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Trader Joe's Providential Golden Ale - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Trader Joe's Providential Golden AleTrader Joe's Providential Golden Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

95 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 95
Hads: 313
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 15.38%
Wants: 7
Gots: 47 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HalfFull on 12-12-2012

Ale brewed with spices.
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 95 | Hads: 313
Photo of Fuzzycuffs
2.85/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle today, and drank this evening.

A: Pours a hazy golden colour. About what you would expect of the style. Two fingers of snowy white head, dissipated very quickly, leaving almost no lacing =(

S: Belgian spices. Orange peel, coriander, possibly a bit of star anise. Very strong, but not particularly defined. Might improve with age.

T: No booziness, despite the 7.5 ABV. A touch watery, but not exactly a session ale, due to the intense aromas that accompany it. Wet and spicy, not a whole lot of flavor from the grains.

M: Smooth body, mild, but prickly carbonation. Not much to say. Water.

O: Not a whole lot of balance. The wheat is mellow, the spices are in-your-face, and there isn't much else to say. Reasonably priced, but for a store that sells their delightful vintage ale, I was disappointed. Might buy again to cellar for two years, might not. Depends on whether I go back to Trader Joe's before I forget this brew exists.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.03/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Chilled 22 oz. bomber into a stemless tulip pint. Bottling date appears to be July 27, 2012.

Look- Claims to be TJ Brewing company, but the bottle, cork, and cage are clearly embossed by Unibroue. Pours a hazy straw with a large, soapy head that falls to a sticky, dense cap over the course of a minute or two and then persists until the glass has been emptied. Excellent lacing.

Smell- As soon as the bottle's uncorked, there's a fresh, doughy bready aroma mixed with a cidery tartness. After the pour, it takes on a toastier feel with significant sweetness in the background, candied banana. Also some... coriander? Maybe some clove, lemongrass? Not much for a spiced ale, but there's something there.

Taste- Sharper than expected, almost acidic, cidery. Crusty bread dipped in milk, banana, marshmallow, doughy yeast. The tartness at the beginning of the sip never really goes anywhere, just a vaguely fruity start that goes into a clean doughy body, finishes quite clean. Overall impression of a bowl filled with graham crackers, bananas, and whole milk. It's not offensive, but it's somewhere between bland and outright weird.

Mouthfeel- Juicy feel, medium body, light-medium carbonation. Crisp on the sip, finish is creamy and coats the mouth. At first, the ABV is hidden, but as it warms a certain booziness emerges.

Overall- Decent fridge-cold, and I'd probably buy it again to give to a friend used to American Lager. Not something I'd seek out.

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Photo of Vixie
3.18/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a lightly cloudy yellow with a bit of a white head. Looks a bit like a wheat beer, although not quite as cloudy.

Has a spicy smell to it. Main scents are orange peel, ginger, and clove. There is a touch of citrus and yeast as well.

Starts out with a hint of citrus, then a bit of pepper comes in. Finishes with a bit of an orange peel like flavor.

Feels seem a bit thin for the style.

Overall, not one of the better offerings from Unibroue. Usually their beers have a nice solid feel, both in flavor and texture. In this one, the flavors just don't mesh together very well, and gives it kind of an odd taste. It's also less solid than what I expect from them, almost tasting watered down. Trader Joe's has two offerings this year, and I'd say the regular vintage ale is the better choice.

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Photo of beertunes
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Caged & corked 759. Best before date: 9/28/2014. Poured into straight pint glass (hey, I was cat sitting! It was the best they had.) Poured a hazy dark yellow color with just a thin cap of white head that quickly dissipated and left no lacing.

The aroma was an understated, but typical, example of the style. Some light grain, some yeasty spice, and a hint of basic floral notes. On the tongue, the beer was similar, just a bit more well defined. The grains were a bit more earthy, the yeast spicier, and the floral/fruit notes a bit more even.

