I went to update all my stats for GABS overall and discovered that I was missing three reviews from the 2017 festival. Long search through my locker at work turned up nothing. Then a quick rummage in my backpack and lo and behold, I found the three missing sets of tasting notes. So here we go, to finish up GABS 2017 just when I'm getting all set up for planning GABS 2018.
Pours a surprisingly dark colour; amber really but given this was billed as a heavier version of the Burleigh Hefeweizen, surprising. Beige head, large bubbles sticks around alright. Weird colour; otherwise fine.
Smells very sweet; cereal grain with a touch of rye spice and some nutty character as well. Slightly medicinal; not great.
Taste is much better and far more what I'd expect from a weizenbock. Vanilla sweetness upfront develops some banana character midway and then all spice on the back with cinnamon predominating and a bit of clove. Not too heavy on the booze given the lightness of the malt presence upfront. Not bad at all.
A little thin, but decently textured.
Not bad, but not a huge amount of character. Seems ultimately more of a hefeweizen than a particularly turbocharged one.
60 / 100
Salted weizenbock, brewed for GABS 2017. Tried at the festival on tap.
Pours an amber colour, hugely cloudy. Head is lovely; beige in colour, dense and retaining well. Looks maybe a touch pale but I know 'weizenbock' is pretty flexible; great otherwise.
Smells sweet, mostly, with a big vanilla character to it. Some spice esters coming through, with coriander and star anise mainly. Weird smoky, savoury character as well which is a bit odd.
Taste is pretty much what you'd expect; more's the pity. Big sweetness with a medicinal edge, caramel and vanilla and a slight cocoa edge. Some spice characters late-mid and quite phenolic on the back. Touch of saltiness as well which just seems incoherent in this hot boozey palate. Lots of complexity but there's no real common thread tying it down and it feels quite confused.
Full body but with a sharp stab of alcohol towards the back; not great.
Bit boozey and distinctly weird, but it's not too bad. Has some nice characters but doesn't really rein them in well enough.
80 / 100
650ml brown bottle purchased from Spec's in Austin. Brought back to Sydney, where I shared it with Sam and Rich.
Pours a deep brown, almost tending towards black. At the edges though, it's given a mild orange-ruby tinge which shows that it's not overly thick. Head is a nice yellow-white crest, that turns into a coarse-bubbled film. Lacing is minimal, but forms in circular specks. Body has some weight behind it and it forms fine streams of carbonation when tilted. Looks pretty good.
Nose is very pleasant. Plenty of sweetness, laced with some nice weizen characters of thick caramel-infused banana cake, and some bready sticky buns. There's a mild metallic character to stop it becoming too cloying though, as well as a little kick of that roast that's so prominent in the colour. It's a really nice combination.
Taste is also very good, and in a very unexpected way. While I was expecting big, rich, heavy complexity, instead, we get a rather pleasant lightness, that really brings it back to basics. There's some firm aromatic weizen notes again—more banana, but not thick and sweet. Instead, we get it immediately offset by some firm toasty roasted notes that give a combination of sharpness and bitterness. These don't overpower, however, but dissipate quickly, leaving a pleasant lightness and cleanness on the back.
Feel is good—it feels a little too light, but that's all part of helping it be as drinkable as it is.
Overall, I think this is a really well thought-out beer. It could easily have been pretty heavy and overwhelming, but there's a beautifully constructed restraint that make it a much more sophisticated brew as a result. I really like it a lot.
71 / 100
Tried on-tap at The Hay Merchant in Houston.
Pours a very dark brown—darker certainly than I'd say is usual for a weizenbock. Head is coarse-bubbled, but frothy and reasonably full despite this. Lacing is good, forming full sheets down the glass. Body is a little light, but it has some consistency to it at least. Looks good.
Nose has some aspects of a classic wheat, but bringing its own characters to the fore. Dark roast is prominent here, atop the more common banana esters and a hint of sharper spice. This takes the form more of pepper than clove, or else it's just accentuated and made a little darker by the roast. There's a little dip of acid coming through too, possibly from the wheat. It's not bad all up, if not as full, thick and complex as some weizenbocks.
