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Josephs Brau Winterbrew - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Josephs Brau WinterbrewJosephs Brau Winterbrew

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

252 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 252
Reviews: 188
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 12.64%


Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-14-2008)
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Ratings: 252 | Reviews: 188 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SilentSabre
SilentSabre

North Dakota

2.35/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I wasn't terribly impressed with this one. Poured a clear reddish-brown pretty average for the style. Not much head, but there are some patches of sand coloured foam. Smell is very subtle. There are sweet malts present, but they're so faint. So much of a good doppelbock is great aroma to me. I love the powerful caramel/roasted malt smell that so many have; this is nearly bereft of this. The first thing I notice is a halfway decent caramel malt flavour which is quickly overpowered by a pretty offensive bitter/spicy hop flavour. Quite spicy, actually. This would be a great attribute in another beer, but not a doppelbock and clearly, from what I am gathering, not *this* doppelbock. Mouthfeel is fairly average and on target for the style. Overall, I'm am delighted that I didn't spend money on this thing. As I always say, though, I *am* glad that I was given the chance to at least try it out. Not for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2006 01:34:38 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of 4000qtrap
4000qtrap

Missouri

2.35/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Source/Serving: 12oz. bottle.

Smell: Raisins, brown sugar, and a little chocolate and brown bread.

Taste: Raisin and ripe fruit sweetness up front. In the middle there is a sharp bitter and alcohol bite that isn't terribly pleasant. Finish is more raisins, chocolate, and potentially some (fusel?) alcohols at the finish. Very full bodied.

Notes: Can't beat the price, especially for a beer of this style....but I'm just not a very big fan.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 05:05:29 | More by 4000qtrap
Photo of explosivebeer
explosivebeer

Washington

2.38/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer had a slightly yeasty aroma coming off a very modest head. The dark amber lager is crisp and subtly sweet. It seems to have potential, but doesn't quite live up to it. It's not a bad beer, but not particularly good either. Apparently this is brewed by Gordon Biersch. It seems like Trader Joe's could do better.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2008 05:06:04 | More by explosivebeer
Photo of 1759Girl
1759Girl

California

2.4/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance> Tootsie roll colored brown with a flaxen head. Pours a big head. Clear. Not too lively in appearance.

Smell> Sweet, alcoholic, slightly metallic.

Taste> Starts sickeningly sweet, begins to taste like a lager, then punches with a taste of a penny, then finishing with a sweet metallic hang. No me gusta. Complex but not nice.

Mouthfeel> average

Drinkability> no thank you

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2010 05:44:36 | More by 1759Girl
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11

California

2.45/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I love the dopplebock style so I had to pick this up at trader joe's, must be a fresh palate as the season is right and it was presented on the end of an aisle with about 20 cases out for the picking. I swiped a sixer up for some sampling.

Pours a deep purple to brown with a decent head and nice carbonation support.

Serious Toasted bread to the point of borderline smoked. Doughy at times. Taste was the same as the smell although the smoked flavors come through more in the taste. Malted sweetness up front and then Bammm smoked wood...

Notes: I was hoping that this winter-dopple would have some spices,cinnamon,cloves or something but it ended up being just a sub par dopple that has issues all around.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2005 05:49:31 | More by DogFood11
Photo of MisterClean
MisterClean

California

2.48/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz from fellow hop head Andrea who doesn't like Belgians. Could this be a hint?

A - Dark brown, black, light chocolate foam, dissipates quickly.

S - Plum, raisins, figs, and brown sugar.

T - Plums, raisins, figs, and earthiness.

M - Sour, light earthiness, and light carbonation.

D - Great if you may be constipated. All kidding aside, seems like Trader used an ill-advised yeast for this concoction. Not bad, but not a doppelbock.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2008 22:26:06 | More by MisterClean
Photo of rodney45
rodney45

New York

2.65/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark amber with a cream colored head that remains for the entire duration.

S: Grains, oatmeal and alfalfa hay.

T: Burnt and bitter toast are the first notes i get. Alcohol seems hidden, and so do any sort of hop profile. Sour and agressive. I agree with a previous review that said, a medicinal bitterness. It lingers throughout the beer, and it almost tastes like old vitamins, or the way a health food vitamin isle smells. It gets slightly sweeter as it warms up.

M: Sharp and sour, moderately carbonated. Medium body.

