Frankenheim Alt | Privatbrauerei Frankenheim

124 Reviews
Frankenheim AltFrankenheim Alt

Brewed by:
Privatbrauerei Frankenheim

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stirgy on 03-27-2002

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Reviews: 124 | Ratings: 165
Photo of tugdriver7
4.55/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Warsteiner doesn't import Frankenheim Alt anymore. I contacted their national distributor to check. The importer was apologetic, but could suggest nothing more than a trip to Dusseldorf. A new fan of the Altbier style, I regretted never having tried the distinctive blue & gold labeled bottles; and I settled for the other (though very good) German imports and craft brews I could find (like Long Trail Ale). So when I found a lone case on the import rack at a Hanover (PA) store over the weekend, I was ecstatic.

Absolutely beautiful brown in the glass, with a nice hefty foam top that lasted through the first few sips, then laced the glass all the way down. Subtle but definite malt in the nose, with a hint of carmel sweetness. It was undoubtedly an older batch, but age didn't seem to have affected the taste other than a hint of (metallic?) aftertaste. Extremely well balanced flavor, with just a hint of hops tartness to balance the malt. No fruitiness to speak of, with a nice (again, subtle) bitterness to keep you drinking it. If this shelf-aged sample is this good, I can't wait to take that trip to Germany to try it fresh from the brewery. In the meantime, I'll have to savor the few bottles I could find left in the US. And hope Warsteiner will consider bringing it back.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.05/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer used to be a great example of an Alt Beer. Sadly something has happened (has Warstiener messed with the ingrediants?).

I used to buy 5 litre mini barrels of it when I lived in Germany. So when on holiday on the Mosel, I saw it on tap in a bar I happened to be in, I revisited it.

It is lighter, appeared weaker and almost tasteless, not the beer I remembered at all, very dissappointed!

Of course it may well have been only poor in the bar I was in, so please try it if you see it, and let me know if it was a one off on my part.

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Photo of JohnY
4.4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My favorite beer that is unfortunately not available anymore. Maybe someday Warsteiner (the company that now owns Frankenheim will decide to import to the US again). Poured into a 22 oz stein. Bright white head that gave to nice lacing. Hoppy on the nose. Brown to Amber in color. Well balanced. Rich malty undertones that finished with a clean hop bitterness. Easy to drink, this one I will miss, gotta get to Germany.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is like an old friend, and I mean no “old” pun. This was a primary staple of my diet while we lived in Düsseldorf. Shortly after I got back to the states, I found a few six-packs of this stuff here locally…and this is my last one. The fridge I kept this in died, so it has come time to sample it for a review. Here goes…

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish chestnut color with a ¼” head of small white bubbles that only stuck around for a few seconds to end up a small ring around the top of the beer maintained by quite a few bubbles rising.

Aroma: Lots of toasty and clean Munich malts as well as a noticeable caramel sweetness in the background. It has a rich plum-like aroma that you can tell is a big player in the whole experience as you get deeper into the aroma. As the beer warms a bit, the sweetness is really becoming more noticeable as a molasses-like richness.

Taste: Super rich toasty malt profile that comes across as being so assertive that it tastes almost like it is a burnt flavor. This toastiness melds with the fruity flavors well in the beginning of the taste, but then the hops set in to show you how it is done. There is a pronounced bitterness that comes out mid-way and this stays in control well into the finish. There is enough malt to challenge the hops in the end, but the hops win the right to linger on the back of the throat. There is a refreshingly dry mouthfeel in the end that lets you know that you drank a well balanced beer, but one that isn’t too huge not to have a few of in an evening. As the beer warms, there is a lot more sweetness becoming more apparent; as well, the hops are taking a bit more of a passive role.

Opinion: I am really happy with this beer, and this is one that I would get on a regular basis if it was available here in Texas still. I haven’t seen it around in quite some time. To keep myself fresh with this style, I make homebrewed versions pretty regularly. Trying mine along side of this commercial example tells me that I still have quite a ways to go to get this style right. My version is quite a bit darker, and has more of a roasty sharpness, where as the Frankenheim gets warmer, it is getting much fuller. I’ll have to keep tweaking my version.

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Photo of BigBry
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin brown 33cl bottle, best before date stamp, "Original Alt Beer". Pours a bright and clear brown with some copper hilights. Thick rocky, slightly off white head, lots of lace sticking to the glass creating a nice sheeet of tiny bubbles. Rich smell of caramel and toasty malts. More caramel in the taste. Well balanced flavor, strong but not overpowering. Sweet malts perfectly balanced with a touch of hop bitterness. Sweet, full mouthfull leaves a pleasant aftertaste. Smooth, medium body and light carbonation that keeps a half inch of head right to the bottom. Very impressive.

