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Trader Joe's Hofbrau Bock - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Trader Joe's Hofbrau BockTrader Joe's Hofbrau Bock

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

258 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 258
Reviews: 187
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 14.29%


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

Style | ABV
Maibock / Helles Bock |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: rowew on 01-19-2005)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 258 | Reviews: 187 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jimmah120
jimmah120

Minnesota

3.28/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle best by next april

look is golden-orange, mostly clear, small head with good lacing. smell is mostly yeasty pepper, clove, banana, citrus. some hops and toasted malt in the background. taste is very similar, with an odd cardboard/metal/plastic that comes and goes.

The ABV to $$$ ratio is strong in this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 20:48:46 | More by jimmah120
Photo of WunderLlama
WunderLlama

Massachusetts

3.56/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a glass

Clear orange amber , slight carbonation leads to two finger foam cap that quickly resides to a white foam layer. Good lacings on the glass.

Aroma of sweet malts and grassy hops. Bit of banana and cloves.

Taste of malt with bitterness on the finish. Medium mouthfeel.

I had this beer a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it, especially at $6.99 a six pack. More bitterness than I remembered . Tastes better the longer it sits. Good beer that I'd have again, but wouldn't go hunting it down.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 02:13:36 | More by WunderLlama
Photo of GMB
GMB

Japan

3.28/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A standard pour of JosephsBrau's Hofsbrau Bock yields an orange-amber body and almost no head. A quick turn of the glass fails to yield much foam. Are there hops in this beer? Carbonation is uneven; bubbles are large.

The nose is sweet. Lightly toasted malts; munich-style. I don't appreciate any hop aromas; or, if I do, they're masked by the alcoholic aromas. Great Mai Bocks balance lightly toasted malt, higher alcohol content, and hops. I suspect that this beer has left the third crucial component out of the equation.

This beer is tastier than its fragrance led me to suspect. When I "squint" with my tastebuds, I pick up some light citral hop notes. But overall, as the nose suggested, this beer is sweet up front. Then comes the lingering warmth of the alcohol. At its best, the taste comprises fermented dried apricots and raisins. But the alcohol isn't particularly well incorporated, and overstays its welcome on the palate.

The mouthfeel is full, as a bock's should be. A swirl around the tongue tosses up some creamy foam.

This is a tasty beer, but not one that I'll revisit. There are much better Mai Bocks out there, and JosephsBrau produces much better affordable beers. You might as well try it. I suspect that you won't buy a second bottle.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2013 19:16:52 | More by GMB
Photo of sweetwaterman
sweetwaterman

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

(6 pack from local TJ's)

Appearance: Slightly darker straw golden color. Crystal clear. Moderate head when poured but quickly fell down to lacing.

Smell: Sweet cereal grains. Honey notes. Wet malt. Cloves and bananas on the edges.

Taste: On the sweeter side, but not overly so. Pleasant bitterness on the edges. Dried bananas over sweetened grains.

Mouthfeel: Fine. Not watery. No alcohol notes at all.

Overall: I haven't had many of this style (Maibock), but it is a perfectly serviceable German-style beer to me. And, man, is the price right on this or what. ~$6.99 a six-pack!

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2013 00:39:25 | More by sweetwaterman
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is relatively hazy yellowish orange in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that quickly died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of sweet malts are present in the nose along with notes of earthy yeast and spicy hops.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is a little sweet and has notes of bready and caramel malts along with notes of spicy hops. Slight bits of alcohol are noticeable.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite drinkable for a mailbock and is a relatively good representation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2013 00:53:36 | More by metter98
Photo of dpodratsky3
dpodratsky3

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Crystal clear, golden-orange, head is small and dense, .5 finger white head

S: Malty, intense at times, but also seems to fade fast, intense caramel and almost raw base malt aroma, hints of spicy hops

T: Very sweet, but not too cloying, caramel malt with just enough clean/spicy hops to nearly cleanse the palate in the finish, still slight lingering sweetness that can accumulate by the end of the glass, a slightly better than average taste

M: Lowish carb, feels medium-heavy because of the low carb, full feeling with not even a hint of dryness, not a terribly drinkable beer but not bad

O: A pretty standard bock, not too cloying which is a standard fault, but could use a tad more carbonation to make it more pleasant to drink, more of a preference though

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 00:40:08 | More by dpodratsky3
Photo of TheMarkE
TheMarkE

California

3.41/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Nice amber pour full of bubbles, almost effervescent. Moderate foam disappears quickly, good lacing.

