Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan - Weihenstephaner Original

If you're ever on a gameshow and they ask you what the world's oldest brewery is, don't forget this name: Weihenstephaner. Besides being a mouthful to say, Weihenstephaner is in fact the world's oldest operating brewery. The beer is still made out of the Weihenstephan Abbey and has been ever since 1040 when, according to their website, Abbot Arnold obtained a license to brew. The brewery is located just north of Munich and I definitely plan to visit on my beer pilgrimage to Europe someday. Other breweries I plan on visiting: Westvleteren in Belgium and....well, really that's the only one I'm really excited about visiting for now, but I'll have more of a gameplan once a trip gets closer to happening. On to the beer!

Weihenstephaner Original is a traditional Munich Helles (bright) Lager, which means it's basically going to taste like a German beer should. The beer pours a perfectly golden color with a lot of carbonation and a nice cap of foam which lasts the entire beer. Looks-wise, it's tough to top a good German beer. I smelled the beer and picked up some cloves, a little bit of that Heineken signature skunk/funk (but not in an actually skunked way), some lemon and a light citrus scent.

The taste of this beer is pretty special. A few years ago, I was in Berlin and my dad and I made it a point to try a lot of German beer. For whatever reason, it's rare that breweries out here can replicate that signature German taste. Weihenstephaner has nailed it with this one. While in reality I guess I shouldn't have been surprised because it's a beer from there, it was nice to taste a beer that really took me back to Germany. The beer looks light, but doesn't taste it, which was nice. There is a nice smooth malty element before a quick snap of grassy hops and then a smooth drawn out malty finish. I know I already used the word "smooth" twice in that last sentence, but I couldn't believe how smooth this beer was. If you're looking to try a good German beer, skip over the Beck's and Spaten and grab this one.

Final Grade: A

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