German beers are growing on me. I must admit that before I properly started appreciating the craft of making good beer that my previous exposure to Germanic brewing were skiing trips and work jollies, neither of which are conducive to exploring the full range and rich history of German brewing. Let’s not forget that Germany is the world’s leading hop grower so these guys are centre stage when it comes to beer.
I was recently sent a couple of bottles to sample by Schneider-Weisse, a Bavarian brewer supplying to the UK, and have already reviewed its “doppelbock” Tap 6. That was a real meal of a beer at 8.2% but the Tap 7 Unser Original is, by contrast, a far more manageable but still ultra premium-strength 5.4%.
The recipe for this wheat beer remains unchanged since 1872 and it’s a deep caramel colour with the trademark zesty, foamy head that you’d expect from a Bavarian wheat beer. There’s a fresh lemon, floral nose with a hint of nutmeg, which really heightens the senses for the taste.
The notes I wrote down on first taste were “smooth, clean experience with orange hints”. It is a really satisfying experience if you like the more full-bodied, sugary offerings from continent Europe.
Colour: Deep caramel
Nose: Freshly floral, lemon, nutmeg
Taste: Smooth with orange tones
Schneider-Weisse's promo shot. Tap 6 is on the left
I’m surprised I am even able to type at all after drinking a bottle of the Tap 6 “Unser Aventinus” by Bavarian brauhaus Schneider-Weisse. It’s a whopping 8.2% “doppelbock” brew which is a really enticing ruby-black, cloudy colour, like a dark evening storm in a slick bottle.
As people who read my post on the Best Beer in Berlin will know, I’m a big fan of German beer. The heart of German brewing is in Bavaria, the locals will have you believe, and this is where Schneider-Weisse has been crafting Unser Aventinus since 1907.
The nose is amazing. It’s a fruity liquorice aroma, almost like bananas drenched in Pernod. There’s a hint of chocolate in there too, but the taste is so incredibly rich and treacly that quaff follows quaff, so if it wasn’t for the giggles you could almost forget it was such a strong beer. There’s a late port wine kick, too.
It’s instantly my favourite German beer. It makes me want to get on a plane to Munich right now!
Look: Dark ruby, cloudy
Smell: Bananas and liquorice
Taste: Full-bodied, chocolate malts, treacle, port wine.
Our verdict: Great work, Schneider-Weisse! I love a beer with full character of look, nose and flavour and this ticks all those boxes.