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Trader Joe's Vienna Style Lager - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Trader Joe's Vienna Style LagerTrader Joe's Vienna Style Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

277 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 277
Reviews: 168
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 13.29%
Wants: 12
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Vienna Lager |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 01-23-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 277 | Reviews: 168 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AlesALot
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a good drinkable beer. If I could get it here in Memphis I would drink it regularly.
It has a dark color and a decent head. It is very malty and reminds me of Sam Adams with less hoppieness (Not a good thing), but this makes it more aproachable than a more highly hopped version of this style. Great starter beer for the less adventurous but currious beer drinker.

AlesALot, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of Gump
3.08/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear amber color. Lots of tiny bubbles stick to the side of the glass, but the head disappates in seconds.
Not much for aroma, just a little grainy malt.
Crisp mouthfeel, mild hoppy aftertaste very easy drinking.

If Heineken made an amber, it would be just like this.

Gump, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of Dogbrick
2.9/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled at the Odds and Ends Tasting II on 10/19/07: Clear copper color with a medium off-white head that lasts a bit. Biscuity malt and caramel in the nose. Light, smooth body with sweet malt, caramel and grassy hops flavors. The finish is short and malty. Pretty bland and forgettable overall.

Dogbrick, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of BasementBrewerSF
2.42/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It is not a bad beer, but it is not a good beer. It has a nice pour and a rich color, but the taste is nothing to be admired. It tastes like a cheep super market beer, except classy-er because it was purchased at Trader Joes. It is good for a cheep night before pay day, but I would not purchase it again.

BasementBrewerSF, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of jhu1995
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich amber color with a thick cream colored head. Smell is malty caramel with some minor hop aroma coming through. Taste is solid, with a strong malt backbone and soft caramel flavors. Medium-bodied and smooth finish. A good beer to have around.

jhu1995, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of tongatim
2.35/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Undistinguished Vienna lager. Clean, with clear coppery color, and weak, evanescent head. Very little maltiness, which is what brings me pleasure with this style. Bitterness was in balance, but no detectable noble hop flavor or aroma. The only plus was the $4.99 price on a six-pack, but if you like this style, I'd spring an extra buck or 2 for a six-pack of Negro Modela.

tongatim, Oct 09, 2007
Photo of mpyle
3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a healthy white head, creamy and with good retention. Coloris a nice clear amber.

Aroma is very subtle. No hop, and just a bit of malt. Exceptionally clean.

Flavor is malty but well attenuated. Initial malt flavor is fairly short lived, transitioning to a slightly bitter finish. No hop flavor, but sufficient hop bitterness for balance. Maltiness not as rich as could be for the style.

Medium body and carbonation. No astringency or warming

One of many good but not great, well-priced beers from TJ. You could do a lot worse for less than $6/six pack. A very smooth, drinkable, malt-oriented lager.

mpyle, Sep 08, 2007
Photo of steveh
4.88/5  rDev +41%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Okay, so I'm going to rate this beer against the style guidelines of both BA and BJCP. It's dead on to style, can't find huge fault anywhere, really.

I know this is basically Gordon Biersch's Vienna repackaged for TJ's, but that just adds credence to both GB and TJ's, IMO. GB for the outstanding beer, TJ's for recognizing a good beer.

12 oz brown bottle, pry-off cap.

A - Soap suds foam that settles in a nice cragy lace. Maybe not as persistent as it should be, but it revives well. Outstanding clear, orange-amber color.

S - DMS (a little heavy to style, but not offensive), to light toasted malt, to mellow noble hops - in that order as you inhale.

T - Light malty character that starts bready and sweet and finishes dry with a fresh hop finish.

D - Very easy to drink and very satisfying for this style. Even if you don't know the style, this is a smooth and drinkable beer. I've always called this style a sort of Oktoberfest light, this beer epitomizes that, wonderful stuff.

steveh, Aug 07, 2007
Photo of kimcgolf
3.13/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a light amber color with thin light tan head that dissipates quickly to leave little lacing. Aroma is hard to detect, but what is there is a slight blend of hops and malts. Mouthfeel is slightly tingly and the flavor is roasted nuts and malty sweetness, agian, not very prominent.

This all leads to a finish which is slightly stale and of medium duration. Not really much to this beer.

kimcgolf, Jul 08, 2007
Photo of Atlas1
3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I happen to think that a few of the Trader Joe's beers are not all that bad. This is my first review of the TJ brewery. I'm on a bit of a lager kick right now and this just happend to be the next one I had at the house.

Appears a bright amber/orange color, with a one-finger head that thinned out quickly but did leave some very faint lace. Smells nice and malty with some slightly fruity esthers and floral scents as well. Nothing overwhelming in the aroma, but quite pleasant. I almost pick up some trace hints of vanilla and caramel as well. The taste is also pleasant. Simple, malty, with some fruitiness in the finish, and easy drinking. A bit watery, though, which is too bad. But overall it's not a bad-tasting beer. Mouthfeel is a bit weak, but it's certainly not an undrinkable beer. I've definitely had worse lagers before. They could up the malt characteristics of this one for sure, but the folks at Trader Joe's have made a decent beer here.

