Hofbrau Munchen: Maibock (Germany: Heller Bock:7.2% ABV)

Visual: Reddened gold.  Off white bubbled head.

Nose: Malt and cinnamon. Light cherry. Slightly musty but sweet. Light hop character.

Body: Red cherries. Malt and slight bitterness. Cinnamon. Some fruitcake. Slick, but slightly thickened texture. Touch of liquorice. Banana comes out as it warms.

Finish: Lime jelly and orange jelly. Malt, raisins. Slight fluffy popcorn hop feel.

Conclusion: A very fruity number this one, red cherries and fruitcake. These are more flavours I would expect from a full bodied English ale, but a very well done here in this Maibock.  The texture is just slightly syrup touches in thickness and still very easy to drink despite the extra grip. The thickness and fruitiness combine to give a slightly jelly (and for Americans this is equivalent of Jello, not what we Brits would call Jam) flavour at times. That is a nice touch, and thankfully not overdone. Just little hints that don’t get sickly.

Works well chilled, and is very easy to drink like that, however the beer is more robust worm, with better use of its quite light hop bitterness. Also a banana bread like character comes out. Unfortunately, as is often the case, with heat also comes a liquorice touch, to the slight detriment of the beer. It never becomes so evident to be a major obstacle to enjoyment though so it’s a minor thing.

A very enjoyable beer then, fruity and easy going. Despite the fruit it never piles on the sweetness too heavily and like many German lagers, the crisp use of bitterness in moderation allows for them to get away with flavours that would otherwise get sickly.

Therefore a good beer, no element quite pushes it into great, but still good and no real complaints here.
Background: One of Michel Jackson’s 500 Great beers and annoying elusive, for me at least. Finally found at Corks of Cotham, along with few other treats. Drunk after a brutal week at work so I was looking forwards to a good beer to relax with. I consider myself slightly biased towards German beer, for many reasons, but frankly their beer doesn’t usually let me down either.