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Trader Jose's Dark Lager - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Trader Jose's Dark LagerTrader Jose's Dark Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

128 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 128
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 3.28
pDev: 12.8%
Wants: 2
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-06-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 128 | Reviews: 74 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by fx20736:
Photo of fx20736

New York

3.13/5  rDev -4.6%

bought at Trader Joe's in Pittsford on 3/23/13. Price $ 1.09.

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a large glass tumbler, served at fridge temp.

appearance: darkish amber, the color of brewed Lipton's tea with a 1 finger off white/ manila head. Vigorous bubbles stream in profusion from the bottle of the glass. Good lacing.

aroma: not much comes to the nose, maybe a little malt, possibly the faintest echo of hops..

mouthfeel: slightly fizzy.

taste: some toasted malt, a weak touch of hops, not much else.

notes: There is hardly anything to this beer, good or bad. for the money you could get drunk on worse.

03-24-2013 07:43:41 | More by fx20736
More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000


3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

Thanks to Fratto for sharing this beer.

The beer pours a clear brown color with a white head. The aroma is malty with a lot of biscuit and bready malts. The flavor is more of the same, with a lot of lighter malts. No real hop presence. High carbonation and low-medium mouthfeel. Pretty basic lager here, nothing special, but not terrible.

03-05-2010 22:21:44 | More by Mora2000
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.6/5  rDev +9.8%

Served in pint glass.
Made in Mexico by Tecate. Similar to Dos XX Amber

Pours a clear orange/brown with a thin coat for a head.

Aromas are fruity and toasted malts but little else.

Nose is actually quite nice - bit nutty, some dark caramel with a bit of a burnt sugar and dark fruit (dried plum).

Taste isn't as rich as the aroma suggests. Light roasted caramel malt and a bit of nuttiness; some earthiness and dark fruitiness on the finish.

Mouthfeel - thin but smooth.

12-28-2010 01:15:31 | More by chinchill
Photo of LXIXME

New Mexico

3.18/5  rDev -3%

Pours a clear dark red almost like a lighter version of a red wine, this beer has a initial big light brown head that quickly dies leaving a light lacing that slowly dies off.

A light aroma of smoked caramel malts, with some hints of a sour almost citrus source. The taste is a light caramel smoked malt with a light hint a sourness coming through. A light dry smoky aftertaste is kind of appealing

This beer is bad but at the same time it really doesn't stand up to a majority of the west coast small and micro beers, but at the same time it's a cheaper beer and Trader Joe's seems to go through a lot of their product.

04-20-2010 20:55:47 | More by LXIXME
Photo of javlin624


3.25/5  rDev -0.9%

12-17-2013 05:19:37 | More by javlin624
Photo of asabreed

New York

3.48/5  rDev +6.1%

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Lighter amber-brown color, off-white head, not a lot of lacing or retention.

Smell: Mild chocolate, coffee, and residual adjunct sweetness, with flashes of nice roasted malts also too.

Taste: Warming up close to room temperature, this brings the mild chocolate and roasted coffee flavors out, which I like. Finish is a bit of residual sweetness, biscuit, and mild chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Expected lighter to medium-bodied, maybe a bit sticky, with decent carbonation.

Drinkability: A Negra Modelo clone, and a much cheaper one at that. I have no side-by-side comparison, but this is refreshing enough, and light but balanced with flavor. For $6 a 6-pack, a darker brew like this ain't too bad in the summer.

07-06-2009 18:27:10 | More by asabreed
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -8.5%

02-02-2014 00:01:36 | More by tdm168
Photo of tjsdomer2


3.95/5  rDev +20.4%

Appearance: Excellent carbonation combined with bright red color.

Smell: Toasted cocoa a lot like a stout.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Sweet coffee and cocoa. Very strong for an amber. Also very malty. Not the smoothest, but it does have bite.

Overall Drinkability: A good and very different red lager.

11-16-2012 04:10:43 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of Razr86

New York

4/5  rDev +22%

01-15-2013 23:09:40 | More by Razr86
Photo of cliff1066


3/5  rDev -8.5%

01-06-2013 06:20:11 | More by cliff1066
Photo of DOCRW


3/5  rDev -8.5%

02-23-2014 03:39:09 | More by DOCRW
Photo of HalfFull


3.3/5  rDev +0.6%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Jose Dark pours a clear and bright reddish amber with a half inch of off white foam. This settles to a surface film which keeps nicely given the support of the 'invisible' carbonation.

Clean and moderately rich lager nose with some light caramel malts. Touch of smoke/roast is there but subtle and balanced. Touch of muddled hops when aggresively agitated.

Flavor follows the nose with a subtle caramel presence and a hint of nuttiness/toasted grain on the finish. Otherwise offers a light brown ale sense. Nice smooth feel, unoffensive yet unobtrusive. Decent drinkability and almost ale-like.

12-03-2009 07:21:08 | More by HalfFull
Photo of beveritt


3.18/5  rDev -3%

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. The label has a Mexican/Aztec feel, including substituting Jose for Joe's. This is listed as brewed by Tecate, so not sure it belongs under this heading. also, wouldn't this be a Vienna Lager instead of an American Amber? Oh well, I don't make the rules, I just drink.

