Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Josephs Brau Dunkelweizen | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
185 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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!

 339 characters

Photo of WillieMoe
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours thick and murky. Looks almost like a dark apple cider.

S- Has some good malt tones mixed with some spices and hints of a dark fruit (maybe raisin and grapes), that give it a good aromatic balance.

T-The dark fruit is apparent in the taste, as well as some other undetected fruit(s)? Not very dry or bitter. Has a sort of bittersweet taste to it.

M- Is not as heavy as I though it would be. As mentioned above this is not very dry or bitter.

D- Although it is not super heavy, I don't think I'd drink it all day, but could definitely have 2 or 3 in a row.

 568 characters

Photo of jkdrummer
3.13/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light tan rocky head that soon dies to a thin edge lace. Aroma is some malt but yeasty too. Dark brown in color and hazy. Taste come real close to an import but no cigar. Thin mouthfeel. Medicinal taste. Lacks that German weizen freshness and carb, almost tastes flat. Not recommended.


 297 characters

Photo of Admbmb92
1.89/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

This beer was so awful, im just going to get straight to the point. I dumped it out after a few sips. Its way too syrupy tasting and watered down. Did not taste like a wheat beer at all, just tasted like a really bad amber. Almost no carbonation and it smelled like rotten fruit. I rarely dump a beer out but I could not stand this one. I guess that's what I get for buying it for a buck at trader joes.

 403 characters

Photo of jasadewi
3.15/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

It pours darkish brown and has a fluffy creamy head. There are hints of breads and cocoa in the aroma of this brew. The feel sticks in your mouth and lasts long after you've swallowed. It's fairly sweet and while I'm missing the clove taste, I do get a strong taste of banana or banana bread coming through. Overall, I think this is a fine example of an easily available American Dunkelweizen.

 397 characters

Photo of NatetheGreat
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brown color with tan head. Not much in the nose: some clove and fruitiness, but a bit muddled. Taste is very good though. Fruit flavors abound with grape, date, banana, green apple. Mild clove with a general sweetness - light on the hops. Smooth wheat body, however a bit fizzy. Very good beer overall, with interesting taste. Wouldn't easily tire of it.

 354 characters

Photo of Boneheadmx
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out to a hazy brown with a creamy, off-white head.

The smell is of bread and muffins. Very pleasant.

The taste is of banana bread or something similar. Sweet flavors, but the hops is really lost in this except for a bit of a skunky aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is pretty good, with a decent amount of creaminess. I would think that this is too carbonated based on the head that was left by the pour, but I think the thickness counteracts it and just makes it sit really well.

Drinkability is OK, but it does sit a bit on the heavy side.

All in all, a very good beer, and for the price, an excellent deal. Just wished it were a tab bit fresher.

 651 characters

Photo of cadenwhitaker
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm going to rely on my fellow BA'ers that this is true to form and good for what it was.

I enjoyed it, and would get it again - but it has been a long time since I've been drinking beers similar to this - it has all the characteristics of a hefe with banana, cloves, spice, with just a bit of character that separates it... I don't know what that is really, maybe hops but it seems so mild that I can't tell.

My wife, who usually hates hefes, actually enjoyed this, so that that as a good sign or a bad sign :)

 513 characters

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.

 733 characters

Photo of Jimbo87
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a pint glass (I know this is incorrect glassware, but this was the only glass available).

A: Hazy brown beer, big off-white head. Looks good.

S: Smells like banana and fresh wheat.

T: Wheat and banana again. Very slightly more acidic than expected, but it's still tasty. One of the best cheap beers I've ever had.

MF: Nice. Not really that remarkable though.

D: Great drinkability. And a fantastic beer for the price. Pick some up the next time you're at trader joe's.

 481 characters

Photo of ThePortlander
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a weizen glass.

The appearance was much better than expected. It pours a cloudy pale amber, with nice sediment. The head is thick, dying down slowly, with nice lacing that sticks on the edges.

The nose is heavy with nutmeg and banana, a nice dunkel aroma. Nothing over the top, or exceptional, but a very strong dunkel smell.

The taste is like the nose: not extravagant, but decent. A very familiar taste. The feel is a little thin for my preference, but that makes it a little more crisp. A good dunkel if you want something simple. Also, some banana bread comes through, but because it's so thin, it's a bit odd. The after taste is also a bit off from what I expected, but not in an altogether bad way. It's much better slightly warmer than I'd usully like to drink a dunkel.

It's really not a bad dunkelweizen, especially for a buck a bottle. Simple, but not boring, and probably easy to session. (And, much to my surprise, my girlfriend enjoyed it. Gateway beer? Let's hope).

 1,012 characters

Photo of esv
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A) Poured 1/4 inch head. White. Quickly dissipated with no lacing. A handsome brown.

S) Raisins, light fruit, deep toffee. Sweet cotton candy and a little maple syrup. No hops in the nose

T) Caramel, toffee, malty-sweet. Some grainy bitterness. I don't detect any hop flavors.

M) Medium-light

D) Easy to drink. I don't love it and am not too familiar with the style.

 370 characters

Photo of SiphonKing
3.12/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought at Trader Joes it seems that this dunkel is brewed by Gordon Biersch out of CA. The head seemed to dissipate rather quickly for a wheat. Aromas of clove, banana and a total polyphenol explosion in the mouth. Drinkable, not as dark for a dunkel as I would like but for the uninitiated in this style it may be worth a try.

