El Hefe - No Label Brewing Company
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Ratings: 101 | Reviews: 14 | Show All Ratings:
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3.13/5 rDev -10.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
"Ale. IBU: 11.7. OG: 1.050." 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with bland label art and branded silver pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local Texas bottle shop and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given the brewery, which I don't have much experience with. Reviewed as a hefeweizen because the name "El Hefeweizen" clearly identifies it as such.
Served cold - straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours a half finger wide head of white colour. Horridly thin. Lacks any creaminess or fluffiness whatsoever. Complexion and consistency are both poor. Head retention is bad - 30 seconds at best. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.
Body colour is a clear yellow copper of below average vibrance. Weak and frail looking. If this is a hefeweizen, why isn't it hazy? Clarity is inexplicable. Appears overcarbonated (in spite of the pathetic head). No floating yeast particles are visible.
They definitely got the style wrong judging by the appearance. I'm hopeful, but this is not how a hefeweizen looks.
Sm: Clove, banana, wheat, clean barley, and some bubblegum. Hopping is aptly minimal. Citrus is sorely missed; this could really use some orange peel. But it's nevertheless an appealing aroma for the style and I'm looking forward to the first sip.
No alcohol or other off notes is/are detectable.
A pleasant aroma of average strength. Seems pretty fresh.
T: I'd stop short of calling it insipid, but it's way too reticent for a hefeweizen, with shallow depth of flavour.
Middling clove and banana dominate the flavour profile - showing yeast is in control here, but aside from the simple wheat foundation, there's little happening here. I pick up some clean barley and maybe some brief hints of generic floral hops, but there's no orange peel, full layered wheat, fresh Bavarian yeast character, etc. What little is here is very tame and subdued - not the open full fresh feel you want from a hefeweizen. It's just shy of watery.
Average duration of flavour. Below average intensity of flavour. Balance is okay, but there aren't many notes to balance. It's too simple (and I say that knowing full well the beauty of a hefeweizen is often in its simplicity). Lacks nuance, intricacy, and subtlety. If you're going to brew a hefeweizen, you've got to master the careful use of only four basic ingredients. I don't see any mastery here. Build is cohesive, but not gestalt.
I do like it, but there's so much left to be desired.
Mf: Smooth and wet. Fairly refreshing. Overcarbonated. Not soft or crisp enough. A bit too thin. Not full-bodied enough. Subpar presence on the palate; a good hefeweizen should feel fresh and should have body. This is fairly weak.
Not oily, gushed, hot, astringent, harsh, or rough.
Texture suits the taste in a general sense. Nothing here suggests the brewers carefully adjusted the mouthfeel to fit the flavours.
Dr: Certainly a downable hefeweizen, but a pretty mediocre one overall. Even just here in the Austin area, other breweries (Live Oak, 512) are putting out vastly superior beers in the style. While this is above average, I see no need to get it again given that availability of better hefeweizens. If they can't even compete with breweries in the same county, how do they expect to rival the best traditional offerings? No Label needs to really revise their recipe and approach if they want to run with the big dogs. This is pretty forgettable overall, but does have some interesting yeast character.
Serving type: bottle
02-28-2014 09:07:32 | More by kojevergas
El Hefe from No Label Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.