Trader José Premium Lager
Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Trader José Premium LagerTrader José Premium Lager
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American Adjunct Lager
Ranked #313
not listed
Ranked #47,670
2.69 | pDev: 24.54%
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States
Trader José Premium LagerTrader José Premium Lager
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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 112
Photo of defunksta
3.93/5  rDev +46.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a deep golden color with a mild, crispy white head that fades quickly. SRM of 8. (4.00)

Aroma: Some citrus, grass, corn and cracker, with a grassy and peppery hop aroma. Faint lemon citrus. A prominent honey aroma behind it all. (3.75)

Flavor: Flavors of corn and grass with a touch of citrus. Again, mild citrus with a stronger than expected grassy and grainy hop characteristic. It has a pale malt backbone. Honey sweetness on the finish. Finishes a touch sweet, but balanced. (4.00)

Feel: Medium-to heavier bodied, and smooth. Decent carbonation. Pretty well rounded. A touch of honeysuckle sweetness lingers on the tongue. (3.75)

Overall: This is actually a pretty good representation of the adjunct lager style. A nice mix of German and American hops here. The hop flavors, carbonation, and mouthfeel are all well-rounded. Surprisingly a good job here. (Final Rating: 3.93)

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.54/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium golden amber with a fine, two finger white head with good retention and thick lacing, looks pretty nice. Aroma of light biscuit malt, grassy hops and some skunking; a hint of lemon. Flavor is mild biscuit malt, light grassy hops, skunk and some actual creamed corn in the finish. Light to medium bodied with light, but better than expected, creaminess. Well, I saw this single bottle at TJ's and it being one of the last TJ brews I never reviewed, I picked it up despite the clear bottle. As is typical of adjunct lagers, it tastes light, but perfectly refreshing. The malt and hops are typical of the style. I've hesitated to mention corn in reviews of adjuncts because that flavor might be influenced by what I know about the adjuncts. In this case, however, there is a clear, steamed/creamed corn character in the finish, and it doesn't really detract. Better than I expected, but it is what it is, a cheap knockoff of a Mexican adjunct lager.

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Photo of chitoryu12
2.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.25

Look: Very clear yellow with a ton of bubbles. Huge white foamy head.

Smell: This bottle is pretty badly skunked.

Taste: Beneath the skunkiness, a little corn malt. That's about it. It would be an easy drinker otherwise.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thick and smooth feel with a lot of carbonation.

Overall: Stop selling imports in clear bottles, people!

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Photo of jzlyo
2.84/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Aroma is mild/medium skunk and corn/grains. The flavor is corn/malts, a hint of dark fruit/tobacco, mild sweetness and a smooth/barely there fruit finish.

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Photo of jwc215
2.86/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle:

Pours same yellow as seen through the clear bottle.

Smells like grass with some skunk.

Tastes like Corona, though with a little more character. Grassy, somewhat skunky, some honey-like malt.

It is light-bodied.

It is a cheap Mexican knock-off. It could be worse, I guess. Better cheap adjunct lagers out there, if that's what you are looking for.

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Photo of elNopalero
2.93/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a clear corn yellow. There's a slight musty note on this, but it's clean and not overwhelming. Tastes about what you'd expect not entirely as terrible as I had expected. Like a well done cheap import.

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Photo of nickfl
2.12/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

This is bad, canned corn, a bit of skunk, about what you would expect. Very much like corona, but with a bit better body, perhaps. I suppose that makes it authentic, but what's the point?

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Photo of DerAtomsmasher
2.88/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Ah, it's fine for what it is.

I still prefer Corona out of the Mexican lagers I've had. They all serve their purposes. I'm not gonna get mad about it.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
2.85/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


Body : A musky golden blonde with 20% opacity giving nice haze to the otherwise typical lager appearance.
Head : This one surprised me. A towering 4 finger display of soap sud-like density and fades slow leaving tons of lace behind. I have to give this one props.

Initial : Like a Corona without the dirty diaper. Dusty corn, chalk, vegetals, dry grass, dry hop.
With Agitation : An oaty sweetness with sweetgrass surfaces.

Front : Pretty much nothing to start, and then it soaks into the palate lifting flavors of dry grass, hop plant, chalk, and paper.
Back : More pleasant malty flavors rest on the finish to prepare for another sip. As it warms a bit the dirty corn/diaper flavors start to surface.

Um, it's a lager. If I want to be descriptive, it's poppy with carbonation and has an utterly smooth creamy finish.

