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Josephs Brau Winterfest | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

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190 Reviews
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Josephs Brau WinterfestJosephs Brau Winterfest

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

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-14-2008

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Reviews: 190 | Ratings: 270
Photo of Stubbie1
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A brew with a nice reddish/brown color. Decent tan head with a nice lace to the end of the glass. Nice malty tone on the nose, toffee and caramel blend in nice. Touch of something sweet going on in the aroma area also. Maybe dark fruit. Taste is smooth and sticky across the lips. A bit creamy feel going on and matching the aroma but a slight crisp finish is noted.

Well not a bad brew, A Trader Jo’s opened up down the street the other day. This brew was nice, need to check out the others.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was amazed that a beer from a grocery store would be so drinkable, but then it IS trader joe's. My wife brought a sixer of this home for me and i ignored it for a few days because i didn't have much hope. After cracking one open and pouring it, however, i decided it looked and smelled quite good. Smell was malty and sour. Had a bit of a bite and was not nearly as heavy as i expected. Probably was too cold at the point when i drank it and i noticed the taste improved as the glass warmed up. Willing to try other trader joe's beers now

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Photo of watermelonman
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This poured to a decent dark brown with hints of red. Head and lace are minor.

The smell is mostly of malts with bits of chocolate. The taste is dominated by malt but is lighter than expected. Chocolate again comes through. The mouthfeel is definitely the low point here, obviously due to being so light for the style.

An appealing beer overall, it's just too light for a doppelbock.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brown with reddish tinge. The small-moderate head quickly subsides to a thin veneer of tan over most of the top of the glass.

Aroma is caramel and cocoa powder. Malty sweet goodness.A slight yeasty back tone.

Flavor is rich malts, toasted and roasted, with a slight bitterness in the edges and the end. Sweetness is obvious, but not overpowering. Alice says molassas, and I think that's a pretty good description.

Nice full rich mouthfeel that tells you this one carries some ABV inside.

Overall, a decent offering from TJs- one never knows with this store, this one is OK.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trader Joe's Winterfest
12 oz brown bottle
Batch # - WF002 10:47
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a neutral shade of brown with some reddish highlights on the bottom of the glass. Thin head for a lace.

Aroma of Munich malts and sugary sweetness.

Taste is syrupy with flavors of caramel, hints of chocolate and roasted malts. Nicely balanced with a mini hop snap on the finish. The mouthfeel is doughy, like a cookie or piece of cake with caramel swirls.

This was my first time trying a Trader Joe's beer and it's good. The price is really worth noting, as is the smooth 7.5% ABV.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.6/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Guess I'll stand out there on my own with this one as I often do... but maybe this should be in the Winter Warmer category and people wouldn't be so harsh on it.

Solid brown color with a nice full light brown head and nice carbonation with slow bubbles. Smokey, roasty, dark Munich malt aroma and flavors. Lots of robust roasty full flavored characteristics that you don't normally associate with a true Dopplebock but they aren't really selling it as one either... Medium-full bodied, smooth, and warming.

So good for a winter warmer that I went back and bought a case...

Per bottle label: 28 IBU

Batch #: WF005
Tasted: 11/25/05

($5.29 / 6-pack)

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Photo of hopsaplenty
2.86/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber with loads of carbonation streams. Short, quickly thinning head of sandy colored and small bubbles which thins to a brief collar leaving no lacing. Smells slightly sweet and modestly malty, with raisins, plums, and almost jammy. The taste is also initially sweet and finishes with notes of alcohol. Raisins and plums along with hints of clove are also present. Light body for a dopplebock, and a rather thin mouthfeel. Didn't seem quite to style, but was still enjoyable.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pleasant dark amber with a small head that disappates to nice thin lacing. Very light aromas of toasted malts and mild chocolate.
Thin mouthfeel with little carbonation.
Interesting tastes...faintly chocolate....roasted malts....slightly fruity esters.
This is an interesting brew. I doubt it is representative of true dopplebock, but maybe a 'light' dopplebock.
Nice flavors for the winter season....strong alcohol content for warming but no strong alcohol flavors. Smooth with no bitterness or offensive aftertastes.
I enjoyed this brew and look forward to another one.

 584 characters

Photo of xgrigorix
3.4/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce brown bottle, no dates.

Deep mahogany hue. Creamy tan coloured head. Thin & patchy lace.

