Josephs Brau Heller Bock | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

214 Reviews
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Josephs Brau Heller BockJosephs Brau Heller 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: 214 | Ratings: 399
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of a mystery bag ($4.99 for 8 unkown bottles) from the local TJs.

Pours a solid golden color, somewhat hazy and with a small stream of carbonation rising slowly from the bottom. In my first bottle, a decent creamy looking head, this one is much smaller.

Aroma is sweet bready malts and a moderate hop twang. Maybe some lemony citrus, but without the acidic bitter. Flavor follows though, but with a much more pronounced hop tartness and astringency. Alcohol heat is noticeable. I suspect this one is on the far end of fresh, not only because of the circumstances of its sale, but also because of the stale hop notes. Would expect this to be much better fresh.

Even so, this slides down the throat faily nicely, and is a worthy beer.

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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 GeoffRizzo
2.94/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Crystal clear golden copper in color, beautiful. Light puffy white head that maintains its presence. The nose is grainy, some toasty malts and biscuits are noted. Smooth, lightly carbonated; grassy hops, touch of perfume hops and a large biscuity body. The grainy like hops seem to dominate the bored palate; very soft and cotton candy finish. Very lame for the 7.00ABV, but a tough style to nail. OK stuff.

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Photo of tcfishler
2.28/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Clear, light gold-amber with a medium offwhite head. Bubbles continue to rise in the glass minutes after pouring, like champagne.

Nose is light and soft, with honeyed malt and spiced hops.

Begins somewhat thin in the mouth, then sweetens slightly, with the alcohol becoming noticeable. Finish is just faintly bitter.

Sensing the alcohol when the ABV is a middle-of-the-road 7% is a major flaw in my opinion. Otherwise it's a decent drinker. To be honest, though, it's strongest point is how it looks in the glass.

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Photo of goschool
3.11/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another single from my trip to Trader Joe's. I must admit that I don't particularly care for this style.

Appearance: The pour is light copper or dark gold with a foamy white head that abandons ship at the half way point.

Smell: Sweet and toasty malts and quite a bit of them fill the nose. No hop aromas, which is fine for the style, but that's part of the reason I don't like the style.

Taste: As expected the flavor profile is heavy on malts. Sweet malts up front linger as toasted malts come in towards the middle. There's nothing to balance out the sweet to brink of cloying malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied texture leaves behind a sticky feeling.

Drinkability: This is an average example of, what is to me, an unappealing style.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
3.06/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought at Joes in Centerville. 06-19-06 freshness date. Pours a golden yellow-orange color topped by a 1 finger white, rocky head that leaves some decent lacing.

The aroma is weak and hints of butter, fruits, honey and some wine-like notes.

The taste is tangy with very light hops in the backend.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a decent enough flavor.

Pretty easy to drink, and not bad for a grocery house brand.

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Photo of andrewmartin
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer at the local Trader Joe's. There hefeweizen was very nice, so I figured I'd give this a try. Date of 7/11/06 with a list of ingredients in the back.

A: Pours a hazy gold, almost orange color. Finely beaded head

S: Not surprising, malty, but this is where it gets wierd-for lack of a better determine, I detect a bit of funk under the malt. I decide to forge ahead anyway!

T: Not bad at all, starts off with a clean malt in the front, finishes with a very mild hop bit. There is an undercurrent of alcohol, but not strong

M: Very clean tasty, although the beer is fairly malty, there is enough hops and alcohol to make it nice and crisp.

D: This one is easy to enjoy, very drinkable despite its moderately high alcohol content.

Have to say that I enjoyed this one despite the initial smell. A nice well balanced beer that should go well with a range of foods. Crisp enough for summer, enough alcohol for a cold winter's night.

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Photo of dbalsock
2.76/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours orange (like slice) with high carbonatin and about 1 finger of white head. There is very pour head retention.

Smell: The aroma is of sweet caramel and has a slight citrus presence.

Taste: Less caramelly than in the smell, but the sweetness is still present. Piney hops mix witha bitter malt presence and it lets me down at this point.

Mouthfeel: It's light to medium bodied, which is alright, and has some substantial bitterness and noticeable alcohol.

Drinkability: For the price it's worth a try, but I really want trader joe's to do more with there brews.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear gold body, nice looking fluffy white head. This is deifinitely more like a maibock, with the light colored body, and spicy alcohol and malt. Not much more than a light graininess on the nose, this is along the quality of the other TJ's offerings, not bad, but not that great, either. Some spiciness, but not really the full experience you want with the style.

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Photo of ZAP
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a maibock in my book....deep golden color...spicy noble hops and a little bready maltiness on the nose..

Taste has some nice bready maltiness along wit hthe spicy noble hop flavor..

Body is medium...carbonation is about right..

Decent maibock...reminds me some fo the Summit maibock..definitely worth the low price..

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Photo of Bighuge
3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear light golden. Slight, wispy white head. Moderate lace. Light malts. Sweet aroma overall. Not much hop presence, but that's o.k. Would like some more bready malt aromas though. Taste starts with light caramel malts and a hay like accent. Nothing special here, but nothing bad either. The mouthfeel is agreeable enough. Lightly carbonated. Medium-full obdy. Pretty easy to drink, but not as malty as I like my maibocks. Average beer here.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass it pours golden and clear, with a small white head which goes away fast. Not much lacing. It smells sweet, mainly like grain/bread with a small bit of citrus. The first taste is of grain, but there's a good hoppy bitterness at the end with a slight aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium, with medium carbonation. This is drinkable, but I just wish it had a stronger taste to it. I could drink this now and again, and for the price it's a good deal. But overall it's a little above average, nothing great.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very bright, golden amber hue with lazy bubbling. The aroma starts out a very, veryy bready malt when its cool. The aroma gets a tit finky as it warms. The taste is a light toasted malt mixed with subtle German hops. The palate is very clean. But not refreshing. Although the aftertaste leaves a good lingering flavor of toast and candi sugar.