Note to Self: Ranked #34 of top 50 Altbiers when I tried it

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Photo of davidchollar
3.36/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

looks like dark tea, very brown, not much head.
smells ok, not much there, malty. pretty average
taste reminds me of something but i can't quite place it... wheat crackers? triscuits? whatever it is, it's not exactly tasty but not bad, definitely tastes light and dry. bitter finish. ah, i just got it. there's a smokiness here, definitely, i like it better now that i've figured out what i taste.
i think this beer would be great with meat and veggies, but i don't really like it by itself. i'm not familiar with the style, i'm sure it's a good altbier, maybe i'm not a big fan of this style. i will try it again some time

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Photo of pootz
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love the German ales...this alt is very authentic and tastey for a high volume brewer. Poured a lovely deep chestnut color with red highlights. Nice frothy tan cap stacks out of the stein and lasted...great lacing on the glass. Aromas of sweet malts and herbal hops, slight mustiness. Starts sharp/dry then mellows on the palate as the sweet malts and alt yeast produces a sweet-nutty-bready taste... then the finish becomes drying with the herbal German hops providing a medicinal bittering in the finish...all in all a very nice commercial Alt from the home of Altbeir... Dusseldorf

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark brown clear pour with a couple of fingers of nice thick creamy head than fades slowly and sticks around pretty well. Nice columns of carbonation throughout the stange.

Smell is sweet malt with a slight fruitiness and not too much in the way of hoppiness.

Flavor is pretty smooth and understated: a toasted grain maltiness that's somewhat sweet that rubs nicely against a well-rounded hop bite that's fairly pronounced. Finish isn't as dry as a lot of alts I've had, and the alcohol pulls through a little more than I'd like. Also some light fruit notes in the finish.

Overall: Fairly decent; I think I could stand to try this a little fresher than I found it. Pretty good deal, but I'm not forgetting the Uerige brews.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Inspection: 11.2 fl oz. brown bottle, best by date of 15 Jul 03 (it’s 05 Sept 05, I’m a little late)

Aroma: Nice blend of hop and yeast with a faint undertone of dark malt. Inviting, with a slight spice note.

Appearance: Dark shoe polish brown glass with good clarity crowned by a fluffy dirty snow cap that left splotches of lace and tide marks.

Flavor: Nice clean taste, malt comes though more pronounced with a slight banana yeast flavor. Almost a doppelbock light taste going, rather enjoyable. Only hints of hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, smooth texture, touch heavy on carbonation, but not bad.

Overall Impression: This baby aged well. Malt goodness with a clean overall taste. The finish is a bit flat in taste, but dries enough to encourage the next sip. Quality work overall.

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Photo of tjthresh
4.24/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It was served in Frankenheim specific glass at Waldo Pizza. Brown, and crystal clear with no head. I felt the aroma was lacking but there was some choco-caramel notes. Very good Choco-caramel flavor though. Med body. For 2 bucks a glass you can’t beat it.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first experience with an altbier. Poured a deep copper color with white head that was fell to a lacy retention. Smell is roasty with a caramel background. The taste is a mixture of roasted grains, a toasted maltiness and a nice hop features. Left a bitter, dry taste in the mouth. I'm sorry I haven't tried this type of beer before, but I wiil need to some other examples.

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Photo of charlatan
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Peat coloured with a reasonably frothy head, a little of which stays for the long haul. This looks like the water cascading down Pennine streams after a storm. The smell is difficult to make out in a smoky bar. Roasted malts are apparent and perhaps a little cherry too.

The roasted malt flavour is pleasantly rather than obnoxiously smoky. There are hints of coffee and raspberry. Hops don't seem much of a factor. I like the carbonation. The bubbles feel good on the tongue.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

05/09/05- Purchased at Wine Exchange of Sonoma.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle dated on the lower back label. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Amber-brown pour with a average foamy head which disappears quickly. Medium to fair lacing.

Smell- Mostly of malt, maybe a bit burnt and smoky.

Taste- Fairly heavy dark malty taste with some burnt flavors. Maybe a touch of hops, but not much.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation. A bit dry.

Drinkability- Not really my style of beer. Not flavorful enough for me.

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Photo of whynot44
3.86/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium body, dark reddish amber with a nice beige head that lasts well.

Aroma is malty, slightly nutty.

Taste is also nice roasted malt, caramel, butterscotch, nuts, a hint of fruit with bit of hops bite toward the finish for balance.

Very smooth, creamy, very drinkable.

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Photo of elricorico
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear brown with a creamy off white head looks pretty good, haven't seen anything that looks quite that colour.

Smell is like sweet grape juice, bread, dark fruit and maybe cherries. I have to say that I like smelling this beer.

This beer is very malty. I can find nothing for hop presence in it. The taste is full of grape and raisin on top of a tea like base. Buried deep in the finish is a hint of chocolate. It is not quite like anything I can think of having tasted, but all of the flavours are familiar. Not bad in any way, but lacking in balance really.

Mouthfeel is about average. At the end of a swallow it feels almost like a stout, but up front it feels thin. Overall it is lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is also about average. This isn't a beer I could see myself drinking all night, as I'm sure the flavours would get to me.

