- Style: Weizenbock
- ABV: 8.5%
Up for review this week is Neshaminy Creek’s Neshaminator. Its a German Wheat Bock, also known as Weizenbock in German. For those who are unfamiliar with this style, a wheat bock is a strong lager brewed with wheat with a typical ABV range between 7.0-9.5% and an IBU range between 15-35. Weizenbock is a style of bock brewed using wheat instead of barley. It was first produced in Bavaria in 1907 by G. Schneider & Sohn and was named Aventinus after a Bavarian historian. The style combines darker Munich malts and top-fermenting wheat beer yeast, brewed at the strength of a doppelbock.
“The German-style Weizenbock is a wheat version of a German-Style Bock, or a bigger and beefier Dunkelweizen. Malt mellanoidins and Weizen Ale yeast are the star ingredients. If served with yeast, the appearance may appropriately be very cloudy. With flavors of bready malt and dark fruits like plum, raisin, and grape, this style is low on bitterness and high on carbonation. Balanced clove-like phenols and fruity, banana-like esters produce a well-rounded aroma.” – BeerAdvocate
Bock styled beers is an old style dating back to the 1300s, which was first brewed in Einbeck Germany. Due to the Bavarian accent, Einbeck became “ein bock” which translates to “billy goat” in German and thus the connection with a goat has stuck (you’ll often see a goat pictured on beer labels of Bock style beers). One last thing about bock…there has been a thought that bock beer was made from the dregs from the brewers kettle. This is not true – making beer is too exacting and this treatment would not stand up to brewing standards and would taste absolutely horrible, and rancid.
Wait, one last cool fact before we get to the review. You will often see stronger styled Bocks such as the Dopplebock or Weizenbock with “ator added to the end of the beers name, such as Neshaminator. This is due in part to the monks who originally brewed Doppelbock and named their beer “Salvator” literally meaning “Savior”, originally brewed for the feast of St. Francis of Paola on April 2nd, which often falls into Lent. The monks would fast during this time, so they would beef up the beers they were drinking to get nutrients. The Dopplebock became their liquid bread. Brewers kept the “ator” part as an ode to the monks and also as a signpost to the style.
Ok, let’s kick this review off. I poured this beer into a tulip style glass and could immediately smell the banana, and clove permeating the air. A dark, murky brown liquid sat in my glass, with very little head. It was almost crimson looking when held to the light. On my first sip I was hit with the initial banana and clove notes. This was all followed by notes of orange peel, clove honey, rose water, cinnamon, fig, dates, roasted apples, and slight bubblegum. A sweet malt backbone gave off flavors of dark brown sugar, and pie crust. Everything flowed perfectly until the end. The finish had some heat to it, and gave off flavors similar to cough syrup. The body was light and crisp, with high carbonation. There was no stickiness on the palate.
I really did enjoy this beer. I think it was a great take on the style. The only downfall I feel this beer had was its brash finish. The warmer the beer got, the more harsh the finish seemed to be. It wasn’t so bad though that it would turn me away from having this beer again. In fact, I went and got a second 4-pack after I finished the first one which was given to me for Christmas. It was a great present. Anyway, if you want to try something different than your usual IPA’s, and Stouts, let this be the one. Don’t be afraid of dark beers. Just because they are dark, doesn’t mean they will be a heavy/filling beer. This piquant beer will offer just as many, if not more flavors than most of your IPAs and Stouts. Its going to have far less bitterness than either, and may even be less sweet. If you try this beer, or even this style, let me know what you think…I’d love to hear from some of you!