Josephs Brau Heller Bock
Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Josephs Brau Heller BockJosephs Brau Heller Bock
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Bock - Maibock
Ranked #163
Ranked #47,819
3.46 | pDev: 13.58%
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States
Josephs Brau Heller BockJosephs Brau Heller Bock
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Reviews: 226 | Ratings: 437 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Ogawo
Ogawo from Oregon

3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The image shown is NOT for HELLER BOCK but for their "Hofbrau" so the reader is not confident that the review
is NOT for HELLER BOCK, but for Hofbrau???

Jan 16, 2020
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee from New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Trader Joe's Bedford
Dark golden in color with a thin off white head that dissipates slowly. Rich bready crackery pilsner maltiness. Light earthy floral spicy hops to counter. Not too shabby and kinda shocked my expectations.

Nov 24, 2019
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mblakesley from California

2/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Just not getting a whole lot out of this one. The malt up front is simple and syrupy, and the hops on the back aren't too bitter but they do taste a bit off to me. The smell is similarly off. Maybe I just don't like maibocks?

Nov 22, 2019
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paging12 from Virginia

3.69/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle from Trader Joe's poured into a chalice.

L: Golden amber, rich, orange in color. A decent head, half-inch, white, remained for a time.
S: Some maltiness, metallic, banana peel, European hop bitterness.
T: I tasted pears, apples. The flavor was true to the style, breadiness, sweet, yeasty. Banana peel. The flavor was good, just not as separated or individuated or nuanced as a Devil's Backbone Maibock or the Port City Colossal 8 (maybe not a fair comparison).
F: Heavy, good, a bit of sparkle.
O: This is a solid German-style beer. I like this beer. This beer does make me appreciate, more and more, German styles.

Mar 23, 2019
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defunksta from North Dakota

4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a medium, deep orange, or amber color that is relatively clear and has a mild to moderate white head. SRM of 12 (3.75)

Aroma: Tons of baked caramel w/ orange, honey, and sweet bread. A little airy. Some toasted sweet bread and a touch of dark stone or citrus fruit. (4.25)

Taste: Tons of caramel and sweet banana bread again on the tongue. But this time a lot of molasses, banana, and orange. Then spiced bread with dark fruit of orange marmalade and dried redfruit. Finishes with a slight bitterness of spices. Leans sweeter though due to the caramel. A nice array of flavors. (4.00)

Feel: The mouthfeel is heavier for sure, yet not oily. Carbonation is mild. Alcohol is slightly detectable. A little caramel and spices left on the palate. (3.75)

Overall: A really good beer. Not had a whole lot of Maibocks, so hard to compare. Slightly less flavor compared to Dead Guy. However, it has a really nice caramel and spiced banana bread flavors with a strong body. Just enough spices to round it out. A touch of citrus too. Slightly heavier and more malty sweetness than an Oktoberfest beer. Less bitter. This beer would be a perfect November beer I'd reckon. A fantastic beer no doubt. (Final Rating: 4.02)

Feb 25, 2019
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vainosuomi from Virginia

3.64/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look: clear golden/amber color
Smell: Sweet grain, floral hop, and hints of ripe fruit
Taste: Slightly toasted sweet grain, molasses, corn, and backed by a moderate hop presence
Feel: medium body, moderate carbonation, a bit warm

It's a decent representative of the style. For just over a buck a bottle I can't complain.

Nov 21, 2018
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jwc215 from Arizona

3.44/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle:

Pours deep golden with a thin head that becomes a thin wisp. Trailing lace.

The aroma is of doughy grain. Slight lemongrass.

The taste is clean. crisp. some grain. Enough general hops to give it a slight citric balance to the malty sweetness.

No real flaws. A standard, basic, easy-drinking maibock. Well-priced. Overall, though, forgettable.

Jul 18, 2018
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bokaba from California

3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Decent Bock or MaiBock style German beer at a bargain price ($5.99 6 pack in CA). Malt, caramel, corn, and syrupy flavors balanced with a moderate dose of hops. Not phenomenal, but a value for the price.

Jul 14, 2018
Photo of illpass78
illpass78 from Maine

3.79/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. in a tankard.

Appearance: Clear gold with a two-finger white head. Very beery looking.

