Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

Kellerweis is Sierra Nevada's take on the German hefeweizen style. I've often said I'm not a huge fan of American hefeweizens and I've never had one that I could mistake for a German hefe if I were drinking it blind. A lot of people say Kellerweis will be that American hefe I've been looking for. In fact, this is one of the most requested beers to be reviewed by viewers. I decided to drink this outside on a HOT summer's afternoon to see how it would perform under ideal conditions.

P.S. Sorry about the quality on this video. I edited this review the same way I do all my other reviews but for some reason every time I tried to render it the software would crash. I tried a few "backdoor" tricks to get it to work but to no avail. So I tried rendering the video in 360p which worked. Then I imported THAT video into a 720p render and manually increased the sharpness and color. So if the video looks over-saturated and/or choppy that's why. Hopefully that was just a hiccup because if future videos give me the same problem that means there's something wrong with my camera (producing corrupted files?) or the software or my computer itself.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (630) - Albany, USA - JUL 11, 2011
I poured a 12oz bottle into a German wheat beer glass.

Appearance: Yellow/dark golden-brown hue. Very hazy but some translucency. Plenty of carbonation visible, no yeast chunks, though. Forms a large, bright white, foamy head which retains very well and laces the glass.

Smell: Sweeter than a German hefeweizen with light banana and clove-like scents, combined with flowers and candy.

Taste: There’s a definite distinction between German and American wheat beers and right off the bat, Kellerweis plays into safer American territory. The palate is remarkably light and clean - the first two descriptions that come to mind upon the initial swig. Light banana candy, clove-flavoring and a melange of spice rack spices are all prominent throughout the palate. Despite this complexity, the actual robustness of the palate is mild throughout.

It doesn’t taste like any kind of supermarket brand "summer wheat ale", yet it doesn’t have the pure energy I look for in a hefeweizen. Not that there’s anything off-putting to the taste here, though. The candy-like sweetness is overt from beginning to end with a hint of bitterness in the middle and a quick burst of authentic clove and other spices right on the finish.

Mouthfeel: A little thicker than most American beers of the style. Slight carbonation tingling sensation. The aftertaste is clean as a whistle.

Drinkability: While I wouldn’t jump for joy for this beer overall, I can honestly say its sheer drinkability value alone is amazing. The mild palate, soft mouthfeel and clean aftertaste make it an absolutely perfect beer for the warmer months. Definitely the kind of beer Joe Six Packs and beer nerds alike can chug and enjoy and at 4.8% ABV can be so for long durations.

Overall, Kellerweis is probably one of the better American hefeweizens I’ve had, but it’s still just a good beer at the end of the day.

Grade: 7/10

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