Taste is good. Firm roasted bitterness helps dry it out a bit, but there's plenty of chewy characters to get into before then—more thick, solid banana flavours with a bit of toffee and spicy weizen notes. Back is reasonably full, but a little ropey with a sticky but dry bitterness laced with some booze. It works well.
Feel is a little light unfortunately, despite some of the thicker flavours in the palate. It's also slightly overcarbonated—it's not unusual for this style, but for a beer this big it starts to bloat a bit.
Overall, it doesn't have the huge complexity or integration to warrant how big and bloating it is, but the dryness here does help aid the drinkability somewhat, as does the roast, which is its unique quirk—this certainly helps it stand out from the pack a little.
Apparently a "weizenbock IPA" whatever that may entail, brewed for GABS 2014 in Melbourne, which is where I tried it on-tap.
Pours a solid amber colour, almost opaque with haze so that it looks darker than it is. Weight is thick. Head is very firm and frothy, forming a yellow off-white colour to offset the darkness of the body. Lace forms in rings. Looks pretty decent overall.
Nose has lots of esters and phenolics all over it—tending towards the Belgian style to my mind rather than the weizen banana-clove characters. Here there's much more pepper and spice and even the suggestion of acidity, while the banana is quite muted. Still pretty decent though.
Full and boozy entry on the palate that smoothes out towards the mid, also weakening it somewhat. Banana is present but a little insipid. Hint of vanilla comes through on the back, while the booze gives it some astringency in the finish. Feel is big, but with a slight bite like you'd get with acidity.
Overall, it's not bad stuff. It's not mind-blowing, but it's interesting enough to perk me up.
77 / 100
On tap at Vices & Versa.
Pours an opaque saffron colour, trickle of bead visible. It's obviously not entirely opaque but close to. Head is white, foamy, retains superbly. Outstanding.
Smells sweet and pleasant. Banana mostly, but a touch of poached pear and cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Sweet. Yummy.
Taste is more tangy, some banana with poached pear, lots of clove getting towards back, peppercorns, fennel as well and coriander. Finishes with a light fruity ester which is unexpected and absolutely spot on for cleansing after the spice. Would like more fruit dominance upfront, but otherwise a great strong wheat beer.
Foamy in the mouth, not much booze but some. Dry on the back.
A nice strong weizen. Lots of flavour, intriguing and appealing palate construction.
Tried from a shared bottle at the Royal Albert Hotel in Sydney. This was the beer brewed as part of an event during Good Beer Week as a collaboration between Mountain Goat and Brooklyn Brewery.
Pours a cloudy, deep golden colour (a helles weizenbock, clearly—in the style of Weihenstephaner's Vitus). Head is a frothy white, quite fine, soft and light leaving a delicate tracing of lace as it goes down. Body is surprisingly light, but otherwise it looks good.
The aroma is weird, almost certainly intentionally so, but it doesn't work for me as much as it should. Spicy fruit on the initial whiff: passionfruit and green banana, dusted with a sharp pithy spicy, phenolic character. Under it though, and deeper, it has a very sweet, almost sickly candy character to it. It's like a bulbous conglomeration of the sweetest weizen yeast esters with the sweetest fruit-salad hops—overall it's powerful, but a bit bloated. (Everyone else I was with loved the aroma, though, so go figure).
Taste is also sweet on the front: carob, more of that banana-lolly weizen sweetness and fruit, but pulled back by a sharp hop presence pretty early on. This develops into a peppery note towards the back, turning grassy near the finish with a peely aftertaste. Plenty of clove in presence here as well—all above a smooth, sticky banana cake basis. Feel is light but sticky.
It's weird. And maybe a little too weird for me. The characters don't mesh as harmoniously as I've seen it done in the past (such as Brooklyn's other collaboration with Schneider), and it ends up being a bit cacophonous. The hops really permeate the palate, and perhaps the varieties chosen are just too fruity and sweet to complement the intrinsic fruitiness of the weizen.
But still: it's big, it's bold, it's full of flavour and it has an edge of exciting anarchy to it. These things make it worth searching out in any case.
84 / 100
500ml bottle purchased from Steve's Cool Booze in Kingsford.
Pours a lovely, long hazed golden yellow colour, a heller weizenbock indeed. Head is a frothy, slightly creamy white, but surprisingly lacks some persistence. Body is quite light, but it holds very fine carbonation when tilted. Looks good overall.
