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

Trader Joe's Providential Golden AleTrader Joe's Providential Golden Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Ranked #58
Ranked #11,565
3.93 | pDev: 8.4%
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
Trader Joe's Providential Golden AleTrader Joe's Providential Golden Ale
Notes: Ale brewed with spices.
View: Beers
Reviews: 114 | Ratings: 384 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of paging12
paging12 from Virginia

3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750 ML, corked bottle into a glass goblet. Bottle stated a beat by date of 11-14-19. Taken from my cellar and chilled in the refrigerator door for about a half-hour. Seemed to be just below room temp. Not very cold.

Great presentation with a head present throughout. Good, soft and silky mothfeel. Expected more from the taste, however. Very straight forward banana peel and clove spice but didn’t linger for very long. Not much complexity. Smell was the same. Aging the beer didn’t seem to help.

Nov 17, 2019
Photo of jkblr
jkblr from Indiana

4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750mL corked bottle BB 11-14-19 poured into a Duvel glass at fridge temp 7.5% ABV. The beer pours slightly hazy in an orange amber color with yellow highlights and nearly white head. The head is prolific filling two thirds of the glass on a gentle pour. It recedes slowly to a quarter inch cap and leaves plenty of lacing. The aroma is yeasty and spicy with a hint of malt sweetness. The taste is semisweet pale malt with abundant white pepper and clove before a mildly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with well above average carbonation and a bone dry finish. Overall, very good BSPA at a crazy low price.

Jun 01, 2019
Photo of neenerzig
neenerzig from Ohio

4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this when my wife and I went to Trader Joes a few weeks ago. Poured into one of my tulip glasses, this beer pours a somewhat cloudy, hazy medium golden color (I think I kicked up the yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle before pouring it) with a nice, fluffy white head that's about an inch thick when first poured. ASettles eventually to a thick ring lining the inside of the glass, some big cluster swirls of surface film layers of foam, and good lacing. Aromas of some bready malt and caramel ssweetness along with some fruity esters and spice notes. The taste is pretty mucht the same, with some bready caramel malt sweetness with some fruity notes of bananas and figs along with some spice notes. Not really a discernible hops presence. Has a fairly crisp, also smooth, mdium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easty to drik in the way good, well crafted beer outh to be. Has a clean finish.


Jan 10, 2019
Photo of chitoryu12
chitoryu12 from Florida

4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Hazy, light yellow. Sudsy two-finger head that stays well put. I do with it was more golden and less "dirty water."

Smell: Spices, banana ester, citrus peel, and a little bit of hop scent.

Taste: Gentle, sweet, and warming. Same spices and citrus in the nose. A little bit of pepper and clove noticeable. Not really any bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A little thicker than average, with very high carbonation.

Overall: A very fine example of what you can accomplish on a budget. I'd be perfectly happy to buy this again despite coming from the same place as Two-Buck Chuck.

Dec 10, 2018
Photo of brewerburgundy
brewerburgundy from California

3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, plastic hotel cup, best by 11/14/19.

A tower of meringue builds over a perfectly golden yellow, moderately hazed body. The clouds recede to a creamy and coating one finger or less.

Bananas, pepper, herbal, moderately sweet, and sweet white bread

Clove, yeasty bread, banana, orange peel, and a peppery bite. Substantial yeast on the tongue that settles as an herbal, cough drop flavor. The finish drys, but ends with a mild cinnamon or spiced sugar sweetness.

This is no lightweight, it's a husky size, but being clothed in curtains of bubbles make it a nimble portly beer.

Every once in awhile I enjoy a Belgian Pale Ale, one of my favorite Belgian styles. This one is beautiful and gives the best of the style other than the hopping sometimes found.

Mar 03, 2018
Photo of avalon07
avalon07 from South Carolina

4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a snifter glass. Had a golden yellow color and a cloudy texture. There was an 1 1/2", creamy, very long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A nice aroma of citrus, Belgian yeast, spices, and malt.

T: Tasted of a moderate amount of Belgian-style yeast, mild spices (pepper, in particular), light malt, a bubblegum quality, a hint of ginger, citrus (lemon), and a light hops presence. A vibrant, sweet, and very well done flavor. The bubblegum quality (not unlike in a hefeweizen) makes for a welcome and interesting addition.

F: A well-carbonated beer with an effervescent finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a solidly made, easy to drink beer. An oddly drinkable beer.

Jan 16, 2018
Photo of jhartley
jhartley from Florida

4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cage and cork bottle with a best buy date of 01-30-19 stamped on the shoulder of the bottle
Appearance: Hazy and opaque golden colored body with a thick and pillowy head that rests on the top like gentle sea foam on the beach.

Aroma: Lemon, coriander, and fresh cut ginger root. Belgian yeast spiciness is quite prevalent as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Soft mouthfeel with a nice spiciness and some ripe banana. Ginger and citrus are main flavors ending with a dry-bready malt.

Overall: A beautiful looking beer with a beautiful aroma and full of that Unibroue Belgian yeastiness you would expect. Would definitely purchase this one again and especially for the price, I think it was $5.99.

