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Josephs Brau Dunkelweizen - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Josephs Brau DunkelweizenJosephs Brau Dunkelweizen

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

299 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 299
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 15.47%
Wants: 8
Gots: 10 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 299 | Reviews: 166 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Troyone
4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy light brown/tan color with a tan hue, thick biege head, and can't see the action.

Has a sweet toasted wheat aroma with a hint of banana.

A delicious toasted wheat taste with a banana background and with a mild esters finish.

Light/medium bodied, watery/resin feel, with lively comfortable carbonation.

This is right on par with the other GB Dunkelweizen, so close I'm going to drink the other right now. What a bargain price and it's OK to mix and match at TJs.

Troyone, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of Jimbo87
4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a pint glass (I know this is incorrect glassware, but this was the only glass available).

A: Hazy brown beer, big off-white head. Looks good.

S: Smells like banana and fresh wheat.

T: Wheat and banana again. Very slightly more acidic than expected, but it's still tasty. One of the best cheap beers I've ever had.

MF: Nice. Not really that remarkable though.

D: Great drinkability. And a fantastic beer for the price. Pick some up the next time you're at trader joe's.

Jimbo87, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of AltBock
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with a simple label of two house that look like they're located somewhere in Germany. There is a yellow house with 4 windows and a green one with only 2 windows. The back label has all the mandatory US information, a large paragraph about the beer, and some kind of weird batch number. It was mostly just gibberish anyway.

There's no doubt about it. Of course I pored this beer into a Wizen glass, my Erdinger Weizen glass. If you know what apple cider looks like, then you already know what this beer looks like. They both shared the same color and even murkiness. The color was great, but the head of foam was lacking. It had a 1 1/2 inch head of fizzy foam, but in a blink of an eye it was completely gone. It only managed to leave behind a few rings. It didn't even bother to leave any lace behind.

This beer had the standard Dunkelweizen aroma to it. Nothing really stood out in the aroma. The aroma was standard with dark wheat, ripe banana, a pinch of cloves, and a few spices. Now if you swirl the beer around and I'm talking whirlpool strength, more ripe banana will emerge. I was thinking about retracting my "nothing really stood out" remark, but the strong scent of banana will only come out if you swirl the hell out of it.

The taste was pretty much the same as the aroma, except the strength of the flavors were stronger in the taste than they were in the aroma. The taste was crispy with dark roasted wheat, ripe banana, a few cloves, and some spices here and there. The taste had more of a ripe banana kick to it. That's what I usually look for in any kind of Weizen beer. Every other flavor was about the same strength. It was the taste of the banana that put this beer over the average line.

This was a light bodied Dunkelweizen with a faint and lightly roasted aftertaste of roasted wheat, ripe banana, and cloves. There were no spices in the aftertaste. Since the aftertaste was faint, it did not linger on.

Alone, this Trader Joe's beer was a little bit above average for a Dunkelweizen. What separates this above average average beer from the others is this beer's low price. I believe I only paid $1 for this beer. Better yet, it's really good too. Would I drink this beer again? I sure would and you should too. If you got a pocket full of change you want to spend, then you might as well buy a bottle of this beer.

AltBock, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of beertunes
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 12oz glass. Poured with a small, tan head that quickly dissipated, leaving no lacing. A very cloudy, almost muddy, medium brown. Very bold aroma, a lot of banana and clove in the nose. The flavor also has noticeable banana and clove, with a hint of spice. Has a quick, sharp bite on the finish. The body is a little on the thin side, but not detrimentally so. Solidly drinkable, I can see myself drinking more of these as the weather warms. This a Trader Joes house brand, and I find it to be a solid value. A basically average beer for the style, for $6.00 a 6er, I think I'll explore the rest of TJs house brews.

beertunes, Jan 30, 2009
Photo of Arbitrator
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled 12oz into a glass.

A: Deep amber color with frothy head that quickly settles into a ring around the glass. Very light lacing.

S: Bananas, wheat, mango, red apples. Very fruity, a hint of malts, and almost no hops.

T: Taste follows the nose. Very sweet and fruity taste immediately, with a hint of bitterness and cloves. Finish is weak and watery.

M: Slightly toward the watery side, but medium carbonation.

D: Excellent session beer. I enjoyed the taste and my friends loved it. A great compromise for the beer aficionado and the beer newbie. Will definitely buy this again.

Arbitrator, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of argock
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date but a cryptic batch number is on the back label.

A: Great-looking concentrated apple cider hue with tall but quickly receding dry oat 2-3 finger head with a few whorls of lace.

S: Delicious and lush overripe banana and strong clove component. Yeast is also pretty powerful -- a classic combination for a dunkelweizen.

T: The taste through the front and middle are really enjoyable with plenty of tasty fruity, estery banana, pear, and bready, yeasty flavor. Unfortunately, there is a very strong metallic, plastic finish and aftertaste that is offputting to say the least.

M: The body is decent for the style but the metallic elements are very strong in the aftertaste.

