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Trader Joe's Bohemian Lager - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Trader Joe's Bohemian LagerTrader Joe's Bohemian Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

126 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 126
Hads: 240
Avg: 3.14
pDev: 22.93%
Wants: 1
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Boilermaker88 on 01-17-2005

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trader Joe's Bohemian Lager Alström Bros
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Reviews: 126 | Hads: 240
Photo of bitzbach
1.23/5  rDev -60.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

It was cheap and because Trader Joes has some cool foodie stuff, why not. DONT! STOP! This beer sux. Period. A complete waste. It falls in the category of "only if it's all we got and then it better be frozen".

Very sad outcome because I had such high hopes that a six pack for less than $4.- might be okay. WRONG. I threw it out. And this was several years ago. That's how bad it was. I still remember and as a matter of fact I always tell people about how bad it is whenever the subject of shopping at Trader Joes comes up.

* I love Trader Joes as a rule and recommend checking them out.*

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Photo of DoubleJ
1.26/5  rDev -59.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Going the Trader Joe's way with this 12 ounce bottle. On to the beer:

Slightly hazy yellow straw in color with no shortage of bubbles running through it. The head forms small and has a fuzzy texture. The smell....this is hard. Soaked bran cereal comes to mind, but really, the intensity of the nose in general is low.

When the first sip makes me involuntarily grimace, the outlook looks grim. Did somebody steal the barley from this beer? There's seems to be no sweetness at all. It's a seltzery, bitter mess that's painfull to drink and has an appalling bitter aftertaste. Fizzy bodied, weak, and unrefreshing in contrast to what the bottle label markets. That's five sips down, and that's all I can get myself to drink. The rest is going to visit the backyard lawn.

I was hoping that this would be a rip-off of something like Pilsner Urquell, but instead it looks Trader Joe's tried to rip-off the taste of Michelob Ultra. That's not good.

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Photo of Offa
1.69/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I found this to be a terrible interpretation of a Czech pilsner, rough, bland, and unpleasant tasting, barely drinkable.

Faintly hazy deep gold, it has a thin, slightly fizzy, off-white head that soon shrinks to wisps and a ring, leaving a faint hint of lace at first.

The aroma is definitely a Czech pilsner in overall impression and good if not actually very good, with flowery apple, apple juice, grain, herbs, hints of bread, mineral, raisin, and vegetable.

The taste and feel struck me as awful. It starts out with some malty musty apple with cooked vegetables, a hint of butter and a fleeting hint of grain. This fades quickly to a rough minerally, watery, blandness dominated by a light, sharp bitterness that, because it's all there is, is too much. The bitterness and rough feeling on the toungue linger. The taste has a definite, general Czech character (hard to pin down, but it's there), but it's thin, rough, bland, and what flavour there is vanishes quickly.

Ironically, my wife, who does not like Czech pilsners normally (and who prefers mostly better macro lagers and strong Belgian golden ales) likes this. She normally finds my beers too bitter, yet found this fine, whereas I found the bitterness in this beer to be too much and too rough. I know for me, though, that absolute bitterness is not what matters but bitterness relative to the rest of the beer and here the bitterness was all alone with no other flavours, sweetness, etc., to carry it.

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Photo of ebit
1.94/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Roommate brought a few of these home so I figured what the hey, let's review it!

Two finger offwhite foamy head on a straight pour. Crystal clear golden body.

I get grainy malts, specifically wheat and corn. Not much in the way of hop presence.

Corn and wheat malts. Not much bittering or balance. Blah. I suppose it's better than Bud or Miller.

Light body with a bit of carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall Impression
Goes down easy. So does water. Pretty bad representation of this style.

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Photo of misterscooter
2.08/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This one poured well as far as the head goes. Good height and lacing but the color, a light gold, was lighter than most beers that I prefer so that was a bad sign for me.

The smell screams lager. It is in your face, just so you know what you are about to drink. The only other aroma I got from this one was straw.

