Pros:Nice aroma and appearance; Very easily drinkable
Cons:Available only in 12 pack sampler; Could use some more body
The Bottom Line: This is a very good, tasty dunkelweizen, but it doesn't have enough body to rank among the world's finest.
Boston Beer, maker of all things Sam Adams, is the largest craft brewing operation in the United States and many would say it has a reached the level of size and influence where it can no longer be described as a microbrewery. Part of the reason for Boston Beer’s rise to the top is its diverse product lineup that includes just about every well- known and lesser- known beer variation in existence. One beer that has been in circulation for only a short time and is currently one of my favorite pint glasses is Samuel Adams Dunkelweizen, a dark wheat beer.
Beer Facts and Figures:
Samuel Adams Dunkelweizen is a mahagony colored beer with a hazy body and an interesting aroma. Take a long, deep inhale and you will detect scents of clove, banana, yeast, nutmeg, and other spices. The foam on the beer is nice and it does maintain itself as you drink, even leaving a small amount of lacing.
Samuel Adams Dunkelweizen has a taste similar to what its nose would indicate, even if slightly less so. The flavors of toasted wheat malt, yeast, banana, cinnamon, and pear are most easily noticeable, followed by other flavors such as raisin and some brown sugar. The yeasty character is a little less pronounced in the body than I expected, but still makes its presence known.
Samuel Adams Dunkelweizen is sold from August through October each year and is brewed using two row pale malt, malted wheat, Carawheat malt, and Carafa malt, along with Hallertau Mittelfrueh hops and ale yeast. A final analysis shows 5.1 percent alchol by volume, 13 IBU, and 168 calories per 12 oz. serving.
Samuel Adams Dunkelweizen is a good attempt at a German dunkelweizen and an easy- drinking beer that will appeal to casual fans of the style. I learned that this beer was once brewed by Sam Adams in the past, under the more direct, American name “Dark Wheat.” Today, it is back with a Germanic title and a limited release that requires the purchase of a sampler pack to enjoy.
I cannot remember if I sampled the original Dark Wheat (I probably did), but if I did and if it was exactly like this, then there is a good chance I gave it middle to above average ratings. Samuel Adams Dunkelweizen is an interesting beer by most standards and I find the nose on this beer very enticing. Each time I inhaled, I kept coming up with more possibilities and my interest was piqued before I took my first sip.
Samuel Adams Dunkelweizen is a good example of this style, but it isn’t the best example and the reason is because the beer lacks a certain “umph” to put it over the top and into the conveted five- star territory. But that doesn’t mean this isn’t a good beer. It is good in most ways and many casual craft beer fans will find it more than good enough to recommend. Where the beer will likely face greater scrutiny is with the die- hard craft beer crowd, many of whom will say the product is a little too mild and not yeasty enough to rank among the world’s finest.
Samuel Adams Dunkelweizen is very quaffable and I was surprised at how quickly I consumed two bottles. The reason isn’t necessarily that it’s an amazing dunkelweizen because it isn’t. Rather, it is because the beer is highly drinkable with little in the way of bitterness or harshness. There are only 13 IBU of bitterness and the wheat/fruit/spice profile is mild enough that the beer goes down in a flash. As with most of my reviews, I poured one bottle, took some notes, and then poured a second to make sure nothing important was overlooked and to make sure there was continuity in flavor and quality between thw two. In less than ten minutes, both bottles were gone- a true testament to the drinkability of this product.
Overall, I consider Samuel Adams Dunkelweizen a good craft beer and a good example of its style. It doesn’t rank with the world’s great dunkelweizens by a long shot, but it is still a good beer and one I wouldn’t turn down if one was offered. It could be even better with a little more work, but it is still a good, tasty dunkelweizen that makes a good choice if you want a highly drinkable beer and don’t want to worry about specifics.
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