Smell: Beer. Very faint aroma, and what there is smells like beer.

Taste: Mild grassy malt flavor, mild spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slight bitter aftertaste.

The Verdict: Average. The running theme here is “mild.” Mild aroma, mild taste, mild price. The only thing that’s not mild is the ABV. Drinkable, but nothing exciting about it.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2013 01:38:45 | More by TheMarkE
Photo of TTAmod
TTAmod

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle with a best by date of 8/4/13 stamped on the bottle. This beer was on sale: 6-pack for $5.99. Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A: Nice clear golden amber color. One finger off-white head that dissipated quickly to islands of lace and head. Decent amount of carbonation visible.

S: Smell is estery...bit of grape, bit of cherry, and a bit grainy and a touch of alcohol.

T: The ester continues into the taste. White grape skin is the primary culprit, but there's a bit of golden apple and pear present, as well. Hallertau hops are present in the taste, too....adding a spicy and floral kick. Finishes with a bit of alcohol, grain, and a tiny bit of a metallic taste.

M: Medium bodied and quite smooth. Easy drinking and no real sign of the 7% ABV.

O: A very, very tasty and authentic German beer. As typical with TJ brand beers, this is a huge bang for your buck. This beer is pretty much a mainstay in my fridge. I love German beers, and there isn't a better value for the quality you're getting here. You can by these by the single bottle...but why would you when there are six packs available?

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2013 05:03:31 | More by TTAmod
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

3.14/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle pours a dark gold color with a modest cap of off-white head. Retention is just ok, but the lacing is nice.

Nose is grassy, herbal, caramely and definitely has some alcohol punch. Doesnt necessarily smell great, but the freshly crushed graininess is nice.

Taste has floral hop notes mixed with a toffee-grainy malt flavor. The alcohol is a bit rough and is not masked very well. Mouthfeel is slick and a little on the sweet side...I kind of wish there was a bit more lively carbonation. Not too bad for a helles bock, but at this price it might be worth a repeat purchase one of these days.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2013 00:17:22 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of Spikester
Spikester

Oregon

3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear amber gold with one inch of white head. Lacing occurs just to the bottom of the head no further.
Smell is floral some crushed grain.
Taste is sweetly bitter. Some slight corniness possibly due to high abv. Alcohol is apparent though not in a boozy way.
Mouthfeel is well carbonated somewhat full bodied and a medium bitter sweet semi dry finish.
Overall one of the better styles from Trader Joe's beer selections.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2013 06:02:04 | More by Spikester
Photo of fx20736
fx20736

New York

3.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought from Trader Joe's on 3/23/13. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a mug, served at room temp.

a golden light amber with a one finger white head. No lacing.

aroma: noble hops, pale malts.

mouthfeel: soft, buttery

taste: crystal maltiness, spicy hops, a touch of sweetness before an herbal hop bitterness asserts itself at the end.

notes: Maibock. hard to get the style, a slightly maltier lager with just a touch of sweetness. I guess.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2013 18:23:46 | More by fx20736
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Celebrator pokal. Pours a light to medium golden amber with a thin white head with good retention and slight lacing. Mild aroma of sweet malt, grassy hops, slightly spicy. Flavor follows aroma; sweet bready malt, light grassy hops and light estery spice that saves it from being pedestrian. Light bodied. A pleasant, non-challenging bock that is better than expected from a contract brewed ale. Good job on an inexpensive bock, although it leans, perhaps, towards a malty lager in flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 05:00:54 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

2.98/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear golden brown with a half inch cream head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving spotty lacing.

Aroma is pretty subtle, with notes of caramel malt and earthy hops accompanying a slightly metallic note. Vegetal character and diacetyl emerges as it warms.

Flavor is sweet, then ends pretty bitter. There's an oxidized cardboard finish. Not much malt character or flavoring hops.

Body is moderate, with a slick texture and moderate carbonation. The finish is astringent and slightly warm.

