The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2010

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BoCK FUgUE: WHETHER GERMAN OR dOMESTIC, THESE HEAdY SPRING BEERS BRING OUT THE INNER GOAT Sixpack Gadd’s Hopf Weisser Bock I’m including this December-to-January seasonal because it’s just so Wagnerianly good. With a name like Hopf (the singular of “hops”), how could Johann Hopf and his ancestors be anything but brewers? And brew they do—for the gods. More complex than Der Ring des Nibelungen, with fruit compote and exotic spice tones on a texture of Alpine cream, this mother of all hefeweizens will throw open the doors to Valhalla. UPLIFTERS SPIRITS Erdinger Pikantus Weizenbock At a caution-inspiring 7.3 percent, this wheat- and barley-based bock is still amazingly easy to quaff. Dark, cloudy color; fruity-chocolately nose. On the palate it shows great balance between red fruit, spice cake and cocoa, with some tawny port overtones that put it in the world-class league. ERDINGER USA Sierra Nevada Glissade Golden Bock This slippery stuff glides across the tongue like Lysacek on freshly-Zambonied ice, Lutzing and twizzling its way over the tastebuds with fresh spring-like fl avors. At a relatively modest 6.4 percent, it’s not exactly a butt-cracker, but drink a few in quick succession (easy enough to do) and you may feel like throwing on the old ice-dance costume and hitting the rink to Swan Lake. SIERRA NEVADA BREWERY Rogue Dead Guy Ale This Oregon Maibock-style brew dances out of the tomb with a thickish, almost oily texture and depth-bomb layers of malt and subdued but complex hops fl avors. Super-stylish, rich and bal- anced, it’s so accomplished that is needs no further comment than this: To die for. ROGUE BREWERY 24 / the tasting panel / april 2010 Reutberger Josefi Bock Once you get past the initial alcohol assault of this seasonal Bavarian monastic bock (it’s only 6.9 abv but comes on like moonshine), the fl avors begin to sort themselves out, pick up their skirts and dance. This stuff has harmonies as beautifully orchestrated as anything Brahms ever conceived, but the rich cocoa-y malt remains the keynote. A symphony in the key of malt. UPLIFTERS SPIRITS Weihenstephaner Vitus Weizenbock Close your eyes and take a deep whiff: You could be nosing a fi ne, dry, fl inty grand cru Chablis—with foam. The stuff really gets down to business on the palate, where its spiciness comes to the fore, along with fl avors of sutlana raisins, cola, white chocolate and cardamom. What’s the German for “sublime”? TOTAL BEVERAGE SOLUTION

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