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Trader José Light Lager - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Trader José Light LagerTrader José Light Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

41 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 41
Reviews: 15
rAvg: 2.57
pDev: 21.79%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Light Lager |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: HalfFull on 10-18-2009)
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Ratings: 41 | Reviews: 15 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beertunes
1.83/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

The clear bottle should have been a warning. Poured into 9oz pilsener glass. Poured a typical thin yellow color with a half-inch of white head that had no retention and very light lace. There didn't seem to be much, if any, carbonation in the glass.

The skunk was apparent as soon as I started pouring the beer into the glass. A strong skunk scent that would make Heineken smell not skunky by comparison. The skunk covered up all other aspects of the aroma, but I did manage to pick up just a weak hint of grain. The skunk wasn't as strong on the tongue, but how could it have been as strong? There just some vague traces of grain and hops under the skuknkorama.

The body was typically average for the style and the beer did have more carbonation across the tongue than it seemed it would in the glass. Drinkability was a zero due to the over-the-top skunk. Overall, a terrible beer, avoid.

Photo of dmorgan310
2/5  rDev -22.2%

Photo of HungarianCount
2.75/5  rDev +7%

Photo of avisong
2/5  rDev -22.2%

Photo of dugly2ugly
2.5/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of GossageBrewery
2.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured this light lager from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a clear straw color fitting the style, produced a decent white head, average retention and average amount of lacing left on the glass. The aroma of this lager smells of malted barley- average. The taste is light in body, malted barley, smooth easy to drink. Thin, watery, mostly tasteless. Not impressed. Prost!

Photo of kojevergas
2.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear glass (ugh!) bottle with standard pressure cap served into a La Chouffe beer flute in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average.

A: Pours a two finger head of very light cream, okay to bad thickness, and average retention - though the ABV is rather low. Colour is a clear textbook straw yellow. It's pretty unappealing, all things considered.

Sm: Straw, barley, and malt. A bit on the malty side a la many Spanish lagers, but all around it's decent. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Straw and barley for the foundation, with a light rise of malt that continues through the third act for the climax. Simple and boring, but also refreshing. It's built to be drinkable, and in this it succeeds. It doesn't come off as stale or dirty as many Spanish lagers I've tried do. A hint of lime or something - anything - to broaden the flavour profile would be nice.

Mf: Smooth and wet. It stays out of the way, but also feels a bit thin - though there aren't many flavours to support. Thankfully, it's only a touch watery.

Dr: While its complexity is in dire need of work and there isn't much happening to bring me back to this beer ever again, it is a pleasant refreshing light lager that would work well as a table beer - perhaps to pair unobtrusively with food. The price point is actually rather fair, and (expectedly) no alcohol comes through in the flavour. It's worth noting that it's a big step up from Corona (though perhaps not Pacifico). I'd only recommend it to diehard fans of the style (if they exist!).

Photo of kepp
2.5/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of jjanega08
2.58/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best before date of 082512AFL 08:13

A= A light yellow color totally translucent with little head on it and little lacing. Pretty average for a light lager...

S= Smells like a skunked light lager. The skunk smell is a little overwhelming.

T= Just like the nose only less pungent. A little skunky and a little sweet. Grainy is another good word for it.

M= Typical light lager. High carbonation.

O= Pretty typical beer for the style. Nothing special or worth seeking out at all. Woud drink this on a hot summer day if it were free.

Photo of mactrail
3.3/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clean and slightly beery light.

Interesting that cracking the screw cap releases a hint of the slight "skunky" flavor that know-it-all collegians used to disdain when I was a lad. Carbonation is not as spritzy as one might hope, and the bubbles seem bigger. Translates into not much mouthfeel, which is what this beverage should be about. However, it does have a hint of malt. Nice lemony touch. Aftertaste is just a hint of metallic water.

Not my choice for a summer quaff, but seems like a well-made product.

Photo of mikesgroove
2.03/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

so i was stuck in the house with tons of cleaning to do and a bunch of light lagers. so i decided to crack this one open to clean the bathroom

the pour was a light amber color with tons of carbonation and a small head that faded as quick as it came. leaving a bare top with tons of bubbles foaming up to the top. aroma is non existant with light corn and rice, a touch of grain and hints of bread, but nothing appealing in any way. light flavor with a touch of hay and just one of the lightest flavors and feels i have ever come across. it was essentially water to me. just the lightest possible thing you could imagine with hardly any flavor to speak of.

overall it is what it is, went down like water and that was the end of it. do not think i will revist.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.25/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

I'm not quite sure what to expect from this brew. It pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises corn, light wheat, rice, and corn syrup. The taste holds notes of wheat, corn, and flowers. The body is rather light, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda watery feel. Overall, an okay beer that doesn't seem to aspire to much anyway. Regardless, it is highly drinkable and a decent example of what light lagers could be (though the overt corn and corn syrup notes could use a touch-up).

Photo of LXIXME
3/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear bright golden color with a medium white head. The head dies quickly but leaves a decent lacing a top this traditional Mexican light lager.

The aroma is very typical of a light Mexican lager having the light sour almost or hints of lemony citrus, and this transfers well into its taste, lightly sour lemony-citrus with lighter hints of some grains coming through.

This beer is very comparable to Sol, Tecate, Corona, or any of the other big name light Mexican lagers. Not really worth seeking out but if you like these kind of beers this will do just fine.

Photo of montageman
1.88/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Not an impressive beer. Clear, pale color with a less than appealing smell. Not much here to enjoy, but there isn't much to offend either. The flavors are muted and light - it is definitely a light beer. Tastes more like a sweetened mineral water more than a beer, but some folks might enjoy that. It has taken me over an hour to drink 1 bottle. Not because I'm savoring it, but more because I'm not enjoying it. Not recommended.

Photo of matjack85
2.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this single clear glass 12oz bottle at Trader Joe's in Glen Ellyn,IL for just a dollar. I completely misread the label thinking this was Trader Joe's own brand of beer rather than a Mexican beer named Trader Jose. It was only after failing to find it on the BA site did I take a second look and realize the spelling difference. No information about the beer on the label and no freshness date.

The beer poured a clear pale yellow color that made just a thin rim of white foam on top, but surprisingly left some lace down the sides of the glass.

The smell was awful. A big skunky odor overpowered everything else, but as I let it sit a little I could detect a more traditional lager smell.

The taste wasn't that good but it wasn't that bad either. A bit on the sweet side with more grain flavor than malt, but it also had a touch of hops to it for balance. I let a Mexican friend who was with me taste it himself and he said it tasted like another Mexican beer called "Sol", which is just another middle of the road macro lager.

The mouthfeel was light as it should be for this style, but the carbonation was a bit on the low side for my liking. Easy to drink if you don't inhale too much of the smell, but I'll stck with a Sam Adams Light if I want a good light beer.

Photo of HalfFull
3.18/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a clear glass bottle into a pint glass. This beer pours the clear and light straw typical of the style. An inch of soapy foam offers fairly good retention. Surface ring and scattered lacing are present throughout the glass.

Light and slightly husky on the nose yet without any distractions from the cereal grains. No corn though perhaps some rice. Very light touch of noble hops reveal themselves later on. Taste follows and is relatively mild in characteristics yet offers a better than expected body. In fact a bit 'creamy' for the style, enhancing the feel a bit. Fairly drinkable for the style given the lack of negatives. Not bad.

Note: ABV was estimated from caloric analysis of 120 calories per bottle, with 9.6g carbs and 1.0g protein. Thoughts of Sol Light from Tecate occurred to me but this surely seems a different animal aimed for the U.S. market.

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Trader José Light Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
66 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.