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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

176 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 176
Hads: 318
Avg: 3.47
pDev: 17.29%
Wants: 15
Gots: 19 | 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:
Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 01-23-2005

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 176 | Hads: 318
Photo of twiggamortis420
2.91/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle courtesy of fthomasl pours a very clear copper color with a decent cap of tan head. Nebular retention and little lace.

Nose is caramel popcorn, straight up. It like opening one of those Christmas tins with the 3 sections of caramel popcorn, cheese popcorn and buttered popcorn.

Taste is caramelized toast with a dollop of creamed corn. Not really a good example of the style, or a beer for that matter. But it does not really taste all that bad...I have a soft spot in my heart for diacetyl in ambers so this is somewhat enjoyable for me. Mouthfeel is fairly full for the style due to the sweetness, and the carbonation is ample. Not too bad despite all the flaws, but I am ok with just having this single.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Harriet pils glass. Best before February 5th, 2013.

Clear, burnt orange body that glows amber when held to the light; delicate yet lasting off-white head which recedes to a modest cap and gently soapy collar. Delicate arcs of lace; good retention.

Lovely German malt in the nose - toasty and distinctive (everything their Oktoberfest was not!). Earthy yet clean.

Nice malt complexity on the palate, though there is an almost-metallic sharpness to the flavor profile as well. Low bitterness offsets the malt, though the latter continues to blossom throughout the finish. Very low hop notes, mostly earthy with the slightest hint of peppercorn. While imperfect, still well balanced.

Soft, medium-light body with sufficient carbonation.

A decent take on the style, better than most mass-market lagers utilizing the name (along with an excess of adjuncts) while ignoring the traditions associated with it.

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Photo of jpro
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Single 12oz bottle from Trader Joe's. Poured into a shaped pint glass.

A: copper amber; cream, puffy, one-finger head; decent retention but no lace; looks good.

S: thick caramel malt; bread; some light vegetal notes.

T: sweet bread; light toast; full malt flavor; some dry, husky hop flavor, but not much; could definitively use an extra dose of hoppiness to counter the malt.

M: medium feel and moderate to high carbonation; has a really nice feel - full yet crisp.

O: a nice beer from TJ's - perhaps the best of the Joseph's Brau line; extra hops would make it perfect.

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Photo of McStagger
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a flute.

A: Pours a beautiful clear copper with two fingers beige head. Retention is moderate. Lacing is minimal. Carbonation is moderate.

S: Bready, with some malt sugar and a bit of toastiness.

T: Immediately hit with a nutty toastiness. More caramel malt than standard pilsners. Light, but noticeable hoppiness, a touch of grassiness and malted grain flavor that permeates the experience. Perhaps a bit of dark fruit, but that is very subdued. Flavors are malt dominant.

M: Good, crisp lager feel. The mouthfeel seems "mismatched" with the flavors of the brew. I expect something a little less carbonated and little higher in body when I sip on something with a nutty or toasty characteristic. I don't find the beer to be at fault so much as I simply disagree with the style.

O: Good Vienna Lager. Just not a fan of Vienna Lagers, per se.

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Photo of Brewno8it
4.45/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very good representation of the Vienna lager style. Pours with nice foamy white head and biscuity aroma characteristic of the style. Color is a rich amber hue. Taste is enjoyable with carmel biscuit malt favor reminicient of fresh bread, perfect for fall. Body is medium, but matches what I would expect for this style. I tried this by only purchasing two bottles. I will easily pick up a 6-pack next time at Trader Joe's. Good brew.

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Photo of Kendo
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the bottle into a pilsner glass. Body is light-chestnut with a small whitish head. No lacing.

S: Not terribly strong - roasted grains and a touch of toffee. Roasted grains seem to give it a slightly "off" scent.

T: Not a lot going on here, either. Again I get roasted, toasted grains and sweetish malt. Overall taste impression, however, can be summed up with a word that describes both the taste and the mouthfeel: "watery." Finishes fairly clean with some lingering sweetness.

M: As noted above, thin and watery in feel. Carbonation is modest, but there.

O: I don't know how much I paid for this, but I know it was cheap. So it's got that going for it. Inoffensive, but nothing memorable.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.8/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a beer mug.

A: Pours a reddish copper color with good clarity but low translucence. The head is a one finger light mocha color, quickly fading to a thin, collared film. Not very impressive looking.

S: Weak, which seems to be a trend from the Josephsbrau series. Some caramel, amber malt, and a very slight hint of grassy hops. It's actually a fairly good aroma, just pathetically weak.