Atlas1, Jun 22, 2007
Photo of smttycty
2.08/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a freshly rinsed pint glass the two finger rough white crown split the scene way too quick, leaving a clear surface through which to view the light amber body. It left some legs on the side of the glass when swirled but virtually no lace.

The bouquet while the head was there was pleasant enough. Grassy sweet malt, a little floral, and some faint brown banana peel. First taste contained some of the malt sugars, but also a strange nuttiness like cooked edamame. A tart, mild astringency came on the follow. On subsequent swallows an off-flavored sourness began to overtake the pallette.

There was quite a bit of fizziness in the mouth but I usually like that, and it was more full-bodied then the Mexican versions of this styly usually offered. The unpleasant after-tastes might be broken up with the right food pairing here to allow the initial flavors a chance, but even at Trader Joe's below-a-buck-a-bottle price makes it hard to recommend.

smttycty, Jun 12, 2007
Photo of Duster72
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear red amber with a one finger head and little retention or lacing. Aroma is all malts, mostly sweet and no hops. Taste is mostly mildly sweet malts, not too sweet but a nice balance for drinking with food. Mouthfeel is pretty good although it's a little clingy. Very drinkable and could be sessioned. Excellent beer for less than $1.

Duster72, Apr 09, 2007
Photo of shbobdb
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh, I picked up a sixer of this guy at Trader Joe's, I figured that while the range of vienna lagers is pretty great, they are all pretty good. This beer continues that tradition by being good, not great, but good.

This beer pours like beer is supposed to. Man, a nice red gold beer with nice little bubbles popping up creating a nice bubbly off-white head. The off-white head dies all too quickly, but it was nice while it lasted!

The beer's taste and smell is pretty good. It feels, to me, like an Americanized version of the mexican take on vienna lagers. Quite the bouncing around there, but it is true. There are a lot of really good malts going on here, the nice clean bite of vienna malts. Mostly pils-y, but with just a *bit* of toffee in there. But there is also a strong corny/vegital presence. In the Mexican versions of the style, that would be due to the use of adjuncts, but in this case I am fairly convinced that it is good ol' fashioned DMS from improper brewing techniques. Beers like Rolling Rock have perfected this slightly-defective taste that encourages quick drinking because it only becomes problematic in the aftertaste. Keep drinking without stopping, and you won't have a problem!

So, yeah, a nice quaffable beer with a good malt presence. At less than a buck a beer, I can't complain, but I can get better beers for that price. I grabbed a single of their Weizen while I was at the store, and I am wishing that I had bought a sixer of the Weizens and a single of the Vienna. But I'm not unhappy with the sixer of vienna -- and I rarely buy beers by the sixpack. So, take that as you will.

shbobdb, Apr 01, 2007
Photo of russpowell
3.05/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

BBD of 2/26/07 a little late, figured they's turn their own beer faster than that??

Pours amber with 1" of white head. A little bit of lacing & head retention

S: Corny & sweet malt

T: Malty sweetness, some iron & a little floral hops up front. Grainyness shows up soon enough. Finishes with caramel, honey malt & a bit of metaliic twang and herbal some hops

MF: A little thin & metallic with moderate carbonation

Drank a little above average for the ABV, I didn't pick stale or oxidized characteristics up. This was dissapointing

russpowell, Mar 29, 2007
Photo of theopholis
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Very clear, light amber with a good, off-white frothy head with decent staying power. Leaves behind a decent lace that slowly falls.

Aroma- Mostly just malt sweetness and maltiness. No hop aroma, no off-smells.

Taste- Good balance of malt sweetness, maltiness and abittering hops. Not much else.

Mouthfeel- Medium body. The carbonation level is just about right, and really brings out the hops. Not that they are over-powering, but they are there.

Drinkability- Pretty drinkable.

theopholis, Mar 10, 2007
Photo of blackie
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: The pour into my pilsner glass give an off-white 1" head that recedes slowly. Nice retention but little to no lacing. The beer is a clear amber in color.

s: A blend of grainy caramel and pale malts on the nose bring a moderate sweetness. Grassy, dirty hop aroma. Really nice grain presence.

m: The carbonation is on the light side of the high spectrum, and the body on the light side of the medium range. A little too dry even, with a metallic feel lingering on the tongue.

t: Lighter malts dominate but there is a distinct caramel malt presence...somewhat biscuity/bready with a medium-light sweetness. Moderate hop flavor of wet, earthy grass with a moderate bitterness.

d: easy enough...an average beer but very solid

bottled 11/27/06

blackie, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of daliandragon
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear bodied red tinted amber with a reasonably sturdy cream colored head that survives a few minutes in my flute. Nose is sweet and malty with hints of honey and a slight hop presence in the backround.