Overall : There's not a whole lot to hate about the Jose' Lager. It's still a rather terrible beer though, I wouldn't buy it again - but I knew that buying a single bottle in the first place. Another one to tick off my list!

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Photo of Spikester
3.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear yellow gold with less than a finger of head that dissolves to a ring. A few spots of lace.
Smell grain bin malts tiny bit of grassy hops.
Taste is similar to the smell. A mild sweetness with a little bit of grassy hops at the end to balance.
Mouthfeel is light and well carbonated.
Overall Not bad for a beach beer actually. If it was blazing hot out and this was ice cold you could swill these hand over fist. Tastes like most of the beers of this style with no bad attributes.

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Photo of Billolick
2.65/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Part of a $6.99 six pack purchased today at TJ's just south of White Plains, NY

12 oz clear bottle, best before dating etched on the bottle, (072816)

Pours very light iess yellow, clear with bubbles continuing to rise, fluffy off white head, stays pretty well and leaves a thicker film. collar and leaves some low sheeting and decent strands of lacing

nose is of corn

taste is nasty.....sort of like old old corona...pass this one by.. the dark trader Jose's is much better

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Photo of VABA
2/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a straw color with a slight head and lacing
Aroma has slight malt hints
The taste follows the nose with a slight nalt flavor
A medium bodied decently carbonated beer
A decent beer

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Photo of zeff80
2.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

A - Poured out a straw yellow color with a white, one-finger head.

S - It smelled of corn and grains.

T - It tasted of caramel, corn and was rather sweet.

M - It was a little thin.

D - This is what it is. A cheap lager.

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Photo of PhilHeinricke
3.71/5  rDev +37.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75


Maybe that's too strong of a word. There's nothing exciting about this beer, and I think perhaps that is why I like it so much. It's not craft beer. It's not experimental beer. It's not trying to be anything but just a decent beer the purpose of which is primarily thirst quenching. You won't find guys in cellars swirling this around and looking at it and smelling it. You won't see anyone drinking this on a sidewalk café crossing their legs and reading meanwhile looking oh so sophisticated. This beer won't be praised by beer snobs.

But it's an ok lager with a look and taste similar to Corona.

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Photo of puboflyons
2.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on July 27, 2015 without the lime wedge.

I wish I could write a one sentence review. It would simple be "eh."

Yellow, heady pour. Good clarity.

Aroma of sweet malts, corn, and grass.

Light body.

The taste is also malty and clean. Nothing extraordinary. But it's 80 degrees outside. Hurrah!

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Photo of Beric
3.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

Serving: Bottle with lime (because how else are you supposed to drink these!?)
Served: 7 May 2015

Appearance: Had this one straight from the bottle (how else), which is, incidentally, clear. The beer is a bright yellow color, very much like a Corona, which this beer is obviously trying to emulate. Put a lime in and the whole neck filled with a bright volcano of tiny white bubbles. Nucleation of the lime actually kept some amount of 'head' in the bottle as well.

Smell: Cheap, thin, and corny. Exactly what you'd expect.

Taste: Paired with my enchiladas suizas, this was exactly what I was looking for. A sweet, quaffable beer with a sizable wedge of lime stuck in. The beer had just enough sweet, grainy beer flavor to be relevant, and the lime made it go back easy and provided just the right amount of carbonation to ramp up the subtle burn from the Serrano laded salsa verde.

Mouthfeel: Light body, huge carbonation. Perfect for the style.

Overall: Yes, it's a crappy beer, but it's MEANT to be a crappy beer. With a lime stuck down the neck and paired with some spicy authentic Mexican though, it was the perfect beer. In my opinion, better than Corona- it had slightly more body, shockingly wasn't as skunky despite the clear glass bottle, and, best of all, cost only $6.58/sixer at my local Trader Joes. A high value beer for spicy Mexican food on an abnormally hot day in Boston. Sure as hell beats a shandy. I'll be picking these up for summer quaffing when it's too hot to think.

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Photo of HopptimisticThoughts
1.75/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2.25

It had a semisweet and cereal smell that reminded me of Carib Lager. The taste was slightly hoppy for an adjunct lager with a very sweet finish. Overall not something to go crazy over but I got it for a dollar a bottle so that helps a bit. This is best as a default beer to bring to a game or party if you don't know what else to bring.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
2.89/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Trader José Premium Lager
12 oz. clear glass bottle, "BEST BEFORE 092813AFL 10:04" on 4/24/13

I'll say the same exact thing I said about Trader José Light: "Normally I might be bothered by a clear glass bottle, but in this case I think it's appropriate. Clearly they're trying to copy Corona, and thus the bottle needs to look at least a little similar. Additionally, the clear glass bottle adds to the aroma and flavor although I didn't find this at all skunky. (Perhaps they're using pre-isomerized hops? On the other hand, why would they?)"

