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

Not Rated.
Trader Joe's Hofbrau BockTrader Joe's Hofbrau Bock

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269 Ratings

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Ratings: 269
Reviews: 187
rAvg: 3.35
pDev: 14.03%
Wants: 8
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Maibock / Helles Bock |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rowew on 01-19-2005

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 269 | Reviews: 187 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of montageman
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Reddish gold in color with a small white head that dissipates quickly and leaves virtually no lacing.

S: Sweet and spicy bread aromas. OK for this style, but nothing stands out too much.

T: A bit of caramel sweetness at first which segues into a nice alcohol punch with a crisp, clean hop finish.

M: A bit on the over-carbonated side - almost burns when combined with the high ABV. However, this might be expected for this style.

D: Not bad at all. Packs a decent punch and has some good flavor. Mildly recommended.

Photo of AnalogReigns
4.62/5  rDev +37.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Nice look, golden amber, just right for a bock (too light for a DOUBLE bock)

S: Nice malty smell, with slight hop aroma. Has a pleasant herbal smell too, can't quite put my finger on it.

T: I had had this beer before, and didn't think it anything special. Then, WHEN AT THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE (cool NOT cold....) the flavor really snapped out. Very nice German style bock. At 7% ABV, this would nearly qualify as a dopple bock by German standards, but it's not quite aggressive enough to call it a double by American standards. This is a good example of a strong single bock. Very well balanced toward the malt side, as bocks need be. Interesting hops, with almost a belgian sort of candy flavor. Simple, the way lager is designed.

M: Good solid mouthfeel, as a bock should be.

D: Very drinkable, unlike some of the stronger double bocks, this can be a session beer--pleasant for a cool early spring evening!

Can't beat the Trader Joe's price either, of $6 a sixer these days. I believe this is a Gordon Bierch-made lager, very nice!

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.41/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - pours a bright yellow/orange. An inch of eggshell foam sits atop, leaving an intricate pathway of chunky lacing down the glass as it recedes. A steady circular bead of bubbles coming off the etching of the Sam Adams glass, ooo.

Aroma - some toasted caramel malt aroma, some diacetyl type butteriness, a bit popcorny.

Taste - I notice a slight lemon tartness to the malt side right away. The malty flavor has some good roast to it but the tartness is interfering. The swallow begins a toasty reprise, but with an astringent, acrid bitterness alongside. There's a good beer in here but there's too much out of place bitterness covering it up.

Mouthfeel - some decent body and smoothness. Carbonation is average, maybe a little muted.

Drinkability - could be better, I wouldn't go for this one again.

Photo of Gump
2.71/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is like the other Trader Joe's branded beers, as they lack flavor and originality.
It seems like the same beer, with a different label and color.
Not terrible beer, but the same hop and malt profile.
Clean pour, fine aroma, good tasting beer, but nothing that stands out.

Photo of AlexJ
3.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale straw yellow with a tight white head that quickly fades into a nice veil.

Aroma is golden malt and light creamy caramel with a nice notion of earth noble hops.

Flavor is a nice surprise. The caramel malt character is nice and rich with a pleasant hop finish of earthy grass and dried hay. It's creamy and smooth with little trace ot he 7%ABV. Tastes relatively authentic in terms of style and a great beer for $5 a sixpack.

Photo of jamie2dope
3.73/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't see too many straight up bocks around, so this was a sure pick for me the other night. Pours a very good looking gold color, with a lasting white head. Aroma is of bready malt...has lager written all over it. Taste is crisp and bready, with a bit of grain husk to boot. Mouthfeel was a good balance between hops and malt, maintaining carbonation all the while. Alcohol is not evident at all on this one despite the 7%. The six pack of this lasted me two nights. Not exactly awe struck by this beer, but impressed. There should be more bocks around. Cheers

Photo of deathonthemounta
3.54/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well holy crap Trader Joe's sharts out another good call! I'm a fan of this golden lion's mane colored brau! It tastes like a baby belgian trippel and the 7.2% abv is nice and refreshing. The mouthfeel doesn't putz about leaving you unfulfilled and doesn't give you syrupy throat either. Great Scott I'm impressed with the sweet and subtly complex malt character. I don't taste any damn hops, but at 22 ibu's they are doing their job like a cool rhythm bassist way in the back grooving away. Give it a bounce!

Photo of FacistCannonBall
3.83/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up today just for kicks. There wasn't much of head to speak of, but I did like the dark gold color. Not much hop smell on the nose, but there was a nice sweet maltiness. The taste was pretty good for a beer that cost $4.99 a sixer. There was a richness not commonly found in other lagers (especially domestic macroes found at this price point). The taste matched its smell in that I found a sweet malt flavor that finished with a slight amount of hops. It had a light amount of carbonation and decent bitterness. The mouth feel was a little heavy with as noted by another reviewer a syrup consistency. However, I liked this beer...the price really helped.

Photo of cjhofelt
3.72/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very light for a bock. Not much darker than a typical lager. Good head that fades to a lumpy cream film. Good lace.

