Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Category 1: Light Lagers

Beer: Weihenstephaner Original Premium
Category: Light Lager
Subcategory: Munich Helles Lager

For people who have never had a Helles, it is a very light colored beer made under the German purity Law of 1516 stating that a beer may only contain water, hops, malted barley, and yeast. As such, Helles is a lager that focuses more on the malt flavor, with some hop bitterness and not much hop flavor or aroma. Here is my experience with the WOP Helles:

Poured from bottle into glass tankard. About one finger's width of brilliant white head that fades but leaves really nice lacing on the sides of the glass. Clarity of beer is decent, with apparent bubbles throughout. Very light straw color.

Nose: sweet malt with a light hint of lager yeast, with some nice fresh grassy aromas in the background from the light touch of hops

very subtle sweetness, light earthy cereal graininess, a little zip from the hop bitterness with some fresh, clean grass on the finish, and taste does linger on the palate for a little bit

light bodied and smooth, though more body than your average Pilsner or American Light Lager; moderate carbonation

This is a relatively simple beer, but that is what's so excellent about it. It is beer in its purest form, and because of the simplicity you can really pick out the flavors in it nicely...I would compare this to drinking a very pure, back-to-basics mead as opposed to a spiced or fruit mead. This beer is very drinkable and would pair handsomely with a big yeasty pretzel or bratwurst.

This is a fantastic beer, right in there with the style with a very refined flavor. I would love to quaff this from a big stein in a biergarten in Germany with some good German food. That being said, I don't think I could ever label this as my "favorite" style, because I often like something with a little more complexity.

Excited to be starting this new journey in the beer world!

Die Braumeister

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