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Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier
Written by Noel
In keeping with Tom’s review on Saison Dupont, I also recently partook in a famous, celebrated beer that has been on my “to try” list for months: Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier. The Weihenstephan Brewery in Germany can trace its roots all the way back to the year 768, and claims to be the oldest working brewery in the world. They make sure you know it, too; every bottle has “The World’s Oldest Brewery” printed on the label. Whether this is true or not may be up for debate. What isn’t up for debate is the quality of their beer.
The unfiltered (Hefe) version of their famous weissbier is beautiful thing. Classic German wheat beer at its best. All the right elements are there: hazy, golden-orange color, thick and foamy head, lively carbonation, and a fresh, pungent aroma from the yeast. And wow…I don’t think I’ve ever smelled or tasted a beer where the yeast played such a dominant role. I don’t consider my nose the most sensitive in the world, but along with classic elements of bread, banana, and cloves…I picked up hints of peach, apple, pear, lemon, and orange. Hands down the best smelling wheat beer I’ve come across. The taste is more subtle, with the bready, banana flavors shining through. Again, everything there that should be (yeast, light wheat malt, almost undetectable hops), and nothing that shouldn’t (no off flavors or weird mouthfeel). And the yeast still lends its unique flavor profile to the mix; it’s crisp yet smooth, fruity but not wimpy, and certifiably chug-able on a hot day. Drinkability factor is off the charts here, folks (knocking back one of their classic 500 mL bottles is relatively effortless).
I must give credit to my good friends Nate and Ben Kurz, who made this a priority on my beer tasting schedule. It is without a doubt one of the best (bottled) hefeweizens available this side of the pond. I also think it’s widely available across the USA…meaning there’s no reason you shouldn’t have tried it already, or be on your way to picking one up after finishing this sentence.
Grade: AWeihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier,