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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.

258 Ratings

(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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Ratings: 258 | Reviews: 187 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dmfrench


3.05/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Creamy, sweet but balanced Maibock with slight metallic finish.

A: Clear light goldenrod body with a fleeting one finger off-white head.

S: Sweetish caramel malt, and a bit of perfumy, spicy hops. Not particularly aromatic.

T: Fairly big, sweet, creamy caramel malt body with hints of orange spice hops. Big carbonation carries the flavors deep into the tongue. ON the negative side, there is a bit of adjunct, metallic flavor, but it not a complete deal breaker.

M: Creamy and heavily carbonated.

D: Metallic finish detracts from what is still a pretty drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 01:34:48 | More by dmfrench
Photo of CuriousMonk


3.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From fall brew tasting notes (2010): Light copper color with a decent-sized head that fizzles out too quickly. Cereal grain aroma with some hearty bread and maybe some caramel. Good but a bit muted. A little corny in flavor but mainly grains and a light toffee sweetness. Vague earthiness, must be hops. Very low bitterness but it's there if you look hard enough. Body is thin for the style, almost closer to pilsener than bock. Medium carbonation, slightly astringent/metallic finish. Would not reach for it again.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 21:47:56 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of Erish


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

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. There is a batch number, but no freshness date I can see.

A: light honey gold with a hint of haze, the fizzy head quickly dies down to a decent cap with decent lacing.

S: a core of sweet, nutty malt, a healthy dose of Germanic yeast funk, including a floral yeast note on top, hint of ripe banana, a honey sweetness lingers at the end.

T: the bread-like malt has a caramel sweetness to it, and also a nutty character to it, the middle features some dried fruit, Germanic yeast funk, honey, and some clove, the finish is long and laced with a gentle grassy hop note.

M: medium-bodied, silky texture, moderate carbonation and the hop presence combine to make a nicely dry finish.

D: Truly hard to beat for $1 a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 02:25:30 | More by Erish
Photo of SuperSpy


3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear copper and very little head. Not a lot of activity in the glass so no bubbles to watch rise. Also no lace. The color and clarity are brilliant, but I have to give this a 2.5 for the sub par head.

S - Pleasant hints of toasted and bready malt. No detectable hops but slightly spicy from the alcohol.

M/T - Medium bodied. Smooth and crisp, but no carbonation. Pilsner malt, some toast, peppery. Decent flavor, but the lack of carbonation affects the whole experience.

D - A decent beer, but not my favorite for the style. It lacks a bit in the aroma and I think it could be approved in every category if it just had some better carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2011 00:21:02 | More by SuperSpy
Photo of tjsdomer2


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

Appearance: Kind flat murky yellow-orange. Kind of average on the foam, lacing, and carbonation, but the color is pretty cool.

Smell: A high point. Sweet honey and strong floral hops. Caramel and bread notes in the background.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Starts out with nice lemon crisp flavor and feel. More caramel and honey sweetness as well, and some hay. Finishes kind of sour, in an unpleasant way, so I can't give taste a 4. Mouthfeel is watery overall, though you can detect alcohol.

Drinkability: Really mellow taste and pleasant smell makes this a decent session beer.

Overall: See drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2011 02:45:55 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of matt20102


3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into goblet. Flavour is fairly uncomplicated- malt and the label-promised hallertau hops. Pours with a thin head which quickly dissipates; remaining color is orange. The effervescence is not visibly prominent but feels appropriate and drinkable. This beer does get bonus points for being a store-label brand for a national chain but, even with that, it's better than expected.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2011 02:59:08 | More by matt20102
Photo of mmmbeer


3.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with code on back label. Brewed by Gordon Biersch with three malts, Hallertau hops and lager yeast; 22 IBUs. It has a nice deep golden color, filtered, with lots of carbonation and a half inch of white head that settles to a fine froth. Smells rather a lot like Yuengling at first - clean with a few lagery adjunct notes - but it becomes a bit more hoppy and bready as it warms. Tastes clean and malty, a bit minerally, with toasted and biscuity notes while the hops bring a sturdy bitterness, and green/floral, almost skunky flavors. The body is light and crisp, highly-carbonated, and it fills out quickly. The label describes it as a traditional bock, but its light color and prominent hoppiness makes it more like a hellesbock, and I judged it as such. For the price, this is a great beer that is worth the cost of admission.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2011 19:58:52 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of cfrivera1


3.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very attractive amber color and light brown finger thick head which dissipates quickly. At first you get a hint of sweet honey, quickly followed by a tart citrusy hit that lingers - reminds me of oranges/grapefruit. Finishes pleasantly clean though! Not a bad beer - sweet and tart at the same time; a little bit on the tart side for my taste, but it is not overwhelming. Becasue it finishes so cleanly (very clean after taste), you unwittingly find yourself pulling another bottle out of the fridge while watching the football game :-) Finally, at 7% alcohol by volume and just under a buck per bottle (yes, you can purchase as many individual bottles as you want at Tarder Joe's - 6 = $5.99), this is one I would definitely pick up again.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 01:18:04 | More by cfrivera1
Photo of Beerbluesbiology


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

Pours a transparent amber-red body with a 1.5 finger head which dwindles to a thin trace of foam sitting on the head. Smells of bread, biscuit and yeast with a sweet hint of EtOH. Tastes of caramel malt, yeasty beasties and hops and EtOH seem to linger. The feel is somewhat interesting in a so-so way as it feels smooth yet slick-I don't know what exactly to think here. Overall a nice bock, but the feel of it is somewhat off-putting; give it a try though!!

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 06:44:17 | More by Beerbluesbiology
Photo of PEBKAC

New York

3.25/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Grabbed a six of this & the hef while picking up some manly man stuff at the Home Depot next door.

Batch number: 08:50 HB270 30510

A creamy pop-marked head & a clear, bright bronze body fill my pilsener glass.

Smell is sticky with caramelized grains(a bit much) & a squirt of orange oil. Prickly noble hops(bottle says Hallertau) & cake mix.

Sweet biscuit-y flavor dominates. Middle gets a touch of dry grain, along with a buttery glaze. Finish sets things right with a leafy, earthy bitterness that rides through the finish with a bit of cracker.

Slick feel, even though there is adequate carbonation(but it doesn't last long). Alcohol is about what the bottle says, can't hide that.

Decent flavor for $6 bucks a six. Though I enjoyed the Hefeweizen more.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 07:12:15 | More by PEBKAC
Photo of tigg924


3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: gold in color, 1 inch head, clear, low carbonation

Smell: toasted malt and honey

Taste: honey, toasted malt, and grass

Mouthfeel: light bodied, moderate carbonation, slightly sweet with a bitter backbone

Drinkability: I found this one to hit the style marks but not push them. A good beer to sit with for a football game, but not one I would look for regularly. Inoffensive beer that hides the alcohol well.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2010 14:45:56 | More by tigg924
Photo of mikeg67

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle from Trader Joe's. Pours a golden color with a practically not existent head. Light aroma of biscuit malt, and piney hops. Medium body, quite tangy and reach. Flavor is dominated by piney, earthy hops balanced by caramel malt. Finish is long and balanced between hops and malt. As with most TJ's products - good beer for the price.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2010 22:05:43 | More by mikeg67
Photo of TMoney2591


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

Served in a Sam Adams sensory pint glass.

My first Trader Joe's beer. It pours a clear straight amber topped by a short-lived finger of white foam. The nose comprises caramel, orange peel, flowers, wheat, buttery biscuits, and rye bread. The taste doesn't stray too far from this formula, with the orange coming through a bit more, joined by a sorta clove-ish flavor. The body is a heavy light, with a light carbonation and a very fluid feel. Overall, a bit on the flimsy side, but a pretty decent and drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2010 03:39:58 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of jadpsu


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

Pours light amber in color with a slightly off white head that has good retention and good lacing.
Has a mild spicy hop aroma and some carmalized and roasted malts.
Alcohol is noticable but early on not dominante, although as the beer warmed it became just that.
Has some sweetness but then finishes dry and on th bitter side.
Full bodied.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 22:08:14 | More by jadpsu
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Can't believe these guys have freshness dating, but some more prestigous brews dont. Gold pour, fluffy head. Smells crisp, slightly hoppy.

Taste, a little bland, the aroma made me think this would be super dry and relatively hoppy for style, but instead, it tasted like it had diminished carbonation and by virtue, any of the prickly hop spice feel you'll get in a good version of this style. Good price on this stuff though.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2010 00:24:04 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of clemtig76

South Carolina

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

This beer pours a very attractive, dark golden tan with plenty of head and some lovely lace. Good carbonation. A very pleasant, sweet malty aroma. Taste is a little grassy hops with a strong malt backbone and a little alcohol kick at the end. Very well done for a beer that is 7% ABV and only $5.99/six.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2010 23:59:17 | More by clemtig76
Photo of DaveBlack


3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've always been curious about Trader Joe's beers and I finally picked up a few of them. They're pretty cheap at $5.99 for a six pack.

A: Looks good, dark straw color with a two-finger white head that lasts some time and leaves behind a nice ring of lacing

S: I'm not too impressed with the aroma of this guy. It smells like cereal grains and malt. Stronger smell than most macro-brew american lagers but not much different.

T: Surprisingly good. Maltiness up front gives way to a fair amount of hops and a lasting bitterness. It hides the 7% alcohol quite well, I would have pegged it for 5-6%. Not overly complex, but refreshing and very good.

M: Moderate carbonation, moderate body. Not much more to say. *As I work my way through the bottle the mouthfeel becomes a little too sticky and sweet. Not enough to ruin the beer, but enough to knock it down a peg.

D: Surprisingly drinkable. I could knock back an entire six pack easily before the 7% alcohol caught up with me.

Overall, this might not be the best beer in the world, but it's very easy to drink, well balanced and unobjectionable. I imagine that anyone who likes beer would like this one, and I'm not sure of many other beers that are this good with such a cheap price tag. No middle man, no jacked up price and a solid, drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2010 20:59:01 | More by DaveBlack
Photo of carpezytha


2.6/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Deep clear honey body, good size head with large bubbles.

