Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Heller Weizenbock

Brauerei Plank - Laaber

Style: Weizen Bock
ABV: 7.8%

Rings’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (World class.)

Pair With:
• Bananas
• Goose
• Gumbo
• Trout
• Veal
As I work to get back in the saddle here at BeerDorks, I’m covering a bit of beloved ground as I revisit a few of my favorite Vaterland breweries despite the end of International Beer Month. I’ve covered some of the history and tradition of weissbier in my reviews of Schneider and Unertl, so I’m stepping up a level to dig into a couple weissbocks as we near March, also known as Starkbierzeit in Bavaria.

Michael Plank’s Brauerei Plank-Laaber is a family owned operation in a small town just west of Regensburg, Bavaria. As I mentioned in my review of his Weissbier, he’s been recognized every year he’s entered at the biannual World Beer Cup for his products, including three straight gold medals for his Heller Weizenbockâ?¦and rightfully so.

This is a pretty unique brew, in that most weizenbocks are dark—or at least brown—with a dose of roasted malt in the grist bill. This, however, is a “hell” or light version brewed using only pale barley and wheat malts. It pours a pale, creamy orange, with a thin head that nonetheless clings throughout the serving. Opening with a full, round mouthfeel, there is tremendous balance between the soft maltiness, light banana esters and the easy hop finish. There’s virtually no burn, despite its relatively hefty 7.8% ABV. In fact, you wouldn’t even suspect this was a bock until it sneaks up on you by your second glass.

Quite simply, the WBC judges have it right …this is one of the finest weizenbocks I’ve ever tasted—and I’ve been fortunate to have sampled more than a few.

Reviewed by Rings on March 11, 2012.
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