Thursday, May 12, 2011

478. Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier

We’re rolling up on that Weihenstephaner. This one is a filtered hefeweizen, and damn is is clear. I read Gordon Strong’s new book, Brewing Better Beer, through mine while I was drinking it. No, I’m just kidding. But I could have. Seriously. Although technically, I should have been reading Stan Hieronymus’s Brewing With Wheat. Get it? Because this is, like, a wheat beer, or something. I’m so tired of having to explain my jokes to you, Jeffrey. Anyway, this is our fourth beer from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, including Korbinian, Hefe Weissbier and Dr. Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse.

Unsurprisingly, Kristall pours a crystal clear straw color, with a prodigious white head. Since the beer is so clear, the profusion of small tiny streaming bubbles is a nice treat, which gives the beer an effervescent visual quality that at least partially follows through in the mouthfeel. The nose is a creamy banana clove combination that is reminiscent of banana cream pie—it is creamier and smoother than the traditional Hefe Weisse, but very much in line with the original. Kristall opens creamy and soft on the palate—there is a bit of a carbonation bite towards the finish, but the front is gentle and delicate. Flavors are creamy banana followed by a slight wheat gumminess in the middle and finishing with clove and light vanilla flavors that linger and dance on the back of the tongue. While the carbonation is gentle, it is also bubbly and delightful—the combination of creaminess and carbonation creates a gentle soothing effect that is one of the highlights of this beer. A softer, gentler, and more delicate version of their traditional Hefe Weiss, Kristall allows the perfume-y components of the beer to parade across the palate, leaving drinkers with a different yet eminently enjoyable beer. Surprisingly complex and gentle—this beer was a pleasant surprise.

ABV: 5.4%


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