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Trader Joe's Hofbrau Bock | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

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Trader Joe's Hofbrau BockTrader Joe's Hofbrau Bock

Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Maibock / Helles Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rowew on 01-19-2005

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Reviews: 188 | Ratings: 277
Photo of AnalogReigns
4.62/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Nice look, golden amber, just right for a bock (too light for a DOUBLE bock)

S: Nice malty smell, with slight hop aroma. Has a pleasant herbal smell too, can't quite put my finger on it.

T: I had had this beer before, and didn't think it anything special. Then, WHEN AT THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE (cool NOT cold....) the flavor really snapped out. Very nice German style bock. At 7% ABV, this would nearly qualify as a dopple bock by German standards, but it's not quite aggressive enough to call it a double by American standards. This is a good example of a strong single bock. Very well balanced toward the malt side, as bocks need be. Interesting hops, with almost a belgian sort of candy flavor. Simple, the way lager is designed.

M: Good solid mouthfeel, as a bock should be.

D: Very drinkable, unlike some of the stronger double bocks, this can be a session beer--pleasant for a cool early spring evening!

Can't beat the Trader Joe's price either, of $6 a sixer these days. I believe this is a Gordon Bierch-made lager, very nice!

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Photo of Dave1999
4.06/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an amber colour with a thin white head and plenty of lacing.

The smell is malts,plums and rasins.

The taste is sweet and fruity. Some nice malts and just a touch of alcohol.

The mouth feel is quite light and smooth.

I really enjoyed this bock and fastic value for a dollar.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
4.05/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a good beer. Should it be called a Bock? No. Not even close. Blond Bock? Yes. That would be a more accurate description of this brew. Poured out to a golden color with a nice foam head. Medium level of carbonation. Some lacing noted in the glass. Aromas of fresh malts and grain, with some toastiness. Nice. Taste was along the same lines as the aroma. Very straightforward flavors of malt, hops, grain and some unsweet-butterscotch. Aftertaste was smooth and satisfying. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and quite enjoyable. A good level of drinkability, this could be a "fallback" beer to keep in the fridge for BMC drinkers who frequent your home to introduce them to good beer, yet keeping the Duvel and such from being wasted on those who wouldn't appreciate it. Hell, I'd keep it in the fridge for myself. Recommended.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.02/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Solid gold color with a decent off-white head/ring and nice carbonation. Seems a bit light in color for the style. Very nice grainy malt aroma and flavor. Great balance; not really sweet in any way. Medium bodied and smooth with a nice grainy dry malt finish.

A nice bock - light in color, but not in body or flavor.

Per Label: "RIch Golden Bock Beer." 22 IBU. 3 Types of Imported Malts. Hallertau Hops.

Bottled: 09/25/06
Tasted: 01/19/07

($0.92 / 12 oz bottle)

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Photo of Boneheadmx
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured out to a light amber with a decent cream-colored head that subsided rather quickly.

The smell is pretty malty, but light, smells a lot like fresh fruit, some apple, some banana.

The taste is very good, with the hops washing in immediately, and ending with the wash of the malt. Nice.

The mouthfeel is sort of thin, with the beer being a little flat. However, this beer is very drinkable. It has a high alcohol content, but it goes down nice and smooth.

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Photo of baos
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce beer into wide top coke glass.

A nice amber-golden brew with 3 fingers of head that sticks around. Aroma is honey-comb and clover-grassy. Nice sweet maltiness in flavor. A bit dry in the finish with a light grass hops to end it. This is a good beer try one on for size.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.97/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into imperial pint glass.

Nice clear golden color with a one finger head that slowly settles to a razor thin cap.

Light and crisp malt aromas with only a slight touch of hops.

The taste is pretty much all malt, with a light hint of bitterness from the hops coming through toward the end. The alcohol seems to be well perceived, especially when the beer warms a little. Medium bodied with higher carbonation. The finish is mostly grain with a little bit of dissolving alcohol.

This Bock seems to be more of the Maibock variety, with its lighter color and higher %ABV. Pretty much as expected for the style. Crisp grains, light but assertive hop presence, and a little higher alcohol content. As always with Trader Joe's beer, the price is right. Recommended.

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Photo of karait95
3.97/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice color, orange amber color with a medium body, carbonation is medium not to much for a permanent layer on top the head is small maybe is a little old, but the looking seams good.

