Trader José Light Lager | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

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Trader José Light LagerTrader José Light Lager
62 Ratings
Trader José Light LagerTrader José Light Lager

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

Style: American Light Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 62 |  Reviews: 21
Reviews by montageman:
Photo of montageman
1.87/5  rDev -31%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Not an impressive beer. Clear, pale color with a less than appealing smell. Not much here to enjoy, but there isn't much to offend either. The flavors are muted and light - it is definitely a light beer. Tastes more like a sweetened mineral water more than a beer, but some folks might enjoy that. It has taken me over an hour to drink 1 bottle. Not because I'm savoring it, but more because I'm not enjoying it. Not recommended.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of LXIXME
3/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear bright golden color with a medium white head. The head dies quickly but leaves a decent lacing a top this traditional Mexican light lager.

The aroma is very typical of a light Mexican lager having the light sour almost or hints of lemony citrus, and this transfers well into its taste, lightly sour lemony-citrus with lighter hints of some grains coming through.

This beer is very comparable to Sol, Tecate, Corona, or any of the other big name light Mexican lagers. Not really worth seeking out but if you like these kind of beers this will do just fine.

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Photo of tdm168
2.75/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Nvrmind16
2.87/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Add a lime, for goodness sake

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Photo of NeroFiddled
2.72/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Trader José Light
12 oz. clear glass bottle, "BEST BEFORE 112313AFL 10:04" on 4/24/13

Normally I might be bothered by a clear glass bottle, but in this case I think it's appropriate. Clearly they're trying to copy Corona Light, and thus the bottle needs to look at least a little similar. Additionally, the clear glass bottle adds to the aroma and flavor although I didn't find this at all skunky. (Perhaps they're using pre-isomerized hops? On the other hand, why would they?) Compared with Corona Light I actually find this to have more flavor and character, but it has the same general vibe.

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Photo of avisong
2/5  rDev -26.2%

Photo of DOCRW
2.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of HalfFull
3.18/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a clear glass bottle into a pint glass. This beer pours the clear and light straw typical of the style. An inch of soapy foam offers fairly good retention. Surface ring and scattered lacing are present throughout the glass.

Light and slightly husky on the nose yet without any distractions from the cereal grains. No corn though perhaps some rice. Very light touch of noble hops reveal themselves later on. Taste follows and is relatively mild in characteristics yet offers a better than expected body. In fact a bit 'creamy' for the style, enhancing the feel a bit. Fairly drinkable for the style given the lack of negatives. Not bad.

Note: ABV was estimated from caloric analysis of 120 calories per bottle, with 9.6g carbs and 1.0g protein. Thoughts of Sol Light from Tecate occurred to me but this surely seems a different animal aimed for the U.S. market.

 867 characters

Photo of VABA
2/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of Cgraham
3.2/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of MikeDL
3.44/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

tastes like a corona light

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Photo of Spikester
4.02/5  rDev +48.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear pale gold with three fingers of white head that lasts about five minutes. Rings of lace as the head drops.
Smell is malty with a touch of herbal hops.
Taste is similar to the smell with the herbal hop bitterness growing a bit.
Mouthfeel is light with good carbonation. The finish is lightly dry and balanced.
Overall a tasty light Mexican lager. Bet before 08/21/18. Very fresh. I will buy this again when wanting a light beer.

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Photo of matjack85
2.61/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this single clear glass 12oz bottle at Trader Joe's in Glen Ellyn,IL for just a dollar. I completely misread the label thinking this was Trader Joe's own brand of beer rather than a Mexican beer named Trader Jose. It was only after failing to find it on the BA site did I take a second look and realize the spelling difference. No information about the beer on the label and no freshness date.

The beer poured a clear pale yellow color that made just a thin rim of white foam on top, but surprisingly left some lace down the sides of the glass.

The smell was awful. A big skunky odor overpowered everything else, but as I let it sit a little I could detect a more traditional lager smell.

The taste wasn't that good but it wasn't that bad either. A bit on the sweet side with more grain flavor than malt, but it also had a touch of hops to it for balance. I let a Mexican friend who was with me taste it himself and he said it tasted like another Mexican beer called "Sol", which is just another middle of the road macro lager.

The mouthfeel was light as it should be for this style, but the carbonation was a bit on the low side for my liking. Easy to drink if you don't inhale too much of the smell, but I'll stck with a Sam Adams Light if I want a good light beer.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
2.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light golden amber with a half finger white head with decent retention and decent lacing. Aroma quite skunky with underlying sweet malt and maybe some light grassy hops, but the skunk is strong in this one. Flavor is light sweet malt with a hint of grassy hops and very light hints of the skunkiness from the aroma. Light to medium bodied, actually a bit more pleasant mouth feel than I expected. The underlying sweet malt seems pleasant enough and probably quite decent for this style, but the skunkiness in both the aroma and taste (and the latter is unusual even in beers with a bit of skunk in the aroma in my experience) really drags this one down. A sorry lager that can't even make it to the low bar of a light lager, likely due to the clear bottle and sitting in a bright Trader Joe's store (an otherwise positive environment). TJ seems to usually provide decent taste for low prices in their name brand items, but this isn't one of them. Hey guys! Dump the clear bottles. My first review of a light lager and perhaps a poor introduction to a style I suspect will not blow my mind anyway.

 1,148 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
2.06/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

so i was stuck in the house with tons of cleaning to do and a bunch of light lagers. so i decided to crack this one open to clean the bathroom

the pour was a light amber color with tons of carbonation and a small head that faded as quick as it came. leaving a bare top with tons of bubbles foaming up to the top. aroma is non existant with light corn and rice, a touch of grain and hints of bread, but nothing appealing in any way. light flavor with a touch of hay and just one of the lightest flavors and feels i have ever come across. it was essentially water to me. just the lightest possible thing you could imagine with hardly any flavor to speak of.

overall it is what it is, went down like water and that was the end of it. do not think i will revist.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.5/5  rDev +29.2%

Trader José Light has a thick, white head, a mostly clear, golden appearance, with bubble streams, decent lacing, and noticeable tiny white specs roiling about. Aroma is of fairly rich, barley malt, sweetness, and even an odd (but, not bad) syrupiness. Taste is of faint malt, sweetness, cracker, and a touch of balancing hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is light and a bit slick, and Trader José Light finishes crisp and easy drinking. I find this to be a better-than-average light lager.


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Photo of HungarianCount
2.75/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of JoeCorleone
2.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of irthesteve
3.25/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of IBUBrew
2.27/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Photo of rickjane
1.75/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of MaxOhle
2.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of Burly
3/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ice cold and with lime, it is good for the price, at least for Berkeley, CA.

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Photo of zaptone
1.5/5  rDev -44.6%

Photo of dbrauneis
2.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a crystal clear pale yellow in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation quickly rising from the bottom of the glass and some faint golden yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy bright white head that reduces to a large patch of thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of grainy, corn, and vegetal malts with a very light amount of grassy hops.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of slightly sweet grainy malts with corn and vegetal adjuncts. That is followed by a very light flavor of grassy hops with imparts a light amount of bitterness which fades quickly.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Relatively crisp.

O: Nothing special but this is a decent beer, better than I expected... There is only a light amount of overall flavor to the beer but it is not unpleasant.

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Trader José Light Lager from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 2.71 out of 5 with 62 ratings