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

Trader Jose's Dark LagerTrader Jose's Dark Lager
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American Amber / Red Lager
Ranked #139
Ranked #46,378
3.32 | pDev: 12.95%
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States
Trader Jose's Dark LagerTrader Jose's Dark Lager
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Reviews: 100 | Ratings: 201 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by kneeland:
Photo of kneeland
3.88/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was an American Amber? Could have fooled me. It pours dark, almost coffee black. Maybe a hint of red if you hold it up to the sun. I really liked the color, especially since it didn't taste as heavy or as dark as it looked. You can taste the malt, a little sweetness. It's a very bold lager.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of dbrauneis
3.3/5  rDev -0.6%

A: Pours a crystal clear dark reddish brown in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some amber + crimson highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy foamy light beige that reduces to a medium sized patch of medium thick film surrounded by a very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of dark malts and some slightly nutty malts. Hints of floral + earthy hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of dark malts with a light to moderate amount of nuttiness. Light amount of caramel sweetness. Slightly metallic in the finish. Very light hints of floral + earthy hops which imparts a touch of bitterness which fades almost immediately.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: Not bad but not anything special - better than some of the others from Trader Joe's and enjoyable, especially for the price.

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Photo of hooverhawkeye
4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid beer, love Trader Joe's

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Trader José Dark
12 oz. brown glass bottle, coded "102513AFL 08:56" on 24 April 2013

Notes: Clear, brown body beneath a thin, short-lived head of off-white. Lacing is average. Aroma expresses dark caramelish malt with a hint of nuttiness and some background hops. The flavor follows suit, and it's basically a straightforward lager with a solid caramel component. Light-medium in body and gently crisp. Moderate bitterness. It finishes fairly short and dry. Given the price it's hard to argue against it as a fall-back beer, at least for one or two while watching a game or cooking dinner... times when you don't want to focus on your beer, when you just want something refreshing at hand. This is a beer I'd buy for a backyard BBQ just so that the newbie beer drinkers can try something other than Yuengling Traditional.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.19/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Decent and interesting looking brew. The head is a very pale tan on top of a dark brown body. The contracting colors are very appealing to the eye.

S - Medium roasted malts and little else.

T - Moderatly roasted barley with very little complexity here. There's a sutle nut and bread flavor but nothing that really stands out as significant.

M - The feel is rather watery as I would expect from a brew boating an origin of Mexico.

~ This is a brew that would go down well while hangin' on the boat or while socializing at a picnic.

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Photo of BeerSox
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into nonic.

Clear and deep copper hue with a thin light tan head that slowly settles to a thin even cap. Spotty lacing.

Very light malt aromas, with only a little bit of brown sugar being detected.

The flavor is mostly caramelized sugar from a long boil. Medium bodied with high carbonation.

Not a bad beer but not much to talk about. The price is certainly right - $1 a bottle at Trader Joe's.

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Photo of Hellpop65
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of rodney45
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Zinnwaldite brown with a lingering tan, or ivory head that lasts quite a while.

S: Big notes of cereal grains, malt and brown rice.

T: First profile is of roasted barley, oats and walnut. Secondary notes of light hop and bitterness. Non dry aftertaste.

M: medium body with light carbonation.

O: This isnt bad actually. It has a porter or brown ale feel, with a ale like mouthfeel. I wouldnt go as far as to say this is abover average, but i'd recommend.

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Photo of mralphabet
3.31/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Dark amber in color, 1 fingers worth of fluffy white head that settles to a nice layer that sticks around for the entire session, lacing is wonderful. Great looking beer.

S: Sweet caramel malt, with a little dark fruit mixed in. Not bad.

T: Sweet malt right up front, hints of caramel, toast and nuts. The is a little dark fruit in the finish. Very little bitterness going on here. Finish is dry.

M: Light to mid bodied. Carbonation is sharp at first but simmers down as it warms.

D: Pretty low ABV, only a buck a beer, pretty good flavors what is not to like here.... Worth a shot. Nice summer time brew that is a little different.

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Photo of MTNboy
2.56/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: It has a little of a vinegar odor

Appearance: I had to pour it extra hard to get a decent head but with that being said it great retention. It was a dark caramel color with a bit of a reddish hue.

Tastes: Plastic like taste. There are some tones of caramel and coffee. Almost like a light and cheap bock. It has a woody aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and slick.

Drinkability: Average.

