82 / 100
Squat 330ml bottle purchased from Santa Clara Liquor in Santa Clara, CA. Shared with Sam back in Sydney during a brewday.
Pours a semi-hazed yellow-tinged brown colour, with a loose head of white that only forms due to perturbation during the pour. Body is exceptionally thick, and the carbonation that's there just sits statically when the glass is tilted. It looks like the beer that carbonation goes to die in.
Nose is strong, and somewhat boozy. But the strength comes also from the aromatics and the esters, which give off leafy fruit notes and organic characters. It has a suggestion of Belgian barrel tartness like you'd get in a Flanders Red or an Oud Bruin. As it warms, it turns to a slight peppery note as well.
Taste is quite, quite different. It's got a notable sourness to it, a character that's quite strongly linked to the booze. It gets some pepper and fruit notes as well. I get some unripe raspberries and babaco. Feel is very smooth on the back, with a light suggestion of citrus zest and red wine tannins. Very nice.
It's a very pleasant beer, and the characters of this are quite different from the Aventinus Eisbock. This has much more of the characters you'd expect from a wild ale. But it works well.
Pours a dirty brown colour, fairly hazy with off-white jaundiced head, just large bubbles around the rim. Not much in the way of lace. Looks pretty meh.
Smells less meh but not a whole lot to it. Nice tart character, with a little bit of earthy funk. Slightly sharp and vinegary with a decent malt base to it. Not much in the way of idiosyncracy; it just feels a little by the numbers, albeit decent.
Tastes a bit weird actually. Quite sweet with a distinct sultana character throughout. Develops a touch of acidic funk midway that gets sharper towards the back, bringing out some earthy spice and a slight malty note to linger on the back as well. Good oaky character to it maybe that brings out both sweet and acidic characters like malt vinegar. It doesn't excite me but there's enough here to like in what's ultimately a fairly by the numbers sour beer.
Mouthfeel is smooth, just the right amount of dry on the back. Good body to it, nicely handled. Yeah, I like it.
So obviously I reviewed this blind and ultimately what I mostly got was a whole lot of oaked funk with not a lot of nuance from the excellent base beer which gets drowned. It drinks perfectly well but there's no hint of the size of the beer in drinking it, either in it being big and boozey and hot, or in it being really complex and interesting.
69 / 100
Bottle purchased from Slowbeer by @epiclurk.
Pours a hazed but relatively clear deep golden hue with a frothy and rocky head of pure, undefiled white. Lacing is patchy and spotty, but leaves a buoyant reminder of what came before it. Body is surprisingly light for 7.3% ABV, but it fits nicely into the wheat beer genre, if not the "big beer" genre.
Nose is firmly on a big weizen footing, with a bold rounded, banana-heavy sweetness from the yeast, cut and balanced somewhat by a sharp slightly acidic undertone. It's almost a mild spiciness, giving it a piquant lift and a savoury edge. There's something in the aroma (or rather the blend of aromas) that gives it a south-east Asian curry characterâperhaps that big sweetness with a subtle cut, an undercurrent of fire to the richness. It's fascinating stuff.
Taste is a little less intense and impressive, to be perfectly honest, but I feel as though it might just be because the hops have dropped out a little with age. There's a solid and very smooth weizen character throughout, with more banana and a full palate spliced with a spicy leavened note. There are hints of green sharpness on the back; a suggestion of genuine, straight New Zealand hop goodness, but it feels like these are echoes, and that this would have been stronger earlier in its life.
Feel is smooth but bright, providing a nice rhythm section to the yeast and hops free solo.
Overall, this is good stuff, even with a year or so of age on it. They say "can be cellared for later enjoyment" on the bottle, but my guess is that it's not getting any better than it is now. My suggestion: drink it now, and if they happen to release it again, drink it as fresh as you can get it.
43 / 100
Although @lacqueredmouse seems determined to blame me for serving him this beer, I would like to point out that it was purchased and given to me as a Christmas present by him.
Pours a dull orange-tinged brown colour. Slight cloud in it with decent head when poured. Sinks to a thin film with decent sticky lace. Looks quite good but not sure I like that colour.
Smells very grainy, and not much else. Wheat husks with offensive honey, corn and rice notes as well. It's too sweet, to the point of having a decomposing touch. Under the circumstances, I'm pleasantly surprised that it smells like genuine grain, but no, not a good nose.
