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

very good
360 Ratings
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Trader Joe's Providential Golden AleTrader Joe's Providential Golden Ale

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

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Ale brewed with spices.

Added by HalfFull on 12-12-2012

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Ratings: 360 |  Reviews: 106
Photo of WildMaverick1200
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Behold, the Trader Joe's beer. Extra points for surprise when I found out it's brewed my Unibroue, one of my favorites. Pours beautifully from a super-thick glass bottle. This is meant as a reproduction of a classic Belgian Golden Ale. Beautiful blonde and cloudy color, typical of the style. Thin, everlasting foam on top. Strong smell of flowers, fruit and spices. More fruit and spices in the taste with a robust, ass-kicking backbone of malts. A little bit of hop character, alcohol, tart, and savory yeast in the background for balance. Refined champagne-like feel, but with more body.

Now, this is certainly not Unibroue's top of the line beer, but it is a very fine brew indeed. For the price, probably the best $5.99 I have ever spent.

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Photo of ledouge
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of hypnotoad1
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of goodsuds
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I saw this a Trader Joe's the last few times I was there and I decided to take a chance. For $5 I figured it was worth a shot (I've been less than impressed with several of their beers). As I was getting ready to pour it I realized it was made by Unibroue!

L - poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a cloudy golden yellow with a one finger white fluffy head.

S - pepper, citrus peel, pilsner malt.

T - sweet malt, pepper, citrus, powdery yeast. It tastes sweeter as it warms and the carbonation dies down. I also detect a little clove as it warms up.

M - very carbonated, medium-full body, smooth soft finish despite the high level of carbonation.

O - this is a really good beer, especially for the money. It's a little one dimensional and lacks some of the complexity you might get from a more expensive beer, but that doesn't mean this doesn't fit the bill. If I had to choose between a $10 beer that had a little more yeast or malt character and this for $5, I'd buy this all day long. It's the difference between an A+ beer and an A- beer; it's that close. I'll be sure to keep this in my lineup. I love Unibroue beers and this doesn't disappoint, especially for the money.

 1,203 characters

Photo of Jjmj51
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Satorn
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.44/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MacStinson
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of OvO_Dave
4.54/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drove to my local Trader Joe's and bought myself a 750ml bottle based primarily on reviews I read here at Beer Advocate. I have to say that I agree - this beer seems to have everything I love about Belgian strong pale ales. It tasted great! I'll be making the trip back to pick up a few more. I didn't realize until I uncorked it... TJ's is Unibroue.

 354 characters

Photo of EdmundBlackadder
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of logicalparadox
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of FBarber
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of argock
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from corked and caged 750 ml brown bottle into a Chimay chalice. BB 08-18-18 on bottle neck.

A: Hazy golden with 2-finger frothy white head with good retention and solid stripe of lacing around the top of the glass.

S: Bready Pilsner malt aromas cut quickly by numerous spicy yeast aromas including clove, pepper, ginger and orange peel. Some pear fruity esters. Hopping is mainly herbal in character.

T: Similar bready and slightly sweet Pilsner malty flavor throughout the palate but fading to pepper, bitter orange, clove, pear, apple skin, bubble gum, and some ginger. Hops are herbal.
Alcohol comes through in the finish with a little more solventy and metallic than it should be.

M: Exceptional pillowy feel with medium body, high carbonation.

O: Huge pleasant surprise - will be picking up a couple more of these to cellar. Great feel and flavor - a little better alcohol mgmt and this would be a stellar Belgian ale.

 942 characters

Photo of Chizoad
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As my local Trader Joe's was lacking any Fins du Monde (c'est la pluralization, n'est ce pas?), I picked up this one as a random grab. This cost me $6, possibly $5. I should check the receipt. By the way, these guys are charging $7.50 for Fin du Monde, which is hard to beat.

