Josephs Brau Heller Bock | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

213 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: 213 | Ratings: 398
Photo of Reidrover
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is a nice deep golden colour with an impressive frothy off white head, good lacing.
The aroma is a bit subdued but what there is is nice maltiness..with a slight whiff of hops.
A mainllly malty tasting beer and very smooth, the relativlly high alcohol content is not noticable.
Its pretty nice on the palate, smooth .
Not bad really, quite drinkable..though not a great bock.

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Photo of granger10
3.29/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a rusty orange color with a very small flimsy airy white head that fades abruptly. Looks low on carbonation and tastes low as well. Aroma is grassy, slightly floral, and somewhat spicy and toasted. Not bad, but a little weak. Taste has more toasted sweet malts and less floral hop flavor. The hops that were there in the aroma seem lost in the mouthfeel and flavor. I'm only really getting toasted honeyish flavors and a little breadiness. Not bad but not great. The lack of carbonation hurts this beer, needs more liveliness. Still, its really smooth and the abv is very well hidden. Finish leans towards cloying. Still, not terrible but not too great either. Good for its price.

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Photo of unklesyd
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my second experience buying the TJ brews. The first was with its Vienna Lager. I felt this was a better beer, although the flavor profile was pretty similar.

Poured golden, 1 finger head, some light lacing. The color in a US pint glass was halfway between rich and enemic, thus the 3 rating.

Nose was not bad, but fairly muted/generic barley-hops aroma.

A very smooth beer, though this was expected, again pretty simple profile. Mild Munich malt, only slightly sweet. Actually, come to think of it, I liked that aspect of it.

For the ABV, there is little alcohol profile and this is a very drinkable brew. At the price, this is the best of the TJ values.

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

02/26/05- Purchased at Trader Joe's in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- 12oz bottle with a batch date on the back label of 1/31/05. Poured into my Ayinger weisen glass.

Appearance- Fat thick clumpy white head, light copper pour and slight lacing.

Smell- Heavy malt and caramel scents.

Taste- Seems more like a lager rather than a bock. Hearty malt and a tad of hops. Definite caramel flavors throughout.

Mouthfeel- Moderate to light carbonation.

Drinkability- Fairly impressed with this one, but not as a bock. Good sample brew.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.06/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a full, clear gold color and is topped by a frothy thin tan head that disappears fairly quickly. The aroma is grainy smelling and has a bit of alcohol in the finish. The aroma is pretty subdued, and because of that fairly disappointing. The taste is sweet up front with a solid sweet malt taste that has a hint of toffee to it. There is perhaps a hint of spicy hop notes here in the flavor and a bit of bitterness in the finish. This is clearly a well made beer, but it just is lacking in flavor and depth.

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Photo of oggg
3.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours an orangish yellow. Quick fading white head, not much lace. So far so good, eh? There is a minimal aroma of german hops bordering on the the floral character of limp macro lagers. On the tongue the beer is empty; it has weak malt hops. Maybe corn adjunct? one-dimensional. thin. alcohol subtle, finishes syrupy.

overall: 7% MGD

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Trader Joe's bock had a clear light amber color and a miniscule white head that never developed, instead imploding to a thin skim. Nice amount of large-scale carbonation randomly launching from the bottom of the glass.
The smell was all toasty malt with some hayfield notes. Faint hints of aroma hops just at the edge of sensory awareness. The taste was pretty much all malty sweetness, lightly fruity, with a modest bit of hop spiciness way back on the palate. The feel was medium in body, moderately creamy, and clean.
Drinkability is satisfactory. Overall, this was a step up over the others on the TJ's line, though not by much. Hofbrau Bock falls into the range of a decent brews that make it into my "take it or leave it" group.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.75/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

When I first poured this bock, it was a medium yellow, with very little foam and no lace. The smell didn't show much promise. The aroma or hops with just a hint of yeast is what caught my attention.

The taste was not what I expected. I could taste the hops, that was so so. The taste of citrus was spoiled by a very bitter taste, very very asidic. I thought I also tasted a bit of coriander in the finish.

Overall, one of the worst beers produced by Trader Joe's that I've tasted so far!

