18 August 2007

Erdinger Hefe-Weizen (GER)

Not too many Summer Saturdays left, so I have to drink the hefeweizens while I can. I paid $2.85 for a half liter bottle of what I believe is Germany's top-selling hefe. But is it supposed to be like this?

It pours a nice yellow-orange color topped by thick white foam, but the head is gone before I can snap a picture of it. The aroma isn't strong; only slightly fruity and maybe spicy. What a dislike is the level of carbonation: way too high for a weissbier. It undercuts the creaminess of the texture (it is rightly medium-full). I don't get much citrus or banana either, and, of course, no hops. So what is this?

My first thought is a bad bottle. When I tried Paulaner Hefe earlier, I had to disregard the first bottle, which was bad in a similar way. A few differences here, though. First, it's a matter of degree. The Paulaner was more severely awful. Second, the Paulaner was a bit old, while the Erdinger is dated drink by January 2008. Third, reviews at Ratebeer and Beer Advocate suggest that the Erdinger really is supposed to have a lot of carbonation for its style. Some like it ("lively carbonation"), but a number of critics describe a beer very similar to what I tried. So maybe this is just a poor brew. I might buy another bottle and add an update.

Update: I did in fact try another bottle a couple of weeks later and it was much better. Still fizzier than I'd like, but much more flavorful than the previous bottle. I wouldn't rank it as high as the Paulaner, but it's still a good hefeweizen.

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