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!