74 / 100
500ml bottle purchased from Dan Murphy's in Alexandria.
Pours with exceptionally large amounts of carbonation: swirling, frothing anarchy inside my weizen glass. This promotes a ridiculous head of fluffy, meringue white that sits in puffy insolence over the top of the glass. Body has all the clarity you expect, but this seems more to be about the head. Indeed, the carbonation seems to force it ever higher, meaning that after a few minutes where I though it had settled down, it pushed over the edge of the glass. Very vibrant in any case.
Although banana is the expected dominant character here, I get pear, pear and more pear. Fresh sharp skin characters and a slight metallic twang, possibly from the wheat. It mingles with a faint peppery yeasty character, perhaps the clove spice playing against the pear. It's sharper and brighter than a typical hefeweizen nose, and has a uniqueness all to itself. Great stuff.
Taste is light and pleasant, but perhaps scoured of character a little more than the nose suggested. Here there's a light, sweet grain character and a faint smoothed bitterness towards the back, reminiscent of that metallic character on the nose. The fruitiness sticks around the edges, but doesn't really provide any depth or complexity. It leaves a touch of pear skin on the finish. It's fine, really, but I was hoping this could blow my conceptions of Kristals out of the water.
Feel is good. Despite the overt carbonation, it's rather soft on the palate, with a light cushioning of bubbles on the back.
Overall, there's no doubting this is a well-crafted and well-made beer. It's also a very good Kristalweizen, a style which I feel is often overlooked. Of the ones I've tried, I think Schneider's is better, but this makes a very worthy stablemate to Weihenstephaner's other excellent beers.
73 / 100
Hmm. Somehow, I've managed to go this long without reviewing this beer, probably one of the more ubiquitous Aussie pseudo-craft brews. It pours a suitable clear pale golden colour, with a very fine if largely non-retentive head of white. Nice lacing, fine body. It's a shame the beer doesn't have a big, frothy German-style head, but otherwise, it looks pretty decent.
Nose is good. Genuinely good for a Kristalweizen: clear, clean banana and bubblegum characters, along with just a hint of spice, but certainly along the smoother and sweeter ends. There's a hint of acidity to it, but not the thinness you often get from a sub-par wheat beer. Really quite good.
Taste is similar, and genuinely good, stylistically. Smooth, clean wheat characters along the length, with finishing touches of bubblegum, and the ever-present banana ester aromatics. It's quite light, but there are few if any flaws to it.
Overall, this is pretty decent. To be fair, it's very light on, but the style in general is pretty light on as well, and this does a decent job of capturing the same aromatics and flavours.
60 / 100
Pours a pale champagney colour with nice trail of bead. Head is a healthy white, snowy and sunk to a thin film, but retains lovely lacing. Looks good.
Smell is sweet and grainy, with nice banana fruit esters coming through and a hint of spice cookies. Spice is nutmeg and a hint of smoked paprika that turns it almost meaty at times. Very nice for a Kristalweizen, it's full of aroma.
Taste is bananas from the get-go. Fruity with a slight tang, but a lot of sweetness - vanilla, light caramel and maybe a slight coconut oil note as well. Some cereal grain on the back adds a touch of oatmeal and a very slight citric note. Touch of bubblegum is created late-mid by the clash of different esters. Too sweet, really, and doesn't quite go anywhere.
Bit of a tingly texture is not unpleasant. Body is not quite all there, but OK. I forgive it.
One of the better Kristalweizens I've had, but that doesn't say much. I usually think of this as a pointless style because the end result is just a watered-down hef; in this case it works quite well. Annoyingly, 4 Pines didn't have the hefeweizen on tap during my visit as I would have liked to do a side-by-side comparison. All I can say is I look forward to it, since I'm quite impressed by this as a KW.
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.
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.
Re-review; several years have past, let's see how I like it now.
After the pour, this beer looks an absolute treat: clear golden yellow colour, with a huge, boisterous and frothy, fine-bubbled and creamy head of pure white. This collapses a little, as it must, but it leaves some great sudsy German lace. It looks rather static in the glass - I'm surprised at the lack of carbonation, but otherwise it's a very good looking brew.
Big wheat notes on the nose. Very pungent banana phenols, some yeastiness and a vanilla sweetness which underlies everything. The robustness is impressive and enjoyable, and if it tends a little towards too much sweetness, I'll forgive it.