T: Light caramel, toffee, and amber malts throughout. There's a strange chalky note on the finish, but this is actually perfectly okay otherwise, if mildly flavored.

M: Weirdly heavy and sticky, to the point where its bulk is too much for the light flavors underneath it. Carbonation is spot on, at least.

O: These TJ beers seem to be doing a great job of lowering my rAvg (their Oatmeal Stout notwithstanding), but truth be told, this is decent enough. Nothing special at all, but like the other TJ beers, its price point help mask its deficiencies somewhat.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.51/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My house on July 8, 2012. Bottle into pint glass. One-to-two fingers of head. Caramel amber red color. Light gray lacing with below average retention.

Was digging hard for a smell, but eventually got caramel, red malts.

Taste was a bit better than the smell. Got a nice smooth caramel taste with a red toffee backbone. Maybe some dark fruit - plums, grapes, etc., but nice balance. Even want to throw in some chocolate there.

Medium body. Creamy texture. Below average carbonation. Abrupt, smooth finish.

Not a bad beer overall. The smell is the only thing that held it back.

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Photo of mactrail
3.01/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Extremely clear amber with big white head in the tall Peroni glass. Plenty of suds for a big gulp. Hint of damp cardboard in the slightly beery smell.

Not much to go on here. Some buttery flavor, a lot of club soda, and a finish with the earthy, murky hops. Sweet malt but a light body. Hint of bitterness in the aftertaste, along with a metallic note.

I guess it's a matter of taste whether you like this flabby style of lager. I suppose I should try some of the better examples of Vienna Lager so I'll know what it's supposed to taste like. 12 oz bottle from TJs.

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Photo of Luigi
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice golden amber color with a two finger off white foam for a head. Retention is decent as it settles down to a blanket of foam on top of the brew till the last sip.

The aroma is full of roasted malt and caramel. Very faint hop bitterness.

The taste is sweet caramel and toasted bread. Faint hop bitterness.

Medium bodied and semi-dry refreshing finish. The toasted malt lingers for a bit, but very thirst quenching for a darker lager.

This Vienna Lager is simple to the point and tasty! And at a damn good price!

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. This Vienna Lager poured a clear amber color, produced a white head, average retention and it left some lacing on the glass. The aroma consisted of malted grain, and caramel. Medium in body, this brew had a nice toasted malted barley base and a kiss of hop flavor. Excellent mouthfeel, very nice example of a Vienna Lager - Some of the Macro Brews could take a lesson from this lager. Prost!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best by 3/13/12.

Pours a clear copper color with a 1 inch foamy orange-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is malty and slightly metallic as well. Taste is malty and slightly fruity. There is a mild bitterness that quickly fades after each sip. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average lager that’s not too bad but I wouldn’t buy this one again. Cheap enough though at $1 for the bottle.

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Photo of sommersb
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 02-11-2012
Freshness: Best by 06-12-2012
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Mug
Purchased: 6-pack from Trader Joe's

Label says this is Josephs Brau Vienna Style Lager brewed in San Jose, CA. Picked this up for about $6 for the six pack.

A: Clear, dark copper-colored beer, with a tan head a finger high. Lacing is fair in my mug, with little head retention.

S: Aromas are bready, with nice caramel malt sweetness.

T: Good balance in the taste between slightly sweet malt flavors and the earthy hops. Bitterness is low.

M: Smooth, with a medium body. Aftertastes are spicy and malty.

O: Overall this is a good value - a nice easy drinking lager. I'd seek this out again from Trader Joe's.

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Photo of rodney45
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Mix between harvest crimson and jasper. Off white pillowy head.

S: Big notes of grains and hay, maybe caramel malt. Also has a dimension of honey and juniper.

T: First taste profile is of munich, and caramel malt. It actually tastes like the way crushed grains smell in a homebrew. Secondary flavors are of plum and slight hop bitterness. Aftertaste is not dry and tastes like whole wheat bread.

M: Medium body with light carbonation. More bitter than sweet.

O: This beer's only downfall is that it is one dimensional. You have a big malt backbone, and distinct caramel, chocolate, barley and muncih, but it lacks the balance, that would make it a true top beer. I really did like this beer, in fact, im probably going to go buy some more today, and i recommend you do the same.

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Photo of bashiba
2.62/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a perfectly clear amber color with an inch of creamy tan head, light lacing and good retention.

The smell has a minerally and cardboard quality to it, not promising.

The flavor has a muted sweet malt taste with a light bit of tinny bitterness.

The mouthfeel is thin and a bit watery.

