Review: Weihenstephaner Kristallweizenbock

The Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan has revived an old beer brand from the 1950s as a one-time release. This Kristallweizenbock (aka Kristall Weizenbock) is now hitting the market in limited fashion.

Johannes Weiss, Weihenstephan’s Sales Manager Export, discovered the label digging through the brewery’s nearly one thousand-year-old archives. “I thought, as a brewery world-acclaimed for wheat beer specialties, brewing one wheat beer style that is hardly available is something very special.” When Weiss discovered the 1950’s Kristallweizenbock label, it sparked an idea. “I suggested using hops with ‘crystal’ names,” said Weiss, “smaragd (emerald) and opal. [These hops] add fruity flavors to the beer and complement the name.” From there, Brewmaster Tobias Zollo continued to develop Weiss’ idea, building out the malt bill and other flavor profiles. Kristallweizenbock differs from Weihenstephan’s traditional weizenbock, Vitus, as it is filtered and has a stronger focus on hops, without being too “hoppy.”

It’s a mission fairly well accomplished. While heavily malty — and quite sweet, particularly as it warms up — the hops do give the beer a bit more nuance, tempering the higher alcohol and malt with notes of apricot jam, applesauce, and some bitter roots. Carrot notes, maybe? Fans of German style brews will find more to like here than, say, your typical IPA fanatic, but as it stands it’s approachable from just about every angle.

7.5% abv.

B / $11 per six-pack / weihenstephaner.de

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