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Denison's Weissbier | Denison's Brewing Company

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Denison's WeissbierDenison's Weissbier
Very Good
103 Ratings
Denison's WeissbierDenison's Weissbier

Brewed by:
Denison's Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada

Style: Hefeweizen

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Denison’s Weissbier has been brewed for twenty years in Toronto. From 1989 until 2003 it was brewed along with several other popular Bavarian beer styles at the brewpub on Victoria Street. While brewed there, it was known as Weizen.

Our Weissbier is an authentic Bavarian style wheat beer and has attracted an extremely loyal following and wonderful reviews from some of the world's top beer writers. In 2002 Denison's Wheat Beer became rated #1 in the world in the 'German Hefeweizen' category on ratebeer.com, and has remained in that place to this date.

Denison's Weissbier is true to style, served unfiltered and is very refreshing. Although its only ingredients are malted barley, malted wheat, imported hops, water and yeast, the special Bavarian yeast produces the classic but unusual flavours of a true wheat beer. Flavour notes such as banana, clove and vanilla are all present.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-12-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 103 |  Reviews: 74
Photo of mintjellie
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy and translucent, the body is a shade of pale yellow-orange. Liquid sunshine - the colour actually reminds me of Sunny Delite. Loads of visible carbonation and massive pile of thick, white, and well-retained head which leaves some lacing behind. There are visible yeast floaties circulating in the glass, rising upwards with the carbonation and falling back down again. Banana aroma seems a little muted at first, but comes forward with a bit of warmth and aeration. There's some slightly tart lemon, some clove, and a little bit of what could be bubblegum or vanilla. There really isn't much to the aroma at all. Tastes of banana with lots of tangy lemon coming through midway. Clove isn't overbearing, and a little bit gummy towards the end. Medium bodied and well-carbonated, it manages to feel both light and substantial at the same time. Very refreshing and easy drinking. I like my weizen a little more candy-like though, and remember it being more to my taste when I had this on tap. Still, a pretty solid hefeweizen.

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Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It's nice to finally see this local gem on the LCBO shelves instead of just on tap. I will be enjoying many at home in the future.

It pours a deep, hazy golden yellow, nice and opaque as expected of the stile. A massive pure white head crowns the elixir lasting well past the halfway mark. Chunks of yeast settled on the bottom with a few catching the sides of the glass.

All the usual suspects for the style showed up in the nose. Right up front were hits of citrus, clove and bubblegum. A mild clove presence cam through accompanied by strong sour apple/ripe fruit esters. A suggestion of bread dough from the yeast came to mind followed by some wet phenol notes.

A big punch of spice and smooth citrus notes were tasted right away, cloves and cinnamon. Mild tartness akin to green apples lent a very refreshing note to the already thirst quenching brew. The spice flavours continues with a nice biting pepper taste, cayenne like in nature. Yeast flavours crept into the brew near the finish, which was overall very clean. Not too much in the way of hop flavour, as to be expected, the balance is there though. A nice body just as one would expect of a Weissbier rounds out this fine local offering.

Overall a damn fine beer and a dead ringer of the style. It's good to see some solid offerings locally made. I can't wait for spring and summer to drink this en mass in my backyard.

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Photo of Seanstoppable
3.06/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I think I recently received this one from MeisterBurger. Over the summer I was introduced to heffes and really enjoyed the local one, so let's see what Ontario has to offer, shall we?

Pouring into a glass results in a translucent pale straw color with two fingers of white head. Head is somewhat slow to disappear.

Smell contains some wheat, some clove, some banana, but also some yeasty smell that reminds me of a lager.

Definitely some wheat flavor. Very moist. Some citrus taste, but unfortunately the citrus becomes a slightly unpleasant sour near the end. Some banana is there if you search for it, but is far more prevalent in the aftertaste (as in, I was burping banana briefly)

Overall, it is pretty good.... until that sourness kicks in. Most reviews lauding this beverage thus far seem to be from tap, so I don't know if it just that the can's are suffering a bit, or I got a bad can or what. Whatever the reason, the sourness is there for me, and it brings down the taste, mouthfeel and drinkability. It is not enough to make me discard the beer, but it is enough to make me not want to risk a second glass.

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Photo of ludachris
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another courtesy of TheHammer. Thanks pal.