O: It seems to be an odd example of this style. Its not that it is bad, it just seems unfamiliar and medicinal. Personally would not purchase again, esspecially since you can get better offerings from trader joes for the same price, id rather stick with the pale ale, or ipa... both good examples of their own respective styles made by trader joes.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 10:45:19 | More by rodney45
Photo of Ricochet
Ricochet

Ohio

2.68/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I have not been impressed with Trader Joe beers, and I was less inpressed whit the bottle of Two Buck Chuck Wine that everybody raves about, but that's another story. I want to like this beer because it has elements that say it's good to me, but , something seems amiss.

It appears rosy amber, but seemed like an average brown ale, with a head that quicly left the scene. It smells sort of bread like, with some of the burnt malts making themselves known. Mouth was thin but very liquor-like, almost like this beer is crying to drink it at room temperature. As it warmed, it didn't taste as good. Actually, I was not impressed with this.

It was very malty and had a heavy alchohol twinge, and there was licorace and a little coffee taste, and I so wanted it to be a porter, but it was thin like a lager. There was raisin notes but the heavy alchohol just was too damn strong. Last one I tried, I don't know if I was in a non-beer mood or what, but I dumped it.

Drinkablilty is, well, at 4.99 should be okay in my book but this wasn't a very drinkable beverage. I have tried other bocks and they seemed to do this style a bit better. Yes, this would be better than a malt liquor or bland lager for flavor, but compared with it's style, not good.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2005 05:06:52 | More by Ricochet
Photo of Murrhey
Murrhey

Montana

2.68/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a taster glass. Reviewed live.

A- Quarter finger head with a quickly evaporating retention. Tan head with large bubbles that escapes quickly. Dark orange-brown color with nice clarity.

S- Nut brown sort of smell, toasty malts with toffee tones that are in brown ales normally. Nice little fella.

T- Nut brown with heavy malts and light on hops. Interesting taste, but nothing so special.

M- Medium bodied and fairly dry finish. Nice feel.

O- Not a great beer, but nice finish and nice overall.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2012 06:12:41 | More by Murrhey
Photo of mikeg67
mikeg67

New Jersey

2.75/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle from Trader Joe's. Pours dark red to brown with a tanned, rocky, long lasting head and lovely carbonation. Aroma is not very appetizing - with piny hops and bready malt in the balance. Taste is similar plus alcohol. Body is medium, crisp and somewhat oily. Finish is long and earthy. Well, this is not Ayinger Celebrator.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 21:15:11 | More by mikeg67
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

2.75/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Best consumed before 5/21/12.

Pours a clear copper color with a 1 inch foamy tan head that settles to a thin cap. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and some fruit aromas. Taste is of toasted malt, caramel, dark fruits, and an interesting band-aid flavor. A slightly assertive and medicinal bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is not a very good beer in my opinion based mainly on the off band-aid flavor coupled with the assertive hop bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2011 08:06:22 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of hopsaplenty
hopsaplenty

Virginia

2.83/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber with loads of carbonation streams. Short, quickly thinning head of sandy colored and small bubbles which thins to a brief collar leaving no lacing. Smells slightly sweet and modestly malty, with raisins, plums, and almost jammy. The taste is also initially sweet and finishes with notes of alcohol. Raisins and plums along with hints of clove are also present. Light body for a dopplebock, and a rather thin mouthfeel. Didn't seem quite to style, but was still enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2005 04:12:49 | More by hopsaplenty
Photo of witflee
witflee

Ohio

2.83/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a syrupy stream into a clean beer glass and imagined some hot pancakes underneath would be a fitting palate-cleanser. But despite its sugary-thick appearance, it produced a pretty head, nice reddish-brown body, and stick my nose in, I smell cherry candy dissolved in oolong tea. Already I feel a bit green around the gills. Into the mouth, it discovers a sweet and peppery amalgam of thick liquid Zantac® flavored with things that don't sound appealing, like rose hips and chamomile. Perhaps if I were a starving monk enduring the days of Lent I might be more charitable towards this liquid bread, but as it is, I need a ham-on-rye sandwich to abrade my tongue and get this strong sweet brew off my taste buds. If this beer review doesn't make sense, i wrote it after full consumption of the 7.5 ABV brew, whew!