Taste is quite bland and again, offensively sweet. Has a slight bitterness on the front, kind of forced carbonation flavour, that takes on a honey-oat kind of flavour on the mid-palate, a touch of corn and then a bland, bready yeast note on the back. Pretty poort beer, no doubt, but under the circumstances it's quite good actually. There's a surprisingly clean finish but ultimately it leaves me fairly unhappy.
Body is decently full as well, especially for <0.4% ABV; a bit of fizz which is not great though.
I wouldn't drink this beer again, but if for some strange reason I desired an 'alcohol-free' beer, like I was desperate for something resembling beer... this might fit the bill. But then, there's Chinotto, and Sanbitter, or just straight lime juice, they're all nice bitter drinks that can suit this purpose.
Served to me blind by @LaitueGonflable. Interesting to note that I didn't pick that it was alcohol-free, but I did pick that there was something troubling about it.
Pours a very cloudy deep orange colour, with a filmy head of fine bubbles, and a collection of larger ones around the rim. Minimal suds or lacing. Looks interesting.
Very odd fruit/vegetable aroma on the nose. Slight tomato sweetness, and a bit of overripe papaya. A bit of dusty yeast character, and a floury dryness. Interesting, and quite unusual. Not necessarily something I like though.
Taste is very dry and a little bready. Minimal character on the back, just a slight bite of spice. Very little else, and it tastes empty and bland, almost bordering on offensive, because what little character it does have is just unpleasant.
Not a beer for me. Very empty, bland and eventually unpleasant.
Pours something akin to a Dunkel, or perhaps more rightly halfway between a Hefe and a Dunkel - a deep burnt golden / brown colour, with a surprisingly fizzy head of white foam. Body is cloudy and opaque. The carbonation is only visible in the narrow part of the glass, but its very fine where it is. Looks good enough, but the head is certainly a bit disappointing.
Nose is also somewhat balanced between hefe and dunkel, although this means the classic wheat notes are the dominant force: big sweet banana characters, and a bubblegum sweetness, with a lingering organic note. Minimal spice, but instead we get a touch of toffee sweetness, like one might expect in a dunkel. It's a very nice nose, nonetheless.
Taste is unfortunately a tad thin, although the characters that are there are very good. Organic and slightly underripe banana, light spice and a crushed vegetation greenness. Finish peters out very quickly though, leaving a faint selzer character on the back and very little body to back up any of the other flavours.
I'd suggest the bottle is a little old, but the date on the back is still a ways off, is the same as and was purchased from the same store at the same time as the excellent Schneider Tap 2 Kristalweizen I had yesterday, so I'm not sure that's it. Certainly inferior to the Tap 4 Hefe from this bottle, but it certainly still has its charms nonetheless.
I'm just disappointed I had to end my all-to-brief Schneider journey with this beer.
79 / 100
Pours a hazed orange-golden colour, although the yeast sediment it very compact at the bottom of the bottle, so it takes a bit of vigorous swirling before I can encourage much yeast haze in the beer. Wen it doesn, it awkwardly settles, meaning the top is cloudy, but the bottom is still crystal clear. Odd.
By the time everything is the way it should be, the head has dissipated, although it's still solid and egg-white frothy, just only half a centimetre high. Lots of weight to the body. A decent looking hefe, but not the best I've seen.
Nose is absolutely lovely though. It's a subtle melange of banana phenols, light and brittle spicy clove and a sweetness that comes across partway between bubblegum and tinned baked beans, if you can believe there's a continuum there. All in all, some absolutely classic weizen characters, and very well integrated.
And, the story keeps rolling on, because the taste is possible the standout point. Usually the esters and spice on the nose form the lynchpin of a good hefe, but this one gives out its treasures on the palate. Smooth rounded wheat characters, sweet with fragrant banana and bubblegum through the centre, and a finish which is lightly green and organic, but in such a way that it melds very pleasantly with the wheat and weizen yeast characters - a hop bitterness, for example, would contrast too sharply with the delicate palate.
Feel is light, and the beer overall is surprisingly clean. Hefes can be bloating at times, but this manages to stay fresh and drinkable.
It's a lovely drop of beer, and a really good hefeweizen, which has Schneider at the top of their craft.
