Monday, September 7, 2015

Paulaner Hefe-Weizen (2015 re-review)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1447) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 7, 2015
When I first started reviewing beer way back in 2008, hefeweizen was one of the uniquely foreign styles I found myself attracted to. Seven years later, my love for authentic German brews of the style has not dissipated, and I’m able to savor their flavor even more. Paulaner Hefe-Weizen was a good beer when I first had it, but drinking it today I realize how great it really is. Big on flavor and aroma and remarkably easy and fun to drink - that’s a winning combination for sure. 

I poured a 500ml bottle into a weizen glass. It had a best before date of 1/2016 and cost $2.79 ($0.17 per ounce).

Appearance: A deep shade of orange/light brown. Extremely hazy, but fine carbonation can always been seen rushing up to the top. Pours to a large, white, foamy head which retains and laces excellently.

Smell: Sweet banana bread scent with a touch of orange and a light clove-like spice character.

Taste: There are those who scoff at the hefeweizen style and say they all taste essentially the same because the yeast does most of the work. While I would agree with the latter, I disagree with the former as I have had plenty that are mild and boring (and some that are just plain bad). When I think of a great-tasting hefe, this is what I think of. Up front there’s strong wheat presence that imparts a bit of a tart, cracker-like character. Banana bread is also quite prominent, though it emerges much more on the finish than the beginning. Through the middle I detect a light spicy sensation; a mixture of orangepeel, clove, cinnamon and just the faintest hint of peppercorn. The aftertaste is all banana bread, though it fades rather quickly. All in all, this is how a hefeweizen should taste.

Drinkability: I can drink beers of this style year-round, though I prefer them in warmer weather. I had absolutely no trouble downing a tall glass of Paulaner Hefe-Weizen on a hot summer’s day. The beer is highly-carbonated for sure, but it’s a fine/micro carbonation. It literally vibrates across the tongue, but at the same time scrubs the palate clean. Refreshing while in the mouth, and highly quaffable even though it’s a perfectly medium-bodied brew at 5.5% ABV. It would be awfully tempting to session this, but the 11.2oz cans are hard to find. A single half liter is definitely sufficient. I wish Paulaner would offer this in 500ml cans or even 1-liter cans!

RATING: 9/10 

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