Pours a pale amber gold, huge fluffy white head with webs on the side, sinking unevenly on top but slowly, thanks to the large robust carbonation. Mostly clear body. Looks nice but not hugely weizeny or even what I'd expect to find at Oktoberfest.
Nose is really rather sweet. Lots of malt and sweetish grain, with corn notes, caramel aroma and some vanilla as well. Some fuirt notes lingering, soft banana and apple. Largely though it's just grainy. Not unpleasant, but simple.
Taste is very grainy as well. Pearl barley with oatmeal and sweet grain bread on the front gets more sweet on the mid, with notes of honey, popcorn and more vanilla, plus a very sticky bread-dough character leading to the finish which is really rather unfortunate. But it's also characteristic of some German yeasts which is one of my bugbears really. Finish itself is not bad, some very light grassy hops -possibly Hallertau Hersbrucker but used very sparingly. Vegetative and clean with no lingering bitterness, just a flat and clean aftertaste. This makes for extremely clean, simple, excessive drinking, but not a lot on the interest side.
Very smooth feel, nice grainy texture through the palate. Full-bodied and just the slightest dryness at the back.
The fact that the texture and drinkability of this beer are the best aspects suggests a great deliberateness to it. The technical aspects are absolutely spot on and the whole thing drinks like its purpose in life is to be drunk in copious amounts. I don't love the flavour, but it gets it over the line and I could just smash stein after stein of this in a tent in Munich some time.
75 / 100
Pours cloudy and full from the start, forming a deep golden hazed body, with a frothy and shiny head of white, that leaves classic weizen suds as it collapses. Colour is perfect for a hefe, and glows welcomingly from my weizen glass. Lovely looking brew.
Nose is round and a little sweet, with a very light banana character, but a more prominent soapy detergent note, that gives rise to a slight peppery spice. Certainly all believable characteristics for a German hefe. Not as full bodied or complex as some, though.
Taste is smooth and long, with some very pleasant banana esters coming forward, and a lingering sweetness that is tempered by the light spicy astringency. Carbonation is a bit harsh on the front, but by the end, the smooth and clear body has ironed out the zealous effervescence.
I like the lingering nature of the beer. In some ways, it detracts from the drinkability, in the way that it's difficult to down quickly, but otherwise, the flavours are so clean and refreshing that it would have had a high drinkability score anyway.
A very nice hefe, and one I would say is better than their standard Weissbier. Stick to the original, ur, Erdinger.
70 / 100
Pours a deep golden colour, kristall clear, with a large amount of big-bubbling carbonation. Head is frothy, but rather flat. No rockiness, and although it retains rather well, it doesn't have the tension to retain its shape. Looks like a decent enough Kristalweizen, and I really enjoy watching the carbonation in the style.
Light spicy notes on the nose, clove being dominant, with a bit of earthy pepperiness, and a slightly rank odour . Nice enough, but there's some odd characters to it.
Taste lifts this to a better level. Crisp wheat notes, and a light spice, but with a clear sweetness on the back. Finish is a very slightly metallic, but it adds a slight crispness that clears the palate nicely. Feel is classic for a kristal, smooth and soft for the most part, with just a crispness on the end.
A good kristal, a style which is often overshadowed by its more favoured sister style, the Hefeweizen. This doesn't quite show it off to its full potential, but it's a clean, refreshing and drinkable beer nonetheless. Good stuff.
71 / 100
Pours a bright, deep golden colour, only when I was getting to the dregs of the bottle did the yeast haze finally make itself felt, pouring into the glass and clouding the body. Head if large-bubbled and frothy, but a pleasant white shade. Doesn't hold its shape very well, however. Lots of tiny streams of carbonation down the bottom of the glass. Overall, it's a decent looking brew, but maybe a little sub par for the style.
Nose is pleasant with some wheaty flavours giving a light spice and acidity, with a lingering grainy sweetness. Slight musty characters come through as well, which almost mingle indistinguishably with the pepper spice, but it's missing some of the banana esters and the round and sweet bubblegum aromas you sometimes get. Still, it's a very pleasant nose.
