In the past, I’ve not made it a secret that Lagunitas is generally hit and miss for me. Not that I’ve denigrated their brand…some of the beers just aren’t my (pardon the expression on a beer site) brand of vodka. As a result of my hot and cold attitude toward the brand, I leave her a bit befuddled when I wax and wane between praise and disappointment. Tongue-in-cheek anthropomorphic painting of the the brewery aside, it is generally a coin flip as to whether I’ll purchase a bottle of something.
Well, I’m happy to say that I took Nate’s advice and tried their Bavarian-Style Doppel Weizen that is a limited release from the brewery. According to the bottle, the recipe was designed by brothers who are, aside from the homage on the bottle, perhaps best known for founding ROLEC; a company that designs breweries and other beverage systems.
Aside from the brewery system they installed, the brothers also donated a yeast strain for the brewery to use. The link to the story about yeast also has its own review of the beer with a risotto pairing. But what did I think of the beer?
It was great. It was authentic and was very traditional. The phenols that are associated Bavarian Wheat beers were popping. Plenty of cloves and bananas were notable. Plenty of haze and straw color graced the brew. The carbonation was a bit lower than it typical of the style…or it seemed so too me. There is plenty more to describe about the taste profile but I’ll let you the drinker of the brew consider what you would like to add to the discussion. However, I will note one more thing; my surprise.
I was truly and pleasantly surprised by two aspects of this brew. First, the alcohol of 9% was, in my opinion, very well hidden within the overall structure of the beer and its strength. Second, its authenticity surprised me. Many American wheat beers tend toward clean yeast strains and lack the phenols and esters of more traditional wheat styles. Don’t mistake me, I’m not being critical it’s simply an experiential observation. But Lagunitas nailed the traditional flavors. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have an authentic strain with which to work.
At any rate, I heartily recommend this limited release brew to you. Let’s just hope that they change their minds about the limit part. Pick one up today.