Pours a pale, hazy, golden straw colour with pastel butter-yellow highlights. Only one finger of creamy white, but quickly dissipating head tops this beer that still leaves some nice tightly knit, sticky lacing. An aggressive amount of carbonation streams up the surface of the glass. I definitely expected a more pronounced head when I took in consideration the style, but nonetheless, a decent looking beer.

Nice smell of banana, clove, bubblegum, lemon, light biscuity malt and creamy wheat which all falls against a sour backdrop.

Wet wheat, banana and bubblegum upfront followed by a big kick of lemon and light orange, finished off by a creamy, buttery malt touch. All of these flavours effortlessly transition into eachother, making this very pleasant to drink.

Extremely well balanced, creamy and very refreshing with the great citrus bite.

Judging from the appearance alone, I didn't think this hefe would be anything special, but everything that followed justified its place in the Canadian top 25. The transition from sweet to citric to smooth and buttery is almost unparalleled. The citrus being so pronounced at the beginning was unusual to me but I love how Denison's thought outside of the box of the standard hefe. It also greatly contributed to its drinkability and level of refreshment. I'm proud to say this beer is Canadian.

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Photo of PoisonedMushroom
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bryden's Pub, Toronto.

A: The beer arrived in its own branded glass, with a generous head that subsided relatively slowly. This brew had a somewhat murky, honey-like colour. It looked, dare I say, like a Heffeweizen.

S: Some surprises were in store for me, as this brew was more complex and balanced than I, frankly, expected. Yes, there was ample banana on the nose and some clove, but it also had a scent of citrus. As the beer warmed, yeast came into the fore; it was not overpowering, however.

T: Bananas were the primary attackers of the taste buds, but wheat and yeast made their presence known as well.

M: I thought this to be smooth, with a relatively full body and moderate carbonation. This brew filled the mouth in just the right way.

D: This brew was very drinkable, true to its style.

Overall, I thought this to be a genuinely very good Heffeweizen. I've had this a few times now, and would definitely grab it again.

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Photo of TheHammer
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For my 100th review I decided to celebrate a can of recently acquired Denison's Weissbier given it's recent release, preference for wheat beers and to try one of the best beers in Canada's top 25 and one of the top Hefe's.

Appearance: Pours with a cloudy honey colored gold that boasted a solid thumb of head. However the head quickly dissipated which left me more then a little disappointed. I can see very nice signs of carbonation in the body.

Smell: A little bit of warming to come out but a bouquet of lemon, banana, cloves and a touch of wheat malt. The down side, I've caught some distressing acidic sour smells in the background.

Taste: Each sip differs slightly from the last, something I've never really had in a beer. I'm not 100% sure how I feel about it, but it does make for an interesting drink so I'll call no foul. The beer seems to consistently start with a nice wheat malt with a solid banana taste and then shifts to one of many different tastes. Differing mixtures of Cloves, Banana, Wheat malt, lemon, pear, grape and even Bubblegum, all in varying amounts and varying times. The only problem however, is I am catching a consistent undertone of that sour acidic flavor that I caught off the nose, and it is what's preventing this beer from being exceptional, as it really stops the sweeter, spicier elements from coming out.

Mouthfeel: Very nice, solid carbonation save for the complete lack of head retention which sadly digs the rating a bit. No problems as the beer cycles between flavors. The downside is the aftertaste that does not linger too long. It does leave a decent amount of pleasant banana flavour, however it is coupled with more of that acidic sour lemon. I will admit, it does subside, it leaves the pallet clean but it seems more of an interference while it is there.

Drinkability: Refreshing, no gas issues, goes down well enough, no stomach issues and all around great. Pretty much, just like everything else about this beer, the only thing that hampers the drinkability is that sourness which stops me from just going to town on it.

Final Thoughts: This was a very good beer, and frankly I'm somewhat inclined to blame its flaws on the fact it's canned and may have suffered from improper storage on the LCBO's part as I picked it up off an unrefrigerated counter. When will they learn that unpasteurized beer that has no preservatives should be refrigerated, and not just left on the counter. Suspecting this though, I looked over some of the other reviews and it seems to be a slight issue with the canned version.

I'm still going to chalk it up to the canning/storage, however, if it the sourness was intentional, then I still think that there are some kinks to be worked out as a bit more sweetness would have been welcome. Still, even the canned version is worthwhile, despite the flaws. I want to try this beer on tap closer to the source as a result of this, and eventually I'm sure I'll get the chance to head to hogtown and do so.

