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Trader José Premium Lager - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Trader José Premium LagerTrader José Premium Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

68 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 68
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 2.59
pDev: 26.25%

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

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  ABV ?

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: goschool on 06-15-2007)
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Ratings: 68 | Reviews: 35 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of bbluemzbeer


3.4/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This a is beer is pretty good. I blind taste test with pacifico, corona. I pick this beer the least favorite beer of the three but it held its own. For 3.50 for six pack what do you expect a world class beer!

Appreance: Yellow and like a beer

Smell: Like a Corona.

Taste: It a greaat taste for a cheap beer. One hundred times better then, Ice house, Sol or Natty. Nice and sooth with no naste after taste.

Mouthfeel: It was full body witha smooth and wet.
Overall I woould buy this beer again for just price and taste. It does not compare to Corona , pacifico but for half the price what do expect.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2013 16:03:52 | More by bbluemzbeer
Photo of Billylikebeer


3.79/5  rDev +46.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Listen snobs, this beer is a helluva deal - 4.19 for a sixer. Guess what? You ain't getting Chimay for that kind of money. This beer is for ballin on a budget. I just had it for lunch and it was superbly satisfying. And this is one of the few beers not owned by imbev. Stickin it to the monopoly baby!

A: Yellow. I don't drink with my eyes

S: The smell isn't strong enough to offend me. Didn't take a wiff.

T: Giddy up! 10X Better than Natty! Pretty much like Corona.

M: uhhh

O: muy bien. I could buy it again and again. It hits the spot and I'm saving $3 every time I buy a six pack. Mix it up and buy Trader Jose Dark too.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2013 21:30:09 | More by Billylikebeer
Photo of TheMarkE


2.08/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Meh. Imagine if someone squeezed a whole lemon into a bottle of Corona. To be more accurate, imagine if someone dumped half a container of artificial lemon into a bottle of watered down Corona.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 01:44:17 | More by TheMarkE
Photo of UCLABrewN84


2.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Best before 9/18/13.

Pours a clear yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thick streaks of foam form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and some grassy aromas. Taste is mainly of grain and some grassy flavors. There is a very mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer this is only marginally better than the Light version.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2012 02:27:14 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of kylehay2004


2.48/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: two finger head with decent lacing on a clear golden-straw body.

S: bitter malt/hops and sweet corn.

T: light malts, corn but overall almost tasteless.

M: fuller body than I expected and not aftertaste which is good as many in this genre have off-putting finishing notes.

Overall: Looks good, excellent mouthfeel and easy to drink. Unfortunately it doesn't smell very good and the taste is bland but not offensive.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2012 22:16:36 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of kojevergas


2.53/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 fl oz clear glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. The brewer should've known better than to use a clear glass; this is unforgivable. Reviewed live. Expectations are low given the style and the presentation.

Served refrigerator cold. Acquired at Trader Joe's a few hours ago. Best before date 02/21/2013.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of hardly any cream, okay thickness, and average retention. Colour is a clear boring yellow. No yeast particles are visible. Not very inviting. Nothing special or remarkable here.

Sm: Clean malted barley. Hints of cream. Simple, boring, and dull. Not alive or inviting. A mild strength aroma.

T: Clean malted barley. Hints of cream. That's it. Very boring and bland. No layering, complexity, or subtlety. Predictable. Unrefreshing, but pleasant to drink.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Adequately carbonated. Decent thickness.

Dr: Drinkable but boring. There's no reason to get this again. I wouldn't recommend this, even to fans of the style. It's pleasant to drink and better than Corona, but it's still mundane.


Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 06:34:13 | More by kojevergas
Photo of GossageBrewery


2.65/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured this lager from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. It poured a clear straw color, produced a thick white head, retention was above average and lacing was average. The aroma consisted of malted barley. This beer is light in body, a little more complex then trader jose light, however it still lacks much character. Malted barely, smooth, refreshing. Lawn Mower Beer- not even in the same class as Corona. Overall below average. Prost!

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 00:44:34 | More by GossageBrewery
Photo of Halcyondays


2.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2 oz. clear Corona style bottle,

A: Pours a clear gold with a fizzy white head. Very good head retention for the style, some lace.

S: Minimal, hint of grass and malt.

T: Minor corn notes with a somewhat earthy hop character. Light in flavour.

M: Light-bodied for sure, fairly crisp. A more substantial feel than a standard macro lager.

