Tag Archive: Schneider & Sohn


aged-aventinus

Schneider and Sohn: Aventinus: 2013 Vintage Release (Germany: Weizen Bock: 8.2% ABV)

Visual: Deep brown, with overripe banana colour at the edges. Creamy browned head. Lots of carbonation.

Nose: Madeira. Raisins. Cloves. Liquorice. Spiced red wine. Fruitcake. Vanilla caramel. Smooth. Cream.

Body: Massive raisins, brandy cream, bananas and Madeira. Smooth. Lemon sherbet. Orange zest. Cloves. Glacier cherries. Caramel.

Finish: Brandy cream. Orange liqueur. Baileys touch. Port.

Conclusion: An excuse to drink Aventinus again! Like I need an excuse. Still, despite not needing one it is still nice to have one. So – since I’m guessing most of you are aware I have already done notes on the standard, young, Aventinus, then I might as well concentrate on the changes that have happened with age.

So – the first and most obvious difference is the mouthfeel. This is much smoother, feels less carbonated, and a touch lighter. This is a mixed blessing for me – it makes it super easy to drink, especially for an over 8% abv beer, but with that it loses some of the cool, rough, wheaty texture of a young Aventinus.

Then again, I am a fan of my rough edges – which the most of the world seems to disagree with me on – so that may be an issue only for me. However, the increase in intensity and clarity of the flavours and aroma is by far worth it. They are so much clearer and more evident – every one defined perfectly now. The various spirit and wine notes that were always there are now expanded and refined. The banana, raisins and spice that is the core of the beer is added to with slight lemon and sherbet notes. The sweetness has been heightened with vanilla and caramel now used subtly against the forceful front flavours. Everything that existed before has been polished up by the years.

So – flaws? Well, as referenced before it has a lighter body – which can be a touch thin by my tastes at times. From my experience with ageing beers this is nigh always the case with older beers and part of the trade off. They get smoother, but lighter feeling in general. Is it worth it? Well, I wouldn’t want to lose the younger Aventinus for this permanently, but, since I can have both – yes it is well worth either trying to age one yourself, or grabbing one of these as long as it isn’t on a silly mark up over the younger version. Definitely recognisably Aventinus in flavour, but with a different feel and a different experience.

Still the classic. Bulletproof to the years quality wise – different but still awesome.

Background: Yes, I have done notes on Aventinus before. Yes, technically this is just an aged Aventinus so should be under the “Old Beer, Good Beer?” section. However, this is an official release, deliberately held back for three years, then released in paper wrapping. Paper wrapping! Surely that deserves a second set of notes. Anyway, drunk 2016 this is a three year aged bottle of one of my favourite beers of all time. It was grabbed from Corks of Cotham. I was mildly disappointed that under the wrapping it was not the old school purple Aventinus label underneath, but I guess you can’t have everything.

Schieder and Sohn Tap X cuvee

Schneider & Sohn: Schneider Weisse: Tap X: Mein Cuvee Barrique (Germany: Weizen Bock: 9.5% ABV)

Visual: Dark reddened brown. Dark head froths up but doesn’t hold for long.

Nose: Liquorice. Banana. Raisins. Rich red wine. Blackcurrants. Blueberry. Dry malt.

Body: Blueberry and black current. Raisins and cloves. Rich red wine. Smooth liquore feel. Blueberry pie. Rich red grapes. Strawberry and banana hints. Molasses. Cherries.

Finish: Red berries. Raisins. Cloves. Blueberries. Slight wheat. Malt chocolate.

Conclusion: This one comes in as a well timed counterpoint to Wild Beer Co’s Raconteur Barley Wine. They are both beers that tell tales of massive wine ageing influence, however this beer has more of a tale to tell after that chapter is done. The base elements of the weizen bock still comes through strong, reinforcing and contrasting the wine flavours.

The base bock reminds me of my old favourite Aventinus, but the beer here is richer and more vinous with fruitiness rising up from the depths. It is very rich with a wide range of flavours that mix blueberry, cherry, wine and grapes. These are complimented by the raisins and cloves which create and edge and spice that define the limits of the beer and the wine so the individual elements remain well sketched.

It is very smooth, sweet but with a bitter back and uses the alcohol to be warming but not burning, a fact much complimented by the spices. Then comes underneath the thick chocolate notes underneath that give extra grip and character.

This is, in its own ways, both better and worse than Aventinus. Aventinus has more subtle complexities, but this is much more vibrant and feels the bigger beer. It is a testament to the base beer used in this that it is not overpowered by such a rich and big wine.

A great beer, rich in every element from the banana and cloves to the raisins and other fruit. Lovely to drink and lovely to share.