Taste is better though, and it has the slightly sweet banana flavours that were missing on the nose. Unfortunately, misses some of the other complexities which the nose promised. Very round and full-bodied, with maybe just a light bite on the back; but it's subtle. For the most part, this is a full-bodied, sweet and wheat-driven hef, just light enough on the palate to be drinkable, but full flavoured enough to make you feel like this is a hearty brew.
Feels just slightly too carbonated and gassy, but the palate otherwise is slick and pleasant.
A good German hefe. A great German hefe? Probably not, but it has the hallmarks of what makes this such a great style.
75 / 100
Pours a lovely deep brown colour. It's very dark for a dunkel, but this nicely matches the heavier brew. Head is a bit filmy, but stays consistent throughout, a pale brown/beige colour. Body is pleasantly heavy, and even leaves some carbonation swirling around when tilted. Looks very nice.
Nose is spicy and wheaty, with some dark fruit characters and spiced raisin toast, but also with a leavened note of banana. Still missing a little raw oomph, a little robustness, or something that really punches you in the nose, but the characters it has are nice.
Taste is surprisingly light for a beer weighing in at over 7%, although it has a long palate, giving off nuances of spices, a little toffeed grain, and a banana bread sweetness, especially on the back. Some phenolics come through towards the end too, giving a light astringency, and on the finish, there's a touch of dark roasted malts; in a way, the extra roasted quality matches up with the perceived extra darkness in the appearance.
Feel is full and solid, while still retaining a slickness and lightness that aids the drinkability.
It's not the most full-bodied, or the most flavoursome weizenbock I've had, but it's a very tasty brew nonetheless.
61 / 100
Pours a wonderfully cloudy deep golden orange colour into my weizen glass, with an enormously healthy and frothy head of creamy foam. Carbonation is large-bubbled, but looks very good overall. It's perhaps a tad darker than the style is generally, but it looks really good overall. I love to see this style of beer in my glass.
Pretty light nose, decent notes of pepper and a little light weizen acidity. Spice is heavier than the deeper, sweeter banana phenols you might expect. Some creaminess noticeable, but it's pretty subdued. Indeed, the whole nose is far more subtle than I like - a hefe should be bursting with luscious wheat notes, and while they're present here, they're neither luscious nor bursting.
Taste is also much subdued. The wheat acidity is present here, and the smoothness that was detectable on the palate only very briefly at the end, before a very dry finish - far drier than it should be. Initially, the spritzy carbonation is slightly overdone, and with the light acidity, this dominates most of the palate. Little spice, little fragrance - it feels very off style, and while it certainly is pleasant enough, it's missing enough to make me disappointed.
No, not a winner for me. It seems to lack character, and it's more disappointing that the style is generally so delicious. It's not a bad brew, just bad by comparison - it's still refreshing, drinkable and certainly inoffensive. I just wanted something more.
Pours a pale golden colour, head froths up champagne-style, almost had a spillover but instead just got a very attractive dense marshmallowy head taking up half the glass, a thing of beauty. Carbonation is strong. Lacing is quite thick. Great looking beer.
Nose has fair sour wheat characters with a green edge, hints of underripe fruit - apple, peach and sour grapes - although I'm just saying that because Erdinger brews better beer than me. (That's a joke, by the way) Slightly vinous edge to it and a marginal hint of light wood - pine, I guess. Pleasant nose, nice and wheaty.
Taste has always been a letdown on kristalls and sadly this is no exception. Little of the sour, organic notes of the nose; they're instead taken over by a quite insipid sweetness, with a lolly water edge to it. Bright wheaty characters underlie it, but it ultimately has a majority palate of fruit juice, maybe with a little spice on the mid, but that may just be sizzle from the carbonation. Finishes fairly strongly though, with some noticeable hoppy phenols, grassy & dry with a slight spicy bite to them.
Once again I'm underwhelmed by the Kristall of a great Hefe brewer and left wondering why filter the yeast? Sure it's nice to have some variety in your lineup but it just seems like the backbone of the palate has been sapped away and all that's left is a floppy mess of weak and wobbly wheat beer.