Aroma: Sweet grains, grass, cereal.

Taste: Follows nose, with a touch of caramel and malt sweetness. Biscuit, toast.

Mouthfeel: Standard for style. A fairly easy 7 percent; I’d have guessed less.

Overall: Nice little cheapo bock. Flavorful, refreshing.

May 11, 2018
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edc20 from Oregon

4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly malty, syrupy sweet flavor (but moderately bitter at the same time). Definite hints of corn. Very carbonated and efferverscent. Highish ABV (7) that you can taste. Kcal is slightly higher than expected. (210kcal).

Apr 21, 2018
Photo of FBarber
FBarber from Illinois

3.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper color. Crystal clear and quite effervescent. Thin white fuzzy head dissipates steadily eventually leaving no residual head or lacing behind.

Aroma has notes of grains, slight toasted malts, a hint of sweet corn, honey, and some light floral hops.

Taste has notes of biscuits, spicy peppery hops, honey, with a slight floral hop finish. As the beer warms you get some hints of yellow corn - without that note this beer would be much better.

Feel is pretty light, crisp and brightly carbonated. Semi-dry finish.

Overall, its a solid bock - the corn aroma/flavor is less than savory, but otherwise its solid.

Mar 11, 2018
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fscottkey from New York

3.62/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: [3.75] The bottle lists the ABV (7.0%) and the best by date (05/28/2017). The beer is a transparent copper color and has 1/2 a finger of white head.

S: [3.50] Corn, molasses, crackers, cardboard a little.

T: [3.75] Getting some grape skins, corn, crackers and some leather taste.

M: [3.50] Medium body and peppy carbonation. It has the feel of a decent dock beer.

O: [3.50] At 7% this is super drinkable. They didn't do anything amazing with the 7% either. Like I think you could get this flavor, nose, feel at 5%. The whiffs of molasses and some leather taste are a bit of a bonus. I guess on a dock I'd drink this but I'd prefer the same profile at 5% ABV.

May 11, 2017
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NastyNorseman from New York

3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bronze amber colored. White thin head. Smells of faint banana grassy hops and an oh so subtle clove. Tastes light with sweet caramel malts along with banana, grassy hops, and pepper. Finishes clean and bitter.

Apr 29, 2017
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Riff from Virginia

3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured an amber color with about a finger of white head. Smells of malts and a little herbal notes. Taste follows, malt heavy with significant bitterness for the style with little hops notice, on the sweeter side, almost a honeyish flavor to it. Flavor lingers for a few moments. Overall, eh, not a bad beer, not something to seek out either. Wouldn't turn it down at a party.

Apr 26, 2017
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jkblr from Indiana

3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle BB 7/17/17 poured into a krug at fridge temp 7% ABV 22 IBU. The beer pours a copper color with short lived off white head and sporadic lacing. Aroma is rich malt first and a little hops to follow. Taste is equally rich malt slightly overpowering the bittering hops. Mouthfeel is good for style, full but not too sweet or sticky in the finish. Overall, enjoyable and easily found (if you have a Trader Joe's nearby).

Apr 13, 2017
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Lingenbrau from Oregon

3.69/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a beautiful clear gold with a fluffy white head that persists and laces well. Smell reminds me of lightly coated caramel apples and toasted bread. Flavor is mostly sweet biscuit, but a touch of that caramel and some red apple sweetness do come through. A hint of earthy bitterness. Feel is considerably light and drinkable for its abv, and has a nice mild carbonation and smooth feel. Overall, this is a decent Bock and can't beat the price. Prost!

Apr 11, 2017
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Profundobaso from New York

3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L - pale amber. two finger head that quickly dissipates
S - sweet, with hints of banana
T - not as sweet as it smells, but malt flavor is strong. a slightly unsatisfying finish that sort of just goes away
F - medium bodied, but booziness is strong. carbonation is light
O - great bang for the buck. there are definitely better, more balanced bocks out there, but i would buy/drink this again given the price

Mar 08, 2017
Photo of descobar
descobar from Florida

3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from TJs.
Smell: sweet grainy, bready malts with faint herbal noble hop aroma
Look: pours deep golden with a small 1/4" frothy head that quickly dissipates to half the original size. this beer is perfectly clear.
Taste: malt forward lager. so all sweet malts, assertive bitterness and pronounced alcohol presence
Feel: medium full body with rich creamy texture. crisp carbonation and restrained astringency
Finish is smooth and dry with lingering alcohol warming
Overall: Not my favorite type of lager but this beer seems a decent rendition of the style.

