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: 186 | Ratings: 379
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From fall brew ranking notes (2010): The aroma is loaded with banana and moderate bubblegum. There's a hint of roast, but the banana is pretty dominant. It pours a cloudy brownish-orange with a small off-white head. The flavor starts with strong banana. There's a faint roastiness in the background. The finish has bubblegum and some tangy wheat flavors. Medium bodied moderate carbonation and a somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.66/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, batch number, freshness date.

Small head, very little retention, but some lacing on glass.

Brownish amber color.

Smells faintly of banana.

Taste mingles banana, slight clove and bubble gum. Strong malty aftertaste. Very similar to the heffe by the same brand, but maltier and less fruity.

Not a full enough body for a dunkel, but not unpleasant.

Easier to drink than its heffe- counterpart due to less sweetness.

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Photo of Overlord
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Certainly better than the miserable "hop"/hallertauer brew I just had from TJs.

Pours a ncie golden color. Almost no head. Which is strange.

Aroma is very nice indeed. Some banana, wheat, and yeast. Taste has some zesty spice to it, in addition to the banana, cloves, and wheaty malt backing. Mouthfeel is way to thin, but it's a drinkable, solid lager.

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

Truly an attractive beer - poured into a pint glass, the body is a rich, dark caramel center transitioning outwards to a lighter, creamy orange hue. A large head (pour carefully), khaki in color, recedes slowly to a half inch of foam but leaves no lacing. Aroma is decent, with wheaty, Hefe-style yeasts shining through amidst dried fruit (banana, peach, & mango), toffee, and candi sugars.

The flavor could be better, but it's definately not without its merit. Citrusy, wheaty, yeasty Hefe notes form the backbone, while a bit of pale chocolate and caramel malts add a nice complexity. The label's proclaimed "roasted malts", however, I found to be lacking. Mouthfeel is creamy and zesty at the same time, with a well-carbonated body and medium-light thickness. All in all, a pretty solid brew for the always cheap, $1 Trader Joe's lineup. I'd consider having this again.

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Photo of Offa
2.82/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is ok but too strong on a few defining weizen characteristics to the point that they overpower the beer and make it one-dimensional.

Dark, hazy, brownish amber, it has a medium, pale tan slowly shrinking to a thin ring and no real lace.

The aroma is dark whole wheat bread, sweet, with bubblegum and banana.

The taste is almost all bubblegum-dominated whole wheat at first. The bubblegum subsequently mellows slightly to allow other flavours to become more prominent, but this is mostly just the unpleasantly tangy bittersweet taste of damp whole wheat bread. Even so, the bubblegum quality still stays too strong throughout as well. More full-bodied than some, it has strong enough flavour but it does not appeal to me at all.

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

A thick, dense head on this malty Bavarian-style unfiltered hefe, with a nice scent of caramel, clove, and banana. The taste is bold and roasty with hints of buttery biscuit and clove - spicy and tangy. Not bad, but I found this one somewhat lacking in balance, with perhaps a tad too much of the spiced element.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled 12oz into a glass.

A: Deep amber color with frothy head that quickly settles into a ring around the glass. Very light lacing.

S: Bananas, wheat, mango, red apples. Very fruity, a hint of malts, and almost no hops.

T: Taste follows the nose. Very sweet and fruity taste immediately, with a hint of bitterness and cloves. Finish is weak and watery.

M: Slightly toward the watery side, but medium carbonation.

D: Excellent session beer. I enjoyed the taste and my friends loved it. A great compromise for the beer aficionado and the beer newbie. Will definitely buy this again.

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Photo of rangerred
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

The head is somewhat lacking but color is great with a hazy dark brown. Notes of banana, bubblegum, and clove along with a noticeable sweetness; almost cake-like.

The flavor is very nice as well closely following the aroma. All of the flavors could be stronger overall but this beer nails it in the drinkability category. Slightly sweet mouthfeel with decent body. For $5.99 a six pack you really can't go wrong here.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Murky brown color with a thin tan head. Nose is strong but very one dimensional, with banana and clove doing all the work. The flavor is even more so, with overripe (nearly rotten) banana overtaking the cloves and other spices for dominance. A little metallic from this bottle. the mouthfeel is too thin to be good, but it's not bad. A prick of carbonation and alcohol on the finish is a healthy reminder that it is a beer. Drinkability will vary but in my opinion it is too sweet and one-dimensional to be considered a very good beer.

