Trader Joe’s 2010 Vintage Ale

A release that I look forward to every year for two reasons; the value associated with this beer is generally exceptional, and Unibroue is simply a brewer that rarely misses when it plays in its own, Canadian inspired, "Belgian" ballpark. Corked & Caged 750 mL in the usual Unibroue style bottle, with a blue "U" on top of the cap that is reassuring. Best Before date on the rear of the bottle, 09-10-2013. J221 01 953Q dot-matrixed on the shoulder of the bottle at the side. A very dark brown body...

Josephs Brau Winterfest

In a word, impressed. You never quite know what you are going to get with these cheap, 12 oz singles from TJ's but to be honest more often than not I have been really pleased with what I've found. This was no exception. Really deep, garnet copper body with some lovely light coffee-colored head. Lace and retention are not the best, but the clarity and the depth of color are both very nice. Lovely sweetness in the taste - I suspect it will be too much fro some, but if you like a sweet, malt...

Trader Joe’s 2009 Vintage Ale

=== Updated Review 01/11 === About 14 months old by now. Nose seems stronger than ever (in a good way). The carbonation is still quite prickly, and I think this is probably the weakest part of the beer, but paradoxically it lends a pretty lively element to the beer, and I would rather be it that way than the other, Still fruity and rich, the value here is indisputable. Yeasty elements seems a little higher than originally. Super beer. === Original review 12/09 === Trader Joe's have been in...

Josephs Brau Hopfest German Style Pilsner

$1.00, 12 oz single from Trader Joe's, Atlanta, GA, USA. I've had plenty of success with TJ's and their cheap singles so I feel confident to at least give these cheap beers a shot. Pour is decent in terms of color, but the head, lace and carbonation seems weak to me. The mouthfeel seems to have more carbonation that the look would suggest. Nose has virtually nothing. WOW, what an odd taste. A combination of corny sweetness and then a VERY strange, peppery bitterness. As far as this being a...

Josephs Brau Dunkelweizen

12oz single, $1.00 from Trader Joe's, Atlanta, GA, USA. Appearance (at least in terms of the color) as expected (a dirty, turbid, clouded pour with some chill haze) which is not especially attractive. Head is better than expected and quite tall and pitted. On the other hand the head does not last long. No lace. Aroma is solid - standard banana and clove notes. Tastes - as expected. Reflects the aromas and then cuts in with a final acidity in the finish. Simple, straightforward drinking, not...

Trader Joe’s Stockyard Oatmeal Stout

Picked this up as a 12oz single from Trader Joe's. Nice looking pour with a high, mocha colored head, but relatively poor retention and not much lace. Very good dark brown body with some sharp, garnet highlights. When the head has gone the beer takes on the exact appearance of a coke; including the mild streams of carbonation. Typical for the style, but I detect more lactose notes. In fact, I might even go as far as to ssay that if this were a blind tasting I could have mistaken this for a...

Trader Joe’s Bohemian Lager

Yet another 12 oz single from a recent Trader Joe's booty. In summary, a drinkable lager but a poor "Czech Pils". Pour is golden and looks good in the Sweetwater Pils glass. Nice, continuous carbonation with a wispy head and a little lace. Sweet, malty nose and not much mention of any bitterness or hops. Much the same can be said of the taste. Crisp and clean, sweet and quite tasty, but little or no bitterness that should come with a Saaz hop (or similar) profile. OK to drink as a refreshing...

Trader Joe’s Vienna Style Lager

Another pretty decent hit from the Trader Joe, single, $1 a bottle recent haul. Nice carbonation, good head, but not a great deal of lace. Good clarity in the amber body. Good depth in the nose with plenty of malty goodness and sugar promised. Pretty straightforward but done well. Toasty malts, residual sweetness, smooth with an easy finish. Not much to shatter the world here, but at the same time a well made and simple beer that represents good value for money and a nice example of the...

Trader Joe’s Hofbrau Bock

Single 12 oz from Trader Joe's, $1.00. A nice, well made beer, and great value too. 22 IBU according to the label. Very attracive, dark golden body with plenty of head and some lovely lace. Good carbonation. Very nice, sweet malty aroma. A little grassy hop and malt, all pulled together with a surprisingly big alcohol bite in the finish. A very well put togeher little beer, that has a very smooth and substantial, creamy mouthfeel. In summary, impressive and a really nice example of the...