Share This Blog

The Dark Side of Weihenstephaner

A few months ago one of the world’s most revered hefeweizens hit Alberta. It didn’t last long, but those of us quick on the draw got to sample a bottle or two (it may be back, I am not sure). The beer was Weihenstephaner and it is both one of the oldest beer still in production and a true classic of its style. And as my review discusses it is a very strong example of the style.

So imagine my surprise to be in my favourite liquor store the other day and find bottles of Weihenstephaner Dunkelweizen – the dark version of this classic beer. This was wholly unexpected but I could not resist. I scooped up the bottle and opened it at the earliest convenience.

It pours with a thick haze that shows off some dark copper. It has a mountainous, rocky off-white head. The aroma is ht bubble gum and a touch of banana. There is some bready malt underneath and some other fruitiness. It tastes of soft bread, toffee and brown sugar. There is also a soft spiciness of clove, nutmeg, banana and raisin. The yeast has an earthy, spicy character to it. I detect lots of cinnamon toast mixed with plum and vanilla.

This is a very interesting beer – both complex and simple at the same time. It is the most balanced dunkelweizen I have ever experienced, which is saying something.

Just like its lighter sister, I imagine this beer isn’t at its best – but when it is fresh and local it must be utterly wonderful. Having being shipped across the Atlantic, it is impressive how good it remains. Straight up, I can name a couple of dunkelweizens better than this one. Factoring in the travel, I doubt anything can surpass a fresh, local pint of this beer. I wonder what is next from this brewery?


5 comments to The Dark Side of Weihenstephaner

  • Nice review – I have seen this at on the shelf there but haven’t picked one up yet as I was looking for the standard Weihenstephaner.

    They were sold out of Weihenstephaner a week or two ago but they got more in as of Thursday last week. Anyone looking for it can go pick up the Weihenstephaner double header at Sherbrooke right now.


  • Jim Pettinger

    Apart from selling out for a day or two, I don’t believe I’ve ever been out of either. Hadn’t noticed any warehouse issues either.

  • Chris

    I was gonna say I’ve constantly seen it at Sherbrooke, since last summer, even at the holiday season and such. Nonetheless, I was extremely ecstatic to see them come in last summer, when I thought the only opportunity i would have to taste the beer was when i was in NY the week before they came to Edmonton.
    That said, what are the couple of better Dunkleweizen’s you’ve had?

    • It is possible I am wrong about the Hefeweizen. I just know when I went looking for it over the last few months, it wasn’t there. But that could just be bad luck on my part.

      As for which dunkelweizens I have had that, on the surface, might have been better – and keep in mind I believe the Weihenstephaner would be even better, and thus unparalleled, in Germany – I really respect Denison’s dunkelweizen from Toronto. I also had Dieu Du Ciel’s version one night and it was remarkable. I tasted both fresh. So, with a level playing field, would they be superior? I doubt it. But, really, what a great problem to have to choose between those three beer.


  • Brent Baldwin

    It’s now 2014 and I find the above info out of date. I was in Austria last month and served Weihenstephaner hefe weissbier at a restaurant and I was stunned at the wonderful flavor and texture of the drink. I’m no aficionado nor big beer drinker however that was one of the finest beverages I have tasted. Could you point out where I might purchase the beer in Alberta and BC.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>