Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel (2012 original review)

It's Memorial Day so that means summer has officially started - as well as Season 18 of Chad'z Beer Reviews. This is a beer I've been meaning to review for literally years, but I'm not sure why I put it off for so long. Although it is kind of ironic that I just reviewed the kristallweizen Weihenstephaner just a few weeks ago - now it's time to review the dunkelweizen.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (669) - Albany, New York, USA - MAY 28, 2012
I always thought dunkelweizens were supposed to be more robust than the standard hefeweizen, but in the case of Weihenstephaner Hefewiessbier Dunkel I think the opposite is true. Whereas the original has a robust, complex palate of banana, fruit juice, and spiced bread - the dark version is essentially the same notes but at a much lower volume.

I poured a 500ml bottle into a wheat beer glass.

Appearance: Opaque brown proper color with carbonation visible upon close inspection. Forms a large, white, foamy head which laces and retains very well.

Smell: Essentially the same as a standard German hefeweizen, but a little more mild and a distinct "beer smell" to it. Some notes of fruit and spice, but again - mild.

Taste: There’s a mild bitterness to begin the palate, followed by slightly sweet flavors of banana and cinnamon bread and an ending with very subtle clove and coriander spice. The finish delivers a little more banana flavor (specifically, of mushy, blackened banana), but the aftertaste is clean. There’s nothing off-putting about the palate at all, but there seems to be a lack of intensity to these flavors. Those new to the wheat beer genre will likely get more out of and appreciate the flavors here, but seasoned drinkers may find it too mild.

Drinkability: Even though this beer didn’t wake up my palate, it was refreshing and smooth - which is one of the reasons you drink a beer like this in the first place. Outside on a hot summer day it was very refreshing. The mouthfeel wasn’t quite thin, but did have a noticeable sensation of carbonation vibration across the tongue, yet it never got stuck in the throat. At 5.3% ABV, Weihenstephaner Hefewiessbier Dunkel is a tad too big to be dictionary-definition "sessionable," but I don’t think that would stop beer drinkers of any experience level from trying.

Grade: 6/10

NOTE: Read my 2017 re-review here: