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Julius Echter Hefe-Weiss-Dunkel

June 23rd, 2009

Julius Echter Hefe-Weiss-Dunkel

Julius Echter Hefe-Weiss-Dunkel (from here on known as JE) is a German brew from the Wurzburger Hofbrau brewery.  I selected this beer due to the unusual Hefeweiss/Dunkel mix.

JE is a large beer weighing in at one pint 9 ounces.  When poured JE reveales a nice even color and activity level with a thick, fluffy, white cloud sitting atop.  The darker color is unlike most Hefeweiss beers, but the wheat brew cloudiness is still in tact.  There is the familiar smell of most wheat beers with it’s light floral aroma.  For the level of activity and large amount of head, it’s surprising that this beer has so little tingle on your tongue.  It’s more characteristic of the Dunkel in that aspect, but the flavor is a blend of both.  It’s sweet and refreshing like a Hefeweiss but robust in flavor like a Dunkel.  There is little to no bitterness and a light aftertaste to let you know what you’ve been drinking.  I couldn’t find the alcohol content but it’s probably a mid range 5.5 – 6%.

I have a hard time believing that this beer was all brewed at the same time.  It’s such a mix I’d almost say Wurzburger Hofbrau brewed a Dunkel and a Hefeweiss then just poured half of each one into this bottle.  Usually your wheat beers are lighter in color and more suited to the summer months, with their bright floral notes and clean refreshing taste, and your Dunkels more to the winter months, with their heavy smokey flavors and generally higher alcohol content.  This, however, is both.  It fits the bill of both a Dunkel and a Hefeweiss to the letter.  I’m sure some people will really love this beer, and I encourage you to try it, but it has too much of an identity crisis for me.

Rating: 3

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3 Star, Beer Reviews

Fisherman’s IPA

June 16th, 2009

Fisherman's IPA

I know I said I was going to try and lay off the nautical reference beers but this is the last one of the Beer of the Month beers so I had to get it out of the way.  Fisherman’s IPA is brewed by the Cape Anne Brewing Company of Massachusetts.

Fisherman’s IPA has a nice, even amber color, with a very fruity almost sweetness to the scent.  You pick up very easily on the blackberries and cherries used in the brew.  There is a consistent, but mild head that follows you all the way down the glass as you drink.  The most important part, the taste, is where this beer is totally lacking.  There is a sweetness and a good complexity to the taste with all the malted hops and fruits, but the bitterness is so heavy it takes away from the real taste.  That annoying bitterness lingers long after you’ve taken that first sip.  It gets a little more tolerable the more your taste buds get adjusted to it but it’s still so overpowering you can’t focus on the good parts.  Who cares what the alcohol content is.  You probably can’t finish one anyway.

I don’t think there is a good nautical beer out there.  I know I haven’t found one.  It’s like, once you say something that eludes to water or fish or boats then breweries just associate that with bitterness.  Maybe they’re trying to remind you of the taste of sea water.  Please, if you know of a beer that can redeem all the nautical reference beers I’ve had, I’d love to try it.  For now I think I’m done.  I’ll just drink the sea water.

Rating: 1

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1 Star, Beer Reviews

Eisenbahn S.A.P.A.

June 8th, 2009

Eisenbahn S.A.P.A.

Let’s just get this out of the way first.  S.A.P.A. stands for South American Pale Ale.  There, now we can go on using the abbreviation without any confusion.  I’ve never had a S.A.P.A. before so I’m not sure what to expect.  I have had other beers from South America, and some have been quite good.  Eisenbahn S.A.P.A. is brewed by the Eisenbahn brewery in Brazil.

There is a small amount of head but it’s very persistent.  I made it through the entire beer with the exact same amount of head the entire way down.  It has a wonderful blend of floral and fruity aromas.  The beer is slightly cloudy, but nothing like an unfiltered beer, and has a light brown color.  The sweetness of fruits and floral hops are very pronounced in the taste of this beer, and that usually equals a heavy bitterness, but not here.  S.A.P.A. has a mild complimenting bitterness that isn’t too overpowering and goes quite well with the overall flavor.  The texture is very smooth and almost creamy.  There is no alcohol content listed but I’m guessing the 5 – 5.5% range is probably accurate.

I can’t help but think I’ve tasted another beer, almost identical, in flavor.  It took me a while to put my finger on it but it tastes just like the Piranha Pale Ale from BJ’s brewhouse.  Now that’s not a bad thing in my opinion.  I can’t really complain too much about this beer except that it’s just a little bit too fruity.  I have another beer from this brewery to try and I’m excited to see how it stacks up.  Another win for the South American brews.

Rating: 4

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4 Star, Beer Reviews