Josephs Brau Dunkelweizen | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

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Josephs Brau DunkelweizenJosephs Brau Dunkelweizen

Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Dunkelweizen

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-06-2007

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Reviews: 185 | Ratings: 378
Photo of Mitzvahman72
4.74/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

With a nice, opaque mahogany color, it has a very delicious bready backbone with tastes of caramel, banana, clove, malt, some orange, vanilla and warm spices of cinnamon and nutmeg, along with a very slight tinge of brandy. Boasts a very good mouthfeel with a German rye banana bread aftertaste. Overall, this is a very solid Dunkelweizen!

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Photo of Gigan988
4.65/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite beers. It may not taste like a true German dunkelweizen, but it tastes like the most delicious darker hefeweizen. I drink it fairly regularly.

A: A darker shade of brown with decent head.

S: The slight sourness of the style, with the bavarian yeast of a dunkelweizen or hefeweizen coming through. Some banana bread and malty aromas.

T: The banana and clove elements are present but not over the top. Nice and high in malts, while lower in hops, which is characteristic of beers to my liking. A bit of sourness comes through but nothing at all to the extent of Michelob dunkelweizen. The beer is overall somewhat sweet but the darker malt character helps to mellow this.

M: The beer is rich but not too thick on the palate. Carbonation is medium and pleasant.

Drinkability: Very high. If you like the banana quality of German hefeweizens, I implore you to head to Trader Joe's and try this beer. At only $5.99 a six pack, it is something that can be afforded on a regular basis as well.

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Photo of chaduvel
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy dark brown, plenty of yeast and foam. Rich malt, slightly tart with bread, banana, clove, vanilla. Richer mouthfeel than the hefeweizen as should be expected. Very drinkable and a great U.S.-brewed example of the style. You can't beat the price/quality ratio of this beer.

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Photo of matjack85
4.41/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this single 12oz brown bottle at the Trader Joe's in Glen Ellyn, IL for just $1, so I decided to pick one up and try it. No freshness date on the bottle - just a batch number which is pretty useless.

The beer poured a hazy amber/brown color with a 2-finger light tan head that lasted awhile, but left only spotty lacing.

This smells delicious. Big banana/clove aroma. Getting some bubblegum and other dark fruits as well.

Prominent banana/clove flavor along with dark roasted malts and roasted wheat. It's not real big on hops but there is a certain tartness to it. Sweet and delicious without being cloying. Nice effort by Trader Joe's.

Light to medium body and very smooth. My only complaint is that it may be a tad undercarbonated.

Very drinkable and very enjoyable - and at a great price to boot!

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Photo of srrn
4.37/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought one bottle at trader joes. Did not have the foaming characteristics of a Wiehenstephaner.It did however have that banana bread aroma and taste. Mouthfeel is good, about the right carbonation but feels a bit soda like, not quite luxurious as the style should have. This is a unique style for a bargain beer. Very nice brew and I will try the others, this I will buy again.

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Photo of dave_p93
4.31/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Smells sweet, wheat, slight banana, fresh fruit. Looks reddish brown. Very opaque. Pours with a nice off white head. Taste is very sweet, bread like. Lots a yeasty flavors. Extremely drinkable. Overall very good beer for the price.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: A dark cloudy brownish orange with a big tan head that quickly fades into a patchy layer. Decent lacing. Looks a lot like apple juice.

Smell: Aroma of banana, cloves, and apple are mixed with sweet caramel malts. Also some hints of dark fruits.

Taste: Big sweet burst of banana and apple is followed by roasted caramel malts. Sweetness is pleasant and not overbearing. Light hints of grassy hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Slightly chewy and smooth.

Overall: A very solid dunkel and one of the best values you can find for the price.

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Photo of tjwarren
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a shock! I get a lot of beers from Trader Joe's mostly because it gives me something to do while my wife shops. Most are average to pretty good but this was excellent. Especially for the price.

