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Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen. Heads and Shoulders above the rest.

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Hoos78, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. Hoos78

    Hoos78 Aspirant (240) Mar 3, 2015 Ohio

    Sipping a Weihenstephaner Hefe and I got to thinking...


    ...it is so good that I feel it resides, in terms of flavor and quality, well above all other examples of the style that I've had. Are there any other benchmark beers that you feel significantly trump other highly touted options within the style?
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,063) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    To stay on the Hefeweizen theme, I agree that when fresh Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen is excellent. There are a number of US craft brewed Hefeweizens that I personally enjoy drinking just as much (if not more):

    · New Glarus Dancing Man Wheat

    · Straub Hefeweizen

    · Live Oak Hefeweizen

    There are likely others I would add to the list but for now this will do.

    gibgink, FBarber, bbtkd and 5 others like this.
  3. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (1,659) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Ayinger Celebrator and Westmalle Dubbel
  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,063) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “Are there any other benchmark beers that you feel significantly trump other highly touted options within the style?”

    Since right now is Lent (and I personally did not give up beer for Lent), let me discuss the Doppelbock style. The history of Doppelbock:

    “Doppelbock traces its history to a monastic brewery founded in 1634 in the Bavarian town of Munich. To sustain them during periods of religious fasting such as Lent and Advent, the Pauline monks drank a dark, sweet beer called Sankt Vater Bier or Holy Father Beer.”

    My absolute favorite Doppelbock is Ayinger Celebrator. I rarely buy this beer since it is stupid expensive but a couple of weeks ago I bought a 4-pack of this beer. It cost me 13 bucks for 4 small 11.2 ounce) bottles.

    But damn, this beer is so good!!! There are great dark malt flavors in this beer but the quality that really brings smile to my face is the creamy/smooth mouthfeel that this beer has.

    Two of the four pack has been consumed so only 2 more bottles left. Oh well, maybe I will break open the piggyback and buy another 4-pack next year?


    P.S. One of these days I really should homebrew a Doppelbock.
  5. Hoos78

    Hoos78 Aspirant (240) Mar 3, 2015 Ohio

    I haven't had the opportunity to drink any of those, but I certainly look forward to the chance!

    The U.S. hefes that I've liked the most are Sierra Nevada Kellerweis and Two Brothers Ebel's Weiss. For too many hefeweizens, I find the yeast character isn't quite right. It can be muddied with slight off flavors. I don't find any of those off flavors in a relatively fresh Weihenstephaner and it provides just the right amount of banana and clove.

    As strange as it sounds, I often find that lesser hefeweizens have a fairly boozy flavor (relative to their lower ABV). Again, that could be esthers and harsh yeast flavors that I'm confusing for "booziness".

    Another way to state my original point is that hefeweizen, as a style, is one I typically don't enjoy. However, Weihenstephaner Hefe is one of my overall favorite beers.
    bbtkd likes this.
  6. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,030) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Do try Schneider Edel-Weiss if you can, it's outstanding.

    For Doppelbocks, I put Andechs on the same level as Celebrator. It's got the more straightforward profile, but it's as well made as you're going to see.
  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,063) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I will strongly encourage you to do so. I am not sure where in Ohio you live but Straub distributes to certain areas of Ohio.

    Hoos78 likes this.
  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,063) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Michael, I have only had one bottle of the Andechs Doppelbock but it was too sweet for my palate. Maybe it was a less than optimum bottle?

    How would you compare Celebrator and Andechs as regards sweetness?

    Hoos78 likes this.
  9. Roadkizzle

    Roadkizzle Aspirant (204) Nov 6, 2007 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I personally always thought that Schneider Weisse and Ayinger's hefeweizens were better than Weihenstephaner...

    I'm glad that I have always had Live Oak hefeweizen easily accessible. I've always known that it was a very good beer but it's only been relatively recently that I realized just how good (once I started learning more about the actual classic hefeweizens).
  10. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,030) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    A little sweeter in relation to Celebrator, but far from being out of line. I've had some sticky messes in my day, but this is nothing like that. You should definitely try it again when you see a fresher sample.
    FBarber and alucard6679 like this.
  11. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Crusader (771) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    No, I've been drinking beer since the late 60's and craft since the dawn of the craft era. There are so many good breweries brewing many styles that it is impossible to brew one that is "head and shoulders" better than all the other beers in any given style.
  12. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,031) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    When I lived in Germany, I admittedly spent the majority of my time in Franconia and the Oberpfalz. But when I finally started to explore Oberbayern I was absolutely amazed at how many truly excellent Weizens there are out there. Weihenstephan is among them, but ones from Hofbrau Traunstein (Gastroweisse), Karg, Gutmann, etc. are absolutely amazing. Seems like every little village produces something world-class.
  13. Hoos78

