Let’s start with the obvious: I love that Weihenstephaner doesn’t have the traditional “-ator” name found in most doppelbocks (like Ayinger Celebrator). Although let’s be honest—their name could well pre-date the whole “-ator” phenomenon. I’m certain there’s a story in there somewhere, but my internet skills are just too moribund to find anything that would provide appropriate justification. Plus, I might like my particular narrative a bit too much to want such a story destroyed. The truth? We’ll save that for later. Our last two beers from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan in Freising, Germany include Hefe Weissbier and Dr. Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse, a collabo with Doemens Institute.
Korbinian pours a deep, rich, and clear chocolate; there are some nice orange and red highlights to be seen through the side of the glass, while the head is tan with some initial coverage before reducing to a thick ring around the glass. All in all, a pretty beer. I hope calling it pretty doesn’t make Korbinian feel emasculated. The nose is rich toasty malt mixed with luscious dark fruit—you can almost see the smell-lines rising up off this one (like the stink-lines coming off of Moe Syzslak). There is candy sweetness hidden away in the back as well, but it is under the main initial thrust of malt and fruit. Flavors start with a rich toasty malt before moving into dark fruit in the middle—mainly prune, raisin, grape, and fig, although there could be some craisin as well—I’ve been eating a lot of dried cranberries of late, and you’d be surprised how often that flavor shows up elsewhere. Toffee and caramel emerges in the front and middle as the beer warms, and works as a pleasant accompaniment to the fruit flavors in the middle. The finish dries out slightly; there is a touch of hop bitterness, mainly perceived as a light tackiness on the back of the tongue, and a soft gentle alcohol presence, although the malt presence is still very forward. Korbinian has a creamy, chewy mouthfeel that fits well with the medium to full body—besides being pretty looking, it is easy on the mouth. Smooth sippin’ deliciousness. But then again, they’ve had almost a millenium to perfect the whole process, so we shouldn’t be too surprised.
P.S. Anyone know what the bear that is carrying stuff on the label is all about? I guess that via my description, that would make it a pack-bear, but I’m pretty sure that is not a real word. Whatever. The pack-bear is awesome, and always makes me laugh. Good pack-bear.