Nein Ale
Surly Brewing Company

Nein AleNein Ale
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Wheat Beer - Hefeweizen
3.96 | pDev: 11.36%
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Nein AleNein Ale
Notes: Nein was inspired by a trip to Bamberg, Germany and it is brewed with oak-smoked wheat malt and fermented with German Hefe yeast. The beer is then aged on charred oak and packaged in 750ml bottles.
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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 219 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Gold wax over cap.
Ruby brown colored body. Brief light tan head, simmers back to a skiff and a thin ring. No lacing.
Aroma of medium smoke wheat malt and light vanilla.
Taste of smoked wheat malt with a bit of sweetness from vanilla. Banana and clove are a brief memory.
Medium plus mouth feel. Very good carbonation.
This is still a good tasting beer, but the Hefeweizen aspects have faded. Now the smoke and oak aging provide the majority of the beer drinking experience.

Sep 27, 2019
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
Hopheadjeffery from Illinois

3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted in a Rastal Teku from a 22 fl oz bottle on December 31, 2018. Inspired by a trip to Bamberg, Germany. NEIN is brewed with oak smoked wheat malt and fermented with German Hefe yeast. Aged on charred oak. A complex, dark beer, delivering the intense flavors of smoked banana, vanilla and clove.

Feb 05, 2019
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zonker17 from Texas

3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Might have waited too long. Near black with minimal head. Nose lacking in character, just some smoke. Taste not bad, decent smoked malt and some oxidation coming through.

Jul 22, 2018
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stevoj from Idaho

3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Steve. Not a dunkelweizen, closer to weizenbock. Dull pour, but some nice dark pit fruit flavor. Caramel, dark chocolate, molasses. Mild smokiness.

May 30, 2016
Photo of hardy008
hardy008 from Minnesota

2.77/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours dark brown with a one finger tan head which has good retention and lacing. Looks more like a Dunkelweizen. The aroma has bananas, cloves, smoke, wheat, and charred oak.

The taste is sweet, but not as sweet as I would have guessed. There is bananas, cloves, smoke, wheat, charred oak, and a little bit of vanilla. There is more of a bitter, charred taste to this beer than I care for. I can also taste the alcohol, which is not well disguised.

Not too impressed with the mouth feel on this beer. Nothing like a Hefeweizen or Dunkelweizen. I'm glad I only bought one of these. If I want a good Hefeweizen or Dunkelweizen, Weihenstephaner is a lot better, and a lot cheaper.

May 28, 2016
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Victory_Sabre1973 from Minnesota

3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a thick black olor. The head is minimal. The nose is got barrel notes to it. The taste is got a nice char/smoke taste to it. It has a slight bitterness. Some notes of banana. Not a bad beer at all.

May 09, 2016
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to RussianDragon for sharing.

Deep, dark brown body, nearing blackness. Hints of crimson when held to the light. Small, filmy beige collar. Aromas include ripe dark fruit, banana, brown breads, malt, a hint of spice, light smoke. Medium sweetness with a more pronounced smoky character in the late palate. Elements of weizenbock and rauchbier. Interesting and unique.

Apr 18, 2016
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Umdrunner from Wisconsin

4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured dark brown with white head that dissapeared quickly. Scents of sweet malt, banana, and cloves. Flavor is banana, roasted malts, dark fruits, and cloves. Moderate carbonation and mouthfeel. Good overall offering!

Apr 02, 2016
Photo of SaxmanRick
SaxmanRick from Minnesota

4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looks more like a bock...very dark. Minimal head, no lacing. Smell suggests a sweeter bock with some complexity.

This really was an enjoyable beer. A bit of smokiness and very distinctive. Very drinkable. I am not very experienced with Hefeweizens, let alone an Imperial Barrel-Aged one. But, after waiting seven months hesitating for the right moment, I really wish I had bought two (Costco cheap). Quite rich, but good for a Spring/Fall treat.

Surly once again exceeds expectations and offers to me a new craft beer experience. Thank God I live in MN.

Mar 16, 2016
Photo of garymuchow
garymuchow from Minnesota

4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I realize I'm a little late on this but purchased today. This is a pretty damn good beer.
Kinda' boring to look at with a dirty water brown color (close to a dunkel) and minimal head that leaves in short order. The aroma is a slightly sweet smoke with hints of the fruit, oak and wood that come in the flavor.
And the flavor is good. Really enjoyable. Nicely complex. At this age it has lost any hefe yeast qualities (no clove), but what remains is good. The alcohol is blended well and inspires the other flavors. Almost has a big lager feel with a smoothness that is neither thick nor heavy but big enough to know a beer of some heft has passed the gullet. The fruit is a nice cherry flavor - cherry smoked wood. Nice.

Feb 26, 2016
Photo of jakemn91
jakemn91 from New Mexico

4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have to say that I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would based on the style. I've only had one other imperial smoked Hefeweizen (Hammerheart Brewing's Von Winterherz Verhasst) so I don't have much to compare this to.

Murky gold appearance with white head.

Aroma is caramelized bananas with an added hit of smokiness.

