Where to start with Weihenstephan? Reviewing one of their beers is almost redundant, but in my endless effort to taste and write about a single beer from every brewery out there I can’t forgo a tipple from the oldest continuously operating brewery in the world. I thought their classic wheat beer would be the most appropriate choice, although they do brew many other interesting wheats and lagers. They’ve also had their controversial releases such as the Infinium collaboration.
I made sure I had access to a fresh source of the Weihenstephan Hefeweissbier, ordered a schooner and let the thoughts flow. For many brewers and drinkers this beer maintains the textbook on what a classic wheat beer should taste like.
But what does it taste like?
It’s a sweet, malty 5.4% beer, with a fullness of alcohol you really notice. Because I brew my wheat beers considerably weaker than 5.4% and given these are what I most often drink, I can’t pretend to be impartial on this tasting note. Hops are a complete non-event, yeast flavour is not dominant; it’s all about the sweet, layered malt.
My glass was a rich straw gold, lightly cloudy but still translucent. It had an obliging basket of banana and earth esters with little hop aroma. The head retained exceptionally well and presented wild lacing when it did reduce. These bubbles were accentuated by the “authentic” glassware.
I sat mulling over life’s pleasures with this weissbier. It puts you into that kind of mood. Some beers punctuate, accelerate, dominate, but the classic Weihenstephanner simply elevates. It injects you with positivity. It is accessible and grand. Where to start, where to finish?
I drank this beer at Forester’s Hall, Collingwood.