Saturday, May 24, 2008

Samuel Adams Hefeweizen (2008 original review)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (735) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 4, 2010

The Boston Beer Company’s Samuel Adams line is known for its variety and overall high quality brews. Although its Boston Lager is its most popular beer and generally considered its best, I’d like to nominate the lesser-known Hefeweizen for that title.

It’s actually a little surprising they would choose to use the original German word which literally translates as “wheat beer.” So named because, well, it’s made from wheat. The unique thing about hefeweizens is their cloudy complexion because their yeast has not been filtered out. I’m no expert in beer brewing, but I initially approached this beer with some serious reservation after reading this on the bottle. The thought of yeast not having been filtered out made me anxious despite the fact I had no real frame of reference to know that means.

However, I was pleasantly surprised that this beer is very smooth, slightly sweet, tasty and easy to drink. It’s a bit filling, but I like it for its quality.


Sam Adams Hefeweizen pours very smoothly, quickly and easily and forms a surprisingly large head, by far the biggest of any beer in the Sam Adams line I’ve noticed to date. The head isn’t quick to dissolve, either, and has a nice taste. The liquid is dark yellow in color and of course very cloudy, but homogeneous. Don’t worry, you won’t see any chunks of pulp or fiber floating around. There is not any one distinct aspect to its aroma other than it being a bit on the sweeter side. It doesn’t smell like your mass-market beer and yet it doesn’t smell of some kind of gimmick drink, either.


I’m not an expert on hefeweizens, but from what I can tell many have a fruity taste to them or at least lean to the sweeter side on your palette. Sam Adam Hefeweizen is sweet, but not citrusy and certainly isn’t bitter. The beer is extremely smooth going down and is equally as smooth on your palette. Such a well-balanced taste is hard to come by.


My only complaint, and it’s a minor one, is that this beer is full-bodied. After drinking two bottles in a row I was absolutely content and maybe even a little bloated. I’m sure if you were to drink this on an empty stomach you could easily go through upwards of a half dozen before it really started to get to you.


This beer finishes almost as smooth as it begins, although the “bite” is nominal. It does leave something of an aftertaste, which is fine because the beer and my palette get alone like peas and carrots.


I think this is the brew Sam Adams Summer Ale was intended to usurp, but the Hefeweizen is by far a superior product in my mind so I doubt that will happen. Why it’s not available on its own (at least where I live) is surprising. I suppose the name could be off-putting, which is a shame. For those who assume this beer is too much of a niche for them, I say take it from me and try it - you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Grade: 7/10

NOTE: Read my 2017 re-review here: