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

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Trader Jose's Dark LagerTrader Jose's Dark Lager
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
175
Reviews:
94
Avg:
3.31
pDev:
12.39%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
21
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 175 |  Reviews: 94
Photo of kylehay2004
3.4/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

single finger head with little retention but nice lacing on a straight amber clear body. aroma is very sweet, mostly malt and grain with sweet corn. flavor is mostly malt but it is a little flat. smooth, simple and drinkable but not very memorable. medium body and light to moderate carbonation.

 295 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.33/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark crimson brown with a 2 inch foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt and some nutty and slight metallic aromas. Taste is of dark malt and some nutty flavors. A slight metallic flavor shows up on the aftertaste but it's not too strong. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a very crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer taste wise but nothing all that exciting.

 499 characters

Photo of t0rin0
2.75/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of Knapp85
3.08/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured out as a clear looking brown color. It's got a fizzy off white head on it. The smell of the beer has a lager aroma mixed with some roasted nuts and a hint of hops. The taste of the some lager flavors at first that fade into some decent nutty flavors in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth, It's got a decent carbonation to it. Overall it's an average brew really, but has a drinkablity that made this a bit more enjoyable. I wouldn't hunt this one down or go out of my way to get this either.

 520 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.33/5  rDev +0.6%
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 kojevergas
2.68/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 fl oz (330 ml) brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Weizen glass in low altitude Orange, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

A: Pours a one finger head of decent cream, nice thickness, and above average retention. The colour is a dark amber-copper.

Sm: Malts and caramel. A mild strength aroma.

T: Very simple: caramel, malts, and light cream. It's okay, but I need more from a beer. Balanced but boring and bland.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Not too thick or too thin.

Dr: Drinkable but boring. I wouldn't have it again. It's alright, but largely forgettable.

 607 characters

Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of zeff80
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of LXIXME
3.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark red almost like a lighter version of a red wine, this beer has a initial big light brown head that quickly dies leaving a light lacing that slowly dies off.

A light aroma of smoked caramel malts, with some hints of a sour almost citrus source. The taste is a light caramel smoked malt with a light hint a sourness coming through. A light dry smoky aftertaste is kind of appealing

This beer is bad but at the same time it really doesn't stand up to a majority of the west coast small and micro beers, but at the same time it's a cheaper beer and Trader Joe's seems to go through a lot of their product.

 622 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of nickfl
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

 823 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.62/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in pint glass.
Made in Mexico by Tecate. Similar to Dos XX Amber

Pours a clear orange/brown with a thin coat for a head.

Aromas are fruity and toasted malts but little else.

Nose is actually quite nice - bit nutty, some dark caramel with a bit of a burnt sugar and dark fruit (dried plum).

Taste isn't as rich as the aroma suggests. Light roasted caramel malt and a bit of nuttiness; some earthiness and dark fruitiness on the finish.

Mouthfeel - thin but smooth.

 478 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.3/5  rDev -0.3%

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.

 985 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.06/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Starts out with a nice foamy head. Lots of foam like a bubble bath. Dissipates to a rather flat mouth feel. Musty odor. Kind of a cardboard taste. Wierd hint of citrus that throws off the slight bit of roasted malt flavor. No aftertaste, fortunately.

Even for a cheap (imported from Mexico!) beer this isn't very good. Another case where the style isn't really right. Should be Light Lager with caramel color added.

 416 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark mahogany-hued body with a frothy, white head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, malty nose with notes of caramel, toast, and dark fruits.

Taste: A flavor of sweet caramel, with lighter hints at toast and nuttiness. Light fruitiness. Only a very light bitterness. Drying, reasonably toasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not altogether terrible and priced, if not for glory, then at the very least for an outdoor, sunnytime gathering.

 498 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.62/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

 585 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

You'd think "Trader" would be en español too, right? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear dark sunset amber topped by a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises toffee, dark greens, and light buttery biscuits. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a decidedly light addition of caramel. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a nice little lager, nothing much to distinguish it from everything else, but easy to drink and generally enjoyable enough for a nice-and-easy quaff.

 591 characters

Photo of tdm168
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of Billolick
3.52/5  rDev +6.3%
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 feloniousmonk
2.88/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Trader Jose, Dark Lager

Clear, coppery colored, 1/4" dingy, cola-toned head.

Not much here, little nuts, whisper of cocoa, ...again, reminiscent of cola.

Taste: hmmm, not too much going on here. It's beer, and you can drink it. Not terrible. Tasty malt, medium finish, lays softly on the palate, nice and malty. Gets better as we go. Likeable. Not bad.
For a buck apiece, there's worse...

 392 characters

Photo of Tone
3.65/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark but clear brown with a good thick head and decent retention. Lacing is about average (1/4 inch - 1/2 inch). Smells of sweet malts and another sweet unknown sweet entity. Fits the style. Tastes of a strong lager with lots of sweet malt. Very smooth with little aftertaste; low carbonation. Overall a very easy drinking beer with a smooth, sweet taste that's not too strong. This is a good dark/amber lager. Overall, I'd definitely drink this again, especially based on the cheap price. Also, this is much better than its Trader Jose counterpart (Premium Lager).

 573 characters

Photo of GClarkage
3.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

09/09/09- Purchased at Trader Joe's in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Deep copper colored pour with a 1/2 inch head that hangs around for a bit. Some very light lace markings left behind.

Smell- Some toasted caramel malts, a dash of hops and some light alcohol notes.

Taste- Heavier than expected and sweeter than expected caramel roasted malt flavor. Just the right amount of sweetness. Hops linger, but are not much of the flavor. Lightly bready.

Mouthfeel- Kinda creamy and lightly thick. Slight hop punch in the aftertaste.

Drinkability- Kinda impressed with this one. One of the better tasting red lagers I have had recently.

 717 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.52/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium to dark mahogany amber with a thin ivory head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt with hints of molasses and biscuit. Flavor is dark sweet malt, hints of nuts and molasses, light grassy hop finish. Light bodied with good carbonation. As expected, a lightly flavored dark lager, flavors are pleasant and malty, but subdued. Nothing to seek out, but a decent cheap dark lager as presented.

 476 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Fratto for sharing this beer.

The beer pours a clear brown color with a white head. The aroma is malty with a lot of biscuit and bready malts. The flavor is more of the same, with a lot of lighter malts. No real hop presence. High carbonation and low-medium mouthfeel. Pretty basic lager here, nothing special, but not terrible.

 339 characters

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Trader Jose's Dark Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.31 out of 5 based on 175 ratings.
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