S: Some wet newspaper. Almost no hop on the nose.
T: Not particularly pleasant mix of wheat bread dough, bittering hops, sweet malt and funk. Not entirely off-putting but does not go down smoothly, nor it is very refreshing.
M: Not as smooth as it should be. No aromatic hops evident, event though that is advertised on the label.
B: Bought a sixer. Will be my last I think. Too bad because TJ's does rebottle some excellent single-malt, so I was hoping they could do the same with beers.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2010 21:55:49 | More by carpezytha
Photo of sjverla


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

Nose: Estery and fruity with hints of cloves and mellow, honey-like sweetness.

Appearance: Decent white head that laces slightly. Excellent clarity and solid gold color.

Taste: Smooth and sweet. Big, rich flavor--a celebration beer. Honey and raisin taste with subdued hopping.

Overall: Fairly drinkable, but can become cloying. It looks good, tastes good, but isn't exactly lively.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2010 02:38:33 | More by sjverla
Photo of shodrod


2.9/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours with a slightly deep golden color with a constant stream of tiny bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. The foam, which recedes quickly, leaves a surprisingly nice lacing pattern. The aroma is lacking a bit. If you try real hard you can detect notes of clover and honey. This is a pretty smooth drinking beer that has a slight hop character at the front and a tiny bit of alcohol at the end but both are so toned down that neither flavor comes out that much. Overall not a bad representation of the style but there are definitely better ones out there.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2010 20:33:34 | More by shodrod
Photo of tapman


3.25/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Man, was I surprised when this when poured a golden color. I expected T Js to put out a generic 'bock', i.e. dark, lager, but a helles... very ambitious.

Crystal clear golden colr, just shy of standard IPA or light pale ale coloring. Billowy large head with moderate head retention. Could use some more carbonation maybe? Maybe not? pretty good. After a while the head completely disappears making it look water and stagnant. Some maltodextrin next time?

Light creamed corn aroma, but it doesn't smell as vegetal as too much left over DMS. Could just be a lot of Victory or biscuit malt, something in the 3-20 range that is giving it that toasty-buttery nose. A bunch of munich perhaps with some super modified pilsner malt?

Up front and medium pilsner bomb with little hops up front and a relatively strong bitterness backing it up. Upon closer inspection I can taste that 7%. Not too bad, just a little hot. Little bit of creaminess. (from DMS? Maybe some refined sugar additions to lighten the body and up the strength? Adjuncts?)

A little heavy/syrup-like on the palate. Pretty light for it's strength, but not chewy like an unfiltered beer. Added refined sugar?

For 5.99 @ 7% abv a damn good beer. Great to bring to a party: easy to drink, big bang for your buck, goes down smooth. Doesn't hold up to other helles I have had, but, once again, for the price...

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2010 02:34:05 | More by tapman
Photo of Elimination


3.55/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another in my venturing into cheaper craft beers.

Pours a very light yellow, almost clear with thin white head

Smell is of typical lager really, one that is not my favorite. Slight citrus, little hops, honestly a bit of a foul smell close to fart really is all im picking up.

But taste comes in and kind of redeems itself sweet, carmel, buttery, very light, but the aftertaste of a smooth creaminess, kind of like margarine. Slight citrus, slight fruitiness, its actually a bit of surprise to when i was turned off by the smell

Mouthfeel is quite light, slight bubbles, smooth drinking

The drinking is good, but this hides a 7 abv almost better than anything ive ever had. Feels more like a light lager than a bock, but still has the taste qualities to it, pretty good beer

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2010 01:01:51 | More by Elimination
Photo of Mosstrooper


3.4/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Clear golden-orange color with a large, fizzy, and quickly dissipating white head that leaves behind spots of lace. Many bubbles inside the glass indicate heavy carbonation.

Smell: Weak smell overall, but mostly buttery malt and some grains.

Taste: Begins sweet and slightly tart, and buttery, finishing with relatively the same flavors and a pleasant hop spice with a bit of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with fairly heavy carbonation and a somewhat dry finish.

Drinkability: This really isn't the best beer out there, let alone the best beer of its style. That said, my sixer was only $5.99, so this makes an excellent choice for a good beer to have around at a very affordable price- especially for its 7% ABV. I wouldn't buy this normally, but this is a beer I'd definitely be willing to drink again on a budget.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2010 21:25:04 | More by Mosstrooper
Photo of dball


3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this because our store does not carry teh Fat Weasel anymore. I was please with the bock as replacement to the weasel. It comes with a full flaver and a strong taste. It's a big bear for the price of 6.99 a sixpack. I'll continue to pick it up frequently and enjoy it year around.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2010 02:21:49 | More by dball
Photo of Brent


3.48/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A little light in the flavor department, but overall not a bad maibock. Poured golden with a touch of amber. Slightly sweet grain notes in the aroma. Up front also a bit of sweet grain, quickly followed by moderately roasted caramel flavor. Finish was clean with some residual bitterness. The 7% abv was well integrated with no ETOH notes.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2010 14:04:15 | More by Brent
Trader Joe's Hofbrau Bock from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
77 out of 100 based on 258 ratings.