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

Pours a murky brown with some orange highlights into a pilsner glass with a thick foamy head. Head recedes quickly but maintains a thin cover on the beer yielding some nice lacing.

Sweet ripe banana and clove on the nose with a distinctive lemon malty scent. Taste is slightly malty rich and has decent depth, more body than expected. A spicy carbonated finish yields a bit of cinnamon and clove. Carbonation is about right given the structure of the beer and offers decent drinkability though the sweetness may become a bit too much after a few. Tastes like a nice accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Brown with orange tints, cloudy, light brown head and lace.

Malty, caramel malts and bready notes are most forward, with some yeasty banana also present. Just a hint of toasted grain.

Body is medium but isn't as thick and chewy as I'd like for this style. Overall the beer isn't bad tho, the banana flavors are making it quite enjoyable for me.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Contract brewed for TJ's, I believe by their friends at Gordon Bierch in San Jose, CA. A robust pour releases a respectable medium brown with good cloudiness and a very attractive but temporary head. The nose hits you with the banana and clove alright but not as fresh or yeasty as some of the best German examples.

A bit sweeter than usual for the style with chocolate and dark malts predominant. Mouthfeel is smooth enough but I would prefer it to be dryer and stiffer than it is; it's a little watery and weak.

This is tolerable, especially for the price, but if I can get Ayinger or Weihenstephaner than there's really no reason to drink this.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.42/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from TJ's. Pours cloudy brown with tanned long lasting head. The aroma of bananas, caramel, and brown sugar. Medium-bodied . The flavor of bananas and brown sugar, very cloying. Also lightly tart. The finish is long and sweet. On the whole, is not bad. Too much sweetness though

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

Fairly fresh I assume, but I can't decipher their batch date. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Ayinger weissbier glass.

Copper liquid with gold highlights and a small beige head with sandy lacing and good retention.

Rich melanoidins in the nose - carmelized and roasted malt (malted wheat actually), a bit of butterscotch, grain, and banana as well. Not much spice, but maybe a little bubblegum.

Roasty, bready, and sweet on the palate. Wheat, root-beer, and unripe bananas come next. The finish is fairly dry and has a tiny bit of white pepper to it.

Medium-light bodied with almost prickly carbonation...

Very refreshing and interesting, but not quite on par with their "Bavarian Hefeweizen" (also brewed by Gordon Biersch I believe). Still, a good value and a tasty summer beer...

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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 allergictomacros
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Cloudy brown, somewhat creamy head but not particularly stiff.

S - Big caramel, molasses and a bit of soy and dark fruit.

T - Some wheaty twang and mild balancing hops. Toasty with caramel flavours and dark fruit. A bit on the drier side. A little bit of banana.

M - Average mouthfeel with a slight creaminess and appropriate carbonation.

D - Very drinkable but not terribly exciting.

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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 drdiesel9483
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark hazy brown always moving looking beer with a slight head that leaves a film on top. Sweet toasty clove smell. Lacking the taste you'd want but still has the toasty clove banana taste. Medium lite body with lots of carbonation. Ok beer but not that great.

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Photo of vkv822
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

12oz bottle into weizen glass.

Pours a murky amber brown with a foamy off white head with moderate retention.

Light notes of banana, wheaty, bready malt backbone.

Easy drinking, tasty dunkelweizen.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.69/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

JosephsBrau Dunkelweizen is a cloudy and lively dark amber beer with a thin, soft, slightly yellow film that leaves nice lacing. It has an aroma of clove, banana, plum and dark malt. It smells pretty spicy and a little sweet-- perfect for this kind of beer! It's medium bodied and quite smooth. The finish isn't very tight and leaves the tongue feeling starchy. Wheat is certainly the dominant flavor. Lemon, clove, stone fruit and an herbal note are present. The flavor isn't as strong as the aroma. There isn't really any bitterness here and the sweetness is barely detectable. This is pretty pleasant. I could have more than one of these.

