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

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Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale
BA SCORE
3.82/5
Very Good
266 Ratings
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
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
55
Ratings:
266
pDev:
11.26%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
41
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 266 |  Reviews: 55
Photo of MonkeyBread
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of irthesteve
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of jerefreakinmiah
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of jimmah120
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of allstar255
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of DOCRW
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of derryd
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of KYGunner
3.78/5  rDev -1%
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.

 910 characters

Photo of TruePerception
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

 979 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
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 Ohmmygawd
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

 486 characters

Photo of BigPlay1824
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of tpauer
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of mnredsoxfan69
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Fettpopps
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of Vinylboy20
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of elNopalero
3.69/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

 516 characters

Photo of Rick778
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of verge
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of porter_collie
3.37/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into brandy snifter.

A - A dark opaque brown body.

S - Plum, burnt sugar, cinnamon, banana, and clove.

T - A funky yeasty flavor typical of Belgian brews, but this one is not as refined as most. The taste of the malt is a bit cloyingly sweet, too. The spices do add a nice touch, and I get hints of cinnamon, anise, and all-spice. The finish is a little too sharp and boozy, especially since Belgians usually excel at hiding high alcohol.

M - Viscous, but almost a little too syrupy. The carbonation is nice, though.

O - Not a bad beer and at $4 a bottle quite a good deal. However, it certainly is not as refined as most other Belgian-style brews out there. I would be curious to see if some of the overly-aggressive or off flavors settle down with a year or two of cellaring.

 802 characters

Photo of Minnesota_beer_guy
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of beertunes
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of keenberg87
4.21/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 750ml into a large snifter. Maintained a finger-and-a-half of head which slowly dissipated to leave thorough lacing. Smell… can't find much except alcohol. Taste blew me away: pepper, caramel, coffee, fruitiness (strawberries and citrus! could the "natural flavors" have something to do with this?) low tannins, low-to-moderate yeast. Silky smooth and light on the palate with adequate carbonation.

I might be late to jump on the ball, but I think I'll head back to Trader J's to see if I can a couple to shelf.

 531 characters

Photo of Willcook
1/5  rDev -73.8%

Photo of brheuer
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 266 ratings
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