Nose has hints of chocolate & plums.

Subtle hints of plum & chocolate work their way around malty/breadiness. A bit of caramel. Finished off dry with some German hop flavours peaking out - grass & earthy. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. This doppelbock will not wow anyone, however that is to say that it isn't bad. The price can't be beat either! ($5.49 / 6 pk)

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very good beer from Trader Joe. What would you exspect from a grocery store? The color was a dark brown with very little foam and lace. The smell of roasted malts and hops filled the nose with a pleasant aroma. The taste of roasted malts with a hint of toffee was evident. There was a nice balance of sweet, tart and sourness on my tongue and palate. Not a great beer, but I would say, upbove average. All you have to do is keep an open mind!

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Photo of Ricochet
2.72/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I have not been impressed with Trader Joe beers, and I was less inpressed whit the bottle of Two Buck Chuck Wine that everybody raves about, but that's another story. I want to like this beer because it has elements that say it's good to me, but , something seems amiss.

It appears rosy amber, but seemed like an average brown ale, with a head that quicly left the scene. It smells sort of bread like, with some of the burnt malts making themselves known. Mouth was thin but very liquor-like, almost like this beer is crying to drink it at room temperature. As it warmed, it didn't taste as good. Actually, I was not impressed with this.

It was very malty and had a heavy alchohol twinge, and there was licorace and a little coffee taste, and I so wanted it to be a porter, but it was thin like a lager. There was raisin notes but the heavy alchohol just was too damn strong. Last one I tried, I don't know if I was in a non-beer mood or what, but I dumped it.

Drinkablilty is, well, at 4.99 should be okay in my book but this wasn't a very drinkable beverage. I have tried other bocks and they seemed to do this style a bit better. Yes, this would be better than a malt liquor or bland lager for flavor, but compared with it's style, not good.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tried one of these beers that my dad offered me from his 6-pack. Poured a toffeish brown/black. Smelled like licorice, with vanilla notes a decent amount of malty sweetness followed by the welcomed bubble of cold lagered carbonation to help the flavor along. Although I wasn't expecting this Dopplebock to be up there withe Ayinger Celebrator, but for a 7.5 % beer, the overall flavor scheme was subdued. Not up to my expectations, but would definetly buy this beer though.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.45/5  rDev -31%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I love the dopplebock style so I had to pick this up at trader joe's, must be a fresh palate as the season is right and it was presented on the end of an aisle with about 20 cases out for the picking. I swiped a sixer up for some sampling.

Pours a deep purple to brown with a decent head and nice carbonation support.

Serious Toasted bread to the point of borderline smoked. Doughy at times. Taste was the same as the smell although the smoked flavors come through more in the taste. Malted sweetness up front and then Bammm smoked wood...

Notes: I was hoping that this winter-dopple would have some spices,cinnamon,cloves or something but it ended up being just a sub par dopple that has issues all around.

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Photo of macpapi
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single of this new brew a week or so ago. Just noticed it added to B.A. tonight. Note that it sells for low, low T.J's prices and thus is a 'value' beer.

Pours a dark brown color with a medium sized white head. Little bubble activity. Smells of pretty deep malt and chocolate/caramel. Hits of fruit are also present. Pretty nice aroma. Tastes surprisingly nice. There is a deep roasted malt flavor, definite presence of chocolate and caramel. A bit of hop presence as well. Most impressively there is not any hint of high abv. In the mouth, Winterfest is low on carbonation and high in body and flavor. A pretty bitter kick at the end of the swallow completes its composition. Overall, this is a nice beer from G.B/T.J's. Typical for the style, but pretty smooth and tasty. And did I mention what a bargain it is.

 828 characters

Photo of unklesyd
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is really one of the TJ/Gordon Biersch project's better ones.

A really nice brown garnet color with a dense head that subsides within a minute.

Subtle fruitiness in the aroma, but still quite clean. Might be a liability in some purists minds, but I think it is nice. Smells like a nice light crystal on a clean pils malt backbone.

Slightly slick mouthfeel complements the flavor, balancing the slight roast that hits both the front and back of the tounge. Well balanced clean hop bitterness that doesn't impart a noticable flavor characteristic.

I'll pick up a sixer next time at the behest of my wife. If there were a value column, this would get a 5 all the way.

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Josephs Brau Winterfest from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.55 out of 5 based on 270 ratings.
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