Trader José Premium Lager - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Trader José Premium LagerTrader José Premium Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

80 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 80
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 2.6
pDev: 25.38%
Wants: 0
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  ABV ?

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: goschool on 06-15-2007

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 80 | Reviews: 42
Reviews by HalfFull:
Photo of HalfFull
2.65/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tjsdomer2
2.71/5  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.

Photo of NeroFiddled
2.89/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Trader José Premium Lager
12 oz. clear glass bottle, "BEST BEFORE 092813AFL 10:04" on 4/24/13

I'll say the same exact thing I said about Trader José Light: "Normally I might be bothered by a clear glass bottle, but in this case I think it's appropriate. Clearly they're trying to copy Corona, and thus the bottle needs to look at least a little similar. Additionally, the clear glass bottle adds to the aroma and flavor although I didn't find this at all skunky. (Perhaps they're using pre-isomerized hops? On the other hand, why would they?)"

This is just a basic lager with a large dose of sugar added into the kettle to thin the grainy malt flavor out. It's not particularly offensive, neither is it particularly interesting, hence the usually added slice of lime. For people who enjoy Corona (and why not? - it's more flavorful than lots of other beers), this is an excellent alternative given the price.

Photo of nickd717
1.2/5  rDev -53.8%
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.

Photo of TheViceBlog
1.65/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

I popped the is-it-racistly-named-or-not Trader Jose's bottle in a standard manner, with a wrist snap at waist level which put the bottle opening some two-and-a-half feet or so from my nose. Nevertheless, the second I got the cap off my face was hit with such a explosion of skunky and repellent stench that my neck snapped back like I was in a head-on collision. Oh, don't worry, I have one of those foamy neckbraces on now and I've got a great personal injury lawyer filing a whiplash claim on my behalf.

I should probably hire another lawyer to file a claim that this swill is less safely potable than Tijuana tap water. The taste is despicable. The taste is actually more offensive than the beer's name. Only marginally better than Corona because I can actually detect a flavor or two within this mess of a beer. Pretty much a little corn and water. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery but when you're imitating (read: rippin' off) Corona, one of the worst beers on planet earth, then you're just acting stupid and your company's shareholders should question whether you are intentionally trying to tank share prices.

I had to brush my teeth after finishing this one. Never again.


Photo of bbluemzbeer
3.38/5  rDev +30%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
2.31/5  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.

Photo of scottoale
1.06/5  rDev -59.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Twelve oz. clear bottle with twist-off cap pours a pissy clear yellow with white foam head. Looks like tainted water, seriously.

Smells like Pepe Le Pew...very, very skunky and that's about it.

Taste is sweet malt and adjuncts that have a wonderful skunkiness to the finish. The skunk actually helps balance the sweetness, but a wedge of lime might make this brew almost drinkable.

Watery and fizzy in the mouth, wonder if there is any alcohol in this one. The only thing that may help this offering is extinction...sorry.

Just a little girlfriend likes it???

Photo of blackie
3.1/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: low white head fades to a thin layer, beer a pale yellow in color

s: typical of Central and South American pilsners...sulfuric "skunk" hops dominate and are appropriate given the style, pale grains, nothing terribly off, actually pretty crisp and not half bad

m: medium carbonation, light body...could some more carbonation for a crisper feel

t: a clean flavored Mexican pilsner with a sulfuric noble hop flavor and very clean grains

d: would be like water on a hot near freezing, of course

single bottle, other half destined for the brat pan

Photo of RonaldTheriot
2.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Trader Jose’ Premium Lager has a rather thin, white head, a hazy, straw appearance, some bubble streams, and negligible lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sweet grains. Taste is of some hop spice, sweet grain, and not much else. Mouthfeel is light, and Trader Jose’ Premium Lager finishes dry and easy drinking and dull.


Photo of MTNboy
2.5/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of jneiswender
2.46/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of daliandragon
2.23/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

So today I go to Trader Joe's for some groceries and they have a whole aislefront devoted to this and the TJ Dark. I'm only human so I picked up a few of each, knowing full well it was a Corona clone and probably going to suck. Made in Tecate, for what it's worth. They get to brag that it's imported.

The pour is quite unimpressive. Pale yellow, headless and looking dead. Also, the nose is brutal: skunky, with slight citrus and adjunct notes.

Tastewise, things could be worse. It's bland and has little hop or malt to recommend it but it's also inoffensive, thin, and reasonably smooth. I could drink it on a hot day and it would be a serviceable lawnmower brew.

This is not good at all but not quite a drain pour. TJ's needs to stick to the quality styles for its clones or find someone else to make them.

Photo of HopptimisticThoughts
1.75/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2.25

It had a semisweet and cereal smell that reminded me of Carib Lager. The taste was slightly hoppy for an adjunct lager with a very sweet finish. Overall not something to go crazy over but I got it for a dollar a bottle so that helps a bit. This is best as a default beer to bring to a game or party if you don't know what else to bring.

Photo of dbrauneis
2.74/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

A: Pours a crystal clear pale to medium yellow in color with moderate to heavy amounts of active visible carbonation and some hints of lemon yellow. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy bright white head that reduces to a large patch of medium thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of sweet malts and grainy malts with a light amount of corn adjuncts. There is also a light amount of grassy hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of sweet and grainy malts with a light to moderate amount of corn adjuncts contributing to the sweetness. There is a light amount of grassy hops flavors towards the finish which contribute a light amount of bitterness which lingers for a short while.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp upfront and slightly creamy in the finish.

O: This is not a great beer by any stretch of the imagination but it is definitely drinkable and went really well with the spicy quesadillas that I made for dinner tonight. Alcohol is well hidden and it easy to drink, but it is just not overly complex. Not as sweet as some of the other examples in the style.

Photo of pweis909
1.92/5  rDev -26.2%
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.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.23/5  rDev +24.2%
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.

Photo of mralphabet
2.76/5  rDev +6.2%
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....

Photo of Tone
2.15/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

Photo of ruckus232
2.77/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Photo of GossageBrewery
2.68/5  rDev +3.1%
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!

Photo of kojevergas
2.5/5  rDev -3.8%
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.


Photo of gpogo
1.61/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A- Fizzy yellow beer. Small White head.

S- Bathroom, horse pee, skunk nest

T- Slight sweet taste with a nice skunky aftertaste. No alcohol taste, I wonder if there is even any alcohol in this.

M- Super thin. Am I drinking yellow water or beer? It's hard to tell.

D- Never again will I get a grab bag(barf bag) from trader joe's. The skunkiness totally puts me off in every way.

Photo of mpyle
3.41/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

App - exceptionally pale gold, brilliant clarity. Fairly large white head, si

smell - strong macro lager smell - never quite sure if it is corn/DMS, or what. Some hops as it gets very warm.

Taste - Initially sweet, some hop flavor and bitterness, and a bit of a tartness late (carbonic acid bite?). Much more hop umph than anticipated - a welcome surprise. A slightly lingering sweetness to the finish. Not a crisp, clean lager.

MF - Light-medium body, and moderately high carbonation.

D'ability - I would argue that it is a more flavorful lager than the average huge American brewer. Not exceptionally clean, but easy drinking and inoffensive.

Photo of TheMarkE
2.09/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

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Trader José Premium Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
64 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.