Nose is very potent, and full of phenolics and esters. Big banana and bubblegum, with a pungent pear character coming through strongly as well. Some pepper, but not a huge amount of spice: very minimal clove, for example. There's also a slight vegetative, or herbal character to it, it reminds me a little of lavender: it's not a character I believe I've smelled in a wheat beer before, but it goes nicely. Overall, it's really big, and very flavoursome.
Taste is also good, and surprisingly smooth and creamy. More of those pear characters, which become a bit more like pear skin towards the back as they meld with a little booziness. Clean phenols through the centre of the palate and a slight bite of heat on the back, moderated solvent and a suggestion of earth. Despite all of this, it's quite smooth, and maintaining the illusion of sweetness without being too thick or chewy. It's quite a masterfully done thing.
Overall, yes: this is excellent stuff, a timely reminder of how good Weihenstephaner are. I love experimentation, and crazy craft formulations, but we should always remember the more traditional extreme beers. This is a fine example of how to make something big and exciting, but also keep everything in balance. Love it.
59 / 100
Pours a very dark brown. Beige head, dense with great retention. Clingy lace as well. Looks great.
Malty, nutty on the nose. Lots of caramelised peanut, walnut, and hazelnut in the mix, touch of marzipan. Light spicy coffee at the back, but could use a bit more of that darkness, all a bit sweet.
Tastes a bit weak and a little drab. Slight roasty but sweet grain upfront, then becomes watered down midway through with notes of spent coffee and a hint of banana at the back. Cocoa, red wine, actually quite boozey as well. Can't say I love it, but there's some nice enough flavours.
Foamy mouthfeel but a bit raw and solventy on the back.
Doesn't really rein itself in and is a little unbalance and extreme. Could have been better.
73 / 100
Pours a dark redcurrant colour with thin, but pleasant creamy-textured head. Slight cloud, reasonable lacing. Yeah, looks quite good.
Smells dark, fruity and inviting. Big raisiny sweetness with banana esters at the back; nutmeg, clove and fennel. Touch of citrus peel, and a brandy booze note at the back. Complex, hopelessly rewarding nose.
Taste is a little dryer, but still rich and layered with that molasses-raisin sweetness. Notes of banana, chocolate, clove and brandy. Orange peel tang on the back, and a touch of white pepper. A little bit boozey, but a nice boozey, and dry so it doesn't smother the palate in its own syrupy richness. Pleasant, well-constructed weizenbock.
A bit dry on the feel, sharp at times in the mouth with the heat of the alcohol. Could have a thicker body to combat that, makes me wonder what yeast they used as it seems very attenuated.
Nice flavour-bomb, but doesn't quite reach the heights it could have. Complex, but not quite as rich or dense as it might have been.
72 / 100
Pours a vibrant orange colour, burnished in tone. Head is thinned out, quite white in colour. Lace is OK, not very impressive. Looks nice though, could use some more head.
Smells sweet and a bit fruity, kind of sour at times as well. Big banana aromatics with red apple and pear rounding out. Slight savoury note as well and a big boozey whiff promising good times. Maybe a touch too green, it does smell a little tart, but I am still very interested in drinking this.
Taste is spicy, sweet and fruity. A potent cocktail indeed. Banana base with nutmeg, lots of nutmeg. Golden syrup, biscuity and some fruit notes on the back - pear and apricot. Light in flavour but lots of deep complexities to their light flavourings. Fruity, sweet and really quite gooey. I like, but I do feel a bit more spice would really jazz this up to eleven.
A bit blah on the mouthfeel. Full, and syrupy, not much texture. It's just a big sticky thing.
Nice big wheaty blob. Sweet, but nice spicy phenols give it some excitement, and it's the exact sort of sweet blend I really enjoy.
Pours a reddish-amber colour with a slight haze to it. Foamy head but average retention. Looks pretty interesting, I like the slight cloudiness to it.
Quite sweet, with a touch of spice from the weizen phenols. Smells a bit on the boozey heavy side, but nice weizen characters with spice and a touch of banana.
