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Josephs Brau Dunkelweizen - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Josephs Brau DunkelweizenJosephs Brau Dunkelweizen

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176 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 176
Hads: 348
Avg: 3.55
pDev: 20.56%
Wants: 10
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Dunkelweizen |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2007

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 176 | Hads: 348
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.09/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a murky, medium brown body with a small, unassuming, white head.

Smell: A few ripe banana slices interlaced with strips of bubblegum and layered atop a piece of oven-toasted wheat bread.

Taste: Sweet flavor of wheat malt and banana juice. A few hunks of premium bubblegum. There's never much hop flavor or bitterness. Spicy, sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Personally, I didn't care for this one at all and was asked repeatedly to stop glaring at the bottle. I'm glad unclemattie dug it though.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.06/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour > Swirl > Pour produces a wonderfully cloudy caramel color, like a liquified Slo-poke (remember those?). Sports a thin head relative to many Germany-brewed dunkelweizens, but it retains for several solid minutes before thinning. Never totally disappears.

Aroma is watery banana, caramel, fresh-baked bread. A bit lightweight all the way around.

While those wonderful characteristics of a good dunkelweizen try to shine through in the flavor (banana, caramel/chocolate, bread), there's a combination metallic/plastic taste sneaking in and spoiling things. Texture is fluffy, pretty much par for the style, but there's a crispness in the finish that feels alien, considering the style. Plastic character sticks around in the finish.

It's not bland or flavorless...but is that the best I can say about this dunkelweizen? It just can't compete with so many of the German-brewed classics. Killed by stiff competition, basically. Still amazes me that the vast majority of U.S. brewers can't seem to master the hefe-weizen style...dunkel or otherwise.

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Photo of 1fastz28
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours a nice and cloudy amber color with a big white head. smells are all over the place, a spicy yeast dominates the flavor, almost has a rasberry taste and flavor too. its an easy drinking beer, the spicy yeastiness is more profound than alot of other hefe's

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Photo of WillieMoe
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours thick and murky. Looks almost like a dark apple cider.

S- Has some good malt tones mixed with some spices and hints of a dark fruit (maybe raisin and grapes), that give it a good aromatic balance.

T-The dark fruit is apparent in the taste, as well as some other undetected fruit(s)? Not very dry or bitter. Has a sort of bittersweet taste to it.

M- Is not as heavy as I though it would be. As mentioned above this is not very dry or bitter.

D- Although it is not super heavy, I don't think I'd drink it all day, but could definitely have 2 or 3 in a row.

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Photo of smcolw
3.11/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Impressive initial head that leaves excellent ring lace on the glass. Brown color that is so cloudy it looks muddy.

Sweet dark malt aroma. I can detect wheat but it's in the background to sweet smell. Reminds me of a dark bock.

Reminds me of a candy bar. This is coyingly sweet and unbalanced. There is a good bit of wheat in the background. The body is appropriate for the style with good level of carbonation.

Too sweet to be a contender. I won't be repurchasing this again.

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Photo of Overlord
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Certainly better than the miserable "hop"/hallertauer brew I just had from TJs.

Pours a ncie golden color. Almost no head. Which is strange.

Aroma is very nice indeed. Some banana, wheat, and yeast. Taste has some zesty spice to it, in addition to the banana, cloves, and wheaty malt backing. Mouthfeel is way to thin, but it's a drinkable, solid lager.

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Photo of mpyle
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App - Very cloudy, very pale brown color, pours a thick white head, creamy and with good retention.

Smell - spicy/clovey from the yeast, with a softening due to some malty aroma. Some sweet, bubblegum aroma.

Taste - A bit of copper penny in addition to the malty, fruity blending. Wheat character nicely muted by the dark malt - overall flavor profile is appropriate to style. Slightly tangy late.

MF - Medium body, moderately high carbonation. No real mouthfeel issues - body and carbonation about right, and no major astringency.

D'ability - Very easy drinking as should be. The slight off-flavor (copper penny) is the only item that keeps me from giving this one a major thumbs up. But another winning wheat beer at TJ for about $6/six pack. You can do a hell of a lot worse!

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Photo of SurlyDuff
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not reviewing this compared to other beers, but on it's style, dunkelweizen. I think its terrible when people review a beer expecting it to be an IPA or Imperial Stout.

Available only at Trader Joe's I believe. Pours a dark amber with a nice hefe haze.

Bright hefe banana, wheat and malt in the nose.

Sweet taste, a bit more than I expected, but plenty enjoyable. Rich ripe banana and a grainy malt presense. Lemony pith in there too.

Nice yeasty sweet aftertaste. Yep, its abit cloying and sweet, but otherwise a good drinker.

I'm glad a company like Trader Joe's puts a style like this on their shelves. Keep up the good work and spread the craft beer!

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Photo of montageman
2.63/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass.

I've never had this style of beer before, so I'm not quite sure what it is supposed to taste like. The look is cool - very cloudy, dark brown. Aromas are just like any wheat beer with banana and bread at the forefront. There is a slight roasted tone as well, maybe that's the amber coming through? The flavor here is lacking, however. Not really a wheat and not an amber with the taste of neither. The mouthfeel is watery with decent carbonation. Not a great beer - maybe the properties of each style cancels the other out? Not recommended.