Taste is not quite as smoke forward as the aroma, which I think is to the beer's benefit. The fruity esters of banana are predominant as expected in a Hefeweizen but there is the addition of dark malt which contributes notes of caramel, toffee, dark fruit, raisins and plums. A subtle clove-like spiciness rounds out the tasting experience.

Mouthfeel is medium body. Robust carbonation.

Feb 15, 2016
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

3.49/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

EBF sample pour. I had no idea what this beer was when I tried it. It was very smoky. Also it was very wheaty. I found the smoked wheat aroma to be almost overpowering. The flavor was also heavily smoked. Smoked bananas. Light wood? Body is thick and the sweetness of the beer lingers well after I finish my sample. Perplexing.

Feb 09, 2016
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Poured out a very dark brown color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It smelled of wheat, yeast, banana, clove and oak. Sweet wheat with spices, vanilla and char.

Feb 06, 2016
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SpeedwayJim from New York

4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jeff for continually delivering the Surly goods. 750ml waxed and capped bottle into a Grrrz teku.

Smells like smoked maple bacon. Its got the roasty, charred, logan fruit scent which screams rauchbier to me. I'm seriously doubting the style categorization here. Pours really nice. Great head and a very dark clear brown color. Nice lace and legs too. Flavor is on par with the nose. Roasty, sweet syrup, logan fruit, anise, smoked malt and charred bacon. The more this warms, the more it tastes like candied bacon cooking over an open camp fire. Oddly, I like it.

Feel is on point also. Slick and oily with just the right amount of carbonation. Finishes really nicely and the aftertaste coats the palate in deliciousness. The ABVs are hidden pretty well too.

I think this is mis-categorized but as a Rauchbier, its quite good. Worth trying!

Jan 29, 2016
Photo of mothman
mothman from Minnesota

3.52/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picture on BA is very deceiving. Golden orange color. White head. On tap.

Belgian yeast flavors but a German lager feel to it. Bananas, cloves, and spices. Smoked malt and bacon flavors. Very interesting beer.

It's alright for what it is, but I'm not overly impressed.
Drinking this 4/20. Color is much darker than when I had it on tap. Dark brown, almost black. Odd. Reminds me a bit of a Belgian quad. Figs, raisins, dates, dark malts. Faint smoke. Is this the same beer? I don’t get it. I think I like it more like this. 4.0. Bottle pour.

Jan 09, 2016
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maximum12 from Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ML bottle capped with that nasty rubbery wax that takes a surgeon’s scalpel to get through cleanly. Great artwork! Split with my wife, who is not excited by the description.

The pour is a majestic, clear ruby brown, though I left several ounces in the bottle; I’m not sure why. The nose is surprisingly nice: grill-charred clove, light bananas, liquefied rubber (& I mean that in a good, I-just-sniffed-that sort of way). Meshes in a way that pleases me.

Nein - I’d write something in Deutsch if my skills weren’t 23 years rusty. The oak & smoke come out more in the taste that in die Nase, bringing me back years to the old Captain Lawrence Smoke From The Oak series (are those still around?). More charred than smoked, which I prefer, & the oak has, of course, been flash-consumed by the Pagami Creek fire. Underneath is drying wood, light clove, vanilla, alcohol that doesn’t announce it’s presence until it hits stomach & brain, raisins, healthy dose of brown sugar. Plenty to keep a feller entertained for a bit. Slick & heavy, but I’ll have no problem puttin’ a half bomber down.

Hefe? In the same way I’m related to Mike Trout, I suppose (I think I hit .230 last year on the hardball diamond). Still, this vastly exceeded my low expectations & is easily the best anniversary beer since Five. Very good brew.

Jan 06, 2016
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1000lbgrizzly from Illinois

4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Totally awesome artwork, triple cool three three-eyed lions, super intricate styling. +.25. Walnut colored body, clear, off-white coarse head that fades. Smells like peat smoke, with warm malt and grape skin behind it. Taste is initially reminiscent of a Belgian dubbel with raisin, plum, light carmelized brown sugar, warm spice like cardamom and faint cinnamon. Smoke makes a strong showing as it warms, and the more hefeweizen notes come out- coriander, wheat, yet no banana to be tasted. Light molasses on the finish. Firmly sweet throughout every stage. Full body, slightly creamy.
I would most definitely not characterize this as a hefeweizen as it adds way too much else to fit this German style's strict standards, but it is still delicious. There were many elements here that were balanced beautifully. The longer I drank the more came out, and by the end it almost seemed like a whole new beer. The closest it came to being over done was the initial sweet dubbel-like stage, other than that it's just a super well balanced, flavor-morphing, character-filled wonder.

Dec 26, 2015
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ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber served into a tulip.

Appearance is great. Pours brown and amber with light khaki head. 5

Smells like a fire. Campfire. Smoked ham. Love that aroma. 4.25

Damn. Did I just taste banana smoothie? This is like a hefe meets a rauchbier. Rauchweizen? Is that a style? The banana is really sweet and dessert-like and I get some major smoked ham. Even getting some light milk chocolate in there. Damn. I like this. 4.25

Maybe a tad thin in the body and the sweet banana deal may not be for everybody, but this beer drinks well. Super smooth and rich. Actually has a potently bitter finish. Bites. 4

Well done, Surly. Creative brew. Delicious too.

