Style: Munich Helles Lager
Calories: 215 kcal/0.5l
Original wort: 11.8% by weight
Brewer’s Note: “A good beer takes time. The long lager time makes our pale beer a matter of mild, flavorful beer enjoyment. Brewed in accordance with a centuries-old beer tradition on Weihenstephan Hill.”
The bottle is quite old in design-feel, much like the brewery, but it carries some terrific sigils for the brewery, harking back to their monastic and medieval beginnings. I do wish the boring extra information would have been placed on the back label, and not on the sides of the front label, but the neck label really is fantastic and makes up a little for it. Is this bottle worthy of the shelf, though? Probably not on its own. It’s historic, and worthy of scrapbooking, but does suffer from some boring fonts, and a dated design. This bottle is, however, perfect to pair with the other Weihenstephan bottles and display together as a collection. I believe that is what I will do.
The beer pours a slightly hazy lightly-pinkish yellow, much like slightly cloudy piss. The head is massive and beautifully stark white, with a creamy tight texture and tinny little bubbles. Carbonation appears moderate in the body of the beer, which is the faintest bit hazy, but truthfully quite clear. Lacing is in thin sticky sheets that run little lines across the glass. On the nose, the beer smells sweet and spicy, much like a Czech pilsner. Sweet sticky grain malt mixes with spicy grassy hops to tantalize the nose with varying layers. Slight caramel and biscuit can also be detected in the malt, and faint citrus plays alongside the spices. The beer tastes wonderfully bready with light spices from the hops. On the opening sip the spices tingle slightly at the beginning alongside a steadily growing bready flavor which eventually explodes in the middle of the taste, drowning out the hops momentarily with its creamy biscuit qualities before mellowing light citrus and hay with spicy zest and a faint lingering taste of biscuit.
On the tongue, the beer is crisp and bubbly, though not too much so. The beers holds properly thin and drinkable in the mouth and it leaves the mouth quite clean with light droplets of saliva on the tongue. Overall the beer is quite refreshing and drinkable, with some nice malty complexity, although I do wish more of the spicy hops were able to transfer over from the smell to the flavor. A terrific Munich Helles with some nice flavor to rest alongside the easy drinkability, and a great start to my Weihenstephan experience.