71 / 100
500ml bottle purchased from BevMo in Sunnyvale, CA.
Pours a very pale straw colour, thickly hazed with a frothy, pure white head. Disappointingly, the head doesn't stick around for a long time and settles out to a film that is, admittedly, still very fine, and pure white.
Nose is fairly decent, without the punch of the best weizens. Calm estery banana notes with a touch of dustiness, and a little organic funk like grass clippings in the sun. There's a zestiness to it as well, a little zing like Aspro-Clear and just a hint of those phenolic clove notes. Nice stuff.
Taste is clean and bright, with an underlying weight and sweetness from the yeast characters. More pleasant banana notes, with a clean, direct character through the centre that feels a little like acidity from the wheat. Finish is dry and light, leaving the beer more refreshing than its palate would make you think.
Feel is great, smooth and heavy, but with a zestiness that prevents it from getting unmanageable.
Overall, it's a really nice hef. Smooth and very drinkable—there's nothing wrong with it. It perhaps doesn't have the intensity and richness of my favourites (like Weihenstephaner), but it's a fine addition to the style nonetheless.
73 / 100
500ml bottle purchased from BevMo in Menlo Park, CA.
Pours a muddied orange-amber colour, heavily hazed, with a solid froth of white foam. Body is very fluid, and seems light, but the haze, and the fine carbonation gives it a distinctive weight. Lacing is weak, but forms in patches. Overall, it looks pretty decent.
Nose is a little earthier and spicier than I expected. There's no big banana characters, and no classic clove: instead there's a very organic character, like freshly turned mulch, mingled with a peppery spice and some other estery characters: I get vanilla and starfruit. And yet, it manages still to feel like a German ale for some reason. It's confusing.
Taste is pleasant. Smooth, clear wheat characters give a crisp centre of the palate surrounded by sweet softness all around. Some peppery, earthy and leathery notes come out later, and even some of those banana phenols missing on the palate seem to appear towards the finish. It's quite pleasant.
Feel is smooth and light. Not bad at all.
Overall, this is different, but very pleasant. It's perhaps somewhere between a hefe and a dunkel, and yet also manages to hold very different characters from many of the examples I've had in the past. I was very interested in it as a result.
Pours with a sensational surface pour with thick bubbles actually cascading down the outside of the glass and up the middle of the beer. Dark amber colour, about as dark as you get before it becomes a dark beer. Very generous beige head, fading slowly but still there, quite dense. Nice lacing, not very grippy.
Very malty characters on the nose, with a tart, spicy aspect. Slight roasted aspect, but yeah, more malt than anything else - smells like a brew day. Quite nice, but would like a bit more.
Taste is quite rich and malty, with a very slight pitter pang on the back, reminiscent maybe of coffee beans. Hint of nutmeg on the front or something but can't quite pick it. There is an inexplicably chocolatey aspect lingering behind the main palate. Mouthfeel is smooth, velvety and creamy and is suitable for the flavour although part of why it's smooth is because palate feels not very complex. Nice, strong flavours especially on the back, but otherwise not too layered. Very drinkable though.
89 / 100
Absolutely amazing pour, like an inverted cascade effect, with the body straying into the head and then settling out. Amazing. Body is a really deep ruby red colour with a thick head of beige tight bubbles. Just amazing. I've never seen such a cool looking pour from a bottle.
Huge malty richness on the nose - smells like brewday. Sweet and grainy, organic and rich. Quite dark as well, but just with grain notes, no hints of alcohol or dark fruit. Very nice.
Very malty on the palate too, with a delicious dark roasted notes. Lovely. Stays quite sweet with dark organic notes at the front. It's only once you swallow that the darker notes of carbonised toast and charcoal come through. And it's not overpowering - this lovely sweet grain character stays the course. Just a delicious beer, wonderfully balanced and sippable. Mouthfeel is quite light, but that's good for this beer - once again, it walks a narrow course between roasted heaviness and light sweetness. Really great.
This is a very, very good beer - it's not extreme, it's just extremely well made. There's a really refined character to it; everything is in perfect proportions. It leaves it amazingly drinkable.