Samuel Adams Dunkelweizen, along with their very tasty Octoberfest and Harvest Pumpkin Ale, is part of the Sam Adams Fall seasonal variety pack. That said, this beer is only available for a short amount of time. 🙁
For the record, the Dunkelweizen is not a style of beer that I’ve had too many of. Looking back, I can’t seem to find ANY Dunkelweizen beer reviews on The Brew Club! That’s cool – there’s a first for everything and the people from Sam Adams have been getting some good ratings here lately. I’m hopeful for a good experience!
To start, a Dunkelweizen is simply a dark wheat beer. Thinking way back to studing German in college, dunkel means ‘dark’ and weizen would mean wheat. Fairly straight forward. Most wheat beers are, at least in my experience, of a lighter variety. Belgian White and Hefeweizen are the most common examples – both of which are favorites of mine.
The 5.1% ABV Sam Adams Dunkelweizen pours a nice dark rusty color – quite appropriate for the season. There’s a bit of a head, but nothing fancy here. This beer starts to get interesting with the aroma. According to the Sam Adams website, the beer is made with a yeast variety from Germany that gives it a “wide spectrum of flavors and aromas” – and I’d agree!
Much like the Hefeweizen, one picks up spices like clove in the nose, and a mix of subtly fruity smells as well. I’m hesitant to say tropical fruit as the website suggests – but definitely banana. There’s also a nice sweetness from the malt.
Taste, even though I hate to say it, it very similar to the aroma. There’s some of that banana, and I guess I can see this tropical fruit thing they speak of if I think about it. (Fruit is not readily apparent to me.) There’s a decent amount of clove in the flavor, sweet malt, and to me, something of a toasty bread kind of flavor. Overall, nothing was too extreme, and I think the beer is nicely balanced.
I wouldn’t say its that bitter (wheat beers tend not to be), and it had a very nice, crisp kind of feel. The dark malts make the flavor a little more mellow I think than the ‘regular’ wheat ales, but I’d like to say that this would also make a great year-round, or Summertime beer as well. I found it not too heavy, and nicely refreshing.
So, what’s the deal? I liked the Sam Adams Dunkelweizen, and I’m hoping, like their Pumpkin Ale, someday this beer will be available as a six-pack and not just available as a small part of the seasonal variety-pack. As I mentioned, I don’t have any other Dunkelweizens to compare it to, but standing alone I’d say its a fine beer and worth a try. If anything good had come of this, I’ll certainly be trying other dunkelweizens in the future!