2009 Beers in Review-Best Beer #8

11 12 2009

And we just keep moving along with my favorite beers of the year.

Number 8 Best Beer of 2009

Schneider Aventinus- Weissbierbrauerei G. Schneider & Sohn Kelheim, Germany

Photo Credit: Beer Architecture

Dopple Weizen Bock

Rate Beer Score: 99 Points

When properly poured, a German hefeweissen can be a thing of beauty. With a thick, creamy head and cascading streams of yeast, a hefeweissen is poetry in motion. And the heady spice and the floral fruit of the yeast is a miracle.

And in my opinion, no one does this style of beer better than Schneider & Sohn. And their high end model is the Aventinus (Ah-Ven-Tee-NOOS).

The Aventinus is their dopple weizen bock. So at first glance, this is a dark wheat ale. It has the color of dark tea. And since it is unfiltered, it has a hazy complexion. There is no sparkle to this beer and the highlights are subdued. As one can see in the picture, a properly poured Aventinus has about two to three inches of creamy, dense head with the texture of steamed milk. This head lingers, creating beautiful lacing along the glass as you drink.

This beer gives the distinct impression of baked goods. The nose of the beer gives off first clove, then nutmeg and then a rich banana nut bread scent. Remember, unlike Belgian wheats (which are actually spiced), German beers are subject to German purity laws and only contain the four main ingredients of beer. What you are smelling is the yeast and the phenolic esters it produces.

This beer is silky smooth. There is a rich creaminess to it. First because of the dense head and second because of the beer itself. The palate starts out with the rich caramel maltiness. Wheat beers tend to be more chewy than barley beers. One gets the feeling they just ate some banana bread or an oatmeal cookie. The sweetness of the malt mixes well with the spice of the yeast. The hops are subtle as they balance out the sweetness and spice. But this beer does not linger too long. The alcohol back end cleans the palate and prepares it for the next taste.

And speaking of alcohol, this beer has it. As a dopple bock  inspired wheat, this beer is not only dark, it is also strong. This beer has a very generous 8.2% ABV. And considering that a wheat beer could have that much alcohol and still be so flavorful is a testament to the craftsmanship of Shneider & Sohn brewery.

This beer is reasonably priced at about $4-6 for a 16.9oz bottle. And one can find it at most high end wine and spirit stores. This is a must find. I would pair this with a German schnitzel or pork chops with apple sauce. I would want the sweetness and spiciness of the beer to play against the sweetness of the meat. I could also see this as a nice dessert beer with freshly baked banana bread or oatmeal raisin cookies.

I do hope you try this one. It is worth it. Also, if you do not have any weiss glasses, they are worth the investment.




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