Friday, March 25, 2011

Brauerei Pinkus Müller - Organic Hefeweizen

Ah, spring!  That magical time of year when the "wits" and "weisses" and "weizens" start to fill the air with their sweet, sweet perfume.  I know I just reviewed a weiss, but I think I can be excused by "spring fever," and the fact that I have not cracked open a bottle larger than 12oz in quite some time.  I am fairly excited to try this, not only because it is spring, but also because the last organic that I reviewed turned out so darn tasty.  Let's pour!

Picture is my own.  Bottle art image used without permission for educational uses only.
Aroma 7/12
I feel that this is a bit of a generous rating, but am chalking it up to a perceived subtlety of the beer.  The aroma is dominated by the lemony esters and perhaps some coriander.  The wheat peeks out just a little, but not enough to add to the overall bouquet.  Most hefeweizens want to beat you over the head with a banana smell, but this one might be hinting at something a bit more reserved.

Appearance 2/3
A pour that was far from aggressive yielded a more-than-generous, white head that sat around 1.5 inches.  It was very light, almost whipped in its texture and it even stuck around a bit.  While it left an extremely small amount of lacing, the foam did persist as a layer on top for the majority of the glass.  The clarity was appropriately foggy, but the color was light for the style.  Also, there was no sediment in this bottle.  Sure, it can happen in different brands of unfiltered beers, but I always hope to see just a bit. EBC is 11.

Picture is my own.

Flavor 12/20
For a style of beer that is usually bursting with flavor, this one is not.  It does have the lemon essence and it is crisp, but errs on the side of dull instead of subtle.  The malt, which should be the secondary part of this style, is present, but is only so in a weak wheat flavor (true to the aroma).  It is the same level of unenthused sweetness in the intial taste, when held in the mouth, and in the finish.  Almost similar as when one adds too much lemon to water.  It is there and effects the flavor, but it is far from a bold taste.  In fact, the timid nature of this beer's flavor is what keeps it from being distinguished as subtle and instead is just "weak."

Mouthfeel 2/5
This is probably the weakest part of the beer.  Its body is far too light and offers no creaminess that would normally compliment the esters.  However, since the esters are so light and flighty, this mouthfeel is probably a suitable match.  The carbonation was adequate and appropriate for the style.  The light body does make it easy to drink, but at what expense?

Overall Impression 5/10
In case you could not tell, this is not the hefeweizen that is going to reach out and grab you.  This beer either aimed for subtlety and missed or went with sub-par organic ingredients that could not pass muster.  It is far too light for the style in several categories and does not contain the rich flavor experience that one expects when drinking a hefeweizen.

Total 28/50
While there are amazing organic beers out there, organic goods as a whole have only come into great popularity in the last several years.  That said, I am willing to give Pinkus some time to work things out.  In the meantime, I am hoping that all their offerings do not stray this far from their intended style.  Not that all style differentiations are bad, but usually they add something to the style, not water it down.  You could probably add a lemon to a much less expensive lager and get a similar beverage experience.
     I would not use this beer as one to introduce people into craft beer.  While lighter (or fruity) beers are generally a good way to do this, one must make sure that the offering is still tasty.

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