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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

200 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 200
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 4
Gots: 31 | 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
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Ratings: 200 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wc94wc
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

wc94wc, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of levineju
3.01/5  rDev -21%
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.

levineju, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of tdm168
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

tdm168, Feb 28, 2014
Photo of waiting4lunch
4/5  rDev +5%

waiting4lunch, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of Drumboy410
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Drumboy410, Feb 22, 2014
Photo of Mavigo
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Mavigo, Feb 20, 2014
Photo of Jd2391
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Jd2391, Feb 19, 2014
Photo of Morakaton
4/5  rDev +5%

Morakaton, Feb 19, 2014
Photo of Caskaway
4/5  rDev +5%

Caskaway, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of Snowdog
4/5  rDev +5%

Snowdog, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of ArtZan
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

ArtZan, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of sblanton83
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

sblanton83, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of PEIhop
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

PEIhop, Feb 11, 2014
Photo of chadski
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

chadski, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of Whiskeydeez
4/5  rDev +5%

Whiskeydeez, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of Wizzman
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Wizzman, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of csmartin6
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

csmartin6, Feb 09, 2014
Photo of mcphish22
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

mcphish22, Feb 07, 2014
Photo of Drew88
4/5  rDev +5%

Drew88, Feb 06, 2014
Photo of Nugganooch
3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Nugganooch, Feb 05, 2014
Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

GraduatedCashew, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of Rekrule
4/5  rDev +5%

Rekrule, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of Maillard
4/5  rDev +5%

Maillard, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of baakabak
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Agreed. Poured into a tulip it looks just like coca cola.Dark brown with frothy tan head that settles to a thin sliver of tiny clinging bubbles

Smell is cherries,almond,shortbread, and yeasty rum

Tastes of the same. Little chocolate and rum raisin ice cream . 9% abv shows on the finish.

Carbonation is good but feels a little thin.

Overall this beer is a bargain. For a $4.99 bomber I don't know that you could find a better buy. Especially for the style. Aging might do some good but I can't seem to hold on to them for long enough.

baakabak, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of seand
3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark cola brown, nearly opaque, with a small amount of tan head. Some surface film retains along with a ring around the edge of the glass, leaving pretty good lacing.

S: Sweet and full, with a light note of yeast.

T: Medium yeasty sweetness with notes of dark fruit. Finishes slightly dry, with a lingering and almost mouthwatering note of fruit.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall, very nice, and not surprising that it's a Unibroue beer. Certainly a great value, and a pretty good beer regardless of price.

seand, Jan 27, 2014
Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 200 ratings.