O: Really a hoppier (let's keep it relative) version of Corona. Solid in it's style, a summer beer for sure.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 05:21:24 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of jneiswender


2.48/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

What you see is what you get with this beer. The tastes are very familiar with other Mexican lagers. the exception here is the course nature of the hops. very raspy. The metallic smell and the light and clear body is the same as other beers on the market. While not a first choice, I would have to say that for the style, its okay. I simply don't drink this style.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2011 14:48:27 | More by jneiswender
Photo of Gitspe


3.93/5  rDev +51.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Come on, lighten up beer gourmets. I love a Belgian Dubbel more than anything. But, hey, this is a cheaper version of Corona and it tastes better to me. I totally got the Corona vibe for a lot less money. If anything, it reminded me how overpriced Corona is. I slipped my neighbor one of these and he liked it better than Corona also. I just drank a 6-pack raking leaves and I loved it!

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 00:51:44 | More by Gitspe
Photo of DoubleJ


2.42/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thank goodness Trader Joe's now let's you buy single bottles, because if they didn't, I may not have tried their version of a Mexican styled lager. Another tick on this warm, clear day. In proper Mexican style lager, I...put the bottle in the freezer until it started to form ice, no lime for me. On to the beer:

Pale golden in color with agood amount of head of head on top. Lacing is decent, forms up in creamy texture. If only the nose were decent...it quickly brings my expectations back to reality with some stinky, spicy hops and low amounts of boiled corn. All this gets worse as the beer warms.

Fortunately, the taste is better, but only that. At an ice cold temperature, it's almost like ice water with a little bit of beer character. There's a little bit of sweetness from corn that whispers on the palate. A little spicy hop note, even a sprinkle of esters. Warming up intensifies these notes, but doesn't increase its nastiness too much. Creamy mouthfeel with tocuhes of corn in the aftertaste.

Of the major Mexican brands, I found it most resemblant to Dos Equis. Overall it's decent, and one could choose worse beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2011 02:14:38 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of Offa


1.8/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Gold, med.-big white head steadily shrinks to ring and bit of lace. It looks decently good.

Aroma is decent, perfumy basic lager, grain hints of apple, grass and sulphur.

Taste is decent if very light lager character at first – hints of grain, apple and grass with hint of bitterness and light lingering grain-grass aftertaste. All is thin and rough, though, and it soon becomes clear that it is slightly acrid with a lingering rough acrid bitternes dominating, causing drinkability to plummet quickly. In the end, this is not good at all.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2011 21:28:09 | More by Offa
Photo of TMoney2591


3.25/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Another random fridge-pull. Get some. It pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises lots o' corn, a bit less wheat, and a touch of potato. Oddly enough, the potato helped a bit. The taste really doesn't change much of anything, though some orange zest leaks in there, making for a pretty pleasant finish. The body is pretty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a watery feel. Overall, not as bad as it could be. I know that's not much of a ringing endorsement, but it's not great, either.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2011 01:31:55 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

2.3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

another one to crack and drink for the sake of drinking it cause i could not leave the house, poured into a pint glass on 1.11.11.

the pour was just what i would expect with a light golden color and a tall fizzy head that quickly falls and leaves next to nothing in its wake. small doses of bready hints in the nose and a really small dose of grass as it warmed. flavor again nearly non existent with the smallest of grains and breads and corn and rice. but it comes and goes in seconds. just a pratically useless beer that i guess serves its purpose in life.

overall it is what it is. dont think i will go down this path again.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 01:36:35 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of nickd717


1.18/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Someone brought a 6-pack of this to a party and I figured I'd tick it.

Pours a boring pale yellow color with a fizzy white head. FYB all the way with this one.

The aroma is crappy grainy adjunk. Is there actually malt in this beer? It smells like corn and chemicals.

The flavor is really bland yet really disgusting at the same time. The crappiness is off the charts. Corn, rice, grass, and water. Some unpleasant bitterness on the finish.

The palate is bland and boring, with a watery feel and higher carbonation.

I know, giving an adjunct lager an 'F' reeks of style bias, but this is an absolute disgrace to beer. I couldn't bear to drink more than 2 ounces of a beer in a style that's supposed to excel in drinkability. Epic fail.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 18:55:51 | More by nickd717
Photo of droomyster


2.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours solid gold with quite an impressive white head. Unfortunately the aromas are just grainy and generally uninteresting. The taste is bit skunky, a bit grainy, and nothing else. I will not buy this beer again and would not recommend it to anyone for any occasion.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2010 22:54:26 | More by droomyster
Photo of tjsdomer2


2.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Nice look overall. Bright golden with active carbonation. Does not look flat at all. Still, I don't see much foam or lacing.

Smell: A floral bread smell. Skunkiness as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel: A bitter, watery aftertaste. You definitely need to drink this right after opening because the bitterness grows, even though it stays cold. Decently hopped.

