Schneider and Sohn: Tap 6: Unser Aventinus (Germany Weizenbock: 8.2% ABV)
Visual: Dark cloudy brown with a huge off white bubbled head. The sediment swirls as a cloud within it, and purple red hues shows at the edges.
Nose: Wheat. Raisin. Cloves. Banana. Touch of lemon freshness.
Body: Wheat. Raisin. Moderate bitterness. Cloves again. Malt drinks. Madeira cakes. Figs. Banana. Raspberry pavlova.
Finish: Dry wheat. Cloves. Charred wood. Barbecued bits. Fig rolls. Malt drinks. Fortified red wine. Madeira cakes again. Liquorice.
Conclusion: Over seven hundred reviews and I’ve never done one of the heavy wheat bock that is Aventinus? Shame on me. Well technically I did do the Eisbock version early on, but that didn’t count. This is the real deal.
As you can tell already, I like this a lot. So now I just need to spend the remaining paragraphs explaining why. For one it is fair heavy duty, lots of dark raisins and figs, against Madeira and other sweet wine like flavours. However it is still a wheat beer, and that wheat dryness makes it sippable with ease, and belies exactly how much it brings to the fore. So we already have impressively powerful and drinkable.
We then get this beers calling card. The banana and cloves. The matched sweet banana and spicy cloves are really touchstones of the wheat beers and bring extra character to both ends of the beer. Here they really show the range of character that manages to be packed in without any elements getting lost.
The drink can also be savoured for the full glass, despite the abv and 500ml bottle it never gets sickly. Again the wheat beer styling is used perfectly to balance everything. Cleverly the flavours start understated and just build and build. Even at the beginning they are not dull, but they do little to prepare you for exactly how much the beer has to show.
This really is the dark and deep older brother of the fruity and hoppy Hopfen Weisse. That is also an excellent beer, but I think I prefer this one, just for old times sake. This is like a dunkle turned up to 11 and made full of the dark fruits. It’s a beer that feels strong, but never in raw alcohol, just a lurking presence so you don’t forget what you are drinking.
Frankly I put this on the list of beers everyone should try. A beer to give time to, the first few mouthfuls are just setting the scene for the main show. Rich, fruity, cloves spiced and rewarding.
An exceptional beer that will challenge you and reward your efforts.
Background: Why do they not do the cool purple bottles for this anymore? This thing used to have a striking purple bottle that stood out from the crowd. Now brought in line with the rest of the Schneider and Sohn labels it just merges in with every other German beer. Boo says I. This has for a long time been my favourite beer I have never reviewed. Since I just reviewed it I think I need to pick a new one. There’s a few from Belgium which are pretty good contenders. Incidentally, I love the Aventinus glass, but it is a shit to clean out after use. Though not as much so as the Kwak glass, which I swear is not actually intended for human usage, instead being made for some sort of long beaked beer drinking bird creatures from planet Y.