The taste of butter hits you like a sledge. A light, sweet brew that felt like a buttery chardonnay, coating my mouth like I had introduced a spoonful of Blue Bonnet. I like a good chardonnay, but not when I'm expecting a beer. I had a hard time getting through this beer and can't see me willingly buying this one again.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.11/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 fl oz/355 ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired at a nearby Trader Joe's for cheap. Expectations are average; Trader Joe's beers tend to be surprisingly flavorful. Best before: 05/09/2012.

Served refrigerator cold.

A: Pours a one finger head of slight cream, fair thickness, and average (~2 minute) retention. Colour is a clear somewhat dark yellow. No yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Somewhat nutty, actually. Spiced malts. Stale cream. Smells like a Spanish lager: Vol Damm or the like. A mild to moderate strength aroma.

T: Somewhat nutty, with dirty malts forming the foundation. Some strange spice. Stale cream. No real layering. It's exactly like the garbage Spanish lagers I tried in Ibiza. Not at all subtle nor complex. I don't care for it. Poorly constructed for a Czech Pilsner. No yeast or alcohol comes through. The finish is awful.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit too thick. Adequately carbonated.

Dr: Drinkable but boring and unremarkable. I wouldn't have this again. Pretty forgettable and crappy. Low quality. It's priced alright, but rather garbage.


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Photo of studentofbeer
2.17/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

pours a golden honey color, similar to PU.

taste-- first thing i notice is, where's the carbonation? in many pilsners there is a pretty biting carbonation that I really enjoy. I know beers like budvar are on the softer side, but i expected a bit more carbonation bite.

The next sensation is a a flat, sweet malt, but unfortunately that recedes quite quickly and you don't get too much malt flavor. What you do get is a flabby, almost skunky aftertaste where beautiful, crisp saaz hops should be.

after the first sip i almost dumped it down the drain. i held onto it for a bit longer to take a few more sips for the review, but this one just isn't that great. a step up from bud, a bit too close to heineken for my liking. it's not 100% skunk aftertaste like heineken, but the bit of hop flavor definitely seems to be fighting against a somewhat metallic and offputting aftertaste.

Strike 1 for this brew. Not really worth drinking in my opinion. Not completely offensive, but I'd rather spend the extra buck and get a good lager at TJs. Good thing this was just a single.

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Photo of beavers
2.2/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle with an indecipherable batch number. Website doesn't let me look it up. Whatever though. $1 single? Let's go.

Slightly hazy golden yellow with a thin bright white covering. No head or lacing. Sigh.

Smells a not-so-enticing sweet pale malt and grassy, noble hop extract. I'd be almost stretching it to say there's a floral character to it...but it's barely there. Also has that adjunct-lager smell...

Taste is sweet and slighty grainy malt, bland spicy hop character with a dry and husky finish. Stumbles back and forth across the line that divides a pilsner and an adjunct lager. Definitely crisp. Refreshing? Not so much.

One and done son. And it's a pilsner? Damn. Whoever took that picture of the bottle on top of that beige carpet could have just taken a picture of the beige carpet and I'd completely understand.

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Photo of dmfrench
2.24/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Caramel and adjunct rich Czech Pils... look out for 'clumps' :o

A: Very clear goldenrod body with a fleeting, off white, sudsy, two finger head. Unappealing small 'clumps' formed in the head, persisting for quite a while, leaving me to believe they were particulate in nature when they were apparently not.

S: Dry pils biscuit with some diacetyl, a very light spicy hop edge, and a dose of corn adjunct and metal.

T: Fairly big caramel malt and pils style hops, but also fairly big on adjunct and metal. Best in large gulps.

M: A bit watery, but not bad.

D: Metallic finish and 'clumps' make it a "no" for me.

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Photo of DrJay
2.27/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Clear deep gold with a short, bright white cap that faded to a collar but really stuck around afte that. Clumpy, spotty lacing. Smells like cooked corn with a little malt thrown in, maybe a little overdone popcorn. Low bitterness wit more cooked corn, popcorn, and slight grassiness. Low to medium bodied with lowish carbonation, on the dry side wit a bit of spiciness in the finish. I'm not impressed by my first Trader Joe's beer, mainly due to the corn character running through it.

