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Josephs Brau Dunkelweizen - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Josephs Brau DunkelweizenJosephs Brau Dunkelweizen

Educational use only; do not reuse.

180 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 180
Hads: 357
Avg: 3.56
pDev: 20.51%
Wants: 10
Gots: 24 | 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.
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 180 | Hads: 357
Photo of Admbmb92
1.89/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

This beer was so awful, im just going to get straight to the point. I dumped it out after a few sips. Its way too syrupy tasting and watered down. Did not taste like a wheat beer at all, just tasted like a really bad amber. Almost no carbonation and it smelled like rotten fruit. I rarely dump a beer out but I could not stand this one. I guess that's what I get for buying it for a buck at trader joes.

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Photo of GMB
3.66/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A standard pour of JosephBrau's Dunkelweizen yields a very hazy tawny body and medium-beige head. The head falls quickly and leaves only a small deposit of mildly sticky lace as a memento. This beer is about as murk as they come.

Well-balanced, clean aromas of ripe banana and clove dominate the nose. If the malt and hops are contributing to the bouquet, I can't appreciate their contribution. This beer smells so good I can hardly contain my excitement.

Oh cruel deceit! The beer's taste doesn't follow the nose at all. Cloves overwhelm the palate from the get-go and don't yield. Banana flavors are thin and lurk somewhere in the background. There's a pepperiness that asserts itself as the beer warms. I like pepper, but it isn't enough to mask the thin body and thinner malt profile. Malts are so thin that flavors of toasted grains don't make an appearance until the beer is warm and the bottle almost empty. The spicy flavors are enough to keep me interested and happy, but they're failed by the lack of toasted malt flavors.

As Dunkelweizen warms, its flavor profile does change for the better. Sweet banana flavors and toasted malts assert themselves. The mouthfeel, too, improves as it becomes a bit fuller, though not so much so that it allow the brew to achieve the oft desired illusion of warm banana bread. Still, the improvements are pronounced enough for a slightly higher score and a revisit. I'll pick up another bottle of this the next time I'm in the mood for a Dunkel and Weinhenstephaner's vastly superior version isn't available.

TIP: Serve this beer closer to room temperature than to refrigerator temperature.

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Photo of metter98
3.54/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is slightly hazy amber in color (with some brownish hues) and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high beige head that gradually died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of banana are present in the nose along with some notes of clove.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that it also has some sweetness along with hints of apples, butterscotch and caramel. No bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer doesn't have as many complexities in the taste compared to some of the German dunkelweizens, but it is easy to drink and a fair representation of the style. It's a pretty good value for a beer from Trader Joe's.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
2.97/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a weizen glass

A fairly clear ice tea color with just a couple of yellowish bubbles. No retention whatsoever. The nose is of under-ripe banana, roasted malt, butterscotch, caramel, and some cocoa powder. On the palate, butterscotch and caramel roll onto the tongue with banana, cocoa, and some mild roast. The finish is of sweet caramel/butterscotch and banana. LIghter body with medium carbonation. Lingering roast and cocoa. A fairly average dunkle that hits all the style notes but really does nothing for me.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.69/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

JosephsBrau Dunkelweizen is a cloudy and lively dark amber beer with a thin, soft, slightly yellow film that leaves nice lacing. It has an aroma of clove, banana, plum and dark malt. It smells pretty spicy and a little sweet-- perfect for this kind of beer! It's medium bodied and quite smooth. The finish isn't very tight and leaves the tongue feeling starchy. Wheat is certainly the dominant flavor. Lemon, clove, stone fruit and an herbal note are present. The flavor isn't as strong as the aroma. There isn't really any bitterness here and the sweetness is barely detectable. This is pretty pleasant. I could have more than one of these.