Honey is again present in the taste along with roasted flavors in the malt. Late, mild bitter touch of hops. Light touch of metal is the only real downer. Goes down smooth and easy. Unpretentious, inoffensive, and cheap are good attriibutes to have for a lager like this. Nothing special but decent bang for the buck and could easily be sessionable if one were so inclined.

daliandragon, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of jeffjfindley
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Highly transparent amber, with an ok head, but not so good retention. The nose is malty and unremarkable, the taste is the same, but very well balanced, and quenching. The mouthfeel is predictably smooth, and the drinkability high. Great session beer, not terribly special, but very well done.

jeffjfindley, Feb 22, 2007
Photo of alexgash
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clean, medium-copper body with light golden edges. Small, filmy, off-white head. Nose is caramel cookie malts, cooked veggies, and spicy, if a bit mild, hops. Toasted, slightly hoppy flavors up front. Solid cookie dough malt follows. Gets more vegetal, spicy, and caramelly. Finish shows mild hop bitterness and lasting caramel cookie dough. Not bad. Moderate body with a slightly soapy feel. Another decent cheap brew from TJs.

alexgash, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Throws a rich, golden copper color; stringy, well disciplined white bubbly head. The nose quickly reveals malts, clean hops and traces of toasted rye bread. Caramelized, sweet dark malts, dry roasted peanuts on the initial quaffs. Medium bodied, twangy, bubbly carbonation. Underlying yeast gives way to some notes of wheat crackers and kisses of bitter hops. A bit metallic and a sweet, gummy, fresh bread finish. Pretty good stuff.

GeoffRizzo, Jan 17, 2007
Photo of wagenvolks
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For the price of the beer ($5.50 for a six pack, mix & match) I was very impressed. Light amber and gold colored brew poured into a pint. Small amounts of cream head up top. Defininte caramel up front on the smell, some organic notes too, wheat perhaps.

Taste is a bit sweet with a decent bite to it, not a whole lot going on that's extremely noteworty. Definately not my style of choice, but not a huge knock on the beer... After all, it's fucking beer... Not much aftertaste, kind of disappointing finish. Definately drinkable at thsuch a low price, might try again.

wagenvolks, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of umustdrink
2.5/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - No head, no lace. Clear dark orange color.

S - Slightly sweet but slightly alcoholy smell.

T - Not bad. Not great. Slightly bitter, slightly sweet. A bit one dimensional.

M - Carbonation burns a little bit, makes it kind of hard to taste.

D - Except for the appearance, everything about this beer reminded me of olde english malt liquor. Easy to drink and the price was right.

umustdrink, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of pietro9
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bronzed straw with a slightly copper/amber color, clear, average appearance. When poured into a pint glass the head is a lightly golden cream color. The aroma is dominated by a sweet honey character, with an underlying maltiness. There's also a slight hoppiness to the aroma, and a bit of funk. Somewhat offputting at first. On the palate it starts off sweet, with the honey coming on first. This turns into a pleasing malty flavor, with toasted grain and a light kiss of hops, and finally finishes clean and dry. Not much lingering flavor besides a pleasant grain-like aftertaste. Quite good for the price, though I don't know the style well enough to comment on this beer's particular adherence to a Vienna Style Lager.

pietro9, Dec 12, 2006
Photo of malcontent
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good frothy head that reduces to a patchy lacing atop a clear auburn body. Looks just about right.

Honey. That's about all I'm smelling. Sure, it is a malt scent I'm picking up but it is very much on the sweeter sweet side.

OK, yeah, it's malty. However, it's a rather deft stab at the Vienna style as it isn't overly sweet (and the honey notes are controlled better than in the nose) and there is no lingering aftertaste. Well, there it is. Totally unpretentious and surprisingly good.

The score seems high to me, too, but I'm reminded that we review beer with style in mind. The Vienna style isn't something that has much of an elite quality to it but the "Trader Joe's" (like many BA's, I know who brews this stuff) version is quite solid. Exceptionally drinkable, flavorful and a beer I can imagine pairing with a good number of cuisines.

malcontent, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a tawny orange with stunning clarity. One and 3/4 finger head of medium density and moderate retention and produces almost no lacing. Mild toasty nose with hints of dextrins. Sweet pale malt and wheat hit the tounge first, followed by toasty Vienna and Crystal malt. Dry aftertaste exhibits spicy saaz and tettnanger flavor, as well as some dextrionous, grainy character. Medium bodied with an even carbonation that allows a slightly crisp mouthfeel while keeping the rich malt notes alive. Finishes with mellow Crystal and Vienna toastiness and pale malt/wheat malt residual sweetness. Lasting noble hop flavor also provides a magnificent balance and promotes the high drinkability. Not outstanding, but it is well-made, inexpensive, and a great example of the style.

PBRstreetgang, Nov 17, 2006
Trader Joe's Vienna Style Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 277 ratings.