Friday, February 20, 2009

Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (742) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 30, 2010
My favorite types of beers are those that don’t taste like typical beer. I prefer an authentic, niche, well-crafted style even if it’s not the easiest beer to drink. Of course, not all beers that fall into that category are automatically masterworks, such as Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier. This is a beer whose reputation precedes it, and for the most part it lives up to the hype.


Wheat beers tend to flow very smoothly out of the bottle, as this one did. However, trying to pour the beer itself is quite a challenge. Whether poured down the side or the center of the glass, this brew forms a huge layer of fluffy, bright white, marshmallow-like head. The head lingers throughout the life of the beer and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

The complexion is a dark orange/amber hue which is, not surprisingly, extremely hazy with some miniscule sediment noticeable. The aroma is potent with clove and banana and overall very sweet-smelling.


Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier has a very sweet palate which isn’t quite as spicy as I would have liked. It has a strong taste of banana and clove noticeable from the first sip to the last swig. The liquid itself has a slightly grainy texture, making it drink more like a hearty beer than a gimmicky, novelty beverage. The only caveat is clove might be a bit too strong for me, as I probably would’ve preferred a more intense, juice-like taste, but the overall palate here is definitely clean.


The great thing about wheat beers like this is how much softer in the mouth they tend to be than typical lagers and ales. There is definitely no hop bite here, so this beer goes down extremely smooth. Combined with the sweet taste, Hefe Weissbier would make a great introductory hefeweizen.


If the cloudy body is off-putting to the lightweight drinker, they should consider how easy the beer is to drink and the fact it’s a very light beer. At 5.4% ABV, Hefe Weissbier is only a little stronger than your mass-market brew, and is likely equal or even lower in calories and carbs (sorry, I couldn’t find those stats).


A beer like Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier is probably the best example of what a truly authentic German wheat beer should be.

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