Today was our first day on a short summer tour and we were in the pretty town of Wiesbaden, capital of the Hessen region and just half an hour from Frankfurt.
There wasn’t much time to enjoy the town but in a rushed dinner break we fell on our feet, finding a pretty place called Kloster Andechs opposite a stunning red brick church. During a typical German meal involving lots of meat we noticed an interesting beer menu and decided to return after the concert.
After a tiring but enjoyable concert on a hot stage we were really in the mood for some refreshment. By the time we were back at Kloster Andechs it was looking closed but thankfully a door was still open and there were a few people left drinking the evening’s dregs, their number soon to be swelled by our ranks.
We slightly annoyed the waiter with loads of questions about the beers until he brought a couple of bocks for us to try. Since the tasters were small we decided we really needed a little more to get a proper impression and ordered a glass of each bock, one a light Bergbock (mountain bock), the other a dark Doppelbock and also two Weißbiers, one light and one dark.
I started with the dark Weißbier. It was a dark reddy Brown colour and was clear, not full of yeast. The beer was darkened with spelt and had a unique character, lacking the yeasty spiciness of a normal Weiß but with a deep banana taste combined with caramel: a bit like banoffee or prune but not too sickly sweet. The malt flavour was quite complex and certainly added interest, Manuel picked out some oak in there too.
The light Weißbier was pretty much as you’d expect, opaque orange colour, spicy and a little fruity, though it wasn’t as sweet as some I’ve tried and the banana was subtler. This made for an excellent thirst quencher.
On to the bocks, both were as rich and sweet as anything, the Doppelbock dunkel smelled of caramel and apple, it was very sweet but had a tiny roasted malt bitterness in the aftertaste to keep things in check. A really dark cherry red, the beer looked beautiful and was thick and mealy in the mouth.
The Bergbock shared it’s apple scent but lacked the caramel, it actually had an aroma quite similar to the sparkling apple juice we’d had at dinner. Looking like fizzy honey in the glass it was probably a bit too sweet for us but still had a tiny nudge of hop bitterness at the end and a lighter body than the Doppelbock made it more drinkable.
Moritz and Manuel both loved the enveloping complexity of the Doppelbock while I found it a little too brash and preferred the subtlety of the dark Weißbier.