Trader José Premium Lager
Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Trader José Premium LagerTrader José Premium Lager
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Lager - Adjunct
Ranked #344
Ranked #51,051
2.7 | pDev: 25.19%
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States
Trader José Premium LagerTrader José Premium Lager
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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 121 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheViceBlog:
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TheViceBlog from New York

1.65/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

I popped the is-it-racistly-named-or-not Trader Jose's bottle in a standard manner, with a wrist snap at waist level which put the bottle opening some two-and-a-half feet or so from my nose. Nevertheless, the second I got the cap off my face was hit with such a explosion of skunky and repellent stench that my neck snapped back like I was in a head-on collision. Oh, don't worry, I have one of those foamy neckbraces on now and I've got a great personal injury lawyer filing a whiplash claim on my behalf.

I should probably hire another lawyer to file a claim that this swill is less safely potable than Tijuana tap water. The taste is despicable. The taste is actually more offensive than the beer's name. Only marginally better than Corona because I can actually detect a flavor or two within this mess of a beer. Pretty much a little corn and water. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery but when you're imitating (read: rippin' off) Corona, one of the worst beers on planet earth, then you're just acting stupid and your company's shareholders should question whether you are intentionally trying to tank share prices.

I had to brush my teeth after finishing this one. Never again.


Jul 23, 2008
More User Reviews:
Photo of scottoale
scottoale from California

1.06/5  rDev -60.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Twelve oz. clear bottle with twist-off cap pours a pissy clear yellow with white foam head. Looks like tainted water, seriously.

Smells like Pepe Le Pew...very, very skunky and that's about it.

Taste is sweet malt and adjuncts that have a wonderful skunkiness to the finish. The skunk actually helps balance the sweetness, but a wedge of lime might make this brew almost drinkable.

Watery and fizzy in the mouth, wonder if there is any alcohol in this one. The only thing that may help this offering is extinction...sorry.

Just a little girlfriend likes it???

Jan 08, 2008
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

2.3/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

Sep 20, 2015
Photo of nickfl
nickfl from Florida

2.12/5  rDev -21.5%
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?

Mar 03, 2017
Photo of searsclone
searsclone from Arizona

1.47/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I drank it straight out of the bottle. I do not feel that a glass would have changed anything.

It is a very clear and shiny beer. A little bit of lace in the bottle. It smells like skunk, and that is all I can pick up. It tastes like just about every other mexican beer to me. The mouth feel is non-existent, except for the carbonation. It is very easy to drink, typical of the style. I don't think I'll have another. It tastes like something you would get on vacation in a foreign country that is trying to cater to American tourists...

If you are a fan of Tecate, Budweiser, or Heineken then you might like it. It tasted to me like a combo of all three.

**after writing my review, I decided to let the dogs try it before I poured the rest down the drain. our chihuahua mix couldn't get past the smell (he's a big hefe fan), but our pure bred chihuahua liked it.**

PS: we only give them a smell and a taste, a few drops max. no animals were harmed in the review of this beer.

Sep 28, 2007
Photo of mralphabet
mralphabet from Virginia

2.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Clear pale straw colored, little to no head and no lacing to speak of... just looks like beer.

S: Strong macro lager smell, I'm getting a little rice smell but much else.

T: Like it smells, nothing to write home about... very Corona like.... No hops or malt.... there is a bit of tartness. I added lime half way thur and it helped a little.

M: Light, crisp & highly carbonated...

D: You could pound these all day.... very Corona like.

My First Trader Joe's Brew... Not great but not bad....

Aug 16, 2009
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MTNboy from Germany

2.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

It has super pale yellow body. There is a thin white head and a thin ring I don't want to call lace. The aroma was very mild. It smelled of grass and corn. The flavor was about the same. It has a watery body that is some what slick feeling. On a positive note it is very easy to drink.

