Josephs Brau Winterfest - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Josephs Brau WinterfestJosephs Brau Winterfest

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BA SCORE
81
good

263 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 263
Reviews: 189
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 12.68%
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-14-2008)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 263 | Reviews: 189 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a near-perfect 2/3 beer 1/3 head ratio! Pours a clear, dark crimson color with a gorgeous cap of tan head. Nice retention and even better lace.
One of the best looking beers I have had in quite awhile.

Nose...not so much. Ever opened one of the rotten in-shell peanuts at the ball park? Kinda a musty burnt flavor/aroma? Yea...thats this, along with a sweet, dark malt-extract syrup smell.

Taste is near-burnt caramel and a touch of roast and dark chocolate. Not bad...a little on the astringent side, but not too bad. Not sure how many I could drink at a time, but a nice affordable doppel is not always a bad thing. Its better cold than warm, for what its worth.

Photo of TheMarkE
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of mjpolzin
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a pretty tasty, decently complex, malty winter beer...but it wasn't special.

This one comes pretty cheap from Trader Joe's (and in this case was a gift). It tasted about like I expected. It was a solid dopplebock-type beer with a little holiday spice mixed in. To me, it is the perfect session winter beer but I can't rate it any higher than that.

Photo of barczar
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant deep amber with garnet highlights and a frothy one inch khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sheets of lacing.

Melanoidins dominate the aroma. Deeply caramelized malt, molasses, tar, licorice, and dark fruit esters form the aroma.

Flavor is sweet, then turning a touch sour and bitter in the finish. Deeply toasted breadcrust forms the base, with hints of dark fruit popping up throughout. Nutty, caramel malt, chocolate, and brown sugar add sweetness, with light roast character surfacing at the end.

Body is fairly thick, with carbonation on the low side, and substantial alcohol warmth.

Interesting, fairly complex malt flavor. Esters are a bit overly pronounced. Also a bit sweet and hot, but it's a winter brew.

Photo of Lukass
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Proclarush
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of LXIXME
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big light tan head settles into a decent lacing above a clear reddish brown colored beer.

Dark roasted malts, darker spices, and even black licorice appear in the aroma of this winter brew.

Dark roasted malts with some sweetness with just a bit of hops sneaking in the taste, there also seems to be a touch of alcohol making it's presence known.

A not quite dryish aftertaste the bring with it some of the tastes on this medium bodied beer.

A decent but sort of lack luster taste, seems to be missing something that would make a person search out more of this stuff.

Photo of TastyAdventure
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass. Label says best before 04/13/13.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with hints of ruby and amber. Lots of rising bubbles and a big four finger light tan head with good retention. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: A very bready and dark biscuit like aroma. Roasted and toasted malts with hints of biscuit, chocolate, caramel, toffee, yeast, and toast. Hints of nuts and brown sugar. Also some subtle spices. Pretty earthy with some hops in the background. Very bready and straightforward.

Taste: Very bready, nutty, and creamy. Dark roasted malts with a a taste of biscuit, caramel, toffee, chocolate, toasted bread, and yeast. A good kick of nut flavors. Some sweet brown sugar. Light undertones of apple and dark fruit. A decent backing of earthy hops. Pretty creamy. A good bready and nutty taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Very creamy and smooth. Finishes somewhat dry. Alcohol is hidden well.

Overall: A pretty decent bock. Nice malt driven taste that is pretty nutty. Very creamy and smooth considering the higher ABV.

Photo of Fakexican
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of hkyplyr73
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of ToMakeEndsMeet
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of beerpadawan
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Unchi
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of murraymj
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of kew
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of EliRix
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of KitC
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured down the middle into my Augustiner .5L glass produced a large off white head that dissipated to sparse sheets. Deep red-brown color. Little lacing.

S: Quite boozy. Roasted malts create chocolate aromas. Pretty tight and closed at first, but as it warms it really opens up nicely.

T: Sweet dark malts.. Balanced with moderate hops in the finish that mellowed as the temperature increased. (I had it a bit cool for my taste to begin with and I tend to prefer better beers in the 50 degree neighborhood.)

M: Thin for a doppelbock. Low carbonation.

O: Pretty amazing for the price and the style. I was fortunate enough to be in Munich for Lent this year and this does a respectable job of imitating the Maximator, Optimator and Triumphator that I drank during my visit. It's certainly a suitable replacement until I have an opportunity to go back to Munich. I'll definitely stock up on a case or two for the winter.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of cdwil
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of williahd
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of augustgarage
3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The latest edition appears to have been renamed to "Winter Brew," though the font and contents appear to be the same. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Radeberger pokal.

Clear sienna body shot through with bright points of copper and rust and capped by an active thin off-white raft of foam. Mediocre retention, faint lacing.

Low melanoidins, slightly toasty malt, and a hint of candied nuts in the nose.

Intensely bready palate entry - crusty/toasty/dough-y flavors are followed by hints of winter fruit and increasing malt complexity into the dry/earthy/leafy finish. Maybe a touch of caramel in there somewhere as well...

Light bodied, maybe a little thin even.

Very drink-able, decently crafted, and a good value, though it lacks the depth of flavor that the better examples of the style exhibit.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of brewcore
3.23/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Yields a one finger off white head that dissipates quickly to sparse sheets. Deep red-brown color. Little lacing.

S: Quite boozy. Roasted malts create chocolate aromas. Not much aroma at first, but as it warms it really opens up nicely.

T: Sweet dark malts. Chocolate. Well balanced with moderate bittering hops in the middle and in the finish.

M: Surprisingly thin for a doppelbock. Low to moderate carbonation.

O: Not a bad doppelbock especially considering the price. Favorite doppelbock? No. Buy it again? Most definitely. Hard to find a good beer at a buck a bottle. Found one here.
On a consumption note, this beer is best served at 40-45 degrees IMO. As it warms the flavors and aromas open up.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of falloutsnow
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from Trader Joe's in Omaha, NE
Best by 5/14/12
Poured into an Ayinger willi glass

Trader Joe's house doppelbock is a good attempt at the style that is, unfortunately, a bit one-sided in its presentation of malt sweetness. A bit of complex sweetness (other than from caramel malt) would improve the overall character, and inclusion of nut flavors from malt would add extra depth. Not sure where the strange bitterness in the aftertaste arises from, but perhaps that could be avoided, too. Overall, good, but average.

Beer pours out a dirty white/very light tan head about 4cm in height. Composed of smallish bubbles, this looks very soft and pillowy. Head descends in about two minutes to a thin cap atop the beer, but leaves significant lacing on the sides of the glass in its wake. Beer's body is a heavy reddish-amber color, transparent, and with plenty of active carbonation.

Aroma is deeply influenced by rich biscuits and bread, heavy sweetness from caramel malt, slight nuttiness, and some spiciness, as from cinnamon or allspice.

Opens up with toasted malt sweetness on the front of the tongue, adding noticeable caramel malt flavors and some spiciness (again, cinnamon or allspice) mid-palate. Still very sweet as we move to the back of the palate, where there is a bit of bitterness perceived alongside additional toasted malts. Washes out with caramel malt flavors alongside bitterness. Aftertaste is unpleasantly bitter, not as from hops, but as from broccoli.

Beer is medium-bodied with soft carbonation that allows this to gently foam up on the palate. Resulting mouthfeel is very smooth and pillowy. Dry finish, slightly sticky from high malt sweetness. Ethanol felt on back of palate and throat, slightly surprising for a 7.5% doppelbock.

Josephs Brau Winterfest from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.