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Josephs Brau Winterfest - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Josephs Brau WinterfestJosephs Brau Winterfest

Educational use only; do not reuse.

266 Ratings

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Ratings: 266
Reviews: 190
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 12.36%
Wants: 5
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-14-2008

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 266 | Reviews: 190
Photo of Rowsdower
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of Drknight
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of illpass78
3.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark but clear red with an off-white head that starts out huge and gradually recedes down to a quarter inch. Lacing is significant. Looks like a good beer.

Aroma: The aromas aren't as strong as I had guessed. Not very boozy despite the 7.5 ABV. Some biscuit and caramel and roastiness in the nose, but not very pronounced.

Taste: Follows the nose at first, but much stronger. A very flavorful beer. It's very malt-forward and has some nice toasty, bready balance. The hops are also very much there - it's more bitter than I'd anticipated, but in a satisfying way. Definitely a tasty beer all around. Doesn't taste boozy, either, despite somewhat high ABV.

Mouthfeel: The beer has some enjoyable heft to it. It has a solid body and is easy on the palate despite the hop presence.

Overall: I liked this. The next doppelbock I have will definitely be measured against this one. I'm not certain that I see this as a "winter" beer, because it doesn't really scream "winter" at me, but it doesn't really have to. This beer could be a good starter for folks looking to get into "big" beers, because it's very easy on the palate despite the higher-than-average ABV.

Photo of bigaddy
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of ScubaSteve00
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of mjr5052
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of Lagerquestrian
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of kwselke
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of mfigueroa713
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of BillRoth
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Rosethoj
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of OldhouseRecs
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of javlin624
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of PEBKAC
3.2/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

$1.09 for a single from TJs. Damn inflation. BB: 3/15/14

Rounded pint glass. Crystal clear garnet/tea-ish body. Fluffy, light tan head.

Smells of buttery caramel corn & charred bread. Sticky spilled beer & booze.

Aspirin bitterness is the first & last thing you taste. Sweet-ish brown bread middle. Burnt nuts. Dry, pithy/popsicle stick finish. Starchy. Boozy. So-so carbonation.

Cold. Cold is sometimes enough.

Photo of SFNC
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

A - Pours a clear dark amber / brown with a finger of fizzy off white head which dissipates rapidly.

S - Has a sweet malt heavy aroma, with caramel, toffee, toasted bread, and nuttiness.

T - Caramel up front with toast, toffee, molasses, and other dark sweet malts. There's a bit of nuttiness in there as well. The alcohol is present in the taste, too.

M - A bit thin with low carbonation. Even though it has a thin body, it is somewhat sticky. There is a noticeable alcohol warmth.

O - It's a decent doppelbock, though an excellent value considering the $1 price. Nothing special, a good sweet and malty brew.

Photo of GMB
4.28/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Even a slightly-gentler-than-standard pour of Josephs Brau Winterfest yields a 2-inch head whose color reminds me of the slightly yellowed paper of an antique book. The beer's body appears, at first, a beautiful dark tawny with cranberry highlights, but, when held up to a strong light source, it morphs into a brilliantly luminescent orange-red. Carbonation is gentle. The head falls a bit quicker than expected, but leaves behind a thick, inch-high ring of lacing and a quarter-inch disc of craggy foam.

Dark caramel and bourbon come to mind as I fill my nose with this beer's sweet scent. Somewhere in the background lurk floral and herbal aromas, too. Let's see if the latter are more assertive on the palate.

Bourbon, dark raisins, roasted caramel, and a touch of black pepper are primary flavors. Repeated sips reveal hints of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Alcohol is assertive, warming, and, most importantly, well-integrated. This makes Winterfest an outstanding wintertime beer. After warming, the taste and creamy mouthfeel remind me of a Teacher's Pet. Superb.

Take notes, brewers. This is what a strong beer should feel like. Winterfest's full, malty body and creamy-as-steamed-whole-milk foam are like holiday gifts on the palate. They're complemented by the sharp cut and warming effect of alcohol.

As I finished this bottle of Joesphs Brau's Winterfest, I thought, "Damn, I should've picked up a six-pack." 'Nuff said.

Photo of TaylorK
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of SawDog505
4.02/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz tulip, best before 4/14. Pours mahogany, with a half inch light tan head, that leaves nice lace behind. Smell vanilla, oak, dark fruit, alcohol, bready, and toffee. Taste is very complex, less aggressive than the nose, with everything from the nose being represented, oak, vanilla, and the breadyness are most dominant. Body is medium, plenty of carbonation, a touch dry which I expect, and gives down easy enough, but seems larger than its 7.5%. Very nice example and an impressive winter warmer for an amazing price!

Photo of Hoganlaw
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of Wedcat
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of yhoshijima
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of Altoon88
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Teraya
4.75/5  rDev +33.4%

Photo of shick1
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

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Josephs Brau Winterfest from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 266 ratings.