Decent weizen notes on the palate as well, more touches of banana, clove and maybe some wattleseed on there but that might just be the rum blending in. Has a sticky overriding flavour over the subtle but decent weizen notes. Yeah, not bad.
Hint of heat again from the booze, slightly bitty and dry.
Curious take on the weizen and I can't say I could drink it every day. But enjoyable enough.
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.
69 / 100
A devilish weizenbock from California. I purchased this from Berkeley Bowl West in Berkeley, CA and brought it back to Australia to share with @tobeerornottobe and @LaitueGonflable.
Pours a deep reddish black colour, with an initially frothy and substantial head of off-white. Lacing is solid, but speckled. Body is surprisingly light for its ABV. But overall, it's a pretty decent looking beer.
Nose is a little heavy, but it has a slight emptiness to it. Or at least, it has something which deflates it a little. It may be the wheat, it may even have a faint touch of acidity to it. It feels slightly too spicy, and without the roundness and deep sweetness that it really requires. I can't say I'm a huge fan.
Taste is a lot better, however. Here, there is a length and depth to the palate which is quite exemplary. There are certainly wheat notes on the front, which give a light roundness and a touch of bite, before the darker notes come through, leading a sluice of blackcurrant, pepper and shiraz through to the back. The wheat still makes it presence felt, with a lightness throughout.
Feel is lighter than expected, but has a slight astringency on the back like a dry cabernet.
Overall, this is decent stuff, and it does some unusual things. It's not entirely successful, but I like that it tries to pull itself in strange new directions. Number 8.
Bottle purchased from Slowbeer by @LaitueGonflable.
Pours a goopy, but very clear red colour. Head forms only minimally, giving a slight fizz on entry, and a fine ring of wispy foam. No lacing to speak of. Body is, as I've said, goopy: a big thick molasses-like thing that seems to want to stick to th inside of my glass. I feel like I'll have to hold the glass upside down and tap tap the bottom of it before any comes out.
Nose is hugely boozy and powerfully weizeny, with a glue-like assault of sticky banana infesting my sinuses. It's very sweet, as well, with a thick suggestion of malt extract or golden syrup. It has a hint of pepper to it as well, although it's almost a generic sharpness, and so could just be the result of the booze in it. Powerful stuff.
Taste is a lot less thick, layered and sweet. Here, there's certainly a dark golden syrup undercurrent, but the true sweetness palls in the face of the booze and astringency. Mild banana esters on the front give a twitch towards its weizen roots, but before long, it becomes lighter, sharper and more direct, seeming to race towards the back of the palate with a biting astringency and just a little hint of burn.
Feel is much thinner than I expected. There's the hint of fullness on the front while the banana characters stick around, but it all falls away pretty quickly.
Overall, there are things to like in here, but it pretty much doesn't work overall. It's like they took a good, traditional Weizenbock, and just twisted it in all the wrong directions.
Had on-tap at Harts Pub in The Rocks.
Pours a deep murky brown with slight yellowish edges. Head is fine, and leaves some mild lace. Body is heavy and gummy: it looks still, suspicious and sketchy in the glass. A dangerous beer in other words.
Boozy, spicy and woody on the nose, almost a hint of balsamic fragrance to it. Dusty banana notes come through but with a dull floury character to it. It feel strangely flat: it doesn't have depth or breadth to it, just a sharpness that suggests pain in my future.
And there it is: the taste is immediately sharp, too sharp. There's a big, boozy punch in the mouth that turns to razor sharp and cutting. Bourbon wood, spicy weizen characters with very limited sweetness, and rather unrestrained brutality. It gives very little breadth on the palate, and makes the booze feel even bigger than it is. Banana skin characters appear, but rather than providing some solidity and sweetness, they feel stretched and thin, and end up just adding to the boozy bite.
Oh, Doc, what have you done? This is too big for its boots. It feels like my mouth is being violated. Boozy and big, but needlessly so; the subtle characters are lost. Despite its massive body and power, it ends up feeling too thin. Hard to drink.
Had on-tap earlier in the year at the GABS festival in Melbourne.
Pours a reddish amber hue with some solid haze and a firm weight to the body. Head is a full, big, rich yellow crown, which leaves big sticky lacing. Looks great.
