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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

89 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 89
Hads: 160
Avg: 3.29
pDev: 17.33%
Wants: 6
Gots: 9 | 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.
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Hads: 160
Photo of beertunes
2.68/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

 533 characters

Photo of Murrhey
1.83/5  rDev -44.4%
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.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

single finger head with little retention but nice lacing on a straight amber clear body. aroma is very sweet, mostly malt and grain with sweet corn. flavor is mostly malt but it is a little flat. smooth, simple and drinkable but not very memorable. medium body and light to moderate carbonation.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark crimson brown with a 2 inch foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt and some nutty and slight metallic aromas. Taste is of dark malt and some nutty flavors. A slight metallic flavor shows up on the aftertaste but it's not too strong. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a very crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer taste wise but nothing all that exciting.

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Photo of rodney45
3.05/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
2.65/5  rDev -19.5%
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!

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Photo of kojevergas
2.68/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours brown with a light off-white head, light lace, solid head retention.

S: Toasty malt, some brown sugar, nice smell.

T: Sweet dark bready malt. Really the only flavour, but it's good. Very light hop component.

M: Medium-bodied, crisp biting carbonation, smooth, easy drinking.

O: A very good beer for the price. Nice flavour, no complexity, but an enjoyable effort.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of jneiswender
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this as part of my wife's mixpack she made up for me. Poured into a pint glass and served cool.

Clear and dark brown color and an off white head. Smell reminds me of some chocolate and light coffee. Nequick like. LIght hop presence as the malt dominates with chocolate drink mix like flavor. The mouth feel is medium and well carbonated. I might drink this again.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.37/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown/amber in color with a wispy tan head. Not much retention at all.

S: Sweet malts, day old coffee grounds and a slight nuttiness.

T: It's definitely nothing mind-blowing, but it's not altogether awful either. Taste is cereal grains, sweet malts, caramel and hazelnut with a hint of marzipan as well.

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Photo of kneeland
3.88/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was an American Amber? Could have fooled me. It pours dark, almost coffee black. Maybe a hint of red if you hold it up to the sun. I really liked the color, especially since it didn't taste as heavy or as dark as it looked. You can taste the malt, a little sweetness. It's a very bold lager.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.55/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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!

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Photo of Reidrover
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

6 pack bottles from Trader Joes in S.Salem. $5.49 Dark amber/brown beer with a really good looking tight ,thick head..light tan in colour. Simple aroma..bready,some caramel..a little nutty. Taste again pretty simple..slightly caramel/toffee, some niuttiness..walnuts maybe small amount of hop in the end. Ok mouthfeel..not to bad for style..nice slightly bitter after taste. I enjoyed this..a nice simple dark lager

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.45/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Look: Dark brownish red almost rootbeer color with 1 inch white foamy head and decent retention

Smell: Roasted malt coffee and tobacco

Taste: Almost the damn same as the nose. Lots of coffee tobacco and leather notes

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium level of carbonation

Overall: I'm gonna be totally honest right now and say this might be the best .90 cents I have ever spent but it the beer cost $1.99 I would not buy it

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Photo of Knapp85
3.08/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.06/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.7/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Trader José Dark Lager is a very clear, coppery brown beer with a thin, bubbly, off white head that fades to a film and leaves nice lacing. It has a roasty, toasty aroma that's pretty chocolatey. It's light bodied and a bit watery. It's pretty smooth and the finish is pretty dry. The mellow flavor is chocolatey with a little green bitterness at the finish. It's smooth and mellow.

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Photo of wedge
3.03/5  rDev -7.9%
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...

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

You'd think "Trader" would be en español too, right? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear dark sunset amber topped by a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises toffee, dark greens, and light buttery biscuits. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a decidedly light addition of caramel. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a nice little lager, nothing much to distinguish it from everything else, but easy to drink and generally enjoyable enough for a nice-and-easy quaff.

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Photo of industrialswill
3.9/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's always worth the drive to TJs. They've expanded their beer selection since my last visit.
This beer is somewhat dark. It has a modest amount of foam from a gentle pour.
There is a slight floral hop scent to go along with the malt aroma that you would expect from a beer this dark.
The taste is good, there is no other way for me to describe it. This is a flavorful lager.
It's malty without being sweet and there is just enough hoppyness to leave a bite on the tongue.
I'm guessing that it's got a 5% ABV.

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Photo of dmfrench
2.58/5  rDev -21.6%
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.

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Photo of Brunite
3.06/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
3.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of droomyster
3.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear brown with a small, short-lived head. Aromas are burnt sugar and toasted malts but little else. Toasted malts and tons of nuttiness on the palate make it actually sorta tasty. It lacks any meaningful sort of balance from hops but it's surprisingly good, despite its lack of depth.

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Trader Jose's Dark Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.