The body was medium,with a slightly sticky finish. Drinkability was good, finishing the 750 wasn't a chore at all. Overall, a decent value example of the style, and perhaps one that would well suited to introducing someone to the Belgian styles, which sometimes are an acquired taste. Worth a shot, especially at the price.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.26/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Cloudy yellow, like urine.... White head comes and goes, fast. Missing lacing.

Lactic lime-banana and cloves. Missing strong bodied aroma.

Very blunt flavor. Clove, spice, Belgian yeast stands out. Crisp, thin, high carbonation, dry champagne finish, slight burn on back end.

It's drinkable and okay, but nothing special or worth seeking. It's about what I expected @6/750ml, glad I snagged one.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.36/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Trader Joe's; the great price made it a no-brainer. Especially given the brewery. "Ale brewed with spices on lees." Best before 02/04/2015. Brewed by Unibroue. Reviewed live. Expectations are moderately high; I anticipate it'll be good but not great. 750ml brown glass bottle with printed-on appealing label art and hood-and-wire cap (i.e. cage) over a cork served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Yields a somewhat satisfying dull pop upon removal of the cork. Beer slowly begins surging upwards; you have about a minute to pour it. Carbonation seems to be on the higher end.

A: Pours a three finger head of white colour. Nice thickness. Slightly creamy. Pretty good (~4-5 minute) retention. I suspect overcarbonation based on the appearance. No bubble show.

Body colour is a cloudy translucent yellow. No yeast particles are visible. Nontransparent.

Overall, it's right on the money for the style but not unique or special. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Pale malts. Pilsner malt. Yeast-derived clove and banana. Some crystal malt perhaps. Complementary floral hops. Lemon citrus esters and zest. Cilantro. Ginger perhaps. A somewhat dry champagney aroma. Spritzy and effervescent. Vague hints of clove honey. A mild to moderate strength aroma. Quite pleasant and appealing. Spot on for the style. Really looking forward to trying it.

T/Mf: Lemon citrus esters and zest are most prominent in the late second act. Lightly grainy. Pale malts, crystal malt, and some pilsner malt provide the foundation. Floral hops complement the flavour profile overall. Spritzy and somewhat dry; redolent of champagne. A hint of funkiness from the yeast, which is otherwise primarily biscuity. Somewhat cidery; I'm picking up definite crisp apple and appleskin notes. Love the evocative clove. Yeast-derived banana is quite restrained.

Really not getting any lees. That may be a good thing in a golden ale, though. I love Unibroue's strong ales, but I don't necessarily want dead yeast and sediment lurking about in the bottom of a bottle of golden ale.

Not at all oily. More dry than I'm accustomed to given the style. Smooth. Good carbonation. Pretty good presence on the palate. Somewhat soft, but it does leave something to be desired. Clean. Somewhat cidery. Crisp. Moderately heavy on the palate for the style.

A biteen of alcohol comes through.

As it warms, I'm getting some subtle buried hints of apricot and pear. Maybe peach.

Overall, it's a nicely balanced brew with interesting complexity and subtlety.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable. Very well priced for the quality. I do like it, but I did expect better. It's another solid brew from Unibroue, but doesn't quite match the quality of many of their mainstream (and higher priced) offerings. It's a good introduction to the golden ale style, but there are far better examples to be found - even here in California. [Russian River Damnation comes to mind.] I might get it again - especially on draught - but I wouldn't quite recommend it to friends. It's good for what it is, but price point not withstanding it isn't an exemplary beer. Glad I picked it up and I'm not disappointed. I'll enjoy polishing this one off. Hides ABV decently well.


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Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.37/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into stemless wine glass.

Says golden ale on bottle, but looks exactly like a Belgian witbier.

Smells like one too; wheaty and Belgian-yeasty. Lemons. Slight bit of barnyard must.

