Paulaner makes some terrific beers and their hefeweizen is no exception. This natural wheat beer is, as are most wheat beers, a perfect summer beer. This one is in my top 3 for hefes (Flying Dog In Heat Wheat, Ayinger Brau-Weisse and this one, in no particular order).
This one is 5.5% ABV and initially pours a clear lemony golden yellow and foams up a good bit (about a 3/4″ head that settles to a 1/8″ skim of froth). But with the last pour (the obligatory bottom inch of the bottle which is swirled to suspend all the yeast) it becomes cloudy like it should be. This is a byproduct of the top fermenting style – most wheat beers will have this. Did you know “hefe” is German for yeast? Look it up.
The head is a soft wispy head, like a cumulus cloud. It’s got light carbonation and a light and crisp aroma featuring wheat, yeast, citrus and a little banana. An intoxicating smell.
The taste is very balanced – malty and hoppy, but very smooth. It’s a fruity taste – banana, lemon, wheat, yeast, a hint of spice and a light floral taste. The taste is better and more complex and unique with a full pour of the bottle as opposed to just pouring half. I recommend you empty the entire contents into a pint glass at once. As it warms it actually gets a little sharp, but the good news is it’s a gulper of a beer and probably won’t have a chance to warm. I drank two – the first I let warm up for 30 minutes or so but the second came straight out of the fridge. Advantage – fridge. The aftertaste lingers a bit and gives you a fruity lemon and wheat edge. Overall it’s very good. My real rating is a 7+, which rounds up to a 8.
My final thoughts – you’ve gotta do it cold, right out of the fridge, and it’s a good beer to have with food (as are most hefes). I also can firmly stand behind my initial thoughts after my Brau-Weisse review – we simply must make it mandatory to possess an inventory of no less than 6 hefeweizens in your fridge at any given point in time between the months of April and October. I’ll even broaden it out to allow for any wheat beer without fear of punishment.
Paulaner Hefe-Weizen Rating: 8 out of 10 (?)
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