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Josephs Brau Dunkelweizen - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Josephs Brau DunkelweizenJosephs Brau Dunkelweizen

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305 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 305
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 15.47%
Wants: 9
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Dunkelweizen |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2007)
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Ratings: 305 | Reviews: 166 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rKunda
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As I mentioned reviewing another Trader Joe's beer, this one is a no-brainer at $1 per beer. It's not as quality a beer as the more expensive craft brews I've had from BevMo, but it's pretty darn good. Great buy!

Pours a medium-dark amber color with a quickly fizzling head that just rings around the rim and lasts through the beer. Clearly an unfiltered beer as it's very hazy.

Smell and taste are similar. It's a combination of wheat and apple juice. And I want to clarify that I mean this positively. (Contrast that with Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock which tastes like beer and chocolate syrup, and not in an amazingly positive way.) The smell is mild overall, but the strongest scent is apples. The strongest flavor is the force of wheat, with delicious apple highlights. It's a slight bit sweet, but not much sweetness... just enough to be pleasant.

Overall, a really strong offering, and a real contender when price is considered. a 6-pack for 6 dollars, whereas it might cost 6 dollars to get 1, maybe 2 bottles, of other good beers. Price is comparable to Bud Light, but the flavor is not.

Quality beer and the right price.

Photo of matjack85
4.4/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this single 12oz brown bottle at the Trader Joe's in Glen Ellyn, IL for just $1, so I decided to pick one up and try it. No freshness date on the bottle - just a batch number which is pretty useless.

The beer poured a hazy amber/brown color with a 2-finger light tan head that lasted awhile, but left only spotty lacing.

This smells delicious. Big banana/clove aroma. Getting some bubblegum and other dark fruits as well.

Prominent banana/clove flavor along with dark roasted malts and roasted wheat. It's not real big on hops but there is a certain tartness to it. Sweet and delicious without being cloying. Nice effort by Trader Joe's.

Light to medium body and very smooth. My only complaint is that it may be a tad undercarbonated.

Very drinkable and very enjoyable - and at a great price to boot!

Photo of TMoney2591
3.15/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Devil's Backbone weizen glass.

Watching a somewhat surprisingly good game here between the Cards and the Pads, I figured I'd grab a beer, and this is what came out of the fridge. It pours a generally clear sunset amber topped by just under a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises wheat, light corn, mild rye bread, light black pepper, and just a pinch of nutmeg. The taste darkens the wheat, slightly sours the rye a bit, and seems to pour on the black pepper as though 'twere going out of style. I don't know about anyone else, but there are times where I find the pepper a bit o'erwhelming. The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly prickly feeling, though this comes more from the peppery-ness than the carbonation. Overall, I think this could have been a pretty good dunkelweizen, but something went awry at some point in the process. A definite disappointment.

Photo of rand
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From bottle to weizen glass

Pours mahogany in color, clear, forming a relatively small head in my weizen glass. The nose is characteristic of Bavarian yeast with banana and clove prominent. These scents join honey bread and dried fruit, suggesting raisins.

Its flavors are in-line with the nose as banana and notes of sweet fruit hit the palate first. Sweetbread malts are right behind, carry tones of butter and rum. Bready. Carbonation is a little light, making for a weighty mouthfeel, and it finishes a bit sticky. But the flavors are festive and balanced enough for easy quaffing.

Slam-dunk for $5.99 a six-pack. There are few beers that are this inexpensive that taste this good, which fits Trader Joe's motif nicely. Another session beer for me.

Photo of richkrull
3.9/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice orange-amber-brownish color with some beige head on it. Sweet malt aroma with some fruit coming through. Great tasting beer. I really enjoyed it. Not too heavy, hint of smokiness. Medium bodied mouthfeel. Pretty drinkable beer. I could definitely see myself having a handful of these no problem.

Photo of liddytime
3.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked one of these up on a whim from TJ's. I actually liked their IPA so what the heck.

I was pleased to find that this was quite good!

Pleasant, unfiltered haziness in my wheat glass.

Smoky clove, bananas and dried fruit in the nose.

Full bodied, chewy mouthful. Smoky, sweet, bubblegum. Not quite up to a Munich Dunkel, but pretty darn close.

WOW! For $5.75 a sixer, this is a really good beer! I'd happily pay $7.75 for a sixer of this! I wish I got another....

Photo of kkipple
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

After the surprisingly good Trader Joe's Hefe from my trip to Charlotte a few months back, I decided to try their take on a Dunkelweizen. Note that it is brewed by one "Josephs Brau" in San Jose, CA. It arrives in a nondescript 12 ounce bottle with a difficult to read (and incomprehensible anyway) bottle code. Okay.

