18 May 2008

Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier/Dark (GER)

Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan is a state owned brewery. You just don't see that sort of thing in the US. Both of these wheat beers are just over 5% ABV and both are, of course, brewed in accordance with the German Purity Law, though the brewery predates the law by half a millennium.Hefe Weissbier: This strikes me as being on the wheatier end of the hefeweizen spectrum. Of course, that's the style, but it comes across as fairly earthy. There's the usual banana and cloves, but it is more spicy and less sweet than other hefes, without any of the lemony notes you sometimes get. The texture is great: creamy and only lightly carbonated. Still, for all the praise this receives, I don't think I like it as much as Paulaner's take on the style. However, I'm not trying them side-by-side, and it's not hot outside.

Hefeweissbier Dark: I got a big whiff of banana out of the glass here, more so than for any other wheat beer I tried. It pours a murky amber with a great mouse pillow head. The dunkel version is more malty and less noticeably yeasty and wheaty than the straight hefe. It's ever so slightly sour as well. In his Great Beer Guide, Michael Jackson says this beer is reminiscent of maple syrup and recommends serving with pancakes. I can see what he's getting at: there's a banana walnut waffle quality here. In the aftertaste, cocoa and roasted malts appear. In fact, the aftertaste of Weihenstephaner reminds me of the main flavor of Erdinger's darker take on the style (Erdinger being the stylistic outlier).

Two fine beers. I preferred the dunkel this weekend, but I suspect that may be due to the cool weather.

1 comment:

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