Appearance: Pours with 1.5 fingers of nearly white head. This settles into a think coating of foam. Decent lacing. The beer itself is a very light copper color, perfectly clear, and shows a small amount of activity.

Smell: Slightly sweet caramel malt with hints of tea. Herbaceous hop aroma.

Taste: Fairly sharp carbonation bite upfront. This rolls into a solid malt backbone, caramel once again, and sweet. Very low bitterness in the finish, almost non-existent.

Mouthfeel: High level of carbonation. Body is very good.

Drinkabilty: Okay overall, kind of a mix of highs and lows. The appearance is a positive, with nice lacing and a good color. The carbonation bite is way to high and detracts significantly form the flavor. The body is very nice. Maybe a beer to make certain you use a harsh pour.

09-14-2008 01:26:57 | More by beveritt
Photo of bluejacket74


3.55/5  rDev +8.2%

12 ounce bottle, best before 06/17/11. So it's about a month after that, no big deal. The single bottle was only a buck from Trader Joe's so I don't feel bad about buying it. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a clear brown/copper color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. Aroma is bready and caramel malt, nuts and some toffee. The taste is the same as the aroma, it tastes like bready and caramel malt, nuts and toffee. Finish is mostly sweet with some bitterness noticable too. Even after its best before date it's still a pretty decent brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and has moderate/high carbonation. It's also smooth and easy to drink. For the price it's not a bad beer, it's better than I expected it to be. I can't complain for $1 a bottle. I'd buy it again at that price!

07-22-2011 23:42:15 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of BeerSox


3/5  rDev -8.5%

12oz bottle into nonic.

Clear and deep copper hue with a thin light tan head that slowly settles to a thin even cap. Spotty lacing.

Very light malt aromas, with only a little bit of brown sugar being detected.

The flavor is mostly caramelized sugar from a long boil. Medium bodied with high carbonation.

Not a bad beer but not much to talk about. The price is certainly right - $1 a bottle at Trader Joe's.

10-04-2008 00:24:42 | More by BeerSox
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

3.03/5  rDev -7.6%

Clear dark chestnut color with a small, fluffy off-white head. Decent sheets of lace left on the glass. Sweet caramel malt, nuts, and earthy notes in the nose. Dark roasted caramel, cocoa, and a hint of leafy hop bitterness. Tastes a little too sweet and cheap...but it is cheap. Light bodied and fairly drinkable. As with most lagers like this, it's much better cold, so don't let it sit around too long. Suitable for a summer cookout...

04-02-2011 21:41:12 | More by wedge
Photo of matjack85


3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

01-29-2013 11:15:07 | More by matjack85
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.6/5  rDev +9.8%

amber with the slightest of orange tint to it. A small maybe one inch high head of white foam graced the top

light and surprisingly hoppy with a nice bit of grain pushed up from the bottom. The blend was nice and light and had a good bright aroma. Some light fruit in the back as well.a good amount of floral hops sitting in the finish. The initial flavor I picked up was that of a nice cereal grain with a touch of a light grass mixed in. This rolled into a nice light fruit with a touch of a pine like finish to it. It was a nice bitter finish and a surprisingly good hop profile.

12-04-2011 06:05:29 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of FreshmanPour77


4/5  rDev +22%

Reviewed on 6-4-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Dark reddish brown, 2 fingers of foam, nice lacing ring, carbonation present

S - Roasted malts, caramel, and no hop aroma to speak of

T - Lighter bodied brew, smooth, malty with caramel sweetness

M/D - Pretty drinkable brew, another good one from Trader Joe's, a light bodied brew, nice and smooth with a good blend of malts and caramel, I recommend this brew and would get it again

06-07-2010 05:11:06 | More by FreshmanPour77
Photo of blackie


3.23/5  rDev -1.5%

a: low off-white head recedes to a thin ring, beer is a clear medium-brown in color

s: somewhat dull and lightly sulfuric noble hops, some watery nutty toasted malts, a touch of smoke, plain but not bad

m: medium-high carbonation and a light body

t: nearly identical to the aroma, nutty toasted malts, a touch of smoke, light sweetness, clean noble hops

d: quite easy

single bottle from Trader Joe's Cary

04-26-2008 01:30:33 | More by blackie
Photo of largadeer


3/5  rDev -8.5%

11-26-2013 07:57:16 | More by largadeer
Photo of kylemckinnis


2.75/5  rDev -16.2%

06-03-2012 00:32:54 | More by kylemckinnis
Photo of plaid75

New York

3.18/5  rDev -3%

Poured a medium amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and decent lacing.

The smell featured a light earthy caramel.

The taste consisted of sweet corn, caramel and some soft cocoa.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a decent lager with a surprising amount of flavor.

08-30-2009 21:47:56 | More by plaid75
Photo of teyuders


4/5  rDev +22%

11-16-2011 02:52:43 | More by teyuders
Photo of warpedrevolution


3.25/5  rDev -0.9%

07-02-2013 01:57:44 | More by warpedrevolution
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Trader Jose's Dark Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.