Friday, June 29, 2012

Hofbräu München Hefe Weizen

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (685) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 28, 2012
I poured a 500ml bottle into a wheat beer glass.

Appearance: Pale orange/dark gold color. So hazy it’s opaque. No carbonation bubbles visible. Initially forms a large, white, foamy head, but it dissipates quickly and leaves only minor lacing on the glass.

Smell: Because this comes in an olive green bottle rather than a truly brown bottle it’s no surprise there’s a slightly skunky smell to it. It’s nowhere near as bad as a Heineken but it’s definitely noticeable. The usual banana and spice from the yeast are also detectable, but mild.

Taste: There can be no better argument for dark brown bottles (or cans, ideally) than Hofbräu München Hefe Weizen. I find German beers to be very similar across the board since they all conform to the Purity Law of 1516 and are using traditional recipes and likely very similar ingredients. So this beer should be as good as a Weihenstephaner, but it isn’t because the bottle has obviously been light struck and the palate has been damaged.

That’s not to say this is an undrinkable beer, far from it. I just get a lot of unusual characteristics for the style. It begins with a dry, sharp bitterness with just a hint of underlying banana sweetness. As it transitions to the second half a hint of apple and cinnamon are detectable, but they’re so subtle you really have to be looking for them to find them. It finishes very clean, which is nice since it’s quite refreshing. Thankfully the light strike apparent in the nose isn’t nearly as bad in the palate, but it’s definitely sapped the beer of its livelihood. That, or this is just a mediocre brew to begin with.

Drinkability: The mouthfeel to Hofbräu München Hefe Weizen is pretty much the same as any other German hefeweizen. A noticeable fizziness with a watery texture and a clean aftertaste. I drank this outside on a hot summer day, and even though it wasn’t very tasty, it did quench my thirst. The 5.1% ABV seems right on, but I don’t really see anyone sessioning such a ho-hum brew when there are so many better examples as readily available.

Grade: 4/10

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