Weltenburger Kloster Barock Dunkel

Total Score: 7.35/10 BrownSugar1 DarkFruits1 Wood1 Stein1

Weltenburger Kloster Barock Dunkel from Klosterbrauerei Weltenburg – The second oldest brewery in the world! Ouch, that’s gotta sting – I bet they’re waiting with bated breath for Weihenstephan to close their doors – not bloody likely as Weihenstephan are the still the best Weizen brewers around. Turns out Weltenburger have been brewing since 1050 AD and Weihenstephan only beat them by 10 years! How about that? Anywho, time to give this Munich Dunkel Lager a good rundown, wish me luck.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a stein.

A: Hazed auburn brown body with a nice dense beige head that soon retreats to leave a light lace covering. Not the worst looking Dunkel Lager out there by any means. 7/10.

S: Truckloads of malt give this brew a brown sugar/dark rum note, this is of course bang-on to style, followed by some light bread notes, hint of nuttiness and a dark fruit (plum/prune) finish. If I had a complaint, and I do, it could do with a bit more of a prominent yeast character. 7/10.

T: Sweet rum raisin! This beer tastes like sweet rum raisin. Along with that is some light woody/nuttiness, a thin veneer of bread characters, and a lacquer dry finish. The sweetness of this brew is perfect – not too under/over powering, and there is a slight herbal aftertaste as a nod to the hops that are no doubt in this brew. 8/10.

M: Mid to light, almost medium but not quite there, bodied with a light but dense carbonation – in the case of this brew a medium body is warranted yet not obtained, oh well. 6/10.

D: The aftertaste, that lacquer dry finish, begin to grate me as I reached the end of the glass – which is a shame because there is an excellent beer struggling to free itself from the shackles of an oppressive aftertaste… or something along those lines. It does however compare favourably to its greatest competitor: Weihenstephaner Tradition – which I found to be less flavoursome overall – so cheers to Weltenburger! WIBIA? (which sounds funny when said out loud and stands for “Would I Buy It Again?”) Yes I think I would – there is definitely a spot in my fridge door for a malt heavy Lager, as there should be in every fridge. 7/10.

Food match: If it’s pork related and BBQ’d you’ll ne’er go wrong with this brew.

Standard

Arcobräu Schloss Dunkel

Total Score: 7.15/10 Caramel1 DarkFruits1 Bread1 Stein1

Today’s brew comes from Moos Germany [must insert cow jokes at some point in this review] is a fine upstanding Dunkel by my new German fancy Arcobräu. Arcobräu was until recently a figment of my imagination in a municipality that is a paradise to dairy farmers and their bovine property alike with lush rolling green hills, troughs as far as the eye can see, and buckets strategically placed wherever cows are likely to stand. In fact the dairy farmers liked this place so much they named it after the noise cows make. Turns out Moos exists in reality and now I’m off to find the county of Meow on Google Earth. I will report my findings post haste.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a fancy DAB stein.

A: Clear deep almost cola brown body with a firm 1 inch off-white head… German brewers always take pride in their head and it shows here. 8/10.

S: A rich tapestry of aromas with caramel, macerated dark plum and figs, a touch of bread and is that a hint of banana or am I going crazy? [probably… to both] The aroma of this brew suggests a malt heavy beverage, which is totally fine by me, bring on the malts I say! 7/10.

T: Flavour is a little more subdued than expected but still tasty nonetheless with the above noted caramel/macerated dark plum and figs/bread with an odd but added note of cola, some light nuttiness and a slight metallic aftertaste. The finish is Munich dry with a hint of hops. Overall the flavour is solid if a little weak. 7/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a medium carbonation – good for the style and good for that belching contest I was planning on entering, aka my average beer drinking session. 8/10.

D: Soooo, no major complaints with this Dunkel aside from the usual cry of “more flavour” – then again 4.7% ABV Dunkels aren’t usually flavour-bombs so one might say my opinion is slightly unjustified, but I won’t… shuddup. Also that cola taste and the metallic note detracted from my flavour score… but other than that it’s all G brah. The big question is will I have this again when I can get a Weihenstephaner or a König Ludwig for cheaper? My money is on the cheaper/better Weihenstephaner [I love those guys!]. 7/10.