A - Darker brown but still little translucent but cloudy as expected.

S - Not my strong suit but was pleased by the malty smell and some fruit.

T - A shocker. Was not expecting it to be this good. Really an explosion of taste. Smooth malts, fruits, and unfiltered wheat.

M - No problem here. I like carbonation and this was not overdone.

D - I only had the single that my wife brought home but I will be getting more for Basketball season. It went too quickly.

My advice - for $5.99 a sixer this is hard to beat. No. Unbeatable.

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Photo of cfrivera1
4.24/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first thing I noticed after pouring this baby was the sweeeet smell - very fruity - peaches, bananas, vanilla and bubblegum, with some citrus notes; what a yummy aroma!
Color - cloudy (unfiltered) medium to dark brown with very little head.
Taste is unmistakably hefe, not a heck of a lot of body with this one, but very smooth and super easy on the palate. I don't care for super hoppy tart beers, and this fits the bill perfectly. In fact, this would make a very refreshing beverage on a hot summer day - PERFECT for barbecues with friends!

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Photo of goatsgo2hell
4.24/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, deep amber color. Smells fabulous -- I detected honey, cloves, and other spices that almost gave it a floral smell. It doesn't taste too bad, either -- pleasantly spiced, with a rich and complex flavor. Somewhere between the smell and taste I got a hint of banana, I think. It's a very curious, aromatic beer. I think I'll definitely be trying it again.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle picked up for one dollar. there is no freshness dating, only a batch number code. poured into a wizen glass.

A- this one pours a murky orange brown colored body with a minuscule beige colored head that quickly becomes no more than a crown. it leaves spotty lacing behind on the sides of my glass.

S- the first thing i notice about this beer is sweet yeast. lots of spices as well. banana, clove, and coriander. a bit of chocolate as well.

T- the taste is dominated by banana. theres a heavy yeast presence as well. and alot of chocolate too. not as spicy as i smelled, but the clove and coriander are definitely there.

M- medium bodied with a nice level of carbonation.

D- easy to finish, and a great value considering the cost. something ill be drinking more of this summer. check this one out if you find yourself in a trader joes.

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Photo of Tone
4.12/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brown/amber color. There's a small head with poor retention and only slight lacing. A sweet malt smell (almost fruity). A little too much malt in my opinion for a dunkelwiesse. A chewy mouth feel with excellent carbonation and a very slight bitter aftertaste (grassy). Overall a beer worth trying, but that slight aftertaste hold it back from being a very good beer.

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Photo of tophers
4.11/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: Deep amber in color that looks like mahogany wood. The head is an off-white color but is not very long lasting or thick. The bubbles are very fine in nature. Beer is quite hazy as to be expected in this style.

s: Very high banana esters with a light bready malt background. This bready malt smell is likely from the wheat. There is also a bit of a clove aroma. Somewhat moderate vanilla notes which complement the other esters well. There is a slight spicy hop aroma that is not very noticeable. I am not detecting any caramel. The fruity esters shine in this beer like they are supposed to without being overwhelming, No diacetyl or DMS detected.

t: Moderate banana flavor and clove flavor. I am also picking up quite a bit of vanilla which helps doesn't seem to help the banana flavor. I thought it would accentuate it, but there is too much of it which draws away from the banana character. Almost makes it somewhat sour. These esters are the dominant tastes in this beer. No hop flavor detected and low bitterness. The wheat gives a grainy background which is low to moderate. No roasted malt is detected. Sweet on the palate with a moderately dry finish. No diacetyl or DMS detected.

m: Medium body with medium carbonation. Somewhat of a creamy feel in the mouth.

o: While I thought this beer was decent, I probably won't be reaching for another. While I think it was brewed pretty much to style, there was a bit too much vanilla esters in the flavor to my liking. I thought it took away from the other fruity and potentially spicy esters. Maybe they could try a different yeast that would have so much of a vanilla profile.

