Schneider Weisse Tap 6 Unser Aventinus - Weisses Bräuhaus G. Schneider & Sohn GmbH
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Ratings: 3,618 | Reviews: 1,984 | Display Reviews Only:
5/5 rDev +15.2%
Before you try Aventinus, you must know that there are BIG differences between fresh Aventinus and vintage bottles from the brewery. I'm reviewing both here, but my ratings pertain to vintage Aventinus. In my experience, a 4- to 5-year-old bottle is among the top 2 or 3 beers available today, while a fresh bottle is in the top 10. As such, a 5-year-old bottle gets a perfect 5.0, while a fresh bottle is about a 4.7 or a 4.8.
AFTER 5 years, Aventinus starts to break down. A 6-year-old bottle might rate a 4.0 or worse, so bear that in mind and aim for 4 or 5 years of age.
Appearance -- (Recent vintage) After a solid "weissbier pour" from a 500-mL bottle into my Aventinus glass (which is quite distinctive), I examine the beer from head to foot. This stuff serves up a whopping four-plus fingers of creamy, firm, off-white head, which lingers for over two minutes before settling into a quarter-inch cap for the remainder of my drink. Solid lacing leaves evidence of each sip. The body of the beer -- and this may be partly due to the glass -- fades from a deep, rich blackish-purplish-brown at the top to a deep amber at the bottom. Even from a "fresh" bottle, there are visible chunks of sediment floating in the beer.
(Five-year-old vintage) Similar pour, same glass. Two to three fingers of off-white head, which recede within about a minute and leave only a filmy cap. Lacing is minimal. Vintage Aventinus is marginally more brown than the fresh stuff, but man, it still looks great in the glass. Of considerable note, the yeast becomes much less chunky with age, blending with the body of the beer much as the flavors coalesce over time.
Smell -- (Recent vintage) Well, this is a wheat beer, but it smells like something altogether unique. Then again, if you don't like wheat beers, you may not like this one, either. I smell dried fruits (e.g., raisins, dates), honey, and the faintest metallic twinge. Oddly, this is somehow compelling, rather than off-putting.
(Five-year-old vintage) With age, the aroma sweetens and warms, and the metallic note disappears. Dried-fruit odors still dominate, but a wholesome wheatiness ties it all together. Scents of toffee and burnt caramel are also apparent...there's a lot going on here, but it all makes sense after a few whiffs. Stunning.
Taste -- (Recent vintage) Truly hard to describe. This is the "biggest" wheat beer out there, in my experience -- with the noted exception of Aventinus Eisbock. Sure, you'll detect some of that signature weissbier breadiness, but this beer is about more than that. I pick up brown sugar, dates, raisins, burnt caramel, and a heavy dose of malt. There's also a toasted-grain quality to this beer that I've never tasted elsewhere. Again, totally unique.
(Five-year-old vintage) Still huge, and still completely unique. The appearance/smell/taste/mouthfeel experience is the most integrated beer-drinking experience you're likely to find. The flavors listed above are the main attraction, but with age, they merge to form a strikingly unusual whole. Sweet, savory, fruity, malty, and earthy all at once. A masterpiece.
Mouthfeel -- (Recent vintage) As an avid wheat beer drinker, I find this one to be heavier and thicker in the mouth than most. The sediment in this one really is chunkier than that of a standard hefeweizen, and you'll feel it going down. Honestly, this is a mild drawback for me; I'd prefer the yeast to distribute itself more evenly throughout the glass. The sediment in a glass of fresh Aventinus is akin to what you might find in a particularly "dirty" Belgian abbey ale.
(Five-year-old vintage) The formerly chunky sediment is now an integral component of the beer's body. This elevates the mouthfeel to something uniquely sublime...think "thick chocolate milk," but with malty, yeasty, mildly carbonated alcohol. Coats the throat, to great effect.
Drinkability -- (Recent vintage) This is where the vintage stuff really shines, by comparison. A fresh bottle of Aventinus is some appreciably potent stuff, especially for a wheat beer. Between the the big taste, the big mouthfeel, the chunky sediment, and the relatively high ABV (by wheat beer standards), one bottle of this is probably enough for one sitting. But it does leave you wanting more -- this is a beer you'll think about for days after you drink it, identifying subtleties you couldn't quite place while drinking it.
(Five-year-old vintage) Whatever alcohol heat you feel in a fresh bottle has faded into the background with a few years of aging. I still don't think I could put away more than a half-liter of this in one sitting, simply because it's so rich. Drinking more than one bottle would be like eating half a cheesecake -- albeit a delicious, potentially life-altering cheesecake.
Aventinus is a truly unique beer, and required drinking for any fan of wheat beers. In fact, it's strongly recommended for ANY beer drinker.
08-15-2008 05:53:51 | More by UGADawgGuy
Schneider Weisse Tap 6 Unser Aventinus from Weisses Bräuhaus G. Schneider & Sohn GmbH
96 out of 100 based on 3,618 ratings.