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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

151 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 151
Reviews: 85
rAvg: 3.27
pDev: 12.54%
Wants: 4
Gots: 6 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-06-2008

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 151 | Reviews: 85
Photo of Murrhey
1.83/5  rDev -44%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Shared out of a 12oz bottle poured in pint glasses. Reviewed from notes.

A- Red-brown with a tan head.

S- Hoppy and medium bodied malts. Not very potent.

T- Dark malts but not complex at all. Not very good.

M- Medium bodied, foamy feel. Not great.

O- Ok for a cheap beer.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
2.25/5  rDev -31.2%

Trade José Dark Premium Beer has a thin, cream-colored head, a clear, reddish-brown appearance, some bubble streams on the side of the glass, and almost no lacing left on the glass. The aroma is nonexistent. Taste is of a slightest little sweetness, but also pretty much nothing. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Trade José Dark Premium Beer finishes easy drinking, refreshing, and flavorless.

RJT

Photo of MTNboy
2.56/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: It has a little of a vinegar odor

Appearance: I had to pour it extra hard to get a decent head but with that being said it great retention. It was a dark caramel color with a bit of a reddish hue.

Tastes: Plastic like taste. There are some tones of caramel and coffee. Almost like a light and cheap bock. It has a woody aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and slick.

Drinkability: Average.

Photo of dmfrench
2.58/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Flavorful yet cheap tasting and over-carbonated Amber.
___

A: Very clear dirty amber body with a fine, slightly persistent, tow finger natural white head.

S: Some caramel malt with a nice helping of corn adjunct. Very subtle spicy hops.

T: Substantial hopping actually... caramel malt takes a back seat, as do the adjunct tones. There is a bit of metal, but it is fairly well covered. Finish is dry and quite short.

M: Good weight actually, but overly carbonated.

D: Fairly crisp and refreshing, but still has a cheap beer vibe.

Photo of GossageBrewery
2.65/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured this American Amber ale from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a hazy light brown color, produced a creamy off white head, thick, good retention, leaves a nice amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of subtle amounts of roasted grain and caramel. The taste is light in body, thin, watery. Toasted grain, caramel come through. Easy to drink- Overall boring beer- Disappointed with the entire trader jose line. On to the next beer! Prost!

Photo of kojevergas
2.68/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 fl oz (330 ml) brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Weizen glass in low altitude Orange, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

A: Pours a one finger head of decent cream, nice thickness, and above average retention. The colour is a dark amber-copper.

Sm: Malts and caramel. A mild strength aroma.

T: Very simple: caramel, malts, and light cream. It's okay, but I need more from a beer. Balanced but boring and bland.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Not too thick or too thin.

Dr: Drinkable but boring. I wouldn't have it again. It's alright, but largely forgettable.

Photo of beertunes
2.68/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into 9oz Pilsener glass. Poured a clean, clear medium brown color, with 3/4 inch of off-white head that moderate retention and lacing.

The aroma was mostly neutral, some light grains and just a gentle hint of hops were all that showed up. The flavors were the same, bland almost to the point of flavorlessness.

The body was pretty typical, medium and clean, with good carbonation. Drinkability was OK, not special, not terrible. Overall, just kind of bland, Meh-ish brew. At $6 a sixer you could grab one. Or not. Whatever.

Photo of artoolemomo
2.74/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Appearance- Pours up a fair amount of head which seems to have pretty good retention. The head is off white/light beige with hints of yellow while the body is a dark amber which glows a dark orange when held up to the light. The body is translucent. The head does indeed take some time to dissipate while leaving behind some lacing. There is some sheeting above the half a finger of foam that remains.

Nose- Fairly weak. I got notes of caramel from the bottle but it's mostly a minimal amount of sweet malt and grain from the glass. I also get the slightest bit of roasted malt from the bottle. Other than that, the aroma is pretty nondescript. The roasted malt seems a little burnt and sour.

Taste- Roasted notes with subtle hints of bitterness. Weak notes of caramel as well. This thinness is pretty much true of the entire beer. The flavor profile definitely lacks presence. Some grain, biscuit, and bread notes- all very weak. The roasted malts echo the nose and show some burnt notes on the palate. All and all, this is a pretty boring beer. There aren't any really negative aspects but there also aren't really any positive ones either. As the opens up, the burnt aspects of the caramel and roasted malts become more apparent. The flavor profile is quite watery. Pretty much a failure in this department.