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

Bottled purchased from Trader Joe's in Omaha, NE.
Batch number 25611 (whatever that means)
Poured into a Weihenstephaner weizen glass.

Pours a large head, though perhaps small for the style of fairly small bubbles that form a tight, off-white mass of foam. Declines over a minute to a solid cap, 0.5cm high, on top of the beer at all times. No, or little, lacing. Body is dark brown out of light, burnt orange-brown when in. Totally opaque from suspended yeast, carbonation that supports the head somewhat visible.

Aroma of dark brown sugar, brown and wheat malt, and raisins moreso than any banana esters or clove phenols. Some phenols become minutely present as this warms.

Opens with showcase on malt sweetness more than fruity esters or spicy phenols, though I do get some clove flavors. Gentle tartness emerges in mid-taste and carries itself through to the finish. General taste that emerges is sweet, from wheat and darker barley malt, spicy, and slightly tart. Not really what I'd expect from a dunkelweizen, not that this is bad, just not necessarily true to style.

Medium to medium-light in body with semi-prickly carbonation that gradually fades over the course of a sip to being smooth. Mouthfeel is thus both crisp and then creamy. Finish is rather dry.

Overall, I didn't really appreciate this beer. For a dunkelweizen, it seemed to be lacking several characteristic odors and flavors that I do enjoy and miss when not found. I probably wouldn't seek this out again, though their hefeweizen was much truer to style.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review 11-24-09
Cold from a bottle to a glass

Cloudy golden color, a finger of foam, a thin layer of lacing

S - Strong wheat smell, banana's and caramel combined, a slight hint of pine

T - Medium bodied, heavy wheat taste, touch of vanilla and banana's

M - Medium bodied but turns smooth, cloudy brew doesn't show in taste

D - Pretty drinkable wheat brew, sweet flavored, a little on the heavy side but even's out. My first brew from Trader Joe's, pretty tasty brew for such a cheap price. I good beer for those wanting to try the style.

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Photo of AltBock
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with a simple label of two house that look like they're located somewhere in Germany. There is a yellow house with 4 windows and a green one with only 2 windows. The back label has all the mandatory US information, a large paragraph about the beer, and some kind of weird batch number. It was mostly just gibberish anyway.

There's no doubt about it. Of course I pored this beer into a Wizen glass, my Erdinger Weizen glass. If you know what apple cider looks like, then you already know what this beer looks like. They both shared the same color and even murkiness. The color was great, but the head of foam was lacking. It had a 1 1/2 inch head of fizzy foam, but in a blink of an eye it was completely gone. It only managed to leave behind a few rings. It didn't even bother to leave any lace behind.

This beer had the standard Dunkelweizen aroma to it. Nothing really stood out in the aroma. The aroma was standard with dark wheat, ripe banana, a pinch of cloves, and a few spices. Now if you swirl the beer around and I'm talking whirlpool strength, more ripe banana will emerge. I was thinking about retracting my "nothing really stood out" remark, but the strong scent of banana will only come out if you swirl the hell out of it.

The taste was pretty much the same as the aroma, except the strength of the flavors were stronger in the taste than they were in the aroma. The taste was crispy with dark roasted wheat, ripe banana, a few cloves, and some spices here and there. The taste had more of a ripe banana kick to it. That's what I usually look for in any kind of Weizen beer. Every other flavor was about the same strength. It was the taste of the banana that put this beer over the average line.

This was a light bodied Dunkelweizen with a faint and lightly roasted aftertaste of roasted wheat, ripe banana, and cloves. There were no spices in the aftertaste. Since the aftertaste was faint, it did not linger on.

Alone, this Trader Joe's beer was a little bit above average for a Dunkelweizen. What separates this above average average beer from the others is this beer's low price. I believe I only paid $1 for this beer. Better yet, it's really good too. Would I drink this beer again? I sure would and you should too. If you got a pocket full of change you want to spend, then you might as well buy a bottle of this beer.

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Josephs Brau Dunkelweizen from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.56 out of 5 based on 379 ratings.
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