Not much there. Overly sweet and not a pleasant finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2013 00:31:12 | More by barczar
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81

North Carolina

3.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Went to a friend's for a bonfire the other night and saw this new-to-me brew in the cooler. My first of the TJ's brews. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a cloudy honey-gold with a thick white frothy cap on top. The nose carries some sweet floral tones, fruity sweetness, and a slight dry huskiness on the closeout. Smooth carbonation. Subtle bite, with a slightly oily feel. Mild fruit-like flavor, apples, honey, crackers. Pretty mild unoffensive beer. Nothing that exciting, but I wouldn't turn one down. A refreshing easy-drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 16:01:20 | More by Onenote81
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 9oz pilsener glass. Poured a very nice deep honey color with about an inch of white head that had very low retention and no lacing.

The aroma featured some basic maltiness, a bit of sweetness and a touch of alcohol. The flavors were nearly identical, basic grainy malts, some sweetness at the back and a touch of alcohol burn.

The body was nicely full and smooth, although the stickiness of the finish was a bit annoying. Drinkability was decent, I'd have another. Overall, as with most of the TJ's brews, this isn't a great beer, but a good solid one and a decent value.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2012 19:49:17 | More by beertunes
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

2.65/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

A: Pours a crystal clear golden amber color with strong looking carbonation trails. The head is a two finger white color with low retention, but a great texture. A nice amount of spiderweb lacing is left on the glass.

S: Light grassiness, with some supplementary darker fruits, such as raisin and plum. OK, just a little weak.

T: Initially, it's fairly bready to start, before becoming intrusively malty on the midtaste, before the flavor kind of vanishes on the finish, excluding a slight aftertaste. The lingering fruit aftertaste isn't particularly likable, either - it's a bit like apple juice, in a way. It smooths out after several sips, but it's just kind of...weird. Quite imbalanced, too.

M: Moderately heavy with a neutral finish, yet there's an undercutting surge of dryness on the aftertaste that clashes with the rest of the texture. Carbonation is about where it needs to be in terms of strength.

O: It's cheap ($1), drinkable, and features 7% alcohol, but the beer itself doesn't impress. Too intrusively offbeat to be a good beer, but I don't hate it.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2012 22:28:42 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of Luigi
Luigi

North Carolina

3.4/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 14oz. pilzner glass. a rich clear gold color. The head is off white and starts off two fingers high, then settles down to a thin blanket on top of the lager with a little clinging to the glass.

The aroma is rather light, some hints of sweet malt and mild alcohol sweetness. Otherwise not a very complex aroma, but nothing terrible either.

Sweet honey like malt hits the palate first with sudden hint of grassy hop. There is hints of white grape, and sweet alcohol. Giving a mild fruit profile to the lager. The finish has a semi-dry bitter hop that lingers for a little.

The body is slick on the tongue, some what chewy. Yet, I would still say this bock has a medium body.

Overall this bock is not bad. I really can say I am impressed more with the fact that this is a store brand beer. Would I try it again... well yes if I was low on cash. Because these Trader Joe brews are a real bargain. $6.49 for a six pack or $1.09 a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 17:28:58 | More by Luigi
Photo of Dave1999
Dave1999

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an amber colour with a thin white head and plenty of lacing.

The smell is malts,plums and rasins.

The taste is sweet and fruity. Some nice malts and just a touch of alcohol.

The mouth feel is quite light and smooth.

I really enjoyed this bock and fastic value for a dollar.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 00:02:32 | More by Dave1999
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Two finger thick white head with good retention but little lacing on a clear golden amber body. Aroma is malty with gingerbread and a light spicey note. Flavor is more of the same with full malt backbone and gingerbread notes. Fairly smooth with medium body and light to moderate carbonation. A flavorful beer and a nice version of the style, just not very memorable.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 23:29:42 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow

Illinois

3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Trader Joe's in Omaha, NE
Best by 4/22/12
Poured into a standard US pint glass

Pours a tall head of medium-sized bubbles, off-white in color, that fairly quickly fades to a thin ring around the glass and faint islands of foam atop the body. Leaves no lacing along sides of glass. Body is a dark copper-brown color out of light, in light it is copper-orange with faint yellow highlights. Carbonation is visible, though not particularly active

Aroma features modest continental hop bitterness, some malt sweetness, light fruit-like esters, and some iron-like mineral qualities. A bit of ethanol becomes more noticeable as beer warms.