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Photo of bobsy
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Denison's Weissbier is now available on draft in Toronto and in cans throughout select LCBOs in Southern Ontario. Its a great beer, and here's my thoughts on the two incarnations...

Tap version (2008):

Radiant clouded gold body under an effusive white head. Sheets of lace and great retention. A monument to all that is beautiful in beer. Delicious aroma of banana and lemon, with the banana at the fore. A bit of sharp wheat thrown in too. Likewise, once you take a sip you'll find large banana flavours dominate, with a very light compliment of clove and slightly citric wheat character to cut the sweetness and make this beer an excellent refresher. Everything is clean and well-done, and the aftertaste lingers on the tastebuds. Light body (but not watery) and moderate carbonation are pretty textbook for a hefe and make this a great Summer drink.

This is a great local beer, and it warms my heart that Toronto can lay claim to this world-class hefe. It will probably never garner the wider acclaim that it should, but let's keep this our little secret...

Canned version (2009):

Denison's finally made it into a can in the fall of 2009. Its quite a different beast, but still an excellent weisse. Head retention isn't as good as the tap version, but this seems to be a common problem amongst bottled / canned hefes, and it lasts long enough to be respectable. The aroma has slightly more bubblegum and citrus in it than the tap version, but the flavour seems to be almost identical to the one I've grown used to. There's certainly a boatload of banana, clove, light lemon and creamy wheat. A surprising difference is the body, which seemed to have a touch more bulk to it.

While it feels like a slightly different beer there are still those good old Denison notes to remind me that it really isn't. I'd actually find it hard to pick a favourite between the draft and canned versions. While the tap has great banana notes, I really like the heightened bubblegum in the store version. I even had the opportunity to compare the new can to hefes from Sierra Nevada and Kapuziner, and it was still my favourite of the bunch.

Congratulations, Michael!

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Photo of MeisterBurger
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this on tap on countless occasions over the years, and only once was it not quite up to snuff (the place that was serving its fault). It's a great beer, probably one of the best locally brewed beers going. If I reviewed the beers I drink when I am out with friends (I don't) I likely would have given it pretty close to top marks in all categories when served on tap.

As it is I have here in front of me the long awaited take-home version from a very smart looking blue and gold can.

It pours a lovely turbid honey color with a decent amount of head, but not as much as the majority of its bottled Bavarian brethren, which is a bit of a letdown, as half the fun of a good hefe is that rocky chunky giant head that sticks around. The draught version does this much better as I recall. The can...it dies down and doesn't retain overly well, at least not for a hefe.

The aroma is creamy bananas and cloves, bubblegum, dry saltines, and toffee.

And then there's the taste...which doesn't quite match the draught version exactly. On tap it hits all the marks of the style elegantly with nice big banana notes. In the can there's a little too much sour lemon throwing things off, a slightly tart and plasticy phenol or something. Not horrible. Just not something I noticed in the draught version. The usual banana and cloves are there, as is some clean wheat, and a hint of toasty biscuit malt and a peppery finish. It's more lemony and less banana-centric taste of the draught version.

The canned version is refreshing and light on the palate, less creamy than it is on tap.

For the purposes of this review I kind of landed somewhere between the can and on tap in my grading.

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Photo of IBUnit63
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Good to see this on tap at C'est What. Served up in an impy pint glass. Let's see what happens...

Body is light and cloudy, with a natural honey color. Head isn't huge, and it goes quickly.

There is a LOT of banana here, and some toffee as a kicker. Not in a diacetyl way, though...more like a C&B Butterscotch way. Interesting.

Tastes less heavy on the banana and a little more spritely. Honestly, my homebrewed hefe has very similar qualities to this one...a fair amount of banana, lighter carbonation than the average bear and a slight amount of off-weirdness...nothing significant, though...some strange phenol? I dunno. Either way, I'm almost honored that I can find similarities with such a well-regarded (and more importantly, enjoyable) concoction such as this.

Despite appearance, this is more jumpy than the average banana bomb, which makes it very easy and welcome on the palate.

Yup - not a "traditional" hefeweizen...more of an Anglo-style hefe if there ever could be one (hefe flavor + ESB carbonation). Either way, it rolls very nicely.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Beer Bistro in a weizen glass.