79 / 100
Poured from a 500ml bottle into my Franziskaner weizen glass. A very clear refined golden colour, with a head than only a wheat beer poured into a weizen glass seems to provide - billowy, chunky, solid and luscious. Masses of carbonation; it streams in tiny lines very slowly along the bottom edges of the glass, then gets released into an anarchic mess of swirling bubbles once it gets past the narrowest part of the glass. It's absolutely delightful to look at.
Whatever you say about a Kristalweizen, being able to watch such mesmerising bubbles is something it has over its hefe counterparts.
Nose is mild with light wheat acidity and a slight round yeasty sweetness. Faint banana and bubblegum, but quite subdued. Hint of green organics come through as well. It's pretty light on, but it has some pleasant and true wheat characters to it. In true kristal style, though, they seem very subdued and relaxed.
Taste is really quite pleasant. To start, there's a light bite of metallic zing, before a refined wheat grain character and a touch of acidity on the back. Sweetness rolls around the back of the palate, giving body and clout to the beer, which stylistically could be rather thin. Finally, the metallic character comes through to give a refreshing kick to the end of the palate.
Quite full, especially for a kristall, and the flavours are very nicely put together, which helps meld the palate.
A really, really good kristalweizen. I'm not sure I've had a better one; one with more flavour and character, or so well constructed all up. Schneider do do an excellent range of wheat beers, and with this they show what can be done with a style that is often neglected.
81 / 100
Pours a quite cloudy deep mahogany brown, possibly not as opaque as it could have been. The sediment was quite compact in the bottom and despite swirling the last couple of centimetres of beer, much of it would not be moved. Head is a filmy crown of yellowish-beige bubbles. Good static lacing, and the body looks pleasantly heavy. Lovely looking beer.
Nose is lovely and redolent with big dark wheat characters, but it's so lovely and deep and rich, refined and complex. Slight subtle hints of booze and smoke, and the roasted characters are very pleasant. The boozy sweetness even gives off unusual aromas of port. It's a truly excellent nose.
Taste is big and slightly boozy, although perhaps not as immediately hot and spiritous as I thought it might be. Round wheat notes are noticeable, but there's a welling of slightly metallic, medicinal characters on the back, which while not having the strong heat of booze, do give the bite of continental schnapps. Cherries and appleskin are hinted at. Feel is smooth at the start, but has a pleasant acidity coming through to mingle with the light astringency of the booze.
This is a lovely beer. It's surprising just how gentle it is for all its extremity. It really stays true to its weizen roots, which give it a lovely roundness, and temper the big and boozy notes that appear throughout.
70 / 100
Pours an almost dayglo orange, completely translucent, almost gelatine-style opaque. Head is cream-coloured, modest, sinks to a thin film and leaves some decent trails of lace around. Looks interesting, at least. Can't say it wows me though.
Nose is quite fruity, with a little bit of off-funk. Lots and lots of pineapple on it, with some pear, maybe some mango as well, and hiding at the back is a kind of rubbery aroma. Mostly tropical and fruity, nice tang to it, yeah. Oh and a bit of caramel sweetness as well I'm noticing now, nice.
Taste is mostly fruity and tangy for the most part, more of that pineapple with caramel and vanilla sweetness. Touch of dessert wine liqueuriness on the mid, then taken over by funk. Lots of rubber and a hint of wet straw, maybe some leather as well. Tang continues to the back palate though, and complemenets the rindy flavour with a nice lemony freshness. Slight acidic bite at the end and a touch of earthy bitterness lingers gently. Pretty nice, but does lean a little heavily on the sweaty shoe-character at the end for my liking.
Very smooth texture, actually quite thick and syrupy but goes down nicely.
Yeah, mostly fresh, smooth flavours. The beer is a little off-kilter, but definitely enjoyable and quite refreshing.
88 / 100
Pours a lovely thick and chunky opaque orange colour, with a fine white head of creamy looking bubbles. A really, really excellent looking hefe - absolutely gorgeous.
Nose is a wonderful blend of fresh noble hop fragrance and deep and robust wheat sweetness. Together they bounce off each other delightfully, leaving a springing impression of candy and fresh spice. The wheat characters are lovely, just what you expect from Schneider, but the lilting, lifting character of the hops sets it off brilliantly. What a delicious smelling beer.
Taste is spicy and round, with some warmth on the palate from the slightly higher alcohol content. Wheat sweetness comes through, and there is a noticeable but never harsh hop presence on the back which adds a bite to the back before releasing the palate into a green, lightly vegetal flavour that mingles with the sweetness to evoke a character like sweet herbs. Very nice indeed.