A silly pour kicks up a fat and tight dusty tan head in my criminally underused Weihenstephaner glass. The head is easily an inch and a half tall, and one that takes its time dying. The beer is bottle conditioned and a dirty amber-rust orange. Quite hazy.

S. Pretty darn good, I have to say... big clovey banana and some chewing gum here, sweet, German malty-malts, and enough phenols to balance everything out. Maybe just a bit of cola to keep things interesting. Not spectacular, but it's covering all the bases well enough indeed.

T. A bit of a letdown here, but still okay. While maintaining a grasp on the fundamentals of the style, this is too sweet and too lightly carbonated to really grab me. Malt is a little distracting and the banana is over the top compared to the rest of it. Not as fine tuned as the best examples of the style, still, it's basically a buck a bottle...

M / D. Sad here as the body is fine but the carbonation isn't anywhere near enough to carry the day into refreshment and leaves me feeling like I'm drinking a beer that was poured two hours ago. Finish is un-exercised and meandering, not tight and focused like I enjoy in a good German Wheat.

Then again, it was $6 a sixer. Recommended to try; maybe I got an older bottle. Nice job TJ's for doing a seldom-had style on the cheap.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a weizen glass.

L - murky brown color with a off-white head that thinned out completely before I finished my glass.

S - banana, bubblegum and some smoke.

T - starts out with the banana and spiced flavors, then some smokiness before finishing sweet.

F - medium bodied with a smooth feel.

D - goes down easy.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From fall brew ranking notes (2010): The aroma is loaded with banana and moderate bubblegum. There's a hint of roast, but the banana is pretty dominant. It pours a cloudy brownish-orange with a small off-white head. The flavor starts with strong banana. There's a faint roastiness in the background. The finish has bubblegum and some tangy wheat flavors. Medium bodied moderate carbonation and a somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

Photo of Brunite
2.83/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A) Poured into a pils glass. Beer is a nice amber color. A 3 finger head. White as snow. Quickly dissipated with no lacing.

S) Banana, bubblegum, and smokiness. No hops noticed.

T) Same as the smell. But the faint smoke flavor is not pleasant to me.

M) Medium-light

D) OK but nothing spectacular. Middle of the road. Can't get past the smoke flavor so I'll likely pass on this in the future.

Photo of Gigan988
4.7/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite beers. It may not taste like a true German dunkelweizen, but it tastes like the most delicious darker hefeweizen. I drink it fairly regularly.

A: A darker shade of brown with decent head.

S: The slight sourness of the style, with the bavarian yeast of a dunkelweizen or hefeweizen coming through. Some banana bread and malty aromas.

T: The banana and clove elements are present but not over the top. Nice and high in malts, while lower in hops, which is characteristic of beers to my liking. A bit of sourness comes through but nothing at all to the extent of Michelob dunkelweizen. The beer is overall somewhat sweet but the darker malt character helps to mellow this.

M: The beer is rich but not too thick on the palate. Carbonation is medium and pleasant.

Drinkability: Very high. If you like the banana quality of German hefeweizens, I implore you to head to Trader Joe's and try this beer. At only $5.99 a six pack, it is something that can be afforded on a regular basis as well.

Photo of BobZ
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Dark amber/brown, decent head and lacing

Smell: Nice Dunkle aroma with roasted malt, very sweet on the nose.

Taste: Follows the nose with sweetness up front, good flavor with roasted malted wheat, but again sweeter than most in my opinion.

Mouth feel: Good and smooth, properly carbonated.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, especially for the price, a great picnic or lawnmower beer.

Photo of SuperSpy
4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a very dark amber, almost brown color. Quite cloudy and a thick not-quite-dark-enough-to-be-tan colored head. The aroma is sweet and a little spicy, with banana and fruitcake like scents. It's light-medium bodied and quite smooth. The flavor is very similar to the aroma. It basically tastes like liquid banana bread but it's not overly sweet. Quite a good dunkelweizen. An incredible beer for the cost!

Photo of cfrivera1
4.2/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first thing I noticed after pouring this baby was the sweeeet smell - very fruity - peaches, bananas, vanilla and bubblegum, with some citrus notes; what a yummy aroma!
Color - cloudy (unfiltered) medium to dark brown with very little head.
Taste is unmistakably hefe, not a heck of a lot of body with this one, but very smooth and super easy on the palate. I don't care for super hoppy tart beers, and this fits the bill perfectly. In fact, this would make a very refreshing beverage on a hot summer day - PERFECT for barbecues with friends!

Photo of Beerbluesbiology
3.9/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a translucent amber-darkbrown body with a small head dwindling down to a thin film of lacing sitting on the body. Smells distinctly of citrus (particularly lemon), rye bread and, of course, lager yeast. Tastes of yeast (strongly), has a dark malty sweetness following carbonation and has a slight hop feel throughout. Overall, quite a nice beer in the dunkelweizen style and a brew I would easily go back to.

