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Beer #26 – January 26, 2010: Moonglow Weizenbock

January 26, 2010

Beer: Moonglow Weizenbock

Brewery: Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Style: Weizenbock

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle

Price: $10.99 / 6-pack

Availability: Winter Seasonal

Glassware: Pilsner glass

Strength: 8.7% ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: Interesting, flavorful, but strong.  Be sure to have friends around to share your six-pack.

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Pours a hazy coppery amber with a big foamy off-white head that disappates relatively quickly.  Chunks of yeast floating in the beer… the bottle says “unfiltered”, but wow, those are some chunks of yeast.

Aroma: Yeasty, wheaty, cloves.

Mouthfeel: Effervescent as a wheat should be, with a little syrupy thickness.

Taste: An initial orange-blossom honey sweetness melds into a brown bread and molasses middle.  Fruit flavors of banana and peach are contrasted by spicy and zesty notes of clove and subtle nutmeg and ginger, leading into a slightly tart, tangy and pepppery finish.

Pairing: The clove, spice and fruit flavors would pair nicely with a maple-glazed ham for dinner, and easily carry over to molasses cookies, ginger snaps or banana bread for dessert.

Trivia: While Bock beers are cold-fermented lagers, a Weizenbock is a warm-fermented ale.  Bocks use lager yeast, which imparts very little, if any flavor to the beer, resulting in “clean” and straightforward flavors.  Weizenbocks use ale yeast, very particular ale yeast in fact, that imparts the fruity and spicy flavors.  Traditional German Weizenbocks follow the “Reinheitsgebot” tradition, the German beer purity law that allows only three ingredients (malted barley, hops and water: yeast was unknown at the time it was originally written – somehow, beer “mystically” fermented), to some degree.  Technically, wheat would not be allowed (though a weizenbock uses over 50% wheat malt), but the concept was that ingredients such as spice, fruit or sugar could not be used for brewing beer.  What is amazing to me is that these prominent fruit and spice flavors are in a beer that contains neither fruit nor spice.  Maybe yeast are really “mystical”!

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