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Photo of asabreed
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: I love the dirty-looking beers, and this one's dark, hazy, and has a dense mocha-colored head sitting on top of it, looking pretty nice in the glass throughout.

Smell: Banana and hints of clove, along with some vanilla and dark malts. Sweet but not overly so, with a good balance in the nose.

Taste: The banana and clove notes come through pretty well, along with the yeast and darker malt flavors and mild bubblegum rounding out the fairly long finish.

Mouthfeel: More medium-bodied and creamy with good carbonation. Nothing to complain about.

Drinkability: Along with the Hefeweizen, for a buck you can't go wrong with this beer if you want to pick up a pretty good version of the style as far as a domestic goes. Lots to admire here from right out of the fridge until room temperature and beyond, at least as far as I'm concerned.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Murky reddish brown, topped with a thick, almond head. Unfiltered and totally opaque. Holds a thick collar of head around the glass, but no lacing.
Very estery aroma, thick with that bavarian yeast fruitiness. Soft, chocolatey wheat malt, with strong banana and a bit of clove spiciness. Strongly reminiscent of chocolate covered bananas.
The flavor opens with a silky, extremely soft mouthfeel, carrying mellow chocolate malt all the way through. The yeast character is pronounced, but not over the top or in your face. Banana bread goodness, drizzled with chocolate. Some wheat malt sourness in the finish, rounding things out neatly with very light, floral hops and clove spiciness. Medium bodied, finishing rather dry and a bit powdery. The carbonation is really what makes this a winner for me. Very fine bubbled, just enough to carry the beer with a bit of pep, but not so much that it surges on your tongue with each sip. Understated and classy, in true german tradition. Good stuff. I wish I had another.
Thanks for the bottle, Jen!

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Photo of alexgash
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Pulpy, cloudy, dark caramel brown. Gold around the edges. Tall, rocky, whipped, light beige head. Wheaty nose of fresh bread, mushy bananas, banana bread, plums, toffee, and cloves. Nice. Tangy wheat malt flavors up front. Hints of toffee and bread pudding as well. Banana and banana bread flavors settle in along with some pear and clove. Yeasty, spicy hop finish with lingering wheat bread and fruit sweetness. Medium-bodied with a hefty, protein-rich feel. Pretty damn good--especially for 5.99 a six pack.

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Photo of cnally
4.09/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great value for this one. That's the short of it. The long of it:

The appearance is a really hazy brown-orange, barely see through. Nice white head.

Aroma is really spicy and appley. Mild sourness, but very appealing and even.

Flavor continues the spicy trend, very faint hints of clove and cinnamon. Also, highly malty in all the right ways, caramel.

Feels heavy yet refreshing, not slick, good.

Lovely beer for a massive value.

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Photo of zeledonia
4.07/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Previous review: 4. Quite good. Sweet and banana bready, with a tingly spice-and-carbonation bite in the back end.

Tasted 7 January 2016.

Pours a medium dark amber, cloudy. One finger of off-white head. Pretty nice.

Smell is bright, banana, bready malts, some crisp spice. Excellent.

Taste is much like the smell, and only slightly weaker. Waves of banana sweetness, rich malts, chickly spice. Yum-town.

Feel is outstanding. Medium-bodied, sort of like in the mouth but solid and full. Carbonation that fizzes up and slowly subside.

IMO, the reviews for this really don't match what I'm tasting. The best of all the TJ's beers I've tried. Definitely worth drinking!

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.07/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into 500mL Weihenstephaner World Cup glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy deep caramel color with a good sized off-white head that is very thick and dissipates slowly, leaving behind thick spots of lace.

Smell: Sweet caramel aromas backed up by a touch of banana.

Taste: Begins with caramel, banana, and apple flavors, finishing with wheat and yeast.

Mouthfeel: Light body with carbonation a tad on the heavy side, and a very refreshing finish.

