14 April 2008

Erdinger Hefe-Weizen Dark (GER)

This is now the third Erdinger wheat beer I've tried. I thought the two others were decent enough, probably not the best of Germany, but I bought this because it was on sale (a drink by date of 04-2008 being the reason).

My understanding is that it isn't entirely typical of the style. "A moderately dark, spicy, fruity, malty, refreshing wheat-based ale," says BJCP, which isn't too far off. Erdinger is in fact dark brown, with some lightness appearing only around the edges. The taste is mostly hefe, but with some caramel sweetness covering up the banana/clove. "A roasted malt character is inappropriate" is where we get into trouble. The finish of this beer is clearly of roasted malts, providing a light mocha flavor. If this is wrong for the style, it's also my favorite part of the beer. My least favorite is the carbonation, which is effervescent, but excessive. Probably this isn't incorrect, but just seems so because it doesn't fit the wayward taste. Ultimately, this doesn't come across as a heavy beer, but seems to want to be more than just refreshing.

Overall, I like this more than either of the other Erdinger's I've tasted. Checking out the rating it sites, it looks like Weihenstephaner makes a great dunkelweizen, so I'll have to try that.


beer blokes said...

Have tried the Dunkel and tend to agree, although the stuff available in Australia doesn't seem overly fizzed - maybe the extra distance mellows it out? Or does it get to us first, and then it 'cooks' a bit more on the way to the States? Who knows, maybe we all just 'taste' carbonation differently.

Erdinger has also recently released a novel brew called "Champ" which has a cutaway in the bottom of the bottle for openeing the twist top. A bit gimmicky, I thought, because you need to buy at least two to see if it really works. Good marketing. But then you also have to keep at least one empty when you get down to the last one - these things are a bugger to twist off by hand! The beer is a fairly 'lager-like' weissbier but if the gimmick gets more people trying something off the mainstream, then well done.

Cheers, Prof. Pilsner

Buttle said...

I think I'm overly sensitive to carbonation sometimes.

I looked up Erdinger Champ, and the "it's always better to buy two" marketing is kind of funny. It does look like they're going for a mass market ("the ideal lifestyle wheat beer").