I don’t think you have to be a genius to infer that Trader José Premium
Lager is Trader Joe’s attempt to have a Corona-like beer of their own.
This beer is made in Mexico, though I’m unfamiliar with the brewery. To
its credit, it’s actually a better beer than Corona, but not by much and
not enough to warrant an honest thumbs up from me.
Appearance: Pale, bright golden color; crystal clear. Foams up to a huge
soapy head which leaves a high amount of lacing and never completely
Smell: Slight macro skunkiness due to the clear bottle. It’s tolerable
and I’ve smelled much worse. Faint, subtle sweetness, but otherwise very
Taste: It’s not that Trader José Premium Lager tastes bad, it’s that
it’s completely lacking of taste altogether. Very mild sweetness up
front with a distinct toasted corn and cardboard flavor through the
middle. Dry bitterness as it finishes with an astringent, slightly
metallic flavor often found in cheap pale lagers. Not much of an
aftertaste (for better or for worse), but not a lot to enjoy. I’m sure
if you were to stick a lime wedge in the bottle and drink it that way it
would taste much better, but I always judge beer in and of itself
without peripheral devices.
Drinkability: I was expecting Trader José Premium Lager to be very
bubbly and gassy, but it actually calmed down to the point of being
nearly completely tepid. This helped make it more drinkable as the,
light body and watery texture made it easy on the palate and easy to
drink in big gulps. In fact, it’d be ridiculously easy to slug down
glass after glass of this due to the mostly inoffensive palate and clean
aftertaste. I was unable to get a confirmation on the ABV, although
ratebeer.com lists it at only 3.8% which would make it a session beer
for sure, but probably more appropriate for beer pong tournaments.