I would bet a lot of cash that Trader José Dark Premium Lager is Trader
Joe’s version of Negra Modelo. A smooth, dark lager with mild sweetness
and is better than their pale adjunct lager. This brew has actual taste
to it, though it’s not anything to write home about.
Appearance: Extremely dark copper/brown hue; transparent body. Forms a
pretty large, white, foamy head which leaves a good amount of lacing and
doesn’t evaporate completely.
Smell: Mild nose with hints of dark malt, chocolate, and an underlying generic lager scent.
Taste: Mild sweetness throughout the palate which increases as it warms.
There’s components of a traditional bock in here, as well as some
chocolate flavors often found in stouts or porters. Don’t get the wrong
idea, though, this is not a dessert in a glass or a stout that’s been
lagered. It’s possible there’s adjuncts in here, as I do notice subtle
metallic flavor, but it’s not nearly as overt as the pale lager. There’s
a short burst of sweetness right as it finishes, but the aftertaste is
too clean for its own good. Though nothing amazing, this is a genuinely
Drinkability: I couldn’t find an ABV listing for Trader José Dark
Premium Lager anywhere, but I’d estimate it’s 4.5 - 5% ABV. It’s about
as heavy and potent as a generic macro lager, and has the flavor
intensity (or lack thereof) to match. That’s not surprising considering
the target audience for this beer. The body does go tepid rather
quickly, although that enables it to be a smooth, easy-drinking beer
with a body probably smaller than you’d expect. This is the beer craft
beer nerds should use for their beer pong tournament.