Taste is similar, and the sweetness does get a little cloying here. The banana phenols are present again, but get twisted slightly to an off-kilter flavour of marzipan. It's hard not to compare it to its sister hefe, but this lacks something of the round, buttery sweetness. It also lacks what would be the natural compensation otherwise - something clean, or crisp, or even a light hop bitterness. It ends a little too sweet, but stylistically, it's not too bad - the characters are rather classic of a German weizen.
It's a light and drinkable beer. Forgive it its sweetness, and it's mellow, very smooth and easy to imbibe.
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.
Here we go with another filtered wheat. Pours a very ordinary gold colour with weak bead but pleasant white head, tiny but visible bubbles which sinks at snail's pace but doesn't leave a snail's trail behind - lace is alright but pretty thin. Looks average.
Aroma is pleasant, many sweet spice characters on that. Not a lot of banana, but peach and apple fruit and a clove & cinnamon spice blend. Slightly sour but only just, mostly a light, pleasantly sweet fragrance. Tragedy is that it is very simple.
Flavour is fairly sweet, but with a slightly tart edge, more of the fruit with grape tannins and kiwifruit flavours joining the mix. Slight acerbidity from carbonation and a nice weizeny finish without very much potency: a slight spice, bit of a sizzle, but no oomph behind it, lacks the mojo of a hefe. Dominating flavour is sour, with a green apple acidity to it, and it's not well backed by a slightly watery feel that lacks depth and body.
I remember really enjoying this in the past, but I think it's because it gives vaguely pleasant wheat flavours, without the spicy and tart potency of the hefeweizen. It's a weaker, more "accessible" beer maybe, drinkable but not impressive.
57 / 100
Pours a pale gold colour, quite a lagery colour, with furious bubbling promoting a really excellent white head of medium sized bubbles. Sinks slowly but surely and doesn't leave much lace, although a tilt gives a better impression: thin but nice. Looks like a decent beer.
Interesting nose, definitely weizeny with a distinct banana character backing up behind some pleasant peppery spice. Hints of parsley and basil and a little vinegar. Not as complex as some, but hits the right notes.
Taste is not quite as thick as the nose, flavours dance around but never really hit you with any power. Hints of banana, clove and cinnamon on the front, stewed apple on the back with maybe a light spicy sprinkle. Sweetness is a bit overpowering, largely due to the lack of spice. I guess it's the filtering of the yeast that lowers the spice impact, but it also lowers the gravity of the finish. Trickle out to a tame - if pleasant - aftertaste with a whisper of pepper and a mild bittersweet texture.
Feel is pleasant enough, but feels a bit flat. A bit more tingle might add more life to the palate. This is pretty much what I could expect. It's a good beer, watered down. All the flavours are there but they're meek and subdued. Having said that, because the impact is lowered it's extremely drinkable.
I'm maybe being a bit harsh by comparing this to the hefeweizen, because they're obviously meant to be different, but I just feel this can't escape the shadow of the bigger, better beer. This is probably more of a chugging beer than its big brother, but I just prefer the more full-flavoured one.
Clear yellow body with a slightly filmy head. Quite an inauspicious start...
Slightly overhopped nose, with some sweetness. The hops do seem too powerful for the style. Not bad, but not great either.
Taste is again too hoppy for the style, and the sweetness that was present on the nose becomes slightly sickly on the palate. Almost a lemonadey flavour to it - as though it's a ready-made shandy. I will say that it has an interesting palate, but I can't say it's an altogether enjoyable one.
It's OK. Drinkable, but nothing special. Certainly not as good as some of the other beers on tap.
Insipid pale yellow. Little head, no carbonation.
Massive toffee on the nose. It's like they've way overdone it with Belgian candy sugar or something. It's almost revoltingly sweet, with no other aromas.
The taste however is almost non-existent. Hint of pale yeast, but otherwise it tastes like mineral water. The mouthfeel is weak, although you could slam a few of these and you wouldn't even notice it.
Not a fan.
Light ambery colour, medium-thick head, dissipates slowly.
Very honey characteristics on nose, sticky and toffee, smells frankly too sweet for my liking.
Tastes sort of like the nose, only not as strong. It's not very impressive - it's sweet-ish, but not all that flavoursome. There is a sweet kick on the front palatte but then it just runs away as though the sweetness scares away any other flavours. I could respect this beer if it tasted as strong as the nose, but I can't because it don't. Sadly I can't really like it, either. Also because I don't.