S: Good again, some caramel as the buck style, also some hops and of course little toasted malts.

T: As good as the smell, again some caramel and a little bitter from the hops and the bred like taste of the barley.

M: Sweet at the beginning turning slowly and really not to much to a bittersweetness and at the very end some hops bitter.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.94/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep, sunflowery orange-yellow with a fizzy, parchment-colored head. The head is pretty thin and disappears in the blink of an eye with splotchy lacing, followed by no lacing at all. I like the color, but it doesn't make up for the lame head.

Smell: Strong caramel malts, with a pronounced edge of honey. There is a slight yeasty sourdough flavor, but combined with the honey aroma, it's almost more like an English muffin. Not much happening in the hops department, but the sweet smells are nice as they are.

Taste: Yum! The malts are a little sugary, but balanced out by a surprisingly strong hoppy bitterness. Alcohol comes through quite a bit as well, adding a different kind of sweetness and a little tartness.

Mouthfeel: Very light bodied, but the big, lively carbonation expands to fill your mouth nicely.

Drinkability: The more I drink, the more syrupy this gets. Still, these go down pretty easy, especially if I had some buttered bread and/or bratwurst to go with it.

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Photo of dhd1491
3.92/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear yellow-gold. White head of large bubbles two fingers high. Head lays down fairly quickly leaving just a touch of lacing on sides of glass and surface of beer. Some aroma of cloves, malt and citrus. Initial taste holds no smoke or grassiness; some malt, but not sweet; some crisp carbonated bite; a little cloves and allspice on the finish. Overall, a well-crafted, flavorful brew.

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Photo of crazybrody06
3.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to brewgnome for a chance to try this one.
This beer poured a nice amber color with a medium head. Smell is spices with apple banana. The taste is very spicy a little alcohol hint as well. The mouthfeel was nice with a good drinkabilty despite its high ABV.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.89/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before August 25th, 2012. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Radeberger pokal.

Clear amber body with a delicate surface slick and soapy collar. Poor head development or retention, no lacing.

Gentle pure malt notes in the nose with a touch of spring hay and pepper from the Hallertau hops.

A well lagered crispness greets the palate followed by a malty sweetness and a low grassy bitterness. Very faint melanoidins suggest toast and brown butter. Low but persistent bitterness offsets the sugars in the finish. Grows slightly more vegetal as it warms (presumably from the Pils malt).

Light brisk body, well carbonated without being sharp.

A straight-forward but well brewed (and inexpensive) version of the style.

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Photo of FatCaster
3.88/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A--Sort of between honey colored and orange and very clear. Pretty, but a sad little head.

S--I smell corn, alcohol, a little hops, and not much else.

T--This beer shines where it counts. It tastes like a bock should. Has a sourdough bread type of taste, a touch of sweet, and a nice bitter bit of an aftertaste in the back of the throat.

M--Pretty par for the course. Feels like a slightly thicker lager. Medium high carbonation masks a bit of the slightly higher alky.

D--Nice and drinkable, not too heavy, but the alcohol will probably get to you a bit faster than normal.

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Photo of mactrail
3.88/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Some may not like the sweet and raspy taste, but it's clean, well-made and rich with flavor. Quite attractive with a big head, golden amber color, and nice lacing down the glass. Tart and malt at the same time. Some bitter aftertaste, but it's a nice counterpoint to the malt.

I have been drinking this stuff for years, so might as well make it official. When so many average beers in San Diego go for over 9 bucks a six, this is almost half that. Especially a bargain for a strong flavorful bock. Even better, it stands up well to big hops as a mixer with the other half of that IPA bomber.

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Photo of steveh
3.88/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I first reviewed this favorite 3 years ago -- nearly to the day. Thought I'd update to see if I have different feelings.

Still $6 a sixpack -- can't beat that.

A -- Same deep clear gold as the past, though I'd call the head more of an off-white these days (probably my own perceptions changed), sudsy and firm, settling slowly and leaving nice lacing..

S -- Mild hop spiciness and bready character in the nose. Don't notice the alcohol as much.

T -- Yeasty breadiness up front, spiciness follows -- from hops or alcohol, I'm unsure. Finishes with more yeasty bread and a mild fruitiness in the aftertaste. Not exactly correct for a Maibock, but it's still very smooth.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft and smooth with a light-medium body.