Taste opens with caramel malt sweetness backed-up by modest hop bitterness and some German-style yeast esters that I'd more associate with hefeweizens (apple/applesauce, generic fructose). Mid-palate picks up some additional bitterness and spiciness from the hops and ethanol, continuing with the malt sweetness and applesauce-like esters. Leaves lingering bitterness and some applesauce-like sweetness as an aftertaste.

Medium bodied with modest carbonation that only foams this up slightly on the palate. Result is that beer stagnates a bit in the mouth. Finish is quite dry.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2012 20:27:23 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

3.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before August 25th, 2012. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Radeberger pokal.

Clear amber body with a delicate surface slick and soapy collar. Poor head development or retention, no lacing.

Gentle pure malt notes in the nose with a touch of spring hay and pepper from the Hallertau hops.

A well lagered crispness greets the palate followed by a malty sweetness and a low grassy bitterness. Very faint melanoidins suggest toast and brown butter. Low but persistent bitterness offsets the sugars in the finish. Grows slightly more vegetal as it warms (presumably from the Pils malt).

Light brisk body, well carbonated without being sharp.

A straight-forward but well brewed (and inexpensive) version of the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2012 04:18:52 | More by augustgarage
Photo of tophers
tophers

Michigan

2.8/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

a: Creamy, thick off white head that is long lasting. Makes the beer look very tasty. Deep gold in color with brilliant clarity.

s: Pleasant malt aroma that smells of bread and biscuits. Moderate spicy hop aroma. There are some mild caramel notes in the background. Low levels of melanoidins. There also seems to be a bit of fruity esters. No diacetyl or DMS detected.

t: There is quite a bit of sweetness in the beer with a noticeable bite from the bitterness. It is hard to detect any malt flavors with these two predominant flavors. Sweetness could be coming from too much caramel. Aftertaste continues with the sweetness and mild bitterness. Detect almost a flowery hop flavor in the aftertaste that is not real pleasant. No DMS or diacetyl detected. Leaves quite a dry finish.

m: Medium bodies with a moderate amount of carbonation. Moderate level of alcohol warmth. Somewhat creamy. Somewhat harsh.

o: The aroma and appearance of the beer was outstanding and I thought I was in for a real treat. But that wasn't the case. I am still sitting with this flowery flavor in my mouth that makes me feel like I just ate a bunch of flower petals. There is too much caramel sweetness in this beer and it overpowers the malt flavors that could have been enjoyed. I would suggest they lay of the caramel malts a bit and figure out a way to reduce the harshness (e.g. don't use as fine as a grain crush or maybe watching the sparging pH).

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 20:13:59 | More by tophers
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by 6/10/12.

Pours a clear gold with a 1 inch foamy off-white head that settles to a thin film on top of the beer. Small streaks and dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt/grain, grassy notes, and a light fruity aroma. Taste is of malt/grain, grassy hops, and some light fruit flavors. There is a mild bitterness on the palate after each sip that quickly fades. This beer has a lower level carbonation with a slightly crisp but medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the mouthfeel is a bit off in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 01:58:27 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of GossageBrewery
GossageBrewery

Missouri

3.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured this Helles from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. It poured a clear golden color, produced an average off white head, decent retention and produced nice lacing on the glass. The aroma was faint, some amount of malts and hops come through. Light in body, the Helles is smooth, easy to drink, has some biscuit flavor, toasted malt with a nice balance of hops. Overall it is a decent attempt at a Helles. Great Value for about 1.25 a bottle. Prost!

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 01:03:31 | More by GossageBrewery
Photo of rodney45
rodney45

New York

3.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Briliantly clear corn yellow that has an off white head that lingers only slightly due to the higher abv.

S: I dont get a lot of aroma off this beer, perhaps a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg, and a hint of pilsner malt.

T: Sweet banana bread flavor all at once hits the palate. Its balanced with a spicy yet malty secondary character whose sweet and dryness lingers throughout. After taste is of cloves and honey.

M: Low carbonation, light to medium body, and more sweet than bitter.

O: Not a great maibock. I would have like to see more bitterness, more pilsner or belgian style malt, and less sweetness for this to be considered a true and acceptable "May-bock". Its not bad for a buck a bottle, buy it and try it.

I'd pair this with a lamb shank and mashed potatoes. Oh yes, that sounds perfect.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2012 08:49:39 | More by rodney45
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Trader Joe's Hofbrau Bock from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 258 ratings.