hefeweizen style is inherently European, but American breweries don’t
let that stop them from taking a crack at it. I’ve tried many different
hefs from different brewers and I’m amazed at the differences between
them, some being good, some being excellent and others being
It’s unfortunate Harpoon’s UFO Hefeweizen falls
at the low end of the spectrum. I’m not sure this even qualifies as a
true hefeweizen because it tastes nothing like the others I’ve tried.
It’s more like a Kolsch, perhaps there was a mix-up in the company’s
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
I’ve noticed the difference between average and great hefeweizens has a
lot to do with their pour. The high-end hefs pour smoothly and seem
heavier than low-end ones, like Harpoon UFO. This beer pours much like
an American mass market light beer with a very blonde appearance that’s
cloudy, but contains no sediments.
Even the aroma is
unimpressive by virtue of the fact there isn’t much of an aroma at all.
Hefeweizens traditionally have a sweet, fruity, citrusy scent, but this
beer is virtually scent-free with only the minimal trace of a sweet
TASTE AND FINISH
Bad beers tends to
smell bad, good beers tend to smell good, so what about beers that don’t
have a smell at all? Well, if Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen is any example
they don’t have much of a taste either.
Much like a
traditional German Kolsch, this beer is extremely flat in taste. There
are absolutely no hints of fruit or clove to the palate, nor hops, nor
malts, nor barley or any other traditional beer ingredients. I found
Harpoon’s India Pale Ale to have a surprisingly salty taste, so I wasn’t
surprised that this beer also seemed to be a bit high in sodium. It’s
barely noticeable, though, but it’s pretty much the only flavor you can
detect at all.
At least the beer is extremely smooth and easy
to drink. It does seem to have a last-ditch bite to it as you finish a
big gulp, but even this is still quite weak.
How ironic would it be if this beer that has virtually no flavor and no
bite would turn out to be heavy in body? Thankfully this is not the
case since UFO Hefeweizen is as light in body as it is in taste.
Considering how bland the taste is and how clean the finish is, you
could easily drink several of these in a row without being remotely
As many flaws as I have
with Harpoon’s UFO Hefeweizen, I have to admit that it’s an average
beer both at best and at worst. It’s easy to drink and light in body,
but it just doesn’t satisfy. I would expect this from a bigger brewery,
but for a mid-level company that deals in craft brews, it’s surprisingly