    Hoos78 Aspirant (240) Mar 3, 2015 Ohio

    I tend to agree with you. Hefeweizen is the only style I can think of where that (completely subjective) personal discrepancy exists. I browsed through the other style designations and none seemed to follow the same pattern for me. There are several styles that I'm not particularly fond of. In fact, as I previously stated, Hefeweizen is one of those -- with the extreme exception of Weihenstephaner, and a few other minor exceptions. I do hope to soon try some of the beers they have been suggested.
  14. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,222) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    My experience with the Andechser Doppelbock is mostly on tap and I find the same thing as TongoRad. There's a bit of bitterness that backs up all the other flavors.

    In fact I may even prefer it to Celebrator, which I've only had from the bottle.
    #14 drtth, Mar 16, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
    FBarber, keithmurray and TongoRad like this.
  15. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,030) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    As much as I do love Celebrator, I see it as an outlier, much like Aventinus is in the Weizenbock style. If you wanted something more quintessential, that's when I'd go for the Andechs (or, say, Ayinger, for the Weizenbock ).
    AlcahueteJ, puck1225 and drtth like this.
  16. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (655) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    This is a spot-on analogy.

    Aventinus is far and away my favorite Weizenbock from memory (also one of my favorite beers, period). I believe I've had Ayinger's once, maybe twice, and definitely Vitus a few times. They just don't do it for me, I believe they're lighter/paler?

    Celebrator is a drier from memory with far more depth and complexity. While something like Andech's version is classic Doppelbock. The defintion of liquid bread, sweet, but not cloying.

    I'd probably put Celebrator ahead of it if I had to choose, but my last Andech's was delicious from what I remember. Good thing we don't have to choose, and I certainly wouldn't put one "head and shoulders" above the other.
    Beer-Panda and TongoRad like this.
  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,063) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I would not state it was "out of line" but it was sweet to my palate.
    The bottle I had was fresh (in terms of bottle age) but maybe it was abused in transport?

    Since you made mention that it was "sweeter" maybe the bottle I had was in fine shape but just not exactly in the 'sweet' spot for my palate? Pun intended.

  18. hopsputin

    hopsputin Meyvn (1,098) Apr 1, 2012 New Jersey

    mmmm now I want a Celebrator :wink:
    VABA, MaltheadWeirdo and JackHorzempa like this.
  19. hopsputin

    hopsputin Meyvn (1,098) Apr 1, 2012 New Jersey

    For me - Saison Dupont & Fantôme set some benchmarks.
  20. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (400) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    I'm another that prefers Schneider & Sohn, especially the Edel-Weiss to Weihenstephaner.
    Not to say Weih... isn't a phenomenal beer; of course it is, but by tiny points in small areas, I like the Scheider better.
    drtth, TongoRad and Hoos78 like this.
  21. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,389) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    Me too! That is my favorite and I still have all those little goats. I want to decorate a xmas tree with them =) The reason i like celbrator is that i feel it is sufficiently complex and has a mouthfeel that the lighter versions cannot match. By lighter I mean the ones like einbecker, birra moretti and like genesee brew house made the first year they did it. My top three are ayigner, andecheser and weihenstephaner.
  22. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,030) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Supporter Beer Trader

    Maria, if you mean the Einbecker Ur-Bock then that's a different substyle (a straight dunkles bock, not a double) and it's supposed to be like that. I prefer that gravity - it's made for repeat drinking, heftier than an O'fest and without the residual sweetness of most of its bigger brothers. Too bad there aren't that many available.
    tzieser, zid and McMatt7 like this.
  23. tzieser

    tzieser Champion (854) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Weihenstephan makes quite a few.....