Pours an apricot-tinged golden colour with mild yellow haze and commanding snowy head, fed by a constant bubbly stream. Head is very retentive, although less can be said of the lacing, which is disappointing in both quality and quantity. Good head, standard elsewhere.
Nose is quite hoppy, with a fresh grass/herbal aroma. Hints of a weizen spice and a lighter, fruitier hint, subtly suggesting banana and mango. Aside from those fruity notes, the hops are dominant and actually quite pilsenery, more floral than spicy or phenolic. Smells refreshing, but doesn't have the powerful bouquet I expected.
Taste is quite sour, with a tart, tomato kind of flavour, basically like underripe fruit, that sort of puckering acidity. A slight woodiness on there as well, hints of pine and eucalyptus, and maybe some mint as well. A dank, peppery spice comes through on the back, but doesn't stick around for the finish which is tart again, with a vinous edge. Mouthfeel is richly textured, crackling and puckering from the first sip. Slightly thin but that's OK as it certainly isn't boring.
Overall, although this has an interesting palate and a fair amount of flavour, I'm slightly disappointed in it as a hefe. Maybe I shouldn't have reviewed this a couple of weeks after the Pikantus, but where I may have expected this to be a lighter, more quaffable version of that, I find instead a sour, less enjoyable beer. Not bad, of course, but less than I expected.
80 / 100
I'm going to write this review using Proustian syntax:
Pours a very dark caramel colour, dark-brown really, with ochre head that foams up very nice and generous like, then, sizzling, sinks down to a one-finger thickness, producing lacing that, while slippery, is typical of the bock style; is it simply a bock thing, I wonder, taking in the fact that this beer is too dark really to make out cloud, but looks pretty clear; overall, a beer that is decent.
Nose is nice and spicy, with a nice hit of black pepper and tabasco, elements of a good shiraz as well, with some fruity hints putting me in mind of red grape skin, berries, and maybe figs as well, while a slightly chocolatey malt creeps in, making this pleasant, and complex.
Taste is very chocolatey, with a rich cocoa flavour taking precedence on both the first touch and the finish; a good spice element to it as well, with hints of pepper, cumin, even chilli on the back, although less fruit than I maybe expected, with the taste being a lot more dry, with a lightly tart bent; the beer is predominantly spicy, underlain by that pleasant chocolate malt, while as for the mouthfeel, is has an excellent sizzle to it that complements that spice perfectly, although it seems to my mind a little thin; at least that would be my sole criticism - because the flavour is not a knockout punch, it doesn't matter too much - as well as a slight alcohol pang on the back which is the only hint that this is a slightly heavier beer although the pang, noticeable as it is, is not a rude jolt but rather more of a nudge.
The flavours being subdued is not really a detractor here because they're still complex, interesting and tempting me to explore them further; it also makes this surprisingly sessionable - pleasant and mild but interesting, I would say - that makes me enjoy the Pikantus ride immensely.
And then I fell into a daze and moaned for several hundred pages about a girl I loved.
56 / 100
Dark, opaque bown, with hints of cherry red. Big rocky mocha-coloured head, which froths up vigorously, then settles to a steady film. Minimal lacing.
Sweet dark malted wheat on the nose. Aromas of toffee, treacle, raisins brandy, fruitcake. It's rather good, but somewhat subdued. I'm waiting for the layering effect, for subtle nuances, and they're not forthcoming. Still, it's a nice nose.
Taste is dark, a little sweet, and rather dry. It really is quite flat when you get down to it. Starts with a malty, dark flavour, but flattens very quickly to a dry, barren and rather insipid nothingness. It's a shame, as there's genuine promise there. You can see where it's going, but it doesn't actually get there.
Good head, dissipating slowly. Looks quite strong, but its dark colour isn't quite black. Held up to light it's quite cocoa coloured, cherry maybe.
Smells like weak, gritty coffee. But OK.
Tastes also like coffee, but not really ridiculously so (Like HMB Ale, e.g.) It's actually quite mild, considering how dark it is. Mouthfeel quite tangy, but goes down smooth and nicely. I don't usually like dark ales as a rule, but this is a bit of an exception. It's really not strong and overwhelming like so many others.
I could see myself swallowing this rather than spitting, anyway.