And… yeah.. Witbier for sure. Lemon zest with Belgian esters. Not a lot, but some level of spice going on. Wheaty finish. The carbo is very sprite. Drinking pretty easily. Flavors not disagreeable at all.

Overall, if this were classified as a Belgian wit, then I would believe this to be a pretty decent example of style. But if they're calling this a BPA, then not so sure what to make of it. Still, I've had worse BPA's. This is on the lower end of Unibroue's pipeline.

I prefer the Vintage ale over this one. Cheers.

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Photo of hreb
3.46/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Unibroue's classic 750mL cork-topped bottle. Best before 02-04-2015. Served in pint glass. Beer pours pale yellow in color, slightly hazy, with a pretty nice white head. Aroma is yeasty, and has an unfortunate banana ester smell (though I'm sure others may appreciate that more than I do). Flavor is pretty mild, continuing with the fruity theme, and adding a very gentle spicing. Despite not having any of my favorite flavors in a Belgian strong pale ale, it's supremely drinkable, and doesn't expose any of it's 7.5 ABVs. It would be interesting to try this side by side with Don De Dieu, or even Blanche De Chambly -- I'm pretty sure I remember liking either of those a lot more than this one.

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Photo of seand
3.49/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear pale yellow with a small amount of white head. Just some surface film retains, leaving a small amount of lacing.

S: Honey, yeast, and a small amount of booze.

T: Malty, yeasty, and light citrus.

M: Medium to full body, medium carbonation.

Overall, decent, and excellent for the price. It'd be pretty average if it cost twice the price, but there's not much else that's nearly as good at the price point.

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Photo of Zorro
3.54/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Chill hazed golden colored ale with a puffy white colored head.

Strong apple aroma with cinnamon and pepper. Medium level coriander scent. Honeysuckle malt aroma. This smells decidedly sweet. Scent of flowers.

Starts out mildly sweet with the taste of candy apple. Flavors of caramel candy and faint cinnamon. Medium strong coriander taste.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a tasty affordable Unibroue beer sold by Trader Joe's.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.57/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy, gold color, with a white head that rises at least 2 fingers before settling to a thin layer. Lacing is minimal.

S: Strong citrus notes, followed by freshly baked bread. Some white pepper. There's a funky, wet-leather smell, and green apple. Some flowery/perfumy notes appear as well.

T: Big sweetness up front, but it's quickly overwhelmed by a wave of tart (tangerine & cherry; a hint of lime also is present. I get a strong sense of the yeast late, then a little phenolic bitterness at the end.

M: Initially moist, with mediocre carbonation. It's chewier than I expected based on appearance. The finish borders on astringent.

O: Just OK in my opinion. I had pretty high hopes fom the aroma, but the phenolic aftertaste and astringent mouthfeel didn't do it for me.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before 9/28/14.

Pours a murky light orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, yeast, citrus, and spices. Taste is much the same with a slight tartness present. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a good smell but the flavors don't quite match up in my opinion.

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Photo of coltonbrimhall
3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

-beautiful foamy head
-bright light hops, light astringent, but very mellow
-very typical Belgian pale ale, but lacking flavor or anything to set it apart
-very smooth and balanced, but overly bubbly
-was hoping for more but it is a plain tasting beer

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Photo of cratez
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Trader Joe's Providential Belgian Style Golden Ale - 7.5% ABV - Consumed January 9, 2015.

A: Hazy golden amber hue with three fingers of white foam and lots of bubbles in the body. Several strands of lacing cling to the tulip glass. Head and lace retain well. An enticing appearance.

S: Clove, orange peel, spice box (cardamom, cinnamon), lemon zest, classic Unibroue yeastiness (a little doughy), light phenols, and apricot. A very effervescent and appealing nose. Lovely.

T: Big zesty, yeasty, and lightly citric flavours upfront; orange peel, lemon, spice box and clove mid-palate; mildly drying and malty finish with fruity-yeasty afters that linger for a while. A tasty and satisfying Belgian blonde.