 327 characters

Photo of Beerbluesbiology
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a translucent amber-darkbrown body with a small head dwindling down to a thin film of lacing sitting on the body. Smells distinctly of citrus (particularly lemon), rye bread and, of course, lager yeast. Tastes of yeast (strongly), has a dark malty sweetness following carbonation and has a slight hop feel throughout. Overall, quite a nice beer in the dunkelweizen style and a brew I would easily go back to.

 414 characters

Photo of wowbagger
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very sweet with hints of citrus and cinnamon. It fades in the mouth to an aftertaste that is hard to place, though it's something between caramel and butter. The sweetness lingers for a while. Overall, very nice if a bit different.

I would say this is a perfect beer to be enjoyed, perhaps with a meal, but not to cool off with or drink quickly.

 347 characters

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.

 1,637 characters

Photo of Ethanol4one
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Color: brown and true to style.
Froth: nice tight abiding bubbles that don't fade fast.
Aroma: Bread, cloves, and banana tones.
Body: Medium malt, nice balance with alcohol.
Flavor: Bread, cloves, bananas, caramel after taste, like a mild bourbon, if you get down to it.

Good job hippy supermarket dudez.

 308 characters

Photo of jamiejohnson
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm surprised and impressed by this bargain Trader Joe's amber wheat. I think I paid $5.99 for a sixer of this. It's a close match to my favorite hefe, Schneider Weisse - so close that I'm gonna taste test these two together soon. I see from the information above that this is a Gordon Biersch product. Do they carry this in their restaurants? This has all the Bavarian characteristics of the style. It's complex and smooth and banana clovey refreshing. Maybe I'm just a thirsy soldier and this is a sensory mirage after a hard day of moving furniture for a living, or maybe GB's JB-weizen really is an excellent beer. One thing is for sure - I'll be trying this one again.

Maybe I'm wronger,
Maybe I'm righter.
But in my mind,
It's a Schneider.

 746 characters

Photo of Sconnie
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer was pretty decent, but I really don't think it fit the dunkelweizen category. Poured a cloudy amber with a nice bit of head, smelled typical of a weizen with clovey, banana overtones. Tasted like a decent hefeweizen, with maybe a touch of roasted flavors but honestly if I wasn't going out of my way to look for them I might not have noticed. Basically, It's a nice tasting hefeweizen that is darker for some reason; it really doesn't have enough dark malt flavor to be considered a dunkel. But for the price, a nice beer, just think of it as a hefe.

 560 characters

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.

 508 characters

Photo of liddytime
3.97/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked one of these up on a whim from TJ's. I actually liked their IPA so what the heck.

I was pleased to find that this was quite good!

Pleasant, unfiltered haziness in my wheat glass.

Smoky clove, bananas and dried fruit in the nose.

Full bodied, chewy mouthful. Smoky, sweet, bubblegum. Not quite up to a Munich Dunkel, but pretty darn close.

WOW! For $5.75 a sixer, this is a really good beer! I'd happily pay $7.75 for a sixer of this! I wish I got another....

 473 characters

Photo of funkyspunk87
3.47/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Josephs Brau Dunkelweizen
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Style: Dunkelweizen
ABV: 5.20 %

Straight out of the bottle

Alright beer, but not really the standout I was looking for from Trader Joe's. Prefer the Bavarian.

The Dunk was dark, as well as more rich than the Bavarian, but it did not match the complexity of flavors at all.

 330 characters

Photo of RyanTeeter
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I had some of this beer right out of the fridge while it was very cold. Then I finished it after it had been out in the sunshine for a couple of minutes. In this time the flavors changed drastically - each category will have two reviews.

a - cold: Appearance is a hip caramel color - light barely passes through making it extremely dense looking.
warmer: same

s - cold: Wonderful smell. Strong, Granny Smith apple covered in caramel (warm caramel, not cold).
warmer: Aroma has changed to a ripe banana. Very sweet, with mild spice.

t - cold: The taste remains consistent with the aroma. Light caramel body with apple tartness and sweetness. LIttle complexity.
warmer: Banana and cloves are very pronounced. Body almost tastes lighter. Sips finish with very strong banana.

m - cold: Medium body, light carbonation.
warmer: lighter feel to it however still remains filling.

o - cold: I really liked this. Too heavy for more than one, however a great beer to start off the night with.
warmer: Again, very enjoyable flavor but the coolest thing was simply the DRASTIC change in flavor that I experienced. Loved this beer.

 1,122 characters

Photo of RoyBrentJr
3.66/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

So, there's a Trader Joe's right around the corner, and I've seen the house brand. Hadn't bought it before now because, well, Two-Buck Chuck lingers on the memory. (Then again, who knows, it's been years ...) After a little research—all the while trying not to laugh at the must-have-been-tongue-in-cheek yo-sefs-broy branding—I decided to try three varieties. First up, the Dunkelweizen.

A – unfiltered dark wheat beer, looks like apricot juice. (That's not a bad thing.) Underrefrigerated first bottle poured nothing but head; eventually it disappeared altogether with almost no lacing.

S – green banana, clove and floral notes. The banana actually seemed to ripen as it warmed in the glass.

T – green banana, clove, caramel, burnt toast. Hops add a slightly metallic tang with no lingering bitterness. Returns to banana. I'm having trouble deciding whether to dock it a point for not going anywhere or add a point for coming full circle. On the other hand, I got a hint of unsweetened tea as it warmed—then right back to the banana and clove.

M – oddly thin for an unfiltered beer with this kind of character. Certainly not watered down, but not as rich in the mouth as I would have expected.

O – my first dunkelweizen, so I have no frame of reference ... so the question is, would I buy it again? Probably. This is almost banana-split-in-a-glass-of-clove-water. Almost.

 1,395 characters

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!

 548 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!