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2006 22:07:36 | More by witflee
Photo of hammer09
hammer09

Illinois

2.88/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A friend recently gave me one of these to try. Trader Joe's Winterfest Dark Doublebock Lager pours a dark, reddish-brown with a thick, foamy head. Beer appears clear, but slightly syrupy, and lacing is well developed. Smell is malty with some sour overtones that detract from the overall aroma. However, there is a very nice caramel aroma beyond the sourness. Taste is very malty, but the overall character is somewhat muted. It's not bad, but I expected more pronounced flavors. Mouthfeel is generally flat, sticky, and unappealing. This would benefit from a little more carbonation. Overall, Winterfest Dark Doublebock Lager is drinkable, but this beer could use a little more flavor and carbonation to offset some of its bland characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2007 12:50:21 | More by hammer09
Photo of Pecafaced
Pecafaced

Maryland

2.9/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- A dark red ruby color with a decent amount of head retention that dissipated fairly quick. The beer left a nice lacing along the glass.

S- very sweet, hints of biscuit. No hop aroma detected.

T- a sweet taste initially, followed by the biscuit flavor and then a bit of alcohol towards the end. A decent dry finish.

M- not a bad mouthfeel. This beer is well carbonated.

D- For a 7.5% ABV is pretty drinkable. The alcohol is not as upfront as some beers with that much volume. Probably wouldn't buy it again but its drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 17:44:08 | More by Pecafaced
Photo of johnnieoz
johnnieoz

Texas

2.93/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of my Trader Joe's Doppelbock taste-off

JB Winterfest vs. da Optimator

$5.99 plus tax for a six-pack.

A: Looks just like da Optimator, reddish brown tint, off-white head that is a bit bolder than da Optimator's.

S: Sweet, sweet, sweet. Smells like molasses and dark bread. Too sweet for me.

T: Pure malt: caramel and syrup. Hint of hops...no, that was the bitter taste of tonight's LA air.

M: Not as full as I would expect from a 7.5 % ABV doppelbock. Just a bit too watery. Goes down smooth, no aftertaste. Oh yeah, more carbonated than da Optimator.

D: Respect to TJs and their braumeister Joseph Brau. Nice that they gave this style a shot. It's $2 less than da Optimator, but if you have $2 to spare, I'd Opt for the German.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2008 03:22:00 | More by johnnieoz
Photo of acemathew
acemathew

California

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

Aroma is nice and malty the Marzen comes through in the pour smells like Christmas.

The dark tones are ruby reddish to dark copper. The head pours big and strong but doesn't hold on for long.
The taste is great nice and malty and some chocolate.

The mouthfeel is thick and warm it has a lasting feel.

The finish is OK can't wait to get to the nest one.

I haven't had many Dopple Bocks let alone a bock at all. Lagers you know. But this is really good and inspiring. I wish to make something like this for next winter. The price/value is remarkable with 7.5% and it is brewed in CA.

I wont change my original comments but this is adjunct beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2009 04:01:34 | More by acemathew
Photo of MisterDeeds
MisterDeeds

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with hints of red showing through. A quick tan head vanishes quickly, and the bubbles continue to peck through the murky brown surface.

Smells malty with a roasted sweetness in it. Caramel?

Taste is sweet and malty. Some caramel malts, and a touch of dark mollasses maybe. A nice bready aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very thin, alomst non-existent. Not what I'd expect from a Dark Double Bock.

Overall it's not terrible, but to me it seems more like a Marzen or an O'fest, than a Double Bock. But what do I know? Brewed by someone somewhere for Trader Joe's, it isn't the worst beer in the world, and certainly worth the price of $5.99 for a sixer.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 23:23:37 | More by MisterDeeds
Photo of Hautacam
Hautacam

Connecticut

3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark amber..large head..foamy...reduces to a collar.
Smells good...malt , alcohol ..prunes ?
Tastes pretty good at first...sweet, malty,caramel...maybe some vanilla...touch of hop..but at the finish a faint metallic taste and aftertaste that is spoiling this for me....damn....I really wanted to like this...I love TJs, and the price of this is great.
Mouthfeel is medium..low carbonation.
Not too drinkable for me...one is enough.
I have a few samples of their other beers to try....it's such a good deal if they're any good at all....and I would like to try a different batch of this..it really was good right up until the finish.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2006 01:17:18 | More by Hautacam
Photo of ELN
ELN