Mouthfeel- A little more than light bodied with some creaminess and light carbonation. Perhaps the most notable quality of this beer.

Drinkability- Fairly watery and low on taste with a good mouthfeel. Very drinkable but also very boring. It is also cheap.

Overall- I didn't really expect much and didn't get much. I picked it up as a sample of the style but it seems to be a pretty poor example. The supposed heavy malt bill is nonexistent.

Photo of Cadyfatcat
2.87/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Very roasty on the nose with notes of caramel and rot. Pretty dark brown with small lacey head. The taste is very maltcentric, sweet but roasty malt, very little hops seem present in bittering or flavor dept. I would say style wise this is more akin to a Euro Dark Lager. Many dark Eastern European lagers I've tasted were very similar to this - to its credit though this beer does have a richer and more dynamic taste than most of those beers. It probably owes this to higher quality ingredients and freshness. Not my favorite style of beer, but not bad for $.90 I paid for it as a single at Trader Joe's.

Photo of CHSLBrew
2.88/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A-Dark copper, pretty much brown beer, but still quite clear. Tan head rose off the pour, but reduced relatively quickly to sparse bubbles.

S-Toasty, almost chocolatey malts, with a hint of bready sweet and spice.

T-Bready, toasty sweet malt, just a hint of chocolate near the finish, which is overall residually sweet in a toasty way. Bitterness is present, but doesn't impose on the toasted malt. Overall, toasty-sweet with a hint of something almost musty detracting from an otherwise crisp flavor.

M-Moderate-light body is smooth, but still present on my palate. Carbonation is medium level.

D-Drinkable, but not an impressive brew.

One bottle of a mixed sixer I received from my parents for my 26th birthday.

Photo of feloniousmonk
2.88/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Trader Jose, Dark Lager

Clear, coppery colored, 1/4" dingy, cola-toned head.

Not much here, little nuts, whisper of cocoa, ...again, reminiscent of cola.

Taste: hmmm, not too much going on here. It's beer, and you can drink it. Not terrible. Tasty malt, medium finish, lays softly on the palate, nice and malty. Gets better as we go. Likeable. Not bad.
For a buck apiece, there's worse...

Photo of SiphonKing
2.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A Trader Joe's six pack (with Tecate listed on the bottle as the brewing company, interesting). Billed as a "Negra Modelo" clone of sorts it is a little light in body and mouthfeel. A Vienna lager it may be but not one that really satisfies the pallette and makes me want numerous bottles. Malty, slight caramel, and a hint of sulfur.

Photo of tmoneyba
2.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured clear brown color with a large frothy off-white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate sweet malty aroma. Medium body with a thin texture and soft carbonation. Light sweet flavor with soft sweet finish of short to medium duration. Worth trying agian.

Photo of ruckus232
2.96/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 Ounce brown bottle poured into a mag

Appearance: Dark brown but still transparent with 1/2" of off white head and a little lacing

Smell: It has the corn/rice flavor that is familiar with the Adjunct American Lager but with a sweet malted flavor in the background

Taste: There is a slight toasted bitterness initially that changes into a nice sweet malted flavor.

Photo of BeerSox
3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of wedge
3.03/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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...

Photo of rodney45
3.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Zinnwaldite brown with a lingering tan, or ivory head that lasts quite a while.

S: Big notes of cereal grains, malt and brown rice.

T: First profile is of roasted barley, oats and walnut. Secondary notes of light hop and bitterness. Non dry aftertaste.

M: medium body with light carbonation.

O: This isnt bad actually. It has a porter or brown ale feel, with a ale like mouthfeel. I wouldnt go as far as to say this is abover average, but i'd recommend.

Photo of Brunite
3.06/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer poured clear light amber in color with an off white head.

S: There are light to moderate aromas of malt. Pretty one dimensional.

T: The taste is fairly similar to the smell...one dimensional. Some sweetness but not much depth of character.

M: Very light-bodied....watery. Carbonation is OK.