D: I would have liked to rank this higher except for the really bad metallic finish and aftertaste.

argock, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of beveritt
2.88/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a small weizen glass. Label is simple, with an oval surrounding a drawing of the side of two well decorated city homes. No clear freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with 3 fingers of tan, big bubbled, soda like head. This settles quickly to nothing more than a ring around the glass. The beer itself is brown and murky, like muddy water, with hint of orange around the edge. Lots of sediment in the bottle, even after lots obviously came out in the pour.

Smell: Smells very strongly of bananas, in that way that only a wheat beer can. Sweet with the distinctive wheat twang.

Taste: What was a great fruity banana smell does not translate so well into taste. Thin, weak malt, with a layer of sickly sweet, over-ripe banana on top.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a little above average, as expected for a weizen. Body is okay.

Drinkability: Despite an initially promising beginning based upon a great smell, this beer failed to perform. Once again, like so many Trader Joe's stuff, not a drain pour, but nothing that exciting.

beveritt, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of droomyster
3.9/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an extremely cloudy brown with a tinge of amber and a small off-white head that doesn't linger. Some folks here are calling it "muddy" but I happen to like this beer considerably and prefer to compare its appearance to that of the darker unpasteurized apple ciders. Powerful clove aroma, with bananas and tons of yeast on the nose. The taste is simpler than it could be but is good nonetheless. Wheaty and carmelized malts come through loud and clear. The creamy texture and medium-heavy feel of this brew are extremely appealing. Easily my favorite of the beers made by Gordon Biersch for Trader Joe's. An excellent deal.

droomyster, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of Tone
4.13/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brown/amber color. There's a small head with poor retention and only slight lacing. A sweet malt smell (almost fruity). A little too much malt in my opinion for a dunkelwiesse. A chewy mouth feel with excellent carbonation and a very slight bitter aftertaste (grassy). Overall a beer worth trying, but that slight aftertaste hold it back from being a very good beer.

Tone, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of birchstick
3.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - pours nicely. Copper in color with a beautiful head.
S - smells of sweet, caramel malts and a bit of grape and bubblegum
T - taste is right on par with others I have had of this style. Malty with a bit of banana and bubblegum; some clove and grape as well.
M - watery and a bit carbonated
D - this was a well-crafted dunkelweizen. I was very pleasantly surprised by this one. I know I will picking up a lot of these in the future.

birchstick, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of chaduvel
4.5/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy dark brown, plenty of yeast and foam. Rich malt, slightly tart with bread, banana, clove, vanilla. Richer mouthfeel than the hefeweizen as should be expected. Very drinkable and a great U.S.-brewed example of the style. You can't beat the price/quality ratio of this beer.

chaduvel, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of asabreed
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: I love the dirty-looking beers, and this one's dark, hazy, and has a dense mocha-colored head sitting on top of it, looking pretty nice in the glass throughout.

Smell: Banana and hints of clove, along with some vanilla and dark malts. Sweet but not overly so, with a good balance in the nose.

Taste: The banana and clove notes come through pretty well, along with the yeast and darker malt flavors and mild bubblegum rounding out the fairly long finish.

Mouthfeel: More medium-bodied and creamy with good carbonation. Nothing to complain about.

Drinkability: Along with the Hefeweizen, for a buck you can't go wrong with this beer if you want to pick up a pretty good version of the style as far as a domestic goes. Lots to admire here from right out of the fridge until room temperature and beyond, at least as far as I'm concerned.

asabreed, Nov 03, 2008
Photo of jkdrummer
3.13/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light tan rocky head that soon dies to a thin edge lace. Aroma is some malt but yeasty too. Dark brown in color and hazy. Taste come real close to an import but no cigar. Thin mouthfeel. Medicinal taste. Lacks that German weizen freshness and carb, almost tastes flat. Not recommended.


jkdrummer, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of allergictomacros
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Cloudy brown, somewhat creamy head but not particularly stiff.

S - Big caramel, molasses and a bit of soy and dark fruit.

T - Some wheaty twang and mild balancing hops. Toasty with caramel flavours and dark fruit. A bit on the drier side. A little bit of banana.

M - Average mouthfeel with a slight creaminess and appropriate carbonation.

D - Very drinkable but not terribly exciting.

allergictomacros, Oct 09, 2008
Photo of funkyspunk87
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Josephs Brau Dunkelweizen
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Style: Dunkelweizen
ABV: 5.20 %

Straight out of the bottle

Alright beer, but not really the standout I was looking for from Trader Joe's. Prefer the Bavarian.

The Dunk was dark, as well as more rich than the Bavarian, but it did not match the complexity of flavors at all.

funkyspunk87, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of Offa
2.8/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is ok but too strong on a few defining weizen characteristics to the point that they overpower the beer and make it one-dimensional.

Dark, hazy, brownish amber, it has a medium, pale tan slowly shrinking to a thin ring and no real lace.

The aroma is dark whole wheat bread, sweet, with bubblegum and banana.