However it looks, it goes downhill from there. Mild wood on the nose leads to some oxidised wine character and a crystal sugary residue. Coupled with this is a slight burning booze sharpness, that seems to stem from the sugar. Hrmm...
Empty, watery start does not bode well for the rest of it. Mid-palate leaves some grain and some rummy, sugary character, that doesn't add any body: just empty insubstantial dryness. Slight green banana characters on the finish, but again, it's very empty. Feel is appallingly weak.
Pretty average first outing from S&W's side project. This feels empty in all the wrong ways, and gives a very bleak experience overall. You could scull it if you had to, but please don't make me.
Pours a pleasantly hazed light golden orange colour, with a fine head of white that settles to a decent but uninspiring film. Body is really nice and thick, and the carbonation is powdery and fine. It's not outstanding, but it's solid.
Nose is slightly wheaty, but also peppery and spicy with a really strong alcohol presence. In fact the boozy astringency almost strips out everything else, leaving only hints of banana and spice as a battered afterthought. Not bad, but a bit brusque.
Similar on the palate: the booziness, while not providing much heat or prickle, actually provides a lot of the spicy astringent flavours, leaving a slightly bitter spiritous taste in the mouth above the moderated banana sweetness. Feel is thin but hot and chewy, leaving the astringency in the flavour to work itself on the inside of the mouth.
Meh. I mean, it has some true weizenbier characteristics. It also has the "bigness" associated with a weizenbock. But overall, it's a bit too unbalanced and a bit overwhelming. It doesn't have the complexity it needs to justify the heat.
70 / 100
Pours a deep rusty orange colour, fairly cloudy. Off-white head of small bubbles dissipates quickly but leaves a thin film of lace behind. Moderate bead. I like my weizenbocks dark, but I'm also aware that styles are open to interpretation. Still, not overly exciting anyway.
Smells quite Belgian, actually. Plenty of clovey spice with a hint of nutmeg, pepper, but it has an almost saisony funk to it as well, possible just because of the green-ness of the fruit esters it's giving off. Maybe needs a bit more sweetness to add a 'bock' element - it's all spiced pear and maybe a hint of banana, but all spice and just slight sourness.
Taste is again largely spice and fruit. Quite fruity on the front - apple and pear with a good quantity of banana coming up behind. Sweeter, with the fruit dominating to late-mid with a warm kiss of booze to accompany it - sherry and a touch of brandy. Finishes with a pleasant weizeny spice - green pepper with clove and cinnamon. Quite tangy on the back with a touch of astringency from the spice, but it's a pleasant fruity palate overall - not too big that it loses the development of flavour. Enjoyable, but not mind-blowingly good.
Bit of zip on the back, from the yeast. Bit of carbonation, bit of booze, but no hegemonic texture so it's quite well balanced. Good for style.
Yeah, a good, big weizen. I did love the Sierra Nevada Kellerweiss, and the question must be raised as to whether this is just a big version? It's bigger, but not really more complex or interesting. It's only 6.6%, so I feel like if they upped the malt a bit more, made it even bigger and sweeter it could be spectacular.
76 / 100
A Weizenbock collaboration between De Molen and Mikkeller? Sign me up! Purchased from Platinum Liquor in Bellevue Hill.
Being a Weizenbock, I swirled the sediment into the glass at the end of the pour, but prior to that it was a rather splendid clear burnished red colour. With the sediment, it turns murky and darker, with light straining to escape from the hazy brown depths. Head is fine but relatively small--stays in a creamy layer on the top as it settles though. Looks good, with or without the yeast.
Smells of barley sugar and lemon sherbet dominate the nose. Very sweet, but sharp with citric characters. Slight dustiness to it, perhaps a touch of oxidation--this one was bottled in 2009, but I'm quite impressed the hop character has stayed so vibrant during that time. (They do say on the bottle that it will keep for 5 years). An odd nose. Almost as though it's an IPA brewed primarily with wheat.
Taste is also good, and fortunately, the bitterness is tempered a little bit to let the slightly acidic wheat characters come through a little more, along with that hint of nutty subdued vegetative bitterness I always associate with Mikkeller. It leaves an odd mixture in the mouth; an unusual but not unpleasant one. It makes me wonder if I felt this way the first time I tasted a nicely balanced IPA.
