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Trader Jose's Dark Lager | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

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Trader Jose's Dark LagerTrader Jose's Dark Lager
180 Ratings
Trader Jose's Dark LagerTrader Jose's Dark Lager

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

Style: American Amber / Red Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-06-2008

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 180 |  Reviews: 95
Photo of jrogalsk
3.37/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dpgoblejr
3.52/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Hephaestos
3.43/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of G_Shoe
3.34/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Hopstout
2.5/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of BeerWithMike
3.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ab39z
2.81/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of zaraspook
2.86/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Guppy314
2.91/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

From a bottle labeled "Best Before 041117" and as with Trader Joe's beers this is subcontracted (by Artesanas de Malta Y Cebada S. de R.L. de C.V.Texate). This pours a clear dark brown with a quickly dissipating off-white head. Malt-forward with caramel sweetness. There's decent carbonation, but the body is only moderate, but I feel it was well worth the $6.50 for a six-pack.

 381 characters

Photo of Burly
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Ice cold and with lime, it is good for the price. I typically buy a six pack of the dark and a six-pack of the Trader Jose light beer, and alternate between the two until both are gone. It's getting harder and harder in Berkeley, CA to find drinkable beer at less than $6 a six-pack, so I buy at least one or two six packs of it a month.

 339 characters

Photo of OldSwampy
3.52/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Translucent medium-dark brown with a light khaki head. Nose dominated by sweet caramel malt smell. Taste is mainly mild malts, pleasant, but not strong enough; the beer is fairly light-bodied and the flavor seems to dissipate too quickly. Mouthfeel lightly sudsy and then somewhat slick at the end. Quite drinkable if simplistic and a little watery.

The bottle I had said is was "BEST BEFORE 040417" which seems to be stretching things somewhat. It seemed fresh enough when I drank it on 27 June '16, but I can't imagine it would still be this good in nine months...? According to the label this beer was "BREWED AND BOTTLED BY CERVECERIA MEXICANA, S. de R.L. d C.V., TECATE, B.C., MEXICO" and thus not by a U.S. brewer.

 721 characters

Photo of StoutAtTheDevil
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of 2beerdogs
3.37/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Blizzard303
3.69/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Moderate yet rich malt flavor, light on the bitterness.
Better than many more expensive craft beers of this style.

114 characters

Photo of Miami66
3.69/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of the_awesometeer
3.56/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a reddish to dark brown with a slight haze. Had a fluffy white head that thinned out quickly. The beer has lots of visible carbonation. The only scent I really get it a mild toasty with a alcohol/ethanol. Wish it had a little more malt scent to it. The alcohol flavor does not come through though. The hops are very light and might have a little spice to them. The malts are also very lightly flavored but stronger that the hops. The flavors coffee and maybe even a little hint of chocolate are there but muted. Very easy to drink and not strong in flavor. The body is very light and felt slightly soapy in my mouth. Overall this is a good beer for the price.

 686 characters

Photo of arini10
3.59/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Michael_Lopez
3.06/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of JoeCorleone
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Suds
3.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a reddish Amber color with a cream colored head and a clear complexion. The aroma is faintly of cereal grains and the taste is balanced. A bit of malt is underneath, and the hops are restrained. Nice.

 211 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Toasty, roasty, dark and moderately robust, Trader Jose's Dark Lager takes a page out of the Vienna lager playbook, but inserts elements of red ale and German dunkel along the way.

Pouring a light brown color, its margins reveal bronze and golden hues through a sparkling clear body. Well headed momentarily, the froth subsides and leaves firm aromatics of toasted bread, light caramel, honeysuckle, and light sorghum behind. Its taste is toasted, partly malty-sweet and partly of grain.

As the lager flushes the palate, hints of cocoa and coffee pull from the dark sweetness and gives the taste a mild licorice, walnut and chicory herbal character. With the sweetness fading, in favor of a drier and more drinkable session, the lager finishes mildly woodsy, peppery and with a modest bitter hop bite.

Medium-light on the palate, the lager's smooth and dry trek makes it strikingly refreshing and clean for its moderately robust upstart. Finishing with and even-keel malt-hop balance, its final impressions are of mint, light sulfur and sweet toasted grain.

 1,060 characters

Photo of AGuyWhoBrokeBad
3.48/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Spikester
3.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber brown with good clarity and almost two fingers of off white head. Head leaves fairly soon but leaves a good amount of lace.
Smell toasted roasted malts with a hint of coffee.
Taste is dark roasted malts coffee hint of cocoa.
Mouthfeel is fine carbonation is medium. Finish is sweet and just a pinch of dry bitterness.
Overall a refreshing and tasty dark Mexican lager. Nice surprise. From an 11.2 ounce bottle brewed by Cerveceria Mexicana Tecate B.C. Mexico.

 471 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.52/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, w/o freshness info

Pours darker amber, near clear, moderate head, and leaves a thicker collar.

Sweet malts and a hint of caramel on the sniff

Easy drinking and pleasant enough. Smooth and malts with caramel all over the finish.

Not bad for the price = $6.99 for the sixer = a decent value

 307 characters

Photo of PhilHeinricke
3.88/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent Dark Beer

I went through a dark beer phase. For years I was drinking dark beer. But with the recent craft beer wave I have been occupying myself trying out all these new beers from IPAs to wheat beer to saison. It's been a good ride. But I hadn't had a good dark beer for a while. Then I found this.

Anywhere I go I always check out the beer section just to see if they have anything interesting. I didn't realize Trader Joe's had their own beer line, and they're all very inexpensive. I picked this up along with something else. This is why I started drinking dark beer in the first place. It pours out a very nice head that has staying power. The aroma is good, but it's just not strong enough, and it's got a very pleasing taste with a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste.

The next time I'm in the area I'll be stopping into Trader Joe's to pick up some more of these.

 892 characters

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Trader Jose's Dark Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.29 out of 5 with 180 ratings
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