Thursday, 7 June 2012

My love of Lists: No.2 - Dunkelweizen

When I wrote briefly about my DownDIPA evening, I vainly promised to do a blog post on my top 10 Dunkelweizens (as if I'm some big-shot, or something).

Anyway, so this morning I've actually sat down to do this thing, and what do you know?  Well, a glance at my Ratebeer statistics reveals that I have only ever rated 12 Dunkelweizen, in the history of my 9 years of writing beer reviews.  Now 12 is not really a very big number is it?  To draw a top 10 from a total of 12 risks sort of conferring respectability on something which I may not have even thoroughly loved at the time.

In fact, of the 12, one of them Teme Valley Dark Stranger is British and didn't even seem like a real example of the style, so I'm excluding it.

So then, with that preamble done, here {drum roll please} is my list of my Top Ten (from a field of eleven) Dunkelweizens.

10. Airbrau Mayday

Munich Airport has it's own brewpub.  How brilliant is that?  This beer was sampled in 2006 during Martin's stag weekend in, wait for it - Munich.  I described this as having "some slight wheatgerm, cereal flavour, but not enough".  Score 3

9. Maisels Weisse Dunkel

Sampled only 2 weeks ago.  I said "not compelling particularly, but ultra professional".  Score 3.4

8. Greif Brau Dunkle Weisse

Tried at the Swan and Rushes, during the Ratebeer Leicester crawl in January 2005.  "Good dark brown Weisse, with plenty of clean toffee and fruit. Some metal, but doesn’t weigh down the experience. Very light, fragrant, fresh and tasty".  Score 3.4

7. Paulaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel

Bought from Beers of Europe, and sampled in 2003.  I said then: "seems to improve as you get further into the pint. Some flavours begin to emerge in the finish - even some fruit".  Score 3.4 (at least my scoring is consistent. Boring even).

6. Gutmann Dunkles Hefeweizen

Bottle supped at the Criterion in 2006.  "Refreshing in mouth and aroma, but not the deepest flavour I’ve ever known".  Blimey, my comments are a bit half-hearted with all of these.  I thought I liked Dunkelweizens, but maybe I'm lying to myself.  Score 3.5

5. Erdinger Dunkel

More faint praise for this one, bought from Stirchley Wines and Spirits in 2003: "the sweetness, coffee and wheat don't completely hang together - each is pleasant and adds up to a good experience, but this is not perfect."  Score 3.5

4. Arcobrau Weissbier Dunkel AKA Waitrose Bavarian Dark Wheat Beer

That's right!  A genuine Bavarian beer, masquerading as a genuine Bavarian beer from Waitrose.  This one is always available, within easy reach, and that is good, non?  Rated in 2010, I said "Refreshing, slightly nutty, with a pleasant sweet yeastiness. Nice".  Score 3.6

3. Andechs Dunkles Weissbier

In 2006 I was best man to my lifelong chum Martin.  I organised his stag weekend in Munich, to give us all a chance to indulge in some Bavarian beer pleasure, which we most certainly did.  Unfortunately, (as with every stag do I've ever been to) we overextended ourselves on the first evening.  This meant that next morning, in order to partake in the excursion I had planned for the group, I had to drag a dozen miserable, hungover gits to the S-bahn, so that we could get to Herrsching am Ammersee, which as everyone knows is the location of the Andechs monastery, which produces some fine, fine beer.  Once we arrived at Herrsching station, my pre-trip notes reliably informed me that it was a mere 10-minute walk through a woodland glade, to reach our destination, and some hair of the/a dog.  Unfortunately I had gotten my calculations slightly wrong, so the 10 minute walk which the grumpy blokes reluctantly agreed to, actually turned into a 60-minute hike vertically up several hills, through a number of forests, in muggy, sweaty weather.  During the walk, I moved to head of the pack so that I wouldn't have to listen to the rest of the group, swearing, hyperventilating and dry-retching.  I was also worried that they would lynch me.  Anyway, to cut a long story short, when we did reach the Andechs monastery, the beer was some of the most welcome I've ever tasted.  Having said that, my review of the Dunkles Weissbier isn't quite as euphoric as I would have thought: "Refreshing - especially after that painful climb to the venue".  Yes.  To add a humorous coda to this story, on the way back to the S-bahn station, we discovered an alternative route, which was indeed 10 minutes.  We all laughed.  Score 3.7

2. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel

The bottle was bought from the Offie, Leicester and rated in 2004. "Very tasty wheat beer: all the good points - sweet, crisp, refreshing."  For my money, Weihenstepahner are one of the best wheat beer producers in the World (if not the best).  Score 3.7

1. Karg Dunkles Hefe-Weissbier

Sampled and rated in 2004, at the Swan and Rushes. This takes the top spot with ease.  I said: "remarkably complex for the style. Plenty of sourish, appley, fruit flavour in here, with a delicious lingering yeasty aftertaste. This is ruddy, hazy, brown colour, with a big fluffy head. It's light and very moreish". Golly gosh!  I did like this one.  Score 4.3

So then a clear winner.  But overall, the scores aren't massively high (my average Dunkelweizen score in 3.44).

I really do need to revisit Dunkelweizens generally and this "Summer of German Beer" seems as good a time as any.

Oh and the unlucky 11th Dunkelweizen, which missed the cut???????  Take a bow Weizenland Weissbier Dunkel


No comments:

Post a Comment