Feel is very smooth, with the extra body and booze, and probably the wheat lending a slick richness to the palate.
Yep. This was a good brew, and an interesting one. A hybrid Mikkeller/De Molen beer had a good chance of being wildly experimental--we would have forgiven that, and probably embraced it, but I'm pleased nonetheless that this is such a smooth a drinkable drop instead.
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.
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.
Pours a rich umber colour, beautifully cloudy and bronze up to the light. Head is pretty pleasant, dense and beige, sinking steadily, lace left is disappointingly thin actually, but yeah, the nice head makes up for it.
Nose is tasty, malty and sweet for the most part, with a pleasant caramel aroma and a hint of brownness - like toastiness but not quite dark and bitter enough for that, just slight sourness. Hints of raisin and cinnamon on there as well and a mild citric hop character. Very pleasant aromatic nose, sweet and fresh.
Taste is considerably more sour, has a fair amount of citrus zest on the front that descends into a slight milkiness on the mid where the malt rises to join it. A hint of vinegar on the mid before it gets mildly toasty again, with some notes of toasted grain and pine nuts, plus light citric hop notes. Quite tangy on the finish actually but really, overall it seems a bit weak, never quite reaches 'full' flavour, could be sweeter, darker or hoppier and lacks classic weizen esters really.
Fairly good body though, seems a bit light for the dryness it produces on the finish, but not bad.
Weak doesn't equal offensive. It needs a bit more balance, like more malt on the front but it's not a bad drop.
76 / 100
Pours a thick and cloudy deep brown amber colour, with some bubbling head when provoked, but otherwise just a film of off-white bubbling. The thickness and the opaqueness of the body are very nice.
Big sweet weizen notes. More than a hint of banana, some sweet caramel and even a slight hint of booze. Very smooth, rich and very much like a weizenbock should be. Absolutely lovely.
Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin, which is noticeable right from the start - a shame, and unexpected given the apparent thickness in the body. Taste is smooth, lacking a little of the rich and heavy sweetness I was expecting, but with some really pleasant light boozy phenols and a round deep weizen flavour.
A really good weizenbock. One of the best non-German examples I've had. Eisenbahn again show their skills in producing fine examples of classic styles.
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.
69 / 100
Pours a dark, slightly cloudy brown colour, with an initially frothy head of mocha coloured foam. Lots of fine-bubbled carbonation around the edge feeding the head initially, although it stays around only as a film. Lacing is good though. If the head were more boisterous is would be really excellent, but it's still a very nice looking beer.
Quite a complex and robust nose, with more than a little nod to the Belgian style dark ales. Some weizen-style banana phenols, and an awful lot of sweetness, but the rounded buttery characters, and the lilt of alcohol do conjure up the image of the Belgians as well.
Taste is smooth, and the feel is slick, and not overcarbonated. Initial warm dark weizen notes are heaped away by some slight phenolic heat, and a darker, crisped malt character. Booze is certainly slightly too prominent, and the weizen notes are much subdued for the style. It's no wonder the Belgian notes are prominent on the nose, with the big alcohol presence and the tight phenols.
I'd say the gravity is slightly too high on this one. The booze makes its presence felt, even though it's not an enormous beer ABV-wise. This hurts the drinkability slightly, but it does have some complexity and some very pleasant characters on it. It's neither a traditional Dunkelweizen nor Weizenbock, but it's got something going for it.
78 / 100
Pours a tasty-looking dark umber, very dark but brown through and through. Head is a pleasant beige tinge, nice and thick but settles out into a thin dense crown of tiny bubbles. Lace is a gorgeous film of dense silk. Gorgeous beer.
Nose is an interesting one, very dark and musty but with an interesting sour edge. A lot of carbon charcoal aromas with large fruit esters being given off - fresh cherries and blackberries, apple and apricot predominantly. Hiding behind it is a good toasty fragrance with some subtle dark malt and toffee. Really gorgeous, brooding, fruity nose. It is, however, lacking in classic wheat characters, but I heartily approve otherwise.