A - Unfiltered straw yellow color. Two fingers of soapy white foam with a decent amount of retention and a nice lace pattern. I will cut this a little slack as the servers really want to make sure you get the full 500ml and leave scant room for the typical billowing weizen foam.

S - Plenty of banana and yeast flavors, with a touch of lemon, some bready malts, and not a ton of spice or sharp twangy wheat flavors. The yeast takes over a little bit as things warm up.

T - The taste has a touch more clove and black pepper. Otherwise it's pretty similar to the smell, with plenty of bread, yeast, and banana flavors.

M - Medium carbonation, medium body, refreshing, a touch of residual stickiness, and a clean minimal aftertaste.

D - This is a very solid and drinkable weizen. I almost always order a half-litre when I am in Toronto as it is generally better than the stale German bottles at the LCBO (which are awesome beers when fresh, mind you). Not as good as New Glarus though...

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at C'est What: Cloudy light dirty beige color weizen with a small foamy head with average retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of dominating wheat malt is very refreshing. Taste is also dominated by loads of wheat with some very subtle notes of cloves. This is missing some banana ester which I usually look for in this style. Body is quite full with good carbonation. I very enjoyed that beer but I can't say that it is necessarily the best weizen I have ever tasted.

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Photo of BigBry
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at C'est What, on a quick stop in T.O.
Cloudy yellow color, with gold shimmery hilights. Big white head, good staying power, lots of thick lace sheets.
Lots of typical hefe aromas, banana, clove and other spices. Flavor was just like it smelled. Bananas and other fruit, cloves, very light and refreshing. Mouthfeel was very nice, creamy smooth with lots of bubbles.
A very good hefeweizen, may be the best I have tried. I consider myself lucky to have found this one.

Note to Self: Ranked #12/25 Top Beers in Canada, and #7 Hefeweizen when I got to try it

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Smokeless Joe's in Toronto, served in a brewery weisse glass. The beer was hazy gold colored with a thick foam. The aromas were on target, more clove than banana, maybe a little lactose. Same in the taste, I got the bananas and cloves but a little sour milk and maybe a hops bitterness in the aftertaste. It tasted good but not as good as many other hefeweizens I've had. The mouthfeel was creamy and thick, a solid hefeweizen all around.

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Photo of cratez
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

RE-REVIEW, December 2009, combination of tap and can tastings.

Appearance: orange mango yellow, cloudy body with a bubbly, white head. Fine, grainy lacing sticks to the glass nicely.

Smell: yeast esters, pear and nectarines, citrus aromas.

Taste: light and grainy wheat malt, a bit of sweetness backed by lemony hops and banana/clove flavours. Some cereal as well.

Mouthfeel: smooth and spicy body; clean, faintly sweet finish. Very little aftertaste.

Drinkability: an enjoyable wheat beer, comparable to Weihenstephaner's hefeweizen. Hacker Pschorr remains my favourite weisse, but this is still one of the best.

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.85/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at C'est What. This is the best Hefe I have had to date. Very fresh and full of flavour. Has a cloudy orange/yellow color. Great retention and lacing.

Smells of bananas, yeast, citrus and other fruits. The yeast and banana scent becomes stronger as I drink.

After a long day of walking around Toronto this just hit the spot. Very refreshing and smooth. Tastes of bananas, citrus, spices and yeast. If I could buy a keg to take with me I honestly would.

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Photo of Antilochus
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first thing I reached for at Volo. Pint.

Magnificent orange cloudy body; capped with huge pure white head. Soapy and rocky, perfect weiss look.

Aromas: banana, dairy, yeast. Bread. Simple but great.

Palate: more banana, chalky, snappishly dry, some subtle spice, yeast, great mouthfeel. What can I say. Renews my faith in Ontario micros.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from notes: on-tap at volo.

cloudy yellow gold with a big merangue head of foam that leaves excellent lacing. Aromas of banana, lemon, clove, and spice. Taste is spicy with big banana notes and a little citrus on the back end. Not much for the way of hops, but the malts are bready and delicously balanced. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, drinkability is good.

Solid hefe.

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Photo of BrewSomerville
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A great summer Beer. Probably my favourite wheat.

Just like an unfiltered wheat Beer should, it gave aromas of banana, clove and something else that I can't put a finger on.