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Photo of RyanTeeter
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I had some of this beer right out of the fridge while it was very cold. Then I finished it after it had been out in the sunshine for a couple of minutes. In this time the flavors changed drastically - each category will have two reviews.

a - cold: Appearance is a hip caramel color - light barely passes through making it extremely dense looking.
warmer: same

s - cold: Wonderful smell. Strong, Granny Smith apple covered in caramel (warm caramel, not cold).
warmer: Aroma has changed to a ripe banana. Very sweet, with mild spice.

t - cold: The taste remains consistent with the aroma. Light caramel body with apple tartness and sweetness. LIttle complexity.
warmer: Banana and cloves are very pronounced. Body almost tastes lighter. Sips finish with very strong banana.

m - cold: Medium body, light carbonation.
warmer: lighter feel to it however still remains filling.

o - cold: I really liked this. Too heavy for more than one, however a great beer to start off the night with.
warmer: Again, very enjoyable flavor but the coolest thing was simply the DRASTIC change in flavor that I experienced. Loved this beer.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Celebrator pokal. Pours a medium to dark red-orange amber with a fine two finger off-white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt, banana, butterscotch and cloves. Flavor follows with caramel malt, butterscotch, dark and light stone fruit and clove. Medium bodied. Nice combination of flavors, but a bit sweet and attentuated in the finish. It fits the bill for its intent: a decent, pleasant dunkelweizen at a good price point.

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Photo of TheMarkE
3.54/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark Amber. Moderate head, decent lacing

Smell: Banana. Maybe a touch of wheat, but mostly banana.

Taste: Banana. Also some wheat, cloves, and caramel in the background.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and creamy. A dry, slightly spicy aftertaste.

The Verdict: Not bad. I’m not familiar with the style, but if you were looking for a banana flavored Hefe, this would be it. I won’t reach for this first when I head to Trader Joe’s, but I won’t turn it down if you offer me one, either.

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Photo of ericj551
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Got this in a home made beer advent calendar and I didn't realize this was Trader Joe's Brand. It pours a cloudy deep red/brown with thin head. The aroma is sweet, ripe banana, with malty dark fruit. The nice banana estery character in the flavor fades a bit too quickly into thin malt. Overall there are some nice things going on in this beer and it's a nice change of pace from the hop bombs I've been drinking, but it falls a bit flat.

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Photo of Dave1999
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark amber with a small white head.

The smell has bannana's and cloves. Smells sweet like a bannana's milkshake.

The taste is yeasty, with similar flavours to the smell, it's a little watery though.

The mouthfeel is light with low to medium carbonation.

For the price of $1 a bottle this is pretty decent I'd take some of these tailgating certainly better than the bmc stuff.

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

Pours a murky medium brown with a one inch cream head that dissipates slowly, leaving sheets of lacing.

Orange, banana, and wheat dominate the aroma, with caramel malt adding sweetness and a touch of nuttiness at the finish.

Flavor is on the sweet side. Brown sugar, orange, tangerine, banana and clove accompany wheat and lightly toasted malt into the finish, which is a bit peppery.

Body is creamy and moderately full, with moderate carbonation.

A bit on the sweet side, and a touch full. Lacks complex yeast esters of the more notable brands.

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Photo of Marky
2.32/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

Adequate head. Tasted like glue to me. Very disappointing. I'll try another, but will likely give the remainder of the 6 pack away.

Nothing at all similar to any Dunkelweizen's I've had in Germany, USA or brewed.

I just cracked the hefeweizen from 'Trader Joseph Brau's'. I think that is more drinkable, but tastes NOTHING like a Hacker Pschorr, Paulaner, or Weiheinstephaner hefeweizen.

I didn't realize that "Joseph Brau" was their own beer till now. Still, I commend Trader Joe's for offering Bavarian beers, and give the store a thumbs up.I may have gotten an off sixer, as the other reviews seem to like it.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a hazed, light brown color with a rather small head for a wheat beer. Not much for retention or lacing.

Nose is butterscotch, bananas and chocolate. Despite obvious brewing flaws, this one smells pretty decent.

Taste throws more banana than cloves and the chocolate is light, but noticeable. Malts are pretty light overall and the carbonation is nice and fluffy. This is not too shabby of a brew, Id be happy to drink this again...and is probably a leading candidate for 'best value dunkelweiss'. Im having a tough time coming up with anything decent for less than $8 a sixer...maybe Michelob's DunkelWeisse is the closest.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip. Compared directly to the Josephsbrau Hefeweizen I had earlier.

A: Pours a very dark tawny color with strong yeast haze. The head is a two finger light cream color with decent enough texture, but low retention. More aesthetically pleasing than their hefe.

S: Banana, wheat, brown sugar, caramel, and some lighter fruits. Weak but pleasantly aromatic.

