Schneider & Sohn Aventinus (Weissbier-Brauerei Georg Schneider & Sohn) – 8.2% ABV
With this website, I know we tend to focus primarily on American craft brew more than anything else, but on occasion we find ourselves seeking out gems from other lands. This offering from Kelheim, Germany is a real treasure. Listed on the bottle as “Germany’s Original Wheat Doppelbock,” this beer has the appearance of a deep hazy brown, in keeping with most dark wheat beers, as its name translates from. I had the pleasure of trying this for the first time after picking it up at Buy-Rite some time ago (thanks again AJ, great call on this one). I have to say I was a little put off by the purple label on the bottle, but we all should know that you can’t judge a present by the gift-wrap around it. In other words, it’s what’s in the bottle that matters. By now, we both know I shouldn’t have to say that, but in the interest of full disclosure, I want to make sure everyone is as informed as possible.
This thing poured a seriously thick off-white creamy head that seemingly lasted forever, which sat atop a body that was a nice deep copper/medium brown color. Not very clear, as there is plenty going on inside. The aroma right off the bat is of sweet banana and clove. There is some evident dark fruit action there as well (plum, raisin) and a finishing aroma a little like bubble gum but seemingly nothing in the hop department. This thing is a malty beast, I can tell already. I guess now would be as good a time as any to give it a pull. That’s when the magic really happens.
The taste is something that really hits you. This weizenbock reminds me a lot of some other really fine wheat beers I’ve had before, plenty of banana, clove and dark fruit. Maybe some dark cherries in there. But you also can taste a hint of the alcohol in it. After all, it is 8.2%. The higher alcohol content isn’t overwhelming like some beers, and it actually works in the context of being a bit player in a very large cast of characters. The mouthfeel is smooth, almost velvety. Plenty of lacing was left in the glass after each deliciously enticing pull, as the head would eventually settle to a nice thin film resting above the beer. Throughout the whole pint, the smell of cloves kept resonating in my nose and my brain. This reminds me somewhat of the deliciousness that the Sierra Nevada Kellerweiss offered up, that spicy clove and wheat flavoring, but almost double the alcohol. This of course is left to interpretation, as no two people see things exactly the same way. Regardless, this one is definitely a winner, and one I’ll pride myself in having again.
Hopefully after reading this, you understand my appreciation for this fine Bavarian treat. I had a great time enjoying the malty/wheaty/fruity/slightly spicy goodness this had to offer. I guess you know what that means. Go get this and give it a whirl. Remember, don’t drink it cold right out of the fridge. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – beers like this need to gradually warm a bit before you enjoy. Rule of thumb – The darker the beer, the warmer you should drink it. Let it sit and warm a bit. You get the flavor dynamics like never before. You’ll thank me later.