The taste is almost all bubblegum-dominated whole wheat at first. The bubblegum subsequently mellows slightly to allow other flavours to become more prominent, but this is mostly just the unpleasantly tangy bittersweet taste of damp whole wheat bread. Even so, the bubblegum quality still stays too strong throughout as well. More full-bodied than some, it has strong enough flavour but it does not appeal to me at all.

Offa, Oct 03, 2008
Photo of jamiejohnson
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm surprised and impressed by this bargain Trader Joe's amber wheat. I think I paid $5.99 for a sixer of this. It's a close match to my favorite hefe, Schneider Weisse - so close that I'm gonna taste test these two together soon. I see from the information above that this is a Gordon Biersch product. Do they carry this in their restaurants? This has all the Bavarian characteristics of the style. It's complex and smooth and banana clovey refreshing. Maybe I'm just a thirsy soldier and this is a sensory mirage after a hard day of moving furniture for a living, or maybe GB's JB-weizen really is an excellent beer. One thing is for sure - I'll be trying this one again.

Maybe I'm wronger,
Maybe I'm righter.
But in my mind,
It's a Schneider.

jamiejohnson, Sep 04, 2008
Photo of gpogo
3.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Hazy opaque brown mahogony with large off white cream colored head. Unfortunately the head disappeared rather quickly just leaving a slightly bubbly top.

A- Very slight hints of clove, mostly a banana smell. Reminds me a lot of banana bread.

T- This tastes like liquid banana bread. A wonderful fruity banana taste with a slight breadiness to the finish. I had hoped that the wheat would add a bit more spice, but it seemed to have a wheaty twang instead.

M- Medium body with moderate to high carbonation. A very smooth wheat beer and is also surprisingly refreshing.

D- Honestly a pretty great beer from trader joe's for a decent price. This is one beer I'm going to have to pick up in the future.

gpogo, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of alexgash
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Pulpy, cloudy, dark caramel brown. Gold around the edges. Tall, rocky, whipped, light beige head. Wheaty nose of fresh bread, mushy bananas, banana bread, plums, toffee, and cloves. Nice. Tangy wheat malt flavors up front. Hints of toffee and bread pudding as well. Banana and banana bread flavors settle in along with some pear and clove. Yeasty, spicy hop finish with lingering wheat bread and fruit sweetness. Medium-bodied with a hefty, protein-rich feel. Pretty damn good--especially for 5.99 a six pack.

alexgash, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of HalfFull
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown with some orange highlights into a pilsner glass with a thick foamy head. Head recedes quickly but maintains a thin cover on the beer yielding some nice lacing.

Sweet ripe banana and clove on the nose with a distinctive lemon malty scent. Taste is slightly malty rich and has decent depth, more body than expected. A spicy carbonated finish yields a bit of cinnamon and clove. Carbonation is about right given the structure of the beer and offers decent drinkability though the sweetness may become a bit too much after a few. Tastes like a nice accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner.

HalfFull, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of burnstar
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown with a medium head that dissipates quickly and leaves nice lacing on the surface. The aroma is mild and pretty typical dunkel- cloves, dark fruit, bananas. Taste is low sweetness. Lots of wheat tang. Some caramel notes. Cloves and spice. Dry finish. Medium bodied. Fairly drinkable. Surprisingly good for trader joe's especially for this style.

burnstar, Jul 28, 2008
Photo of marcpal
4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obviously picked up at Trader Joes- poured into weyerbacher tulip glass. Another one of the mix six at an incredibly price.

A: Hazy burned orange, color of a grilled apricot that it was next to. Moderate tan head, cloudy and chunky in the dark color.

N: Bread and some mild banana. Sweetness reminiscent of bananas and peaches. Some wheat, some malt.

T: I dig the malty sweetness. It does overpower the wheat character but pretty tasty. Bubblegum flavors in the taste more than the banana I had expected. The chewy bread seemed somewhat off but that was its only glaring weakness.

M: Medium to light for the style, the yeast stays on the tongue some. Carbonation is not as potent as the bubbles would lead you to think it would be.

D: Pretty high and overall enjoyable. Light in alcohol and tastes that way but for the price and the taste, this is a worthwhile beer to have in your pocket for a good meal. Exceeded expectations, especially given the price.

Not on the caliber of a Weistehephaner but far better and more drinkable/pleasurable than Slam Dunkel.

marcpal, Jul 18, 2008
Photo of MTNboy
2.8/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was not overly impressed by this beer it was alright for some grocery store brand that I picked up pretty cheap.

Appearance: It is a caramel amber with many other colrs highlighting depending on the light it has either a red or gray tone. Off white almost tan head disapears quick to form an average lace.

Smell: Malty

Taste: It starts off good and taste authentic but the aftertaste is a little too metalic for my taste.

Mouthfeel: Light and fizzy.

Drinkability: Not bad but I do not think I would buy it again.

MTNboy, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Jul 04, 2008
Photo of Metalmonk
3.05/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Metalmonk, Jun 30, 2008
Josephs Brau Dunkelweizen from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.