken on 01/25/14

A: Pours a very dark cola brown. Mostly unclear. Thick and dense collection of khaki suds on top. Nice hang time with some soapy cling to the glass.

S: Smells of dark malts and burnt caramel sugars with some light Belgian spice. Not incredibly potent on the spicing. A bit of dark dried fruits start to emerge as well. Nice overall but fairly mellow.

T: Tastes of charred malts and dried fruits with some Belgian candi syrup there although it’s not very sweet at all. Reminds me of raisin bread toast and a I am getting a strong red grape juice flavor actually. There is some soft banana peel and a dash of nutmeg with clove spice mixed in. Alcohol is well masked all throughout. A slight dusty mineral note at the finish. Nice balance to it and mostly tasty. Grapey.

M: Medium full body with a very light feel from a frothy amount of carb. Gushy on the palate with a popping feel. Very dry finish.

D: Interesting brew. It’s tasty and pretty well balanced overall but I am getting a lot of grape flavor here. Says brewed with spices and natural flavors added so not sure what that’s all about. Would check this one out again.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 23:02:50 | More by Nugganooch
Photo of GraduatedCashew
GraduatedCashew

California

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

02-03-2014 19:47:59 | More by GraduatedCashew
Photo of Rekrule
Rekrule

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +5.5%

02-03-2014 01:59:07 | More by Rekrule
Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.