T: A decent amount caramel and brown sugar to start. There are hints of crisp apple and other dried fruits in spots, while the finish is smooth and wheaty. Just like TJ's hefe, it's decent enough, but kind of nondescript.

M: A little less carbonation than I anticipated. Thinning out the body a little bit would really help this one be more drinkable - like a lot of the Josephsbrau beers, it's too heavy to support the flavor profile, but it's drinkable enough otherwise.

O: Pretty damn average on all counts, but there's a modicum of enjoyment to be found here. It's cheap as hell, so it's still definitely worth a look.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy, orange-brown hue, with a nice 2-finger head of golden-white froth; lacing was good, although it didn't last to the bottom of the glass.

S: Fruity esters dominate, including banana and raisins, plus spicy white pepper and clove; rich, malted grain is also apparent.

T: The malt is rather sweet up front, transitioning to fruity notes in the middle (I tasted some grape, with citrus notes gaining traction later). Bitter hops makes a brief late appearance, without stealing the show.

M: Moist with fair carbonation when it initially hits the tongue. Just a little too dry in the finish, bordering on astringent.

O: Not great, but a solid Dunkelweizen, and better than most made outside of Germany. It's also reasonably priced (for which I gave it an extra half point), so I'll be getting more of this in the future.

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Photo of Luigi
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a very cloudy amber color. Has a two finger creamy off white head that retains to a blanket on top and has some sticky lacing.

The aroma has all the characteristics you would want. Fresh banana nut bread hints, clove, and a hint of fruity hop.

Soft sweet roasted malt hits the tongue along with that classic taste of banana nut bread. Clove spiciness, some sweet alcohol, and a small hint of bitterness from the hop. The finish is clean with a light toasted malt lingering.

Slick and creamy on the tongue and rather refreshing with a medium body. The drink-ability is near perfect.

Hands down this is the best Dunkelweizen I have ever tasted for only $5.49 a six pack! I am impressed

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Photo of sommersb
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 04-17-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Weizen glass
Purchased: Mixpack from Trader Joe's

Color is a reddish-brown; hazy but I can see lots of streaming bubbles. Head is tan and creamy, with good retention and lacing.

Aromas are typical of a Weizen, featuring fruity banana and clove spices. Also get some roasted malt and caramel notes.

Taste has the fruity and banana yeast notes as in the nose. Features a good amount of malty sweetness. Feel is crisp and clean, with a medium body. Carbonation is high and aftertaste is of fruity esters and banana.

Overall I found this to be a good beer and a great value, at around $6.50 for a six pack.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.82/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a De Molen beer stemflute in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles. Acquired at a local Trader Joe's as part of a make-your-own six pack. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery; I've been relatively surprised at how Trader Joe's beers aren't entirely repugnant.

Served refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger head of slight cream, decent thickness, and average retention. Colour is a hazy dark nontransparent copper. Non-opaque. No floating yeast particles are visible.

Sm: Bready, yeasty, hints of fruit esters - maybe even plum! - and cream. A mild to moderate strength aroma.

T: Bready subdued yeast with light berry esters - maybe cherry - all over a restrained wheat foundation. Very clean. Simple but nicely effectively balanced. Pleasant to drink. Enjoyable. Built alright for the style. The dark malts aren't quite as dark as they ought to be - chocolate malt would have been a good choice a la Erdinger dunkel. Not particularly complex or subtle, but it's likable. No alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Overcarbonated. A touch too thick. Suits the flavours only generally. Moderately heavy on the palate. Too wet on the finish.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. A pretty average dunkelweizen. It's well priced. I wouldn't get it again even on a budget, as Trader Joe's has better beers in the same price range. The berry route was a strange one to choose for the style. I'd prefer a more traditional dunkel.

Would drink best out of a weizen or pint glass methinks.


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Photo of kylehay2004
3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: single finger head on a murky brownish-gold body with decent lacing after sipping.

S: malt, fig, green apple and dense yeast aroma.

T: more fruit, spices and sweet caramel. A touch of toffee as well. A little watery than I like but still good.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: Though my thoughts are contrary to many others, this one is a nice dunkelweizen which stays true to the style which some venture away from.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a hazy brown color, produced a average white head. Average retention and it left some lacing on the glass. The aroma consisted of ripe banana and fresh baked bread. Medium in body, this Dunkelweizen consisted of sweet malted wheat, and banana. Overall it is an average example of the style, dont regret drinking a glass but i wont seek it out in the future. Prost!