Looked beautiful, I could almost call it sexy looking at it in that wheat Beer glass. Big lofty pure white head that lasts. Good head retention (I know that is a bit redundant) and lots of lace.

Flavour was just like it smelled only more; bananas, cloves, and I tasted some vanilla, maybe that was what it was in the smell of it. It's refreshing and full of flavour.

Mouthfeel was great, creamy, smooth with lots and lots of bubbles. Tiny bubbles.

Overall, I love it, and it saddens me that I have to travel to the GTA to get some.

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Photo of Sammy
3.57/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Have had this periodically about town, over the years. Thought it more of a banana smoothie with a high level of carbonation and pronounced yeast, like a yogurt kafir beverage. Nice appearance, like the Pizza Port hefe that is fruit and then bannana. Canadians like this for the bannana and mouthfeel, and its a nice one.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.85/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I like Hefeweizens and I have to say, this is my favorite of the style. This is a super fresh sample from Volo.

Pours a glowing orange color with lots of haze. The pancake like head lasts for ever and leaves infinite amounts of lace. The aroma is full of all kinds of fruit, especially bananas. Some spicy (hop?) notes and yeastiness is also prominent in the nose. The taste is a rich and complex mix of berries, melons, citrus, banana, bubble gum, cloves, papaya, vanilla and tonnes of other flavors I forgot about. A bit of hop flavor holds up the rear. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with a perfect amount (medium low) of carbonation.

This is THE summer beer in my opinion, its fruitier than most Hefe's and also richer and more complex. Its truly an incredible beer that everyone who visits Toronto must try.

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Photo of crwills
4.87/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Beerbistro, Toronto.

In a word: awesome. Hands down the best hefe weizen I've had, which may not be saying much since I'm not that experienced. But I'm so happy this comes from a local brewer and is available at a lot of regional pubs. Wish Denison bottled it.

Poured a gorgeous cloudy yellow into the correct glassware. Smell is sweet and yeasty, with bananas and starchy fruits dominating.

Incredibly thick, coating mouthfeel, perfect for the style. Bananas, cloves, coriander, and other spices. Just slightly smokey, no malt bite at all, and a pleasant fruit aftertaste like you might get from good bananabread or some kind of light cake.

This was so good I almost went ahead and ordered the Denison's Dunkel for my next course at Beerbistro, but I figured I'd branch out a bit and try it another time. I'll now be looking for both beers in the future. Highly recommended!

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Photo of Derek
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A darker Amber than most hefe weizens. Plenty of hefe, very turbid, very nice. Head is nicely retained, and leaves a little lace!

S: Banana bread with a little citrus.

T: Bready malt, with a little caramel & citrus and a ton of banana flavour!

M: Body is on the heavy side of moderate (quite full for the style), with a smooth, velvety texture. Moderate carbonation works well.

D: Really great.

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Photo of Viggo
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very cloudy yellow, slight orange juice tint to it, nice big creamy head, generous lace. Smells overwhelmingly of banana, clove, spiciness, the way a weiss should smell. Taste is sweet malt, banana again, cloves again, very rich and full flavour and a nice pear finish. High carbonation, medium bodied, one of the better weisses I've had!

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Photo of DrJay
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The pint had a dense creamy head on top of a beautifully cloudy, buttery amber beer. The head formed dense lace on the sides of the glass and lasted through the entire pint, with a half inch remaining at the bottom of the glass when I finished. The aroma consisted of citrus and banana with a nice dose of clove spiciness. It starts a bit acidic and citrusy, but with a pleasant sweetness at the same time. Light spiciness along with restrained bitterness and a dry, clean finish. Very refreshing and thirst-quenching while retaining a good complexity of flavours. The texture was quite smooth and a bit slick, with a medium body and medium/high carbonation. Definitely one of the finest hefeweizens I've had the pleasure of tasting and this is one of my standard session beers when I'm out just looking for a couple of pints.

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Photo of SaunaKing
4.44/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Wheat beer on tap.... wow! Really great to find a good wheat beer on tap.. and a local too. I the colour was a little on the orange side, nice head and a glorious, strong aroma of cloves, bannana, citrus.
Taste was very good, a hint of banana and a fruity finish. Very good mouthfeel, maybe a bit dry. Drinkability was really nice too. Hopefully I will have a chance to visit Toronto in the summer and have a few of these on some patios.

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Denison's Weissbier from Denison's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 103 ratings
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