This is cool: this beer is a limited release brewed to celebrate the 200th Munich Oktoberfest (so sayeth Beeradvocate.com 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.
Name: 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
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.