Drinkability: Not the best dunkelweizen overall, but very good as far as American interpretations go. This one was definitely a pleasant surprise, very true to the style and definitely enjoyable.

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.07/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very sessionable dunkleweizen.
I get lots of decadent caramel malt upfront that dances and melds with the flavors of raisins, bananas, cloves, honey and red figs. Slightly soapy and dry on the finish, overall ever so delicately sweet.

Feel is typical of a well made 5.2%er, moderately carbonated with medium body.

Only negative things I can say about this one is that it leaves virtually no lacing.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.06/5  rDev +14%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Diarrhea brown and completely opaque. This looks like the nastiest beer shit on the worst morning of your life. It does, however, have a nice small cap of brown foam. This is almost purple when held to the light.

S - Deep notes of super-ripe (brown and black) sweet bananas, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and dates.

T - Banana bread, banana muffins, ... you get the idea. Hearty grains and sweet ripe bananas.

M - Full bodied with a dusty-dry finish with lingering notes of cinnamon and cloves.

D - Good stuff! I'd buy this again in a heartbeat. Good beer at a very reasonable price. Trader Joe's offers some really good stuff for less than $6 per six pack!

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Photo of AEArider
4.06/5  rDev +14%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy amber- head/lacing were nothing special. Smelled great, very sweet, with the obvious banana and other sweet notes, as well as spices including cinnamon. Taste was also sweet, but was less complex than other varieties, focusing more and the fruit notes than anything else. Maintained a pretty high level of carbonation through finishing the glass. Smooth, with a bit of stickiness. There are better dunkelweizens out there, but as far as the price to quality ratio goes, this is likely the best.

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Photo of josiahschlender
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up out of curiosity at the local Trader Joe's. I've had mixed experiences with the TJ's beers, but the prices are attractive.

Poured from a brown bottle with a smudged batch number on it, but no drink by date. It comes out an attractive hazy reddish brown, with a medium-lasting tan head with red highlights.

Aromas are pretty good. I haven't had many dunkelweizens, but I appreciate the good amount of sweet malts, dark fruits and yeasty, spicy clove things going on.

Taste follows suit. Quite a bit of complexity and intensity to this beer for flavors. The dark fruits go well with late hitting roasted grains. I definitely notice clove flavors, and just a bit of the typical banana, but not as strong as the couple other dunkeweizens I've tried.

Mouthfeel is nice, slick and creamy. Maybe just slightly on the thin side. This is a refreshing beer, as well. Flavors linger for a long time, but it finishes clean, with very little bitterness.

This beer surprised me with how tasty it was. It might not be the most versatile beer to pair with food, but it was quite good by itself. At less than $6 for a sixer, it's a great deal. Price often factors into my drinkability score, and it's definitely reflected here.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy, orange-brown hue, with a nice 2-finger head of golden-white froth; lacing was good, although it didn't last to the bottom of the glass.

S: Fruity esters dominate, including banana and raisins, plus spicy white pepper and clove; rich, malted grain is also apparent.

T: The malt is rather sweet up front, transitioning to fruity notes in the middle (I tasted some grape, with citrus notes gaining traction later). Bitter hops makes a brief late appearance, without stealing the show.

M: Moist with fair carbonation when it initially hits the tongue. Just a little too dry in the finish, bordering on astringent.

O: Not great, but a solid Dunkelweizen, and better than most made outside of Germany. It's also reasonably priced (for which I gave it an extra half point), so I'll be getting more of this in the future.

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Photo of SuperSpy
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a very dark amber, almost brown color. Quite cloudy and a thick not-quite-dark-enough-to-be-tan colored head. The aroma is sweet and a little spicy, with banana and fruitcake like scents. It's light-medium bodied and quite smooth. The flavor is very similar to the aroma. It basically tastes like liquid banana bread but it's not overly sweet. Quite a good dunkelweizen. An incredible beer for the cost!

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Josephs Brau Dunkelweizen from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.56 out of 5 based on 378 ratings.
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