Background: Oh yes. I was in a good mood already when I broke this open, and decided to have something a bit special. This fitted the bill nicely. Picked up from Independent Spirit, this is a mix of two beers that have then been aged for 8 months in Pinot Noir barrels. Frankly, I love Scheider Weisse beers, and have recently been introduced to Pinot Noir, so excitement started high. This was shared with my friend Will who said “Yummy!” Thanks for that insightful review Will.

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.

Schneider and Sohn: Tap 2: Mein Kristall (Germany: Kristallweizen: 5.3% ABV)

Visual: Lager grained yellow. Huge crisp white head packed with bubbles. Lots of carbonation. Small but fast bubbles swim up the glass.

Nose: Very crisp lemon and wheat. Slight peppermint menthol. Orange rind. Ripe bananas.

Body: Slightly dry hop character. Menthol. Quite fizzy feel. Slightly minty. Some malt and some banana.

Finish: Peppermint. What and some bitterness. Mild amount of cloves. Banana.

Conclusion: While it is a tad unfair I do tend to look upon kristallweizen as a weaker example of its cousin the hefeweizen. This is unfair as they are aiming for completely different character despite their shared roots.

Speaking of different characters this thing has a bloody peppermint like taste. It is subtle but present throughout the entirety of the beer.  As a result the beer has a slightly menthol feel. Different? Most definitely. Appreciated? Well it probably would be if there was more to the main body to back it up.

The aroma does have a lovely sharp lemon but main body doesn’t really expand much past the slightly bitter wheat character. In this environment the mint seems out of place and slightly intrusive.

The menthol character does have potential, but it isn’t used well here. Give it the right backing and I think it would help make a supremely refreshing beer. Here it just is a wasted element.  The beer is close though, it hints at flavours that really needed more expanding. Banana hints, cloves in the finish. Just a bit more fleshing out and it would have been an entirely different ballgame.  Not even full hefeweizen style needed, just that touch more.

This close to working, but in the end does not quite reach it.

Background: Also called Schneider Weisse Kristall, because standardised naming is too helpful or something.  Schneider and Sohn are responsible for my favourite beer I have never got around to reviewing –  Aventinus (though I have reviewed the Eisbock version).  This beer is oddly hard to find in the UK. I don’t know why, all of their other beers are really easy to find, but not the Kristall Weisse. Finally found at Utobeer. Which was nice.  As mentioned in the review I tend to find Kristall Weisse a poor second to Hefe Weisse, but there are enough good examples of the style to counter this impression.

Schneider: Hopfen Weisse (Germany: Weizen Bock: 8.2% ABV)

(Note this beer is a collaboration with Brooklyn Brewery, there are two versions, the Schneider and the Brooklyn version: this is the Schneider version)

Visual: Steamy, cloudy lemon yellow with a burnished apricot middle. Small white head that leaves lace across the glass.

Nose: Coriander, ginger, lemon and apricot. Pineapple, Lemon cake. Wheaty. This is a powerful nose.

Body: Malt, brown sugar. Lemon and golden syrup. Slightly bitter. Large amounts of honey, strawberry. Dry wheat back. Raspberry and grapefruit.

Finish: Honey, wheat and hops. Apricot, raspberry, summer fruit Pavlova. Sour grapes. Passion fruit. Malt.

Conclusion: Gobsmackingly brilliant, I can see only Aventinus as a similar matched beer for quality in the style, but the two are so radically different beers that it is hard to compare them head to head. This is sweet and summer fruit compared to Aventinus dark and dark fruits. As it is this holds it head up high in its own field.

It’s fruity, sweet and wheaty. Plays with summer freshness, wonderful complexity and impressive force. The alcohol never hides, making you fully aware of the beast that you are drinking.

Sweet and sharp, powerful from nose to finish, this is a distinctive beer that I would recommend to anyone.

Schneider & Sohn: Aventinus Weizen Eisbock (Germany: Eisbock:12% ABV)

Visual: A deep brown with a short lived fizzy head that leaves no trace once gone. Bubbles still rise from the centre of the brew.

Nose: Strong alcohol, raisin and ripening fruit. An almost medicinal touch behind a cloying sweetness. Brandy and fruitcake. Fortified wine. This nose is forceful in everything it does and there is no hiding the potency in this nose.

Body: Cherry, raisin and banana; the wheat beer notes roil underneath with a frothy sherbet lemon playing there. Dry dark malts.

Finish: Slick sweet processed cream. sultanas/raisin/fruit fruit style elements. Surprisingly refreshing note followed by fig like heaviness.

Conclusion: A wonderful complex beer that makes no attempt to hide its potency. It warns you what your drinking whilst it warms you up, and you had best respect it.

The normal Aventinus is one of the finest beers ever made and this, whilst suitable for fewer occasions, takes everything and turns it up to 11. Recommended if you can find it.

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