I’m never afraid to declare that the emperor has no clothes in the world of beer. No brewery, style, or individual beer gets a free pass with me including the world’s oldest brewery – Weihenstephaner. Sure, they make one of the best hefeweizens on the planet, but can they make a lager?
Weihenstephaner Original Premium Beer: Appearance
An aggressive pour will produce massive bright white, soapy head that will actually increase in size and leave great lacing on the glass. The body is crystal-clear, bright gold with massive Belgian-like carbonation visible.
Weihenstephaner Original Premium Beer: Smell
European lagers and pilsners tend to have a very similar aroma to them and this beer is no exception. It’s a very generic smell of freshly milled grain, and a slight chemical smell akin to rubber gloves.
Weihenstephaner Original Premium Beer: Taste
I don’t think I’ve had an actual German lager before Weihenstephaner Original Premium. This beer is brewed in accordance of the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516 so you would think it would have an Old World, classic lager flavor to it. However, just a few sips into this beer it didn’t seem all that different from an American macro adjunct lager – just without the adjuncts.
The palate is mostly clean with slightly sweet malted barley throughout. A very subtle hop bitterness across the middle with a slightly dry, almost pasty aftertaste. If I really concentrate I detect a lemon rind-like flavor and a saison-like dry component to the palate. It reminds me a lot of other European lagers I’ve had which were essentially the same palate – but soured. That being said there’s nothing repulsive about the taste here, but there’s not much to enjoy, either.
Weihenstephaner Original Premium Beer: Mouthfeel
Crisp, thin, wet; slight malty aftertaste.
Weihenstephaner Original Premium Beer: Drinkability
At only 5.1% ABV, this is definitely the weight you want from a mainstream lager. The mild palate and thin mouthfeel make it very easy to slug down in a hurry. It’s not quite refreshing, though, but doesn’t dry you out the way a saison or IPA might.
Overall, Weihenstephaner Original Premium isn’t anything to get excited about. I really expected better, but I find it difficult to appreciate anything about this beer that makes it more than average.
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