Dec 21, 2009
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largadeer from California

1.75/5  rDev -35.2%

Nov 26, 2013
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mikesgroove from South Carolina

2.31/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

another one to crack and drink for the sake of drinking it cause i could not leave the house, poured into a pint glass on 1.11.11.

the pour was just what i would expect with a light golden color and a tall fizzy head that quickly falls and leaves next to nothing in its wake. small doses of bready hints in the nose and a really small dose of grass as it warmed. flavor again nearly non existent with the smallest of grains and breads and corn and rice. but it comes and goes in seconds. just a pratically useless beer that i guess serves its purpose in life.

overall it is what it is. dont think i will go down this path again.

Jan 13, 2011
Photo of Tone
Tone from Missouri

2.66/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy gold color. 1/2 head of a white color. Decent retention and poor lacing. Smells of strong Euro yeast, pale malt, slight corn, and sulfur. Fits the style of an American Adjunct Lager. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is also an elevated dryness. Tastes of corn, pale malt, strong Euro yeast, hint of sweet malt, and a hint of citrus hops. Overall, an average American Adjunct Lager.

Dec 15, 2008
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t0rin0 from California

1.41/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I bought this for the comedic value of being called Trader Jose. I also knew that since it was a mexican style beer (in a clear bottle, sitting out) and that since it says that its made by tecate that this would be one awful beer. I really should have dumped this in the front yard but the lawn has put up with a lot lately so I decided to punish myself instead of the grass.

This beer has very little color of any kind, just a moderately urine like yellow with a slight bit of haziness. There was very little foam upon dumping this into a pint glass and absolutely no lacing. The disapointment didn't stop there. The smell was a delicate balance between skunk and a gas station mens room. No malt or hops to speak of anywhere in the aroma and no idea if this beer ever had a prime.

The taste was somewhat like an old corona. Its got a foul skunk flavor with some mild to nonexistent malt flavor underneath. By this point in the evening I had tried a couple of tripels and a nice IPA and had a decent buz going. But this beer was painful the whole way through the glass. Every sip mocking me for having bought this beer in the first place. It wasn't until I plugged my nose that I could actualy pay attention to the mouthfeel as the taste and smell were so distracting. Its thin and watery. Not drinkable, the only thing that could justify buying this beer is giving it as a gag gift to a beer snob.

Nov 12, 2007
Photo of jneiswender
jneiswender from Massachusetts

2.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

What you see is what you get with this beer. The tastes are very familiar with other Mexican lagers. the exception here is the course nature of the hops. very raspy. The metallic smell and the light and clear body is the same as other beers on the market. While not a first choice, I would have to say that for the style, its okay. I simply don't drink this style.

Nov 30, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays from California

2.8/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2 oz. clear Corona style bottle,

A: Pours a clear gold with a fizzy white head. Very good head retention for the style, some lace.

S: Minimal, hint of grass and malt.

T: Minor corn notes with a somewhat earthy hop character. Light in flavour.

M: Light-bodied for sure, fairly crisp. A more substantial feel than a standard macro lager.

O: Really a hoppier (let's keep it relative) version of Corona. Solid in it's style, a summer beer for sure.

Dec 17, 2011
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Spikester from Oregon

3.1/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Oct 05, 2015
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beerpadawan from California

2.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Aug 25, 2012
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tbeq00 from California

2.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Dec 11, 2013
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DoubleJ from Wisconsin

2.39/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thank goodness Trader Joe's now let's you buy single bottles, because if they didn't, I may not have tried their version of a Mexican styled lager. Another tick on this warm, clear day. In proper Mexican style lager, I...put the bottle in the freezer until it started to form ice, no lime for me. On to the beer:

Pale golden in color with agood amount of head of head on top. Lacing is decent, forms up in creamy texture. If only the nose were quickly brings my expectations back to reality with some stinky, spicy hops and low amounts of boiled corn. All this gets worse as the beer warms.