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Photo of kgotcher
3.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear golden color with a fairly weak head.

Aroma is nice and malty, kind of toasty grainy malt without a lot of fruity esters. I did detect a bit of yeastyness which was strange. Taste is clean with a grainy malt flavor, slight bitterness but nothing really noticable. Nice smooth mouthfeel with a slightly dry finish. A tad of alchohol is noticed but with the high ABV It's really not bad.

At $4.99 a 6 pack this is a great beer. Sure there are better bocks out there but this one is good enough and really affordable. One of my favorites from the Trader Joes/Gordon Biersch line.

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Photo of Dogbrick
2.95/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pretty typical from my experiences with Trader Joe beers. Pours pale golden-orange with a medium thick bone white head and decent lacing. The aroma is a little musty, with sweet malt and a bit of citrus. Medium-bodied and clean with sweet malt flavoring, as well as some citrus and hops in the background. Lingering spicy hops aftertaste keeps the malty flavor from becoming cloying, yet overall this brew is not quite balanced enough to be an enjoyable session beer. Just a little below average, but worth the roughly 83 cents per bottle.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.13/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a golden orange with very little head that disappears to no lacing.
Aroma is slightly sweet malt with faint citrus
Mouthfeel is substantial for this style of brew with lots of carbonation in the mouth and a fullness on the tongue
Taste of toasted sweet malts balanced with light hops bitterness and a slight citrus and hops aftertaste.
A nice brew for drinking at the onset of autumn....much heavier than a summer brew yet not so overpowering and to need to sit down to drink one, however the alcohol, 7%, is still a tad strong.
It does leave you with a nice warming 'glow' after you swallow

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Photo of DogFood11
2.64/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Quite the golden colored bock, I ran into this recently with a Kiper Bock that was also very pale, Retention is an afterthought. It runs contrary to what I'm used to but hey lets give 'er a rip.

Whoa....this baby was all over the map. There is a sweet malt syrup that clings to back of your mouth. Grain, Cereal climb into the picture only to be slapped down by a rather large Alcohol slammer on the backside Mcgilicutty. Alot of stuff going on to the point of being a mish mash of flavor and texture. A bit too much in my opinion and the alcohol is not shielded at all. It is amazing how much malt flavor they managed to pack into this without turning it a shade darker than sunshine, but its just not the right mix for this kid.

Notes: For a Trader Joe's beer this was one of the better products I've had. For the price this is OK and when in a pinch I would consider it again, for now I'm out.

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Photo of ncbrewerbun
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz. bottle, shared with a few other homebrewers at a tasting. (Came in 6th out of seven beers, but the other beers were very good to excellent.)

Appearance is gold with a white head that dissapates rather quickly.

A clean beer with a malty nose. A hint of caramel toastiness.

Medium to medium full body.

This was a very clean beer. It was enjoyable and quite drinkable. A better beer than I was expecting from Trader Joe's.

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Photo of Hautacam
3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark gold , clear...white head..dissipates quickly.
Smell very faint..hops..a bit grassy....metallic.
Tastes of crisp hops..almost sweet..slight alcohol...not very complex, but pretty good.
Medium mouthfeel... medium to high carbonation.
Dry hop-bitter finish.
Pretty's's not bad at all , and not too high in alcohol.
This was an 89 cent single.
I would buy a six.

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Photo of AltBock
3.36/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle with a nice picture of the top of German churches on the front and with some info about the beer, Born on date, Batch Number, and time it was bottled. Mine is 11/01/05, HB 124, and 09:47. It states that Hofbrau means "the brew of royalty" in German and this beer is at 7% ABV and with 22 IBUs.

It poured a pale golden color with a head of foam that was about 1in. in height. The head receded fast, but just a little skim of foam still remained during the entire duration of drinking. The aroma was kind of grassy with fruits, hops, and some malts in the background. The taste was about above average, not too complex, but still had plenty of flavor. What I could detect was a moderate hoppy taste up front and with a slight malty aftertaste at the end. Nothing too special with the mouthfeel except for the usual light, carbonated, bitter, and somewhat watery mouthfeel. While this may not be the brew of royalty to me, this did make a nice affordable beer that would come through for me if nothing else was available.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.04/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A bottle my wife picked up at Trader Joes in Chicago. Pours golden to yellow, big rising bubbles, quarter inch head gone in less than a minute. good lacing. all around nice looking beer. Odor is not so good. slightly skunky smell, some hops. my wife said "it vaguely smells like beer". wheaty, biscuity flavor, reminded me of sour oranges. kind of like a hefe that died before adulthood. hoppy aftertaste. pretty smooth with a tiny bite. this would be too weird to drink all the time. not the best i've had from TJs.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Trader Joe's Hofbrau Bock
12 oz brown bottle
Batch # 07/22/05
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a golden yellow/orange blend. Nice white colored head at first, but quickly vanishes to a thin lace. This beer appears lighter than most bocks that I've had. Interesting.

Whiffs of pears, apples and grass.

Taste lends itself to a sugary sweet honey flavor and a spicy finish. Hints of apple juice. The mouthfeel is very soft and this makes it rather easy to drink. The 7.0% ABV is very well hid.

Yet again, another solid beer at a very reasonable price at your local Trader Joe's.

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Photo of Jason
3.65/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of Shovelbum
3.82/5  rDev +12%
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 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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Josephs Brau Heller Bock from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.41 out of 5 based on 399 ratings.
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