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Photo of padjo1
3.56/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering comes from the west coast- based Trader Joe's market who excells at providing consumers with alternative foodstuffs and sundries (not to mention wines, beers and spirits of a non-macro vintner, brewery, and distillery persuasion, respectively). No, this is not a plug for the small chain, just a contextualization for the bombshell that the store's clerk dropped on me when he disclosed that their "Trader Joe" line of brews was produced in close association with the Gordon Birsch Brewery based in___. But short of dissolving my efforts in reporting on this brew into an adjunct review for a Gordon Birsch offering, I'll just say that the price precipitates in qualifying this beer on a disparate plane of comparison, i.e. I like this better than the Gordon Birsch Blonde Bock based solely on the price. Anyway, now for the stats:

Appearance: A delectible HoneyYellow with an inviting cushy froth of a head. NOT FOAMY

Smell: Hints of Caramel, honey with an essence of Chamomile and...alcohol. Whenever I smell this (alcohol) I think to myself, "Could have used more craft to serve the drink some subtley." Beers aren't cocktails.

Taste: Malt balanced with medium hops and alcohol (it is 7.0%). A bit of a shock because it tastes like a brew with a darker appearance, hence the "blonde" aspect of this "bock", taking the original G.B. namesake of course.

Mouthfeel: The malt invites while the hops and alcohol, like an exhausted host sweep up the floor saying, "It's time to swallow".

Drinkability: Excellent accompaniment to anything that comes with a Super Bowl spread. Hot wings, hoggies, chips, even carrots and ranch dip. But be warry of heavily spiced food with this one (Italian, Indian, and some Mexican), as well as spicey food that is heavy, Sorry Carnitas, you're out with this one.

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Photo of Zorro
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden color.

Smell is sweet and clean with whiff of dry hops to it. Bit of alcohol and butterscotch in the scent.

Taste is sweet and fairly strong in the hops department sharp bitterness in the aftertaste. Tastes like a stiffly hopped lager.

Mouthfeel is good.

Not a bad beer, I suspect that this is Gordon Biersch Blond Bock relabeled.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.21/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 355ml (12 fluid ounce) standard looking brown glass bottle. The letters ‘T’ and ‘J’ sit aside a sheaf on an appropriately color coded lime green crown cap. Main label and neck label has the words ‘Hofbrau Lager’. Described below as a ‘Rich Golden Bock Beer’. The reverse label has the Batch Number as ‘12:28 12/27/04 592’, plus the following Beer Stats: 7.0% alcohol by volume. 22 Bitterness units. Brewed with three types of imported malt, Hallertau aroma hops and lager yeast.

Appearance: Deep golden body that pours with a massive 4” white head. Soon it rescinds down to a thin covering. A quick swirl reinstates the head, average conditioning.

Nose: Clean odors, light grain, toasted malts and some alcohol.

Taste: Sweetish malts make way for a pilsner like feel which in turn quickly makes way for a yeast laden lightly toasted malt. The middle has a smooth alcohol feel. Some bitterness balances the malts but only in the death.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and a little creamy at times. The Bock has a solid body, good support from carbonation.

Drinkability: Above average offering that drinks above its station. Smooth body and a smoother finish.

Overall: The last of the four Trader Joe’s “Brewing” Co. beers that I picked up last week. Out of the four (the other three were Bohemian Lager, Bavarian Hefeweizen and Vienna Lager); this is the strongest and perhaps the best of the bunch.

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Photo of misterscooter
3.21/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased 1-15-05, bottled on date of 12-27-04. This was the second one I tried, after having the first one straight out of the bottle. It is described as a "Rich Golden Bock Beer" and golden is right. I expected it to be darker for some reason. It poured pretty well with a small but thick head. The smell didn't give me much but I'm pretty sure I sensed some grapefruit in there.

The first taste is smooth and only lightly hopped. The taste is not remarkable but also not repulsive. I guess I would say I liked it but didn't love it. Just a bit of nice aftertaste to remind you to take another swallow.

I think I liked this one a bit better out of the bottle where it seemed maltier.

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Photo of rowew
3.21/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck bottle. German scene on the label, as well as "Craft brewed." Description of the beer on the back, including hops used and the IBUs (22). Batch information (very detailed) also included.

Appearance: Golden colored with a great, frothy white head. Perfectly clear. Head fades very slowly. Great lacing.

Smell: Aroma is mainly malt. Nice clean smell.

Taste: Nice smooth mouthfeel. Taste is mainly grain - with very yeasty notes as well. I have not sampled mainly Bocks - but I assume this is typical of the style.

Overall Impression: Nice drinkable beer. Nothing thrilling about it, but for the price ($4.99 at Trader Joe's) this is a good everyday offering.

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Josephs Brau Heller Bock from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.41 out of 5 based on 398 ratings.
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