M: Full side of medium-bodied, creamy middle, tangy and citric zestiness precedes a lightly drying and malty finish with more fruity, yeasty, and estery flavours on the cough. Nice palate.

O: An appetizing golden ale with above average flavours and aromas. No flaws that I can detect; just a solid, quaffable Belgian ale here.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle. Unibrou slanging them Trader Joe beers. Poured a medium golden color. Aroma is of softer Belgian yeast, grain and a pale fruitiness. Flavor is also rather subdued but not half bad. Nothing takes control, which I enjoy during this style of beer. Pale malts, pale fleshed fruits, easily digestible Belgian maltiness. Not boozy at all. Mellow yet fairly tasty.

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Photo of babaracas
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mostly clear gold, one finger of fizzy white head, thin ring left with dots left on the glass. Smell: floral, notes of pear, grape and coriander, lightly bready. Taste: spicy, pepper, mildly grainy, pear and unripe peach, mildly coriander-y, then unripe banana in the finish. For the lower abv it is fairly well put together but does nothing to distinguish itself other than have a lower price tag than most BSPAs in this format.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.64/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy and murky light golden color. Head not so thick and quickly dissipates into a thin lace that retains solidly throughout. Nice aroma of citrus, particularly orange. I enjoyed the taste at first as I picked up fruity flavors. However, as I got further along in the drink, I began to detect some earthy and yeasty flavors that were slightly off putting. There was something not fresh about the taste; perhaps it was the bottle, (I forgot to check date) my mood, or my reaction to this particular brand. Mouthfeel was o.k., the carbonation stings the tongue. However, it did not feel so refreshing and drinkable.
Belgian Strong Pale Ale is one of my favorite styles. Perhaps I have been spoiled by some of the great Belgian Ales and because of the high standard set, this one falls short. It was not terrible and I got a big bottle for a cheap price. However, I will not actively seek it out anytime soon.

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Photo of ESPNman
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

2012 vintage, served in a Stone IRS snifter

A - Pours a hazy, golden straw color. Two fingers of thick foamy off-white head that resembles shaving cream. Moderate retention, decent lacing. It almost looks like a cloudy chardonnay.

S - Not a ton here... mostly Belgian yeast fruit esters and sweet malts. There's also a bit of tart lemon in there, as well.

T - Much better than I expected, given the nose. There's a fair amount of yeast flavors in this brew, but they're well balanced with a bit of tart apple and sweet malts. More funk than I was expecting, but in a good way. Juicy, tart apple, pear, and apricot flavors mix well with the sweet pale malts and (too much) yeast.

M - My favorite part of this beer, hands down. It had a creamy mouthfeel, medium carbonation, and just enough liveliness to bring this beer something special. It's perfectly matched to the beer... although it's not exactly typical for the style. It feels thicker, and less carbonated than most Belgian Pale Ales, but with the funk that this one brings, it really shines.

O - For the price, this one's a winner. It's not going to win any awards, but it's a classic Unibroue-style beer. I'm curious to see how this one will age, and look forward to grabbing a few bottles of it next year.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle with a best before date of 2/4/2015

Appearance - clear golden color beer with fluffy white head

Smell - tart apple, ginger, coriander, orange peel

Taste - much like the smell, tart green apple, ginger, coriander, lemon peel

Mouthfeel - heavier side of medium bodied, high carbonation, tartness upfront that turns to sour in the finish, lacks finesse in the finish when compared to others in the style

Overall - not a bad beer for the price, albeit it is a little rough round the edges

Price Point - $5.99/ 750 ML bottle

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.69/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle served in a wine glass with a best before date of 04/2016.

Appearance: pale gold, effervescent, clear

Nose: bread, yeast, malt, dried fruit

Taste: candi sugar, very fruity, refreshing, very sweet

Overall: I thought this was a nice strong pale ale from Unibroue/Trader Joe's. I probably wouldn't buy it again because of the overwhelming sweetness. $4.99 for a 750ml is a great price though.

