The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2012

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Page 66 of 132

GADD'S SIXPACK wie deutsch ist es? A RECENT SPATE OF TEUTONIC BREWS MAKES ME ASK HOW GERMAN IS IT? Schöfferhofer Weizen (Frankfurt, Hessen) A grand, Wagnerian beer brewed in Frankfurt- am-Main. The sublimely sweet nose exudes overripe persimmons macerated in cream soda. A texture like taffeta brings gloriously surprising bitter/smoky notes to the palate, with a Liebestod of a finish that leaves an aftertaste of scorched wheat. Well up there on my list of all-time favorite brews. RADEBERGER GRUPPE Radeberger Pilsner (Radeberg, Saxony) Radeberger pretty much defines the stalwart Germanic type that became the brewing standard of late 19th-century America and still dominates shelf space in most retail store coolers. Malt, oak and coal smoke on the nose, followed in swift order by malt, oak and coal smoke on the palate. By no means unpleasant but rather monochromatic, this get-'er-done pilsner was declared the official drink of Saxony by Friederich August III. RADEBERGER GRUPPE Hövels Original (Dortmund, Westphalia) One of the loveliest colors in all of beerdom—a shimming copperish amber with gem-like transparency that reveals alternate glints of obsidian and pink gold. The nose is curiously shy, except for a distant whiff of Islay malt, but the stuff really opens up the floodgates on the palate, with intense torrents of spice cake batter, machine oil and a teeth-clenching bitterness, all on a texture creamier than a Rhine-Maiden's bosom. Aftertones of plum pudding, smoke and weltschmerz. Simply superb. RADEBERGER GRUPPE 66 / the tasting panel / july 2012 Weihenstephaner Vitus Weizenbock (Freising, Bavaria) This monastic brewery was founded in the year 768, so they've had 12 centuries to get it right. No wonder it's a mas- terpiece. Delicate, crisp nose of Chablis-like refinement. Bavarian spiciness comes to the fore on the palate, delivering complex flavors of sutlana raisins, cola, white chocolate and cardamom, all on a texture as racy as an Ultimate Driving Machine. Vital and sublime. TOTAL BEVERAGE SOLUTION Pinkus Organic Münster Alt (Münster, Westphalia) A top- fermented beer that's lagered, Altbier is a curious German hybrid, a precursor to lager that still retains some estery ale qualities. This one comes from the last of what were once 150 breweries in the city of Münster (not as spooky as it sounds, folks.) Both barley malt and wheat give it the fruity-citrusy notes this style is noted for, and it's 100% organic. MERCHANT DU VIN Moosbacher Schwarze Weisse (Moosbach, Bavaria) World's foamiest beer? Possibly. But below the laun- dromat oversuds of a head awaits a keen, angular nose of molasses, oloroso sherry and printer's ink. The palate is immediately reminis- cent of Royal Crown Cola, with a similar burst of over-carbonation, and trails into a likeable but somewhat obvious finish. The taste never quite lives up to the promise of the haunting nose, but there's no beer I enjoy sticking my snout into more than Moosbacher. EUROBREW

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