Josephs Brau Heller Bock | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

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78
okay
207 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good
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Josephs Brau Heller BockJosephs Brau Heller Bock
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
207
Ratings:
391
Avg:
3.41
pDev:
14.08%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
33
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 207 | Ratings: 391
Photo of johnfoegen
4.74/5  rDev +39%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is a hit. I think Trader Joes has hit my beer preference nail on the head. Great beer for any time. I like one with dinner. Can't go wrong with this one.

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Photo of AnalogReigns
4.62/5  rDev +35.5%
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 BloodSoakedAleMug
4.32/5  rDev +26.7%
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.

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Photo of hophead723
4.28/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed an economical 6-pack of this from Trader Joe's, only $6.99. It is classified on BeerAdvocate as a Maibock which is a style that I really enjoy, especially Hofbrau Maibock. Let's give it a try.

Look: Perfectly clear golden amber, slightly off-white head, good cling, and medium slow-rising carbonation. Looks a bit lighter than some of the Maibocks I've encountered.

Smell: Mildly sweet aroma rich with honey and toasted grains. Husky, esters, a bit of diacetyl, and some yeast. There is a light touch of alcohol as well, but it is fleeting and at the end.

Taste: A delicious blend of lemon, honey, corn husk, green tea, melon rind, and honeysuckle are present upfront. Then there is a decently bitter and very grassy hop character that doesn't stop lingering once it appears. Very little noticeable alcohol presence.

Feel: The finish is clean thanks to the lagering process; an ale with this character would have an oily feel. It is medium bodied and the carbonation is mild.

Overall: Really good and drinkable. I love all bocks, from Maibocks to Einbocks. The alcohol strength is spot-on, the balance is perfect, and it is very drinkable. I like how Trader Joe's has affordable options that are great quality. There are around a half dozen varieties and this one is the strongest. Good stuff.

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Photo of McLaren
4.25/5  rDev +24.6%

I was never a fan of light beers until I tried the JB Heller Bock. It starts crisp, but gains weight in the middle and finishes with a meaty malt flavor.

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Photo of Mitzvahman72
4.22/5  rDev +23.8%
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!

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Photo of hopphead31415
4.08/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My bro brought home a six pack of this brew and it has a nice green label and a solid 7% ABV.

Look-It pours a delightful golden amber that shimmers with molten copper hues in the light. It is crystal clear and has lazy carbonation slowly wafting up to the surface culminating in a thin white film for a head.

Smell-It smells of rich malts and hints of yeast. I smell citrus and hops.

Taste-It taste similar to how it smells, but much more rich. I get strong notes of lemon peel zest, bready malts, caramel, fresh cut hay and grassy hops, dusty corn husks in the middle of a hot summer day, hoppy notes, warming alcohol, and then a buttered biscuit bread at the end.

Mouthfeel-It feels buttery, smooth, moist, and medium-bodied. It is almost chewy, but that could just be me. The carbonation is present yet tampered and plays well with the alcohol content which is noticeable, but subtle.

Overall-This brew is delicious. It is neither an IPA nor a lager or pilsner. It lives somewhere in between two dream lands and gives different flavors on each sip. Cheers!

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Photo of Dave1999
4.06/5  rDev +19.1%
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 +18.8%
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 +17.9%
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 RoyBrentJr
4.01/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Since there's a Trader Joe's around the corner—and since 6/$5.99 is impossible to argue with—I've tried several varieties, all the while trying not to laugh at the must-have-been-tongue-in-cheek yo-sefs-broy branding. Just got around to the Heller Bock.

A – Crystal-clear, light golden, maybe lighter than I was expecting. Head varies widely, dependent of aggressiveness on pour. Good lacing when there is a head. (Porter glass. All I've got. I'm not THAT serious.)

S – Cream soda, new grass and sourdough, with a touch of citrus and banana peel (I'm seeing a pattern here ...) and cinnamon.

T – Roasted nuts and a nearly-but-not-quite-overpowering tingle from the hops, then caramel with a hint of—yup, you guessed it—banana peel, followed by spice. Touch of lemon on the finish, but it waits a while.

M – Creamier than expected from the appearance.

O – Very much a maibock lager—spicy hops are obvious, but nothing overpowers and nothing takes a back seat, either. Comparable to Gordon Biersch's own Blonde Bock. Very nice.

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Photo of Boneheadmx
4/5  rDev +17.3%
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 +17.3%
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 +16.4%
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 +16.4%
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 +15.5%
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 +15%
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 +14.4%
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 +14.1%
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 +13.8%
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 +13.8%
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 +13.8%
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.

>>2008
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 +13.8%
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 +13.5%
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 +12.9%
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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Josephs Brau Heller Bock from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.41 out of 5 based on 391 ratings.
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