Schneider Weisse TAP X Mathilde Soleil Weizenbock

schneider-weisse-mathilda-soleilBrewer: G. Schneider und Sohn, Kelheim, Germany
Style: Weizenbock
ABV: 7.0%
IBUs: Unlisted

Description: The Mathilde Soleil was Schneider Weisse special brew 2015, which was first released at the  Braukunst Live 2015 beer festival in Munich. This limited special wheat beer was brewed in honor of the former head of the brewery, Mathilde Schneider, who presented Bavaria’s first wheat doppelbock in 1907. Continuing in the tradition of Mathilde, this beer combines barley and wheat malt with a variety of hops that were grown in small quantities specifically for this special series.

Tasting Notes: Schneider und Sohn are well known for their mastery of the wheat ale, and their Aventinus Dopplebock is one of my absolute favorites. That, and the limited availability of their products where I live make any limited releases from this brewery a rare treat. Speaking of which, the brew is very well-balanced. It has a lovely deep orange hue, it has a mighty yeasty backbone, and has some lovely fruit flavors – apple and orchard fruit – a hint of spiciness, and some oaky flavor. A very tasty and well-rounded Weizenbock!

Appearance: Deep orange, cloudy, sediment, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Rich malt, sugars, baked bread, spicy yeast, grassy and herbal Noble hops
Taste: Semi-sweet malt, apple, apricot, notes of oak, strong yeast, hint of spice
Aftertaste: Lingering apple and malt flavor, yeast and spice notes
Overall: 9/10

Schneider Weisse Mein Nelson Sauvin

schneider_weisse_mns

schneider-weisse-mein-nelson-sauvinThanks to my local dispensaries, which excel at stocking their shelves with a wide array of international beers, I have managed to get my hands on the latest from the Schneider Weisse brewery! This time around, it is a limited reserve known as Mein Nelson Sauvin, a specialized wheat beer that incorporated Nelson Sauvin hops and comes in a tall, wine-like bottle.

And I can honestly say that I’m quite impressed with how this old and venerated brewery – which is responsible for producing my favorite wheat beer and one of my favorite beers of all time – is branching out and experimenting. This would be the third special release beer of theirs that I’ve tried now, and I can honestly say that I think it’s the best. In addition to possessing all the characteristics of a fine Bavarian bottle-fermented wheat beer, it also possesses some decidedly barley-wine like characteristics.

Appearance: Dark golden, opaque, heady foam and good carbonation
Nose: Yeasty, sweat malts and sugars, fruity notes
Taste: Rich malts, barley-wine like sweetness, yeasty effervescence, notes of grapes, mild spice
Aftertaste: Lingering yeasts, lingering sugars and grapes
Overall: 9.5/10

It also seems fitting that this beer comes in a wine bottle seeing as how it is in possession of a complex, spicy flavor that oftentimes tastes and smells like Riesling grapes. Oh yes, and it weighs in at a respectable 7.3% alc/vol, not quite what their Aventinus Doppelbock rates at, but still what one would expect from a barley-wine like specialty beer. Yeah, not a bad bottle of hefeweizen at all. Might just be a contender for the “Best Wheats” list.

G. Schneider und Sohn Hopfenweisse

hopfenweisseAnd I’m back, and this time, I brought a beer that is obscure even for my standards! Yes, this would a new product from the venerable Schneider Weisse brewery, an operation renowned for producing one of the greatest beers I have ever tasted! And much to my surprise, it seems they are creating new beers, things that fall outside their time-honored lineup, and even through collaborative efforts with comparatively recent craft brewers.

One such beer is the Hopfenweisse, a beer that was produced through the combined efforts of Schneider Weisse and the Brooklyn Brewery. And I can honestly attest it is one of the more unique varieties of beer I’ve ever tried. Though I felt myself sufficiently primed by Weisen Edel-Weisse, the drinking experience provided by this number was still packed with surprises!

Playing to their strengths, and yet stepping out of their comfort zone just a little, this wheat strong ale is brewed with a combination of wheat and barley malt and is hopped in just such a way to achieve a fruity aroma and aftertaste. On top of that, there are notes of some rather interesting herbs and a sugary quality that is similar to barley wine. Taken together, this leads to a rather weird, interesting, and appealing kind of acquired taste!

Appearance: Golden-yellow, cloudy and opaque, good foam and carbonation
Nose: Wheat malts and yeast, floral and barleywine-like sweetness
Taste: Combination of pine, lavender, yeasty burst, followed by mild sugars
Aftertaste: Slightly bitter finish, clean and notes of barley wine
Overall: 8/10

And interestingly enough, I am indebted to the private chain known as Liqour Plus for this new drinking experience. I certainly noticed it alongside an ample stock of Aventinus, which prompted me to ask how long they had been carrying it. They replied that it has only been with them for a few weeks, thus lending even more credence to my theory that I am responsible for stocking Victoria with Aventinus and other related Schneider Und Sohn products! To the people of Victoria, I say… you’re welcome 😉

G. Schneider und Sohn Wiesen Edel-Weisse

schneider_und_sohnWhat a day it’s been! After a rather long and weird haul, I was afforded a trip to my favorite liquor store in the downtown Victoria area, also known as Cook Street Liquor. Once more, I found the selection there quite impressive, coming many of the more inaccessible favorites I’ve come to know and love with plenty of brand names I have never heard of. Trust me when I say that there will be several interesting reviews to follow!

schneider_edel-weisseAnd this was one such find. While I’ve been raving about Schneider und Sohn’s Aventinus for quite some time, I never knew they also produced an organic wheat and barley-based beer that incorporates Cascade and Hallertauer hops. Apparently, this beer is brewed in honor of Georg Schneider himself, and commemorates the fact that he was able to take part in the world famous Munich Oktoberfest until 1942, when his renowned “Weisse Brauhaus im Tal, Munich” was destroyed. And I can honestly say that it is quite the interesting and unique drinking experience, delivering a beer that consists of light wheat malts, a piney, spruce-like hint of  flavor, and plenty of yeasty foam and carbonation.

