Trader Joe's 2014 Vintage Ale
Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Trader Joe's 2014 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2014 Vintage Ale
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Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States
Belgian Dark Strong Ale
3.93 | pDev: 8.14%
Feb 19, 2020
Oct 30, 2014
Very Good
Trader Joe's 2014 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2014 Vintage Ale
Notes: None
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Rated: 3.02 by SWChi from Illinois

Feb 19, 2020
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Reviewed by thebeers from Pennsylvania

2.84/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75
Red-tinted dark brown with three fingers of light tan head that last a fair while and leave good lacing. Some slight gushing upon opening.

Wood, clove, spruce, chocolate and plum in the nose.

Toffee, nougat, prune, leather and Belgian yeast are added to those in the taste. There’s a slight vegetal quality hidden beneath the chocolate and fruit. Warming alcohol present on the backend.

Medium bodied with strong carbonation.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is past it’s prime. You can sort of pick out the ghost of a good beer here, but the fruit, chocolate combo is too sweet, medicinal and plum pudding-ish and has also picked up some off-flavor I don’t believe was intended. I wouldn’t rate it if there wasn’t this year-specific line, as I’ve always enjoyed these fresh. If anyone wants to know what the 2014 vintage taste like at Christmas 2018, these notes may still be useful. Drink em if you’ve got em!
Dec 08, 2018
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Reviewed by rand from California

3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
750 mL bottle into a tulip

Not going to go through a full review, as I've reviewed different vintages of this brew before.

Couple of comments on the aging of the brew, as I've just busted this out from storage. Flavors are tamed and sort of linear. Phenols are still distinct, but the medicinal aspect has died down. Still a 'cherry' brew overall, and bubblegum-y, but overall more quadfable, sweet and soda-like.

Not my favorite example of the style, but it's always fun to try robust beers like this several years in a cellar.
May 21, 2018
Rated: 3.94 by cb8282 from Michigan

Dec 31, 2017
Rated: 4.1 by MrOH from Malta

May 30, 2017
Rated: 4.1 by gobuccos from Ohio

Jan 29, 2017
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Rated by Beginner2 from Illinois

3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Held this for two years. Worth the wait. Melded better than when new.
My only issue with 2014 is true of most Unibroues, I prefer less carbonation.
Dec 03, 2016
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Reviewed by daliandragon from Maryland

4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
This one has been in storage for a few years. Pours a very dark, almost black with a decent cream head that doesn't last. Nose features dark fruit and yeasty esters.

The taste seems simple at first but hits several levels of complexity on its way. Big chocolate malt note at the front, followed by a fruit wine interlude and a sweet coffee toned finale. Texture is a little thinner than I would like and carbonation a little high but the result is still very smooth in the finish.
Dec 02, 2016
Rated: 3.58 by bluehende from Delaware

Nov 20, 2016
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Reviewed by chinchill from South Carolina

3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
750 ml bottle with a July 2017 BB date, that's been cellared for about 2.5 years. Brewed by Unibroue , as indicated on both the bottle and cork. Served in a Belgian snifter.

Clear dark brown but pours essentially black with a tan head that's shorter and a bit more fizzy that it should be. The medium-high carbonation is obvious but not objectionable in the feel of the medium-full body.

Aroma: dark dried fruits, especially raisins, and a hint of chocolate.

Flavor: rich and fairly strong; dominated by raisins, prunes, figs and other dark dry fruits. Some alcohol esters but rather well hidden alcohol. Near equal bitter-sweet balance.
Sep 20, 2016
Rated: 3.85 by ledouge from Virginia

Jul 04, 2016
Rated: 3.52 by hypnotoad1 from Virginia

Jul 04, 2016
Rated: 4.04 by GreenMind from Pennsylvania

Jun 29, 2016
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Reviewed by secondtooth from Indiana

4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Appearance: Almost black, with a decent tan foam and no lace.