This is just a basic lager with a large dose of sugar added into the kettle to thin the grainy malt flavor out. It's not particularly offensive, neither is it particularly interesting, hence the usually added slice of lime. For people who enjoy Corona (and why not? - it's more flavorful than lots of other beers), this is an excellent alternative given the price.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
2.5/5  rDev -7.1%

Trader Jose’ Premium Lager has a rather thin, white head, a hazy, straw appearance, some bubble streams, and negligible lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sweet grains. Taste is of some hop spice, sweet grain, and not much else. Mouthfeel is light, and Trader Jose’ Premium Lager finishes dry and easy drinking and dull.


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Photo of dbrauneis
2.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

A: Pours a crystal clear pale to medium yellow in color with moderate to heavy amounts of active visible carbonation and some hints of lemon yellow. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy bright white head that reduces to a large patch of medium thick film covering the majority 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 sweet malts and grainy malts with a light amount of corn adjuncts. There is also a light amount of grassy hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of sweet and grainy malts with a light to moderate amount of corn adjuncts contributing to the sweetness. There is a light amount of grassy hops flavors towards the finish which contribute a light amount of bitterness which lingers for a short while.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp upfront and slightly creamy in the finish.

O: This is not a great beer by any stretch of the imagination but it is definitely drinkable and went really well with the spicy quesadillas that I made for dinner tonight. Alcohol is well hidden and it easy to drink, but it is just not overly complex. Not as sweet as some of the other examples in the style.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
1.24/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass. Fail to the clear bottle. :(

A: Pours a clear straw color. The head is two fingers high, with a white shade. Retention isn't half bad for a cheap lager, and I can tell from the head that this might be fairly well hopped. There's even some lacing left on the glass.

S: WOAH DAT SKUNK. I'm actually finding some other notes beyond the horrible, horrible skunk - there are touches of malt sweetness and lemony hops. But this is second only to Corona when it comes to badly skunked aroma I've encountered.

T: This is definitely a cheap, crappy lager. Cotton candy and creamed corn to start, cooked veggies to finish. It's littered with lots of off notes like skunk and body odor, too. Yeeesh.

M: Who cares, this sucks.

O: I kind of figured this would be the worst of the 6 - after all, clear bottles. I don't see any of the other 3 being worse than this...this is Corona-levels of bad. Seriously - and this double goes for you big corporate macro-brewers too - stop using clear/green bottles. My liver doesn't have time for this crap, it's getting dumped.

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Photo of bbluemzbeer
3.38/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This a is beer is pretty good. I blind taste test with pacifico, corona. I pick this beer the least favorite beer of the three but it held its own. For 3.50 for six pack what do you expect a world class beer!

Appreance: Yellow and like a beer

Smell: Like a Corona.

Taste: It a greaat taste for a cheap beer. One hundred times better then, Ice house, Sol or Natty. Nice and sooth with no naste after taste.

Mouthfeel: It was full body witha smooth and wet.
Overall I woould buy this beer again for just price and taste. It does not compare to Corona , pacifico but for half the price what do expect.

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Photo of Billylikebeer
3.75/5  rDev +39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Listen snobs, this beer is a helluva deal - 4.19 for a sixer. Guess what? You ain't getting Chimay for that kind of money. This beer is for ballin on a budget. I just had it for lunch and it was superbly satisfying. And this is one of the few beers not owned by imbev. Stickin it to the monopoly baby!

A: Yellow. I don't drink with my eyes

S: The smell isn't strong enough to offend me. Didn't take a wiff.

T: Giddy up! 10X Better than Natty! Pretty much like Corona.

M: uhhh

O: muy bien. I could buy it again and again. It hits the spot and I'm saving $3 every time I buy a six pack. Mix it up and buy Trader Jose Dark too.

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Photo of TheMarkE
2.09/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Meh. Imagine if someone squeezed a whole lemon into a bottle of Corona. To be more accurate, imagine if someone dumped half a container of artificial lemon into a bottle of watered down Corona.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.71/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Best before 9/18/13.

Pours a clear yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thick streaks of foam form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and some grassy aromas. Taste is mainly of grain and some grassy flavors. There is a very mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer this is only marginally better than the Light version.

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Trader José Premium Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 65 out of 100 with 112 ratings