D -- Very tasty beer at 7%, I could enjoy a few of these... with regret, I'm sure. Maybe not as solid a Maibock as it once was, but it could stand up to strong competition.

A - Very clear, deep gold color with a white head that settles quick, but revives well.

S - Mild, bready malt nose with some spicy hops and/or alcohol peeking through.

T - Sweet (though not cloying) maltiness with a slight hot, spiciness from alcohol in the clean finish. Spicy noble hops used well to balance the sweet malts, but not overpowering.

M - Not quite as soft as Bavarian lagers, spritzy and dry from carbonation, light to light-medium body

D - A solid Maibock by any standard, very drinkable -- but care must be taken at 7% because it sneaks up.

Of note -- TJ's is seeing the price crunch too, this beer is no longer $5 a sixer, but up to $6. Buck a bottle is still a good bargain.

Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 03-12-2008 13:48:05

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Photo of clemtig76
3.88/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very attractive, dark golden tan with plenty of head and some lovely lace. Good carbonation. A very pleasant, sweet malty aroma. Taste is a little grassy hops with a strong malt backbone and a little alcohol kick at the end. Very well done for a beer that is 7% ABV and only $5.99/six.

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Photo of vtfan77
3.87/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Nice golden color, which is odd for a bock, but the label describes it as a golden bock, so I guess It's ok. Not a whole lot of head, maybe a half inch that is gone rather quickly.

S- Lots of sweet malt in the nose. A little bit of grassy hop character is evident as well, but this aroma is all about the malt.

T- More rich malt all throughout the taste. Hops are more evident in the taste than they were in the aroma and add a pleasant spicy character. Finish is moderately bitter, enough to balance out some of the sweetness.

M- Nicely carbonated with a solid medium body to it.

D- It's too rich and alcoholic to have more than a couple. But I'd have no problem with those couple!

Hey, nice surprise here! This is a damn good beer. Great value too, at just a little over $5 a sixer. I'll have to try some more of the Trader Joe's beers now. Recommended.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out one of the lightest colors I've seen on a bock. Well-filtered golden-yellow body sports a thin head, settling to a ring in no time.

Aromas of honey, soda cracker, biscuit and a trace of sugar-cookie dough. Hops are light and flowery. Nothing too exciting, but nice enough.

Flavor counts most, and this beer delivers. Features a gooey honey essence mingling within the doughy malt, and just a flowery touch of hops to help give some balance. The texture is silky, full and round, creamy as can be, with a good stickiness and herbal bitterness in the finish.

Far from complex, this bock delivers fine flavor with an even more delightful texture. Had I only had sight and smell to judge it by, I would've written it off as sub-par, but it delivers where it counts most. Wish I had more than just one, because this is a keeper.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You really can't go wrong with these Trader Joe's beers. At the price they're nice everyday beers. I quite often go to the fridge and find only beers that I want to hang onto for a tasting, or more basic stuff that just doesn't have enough flavor. Up steps Joe. And they're great for taking to parties where you never know what you'll find. And, they make great intro beers for the non-initiated as well. But OK... The Hofbrau Bock pours a deep amber with golden highlights. It'd be nice if it was a little darker, but it certainly fits the style as is. The aroma is restrained and clean, only revealing a hint of honeyish malt and a suggestion of floral and grassy hops in the background. The flavor is fuller, of course, and the maltiness is like honey-drizzled bread. It opens up as it warms, and the toastiness really becomes apparent in the finish. It's balanced by a firm bitterness, and along with the alcohol, it finishes dry and spicy with spicy and gently grassy hops swirling here and there as it slowly fades. Could it be better? Yes. A bit more malt girth at the center would really help to focus it, and then round out the overall flavor. But as it is, it's still a really nice, balanced and flavorful bock. I won't say I could drink 50 of these, because we all know what 50 eggs did to Cool Hand Luke, but I could easily drink 3, and maybe 4 of these in a night. So, overall, not great, but pretty good.

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Photo of AlexJ
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale straw yellow with a tight white head that quickly fades into a nice veil.

Aroma is golden malt and light creamy caramel with a nice notion of earth noble hops.