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.78/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Cloudy brown with ok foam and lacing.

Smell: Smells like your traditional hefeweizen, but definitely more sweetness and sourness. Not as strong on the banana and clove notes. A nice change of pace.

Taste: Tastes the same as the smell. Mouthfeel is kind of thin though.

Drinkability: Good balance makes for a pretty enjoyable beer.

Overall: As I mentioned before, this beer is a nice change of pace in the wheat category.

Photo of esv
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A) Poured 1/4 inch head. White. Quickly dissipated with no lacing. A handsome brown.

S) Raisins, light fruit, deep toffee. Sweet cotton candy and a little maple syrup. No hops in the nose

T) Caramel, toffee, malty-sweet. Some grainy bitterness. I don't detect any hop flavors.

M) Medium-light

D) Easy to drink. I don't love it and am not too familiar with the style.

Photo of mikeg67
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from TJ's. Pours cloudy brown with tanned long lasting head. The aroma of bananas, caramel, and brown sugar. Medium-bodied . The flavor of bananas and brown sugar, very cloying. Also lightly tart. The finish is long and sweet. On the whole, is not bad. Too much sweetness though

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

A thick, dense head on this malty Bavarian-style unfiltered hefe, with a nice scent of caramel, clove, and banana. The taste is bold and roasty with hints of buttery biscuit and clove - spicy and tangy. Not bad, but I found this one somewhat lacking in balance, with perhaps a tad too much of the spiced element.

Photo of tjwarren
4.25/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a shock! I get a lot of beers from Trader Joe's mostly because it gives me something to do while my wife shops. Most are average to pretty good but this was excellent. Especially for the price.

A - Darker brown but still little translucent but cloudy as expected.

S - Not my strong suit but was pleased by the malty smell and some fruit.

T - A shocker. Was not expecting it to be this good. Really an explosion of taste. Smooth malts, fruits, and unfiltered wheat.

M - No problem here. I like carbonation and this was not overdone.

D - I only had the single that my wife brought home but I will be getting more for Basketball season. It went too quickly.

My advice - for $5.99 a sixer this is hard to beat. No. Unbeatable.

Photo of david18
3.73/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A new Trader Joes opened up in my neighborhood on 72nd Street on Broadway on Manhattan's upper west side. I had heard a lot of good things about their beers. They seem to have a number of brands: The basic "made in mexico" brand. The Mission Street, which is a collaboration with Firestone Walker. And the "german" series, which this is part of.

Not a bad Dunkelweizen but not my favorite of the style. A little on the light side for the style and the color and aroma are a little light but in general it was pretty good. I'll buy it again.

Photo of NatetheGreat
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brown color with tan head. Not much in the nose: some clove and fruitiness, but a bit muddled. Taste is very good though. Fruit flavors abound with grape, date, banana, green apple. Mild clove with a general sweetness - light on the hops. Smooth wheat body, however a bit fizzy. Very good beer overall, with interesting taste. Wouldn't easily tire of it.

Photo of JayQue
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice!! And only a buck a bottle!! Pours a dense dark muddy brown with a nice size off white head. Good retention. I didn't notice any lacing, but I was drinking it out of a plastic pint glass. Smell was mild, very hefe-like with some maltiness.

Tasted good, like a fortified (with malts) hefe. Solid taste, very nice. Hefe yeast and bready malts. Not too sweet.

Mouthfeel is crisp and somewhat rich. Drinkability is good. Just right abv and good flavor. I will buy more of this one!

Photo of Mosstrooper
4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into 500mL Weihenstephaner World Cup glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy deep caramel color with a good sized off-white head that is very thick and dissipates slowly, leaving behind thick spots of lace.

Smell: Sweet caramel aromas backed up by a touch of banana.

Taste: Begins with caramel, banana, and apple flavors, finishing with wheat and yeast.

Mouthfeel: Light body with carbonation a tad on the heavy side, and a very refreshing finish.

Drinkability: Not the best dunkelweizen overall, but very good as far as American interpretations go. This one was definitely a pleasant surprise, very true to the style and definitely enjoyable.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a six pack bought at Trader Joe's. On to the beer:

Muddy water brown in color with tan colored edges. The head is fine at first, retention is a little subpar. The nose is fine; banana, phenols, cake batter, all is good at the moment.

Midway between a German weiss and an American one. There's a little yeast action in this one, providing some fennel and cake batter. As the beer warms, a little dark malt flavor appears. It's "frosty" in the mouth; maybe the cold temperature I drank this at had something to do with it.

I wasn't expecting a true Germanic version of a dunkelweiss, and that's what I got. However, it's better than some American labled wheats, pale or dark. The price won't kill you, as it's $5.99 a six pack.

Josephs Brau Dunkelweizen from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 305 ratings.