D: The beer is very easy to drink, but not very memorable. But at this price...$ 5.99 a sixer...it scores a few points as a viable session beer over a BMC choice.

Photo of mactrail
3.06/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Starts out with a nice foamy head. Lots of foam like a bubble bath. Dissipates to a rather flat mouth feel. Musty odor. Kind of a cardboard taste. Wierd hint of citrus that throws off the slight bit of roasted malt flavor. No aftertaste, fortunately.

Even for a cheap (imported from Mexico!) beer this isn't very good. Another case where the style isn't really right. Should be Light Lager with caramel color added.

Photo of jeremyd365
3.06/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark brown with a thick caramel head that dissipated pretty quickly. It reminded me of a slightly darker Killians. Pretty malty but nothing out of the ordinary. Definitely a pretty good "regular" beer, especially for the price. It's my first Trader Joe's brew of all styles so I'm interested in how they did with the other ones.

Photo of allergictomacros
3.06/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Clear dark copper with a solid head of foam.

S - Dark smelling (Is dark a smell?) Fruity with molasses, toast and raisins.

T/M - Kinda watery and bland. Again raisins and toastiness but overall the flavours are light.

D - Refreshing enough and not bad tasting, but there needs to be more in there.

Photo of Knapp85
3.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured out as a clear looking brown color. It's got a fizzy off white head on it. The smell of the beer has a lager aroma mixed with some roasted nuts and a hint of hops. The taste of the some lager flavors at first that fade into some decent nutty flavors in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth, It's got a decent carbonation to it. Overall it's an average brew really, but has a drinkablity that made this a bit more enjoyable. I wouldn't hunt this one down or go out of my way to get this either.

Photo of CIBoy10
3.1/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Solid non-offensive brew that is very affordable. There is cheaper stuff out there that is similar (Busch Signature Copper Lager). Overall I would recommend it.

Photo of AltBock
3.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle with a label that shows the consumer a beautiful Mexican sunset. Along the sides of the picture are some native Mexican artwork. In the middle of the label is the name of the beer in big bold white letters and the word "dark" in smaller fiery orange letters with a black background. Under the "TR" in Trader is a stone tablet that says "Imported from Mexico" in red letters. The top of this tablet looks like the famed top of the Alamo. To the far left of the label is the barcode and brewer and to far right of the label is the mandatory US information. Don't let the Trader Joe's name confuse you. It was brewed and bottled in Cerveceria Alta in Tecate, Mexico. No date, but if you look closely at the bottom of the bottle, you'll find an inked batch number. Mine was smeared, so I couldn't read what it said.

When poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass, this "Dark" Mexican beer appeared to be a dark brown color, but when it was held into the light, this beer was actually a dark amber color. I liked this beer's cool color. On top of this dark amber brew was a long lasting 1/4 of an inch creamy head of pure white foam. Since it was long lasting, they only time it receded was when I took a sip of the beer. When it did recede, it left behind plenty of milky white streaks of lace. Great appearance!

I thought it was funny that this beer smelled a little like that corn bread that you can get at Mexican restaurants. Well, that is if they malted the corn first and then mixed in some bread later. I had to take points away because that's all this beer smelled like. There was nothing else in the aroma. No hops or malt, just the scent of corn bread.

This beer tasted nothing like corn bread. Instead, the beer was malty. Not malty with malted barley, but malty with corn and rice. It was mostly corn though. I hate to cut the taste review short, but that was the only taste this beer had, malted corn with a little malted rice. Well, for the sake of things. Lets just say that it tasted like "beer."

This was a light bodied beer with a sweet watery aftertaste of malted corn and rice. Like the initial taste, that was it for the aftertaste. Since the aftertaste was watery, this aftertaste will leave your tongue in a flash! Don't get use to it.

Despite all my negative words about this beer, it wasn't all that bad. It's just that there wasn't much to it. You know what? I would rather drink this over a certain famous flavorless clear bottled Mexican beer. If this beer has one really good quality to it, it's the fact that this beer is cheap as hell. I only paid a dollar plus tax for this beer. If you got a pocket full of change you want to get rid of, then think about getting a single or two of this beer.

Photo of fx20736
3.14/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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.

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Trader Jose's Dark Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.