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Photo of Tone
2.28/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear golden color with little head. What little head there was quickly dissipated and there was no lacing. Smells of a clean lager with some stale grass. A sharp sour taste that doesn't get lighter. A crisp mouth feel that again tastes of grass. Though, this is better than there Vienna style lager it is still not worth recommending.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.33/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I still have nothing to do for the next few days, so time to start drinking some of my Trader Joe's beers. First up is this one. 12 oz bottle poured into a beer mug.

A: Pours a golden amber color that's cloudier than I expected from a pilsner. The head is a fairly unimpressive one finger eggshell color with low retention and texture quality. Decent lace, though.

S: Grassy hops and a bit of fruit. Not exactly impressive.

T: Rather lacking in flavor in general. There's an opening generic bitterness from the hops, but afterwards...its just empty. There's just nothing there! Maybe hints of malt and butter in spots, but this is just like drinking carbonated water. On the plus side, it lacks (most of) the unpleasantries of something like Budweiser.

M: Thin texture with no real finish to speak of. Carbonation is high but tightly controlled.

O: It's not a good beer, but it IS at least very drinkable, basically because it's beer-flavored carbonated water. A decent enough lawnmower beer, I suppose - given its price, it could be an adequate BMC substitute for those who have a Trader Joe's near them. Personally, I wouldn't care if I never had this again.

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Photo of musicman575
2.37/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The Trader Joes' Vienna Lager was okay enough to trick me into trying the Bohemian.

Few bubbles, little head. An obscene shade of transparent yellow.

First thing I noticed was the metallic smell and taste. Perhaps leaving the beer at room temperature makes it eat some of the bottle cap. Once I was desensitized to the metal, I could smell a light buttery carmel and a bit o' yeast (which gets better as the beer gets warmer).

The non-aromatic hops and the graininess aren't complimentary. The bottle says it's best consumed before 2/24/12, but it already tastes old.

I'm glad I didn't have to buy an entire 6-pack in order to try this beer.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
2.41/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Didn't really care for this brew. Something was just "off". Poured out to a decent yellow golden color with a short lived foamy head. Minor notes of lace with medium carbonation. Aroma was very odd, like roasted grain and kitchen cleaner. Flavor was unfortunately along the same lines; grain, weak malt and hops, with a watery overtone was the general feeling I got from this brew. Minor complexity and major disappointment. Mouthfeel was mild, almost to the point of weak. I don't think I'd have this again, as it was not indiciative of the style or any good beer I know.

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Photo of emsroth
2.42/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

App. True gold. Perfect clarity. Decent head.

Smell. Sweet malt with a strong biscuit presence. Fruity hop aroma.

Taste. A slightly sweet but dry, flat malt. A bit of a bite from the hops and carbonation. Very minimal bitterness but I wasn't expecting much because the bottle said 18 ibu's.

Flat mouthfeel. I've been very disappointed by these trader Joe beers.

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Photo of illidurit
2.43/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear dark gold color with a fizzy white head that doesn't last or leave lacing. Aroma is minerals, toasted malt, and earthy hops. Tastes like that crappy cereal with no sugar on it that your mom bought when you were a kid. Grains, pale malt, vaguely sweet, astringent. Thin bodied, but the astringency kills any refreshment one might have gotten. Not a good beer.

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Photo of secondtooth
2.44/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clean, clear, and golden, with solid foam. No discernible lacing.

Nose is grainy, corny, and oh-so-average. Like a typical adjunct lager here.

Tastes sweet. More grains and sweet corn. Bland, watery...need I say more?

One-dimensional, over-malted, and uninteresting.

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Photo of Reidrover
2.58/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Typical lager looks,light golden with a large frothy white head.
Again the aroma is typical..this time I am afraid of a upper end "macro" lager, does nor smell like a real Bohemian lager/pils at all.
The beer is actually pretty tasteless, though at least its inoffensive, there is some lingering hop bitterness but I am not impressed.
Average mouthfeel for the style.
This is a pretty bland offering , its not horrible by anymeans ,but I cant see me drinking this again.

