The last couple of days I’ve been thinking about beer reviewing, more specifically beer reviewers. I’ve been mulling over in my mind about how I hope we don’t escalate to the snobbery of wine “critics”. I understand that serious reviews of craft beer give the industry a greater sense of legitimacy as an artisan beverage, but does it also hurt the culture of the industry, or, you could say, the movement. The issue is a double edged sword, because there’s really no right answer. I do think that overly critical reviews, or degradingly negative ones are purely toxic to the craft beer culture. There’s such a vast variety of beer styles as well as abilities to warp the very idea of style with different ingredients, which is unmatched by/unlike wine, and because of this there’s a greater chance that certain beers will be unappealing or down right gross to some. Now, this doesn’t mean they’re bad beers, but they just don’t fit into one’s flavor palate. I do think we need to provide constructive criticism as well as express our own opinions to our audience, but, by having a voice, I believe we need to keep in mind helping progress the growth of an industry we so obviously hold dear.
With all of that said, let’s review a beer, haha. I haven’t had many Dunkelweizens in my time, so when I saw Redhook’s Blueline Series Dunkelweizen at the store I thought I’d give it a try. Now, I have to admit I was in search of a specific Rogue Chipotle Ale, and those of you who follow me on twitter already know this, but at the end of the night I was rather happy I found this Dunkelweizen. I normally like to post a link to the brewery’s website, but they’re updating so in a week or so google “Redhook” and give them a look.
The Dunkelweizen comes in at 6% ABV, and pours a creamy off-white head with brown hues. The head dissipates very slowly, which I was happy to see. The color is dark brown with a little bit of red coming though in the light. The clarity is very cloudy, which I expect from a weizen bier. Overall, a very nice looking beer. Head - 9, Look - 14. The smell is strong of yeast with cinnamon and cloves providing a strong spice presence. Fruit notes emerge behind the spice, which are most notably banana. There is a light roast quality to the smell, but nothing substantial. The overall smell was a bit lighter than I expected, but it’s dominated by the yeast, spice, and only slightly with the fruit. Smell - 22.
It hits the palate with strong carbonation, and much lighter than expected. I was expecting clove to pop out with the yeast initially, but to my surprise it was the banana that dominated the flavor alongside the yeast. The aftertaste has a very light hop presence, enough to let you know they’re in the beer. It’s a crisp and clean aftertaste with only a subtle amount of floral bitter notes. Palate - 7.5, Aftertaste - 7.5. The overall flavor doesn’t morph a whole lot after continued drinking. The texture isn’t quite full compared to other weizen biers, but it does expand well on the palate. The cinnamon is nonexistent, but the cloves are subtle in their presence. The overall initial flavor is bread followed by banana. I was hoping for a bit more roast characteristics considering the color, but they really weren’t there. After several drinks this beer really started to shine. The mellow qualities and overall balanced nature of this brew really made it a great session beer. This beer has complexity, but it isn’t in your face, and because of that it won me over. Flavor - 25.
Redhook and I seem to get a long very well when it isn’t one of their year-round ales, or staple ales. I like what this brewery does in bombers, which makes me wonder why they aren’t producing the same quality in their six packs. Redhook is a larger brewery, but they are still a craft brewery. Their craft qualities show in their Limited Series, and, now from what I’ve seen, their Blueline. Redhook looks to be doing an overhaul on their image, and I hope they take their creativity that I’ve seen in their series of bombers and allow it to continue to grow and prosper. If you want a tasty Dunkelweizen to sit back and enjoy - pick of this Blueline Series by Redhook. With an Overall Flavor of 39/50 the Beer Fusion gives Redhook’s Blueline Series Dunkelwiezen...