Monday, 10 September 2012

#80: Munich Trio

As the title suggests, the following are all from well-known Munich breweries that I've decided to lump together into one themed post. 

First up is a beer from Paulaner, a brand I'm already very familiar with. Their Hefe-weissbier is a good standard of Bavarian wheat beer, and it's very wide availability and low price makes it a good one to stock up on. They also produce a dunkel, however, and this will be my very first time trying it. I've only had one beer of this style before, in the form of a Maisel's Weisse Dunkel.

Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier Dunkel pours the expected shade of dark, muddy brown, with a big smooth, creamy head on top. The aroma has strong banana bread notes, with an underlying spiciness that's almost completely hidden. Overall, it smells like an ordinary hefe, but with more of the bready, yeasty and malty character. The taste is pretty much as above. It's not too different from the ordinary hefe, with the citrus and spice flavours, but if you try you can pick out small dots of caramel here and there, along with the aforementioned bread yeast quality. There's also a light biscuity flavour, and on the whole, the flavour is much fuller than and an ordinary hefe.

It's interesting, refreshing and it looks nice, but it's just not really that different from the regular version. It doesn't warrant the slightly higher pricetag, and it probably won't warrant a retry on this blog.

Next up is a beer I tried and loved a long time ago, but I have never taken notes for.

At first, Spaten Münchner Hell pours like a standard lager, almost like a 'macro' adjunct lager in fact. Crucially, however, it supports a big creamy white head, signifying a much better body. The aroma doesn't really scream of anything, but it does have quite a pleasant sweetness to it. No hop profile to speak of. All is made up for with the taste, however - it's bloody delicious. Very easygoing with grainy, malty, biscuit favours, and a lovely sweet finish with a light-roasted barley aftertaste. There's possibly some hint of hops toward the end, but overall it's just a nice refreshing composition of malty, grainy goodness. It's got a good body that helps retain a small layer of foam throughout, and there's not even a hint of the wimpy, watery finish here. Excellent drinkability.

It's not clever, it's not complex, and it's not going to blow the socks off anyone, but it's fantastically enjoyable and, I reckon, it's become one of my favourite lagers. The fact that it's sold for less than €2 for a half-litre is a major bonus.

Finally, we have my first beer from the Hofbräuhaus, and rather than their original Helles lager, I've opted here for their Hefe-weissbier.

Hofbräu Münchner Weisse pours just like any beer of the style, albeit with a surprisingly small head. Sharp yeasty bread dominates the aroma, with lemon and hints of spice underneath. There's kind of a Belgian Wit-like mustiness to the aroma, but maybe that's just me. As the beer warms up in the glass, a very nice candy, malty sweetness develops that puts me in mind of a doppelbock or weizenbock. The taste opens with citrus and banana, leads into a nice biscuit malt and signs off with a syrupy sweet malt finish. I don't mean to give the impression that it's a malt bomb though, as the dominant flavour throughout is always the fizzy juiciness you'd expect from a hefe.

It's refreshing and drinkable, but like so many beers, it's just not inspiring.

All three of these beers are worth a try, and I wouldn't turn my nose up at an offer, but to be honest, I'll probably only be buying one of them again. The Spaten is just so tasty and refreshing that I definitely see it becoming a regular fixture in the cupboard.

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