Aroma: Fruit, specifically grapes and dark fruit, dried and aged like raisins. Pretty good.

Taste: Delicious! Complex grape tannins, with a wine-like character, some tobacco, some chocolate hints, and a light sweetness that complements a smooth, crisp dryness that finishes with a pleasant warming. Superb!
Jun 21, 2016
Rated: 4.04 by PrestigeWorldwide from Michigan

Jun 16, 2016
Rated: 3.34 by beerserk from California

Feb 27, 2016
Rated: 3.46 by Bogdawg from Massachusetts

Feb 19, 2016
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Reviewed by Lingenbrau from Oregon

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Side-by-side with '12 through '15. Second best of the bunch, but no matter what, always a winner and something to look forward to every year. Cheers!
Jan 20, 2016
Rated: 3.75 by elglueckert from Montana

Jan 15, 2016
Rated: 3.62 by dukeufo from California

Jan 09, 2016
Rated: 4.5 by mflamar from New York

Dec 31, 2015
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Rated by HopsAreDaMan from Missouri

3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Tried at one year old in a three year vertical with a 2015 and a 2013.
Dec 29, 2015
Rated: 3.97 by Prost76 from New Hampshire

Dec 25, 2015
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Reviewed by Bluegrass49 from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tall glass. Very rich dark brown color with a foamy tan head, about three fingers worth. Strong coffee taste, very malty. Delicious.
Dec 19, 2015
Rated: 3.89 by mjpolzin from Wisconsin

Dec 14, 2015
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Reviewed by UPMD_Bill from Maryland

3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
Aged for a year (translation: misplaced and found during pantry clean-out), and still held up.

Aroma and taste is primarily yeast, a little minty/spice and bubblegum to go with the sweet malt. Chewy and lots of carbonation, although that could be from the aging.

Overall: Didn't quite like as much/not quite as much flavor as Jailbreak Van Dammit (similar style I had recently) but willing to give the 2015 a shot.
Dec 13, 2015
Rated: 4.24 by MA08 from Massachusetts

Dec 13, 2015
Rated: 3.75 by Sweffin from Wisconsin

Dec 01, 2015
Rated: 4.2 by KensWorld from Florida

Oct 03, 2015
Rated: 3.99 by AnitaBrewski from Massachusetts

Aug 14, 2015
Rated: 3.94 by ronricorossi from California

Aug 05, 2015
Rated: 4.25 by crob3888 from California

Aug 03, 2015
Rated: 3.67 by Anaxagoris from Washington

Jul 28, 2015
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Reviewed by M_C_Hampton from Georgia

3.01/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75
A: poured from a 750 mL bottle into a pint glass, after carefully removing from the fridge and uncorking, this beer exploded all over me, my computer, and my sofa, half the bottle was lost and the volcano continues, it is a dark color with a head that dissipates quickly

S: dark fruits and soured, a bit of bread and yeast

T: sticky sweet with a sour funk, figs, prunes, cherries

M: thick and way to carbonated

O: this beer is obviously infected, it has been stored properly, I hesitate to give it such a bad review, but something bad happened to it before it got to my cellar.
Jul 19, 2015
Rated: 4 by NickThePyro from Washington

Jul 14, 2015
Rated: 3.74 by Jaywalsh20 from Illinois

Jun 21, 2015
Rated: 3.78 by CPAles from Illinois

Jun 14, 2015
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Reviewed by mikeg67 from New Jersey

3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
750 ml bottle. Pours dark brown with tall, long-lasting, foamy beige head and nice lacing. Aroma is funky yeast, spices and toasted malt. Body is full and slightly crisp. Toasted malt, brown sugar, spices, herbal hops, chocolate and dark fruit fill the mouth. Finish is long, worming. Very nice brew.
May 29, 2015
Rated: 3.75 by MattMorin from Illinois

May 04, 2015
Rated: 3.73 by Icemann383 from New York

May 03, 2015
Trader Joe's 2014 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 144 ratings