16 July 2008

Trader José Dark Lager (MEX)

Trader Joe's Dark Premium Dark Lager is made in Mexico -- thus, Trader "José" -- and is pretty clearly modeled on Negra Modelo. This sets certain levels of expectations for the beer that work in TJ's favor.

This is basically a fairly light-bodied beer that wouldn't work in October, but that's not what they're trying to do. I would like a higher hop level to match the caramel sweetness. If it warms too much, it seems to develop some off flavors. But this is too negative.

What I like best about it are the roasty, cocoa-ish notes that come through at the end. It's ultimately a clean, refreshing summer brew that is also quite tasty. Maybe I was selling Trader Joe's short (they don't even have stores around here, so I don't know), but I liked this considerably more than I thought I would.

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