Nice malty smell.

Very tasty. Lot's of malt sweetness up front, hint of hops in the finish. This is a very malty beer, like a bock should be.

Average mouthveel. Nice level of carbonation. A bit syrupy, but not bad.

Very drinkable. I could drink it all day.

Photo of ptm121
3.7/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another TJ hit.

This Bock pours a rich golden color with a thick head that lingers and then tickles. the boquet is rich: there's no other word for any bock, really. Sweet, but complex with hops, spice, and alcohol. Sweet fruity tones dominate. Sipping produces a sensation of sweet and sour flavors: there is little hop bitterness, but the malt and alcohol are battling for attention and it's quite entertaining. The alcohol wins in the finish, but it's not offensive. It's complex enough to make me re-sniff and re-sip, but still goes down very nicely: rich and malty. It's more smooth than crisp.

It's not one of the most masterful Micros, but I haven't had many sub $1/bottle beers with this caliber of brewing.

Photo of eberkman
3.31/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a crystal-clear deep amber with a thick cream-colored head that had a pleasant whipped texture and stuck around a bit, leaving behind thick lacing.

Smelled of mostly sweet malts and spices. Faint banana notes with a medicinal twinge to it.

The taste was also sweet malts -- toffees, rich, ripe fruits and again bananas. The dominant sweetness gave way at the end to a faint twinge of hops before morphing into an overly sweet afterfog.

Moderate carbonation, reasonably crisp, felt OK in the mouth. But sweetness and a moderate lack of balance would limit this to one. Not a terrible dinner brew. Certainly interesting for the price.

Photo of crazybrody06
3.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to brewgnome for a chance to try this one.
This beer poured a nice amber color with a medium head. Smell is spices with apple banana. The taste is very spicy a little alcohol hint as well. The mouthfeel was nice with a good drinkabilty despite its high ABV.

Photo of blackie
3.55/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: Poured into a pilsner glass. Clear golden in color topped with a lasting white head. Eventually recedes to a thin layer that leaves little lacing.

s: Malt liquor immediately comes to mind...sweet, grainy, with a metallic hop aroma. ML type corn ethanol sweetness, but not sure if it's really in there. Not a bad aroma, but a confusing bock.

m: Medium carbonation and body.

t: Again, I'm thinking malt liquor, but a good one. Unchecked grain sweetness that I kinda like probably leads me to that perception. Nondescript hop flavor. A touch medicinal in the finish, like an aftertaste of cough syrup. This effect goes away after a few sips. Light bitterness.

d: Easy i guess. A little pilsner, a little malt liquor, not much bock. Okay maybe there is, I dunno...it's a decent beer.

Photo of Boneheadmx
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured out to a light amber with a decent cream-colored head that subsided rather quickly.

The smell is pretty malty, but light, smells a lot like fresh fruit, some apple, some banana.

The taste is very good, with the hops washing in immediately, and ending with the wash of the malt. Nice.

The mouthfeel is sort of thin, with the beer being a little flat. However, this beer is very drinkable. It has a high alcohol content, but it goes down nice and smooth.

Photo of bushbeer75
3.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle

Trader Joes Hofbrau Bock poured a golden color with a light off-white head that retreated to a thin lacing. Smell and taste is of hops and a little malt with hops dominating at the finish. Light to medium carbonation and mouth feel. For a Bock this is on the lighter side.

Another good value for the money from Trader Joes.

Photo of Atlas1
3.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow. Just logged on to review this beer and saw that it had 7% ABV. I had no idea it was that strong. Nicely masked, that Hofbrau Bock alcohol.

This beer pours a smart looking golden amber color, with a frothy white head that dissipates over time and leaves only trace elements of the lacey stuff. Not a bad looking beer, but nothing special to see... move along.... The aroma is, as all good bocks should be, nice and malty. This nose also has some strong banana nut bread smells in it as well. Faint licorice and strawberry scents waft in and out accordingly. The taste follows suit. It's faintly nutty, and strongly banana-y, with a heavy dose of malt. Some undiscernable spices make a presence in the mouth, as does an apple/strawberry tribute. Finishes slightly hoppy, with a mildly acidic bitter aftertaste. I'm no bock expert, but this beer tastes okay to me. And even if it's not in line with proper German bocks, I still admit to liking the flavor. Mouthfeel is smooth and, at times, creamy, with a rather dry finish. On the whole, a bit sweet, but an overall drinkable beer from TJ's.

Photo of mithrascruor
3.12/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a dark yellow-gold with hints of amber. Light off-white head. Seems a bit light in hue for a bock.

Smell: Malty aroma with some fruits and grasses. Slightly sweet.

Taste: Hops strike the taste buds first, and continue to do so as the malty fruits and slightly scotch-like smokey undertones come forward. Alcohol is present throughout the taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with light- to medium-carbonation. Not especially smooth.

Drinkability: Alcohol flavor a bit too noticable for a beer like this, making it a bit difficult at times.