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Photo of Floydster
3.03/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle purchased as a single from Trader Joe's in Manhattan Beach for a little over a dollar, poured into my Stone pint glass

A-Amber color with some orange highlights, big 1 1/2 inch soapy off white head that stuck around for about five minutes, some retention, no real lacing

S-Wheat, brown sugar, burned accents, caramel, bananas, mangos, dark fruits, candy, some bready malt aromas, and faint spices

T-Tasted like a sweet hefeweizen to me, lots of brown sugar and sweet malt throughout, the fruit and spice in the finish made this quite unique, not my favorite by any means but good for what it is, would never buy a six pack though because this is more of a once in a while type beer, got more candy-like by the end, sweet plums and figs in the aftertaste, could have used some hops to provide some balance

M-Sweet and crisp mouthfeel, too carbonated in my opinion, thin to medium body, taste did not last long, a little spicy at times too

D-Could not drink much more than one bottle, little heavy on the stomach, especially considering how low the ABV is, smooth though, not much of a session beer

Could not beat the price so I decided to buy one, not usually too big of a fan of these beers but this was slightly above average, possibly would drink again, worth trying mostly because it is so inexpensive

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Photo of srrn
4.37/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought one bottle at trader joes. Did not have the foaming characteristics of a Wiehenstephaner.It did however have that banana bread aroma and taste. Mouthfeel is good, about the right carbonation but feels a bit soda like, not quite luxurious as the style should have. This is a unique style for a bargain beer. Very nice brew and I will try the others, this I will buy again.

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Photo of Sconnie
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer was pretty decent, but I really don't think it fit the dunkelweizen category. Poured a cloudy amber with a nice bit of head, smelled typical of a weizen with clovey, banana overtones. Tasted like a decent hefeweizen, with maybe a touch of roasted flavors but honestly if I wasn't going out of my way to look for them I might not have noticed. Basically, It's a nice tasting hefeweizen that is darker for some reason; it really doesn't have enough dark malt flavor to be considered a dunkel. But for the price, a nice beer, just think of it as a hefe.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Murky reddish brown, topped with a thick, almond head. Unfiltered and totally opaque. Holds a thick collar of head around the glass, but no lacing.
Very estery aroma, thick with that bavarian yeast fruitiness. Soft, chocolatey wheat malt, with strong banana and a bit of clove spiciness. Strongly reminiscent of chocolate covered bananas.
The flavor opens with a silky, extremely soft mouthfeel, carrying mellow chocolate malt all the way through. The yeast character is pronounced, but not over the top or in your face. Banana bread goodness, drizzled with chocolate. Some wheat malt sourness in the finish, rounding things out neatly with very light, floral hops and clove spiciness. Medium bodied, finishing rather dry and a bit powdery. The carbonation is really what makes this a winner for me. Very fine bubbled, just enough to carry the beer with a bit of pep, but not so much that it surges on your tongue with each sip. Understated and classy, in true german tradition. Good stuff. I wish I had another.
Thanks for the bottle, Jen!

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Photo of tastybeer
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is murky red-woody brown topped by a medium-small basically white head. Smell is full of banana soaked malts, sugar, creamy liquor/syrup, bread, cookies and tangy sour berries. Great to smell for awhile. Taste is good in similar ways but is almost too syrupy for me. Nice and thick malt soaked berries otherwise. Feels thick, creamy, and syrupy in texture. Easy to drink if your in the mood for this kind of beer. Maybe not if your looking for something lighter.

Not bad + well worth the price we paid.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Truly an attractive beer - poured into a pint glass, the body is a rich, dark caramel center transitioning outwards to a lighter, creamy orange hue. A large head (pour carefully), khaki in color, recedes slowly to a half inch of foam but leaves no lacing. Aroma is decent, with wheaty, Hefe-style yeasts shining through amidst dried fruit (banana, peach, & mango), toffee, and candi sugars.

The flavor could be better, but it's definately not without its merit. Citrusy, wheaty, yeasty Hefe notes form the backbone, while a bit of pale chocolate and caramel malts add a nice complexity. The label's proclaimed "roasted malts", however, I found to be lacking. Mouthfeel is creamy and zesty at the same time, with a well-carbonated body and medium-light thickness. All in all, a pretty solid brew for the always cheap, $1 Trader Joe's lineup. I'd consider having this again.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.37/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not sure this is available anywhere other than at trader joes but it came in a 12 oz bottle from a 6 pack. It poured a murky brown color with some amber showing through. There was some offwhite head but it didn't last.

There was a strong sugary malt smell coming out of my pint glass. Kind of like a bock but there was also the soft wheat in the aroma too. There was also something else that I can't quite figure out, possibly some caramel malts which I'm pretty sure accounts for the "medicinal" smell that some other people here mentioned.

The flavor was alright. Plenty of dunkel beer sweetness but it was a bit over the top. There was also a little german hefe yeast banana quality in the flavor. It was nice and smooth and drinkable but the flavor wasn't anything special. I'd drink it again if it was free.