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Photo of punkindrublic50
2.6/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

To start: not a great tasting beer. Its very comparable in flavor to Natural Ice, Bud Ice, and other ~6% alcohol cheap beers. However, it costs $3.69 a six pack. In Manhattan. For reference, a six pack of bud light will run you about $7. If I knew about this in college it would have been all I drank. Its good to have laying around for bigger parties and guests who aren't really into craft beer; the trader joes branding makes people think of it being healthy and quirky, but honestly this just isn't a beer you should be drinking for fun.

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Photo of Frothboss
2.6/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

golden yellow with a quick one finger head that fades pretty quickly to a couple of clumps on the surface. Dont smell much, some bitter from the hops, light malt smell. Tastes dry bitter, corn and some sweet flavors roll around. Nice hop zing that sits around on the back of my toungue and roof of my mouth. Mouthfeel is full with good carbonation that fades in the mouth but picks back up in my stomach. Its ok. Wont be chomping at the bit to get another sixer but its drinkable. At the same price as any other big american beer label it is a value for the taste.

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Photo of Cresant
2.68/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a pilsner glass. Batch dated 2/8/07. The body was a pale golden color. Free of sediment with a crispy white head that faded moderately fast.

Smell was corn, vegetal. Sweet grains and floral.

Taste was sourdough(?). Lemony. Raspy hops/grains. Saaz-like. Nice bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel was maybe a bit thin. Smooth in the mouth but rough pils texture in the swallow.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.79/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a lovely, clear golden body with a small, wispy white head.

Smell: Altogether weak nose with just a few hints of grains and dried grasses.

Taste: Light grainy flavor with a slight sweetness. A bit of grass. Mild hint of bitterness as you need the abrupt finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A pilsner specifically bred to be tame and docile. What a shame. But considering the price, I suppose you're paying for what you get (not much).

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Photo of altgeeky1
2.83/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Purchased with some wine from TJs in Framingham, MA... knew about their wine, but not the beer. I like their wine, and since I was in the area down from Nashua I couldn't leave without this...

Bottle has a batch number, but no clue how this translates into a born on or expiration date. Sigh..

Straw and very clear in appearance, pours with little head to my surprise. Does lace around the glass, and floats islands of head which stick around for consumption of 1/3 of the glass . Not much in the way of visible bubbles...

Smells like pilsener and carapils malt, like a sweet mash and a tiny hint of apple. Faint hops, noble of some type but not strong enough to say which.

Taste has a strong cider bite, both up front and in the quick finish. The cider bite overlaps with the CO2 bite making it pretty strong in nature. The bite overpowers the rest of the taste which is a let down. This doesn't kill the beer, but it drags down all the other nice things about the brew. Instead of finishing with faint noble hops, this finishes with a green apple bite. Yuck.

Feels like like this could use more carbonation, providing the cider snap was tamed. This just doesn't feel like a pilsener.

Drinkable? Barely. I'll drink another, and keep alive the hope that maybe the first bottle was old or mistreated, and the rest maybe are better..

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Photo of notchucknorris
2.86/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a pale golden color with an extremely thin white head. No retention or lacing.

S: Not a lot going on here. Grains and a touch of something sweet on the nose. Could be honey.

T: Again, not much going on here. The taste is slightly sweet upfront with grains and some pale malts. A slight bit of breadiness on the finish, but really not much at all. Watery mouthfeel.

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

again a few more of these and thankfully i am done, cold day, snowed in, lots of ehh beer from mixed six packs and away we go. served in a pint glass on 1.11.11.

very light golden pour with loads of carbonation and a little head of white that seems to stick on top for just the slighest bit of time. aroma is light biscuit, hints of grain, touches of light banana an spice. taste is about the same but seems to be just a touch off for me. not the way it is supposed to work for sure. light finish leaves almost no aftertaste and it is over before it began.

overall it was not really a repeatable beer at all.

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Trader Joe's Bohemian Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
73 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.