Decent beer, nothing amazing. Fun to smell though.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thick foamy pale brown colored head leaves large patches of lace. Transparent hazel colored beer with a copper hue. Floral hop aroma with a bit of malt underneath. Lightly sweet malt upfront is balanced by a barely bitter hop tea flavor that kicks in midway. The malt fades away in the finish leaving a tasty mild bitterness. The body is light, but not thin; it's just right. I could put these down all night, and combined with the fairly low ABV and price ($6.99 6-pack) I had to give it a 5.0 for drinkability. Now I just need to find a local source.

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Photo of horndecker
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright and clear bronze color - a tobacco tinge, perhaps.
A great head, rocky and off-white, sticky and persistant.
The aromas are of malt and biscuits and grassy hops. A whiff of spice and caramel as well.
The taste is roasted malt, chewy and subtly fruity. A slight metallic flavor is hinted at once in a while.
This alt has a straightforward malt intensity with a beautifully balanced hoppy kick for a great, palate cleansing bitter finish.
It's a great session beer and fabulous with grilled foods. I had it with some BBQ spare ribs - nice.

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Photo of mynie
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Funny, I always thought that Alts were yellow. This is a very pretty dark amber, with a nice head.

Smells like multi grain and flowers and toffee malts. Nice.

Light flavor, surprisngly. Malt and fruit and zip are all there, but they all just kind of die near the middle, leaving a very dry aftertaste. Strange.

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Photo of mhowell
3.36/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice color, kind of a mahogany, with a decent tan head that looked like it was going to last forever, but dissipated after a couple of minutes. Nothing special about the smell (damn my nose, man). Thin bodied, with a mildly hoppy aftertaste. Left, for lack of a better term, a 'carbonation buzz' on my tongue. All in all, not a bad beer. I would do it again.

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Photo of beerceller99
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

33 cl.bottle with a best before date of 13 Dec 04. Has a clear garnet color with a foamy off white head. Slight caramel bready smell. Lightly carbonated. Taste is of lightly roasted malts with a drying sweetness. Light to medium bodied. Has a nice Old World hop flavor to finish.
A decent German brew.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.92/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Transparent amberish brown topped with a small, pale beige head. There was an abundant amount of carbonation that, nevertheless, didn't result in much hang time for the cap of foam. Very little lace. [To be fair to the appearance, I drank this in a bar, was given a small, dishwasher-spotted glass and wasn't able to give it my usual pour].

The nose was reminiscent of sweet apple cider with a faint toasted maltiness. Frankenheim Alt can only be described as a letdown due to the disturbing lack of both flavor and body (what's left?). What I could appreciate on the palate was similar to the description provided for the nose, but was much less vivid.

The worst part for me was that this beer was one of the driest, most acidic and most quinine-like bitter that I've had yet. I've had beer that was more of each of those characteristics individually, but never one that possessed them in combination. A faint metallic flavor didn't help matters. Nor did a thin, overly harsh mouthfeel.

I've had a few altbiers prior to this one and I remember them much more fondly than Frankenheim Alt. The unfortunate thing is that it seems as if there's a good beer in there struggling to get out. More malt would seem to be the ideal solution. Thumbs down.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.41/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark coppery brown with a firm 1 1/2" tan head.
Smell was sweet, malty and I swear a hint of freshly turned soil.
Taste was malty, a slight fruitiness, with noticeable alcohol presence at finish.
A light-to-medium body, very smooth but the alcohol, while low in ABV, was a little too noticeable. Otherwise, a very drinkable brew.

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Photo of beergeek279
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. The color is a dark amber, with a short layer of bubbly white head. The smell is a caramel malty sweetness. The taste is caramel malty semi-sweet, with a bit of noble hops in the taste to mellow out the sweetness, and a slightly bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, this is one I could have a few of.

This beer reminded me a lot of an Oktoberfest, with the caramel maltiness and just a bit of hops. A nice, drinkable ale that I would enjoy doing it again.

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Photo of jimdkc
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, medium brown with about one and a half fingers of creamy, cream-colored head. A creamy film lingers a long time. Leaves a little lacing on the glass. Smell is roasted malt with a little hops. Taste is initially malty, toasty, maybe a bit smoky with some carmel notes. An almost chocolate flavor in the middle. Finishes with some herbal hop bitterness. Clean, dry finish. Medium body with good mouthfeel. Refreshing and easy to drink. Pretty tasty and a little different. I liked it!

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one was a nice red color with a good head that quickly dissipated to lacework around the glass.

The aroma was of aromatic hops, some citrus, some spiciness that was similar to cinnamon but not quite. Close, though.

The taste started out with bitter hops. That lingered, and was followed by a maltiness that was odd, just a little off. I can't put it into words though... a little musty, but not in the good way a dubbel has.

It was an all right beer, but I won't go out of my way to pick up more.

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Frankenheim Alt from Privatbrauerei Frankenheim
3.73 out of 5 based on 165 ratings.
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