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Photo of 1759Girl
3.49/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance> hazy, dark amber color. Lively with a big head, with
some retention, no lacing.
Smell> burnt sugar, malt
Taste> Sweet and spicey start like a good Munich heffe, but dark
with a heavier finish. Not much hang to speak of, though.
Mouthfeel> quite thin
Drinkability> very easy to drink.

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Photo of wedge
3.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appropriately cloudy dark, opaque brown fading to amber at the bottom...nice thick, sticky head on top. Surprisingly high caramel candy aroma with a hint of vanilla. Dried banana and bubblegum is kept way in the back. More traditional flavors present themselves a little stronger in the flavor...malty with banana and phenols, but in a dessert-like kind of way with the toasted caramel. Medium-light body and creamy leaving the tongue dry.

Its not bad, and the more I smells it, the more I likes it. Not the best example of the style though and I find it hard to have more than one or two.

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Photo of punjab78
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this at Trader Joes. Cannot beat the price, was about 4.99 for a six pack. Pour is a cloudy brown color, looks very similar to german dunkels. I've had some mixed results with Trader Joes beer, ranging from ok to good. This one I would say is quite good.Especially for the price. Doesn't compare to German Dunkeweizens but it is one of the better US dunkels I've had. I definitely recommend this, especially for the price. Recommend picking up a six pack and giving it a try.

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Photo of blackie
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Weizen glass. Pours a monstrous khaki colored meringue head. Slow recession with nice retention. Only lacks lacing. The beer is a cloudy, rusty amber-brown in color.

s: Bready amber malts with sweet estery notes of overripe banana and moist banana bread. German yeast aroma with a soft noble hop profile.

m: Low-medium, smooth carbonation with a medium body. Nice, but the carbonation could stand to be a little higher.

t: Amber malts with flavors of mashed bananas and sweet, dark bread. Moderate malt sweetness tempered by a gentle, clean noble hop flavor and light bitterness. Finishes nicely.

d: A quality dunkelweizen, by any standard. An aromatic and flavorful beer with nothing off. Could easily have a few of these.

single bottle from TJ's Cary

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Photo of tai4ji2x
2.65/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

brown and hazy, decent head, but fades very quickly. not much lacing.

whiff of banana and spices, a bit of medicinal solvent.

the medicinal character tends to take over on the palate as well, distracting from what otherwise might have been acceptable.

way too fizzy

trader joes has done much better with their other value-conscious brews. i guess you win some, you lose some.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Contract brewed for TJ's, I believe by their friends at Gordon Bierch in San Jose, CA. A robust pour releases a respectable medium brown with good cloudiness and a very attractive but temporary head. The nose hits you with the banana and clove alright but not as fresh or yeasty as some of the best German examples.

A bit sweeter than usual for the style with chocolate and dark malts predominant. Mouthfeel is smooth enough but I would prefer it to be dryer and stiffer than it is; it's a little watery and weak.

This is tolerable, especially for the price, but if I can get Ayinger or Weihenstephaner than there's really no reason to drink this.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.66/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, batch number, freshness date.

Small head, very little retention, but some lacing on glass.

Brownish amber color.

Smells faintly of banana.

Taste mingles banana, slight clove and bubble gum. Strong malty aftertaste. Very similar to the heffe by the same brand, but maltier and less fruity.

Not a full enough body for a dunkel, but not unpleasant.

Easier to drink than its heffe- counterpart due to less sweetness.

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Photo of josiahschlender
4.05/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up out of curiosity at the local Trader Joe's. I've had mixed experiences with the TJ's beers, but the prices are attractive.

Poured from a brown bottle with a smudged batch number on it, but no drink by date. It comes out an attractive hazy reddish brown, with a medium-lasting tan head with red highlights.

Aromas are pretty good. I haven't had many dunkelweizens, but I appreciate the good amount of sweet malts, dark fruits and yeasty, spicy clove things going on.

Taste follows suit. Quite a bit of complexity and intensity to this beer for flavors. The dark fruits go well with late hitting roasted grains. I definitely notice clove flavors, and just a bit of the typical banana, but not as strong as the couple other dunkeweizens I've tried.

Mouthfeel is nice, slick and creamy. Maybe just slightly on the thin side. This is a refreshing beer, as well. Flavors linger for a long time, but it finishes clean, with very little bitterness.

This beer surprised me with how tasty it was. It might not be the most versatile beer to pair with food, but it was quite good by itself. At less than $6 for a sixer, it's a great deal. Price often factors into my drinkability score, and it's definitely reflected here.

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Photo of eberkman
3.21/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy burnished dark copper with a creamy tan head that had excellent retention and left a good bit of lacing up and down the glass. Faint banana bread smell -- not a huge nose presence. The taste was also a big dose of banana bread and bubble gum, a lot like the TJ's hefeweizen (which I always thought was a fun-house caricature of a hefe). Pretty much indistinguishable, actually, from the hefe, except for the appearance. Mouthfeel was medium-to-light bodied with decent carbonation. One goes down easy, but the intense banana and bubble gum with a complete lack of hop presence to balance things makes this a little much for sessioning.

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Josephs Brau Dunkelweizen from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.