Quick, massive head. Fluffy and looks decent, but dissipates quickly. I made an effort to make sure the glass was clean and had no surfactants, but the head fades too rapidly to a thin film that is sadly unappetizing. The beer itself looks great with foam on it, and ... out of place without it? Hazy, golden, on the paler side. Oddly, lacks much variation with path length (Beer-Lambert Law, look it up, aptly named I think).

Spicy aroma (black pepper?) but in general I'm terrible at identifying anything beyond banana and bubblegum. There's definitely a little of each in it, but more to it as well. Doesn't leap out of the glass.

Classic Belgian taste. Just like the aroma too. No surprises, which I suppose is a little disappointing. The bitterness is subdued and mellow, which meshes perfectly with the clear fruity sweetness present in the beer. As it warms it changes. Unpleasantly metallic for a second, then the balance of the hops shows through as the sweetness fades. For the bargain barrel price this is a massive home run. If I could make one this good for this price, I'd be elated, and I'd be a nonprofit brewer.

Great body. Ideal carbonation, which adds to the spiciness and offsets and of the more cloying aspects that sometimes crop up in Belgian-style beers. The only knock is a slight wateriness that makes me want to drink it too quickly. These beers should be more like a meal, as least by my philosophy.

For the price, this is nigh unbeatable. Imagine getting something basically as good as Chimay for around 2/5 the price. Sure it misses the subtleties but .... are you gonna pay more than double for only subtlety?

What "is" this beer? More than anything: Belgian. And excellent.

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Photo of Italiano86
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 8BaconBits
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BeerWithMike
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JarMills
4.61/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of NeilSilber1
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ok Belgium , but can't live up to its more perfect cousin Fin Du Monde. Nice carbonization with a touch of spice.

113 characters

Photo of Suds
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a 750 ml corked bottle, this brew is hazy golden, effervescent, with a tall white head. The aroma is Belgian, with clove, peppery phenos, and yeast. Semi-dry with soft maltiness and lots of spiciness. Alcohol and fruit are also notable. The beer is full in body and has a little warmth. Enjoyable.

 307 characters

Photo of SFC21
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of psoriasaurus
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy straw color with a three finger, brilliant white head. Leaves no lacing.

Smell: Yeasty, freshly baked bread, pineapples and cloves. Aromas of bananas, rosemary, thyme and mild honey.

Taste: Excellent. I'm getting lots of yeast akin to cilantro and clove. There's a juicy pineapple and savory honey flavor, along with notes of bananas and vanilla. Hiding in the back are notes of white figs, truffles and champagne. A dank, dry, grassy hop note rounds it all off on the finish.

Feel: Heavy and effervescent. Highly chugable, hides it's abv well.

Overall: Very affordable ($7) and well worth the money. This is an amazing beer, if I wore a hat, it would go off to Unibroue and Trader Joe's for coming together to brew this.

I don't understand some of the negativity towards this one, you'd be hard pressed to find a good belgian strong ale as good as this for under $8.

 886 characters

Photo of aufie
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Beginner2
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I like what Trader Joe's does here. It goes to one of the top north American breweries specializing in Belgians and puts TJ's private label on a recipe. TJ offers many new outlets for high-quality Belgians and, I suspect, substantially boosted Unibroue production and probably sales. (They apparently have a deal to sell Unibroue's sampler pack, which I buy almost annually.)

While I drink Providential at least twice a year, I once taste-tested against two other Unibroues: Don de Dieu (a strong pale) and its world-class triple, Fin du Monde. I and my co-taster agreed there was enough of each in Providential to conclude it was something of a hybrid recipe of the two (with the alcohol lower, of course.) As the years wore on, something has changed... (probably my buds) and Providential seems more its own recipe.

At any rate, Providential tastes great, goes well with varied appetizer-like foods and is an even better value, at least 25% under the competitors. I recommend doing what I do: buy Providential most times I go to TJ's and bring it to parties to introduce others to a well-made and very well-priced Belgian.

4/14/17 Review edited and Overall rating revised slightly upward for superior value and flexibility at the table.

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Trader Joe's Providential Golden Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 360 ratings.
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