The authentic German hefeweizen is probably the best beer to drink in the summer, but what about the three other seasons of the year? For spring and fall there’s the slightly darker, more robust style known as the dunkelweizen. I haven’t had much experience with this style and decided to start off with the Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel - an authentic German offering of the authentic style. It wasn’t quite as impressive as some of the German hefeweizens I’ve tried, but it was darn good beer in its own right.
I poured a 500ml bottle into a traditional German wheat beer glass.
Appearance: Pure brown with slight maroon haze color; very cloudy body although massive carbonation is easily seen. Forms a large, frothy, beige head which retains and laces below expectation.
Smell: A subtle, organic, mild aroma of banana bread and apple sauce. Smells genuine, and not like a candle shop like how many beers with added spices to tend to smell.
Taste: I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of drinking real German wheat beers. The first taste of the first swig of Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel was so tasty it immediately reminded me of why I love these types of beers. The palate is just like the aroma with a sweet taste of banana bread and applesauce with cinnamon on top. Unlike many other It’s not overly-spicy and peppery, but much more subtle than most beers of the sort. The flavors here are milder, but more refined with no harsh edge to them. In fact, the only real flaw with this beer is that it might be just a little too mild as it noticeably weakens and flattens out the more I drink.
Mouthfeel: Slightly fizzy and lively at first, but becomes noticeably flatter and thinner once the head dissipates. Not quite light-bodied, but difficult to peg as a proper medium-bodied beer.
Drinkability: Almost ridiculous in how smooth this beer goes down. It finishes with a quick burst of bread, fruit and spice, but leaves little to no aftertaste making it very refreshing. "Helles" hefeweizens are the preferred summer brew, but this would perform just as well in warmer weather. The 5% ABV seems a little lower than it performs, though, as it feels like a heavier, stronger brew.
Overall, a refreshing and tasty beer to drink in any weather. Not mind-blowing, but a solid performer for sure.