This is a really, really excellent brew. Somewhat intriguing and unusual, but so balanced, coherent and drinkable that you wonder why the style should be unusual at all. Still, collaboration or no, Schneider are one of the breweries I would trust to pull something like this off so expertly, and that is exactly what they do. A truly wonderful drop of beer.
80 / 100
Pours a dark cherry colour with espresso tinge, produces a little bit of ochre head when poured, but quickly dissipates to nothing. Little adhesive bubbles clings to the bottom when tilted though, kind of puffs out from under the crown. Quite a lot of carbonation as well; lacing is minimal. Not fantastic but I've come to expect this sort of thing from anything calling itself a bock.
Nose is very estery, with a good deal of "banilla" (to borrow the bros' term), sour cherry, and a whisper of coconut. Good spicy phenols round it out with nothing too intense, but a slight hint of cloves and a peppery edge. Pleasant nose indeed, very sweet and complex, promises a lot for the flavour.
Taste is toasty and tart, with a strong toasted grain character like burnt sesame, a lot of sour fruit notes as well; raisin, cherries and figs, in fact a lot of cherry, with a long finish full of delicious spicy phenols, certainly a nutmeg edge to it and a little warming heat from the 8.2%. Slightly nutty edge, may just be nutmug, but methinks a touch of walnut towards the back.
Mouthfeel is a bit tart, puckers the mouth a bit and makes me feel like an English mild to cleanse it. This is a great beer no doubt, very tasty with a rich bouquet of enjoyable flavours, but I have to say, having reviewed this second to the weizen-eisbock, I prefer the bazooka-tipped ramrod flavours of the latter.
This is more drinkable I think, but it's mild in flavour, maybe even simple, for all the many flavours it encompasses. It just never reaches the high, it stays sweet and spicy without ever reaching down my throat and yelling "OI! DICKHEAD! SWEET AND SPICY BEER HERE!"
I'm not disappointed though, of course. I've tried a delicious beer and puckering though it be, I could drink this all night.
85 / 100
Poured this into a stein and took great care not to add the yeast chunks. Maybe got a few.
Pours a dark cola colour with frenetic bubbling on the surface, clears very quickly, leaving not a hint of head. Slow carbonation breaks the monotony of the surface. Zero lacing. Eh, I'm inclined to give this a poor score for appearance because it looks thin, watery and uninviting. But I'll be lenient because most bocks I've had look like this.
This is where it starts to get interesting. A dark, brooding nose with a big hint of dark, over-ripe cherry, some very dark chocolate and maybe a whisper of blueberry. Definitely a cabernet aspect to it, rich, musky and fruity. If this nose were human it would be Gore Vidal; all dark, brooding and aloof on the outside but with a sweet, fruity heart. An excellent nose, really.
Palate is truly a marvel. Even a paradox. So powerful and mighty, yet subtle and delicate with a complex phantasmagoria of flavours. Dark cherries, rich melted chocolate, prunes, blood orange and a slight walnutty edge, particularly on the front. Backbone of the palate has the flavour and consistency of a well-aged oaky red wine. This is a beer to savour. I'm immensely enjoying pouring a little into my mouth, letting it sit and explore, inviting the flavours to permeate my tastebuds, feeling the brew tingle on my tongue before gulping it down and enjoying that rich, brooding finish. There is a slight bourbon whiskey edge and flavour as it goes down which is the slightest hint of alcohol. But 12% is enormous and at best I can detect maybe 6.5-7%. This is a magnificent collosus of a palate, one for the ages.
A masterpiece of brewing, I will remember this in old age and smile.
86 / 100
Dark cloudy brown body, with a decent frothy head, which does disappear after a while. while it's there it does leave a little lacing.
Nose is very sweet, with a tannic smell of red wine. Good malt, lots of dark fruits, dates, black grapes, sultanas. Noticeable aroma of alcohol, and touches of sweet caramel. A deeply layered smell, very delectable.
Taste is quite vinous and wine-like also, with an astringent dry finish. rich fruits prevail with hints of dark alcohol, like rum. Taste is layered and complex. Mouthfeel is quite smooth, but a little less velvety than I would have liked. If it was a little more filling and caressing it would be great.
This is a deceptively drinkable beer. The high ABV can creep up on you unawares, as it hides it beautifully. Beautifully balanced, wonderfully enjoyable.