Appearance: Amber golden, very cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Wheat malts, yeasty, trace hoppiness
Taste: Slight hint of spruce and pine, light wheat malts, mild tang and hint of lactic acid
Aftertaste: Lingering sourness and yeast, highly clean and refreshing
Overall: 8.5/10

It always appeals to me when I am able to find my way to some of the more obscure and rare treats in this wide, wide place known as the world of brewing! And I especially enjoy it when a local store chooses to stock plenty of these alongside my usual favorites. Given their track record, I wish I could find my way to all of G. Schneider und Sohn’s products, such as their Hopfeinweisse, Unser Original, and Kristall. I can’t tell you how appealing a stronger, hoppier, or clear wheat beer would be alongside everything else they make! Perhaps I should start lobbying to get more of their catalog imported. After all, I do claim some credit for getting Aventinus admitted to the region 😉

Favorite Beers Found!

aventinusIt’s seems like there’s a change happening here in BC, and I take partial credit! As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I often lament the fact that certain beers (which happen to be personal favorites of mine) just don’t seem to be available here on the West Coast. In the course of going from private to public liquor stores and back again over the course of the past six years, I was repeatedly rebuffed when I asked for specific labels. Lately, however, that’s appears to be changing…

After succeeding in getting the Rathskeller restaurant to begin importing one of my favorite beers of all time, Aventinus Heffeweizen Doppelbock, I learned that some private liquor stores were actually carrying it. The first instance occurred the other day at one of my favorite local private liquor stores. I saw the purple bottle sitting on the shelf, but was somewhat disappointed to see that it was the Aventinus Eisbock. This is the stronger, ice-brewed variety of the double-fermented wheat bock, and call me a snob (I am) but it makes a difference! I’ve seen this before in BC, and never understood it. How can they carry Schneider-Weisse and the Aventinus Eisbock, but not the Aventinus? However, after a brief conversation with the manager, I learned that not only could he get it, but it would be at competitive pricing!

westmalle_tripelLess than a day later, while doing a beer run for a lovely Christmas party that was well-stocked on wine, but short on suds, I discovered that a not-so-local private store had Aventinus on their shelves. Imagine my surprise! The situation only became more intense when I noticed another personal favorite that I have not seen in years: Westmalle Trappist Tripel! It was this beer that became my favorite when, years back, McAuslan’s exceptional Vintage Ale for the year 2000 went out of stock. You can imagine how excited I got at that point. My friend began to laugh and told everyone back at the party that I was a kid in a candy store!

Brewdog_ipaAnd on top of all that, I found that this particular store – Cook Street Village Liquor – also stocked some of the more difficult-to-find items from Brewdog. For weeks, I’ve been dying to get my hands on their IPA, and they just happened to have some of that and the Tokyo Stout! After sampling their Trashy Blonde and their 5A.M. Saint Amber (one of the best Amber Ales I’ve ever tasted), I’ve been dying to see what their India Pale Ale is like. IPA’s are kind of my thing…

The only drawback to this situation is that this venerable liquor store that seems to take the time to stock my favorites is over forty minutes by car away. But then again, I’m going into town all the time. I think I just might be swinging by whenever I find myself in the area from now on…

An Ode to Beer Boots!

How to describe the enviable experience of drinking beer out of a boot? Not any boot, mind you, I’m talking about a glass boot that’s literally filled to the brim with beer. How does one describe that? Well… the word unique comes to mind. And if you’re doing it all by yourself, so does challenging! Fun might come in a close third. We’re talking a lot of beer, and getting at the last of it requires some dexterity, which is hard since that’s when you’re tipsiest. But I digress…

According to legend, the tradition of drinking beer out of a boot goes back to 16th century Germany, where students enjoyed having a few beers, then dueling it out! As midnight neared, duelers laid down their swords and filled their boots with their favorite lagers. This is where the term “fill your boots!” became a popular saying, which loosely translates to “help yourself”.

Naturally, it wasn’t long before health-conscious craftsmen began to develop boots made of glass specifically for this challenge. Then, whenever young men felt like a challenge, they could ask for the boot to be filled and demonstrate their drinking prowess by drinking it down without spillage or vomiting. Apparently, drinking the incorrect way would result in having to “wear the boot home”… Ouch!

To my knowledge, there are only two places on Vancouver Island, possibly even in BC, that carry on this venerated tradition. The first is the Rathskeller Schnitzel Haus, located right in the heart of downtown Victoria. Here, beer can be enjoyed in a 2 liter boot, 1 liter boot, or the personal .5 liter boot. And of course, drinkers can treat themselves to anything on tap, which includes Hackser-Schorr, Warsteiner, Holsten Lager, Festbock and Maibock, Spatenbrau Heffeweizen, Spatenbrau Oktoberfest (available only in the fall), Schneider-Weisse, and Konig Ludwig.

The second is located at the Rim Rock Brewpub in Port Alberni, at the cross-roads of Vancouver Island. A relatively new operation, the Rim Rock has the added distinction of being attached to Nanaimo’s Longwood Brewpub, one of my personal favorites. Here they have the wort for their beer brewed, which is then transported to the pub in Port Alberni where it is fermented. Thus far, they have a lager and a pale ale on tap, both of which can be served in the boot!

Needless to say, I am eager to find more places that can provide this service to the thirsty beer snob! And I’m not much concerned if this journey should take me out of town, out of province, or out of country. There are more out there, I know it. Bavaria and Oktoberfest-themed restaurants can’t be the only places where this still goes on 😉