    Korbinian is my favorite dopplebock
    Vitus weizenbock is my favorite weizenbock
    Festbier is one of my favorite festbiers
    Original Premium is one of my favorite munich-style helles
    Krstiallweizen is probably my favorite kristallweizen
    Their pilsner is world class and one of my favorites

    I can't think of a subpar beer I've had by them.
    Ninjakillzu likes this.
  24. Crim122

    Crim122 Aspirant (274) Aug 4, 2014 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Weihenstephaner is also my favorite hefeweizen. But Live Oak's is right there with it if you ask me. Sadly I can only get it once a year when I visit my sister in Austin.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  25. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,031) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    Had the Weihenstephan ultra-fresh, too? Always curious about the Live Oak, especially if they bottle/can-condition.
  26. Crim122

    Crim122 Aspirant (274) Aug 4, 2014 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I'm not sure how fresh I've ever had Weihenstephan, do they put dates on their bottles? Because I was thinking of going and picking up all of their beers I haven't tried after posting in this thread.
  27. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,031) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    They have a fairly cryptic system to date their beers. It's a 4 number code whereby the first number refers to day, second and third to week of the year, and final to year. So, say 7117 would be the 17th of March, 11 would be the 11th week of the year, and 7 would refer to 2017.
    Crim122 likes this.
  28. Crim122

    Crim122 Aspirant (274) Aug 4, 2014 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Thanks! I'll check it out this weekend. Also I really need to check out Bierkeller next time I am in Columbia, I've heard good things.
    herrburgess likes this.
  29. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (3,843) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I think I enjoy Weihenstephaner Kristalweizen even more than their Hefe. Both excellent, and as you say "benchmarks."
  30. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,031) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Industry Beer Trader

    No problem. Introduce yourself when you come through town and first beer is on me. Releasing our Fastenbier soon. Prost!
    zid and TongoRad like this.
  31. SSGCujo

    SSGCujo Aspirant (257) Jul 12, 2016 Wisconsin

    There are so many good weiss beers. I like Schneider the best. New Glarus has Dancing Man and Bubbler. Live Oak is also very good. Weihenstephaner is also really good. Their Dunkle-weiss and Vitus are excellent. There's many weiss beers that are only available in Germany which are too many to name. Bamberg has many breweries which make world class weiss beers.
  32. readyski

    readyski Aspirant (235) Jun 4, 2005 California
    Beer Trader

    Sadly I rarely see Weihenstephaner fresher than 3 months, usually much older. I agree with some posts above that with 20k? breweries worldwide you're not going to find "head and shoulders".
  33. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (810) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)

    It's a cracker. However, after a couple of weeks in Austria (not even Germany) drinking exclusively fresh Hefes and Pilsners, I'd say there are plenty of contenders. Schneider Weisse Original when super fresh is fantastic, as is Franziskaner.
    tzieser, Lurchus, herrburgess and 2 others like this.
  34. HopsDubosc

    HopsDubosc Initiate (193) Apr 24, 2015 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    In my experience Cantillon makes the best Lambics. They are head and shoulders above the others that I've tried, but I'm sure there are some undiscovered ones that give Cantillon a run for their money.
    RBassSFHOPit2ME likes this.
  35. Gi00

    Gi00 Initiate (115) Mar 31, 2017 New York

    Something about delerium nocturnums that just instantly wins me over every time... such a wonderful beer
    Crim122 likes this.
  36. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,055) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Supporter Subscriber Beer Trader

    Cheers to that, I love this beer and style in general. Now I want one , LOL.
  37. FanofHefe

    FanofHefe Meyvn (1,128) Feb 13, 2010 Illinois

    Agree with Weihenstephaner being top of the class. I love every beer I've ever had from them.

    Also like the mention of Ayinger Dopplebock, my favorite. Interestingly the best Dopplebock I've ever had was a home brew from I guy I used to work with who had his own hop farm and was a serious home brewer, all grain. His Dopplebock was delicious.
    VABA likes this.
  38. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (625) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    I'm another Schneider fan. The Original, Hopfenweisse and Aventinus are all amazing beers.
    TongoRad and drtth like this.
  39. tjwarren

    tjwarren Disciple (341) Dec 31, 2008 Ohio

    To the OP - not sure where in PA you live but I would love to hear what you think of Cleveland's Market Garden Prosperity Wheat. Absolutely blew my mind. Their beer garden is my favorite spot in Cleveland. If you ever get to Cleveland check it out.
  40. Lurchus

    Lurchus Aspirant (240) Jan 19, 2014 Germany

    Speaking of Hefeweizen: While Weihenstephaner sure is tasty, I'd argue there are hundreds I like more. From the bigger breweries Schneider and Maisel's Original, from smaller, regional ones: Nothelfer Bio Weisse, Krug Bräu Weisse, Reichold Hefeweizen, Fuchsbeck Weisse and many,many, many more. There are just too many excellent examples out there that I could pinoint one example as "the definitve benchmark Hefeweizen".
    #40 Lurchus, Apr 1, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
    grantcty, zid, Roadkizzle and 2 others like this.
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