Plank Hefeweizen

Plank Laaber: Hefeweizen (Germany: Hefeweizen: 5.2% ABV)

Visual: Hazy apricot. Off white head that leaves suds.

Nose: Lemon. Wheaty. Big coriander. Carrot. Banana.

Body: Wheaty. Bitter. Dried apricot. Banana. Cloves. Crisp hops. Tart pickled notes at back. Carrot and coriander. Froths up some times as you sip.

Finish: Pepper. Wheat. Crisp hops. Banana. Slight tart apple.

Conclusion: These days I find it hard reviewing a new hefeweizen, mainly because I have already drunk weihenstephaner and even before the first sip I am comparing this new beer to that one. Because that beer absolutely rules. This, however comes surprisingly close in quality. Not often that happens.

It has a similar thick flavoursome character, heavy on the wheat, banana and spice. However it thankfully has its own emphasis, with more a coriander spice that the more traditional clove, an element that almost calls to the more Belgian interpretation of the wit.

It is not as complex as weihenstephaner, but has its own twists. There is more hop bitterness and prickle here in what is traditionally a low hop style. Most unusual is a slight sour tang in the beer when cold. The element unfortunately disappears as it warms but is intriguing while it hangs around.

If I had to work out the biggest difference between the two I would say that this is more forthright, not as complex but more up front. The banana and apricot are thick and with this musty heaviness that actually works well and the weight allows the flavour to work well into the finish.

Overall a very flavoursome beer, chilled down more prickle and bitterness. Warm with greater character. Its own take and twists makes its identifiably different from other hefeweizens enough to stand on its own feet. Not better than weihenstephaner but allows for different appreciation.

Very nice, with just a tad more range it would be one of the greats.

Background: Can’t find much information on Plank Laaber, they are a small German brewery, won some awards, has a brewer with the last name Plank by the look of it. Anyway, grabbed this as it has been a while since I had some beer from a German brewery I hadn’t tried before. Drunk at Brewdog Bristol. Yes again. I know.

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