Wednesday, February 11, 2009

MBR In Chicago - Victory Weizenbock

A few months back MBR received some knowledge regarding weizen bocks. Friend of MBR, Ron Extract, filled us in:
Weissbier and its close variations are always top-fermenting. The unique banana-clove flavor is not so much from the wheat as it is from a particular strain of top-fermenting yeast, and the production of those esters requires a rather warm primary fermentation, even by ale-brewing standards. Some Weissbiers may undergo cold aging later in the brewing process, but this isn't uncommon in ale brewing and isn't really cause to think of them as a kind of hybrid style. If anything, Weissbiers are among the more extreme examples of ales.

Bockbier, in Germany, normally indicates a lager. Terms like "Weizen Bock" or "Weisse Bock" were initially applied metaphorically, to mean something like "Weissbier's answer to bock". Having said that, there probably were top-fermenting bocks in Germany at one point, since historical records of Bockbier predate the specific use of bottom-fermentation. Also, most Dutch bokbiers are top-fermenting, though the connections of some of these to German bock are somewhat tenuous, at best.
This is relevant, because Victory, a brewery out of the Philadelphia area has a weizen bock out called Moonglow. We get some Victory beers here in Wisconsin, but I haven't seen this one (although, admittedly, I haven't looked very hard).

Surprisingly, there are not a lot of weizenbocks made here in Wisconsin (Capital, I'm looking at you).

Victory Moonglow Weizenbock [BA (A-). RB (93)]
Appearance: white, creamy head; tawny and bronze body; sedimented yeast throughout, served at slightly above refrigerator temperatures
Aroma: lemony brightness with a subtle smoky spiciness; bready, with a slightly sweet malt, muted aroma
Flavor: super fine, bottle conditioned, carbonation; tastes of alcohol and lemons; a slight caramel and light wheatiness; slightly smoky and toastish in the back; not a lot of the typical weizen banana/clove fruitiness
Body: medium to full bodied with a long, boozy finish
Drinkability: Easy sipper and warms up well; dangerously, one could drink a six-pack of this if one wasn't paying a whole lot of attention - and at 8.7% ABV one would be on one's ass by the end of the evening (ahem. not that I would know or anything)
Summary: An excellent weizenbock that is a surprisingly easy drinker; this could very easily be a go-to late-winter/early-spring beer

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