Thursday, May 6, 2010

Beer Review: Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel, Augustiner Weissbier

A couple of German beers for review today, one a Dunkel and one a Weiss. I am a big fan of German beers and this comes from a school trip to Germany when I was younger. In Germany it is legal to drink beer at 16 and so it was a great feeling to be able to walk into a bar and order a beer at that age. Ever since I have always liked German beers, here are two that I sampled recently.

I recently reviewed a Hefe Weissbier from Weihenstephaner and my conclusion was that it was a bit bland, a bit ordinary, and all in all a very unexciting beer. So how would it's brewery stablemate, the Dunkel fare?

The beer pours a muddy brown, consistent with the style, however it has a muted head for a Weiss and this dissipates quite quickly to a thin off-white head. The aroma is a nice balance of ripe bananas and wheat malt. Medium to full bodied with a nice strong level of carbonation, it is smooth but a little cloying on the palate. The taste is very nice and refreshing. This beer as you would expect is all about the malts and the yeast with little or no contribution from the hops (14 IBU's according to the brewery website). It is very easy to drink and I could easily see myself drinking a few of these, a nice, if not remarkable, weissbier dunkel.

The second beer is an Augustiner Weissbier, brewed by Augustiner Brau. this beer has a long history, the brewery states that it can trace its roots back to 1328. With that kind of history weighing heavy on this bottle, how did it taste? It pours a lovely golden colour with a nice cloudy appearance and strong white fluffy head.                                                                                                      
The aroma is of ripe bannana and it is more subtle than you usually get with this style of beer. It has a nice medium body with a high level of carbonation that dances across the palate. So far it ticks all the boxes, however the taste has a distinct metallic note* to it that spoils the whole experience, if you could get past this it would be a really nice beer, but I can't.

Unfortunatley the metallic taste takes away from the beer and for this reason I could not recommend it, however I will definitely try this beer again and hope that this bottle was just a casualty of a bad batch.

* according to Palmer, this metallic note can be caused by poorly stored malts that can cause hydrolysis of lipids within the malts, not sure if this is what caused it in this particular instance, but this could be a factor.

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