Food match: Sauerbraten mit Kartoffelklöße, Rotkohl und Spätzle will serve you well on your Dunkel quest… giant Pretzel mit senf if you’re saving room for more beer 😉

Standard

Weihenstephaner Tradition Bayerische Dunkel

Total Score: 7.25/10 Bread1 Biscuit1 Caramel1 Stein1

German bier?! Again?! Yeah well let’s just say that beer is one thing I can agree on with the German people. Their terrible “pun” driven sense of humour? Let’s just say I’m not a dad but even I can’t stop telling dad jokes, like: What did the carrot say to the tomato while they were crossing the road? “Ketchup!”… I know, it’s a debilitating illness.

And with that thought I open a 500ml bottle of “tradition”, yes it does come in a bottle, and poured this fine brew into a 500ml Stein.

A: Deep mahogany. Yeah that’s right – I compared the appearance of this beer with wood. The 1cm slightly tanned head dissipated quickly enough that I turned my head and found a light lacing left… how very un-German of this beer. 8/10.

S: Toffee, toasted biscuits, very inviting indeed. Did I also detect a hint of gingerbread or am I going crazy? … That was a rhetorical question by the way. The grain is the forefront of this Ale-like brew, I suspect it will be a fairly malt driven affair. 8/10.

T: Sourdough flavours crop up to the front palate, followed by a toffee note and ending with a fat malty finish (with a slight bitter aftertaste reminding you that there were indeed hops invited to the Dunkel party). It’s full flavoured without being some obnoxiously-expensive Belgian brew (don’t get me wrong – I love Belgian beers), yet it’s also no competition for its Hefeweizen cousin… sorry Herr Bayerische Dunkel. 7/10.

M: Smooth and creamy, an excellent combination! The carbonation is a little light but no complaints here. 7/10.

D: This beer is a likeable chap, though less likely to excite than its Hefeweizen cousin it’s still a bit more social than its Hefeweissbier Dunkel brother, in other words if you had to pick between the three my recommendation would be: 1. Hefeweissbier, 2. Bayerische “Tradition” Dunkel, and 3. Hefeweissbier Dunkel… it’s still very likeable though. 7/10.

Food Match: Baked potatoes with whatever slab of meat you get your hands on, or large flat fried mushrooms for us vegetarians.

Standard

Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel

Total Score: 8.65/10 Bananas1 Biscuit1 Clove1 Weizenglass1

Weihenstephaner again? Yeah there was a deal going at one of my locals, nonetheless I’m looking forward to a good Dunkel, as they say [or not say].

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a 500ml Stein glass [If you want a true Dunkel Weissbier experience use a Weizen glass ;-)].

A: The Dunkel looks Dunkel, cloudy and brown… it’s a Dunkel alright. The head fizzed a little at 2cm before it subsided to a thin lacing. 8/10.

S: Like the Hefeweissbier (banana, cloves, hint of bubblegum) but with a slight caramel overtone… also delicious but I wouldn’t make a cologne out of it (take note Calvin Klein). 9/10.

T: More of the same; Banana, toasty biscuit malts and a clove spicy back note. The malts are more prominent (and toasty) in this than the straight Hefeweissbier but in a blind taste test this would be most negligible. It’s really a case of pick your poison between the two and I’ve got to say the Hefeweissbier edges it for me… to each their own. 9/10.

M: Yet again ‘creamy’ springs to mind quickly. Precision German brewing has created a mouthfeel identical to the Hefeweissbier. 8/10.

D: Yep – on par with the Hefeweissbier, upon which I heaped much praise. To me it is merely a style choice in which case I prefer the Hefe, it’s got the almost the same aroma, flavour and mouthfeel but I think the banana comes through just a little bit more with the Hefe and this to me makes it the winner. 8/10.

Food match: Same as the Hefeweissbier… nuff said.

Standard