Josephs Brau Heller Bock | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

BA SCORE
78
okay
207 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
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 california_republic
2.16/5  rDev -36.7%
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.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of Guppy314
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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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 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 rodbeermunch
3.26/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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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 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 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 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 Franziskaner
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice shiny copper penny color with excellent clarity. A fingernail of light beige covers a third of the top. Brussels lacing. Aroma of amber malt with a grain like bready note. The taste is amber malt with a nice German bittering hop in the back of the palate. The mouth is smooth and quenching.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clean golden with a prodigious head of off-white suds. Attractive, loopy lace.

Aroma: Malty, sweet, grains and yeast. Not bad.

Taste: Sweet and malty with some rich caramel notes, and a sharp, tangy, and spicy hint. I get a slight dryness at the finish. Not bad, but not one I’d return to.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a copper amber with a thin lace that soon disappears, nothing special about the look. There is a sweet aroma that is caramel or toffee like, toasted dark bread and slight alcohol. Malt forward taste, slightly sweet, but with a modest hops kick. Semi dry finish. Medium bodied, some crispness. Overall pretty tasty. Not bad.

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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 CTbrew32
3.11/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Appearance- Light golden amber color. Pours a one finger fizzy head that quickly dissipates.

Aroma- Very muted smell from this, but there is some caramel/nutty malt that can be picked.

Taste- Up front there is a sweet, nutty Munich malt that tastes good, but it is quickly over shadowed by overly spicy hops that unpleasantly cause tingling throughout the mouth. Almost a metallic/garden hose flavor in here as well. The finish is a saving grace as the spicy hops fade away, and leaves the malt alone for a sweet and smooth finish.

Mouthfeel- Probably the best aspect of this beer with typical clean lager drinkability. However, it warms up the beer loses the crisp hop snap and malt comes forward and detracts from the drinkability.

Overall- I'm not familiar with this style and what to compare it to, but its a decent beer that at the very least is an easy drinker if something simple is desired. Solid malt flavor, but the hops are way too spiced up. Worth drinking if ya got it for free, but certainly not something I'd paid for or recommend. (71/100)

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%

A: Pours a crystal clear medium golden yellow in color with moderate to heavy amounts of active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and some faint pale yellow highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy off-white head that reduces to a couple of medium sized patches of thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of slightly sweet bready malts with a light amount of earthy + floral hops.

T: Upfront there is a slightly stronger than moderate flavor of slightly sweet bready malts with a light amount of honey sweetness to it. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of earthy and floral hops which impart a light amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Hints of dryness in the finish.

O: Nothing special but not bad either, a pretty decent offering especially for the price. Easy enough to drink and enjoyable. Worth grabbing for the price and worth sampling.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

JosephsBrau Heller Bock has a very thick, off-white head, thick lacing, a clear, deep golden appearance, and a few noticeable specs suspended in the beer. Aroma is of sweet, somewhat syrupy, barley malt, and the flavor is of strong barley, white bread crust, and subdued hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium, and JosephsBrau Heller Bock finishes mostly dry and very easy drinking. Well, for a strong, store brand lager (malt liquor), this is a winner.

RJT

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear and light tan to light brown, not much to note in the way of head or lace.

Aroma and flavor are pretty malt forward, with bready, light toast flavors, some notable nuttiness too. Typically for the style it has little definable hops presence, but sufficient balancing bitterness. Aroma also has pretty notable pepper, but I don't get much pepper in the taste.

Body is slick and fairly sweet, with a lingering bitterness in the finish.

Overall it's not a bad helles bock, but doesn't stand out for the style either. However, given the price of trader joe's beers (5.99 a sixer at my local place), if you like helles bocks, this is a perfectly fine choice. I don't mind breaking the tie based on price when all else is equal in beer selection.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.79/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I saw this at my local Trader Joe's, and opted to get one 12oz bottle, at $1.17.... I like the style, so I figured wtf....

Poured into a Sammy Perfect Pint glass... It is a slight bit hazy, and the color is medium golden... Carbo is healthy and active, and the head is off-white, frothy and lasting. There is some lacing, but not much lasts. Nose has a bit of toastyness, with some floral hops in the background. Solid, middle of the road mouthfeel, with medium body and good smoothness.

Tastes lightly sweet, with some toast, bread and cookie dough. Not bad.... after that is some floral hopping and light fruitiness, like green apple and pear... Not a bad rendition for something produced for a chain store... Prosit!!

3.79/5 rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

1638

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Photo of puboflyons
3.24/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on March 15 , 2014.

The color is medium amber to copper with little to no head.

The aroma is basically of caramel malts an d biscuit. Mild hop character.

The body is medium.

The taste was fairly routine for the style with some caramel malts and crisp. Clean hops. Nothing special.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.34/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle best by next april

look is golden-orange, mostly clear, small head with good lacing. smell is mostly yeasty pepper, clove, banana, citrus. some hops and toasted malt in the background. taste is very similar, with an odd cardboard/metal/plastic that comes and goes.

The ABV to $$$ ratio is strong in this one.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a glass

Clear orange amber , slight carbonation leads to two finger foam cap that quickly resides to a white foam layer. Good lacings on the glass.

Aroma of sweet malts and grassy hops. Bit of banana and cloves.

Taste of malt with bitterness on the finish. Medium mouthfeel.

I had this beer a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it, especially at $6.99 a six pack. More bitterness than I remembered . Tastes better the longer it sits. Good beer that I'd have again, but wouldn't go hunting it down.

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Photo of GMB
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A standard pour of JosephsBrau's Hofsbrau Bock yields an orange-amber body and almost no head. A quick turn of the glass fails to yield much foam. Are there hops in this beer? Carbonation is uneven; bubbles are large.

The nose is sweet. Lightly toasted malts; munich-style. I don't appreciate any hop aromas; or, if I do, they're masked by the alcoholic aromas. Great Mai Bocks balance lightly toasted malt, higher alcohol content, and hops. I suspect that this beer has left the third crucial component out of the equation.

This beer is tastier than its fragrance led me to suspect. When I "squint" with my tastebuds, I pick up some light citral hop notes. But overall, as the nose suggested, this beer is sweet up front. Then comes the lingering warmth of the alcohol. At its best, the taste comprises fermented dried apricots and raisins. But the alcohol isn't particularly well incorporated, and overstays its welcome on the palate.

The mouthfeel is full, as a bock's should be. A swirl around the tongue tosses up some creamy foam.

This is a tasty beer, but not one that I'll revisit. There are much better Mai Bocks out there, and JosephsBrau produces much better affordable beers. You might as well try it. I suspect that you won't buy a second bottle.

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Photo of sweetwaterman
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

(6 pack from local TJ's)

Appearance: Slightly darker straw golden color. Crystal clear. Moderate head when poured but quickly fell down to lacing.

Smell: Sweet cereal grains. Honey notes. Wet malt. Cloves and bananas on the edges.

Taste: On the sweeter side, but not overly so. Pleasant bitterness on the edges. Dried bananas over sweetened grains.

Mouthfeel: Fine. Not watery. No alcohol notes at all.

Overall: I haven't had many of this style (Maibock), but it is a perfectly serviceable German-style beer to me. And, man, is the price right on this or what. ~$6.99 a six-pack!

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Photo of metter98
3.66/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is relatively hazy yellowish orange in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that quickly died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of sweet malts are present in the nose along with notes of earthy yeast and spicy hops.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is a little sweet and has notes of bready and caramel malts along with notes of spicy hops. Slight bits of alcohol are noticeable.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite drinkable for a mailbock and is a relatively good representation of the style.

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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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