Oct 01, 2017
Photo of WildMaverick1200
WildMaverick1200 from Massachusetts

4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Jul 24, 2017
Photo of goodsuds
goodsuds from Missouri

4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

May 01, 2017
Photo of OvO_Dave
OvO_Dave from Ohio

4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

Feb 07, 2017
Photo of argock
argock from Virginia

4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Nov 07, 2016
Photo of Chizoad
Chizoad from California

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Oct 31, 2016
Photo of Suds
Suds from Missouri

3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Jul 10, 2016
Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
BloodSoakedAleMug from New York

4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

Jun 05, 2016
Photo of Beginner2
Beginner2 from Illinois

4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I like what Trader Joe's does here. It goes to one of the top three North American Belgian-inspired breweries 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 some cross sales (as Fin Du Monde is cheaper at TJ's. Also, they used to have a deal selling Unibroue's sampler pack, which I bought almost annually until 2019.)

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.) As the years wore on, something has changed... (probably my buds) and Providential seems more its own recipe. It is a gentler table ale, despite its strength.

Regardless of possible recipe changes, Providential tastes great, goes well with varied appetizer-like foods and is an even better value, at least 25% under competitors' offerings of solid yeasts under a cork and cage. I recommend doing what I do: buy Providential most times I go to TJ's; then bring it to parties to introduce others to well-made and very well-priced Belgians.

4/14/17 Review edited and Overall rating revised slightly upward for superior value and flexibility at the table.
6/26/18 Had again at least thrice and need to get more. I think I'll go food shopping at TJ's. The most versatile good value I have in my cellar.
3/13/20 I have not been keeping track of how often I go-to my go-to. While there may be minor differences in bottles, I've decided to keep count over at Untappd since that seems to be BA's future. This review is all I do and all you get!

Apr 23, 2016
Photo of AndrewMichael
AndrewMichael from Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 mL corked bottle poured into a pint glass. Bright golden color, and Belgian yeast aroma. Belgian yeast is not overpowering, a pleasant golden ale. I enjoy Unibroue beers made for Trader Joe's, and always a good price for the quality.

Mar 20, 2016
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the bottle, it pours a golden color with a puffy white head. A bit of citrus and yeast in the nose. The mouth gets a bit of sweet malt and fruit flavor. Enjoyable. BB: Apr 2016

Mar 11, 2016
Photo of HopsAreDaMan
HopsAreDaMan from Missouri

3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

(Review 2 days after drinking) 750 ml bottle, bought at the beginning of 2015.

Shared at my beer club meeting. I thought the spiciness was too much, and it reminded me of another Unibroue beer I had recently. Not bad, just not my kind of beer.

Dec 06, 2015
Photo of Zorro
Zorro from California

3.54/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Oct 15, 2015
Photo of Beejay
Beejay from Virginia

3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pale yellow, hazy with a large fluffy white head.

S: Belgian yeast with citrus notes as well as clove and nutmeg. Perhaps a hint of booze in the finish.

T: Banana, clove, apricot come out right away. Delightfully fruity, with overtones of citrus and a touch of Belgian booze in the finish.

M: Medium, with effervescent carbonation.

O: Overall a pretty solid beer, for a fairly affordable price.. amazing no, but darn good.

Sep 20, 2015
Photo of mac31
mac31 from California

4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big banana esters up front. Soft spices present, along with some clove. Subtle, sweet maltiness that is a tad bready. Stone fruit sweetness (apricot, ripe peach). Orange sweetness present as well, reminds me of orange juice in the finish. Soft, faint floral hops. Minor, soft bittering and honeysuckle (floral) in the finish. This beer is thin bodied with spritzy carbonation. A good beer. Booze is well covered. For the price, a great beer.

Sep 17, 2015
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Aug 31, 2015
Photo of sphmiel
sphmiel from Missouri

4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours hazy straw colored, thin head rapidly fades.
Unexpected pleasant floral aroma, spicy Belgian yeast in the flavor, nicely carbonated.
Great take on the style, at a hard to beat price.

Aug 26, 2015
Photo of FFreak
FFreak from Vermont

4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wife picked this up at TJ's for $5.99, best by date 6-3-2016. Poured into tall tulips and shared out on the deck on a pleasant afternoon. Pours a very hazy, golden yellow with a slight greyish tinge. The head is somewhat thin with grainy bubbles, dissipates quickly leaving a thin ring and very little lace. Nice bready, yeasty Belgian aroma with slight hint of spices. Taste is good, with more spice coming into the picture and a nicely balanced bitterness to finish the up front sweet malt. Mouth is good, medium body, nicely carbed and refreshing. Overall, a great deal on a decent Unibroue product.

Jun 05, 2015
Photo of BoldRulerVT
BoldRulerVT from Vermont

3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a large tulip.
Pours a nice golden tangerine color with a finger or two of bubbly head.
Aromas are nice, good belgian yeast aromas and some breadiness.
Taste is fantastic a nice balance of yeasty belgian good bread backbone, some mellow sweetness as well.
Mouthfeel is nice, as it should be.
Overall, a flavorful and accessible beer.

Jun 05, 2015
Trader Joe's Providential Golden Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 384 ratings