Feb 20, 2017
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moodenba from New York

3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Six pack purchased Jan. 2017 at Trader Joes in New York State, brewed in San Jose, well within the "best before" date. Impressive ingredients list. Bottle at about 45F poured into nonic shape glass. Strong beery aroma, but not especially enticing. Tall firm head over deep amber brew.

Flavor has a malt forward character. However, the beer has no really attractive flavors. Noble hops are wasted on a simple background bitterness. The maltiness is pleasantly sweet, but imparts a fairly neutral body that doesn't encourage quaffing.

Feb 08, 2017
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california_republic from California

2.16/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

First impression: Got this at Trader Joe's because it was cheap. Tasting notes also made me optimistic about it but I forgot what it said. Tasting it right after Hop Hunter IPA by Sierra Nevada, which was a huge mistake because it smells awful in comparison.

Smell: The first thing I thought of was soy bean sprouts. Then the malt hit me. Very malty.
Look: It's dark orange/light brown and cloudy? The smell probably biased me but I don't think it looks that great.
Taste: Very savory from the malt with a little sourness. I get a bit of bread too.
Feel: Not a fan of the maltiness without anything else I guess. It's a bit overdone and kind of makes me gag. Feels a bit heavy and kind of sticky too.
Overall: The smell really ruins the rest of it for me I think. The savory smell from the malt(?) just isn't what I like in a drink. The taste alone is actually okay but so much of taste is tied to the smell and the palate that overall I can't say I enjoyed it.

Jan 06, 2017
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt from New Hampshire

3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a one finger light creme head that fades quickly leaving no lace. Crystal clear amber color. Good carbonation and light-medium bodied. Malty nose and flavor is malty with hints of caramel. $1.17 for a 12oz bottle from Trader Joe's Nashua, NH.

Nov 14, 2016
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Guppy314 from District of Columbia

3.28/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From a bottle, pours a clear gold with a thin off-white quickly dispersing head. Aroma of of sweet malt. Taste is malt-forward with caramel and grassy with a hint of corn and hops. Flavors fade fairly quickly, not watery, but not great.

Sep 23, 2016
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BloodSoakedAleMug from New York

4.32/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a translucent golden orange color with a dense, two finger, cream colored head. Excellent retention.

Aroma is slightly spicy and floral with notes of apple strudel and caramel.

While I have had a few helles in my day, I'm no expert on the style.

That being said; I find this to taste pretty good. It's floral and vaguely sweet upfront with subtle smokey flavors of gently toasted caramel malt, and apple crumb cake. I'm also getting some notes of dates, raisins and honey. The finish is grassy and bitter, but only moderately so.

Alcohol profile is well masked, but not completely hidden - providing a very pleasant warming effect. The mouthfeel is light and crisp, although bittersweet.

Overall, this is quite good. I could see myself crushing a few of these over the course of an evening. Definitely underrated around here.

Sep 09, 2016
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Mitzvahman72 from California

4.22/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

With a bold straw color, although it has a slightly musty aroma, the flavor is refreshing, balanced cereal malt with the right sweetness to counteract the slight grass hop. It has the nicely malty backbone that makes it enjoyable overall. It tastes just like the Minden Maibock that Karl Strauss Brewing Company used to make. Now that the small batch collections are now bringing back the beers that they used to brew, this is a huge opportunity for them to bring back this style that tastes just like this beer!

May 17, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.26/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

One of the first breweries to go with freshness dating. Score. Gold appearance, soft white head, 2/3". Aroma was a crisp noble hop on a sunny day.

Taste was easy going, nothing too assertive here, some pale toasted malts, minor alcohol buzz, minor Saaz hop stuff. Carbonation could have been higher, especially for style. Can't beat the price/format, but nothing special to where I would seek this stuff out again despite having no significant flaws.

Apr 28, 2016
Josephs Brau Heller Bock from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 437 ratings