Bavarian dark weizen, 500 ml, unfiltered & bottle conditioned. 5.8% ABV
Ayinger (Brauerei Aying Franz Inselkammer KG), Aying, Germany
By Bill Lau
Posted October 3, 2015
Hefe-weizens (or weissebiers) have been one of my regular summertime favorites for many years now, but I also enjoy them throughout the year. It seems at times like the unique yeast-imparted flavors are calling to the German part of my DNA, sparking a resonance of cultural identity. Whatever, I find the style deeply satisfying. I do know that my preference is for helles, or lighter-colored weizens in the warm weather; with dunkels or dark weizens appealing more during the changes of seasons, and weizenbocks or doppelbocks (and even the rare weizen eisbock) during the cold winter months.
Thus, I’ve turned to this dark weizen for October. Unfiltered and bottle conditioned – words I love to see! – you’ll find yeast sediment on the bottom of the bottle from the final fermentation in the bottle which produces the carbonation (just the way many of us homebrewers operate). You can decant your beer off of this, or as many drinkers do, roll the bottle before opening to rouse this yeast into suspension and pour it into your glass along with the beer. This is probably the best beer style of all to do this with, as the flavor complements the beer perfectly.
On to the review – prost!
I decanted the beer off of the yeast sediment for the initial pour, leaving enough behind to rouse the yeast to add later. I poured into a weizen glass as you can see; if you’ve read my previous wheat beer posts, you know I just love those glasses and their visual appeal.
Appearance (4.5/5): Presents a nice amber hue with slight haze and oodles of bubbles rising into a finely textured, creamy-looking near-white head. Sustains around a quarter inch of foam.
Aroma (9/10): Big, luscious heffie aromas assault my nostrils upon pouring. Notes of banana, clove, ripe plum, with hints of vanilla and sweet caramelized malt. Definitely inviting me to dive right in!
Palate (4/5): Moderately light bodied with some creaminess from the head followed by fine, prickly carbonation all over the tongue, giving it a very quaffable mouthfeel.
Taste (8.5/10): Showcases the esters and phenolics common to the wheat beer yeast strains, delivering on the promise of the aroma. Banana and clove are joined by a gently sweet maltiness with bready, yeasty character, and hints of vanilla and dark plum. Low bitterness. Swirling the last inch of beer in the bottle, I rouse the natural yeast sediment from bottle conditioning and add that to my glass, providing a slight uptick in the body, and a bit more overall yeasty character (and Vitamin B boost!). Dries slightly in the finish.
Overall (17.3/20): Another excellent offering from Ayinger with great balance of flavors. If you’re a fan of Bavarian wheat beer, you should like this.
Disclosure: The author has received no reimbursement or compensation for this article. All opinions and remarks are those of the author alone.