Seems that the more I contemplate and pay attention to the flavor, the less I like this beer. It's not bad, but it just seems a bit crude.

Photo of malcontent
2.79/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Deep gold body with hardly and head and soda-ish bubbles streaming from the bottom of the glass.

Smells like all malt, corn-driven to be sure. Minor grassy scents surface on the back end.

Contains a good deal of honey-like malt sweetness, although it seems artificial in nature. Nice bitterness on the finish evens the beer out but it takes on a chemical aftertaste as time passes.

Mouthfeel is a touch slick on the finish with too much fizz up front. This is by far the least impressive of the TJ's Gordon Biersch brewed beers. Not very good.

Photo of atsprings
3.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a crisp dark yellow with a decent head. The aroma is of sweet malts. The taste has a great maltiness with just a hint of hops. The mouthfeel is slightly heavy with sticky alcohol. This one makes for a refreshing summer beer and for 92 cents a bottle, it's a very decent brew.

Photo of botham
3.18/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a brilliant amber with a finger of white head that stays for a minute or so. looks more like a pilsener than a bock.

smells strongly of hops, with a fruity alcohol aroma mixed in. there is a light sweetness in the nostrils, but no malts to smell.

taste is full of hops up front, followed by alcohol and the same fruitiness from the smell. finishes like an ale, with a bit of sharpness upon swallowing. a light breadiness comes through as one continues to sip on the brew.

aftertaste is of bitter hops. not much more.

mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a decent amount of carbonation.

drinkability is good. this is a somewhat refreshing beer, that doesn't take a toll on the stomach, and finishes with a bit of sharpness. for fans of the style, this one is a decent example.

Photo of BeerSox
3.97/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into imperial pint glass.

Nice clear golden color with a one finger head that slowly settles to a razor thin cap.

Light and crisp malt aromas with only a slight touch of hops.

The taste is pretty much all malt, with a light hint of bitterness from the hops coming through toward the end. The alcohol seems to be well perceived, especially when the beer warms a little. Medium bodied with higher carbonation. The finish is mostly grain with a little bit of dissolving alcohol.

This Bock seems to be more of the Maibock variety, with its lighter color and higher %ABV. Pretty much as expected for the style. Crisp grains, light but assertive hop presence, and a little higher alcohol content. As always with Trader Joe's beer, the price is right. Recommended.

Photo of vtfan77
3.87/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Nice golden color, which is odd for a bock, but the label describes it as a golden bock, so I guess It's ok. Not a whole lot of head, maybe a half inch that is gone rather quickly.

S- Lots of sweet malt in the nose. A little bit of grassy hop character is evident as well, but this aroma is all about the malt.

T- More rich malt all throughout the taste. Hops are more evident in the taste than they were in the aroma and add a pleasant spicy character. Finish is moderately bitter, enough to balance out some of the sweetness.

M- Nicely carbonated with a solid medium body to it.

D- It's too rich and alcoholic to have more than a couple. But I'd have no problem with those couple!

Hey, nice surprise here! This is a damn good beer. Great value too, at just a little over $5 a sixer. I'll have to try some more of the Trader Joe's beers now. Recommended.

Photo of leechungsr
3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've been dissapointed by other Trader Joes beers, but this one is a winner. Although, if I'm looking for a beer in this style, I would much rather spend and extra dollar and buy Spaten Optimator at Trader Joes.

S: mild, mostly malts/caramel.
T: sweet with plenty of malts. Not much hops, if any.
M: starts with medium carbonation. ends without any.

Photo of theopholis
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: The pour is fairly clear amber with a foamy white head. The head never really gets big, despite an agressive pour, and doesn't have a lot of retention. Leaves bhind some laving.

Aroma- Mostly malt sweetness that slowly moves to a sour-mash as it warms. . No hop aromas, which is approriate for the style.

Taste- Mostly malt sweetness and the beginning and toasted malts come in at the middle and in the after-taste. Also, some interesting malt bitterness towards the tail-end. Not as sweet as most bocks, but not half bad.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with the right level of carbonation for a bock. Clings to the mouth nicely so that you get a good solid after-taste..

Drinkability- I like it, but as bocks go, it's not quite sweet enough.

Photo of daliandragon
3.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Although it is nice to find a TJ''s that does sell alcohol after years only knowing those that were beer and wine free I haven't been real impressed with their line of European styles yet but (to paraphrase Martin Prince) hopefully this bock will turn the tide.

Pours a dull golden with an orange tint and a thin cap of bubbles despite aggressive carbonation and active sediment in the body. Aromas are mild but sweet with a touch of caramel.

Taste is again sweet with little evident hopping. Alcohol is present but unobtrusive. Fairly satisfying although goes a bit south in the finish, no thanks to a mouthfeel that starts extra carbonated and finishes gritty and a little soapy.

Again, considering the economics inloved here, this isn't a bad beer and I can see picking up a single or two on occasion if in the mood for something cheap with a kick (and more drinkable than the Fat Weasel Ale it is sold beside).

Trader Joe's Hofbrau Bock from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 269 ratings.