Not real great, might be oxidized, but is several months before the best buy date, so its not due to age.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1.5 finger head which rapidly dissipates on a hazy amber with golden hues body. Nice lace. Very malt heavy aroma, almost like you are smelling it in the brew tank. A little musty. Flavor is also a thick sweet caramel malt flavor. Nothing watered down about this one. I actually really like this flavor. It's very cereal like. Medium to full body for the style and moderate carbonation. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Treath
4.76/5  rDev +37.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Poured into a glass. Has a very nice amber orange/gold color. With a 2.5 finger cream colored head that lingers. Good lacing.
It looks great.

S- The smell tingles the nose. Malt. Hops. Maybe some honey.

T- A lot of malts. Bready. Sweetish (honey/caramel). Very little hop bite...almost none but has a slight hop bitterness. It tastes good and balanced.
For some odd reason, it reminds me of Cola and tea.

M- Slick, watery, smooth, not too bubbly.

Drinkability- Very high. I can drink this easily. It goes down nice and smooth.

Overall, I think this is a very easy drinking lager with a great taste. I enjoyed it a lot.

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Photo of Flightoficarus
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy amber with a big, frothy tan head, which quickly recedes to a moderate amount of lacing.

S - Smell is of caramelized malts, toasty grains, and nuts.

T - Taste is of toasty caramel malts with a hint of nuts. Lightly herbal notes are detected, but the hops are kept to a minimum here. A bit more basic than the smell of the beer would suggest, but not bad.

M - Medium bodied (for a lager), very mild carbonation. A bit more would actually work to the beers benefit here. Lacks that crisp finish typical of lagers, but is still remarkably drinkable.

O - Despite a few minor flaws, it's a decent beer for the price of Budweiser, which is always welcome in my book.

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Photo of kneeland
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had never tried a Vienna beer, I didn't even know what it was. After I poured it, I was very impressed with the look and the smell. But I was not a fan of the taste.

The color was a beautiful amber gold, with some decent lacing. A great looking amber.

The taste was a little malty, with some good spices, it just wasn't to my liking. It's caramelized very well, but something else was holding it back for me.

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Photo of secondtooth
2.52/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clean, deep amber, with solid tree line lacing.

Malty and grainy on the nose...I get corn, wheat...simple.

Taste is sweet. Caramel malts and grains. Sweet and unbalanced, this brew is one-dimensional and nothing outstanding or memorable in the least.

Didn't like this one at all. Avoid.

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Photo of karait95
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice reddish amber color, not bat looking but the carbonation is a little poor, the initial head is medium with somehow fast dissipation leaving no traces behind and there is no permanent layer on top of the beer, the color is a very light brown.

S: Malty smell and some caramel can be sensed, the malts are toasted a little and finally some little alcohol.

T: The flavor is nice, the tasting is good mixed with malts toasted and regular also some caramel and very little hops are present.

M: The feeling is nice pleasant, starting with some sweetness and a little bitterness ending.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.97/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a medium white head, solid head retention, no lace.

S: Real nice Vienna malt nose, light hoppiness.

T: Sweet Vienna malt and caramel. Light piney hop character, good balance.

M: Light-bodied, creamy and smooth, soft carbonation.

O: A very well made beer to style. The flavour is right where I need it to be. At $5.99 a sixer this is a steal.

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Photo of samie85
2.86/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a clear amber color with three fingers of dense light beige head.

S-Smells of biscuity malt and some hints of dark fruit.

T-Sweet malt with hints of dark fruit and with a light bitterness on the finish.

M-Medium bodied yet a little chewy and a slick feel.

D-I wish I had known this was made by Gordon Biersch, because it tastes exactly like their Marzen, which isn't exactly my favorite Marzen.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.93/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Hard Rock cafe hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: One finger head of good thickness, nice cream, and good retention. Textbook copper colour.

Sm: Heavy caramel, light cream, and malted barley. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Light caramel, a full barley body with well handled malt, and nice hops (I can't place which type). It's nicely constructed and decently balanced, but doesn't feel bold or inspired. It's not taking any risks, but succeeds at playing it safe.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and a bit sharp. Kind of suits the flavour of the body.

Dr: It's very drinkable, decently priced, and of pretty good quality. I'd have it again, especially if it were on draught.

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Photo of NatetheGreat
4.11/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very happy with this brew. Creamy off white head atop a clear, beautiful mahogany-amber colored lager. sweet caramel in the nose and on the tongue, with some molasses sweetness and just a touch of earthy hops. stays pretty sweet.

smooth mouthfeel: just right and extremely drinkable. Excellent beer as an amazing price ($5.99 for a sixer). Very good beer, nice as we easy into autumn.

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Trader Joe's Vienna Style Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.