For this review, I will be talking about some beers that I recently had the honor to drink. They come from Germany and they are, in my opinion, a great representation of what the German brewing culture is all about.
Introducing, for the first time in the United States, The Fürst Wallerstien collection!
|All five of the Fürst Wallerstein beers on parade!|
According to an TotalWine, these beers have never been available in the States until recently. I will admit that I have never seen these beers before until I got my hands on them. The brewery's website has more beers listed than just these five, but these seem to be the only ones available here, at least in my area. It was exciting to have all these beers and write-up a review for them. Enjoy!
-First up, we will take a look at the Zwickel. What is a Zwickel? Well, according to the 2012 Beer Style Guidlelines from the Brewers Association, a Kellerbier or Zwicklebier are unfiltered versions of Alt or Kölsch for ales or unfiltered Pilseners, Helles, Dortmunders, or Dunkels. Below, you will find my tasting notes and a photo of the product:
Appearance: Hazy orange with a rich, creamy white head.
Smell: Just a bit of sulfur and German style lager yeast, grains, minerals from hard water.
Taste: Mineral flavors with a soft, tasty-bread malt core. Finish of noble hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Light-body, silky (most likely from the yeast minerals in suspension).
Overall: Drinkable and refreshing. The unfiltered quality adds a layer of complexity to a normally clean beer.
-Next, here we have the Classic Pils. This beer was rather nice. Although there are other German-Pilseners that have fuller flavor, this beer had some rather nice qualities. Here are my notes:
Appearance: It's a soft straw-yellow, bright with the slightest of veils, white head that dissipates with time.
Smell: Pilsener malt with bready undertones.
Taste: Same as aroma with bready notes. A snappy hop bite in the finish along with a bit I minerals. Quite nice!
Mouthfeel: Soft, light body with a refreshing feeling all around.
Overall: German Pilsener at its best. Soft and refreshing. Sure, there might be better ones available, but this one is nice in its own way. And that's fine by me!
-Now here we have one of my favorite styles: the German Dunkel. Dunkel means "dark" in German and the Landsknecht-Bier Dunkeles lives up to the name. This rendition of the style had a unique twist in it that I found rather surprising and welcoming. I found this Dunkel to to have profound hop-grassy character to it, along with the usual sweetness, almost chocolate-like, bread notes. Take a look:
Appearance: Dark brown with a sight copper hue in the light, off-white creamy head that fades quickly.
Smell: I had a strong aroma if grassy hops and minerals up front, but it was quickly over taken by the sweet caramel-like malts that gave off and an almost chocolate nose with some dried dark fruits.
Taste: Much like the nose, there is a grassiness up front but rounds out with toasty, sweet, caramel-like maltiness. A pleasant bready flavor lingers.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium-light bodied.
Overall: Although the almost grassy bite upfront might be grounds for docking points if you were grading the beer, I found it rather pleasant. Once you let the hop character balance out, it's just what you would expect from a Dunkel.
-For the next beer, I uncapped the Weißbierpils. This one was unexpected. Actually, I had no idea what to expected. A lager-brewed wheat beer? A Hefe with more Pils? Well, the best way to describe this beer would be to answer both of those questions with a "yes." Check it out:
Appearance: Hazy orange with a soft, white-ish veil that seems to glow when stuck by light.
Smell: lots of malt, bready, some bubble gum aromas. Think Hefeweizen.
Taste: A clean Hefeweizen, pils style cleanses year complex.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a rich texture.
Overall: It's an odd complexity having some wheat beer flavors in a Pilsener beer (?). Although it is nice, its leaking the luster of a traditional Hefe.
-Finally, I popped open (literally) my last beer in the collection. It was time to enjoy the Hefe-Weizen. In my mind, this beer did not standout as one of the best Hefeweizen beers I've had, this one has some pleasant characteristics that I rather enjoyed. Here you go:
Appearance: Hazy orange. Thick, fluffy white head.
Smell: Clove, strong banana, slight tartness from the wheat malt. Really nice and pleasant.
Taste: Banana and clove as expected along with an almost citrus tang in the middle. Some bright carbonation brings it all together in a refreshing finish.
Mouthfeel: Smooth yet thin with the high carbonation.
Overall: Yes. It is undoubtedly a Hefeweizen. Although I felt that the bannana/clove flavors were overtaken by the wheat a bit. Hefe's have a refreshing quality that few other beer styles can match.
So there you have it. These beers were all great in there own way. Of all five, I believe the Dunkel was the biggest surprise. It could be that I might be a bit bias and lean towards the Dunkel, but it was the only beer in the collection that made me take a second look at the label after I took a sip. So, what's your verdict? Are you going to try some for yourself? Perhaps you already have. If so, what did you think? Leave your comments below and let me know what you think. I will see you all in the next review!
Gilbert C. Perez