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Photo of mpyle
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

App - cloudy (knocked over bottle shortly before tasting - may have been an issue), straw colored. Poured a fairly large white head with good retention.

Aroma - subtle spicy aroma, slightly sweet. A bit of pepper and corriander.

Taste - Fairly bland spicy flavor, minimal malt. A bit of citrus sweetness. Dries out in finish - well attenuated and subtle hop bitterness are enough to make that so. Fairly clean finish with a slightly lingering bittersweet spice.

MF - Modest body, fairly high carbonation. A bit of alcohol warming, but not harsh.

Overall - Well balanced and drinkable, but not extremely flavorful or exciting.

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Photo of Rutager
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance. Pours a very hazy yellow gold with 1.5 fingers of fluffy white head that lasts a while and leaves some decent lacing.

Smell. Fruity Belgian yeast and traditional spices with a little light grainy malt coming through.

Taste. Light grainy malt, belgian spice and yeast, and a little tart lemon. Not bad at all.

Mouthfeel. Below medium in body, pretty lively and fine medium+ carbonation.

Overall. A nice lighter Belgian style ale. Would be great on a hot day.

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Photo of mactrail
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy pale yellow in the Ommegang chalice with a nice robust foaminess. Lots and lots of suds in the mouth. Long nose of fruit and grain.

Rather sweet, like a Hefeweizen, at least for a while. Tart with fruit like pears. Lots of the The classic Belgian yeasty flavor just doesn't quit. Very dry sensation takes over. It gets to be more like unripe pineapple. Quite a lip-tickler and actually quite peppery hot along with the coriander intensity. Thoroughly interesting spicy brew but a truly odd interpretation of Belgian styles. Sort of an imperial "Blanche de Chambly."

You're getting a real deal on this Unibroue beer at Trader Joe's. From the 500 ml bottle bought at TJs in San Diego. Label says "Best before 09-28-2014."

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Photo of FosterJM
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1675th Review on BA
Bottle to Goblet
750 ml C/C

2012 release
Purchased at Trader Joes Chino Hills

App- Pours the requisite orangey color of a golden ale. Small hints of yellow throughout. A bit of a dense center. A nice 2 finger white head that was a bit puffy. Settled to a nice cap and then left good cling lines.

Smell- Opens up a small citrus note infused with a semi balanced yeast/spice combo. Retained Unibroue notes and was a bit restrained but thick on the nose at parts.

Taste- For being a new addition to TJs lineup, it was pretty solid. More yeast than it needed and a bit thick spice. It was fairly balanced and creamy. Tasted like a Unibroue beer with that oak spice taste.

Mouth- A semi solid medium body with a fairly creamy medium carbonation. A bit bubbly at times and a bit dry at points. More yeast remains on the back of this beer.

Drink- A nice beer. Again semi balanced and a good price point for what it is. Might be worth aging a couple. Unibroue seemed to create something nice here.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Murky Golden color with a 2-finger, fluffy white head. There is a virtual torrent of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass, feeding the head so that it is never-ending (barely, in fact, receding).

A: Lemon zest and coriander take the front of this beer. There is also a slight gingery spice that tickles the nose, as well as a slight grain aroma.

T: Much more subtle and mellow than I was expecting from the aroma, which is not a bad thing. The front of the beer is grainy and light, but then the Blegian yeast takes a prominent position in the flavor. The finish is lemony and light, with a lingering earthiness from the yeast, and a hint of woody hops.

M: Light bodied, and very heavy on the carbonation.

O: A solid beer. Brewed by Unibroue, so it couldn't be that bad. A little too heavy on the lemon peel and spices for my taste, but I approve of the heavy yeast flavors. If you happen to go to Trader Joe's I would certainly recommend picking up a bottle.

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Trader Joe's Providential Golden Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.