Dec 18, 2015
Photo of stortore
stortore from Illinois

4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a Pilsner glass.

Pours a dark caramel color, a little hazy, with a two finger head, some soapy cling. Smells of malt, smoke, charred wood, yeast, caramel, some banana. Taste also leads with malt; also yeast, caramel, bread, less smoke and wood. A slight bitterness throughout. Smooth, creamy, full bodied for the style. Would have liked a touch more carbonation. Found it refreshing, which would seem to be pretty tough to do with this.

Really liked the recipe on this, a pretty unique one. Great flavor and a good feel. Price point was a little high for what you get, though. If it was an annual, probably would not be an automatic purchase.

Dec 14, 2015
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5 from California

3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Type: 750ml (25.4-oz.) glass
Glass: Clear weizen glass
From: My cousin Sam
Price: N/A
Purchased: N/A; Received Nov. 6, 2015
Consumed: Dec. 2, 2015
Misc.: Yellow-waxed neck; Reviewing this as a Dunklweizen (like Surly’s website reads) and not as a Hefeweizen (as Beer Advocate’s description reads)

Thanks, Sam!

Poured a dark, mahogany, slightly dark purple, opaque color with one finger of gray, frothy head, which dissipated to nothing almost immediately. Could not see any bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. No lacing on the sides of the glass. Minimal retention on the top. (Sight - 3.25)

Smelled smoky liquor, roasty nuts, chocolate, banana, spicy Belgian cloves and bitter char wood. Definitely different. (Smell - 3.75)

Taste followed the nose for the most part. Got deep smoky oak, char wood, dark Belgian spicy cloves, roasty malts, dark nuts, molasses and some banana. Initially was fairly boozy, but mellowed as it got warmer. (Taste - 4.00)

Medium body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Smoky finish. (Feel - 3.75)

This beer was all over the place for me, but I settled on the ratings that I settled on. Very unique and tasty though, getting better as it went on. (Overall - 3.75)

3.82 | 86 | B+

Dec 10, 2015
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mwilbur from Minnesota

4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured on-tap into tulip.
A: Pours a pitch black with 1/2 inch light mocha head that quickly settles down to a thin skin. Faint lacing.
S: Smoked malt, banana, and clove with first whiff. Brown sugar, vanilla, molasses, and a hint of wood char.
T: Follows the aroma...but amplified! Smoked peat and wood char play off the banana and clove. Vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, and a hint of honey.
M: Medium-heavy body. Drinks lighter than the ABV suggests. Darkly sweet. Lingering clove spice on the palate.
D: Highly drinkable, especially for style and ABV. Well done, Surly! A nice winter sipper. Very well constructed. I really enjoyed the smoke layered on top of an imperial dunkelweisen.

Dec 01, 2015
Photo of NickTheGreat
NickTheGreat from Iowa

4.48/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L (4.5) - Beautiful dark colored beer. Nice small dark-white foam on top.
S (4.5) - Big aromatic beer. Kinda malt, kinda charr, kinda coffee. Just complex all around.
T (4.5) - Tastes like it smells: complex. Not one flavor overshadows the others, just a wonderfully composed harmony.
F (4.25) - Surprisingly easy to drink beer. Creamy beer, but not thick.
O (4.5) - Overall a solid beer from Surly. Big bold flavors, fitting to a celebratory beer like this.

Nov 23, 2015
Photo of spacecake9
spacecake9 from Illinois

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up on my last trip thru Minnesota.
A - Pours a beautiful licorice black with a small head that disappears quickly.
S - All I get is a smoky charred aroma.
T - Very interesting flavor. Smoky but not like a smoked beer, kind of throws a blanket over any other flavors.
M - Medium mouth feel and carbonation.
O - Only Surly knows how close this came to what they were aiming at. I don't get much complexity here, but I do like the flavor. If you told me this was a smoky black ale I would not argue.

Nov 16, 2015
Photo of mschrei
mschrei from Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The description I gave a friend was "a barleywine f'd a weiss while a rauchbier watched". A fun beer-I like the fact that I read the label and saw weiss, so when I poured it and it was so dark, I nearly crapped myself because I was expecting a yellow color. Smell is reminiscent of a barleywine and it does taste like a barleywine, but it's got some weiss notes in that it's much lighter, almost lemony. Super tasty, yet another outstanding offering from Surly.

Nov 15, 2015
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NickSMpls from Washington

3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on Nov 13th, so this beer may be past its prime - not a sign of a date anywhere on the bottle, though Surly gets good marks for clear dating on its cans. We're not sure what to make of this one. Strong smoky notes overpower the expected hefe flavors, which works against its advertised qualities. Nice color, and the aroma is smoked wood. Carbonation is light for a hefe, but ok. The high ABV shows itself in the taste. Personally, a Rauchbier would be closer, but even those have a stronger backbone. Now if those boys could do a smoked Baltic porter, we'd have someyhing. [Yay!! 500th beer! - glad it was a Surly!]

Nov 14, 2015
Nein Ale from Surly Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 219 ratings