Drinkability: Fairly easy to down.

Overall: A step down from Corona. Not terribly good or bad one way or another.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 23:12:59 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of MTNboy


2.5/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

It has super pale yellow body. There is a thin white head and a thin ring I don't want to call lace. The aroma was very mild. It smelled of grass and corn. The flavor was about the same. It has a watery body that is some what slick feeling. On a positive note it is very easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2009 12:08:48 | More by MTNboy
Photo of pweis909


1.88/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanksgiving choices at my in-laws were Heineken, Heinekin Light, and Trader Jose's (and plenty of wine and great food and I am not the least bit ungrateful :) I reached for Trader Jose, with low expectations. A "premium lager" that comes in a clear glass and claims to be imported from Mexico screams Corona. Sigh.

The beer poured a deep gold color and had no head. It wasn't flat, so maybe that was the glass. So I poured a second and had the same result.

There is a nice malt detected in the aroma which I appreciated briefly before it faded. No hops, which, lets face it, is better than the skunked hops of those green Heineken bottles I avoided.

The malt in the taste was apprent, but underlain by a slight lactic sourness that had to be a brewing flaw. This was apparent in both of my pours, so it was not one bad bottle.

No head, limited fizz = compromized mouth feel.
After trying two of thes, I have no desire to ever encounter this beer again. Trader Jose = marketing gimmick to sell bad beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2009 12:22:58 | More by pweis909
Photo of mralphabet


2.78/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Clear pale straw colored, little to no head and no lacing to speak of... just looks like beer.

S: Strong macro lager smell, I'm getting a little rice smell but much else.

T: Like it smells, nothing to write home about... very Corona like.... No hops or malt.... there is a bit of tartness. I added lime half way thur and it helped a little.

M: Light, crisp & highly carbonated...

D: You could pound these all day.... very Corona like.

My First Trader Joe's Brew... Not great but not bad....

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2009 21:52:04 | More by mralphabet
Photo of ruckus232


2.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 Ounce clear bottle

Appearance: Clear straw coloring with very little white head

Smell: A mild corn or grainy smell with little to no sweetness

Taste: Very light in flavor, not much to it in terms of complexity. I get this feeling that there will be a hoppy bitterness initially that I never actually taste but also not as sweet as expected either.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 00:23:52 | More by ruckus232
Photo of HalfFull


2.63/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a clear Trader Joe's single bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a medium straw in color with an inch of yeasty/bubbly/I Know it won't last long head. The head actually compresses and does linger for a while.

Smell has hints of light roasted corn and malts and exceeds my somewhat low expectations actually, not bad and pretty subtle. Taste is another matter. Kind of thin and boring with a viscous malt finish. Feel is decent and offers a moderate carbonation. Drink is diminished a bit due to the unnecessary sweetness.

I can't recommend this beer, but should you come across it I think I would prefer it ice cold and direct from the bottle. No surprises there I guess...I think I'd prefer a Bud.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2009 04:09:25 | More by HalfFull
Photo of Tone


2.15/5  rDev -17%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale, clear yellow. 1/5 of an inch head with poor retention and only slight lacing. Smells of a lager with an odd grass hint (just like Corona). Fits the style. Tastes of a clean lager with a hint of malt. A weak body, but a crisp feel. Low carbonation. Another bland adjunct lager overall, way to go Trader Joe's, lol.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2008 03:30:49 | More by Tone
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

2.98/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a very light straw but with a decent head and some good lacing.

S - Nose is a touch of skunk, grassy hops and light sweet malt

T - Sweetness again comes through, but there's a husky grain and a light lemon as well.

M - Light body but surprisingly not too fizzy. Has a bit more oomph than a typical clear bottled mexican import.

D - Not great, but as drinkable as the a "comparable product".

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2008 16:01:21 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of montageman


2.38/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

What we have here is a Trader Joe's private labeling of a Mexican lager. Mexican lagers are, almost always, not very good. The intent of these beers as I see it is to be refreshing in the climate south of the border. The addition of citrus, while not my cup of tea, adds to the refreshing factor, especially in hot weather. Additionally, the flavor profile of this beer (corn, some slight floral hops, and citrus-like acidity) pairs extremely well with Mexican food. This works especially well for Trader Joe's since they have an entire line of Trader Jose's products - pair the beer with the food. That said, this is a run of the mill Mexican/American lager. Ideal to drink very cold with a big plate of tacos and refried beans & rice. Easy to drink and refreshing, a good representation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2008 00:01:25 | More by montageman
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Trader José Premium Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
64 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.