Taste is nice, rich and complex. A good sweet start with a milky edge, lots of brown sugar and dark molasses. A distinct Belgian flavour, I think Belgian candi sugar, then descends into a fairly toasty mid-palate with hints of burnt toast bitterness, then mellows out on the finish with sweet, slightly tart and green fruit flavours - pear, nectarine, some berry notes and a good hint of quince as well I think. Tempered by a light cinnamon spice. Overall, the beer is a little sweet on the front and the back for my taste, a little bit more spice or alcohol kick would be most welcome. Still, a wonderfully complex drop, nicely flavoured.
Mouthfeel is silky and slick, creamy even, like a good nitro stout for the most part, but with a light bitey sizzle which is not unpleasant , but a little unwelcome.
A delicious beer, complex but not overpowering. Very drinkable.
59 / 100
Pours a hazy, but not particularly cloudy deep brown colour, with a very filmy head of beige bubbles. Some Lacing along the edges. The body looks very thin though, and I have to say it looks a pretty disappointing weizenbock.
Large banana esters on the nose, reeking of those banana candies. Just a touch of something darker and deeper - perhaps a little molasses, but it's pretty one dimensional - it certainly doesn't have the layers of a traditional weizenbock.
Taste is strikingly similar to the nose, with just a darker grainy roasted character coming in on the back palate. A touch of booze perhaps noticeable on the back, but there's certainly not a great deal of complexity to it, and the banana phenols become quite overpowering after a while. Fortunately, the mouthfeel is creamy and full, which really boosts the character of the beer - because it certainly needs a boost.
I found this to be quite disappointing - I'm a huge fan of some of Red Hill's other beers, and this one really doesn't live up to my expectations. Sure, it's a drinkable beer, and hey, a decent stab at a classic style - but in the past, I've been impressed with this brewery's ability to nail a style to perfection, and this one falls well short stylistically.
38 / 100
Pours a dark, burnished orange colour, with a very thin ring of beige bubbles passing for a head. Quite cloudy in appearance, doesn't leave much lace, just dots hereabouts. Looks sweet, but not devilishly so.
Nose is really quite fruity, with a HUGE banana hit, as well as some pears and some maply syrup kind of character. But yeah, really serious banana. Actual fresh banana smell, in essence. I don't really like banana, but I'd forgive this if this were meant to smell exactly like banana with little else.
Taste starts off quite fruity with, yes, more of that banana, blended with some darker, syrupy flavours like golden syrup, some molasses, maybe a hint of some spice, even some light clove characters. But seriously, weizenbock with only a hint of a light clove character? Needs far, far more spice. Really syrupy sweet for the most part, and has a slight bitterness on the late mid, but it feels more an unrefined sugar bitterness than any brewing yeast character or hops. Fairly one note and overly sweet.
Mouthfeel is fairly viscous, leaves an unpleasant earthy hang. Good for what it is but no more.
Not really drinkable, too sweet and not in any way clean. This is a huge disappointment, both as a weizenbock and as a Red Hill brew. I expected so, so much more from this beer.
79 / 100
O....K... My understanding of 'weizenbock' just took a light beating. Pours a pale golden colour with haze, strong carbonation and decent head, retaining well. Leaves some very sticky, but thin, lace behind. Looks different to what I expected - well, lighter. Apart from that looks very nice.
Smells very banana and clovey... Lots of sweet and spice on it. Slight plum character as well, hint of vanilla and toffee. Smell is nice, complex and sweet. Like a sweeter version of the hefeweizen.
Taste is interesting, with a distinct spice coming through from the start, big flavour of clove with cinnamon as well. Has a tasty 'banilla' character as well with a light, quite tropical fruit sweetness, blended with a hint of a young red wine astringency. Slight tart melon character on the back, and a delicious peppery bitterness just on the very back palate, with a pleasant but slightly astringent hoppy phenol just clipping off the finish. Actually, has a lot of phenolic character throughout, thanks mainly to the particular sweet and spicy balance.
Mouthfeel is deliciously sticky, with a lot of foam from the haze adding texture to the palate. This is another excellent - although very different - weizenbock. Rich, challenging flavours, with an excellent balance achieved through, basically, a lot of everything. Lots of malt and funk-ay yeast, with some nice German hopping. Definitely an interesting drop, keeps you focused from start to finish.
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.
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.
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.