Paulaner Weisn Blonde

This is cool:  this beer is a limited release brewed to celebrate the 200th Munich Oktoberfest (so sayeth and Old Chicago, the latter of which seems understandably pleased as punch to get ahold of some of this).  Get thee some of this, if only for the historical significance of it.

Basic Info:
 Weisn Bier/Weisn Blonde (Old Chicago has this listed as a Weisn Blonde, whereas Beeradvocate calls it Weisn Bier.  You pick – I’m good either way.)
Origin: Paulaner Salvatore Thomasbraeu AG
Style: Marzen/Oktoberfest
ABV: 6.0%*
IBU: not listed, but very low
I drank this: on tap at Old Chicago, OP, KS

Like I said above, this is a beer you need to have if you can find it.  Paulaner makes some spectacular German beers to begin with, and they took special care with this beer.  Even if it’s not a style you like, it’s absolutely worth a try.

So, what is it?  It’s an Oktoberfest.  However, it’s a surprising Oktoberfest.  It’s not the mid-range amber that most Oktoberfests are – it is, as the name says, very blonde.  To be precise, it is translucent yellow, the type of color that, especially after my recent Michelob Ultra experience, makes me want to run and hide my taste buds in the nearest vat of brownie batter.  This isn’t a fizzy yellow crap beer, however.  This is a very, very good yellow malty beer.  The beer that it most closely reminds me of the Paulaner Weisn Blonde isn’t a German-style beer at all – it reminds me oddly of a Victory Golden Monkey, which is a Belgian-style Tripel.

Scent-wise, this was pale malts, biscuits, and a hint of birch beer.  The beer has a thick, slightly foamy (not fizzy) mouthfeel with very light carbonation.  It has a very pale malt flavor, reminiscent of biscuits and morning cereal with slightly-sweet hints of honey and caramel running through it.  There might be a back hint of sweet orange citrus, but that’s as close to hoppiness as I ever noticed while drinking it.  The aftertaste is somewhere along the lines of malty root beer, with the tiniest hint of apple in the background.

It’s interesting.  It isn’t my favorite beer ever, but I’m very much not a fan of beers in this color range – pale malts aren’t my favorite flavor, which is why I’m not in general a fan of blondes and pilsners and the like.  Given that I don’t as a rule like blondes, I did like this. 

With this beer, however, liking the style or not liking the style is irrelevant for me, and it should be for you as well.  I don’t care if you refuse any beer you can see through on general principles or if you only like stouts or if you think Belgian beers are superior to all others or if you’re such an over-the-top hophead that IBUs under 80 are unacceptable to your palate.  You owe it to yourself to try this beer because Paulaner is brewing it exactly once and they know exactly what the hell they’re doing.  Get it for the experience, so that you can have it as a comparison for other beers. 

And if you’re really into blondes (beers, not people), you’ll probably love this.  So enjoy.

* I’m super-duper skeptical on this ABV.  This was the drunk-inducing equivalent of at least two beers (maybe even two Racer 5 IPAs), if not three (but not three Racer 5s – that’s next morning OH MY OUCH HEADACHE territory).  My personal ABV guess is closer to the 8.5% range.  This beer hits hard and doesn’t mess around – I had one Sam Adams Oktoberfest (not strong) and one of these, and I was distinctly looped.  So be careful with it – it comes on fast, strong, and without warning.


About Kim

Kim spends a lot of time writing, thinking about writing, reading, writing more and dealing with writer's block. When she's not writing, she might be found having a beer. She often combines the writing experience with the beer experience. The combination tends to lead to more creativity but significantly impaired spelling.
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9 Responses to Paulaner Weisn Blonde

  1. bowmansinbavaria says:

    Happy Wiesn! I wish you were here in Bavaria with us right now, because of all the local Märzen beers that Mr. Rosy has been trying (he’s saving a few for me to have later). Can you get ahold of Augustiner beers where you are? He says their Oktoberfest beer this year is *great* and of course, Augustiner still ages their beers in oak! Augustiner is our favorite of the big Munich breweries.

  2. Kim says:

    I’m going Augustiner hunting tomorrow! I wish I could be out there too – it’d be really really fun, and I could play with you and Rosebud, which would be even more fun!

  3. Martin Lewis says:

    There appears to be a very mistaken impression in America that Amber Märzen (March Beer) is the Oktoberfest festbier

    Went to my first Oktoberfest on opening night of the 200th Oktoberfest last weekend (18 Oct 2010). Was fortunate to be in the Paulaner “Bulls’ Eye” tent. After, oh, .0005 seconds of being disappointed that the beer maid didn’t bring out Märzen, the misperception faded… fast! The weisn bier served is simply outstanding. It’s similar to München Helles Lager, only much, much better. Calling the Paulaner Wiesn a “blonde” beer is not accurate (IMHO); the beer being served in the tents was nothing like any “blonde” beer I’ve encountered.

    Kim, if you have any interest in pictures of what an Oktoberfest looks like, let me know. Think there’s a few that can be shared!

  4. Kim says:

    Thanks for the explanation, Martin! Insofar as I can tell, Americans typically categorize festbiers and Märzens as the same type of beer, even though they’re obviously for opposing seasons. I’m not quite sure when or how this happened, but there you go. It probably comes from the same sort of impetus that says we should all be drinking green beer on St. Patty’s Day because that’s what they do in Ireland or some such nonsense.
    If you’d like to share some Oktoberfest pics, that would be fantastic! Leave them in the comments here and I’ll direct people down to see them. Thank you!

  5. Martin Lewis says:

    Here’s some image links from 18 Sept (obviously not 18 Oct as mistyped above):

    Entrance to the “Bull’s Eye Tent”:

    Photo of festival rides and crowd:

    Inside view of the Paulaner tent:

    Beer Maid in action:

    Tent table and view of Crossbow trophies:

    …and photos of the Weisn bier:

  6. Martin Lewis says:

    Here’s a better pict of the tent entrance:

  7. Pingback: Quick note on the Paulaner Weisn | Will Write for Beer

  8. Kim says:

    Thanks so much for posting – the pictures are fantastic!

  9. Pingback: I know next to nothing about wine. | Kim Learns Wine

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