Flavor is a nice surprise. The caramel malt character is nice and rich with a pleasant hop finish of earthy grass and dried hay. It's creamy and smooth with little trace ot he 7%ABV. Tastes relatively authentic in terms of style and a great beer for $5 a sixpack.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Polished 24-karat gold with bright bumblebee borders and a passable looking crown of bone colored foam that hangs around long enough. A few small scraps of bubble bath-like lace manage to stick.

The nose is appropriately bockish. It's pale malty with a moderate musky earthiness from the Hallertau hops. If the aroma translates to the palate, we'll have ourselves a pretty decent version of the style.

TJ's HB gets it right. It's relatively mild with respect to flavor intensity, but as someone who doesn't usually groove on bocks of any stripe, that's more positive than negative. Besides, a bit of warming should help (note: it does).

Modestly sweet pale malts? Check. A balancing amount of earthy-herbal Euro hoppiness? Check. Mid-range ABV? Check. Although the beer's lager yeast cleanliness deprives it of some personality, its easy drinkability cannot be denied. Gotta go with the higher taste score here.

The mouthfeel has more positive than neg... wait just a doggone minute... it has no real negatives. A lush creaminess and plenty of mouthfilling expansion earn the 4.0 with ease. A highlight for sure.

Trader Joe's is a pretty good place to buy beer if you're on a budget. Hofbrau Bock is an excellent example if you're a fan of the style. Hell's bells, it's good beer even if you aren't.

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Photo of FacistCannonBall
3.83/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up today just for kicks. There wasn't much of head to speak of, but I did like the dark gold color. Not much hop smell on the nose, but there was a nice sweet maltiness. The taste was pretty good for a beer that cost $4.99 a sixer. There was a richness not commonly found in other lagers (especially domestic macroes found at this price point). The taste matched its smell in that I found a sweet malt flavor that finished with a slight amount of hops. It had a light amount of carbonation and decent bitterness. The mouth feel was a little heavy with as noted by another reviewer a syrup consistency. However, I liked this beer...the price really helped.

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Photo of Shovelbum
3.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a generous creamy off-white head over a translucent golden-copper body. A few large carbonation bubbles drift upward through the beer. Decent head retention and lace. Aroma of wholesome fresh bread, but otherwise very clean. Moderate amount of sweet malt flavor, light diacetyl and just a nip of hops. Alcohol is well-hidden. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Slight crispness in the mouth with a lingering dryness.

Well-balanced and fairly straightforward. There is definately a good bit of malt in here, but it's not exactly the most exciting malt profile I've ever tasted. If I'm going to pummel my liver with higher ABV beers, I'd rather do it with something that has a bit more panache.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.81/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've always been curious about Trader Joe's beers and I finally picked up a few of them. They're pretty cheap at $5.99 for a six pack.

A: Looks good, dark straw color with a two-finger white head that lasts some time and leaves behind a nice ring of lacing

S: I'm not too impressed with the aroma of this guy. It smells like cereal grains and malt. Stronger smell than most macro-brew american lagers but not much different.

T: Surprisingly good. Maltiness up front gives way to a fair amount of hops and a lasting bitterness. It hides the 7% alcohol quite well, I would have pegged it for 5-6%. Not overly complex, but refreshing and very good.

M: Moderate carbonation, moderate body. Not much more to say. *As I work my way through the bottle the mouthfeel becomes a little too sticky and sweet. Not enough to ruin the beer, but enough to knock it down a peg.

D: Surprisingly drinkable. I could knock back an entire six pack easily before the 7% alcohol caught up with me.

Overall, this might not be the best beer in the world, but it's very easy to drink, well balanced and unobjectionable. I imagine that anyone who likes beer would like this one, and I'm not sure of many other beers that are this good with such a cheap price tag. No middle man, no jacked up price and a solid, drinkable beer.

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Photo of Riverwarrior
3.8/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S = Semi-sweet malts were dominant with a hint of caramel and toast in the background.

T = Sweet malts were upfront with some caramel near the end. The finish had just a hint of bittering hops, but overall, the sweetness lingered for a while (which was good).

MF = Body was just below medium and the carbonation was just below moderate. Very smooth.

Overall, this was not very complex, but it was very good and you can't beat the price for this one. I thought it was a solid bock and I will buy this one again.

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Trader Joe's Hofbrau Bock from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.36 out of 5 based on 277 ratings.
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