1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Josephs Brau Winterfest - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Josephs Brau WinterfestJosephs Brau Winterfest

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

256 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 256
Reviews: 188
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 5
Gots: 7 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Josephs Brau Winterfest Alström Bros
Ratings: 256 | Reviews: 188 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TastyAdventure


3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

12-23-2012 00:55:51 | More by TastyAdventure
Photo of MattyG85


4/5  rDev +12.4%

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.

12-18-2012 07:37:46 | More by MattyG85
Photo of Fakexican


4/5  rDev +12.4%

12-18-2012 03:54:16 | More by Fakexican
Photo of hkyplyr73

New York

4/5  rDev +12.4%

12-16-2012 20:30:31 | More by hkyplyr73
Photo of ToMakeEndsMeet


3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

12-16-2012 20:04:01 | More by ToMakeEndsMeet
Photo of beerpadawan


3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

12-16-2012 03:06:35 | More by beerpadawan
Photo of Unchi


3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

12-16-2012 02:54:05 | More by Unchi
Photo of murraymj


3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

12-15-2012 03:26:25 | More by murraymj
Photo of kew


4/5  rDev +12.4%

12-15-2012 01:35:19 | More by kew
Photo of EliRix


3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

12-12-2012 23:17:11 | More by EliRix
Photo of KitC

3.88/5  rDev +9%

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

12-12-2012 02:45:31 | More by KitC
Photo of cdwil


3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

12-11-2012 14:01:03 | More by cdwil
Photo of williahd


4/5  rDev +12.4%

12-10-2012 01:27:26 | More by williahd
Photo of augustgarage


3.28/5  rDev -7.9%

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.

12-09-2012 05:14:00 | More by augustgarage
Photo of Eriktheipaman


3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

09-10-2012 00:39:51 | More by Eriktheipaman
Photo of brewcore

South Carolina

3.23/5  rDev -9.3%

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.

04-24-2012 00:42:24 | More by brewcore
Photo of BuckeyeSlim


3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

04-22-2012 23:20:09 | More by BuckeyeSlim
Photo of falloutsnow


3.4/5  rDev -4.5%

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.

04-16-2012 15:33:57 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of nickfl


3.58/5  rDev +0.6%

A - Pours with a small head of light tan foam on top of a clear, amber-brown body. The head settles quickly and leaves decent lace.

S - A sweet aroma of caramel malt with some brown sugar and a hint of allspice.

T - Dark malty notes up front with caramel and some cola character. Very sugary through the middle with a bit of cinnamon and clove as well as brown sugar. Finishes with darker notes of burnt caramel and perhaps a hint of roasted character.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Not bad, the malt character is nice up front but becomes a bit cloying by the end of the glass. In the end, there are much better dopplebocks out there than this one

04-14-2012 03:16:40 | More by nickfl
Photo of Falcone

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

04-05-2012 00:44:58 | More by Falcone
Photo of bh123


3/5  rDev -15.7%

03-31-2012 19:22:45 | More by bh123
Photo of gleemonger


4.5/5  rDev +26.4%

03-29-2012 18:18:34 | More by gleemonger
Photo of kylehay2004


3.63/5  rDev +2%

A: Two finger head with excellent retention on a deep amber/brown mildly hazy body.

S: very malty with nut and caramel notes.

T: Lots of malt up front with a burnt toast and bitter coffee/toffee note in the finish. This causes a bit of a lingering aftertaste which is unwanted.

M: medium to full body, moderate to high carbonation. semi dry finish.

Overall: The aftertaste is a bit unpleasant and it was a little too dry but the aroma and malt presence is well done.

03-23-2012 00:32:31 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of kojevergas


3.08/5  rDev -13.5%

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+

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


2.68/5  rDev -24.7%

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.

03-16-2012 06:12:41 | More by Murrhey
Josephs Brau Winterfest from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 256 ratings.