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Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

amber with the slightest of orange tint to it. A small maybe one inch high head of white foam graced the top

light and surprisingly hoppy with a nice bit of grain pushed up from the bottom. The blend was nice and light and had a good bright aroma. Some light fruit in the back as well.a good amount of floral hops sitting in the finish. The initial flavor I picked up was that of a nice cereal grain with a touch of a light grass mixed in. This rolled into a nice light fruit with a touch of a pine like finish to it. It was a nice bitter finish and a surprisingly good hop profile.

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Photo of Minkybut
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this beer expecting bad. At first taste I thought it was. It also smelled sour which almost ruined my sampling. Dark pour with a tan head that was nice at first. Very creamy. The beer was a bit sweet tasting to me but then leveled out. I will try again but the beer was nothing really special.

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Photo of Tone
3.61/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear brown color. One inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt, caramel malt, citrus hops, slight pale malt, hint of Euro yeast, and a hint of wheat. Fits the style an of an American Amber/Red Lager. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is an elevated dryness. Tastes of sweet malt, caramel malt, citrus hops, slight pale malt, hint of Euro yeast, hint of piney hops, and a hint of wheat. Overall, average appearance, but vastly better than Trader Jose Light and Trader Jose Premium.

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Photo of papat444
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Best before 09.09.15.

Caramel malt aroma, same in flavor pretty much. Decent head with some lacing; slight murky amber body. Good start with crystal malt and caramel but doesn`t hold my interest. Still, for the price point, way better than a bland BMC.

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Photo of t0rin0
2.75/5  rDev -17.2%

Photo of jneiswender
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this as part of my wife's mixpack she made up for me. Poured into a pint glass and served cool.

Clear and dark brown color and an off white head. Smell reminds me of some chocolate and light coffee. Nequick like. LIght hop presence as the malt dominates with chocolate drink mix like flavor. The mouth feel is medium and well carbonated. I might drink this again.

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Photo of FLBeerGuy
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of SiphonKing
2.95/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A Trader Joe's six pack (with Tecate listed on the bottle as the brewing company, interesting). Billed as a "Negra Modelo" clone of sorts it is a little light in body and mouthfeel. A Vienna lager it may be but not one that really satisfies the pallette and makes me want numerous bottles. Malty, slight caramel, and a hint of sulfur.

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Photo of 1759Girl
3.78/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think it's pretty unfair to classify this as an American Amber...
The mere fact that this is branded as Trader Jose's, should let on that Trader Joe thinks this is Mexican... I mean I already think it's funny that we don't have a classification for Mexican beers... Negra Modelo is listed here as a Viennese Lager. Hmmmm

So.. I propose.. That this is what pretty much all laypeople refer to as the beer style of Mexican Dark Beer, which is exactly what the makers also refer to it as. And since Trader Jose's Dark is precisely a TJs branding of a Negro Modelo... I'm judging it thus.

And being a Californian... Even though we may be Guinness Drinkers or Belgian fans, we drink Mexican because that's what is available at our favorite spots for SuperBurritos, and guess what? It is refreshing and good for pairing with Mexican food.

Appearance> Nice ruby color. No head, No lacing. Nothin fancy.

Smell> Pretty average for a dark beer. Slightly malty, but also kinda smells like a bottle cap.

Taste> More complex than Negra Modelo. Larger shifts from sweetness to bitterness, more hops and a softer malt hang.

Mouthfeel> Surprisingly not bad. Good even.

Drinkability> I'm going to have to start sneaking these beers into El Farrolito and Papalote because I prefer this to my standby negra modelo.

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Photo of lou50rp
3.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark crimson color with little head or lacing. Good carbonation
Smell is muddled, malty but nothing distinct.
Taste is malty and a bit sweet, nothing distinct
Light to watery mouthfeel, acceptable for a beer of this type
Overall, nothing spectacular. Good average session beer. Price is good.

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Photo of EvanWilliams
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of Halcyondays
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours brown with a light off-white head, light lace, solid head retention.

S: Toasty malt, some brown sugar, nice smell.

T: Sweet dark bready malt. Really the only flavour, but it's good. Very light hop component.

M: Medium-bodied, crisp biting carbonation, smooth, easy drinking.

O: A very good beer for the price. Nice flavour, no complexity, but an enjoyable effort.

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Photo of Spikester
3.46/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of bcsbeer
3/5  rDev -9.6%

Trader Jose's Dark Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 77 out of 100 with 201 ratings