Josephs Brau Heller Bock | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Josephs Brau Heller BockJosephs Brau Heller Bock
BA SCORE
3.42/5
406 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#41,702
Reviews:
215
Ratings:
406
pDev:
13.74%
Bros Score:
3.65
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
39
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 406 |  Reviews: 215
Photo of kylehay2004
3.7/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Two finger thick white head with good retention but little lacing on a clear golden amber body. Aroma is malty with gingerbread and a light spicey note. Flavor is more of the same with full malt backbone and gingerbread notes. Fairly smooth with medium body and light to moderate carbonation. A flavorful beer and a nice version of the style, just not very memorable.

 367 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
2.5/5  rDev -26.9%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by 6/10/12.

Pours a clear gold with a 1 inch foamy off-white head that settles to a thin film on top of the beer. Small streaks and dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt/grain, grassy notes, and a light fruity aroma. Taste is of malt/grain, grassy hops, and some light fruit flavors. There is a mild bitterness on the palate after each sip that quickly fades. This beer has a lower level carbonation with a slightly crisp but medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the mouthfeel is a bit off in my opinion.

 567 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Knapp85
3.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours out as a golden yellow color with a clumpy white head. The aroma that this brew gives off is of some fresh malts and just a little bit of grassy hops. The taste of the beer is a little weak I thought. Mostly a hefty amount of malts with not much else to back it up. The mouthfeel was decent. Very drinkable and on the lighter side. It's a decent brew but it's just not for me.

 392 characters

Photo of nmann08
3.05/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of metter98
3.66/5  rDev +7%
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.

 696 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.32/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

33cl brown glass bottle acquired at Trader Joe's in Los Angeles, California, and served into a Hard Rock cafe hefeweissbier glass. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of fair cream, nice thickness, and good retention. Colour is a transparent copper.

Sm: Cream, light milk (I know...), and very light caramel. A mild strength aroma.

T: Tastes like a German festbier - which isn't really a good thing per se. Very simple barley, malt, and light caramel in a very generic fest combination. Meant for consumption by the hoi polloi. It's decently built and balanced, but far from special.

Mf: Very sharp affront, with smoothness and wetness to boot. Isn't tailored to the flavours of the body at all.

Dr: It's drinkable enough, but the ABV does come through more than it should and it feels produced for the mass.

 824 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.05/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a high-clarity golden orange, initial thin head of foam that faded fast to nothing. Barely any carb visible in a Duvel tulip, maybe one bubble per second emanating from the etching. First whiff was skunky hops, five minutes later it's puffed wheat cereal. Sweet grains, rice, corn.

Sweet with some cleansing bitterness and unexpected carbonation. All I can muster is candy corn, maybe some factory made square caramel candy, if you close your eyes and free associate. Some type of hops are in there, giving it some German credbility, but ultimately it's kind of flaccid. Pretty dull candy flavored alcohol delivery device...

 632 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of oline73
2.75/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of zeff80
3.38/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, golden orange with a white, bubbly, foamy, two-finger head. It left little to no lace.

S - It smelled of grains and caramel. Not much else for aroma.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel with a nice bitter hop kick. Grain flavors and a slight molasses touch add a nice backbone.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a mildly dry finish. A light bodied brew.

D - This is a pretty good brew from Trader Joe's. It is not a bad deal for a buck a bottle.

 474 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | 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.

UPDATED REVIEW (numbers have increased from a 3.85 to a 3.95 based on look, smell, and feel):

Josephsbrau Heller Bock
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "BEST CONSUMED BEFORE: 05/10/15 13:13" and sampled on 01/08/2015
$1.17 @ Trader Joe's #766, Tampa, FL

Of all of the Trader Joe's beers this is probably my favorite. It's a clean, straightforward helles bock that's got just the right amount of maltiness to it so that it's not too thin, too full, or too sticky. And it's got some decent floral and spicy hops in the flavor as well. The head retention and lacing could be a bit better, the aroma could be slightly fuller, and perhaps the malt quality itself, but as far as American brewed versions of the style go it's top-notch. With that said, just getting a malty 7% abv beer for $1.17 ($28 for a case) is next to impossible!

 2,244 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz

Pours a clear, orange-amber with a modest near-white head.

Aroma: moderate malt with a spicy hop note.

Taste: clean toasted malt with a hint of spicy/earthy hops. More like an amber ale than usual. 7% ABV is partially hidden.

M: medium body with light-medium carbonation.

O: a fine, if not exceptional, golden bock.

 331 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.45/5  rDev +0.9%

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.

 1,106 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of mactrail
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

 592 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.25/5  rDev -5%

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

 1,304 characters

Photo of Jason
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with a batch # and freshness date on the back label.

A- A quick froth quickly turns into a thin pasty looking off white lace. Deep golden hue show a good clarity off.

S- Big grassy aroma of hops and malt. Spicy from the alcohol and hops as well ... relatively clean.

T&M- Semi-thick chewy body with ample crisp and smooth features. Spicy palate of bitter hops and a slightly fuming alcohol. Solid pale malt palate with a slightly rough biscuity character. Big waves of herbal hops and toasted malt run through the semi-sweet finish.

D- This beer is not half bad. Quite a deal @ 5.29 a six-pack. Nothing earth shattering but certainly worth the try ... a good beer to mix things up a bit but not something I'd stick to all night.

 759 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

amber color with a nice head of white that reached a height of around an inch and half before settling back down to earth and leaving just thin lacing in its wake, but for the style nice and a classic look. aroma of sweet bready malts and a classic caramel aroma that was cut with a touch of grain. nice and clean with a semi crisp feel and an overall nice balanced body that really seem to let the taste pop

 408 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Josephs Brau Heller Bock from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.42 out of 5 with 406 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.