Washington

3.05/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

i was gonna say that i don't like the bock category very much and then i was gonna say that i'd never heard of this brewery but it's just a trader joes name joke again! ahh!!

serving type: bottle
appearance: drink from the bottle. COOL!
smell: dark. label says "dark" and "caramel"
taste: chocolate, grapes, slight citrus?
mouthfeel: not very heavy. i going to give it a 2.5
drinkability: i came with an open mind but this just doesn't get me beer-happy. these things have a awkward off-putting taste and it's a strange category you don't see much of. i wouldn't buy a sixer of it but if it was free then yes i would have another!

7.5% the big winner. :)

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 08:59:42 | More by ELN
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Port Brewing taster glass in me friend's gaff in low altitude Orange, California.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Paired with pizza and breadsticks from Pizza Hut.

A: Pours no finger at all, with a floater that indicates only fair thickness and slight cream. Retention is obviously awful (~<10 seconds). Colour is a nontransparent amber. No visible yeast particles.

Sm: Amber hops, clean malts, and cream. A very simple mild strength aroma. Not particularly enticing.

T: Amber hops and malts. Very simple indeed. Not at all complex or subtle. No real spices. Maybe some toasted malt. Decently balanced but badly built. Disappointing, without any complexity. Predictable and boring.

Mf: Smooth, wet, a touch thin, and adequately carbonated. Isn't tailored to the flavours specifically, but suits them generally.

Dr: Drinkable, but boring and dull. Too simple for the style. I wouldn't have it again, but for the .50 cent price tag it's nice enough. Hides its slightly high ABV well.

Low C+

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2012 06:13:20 | More by kojevergas
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

3.1/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tried one of these beers that my dad offered me from his 6-pack. Poured a toffeish brown/black. Smelled like licorice, with vanilla notes a decent amount of malty sweetness followed by the welcomed bubble of cold lagered carbonation to help the flavor along. Although I wasn't expecting this Dopplebock to be up there withe Ayinger Celebrator, but for a 7.5 % beer, the overall flavor scheme was subdued. Not up to my expectations, but would definetly buy this beer though.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2005 21:08:00 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of walleye
walleye

Michigan

3.13/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

from the bottle. poured a reddish brown with a light tan head and no lacing. aroma roasted malts, caramel, sugar, molasses, a little chocolate. flavor, roasted malts, chocolate, plums, brown sugar, some hops. mouth feel was a little thin. but not to bad of a beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2006 20:05:15 | More by walleye
Photo of ncbrewerbun
ncbrewerbun

North Carolina

3.13/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Trader Joes just opened up here, so my wife treated me to a six pack of this doppelbock.

The beer pours a brilliant light mahogany with ruby highlights. It has a creamy off-white head that disipates after several minutes. A great looking beer!

Aroma is predominately sweet malt -- caramel, some toastiness and bready notes; however, I initially picked up a noticable metallic aroma, which faded quickly. Just a hint of prune.

Flavor is of malt -- sweet, toasty, caramel. There is obvious alcohol. Some bitterness, but definitely dominated by malt.

Medium full body, some chewiness. Very obvious alcoholic notes and warming.

This is a decent beer, but nothing beyond that. A great looking beer and for the price, probably not a bad deal.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2006 03:12:04 | More by ncbrewerbun
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

3.13/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into a three philosopher's goblet.

A fleeting, off white head vanishes in under fifteen seconds, leaving nothing more than a miniscule ring of tiny bubbles. The body is dark russet in color with a slight amber tint; bright ruby red when held to the light. The nose immediately picks up a super-sweet, candi-malt backbone, as well as some spicy hops and fresh cedar.

To put it plainly, the flavor is too sweet. It's not necessarily bad, but there's just not a good balance here. Caramel malts and candied sugars overpower any traces of hops, while an ill-timed alcoholic sting coats the sides and back of the palate. Something is just "off" about the carbonation level, too, as this beer leaves the mouth dry & sticky. There is a decently hoppy finish, however, but it's far too little, too late. Overall, I wouldn't recommend this beer unless you were looking for a cheap dopplebock to try. For the most part, you get what you pay for at Trader Joe's.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2008 07:22:20 | More by wagenvolks
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Josephs Brau Winterbrew from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 252 ratings.