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Photo of oshbeer
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recieved from Milwaukee Trader Joe's as a sampler b-day present from a non beer drinker. - Lot 33411

A - Dark amber in color, very cloudy, with 3/4" left in glass still cannot see through. Started with a 1/2" head, down to a pencil line at the end.

S- Banana bread smell. Though low in alchohol, can smell in the aroma.

T- Not overwhelming - almost a little watery, aslight bitterness at first taste, gone within 1 second.

M- Medium carbonation, smooth feel.

O- For the price this is an outstanding beer. This is similar in taste to Sprecher Hefe Weiss but a much better deal. I will have this one again.

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Photo of tophers
4.11/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: Deep amber in color that looks like mahogany wood. The head is an off-white color but is not very long lasting or thick. The bubbles are very fine in nature. Beer is quite hazy as to be expected in this style.

s: Very high banana esters with a light bready malt background. This bready malt smell is likely from the wheat. There is also a bit of a clove aroma. Somewhat moderate vanilla notes which complement the other esters well. There is a slight spicy hop aroma that is not very noticeable. I am not detecting any caramel. The fruity esters shine in this beer like they are supposed to without being overwhelming, No diacetyl or DMS detected.

t: Moderate banana flavor and clove flavor. I am also picking up quite a bit of vanilla which helps doesn't seem to help the banana flavor. I thought it would accentuate it, but there is too much of it which draws away from the banana character. Almost makes it somewhat sour. These esters are the dominant tastes in this beer. No hop flavor detected and low bitterness. The wheat gives a grainy background which is low to moderate. No roasted malt is detected. Sweet on the palate with a moderately dry finish. No diacetyl or DMS detected.

m: Medium body with medium carbonation. Somewhat of a creamy feel in the mouth.

o: While I thought this beer was decent, I probably won't be reaching for another. While I think it was brewed pretty much to style, there was a bit too much vanilla esters in the flavor to my liking. I thought it took away from the other fruity and potentially spicy esters. Maybe they could try a different yeast that would have so much of a vanilla profile.

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Photo of scootny
3.94/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A surprisingly good dunkel for not a lot of cash. Appearance is a cloudy brown with orangey highlights. Nice tan head that fades to a light covering that stays. A touch of lace here and there. Active carbonation is working all the way down. Smell is where starts to impress. It is full of overripe banana and clove. There is some nice malted wheat that cuts through and a lovely yeast ester that works a little bit of alcohol and pepper. Taste is again a really solid effort. All the flavors you want and previewed in the nose wrapped in a banana bread with raisins. Wheat malt gives a solid core. Finish is mild as it should be, slightly tart apples creep in with a darn near perfect balance that leaves more banana and clove and a mild floral hop bitterness. Feel is light and crisp with a lightly tingly carbonation. Light creaminess. Super drinkable and my new winter session brew. At $6.50 a six this is a stupendous value. If you like dunkel and you are feeling the tight economy buy a six of this and put your cares aside for a while.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.66/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky dark brown with a 2 inch fizzy khaki head that settles to a thin film on the top of the beer. Small dots of lace drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, dark fruit, banana, spices, and yeast. A nice caramel/toffee smell comes about as the beer warms. Taste is of dark fruit and banana up front followed by spice and yeast flavors. The dark malt flavor comes through on the aftertaste and provides a slightly bready taste. This beer has only a slight level of carbonation and seems a bit sticky/syrupy. Overall, this is a pretty good dunkelweizen but it smells better than it tastes. Also a deal at $1 a bottle.

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Photo of rodney45
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my 16 oz weiz beer glass.

A: Dark murky copper with a thich creamy off white head that laces the glass. Low in clarity, which is consistent with the style.

S: Not a whole lot jumps out at me. Notes of apple, and banana and maybe other fruit esters. Light wheat aroma.

T: First notes are of a spiced banana nut bread. This is balanced by a wheat and citrus blend, topped off with coriander and walnuts. Apple and over ripe banana complete a dry yet sweet finish.

M: Low to medium body. Sweeter than it is bitter, and mid range in carbonation.

O: I actually like this beer. Buck a bottle, you really cant beat it.

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Josephs Brau Dunkelweizen from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 180 ratings.