Fortunately, the taste is better, but only that. At an ice cold temperature, it's almost like ice water with a little bit of beer character. There's a little bit of sweetness from corn that whispers on the palate. A little spicy hop note, even a sprinkle of esters. Warming up intensifies these notes, but doesn't increase its nastiness too much. Creamy mouthfeel with tocuhes of corn in the aftertaste.

Of the major Mexican brands, I found it most resemblant to Dos Equis. Overall it's decent, and one could choose worse beer.

May 01, 2011
Photo of freewill35
freewill35 from Indiana

2.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Mar 26, 2017
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis from North Carolina

2.74/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Jul 19, 2014
Photo of gpogo
gpogo from California

1.61/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A- Fizzy yellow beer. Small White head.

S- Bathroom, horse pee, skunk nest

T- Slight sweet taste with a nice skunky aftertaste. No alcohol taste, I wonder if there is even any alcohol in this.

M- Super thin. Am I drinking yellow water or beer? It's hard to tell.

D- Never again will I get a grab bag(barf bag) from trader joe's. The skunkiness totally puts me off in every way.

Apr 02, 2008
Photo of Offa
Offa from California

1.86/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Gold, med.-big white head steadily shrinks to ring and bit of lace. It looks decently good.

Aroma is decent, perfumy basic lager, grain hints of apple, grass and sulphur.

Taste is decent if very light lager character at first – hints of grain, apple and grass with hint of bitterness and light lingering grain-grass aftertaste. All is thin and rough, though, and it soon becomes clear that it is slightly acrid with a lingering rough acrid bitternes dominating, causing drinkability to plummet quickly. In the end, this is not good at all.

Apr 21, 2011
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull from California

2.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a clear Trader Joe's single bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a medium straw in color with an inch of yeasty/bubbly/I Know it won't last long head. The head actually compresses and does linger for a while.

Smell has hints of light roasted corn and malts and exceeds my somewhat low expectations actually, not bad and pretty subtle. Taste is another matter. Kind of thin and boring with a viscous malt finish. Feel is decent and offers a moderate carbonation. Drink is diminished a bit due to the unnecessary sweetness.

I can't recommend this beer, but should you come across it I think I would prefer it ice cold and direct from the bottle. No surprises there I guess...I think I'd prefer a Bud.

Jan 12, 2009
Photo of KBomb
KBomb from Minnesota

2.52/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this at a friend's party last night after the air conditioning couldn't cool off the room well enough.

TJ's Mexican lager is a brilliant golden yellow that is very clear. No comment on the head since I drank it straight from the bottle. The first whiff was noticeably skunky. I detected a little bit of grassyness, but not much beyond a typical macrolager smell. The taste was pretty non descript as well-- a fair amount of grain considering the type, but a little metallic note in the background as well (again, not surprising when dealing with Mexican lagers). More carbonated than Corona, fairly light. It was drinkable in that it was hot and I wanted something cold.

All in all, nothing to set it apart from Corona if only a little less skunky taste than the smell would indicate (I didn't even end up hiding it with a lime).

Jul 13, 2008
Photo of nickd717
nickd717 from California

1.2/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Someone brought a 6-pack of this to a party and I figured I'd tick it.

Pours a boring pale yellow color with a fizzy white head. FYB all the way with this one.

The aroma is crappy grainy adjunk. Is there actually malt in this beer? It smells like corn and chemicals.

The flavor is really bland yet really disgusting at the same time. The crappiness is off the charts. Corn, rice, grass, and water. Some unpleasant bitterness on the finish.

The palate is bland and boring, with a watery feel and higher carbonation.

I know, giving an adjunct lager an 'F' reeks of style bias, but this is an absolute disgrace to beer. I couldn't bear to drink more than 2 ounces of a beer in a style that's supposed to excel in drinkability. Epic fail.

Nov 07, 2010
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons from New Hampshire

2.73/5  rDev +1.1%
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!

Jul 27, 2015
Trader José Premium Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 67 out of 100 with 121 ratings