Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

BA SCORE
86
very good
266 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Contract brewed by Unibroue.

Added by NickMunford on 11-16-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
266
Reviews:
55
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
11.2%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
41
For Trade:
5
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 266 |  Reviews: 55
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before 8/1/16.

Pours an opaque brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, yeast, must, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with dark fruit and spice flavors on the finish. 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 and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but there is nothing really memorable about it.

 592 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 561 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of chinchill
3.89/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle with a Unibroue cork and cage seal served in a Sierra Nevada glass. BB date of 1 August 2016.

Popping the cork produced a slowly rising foam that just barely extruded out the top of the bottle. Likewise, a very large head rises above the dark reddish brown body, even with a gentle pour. Clear but nearly opaque in the glass.

Excellent mouthfeel with a creamy smooth feel, but with a touch of astringency in the finish.

The aroma is spicy, yeasty and, unfortunately, a bit musty. This musty note largely disappears upon tasting, where dark fruits and dark spices come to the fore in a complex array of spice, yeast, grain and fruit notes.

 662 characters

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of smithj4
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of ZEB89
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottle shared by Miller. Thanks man.

Dark brown body with a fizzy beige cap. Aromas of sweet Belgian yeast, lots of spice to ring in the holiday season. Alcohol, raisins, plums with pronounced spice and yeast character. Mild burn in the finish.

 245 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle provided by Santa.
Pours a solid dark brown with the faintest of ruby highlights at the edges when held to light. Fluffy creamy off white head shows moderate retention and lace. Aromas of pepper and clove with bits of brown sugar, toffee, and caramel. Light dark fruit aromas round out the nose. The flavor is a dark sugary spicy affair. Dark sugary maltiness that gets assaulted by peppery clove and other spices. Light prune and molasses round out the flavor. Medium to thick body with a spirited level of carbonation and a sweet bubbly spritzy mouthfeel. Glad I got to try this, but I felt this a bit too spicy for my tastes.

 635 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of Dicers
3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of sendbeer
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

One year old bottle; a bit of a gusher on opening. Pours a very dark mahogany brown that is nearly opaque in the glass (much darker than previous years) and a massive four finger light khaki head with good retention and thick lacing. Aroma of light bready malt, Belgian yeast, very spicy; coriander and clove, but hints of other aromatic spices like cinnamon, dark stone fruit. Flavor follows aroma with dark stone fruit, Belgian yeast, caramel malt, very spicy, almost to the point of a winter warmer. Medium bodied with peppery, active carbonation. As always, a very pleasant strong Belgian ale with classic fruit and yeast flavors. This year's seem to lay on the spicing quite a bit, but the ale is rich enough to handle it. I'm enjoying the complex spice mixture this year. One of my end-of-the-year traditions that never disappoints. Always a bit different annually, this one darker and spicier. Hope I put another one of these away. This ale seems to improve for a couple of years and a great, inexpensive short term cellaring ale.

 1,037 characters

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of Whiskeydeez
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of puboflyons
4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the corked, caged 750 ml. bottle best before 08-01-2016. Sampled on March 9, 2014 and served at about 55 degrees.

The pour is about as attractive as a Belgian Strong Ale can look with its dark brown to nearly black tone and soft, tan head lingering to the end and leaving lacing with each sip.

The nose is colorful with the dark Belgian malts, Belgian candied sugar, black licorice, plums, coriander, and pepper. There is an earthy hop note that enhances the slightly boozy quality.

Medium body.

The taste is something to remember with the black licorice, dark malts, and vibrant spicy or pepper bite with each sip. Dry finish. Trader Joe's Vintage brews are a Unibroue "knock-off" that have all the same qualities but is a couple dollars cheaper. How can one go wrong?

 778 characters

Photo of KAF
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of sd123
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Hohnbaum
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of PEIhop
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of beertunes
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

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Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.84 out of 5 based on 266 ratings.
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