The harvest season has brought to mind my favorite beer style, the Weizenbock. I personally love wheat beers and this is the biggest, baddest wheat beer of them all, with a much bolder, maltier taste compared to the lighter German wheat beers. The beer in question this week is Moonglow Weizenbock from Victory Brewing Company.
The Weizenbock style is a relative newcomer on the German beer scene, having been developed in only 1907 by Schneider Weisse. This beer, Aventinus, which I reviewed last year, was created to combat the growing popularity of doppelbocks at the time. This beer style is brewed with a minimum of 50-percent wheat malt, and it utilizes German ale yeast instead of lager yeast like the rest of the bock family. The use of the weizen yeast in combination with the wheat malt produces a blend of fruity esters and spicy phenols, which are characteristic of German wheat beers.
The beer poured a hazy, light golden-brown. There was almost no head and only a little bit of golden-brown lacing. The aroma was yeasty with banana and cloves, overall sweet and spicy, but with some hot alcohols. The taste was fairly sweet, with hints of banana and an underlying yeastiness overlaid with an orange flavor. The mouthfeel was quite thick, with low carbonation, but the thickness dissipated during the finish instead of leaving the cloying sweetness that I expected.
This beer was okay, but it was not nearly as good as when it’s served on tap. Now, this presents a bit of an issue because Victory brews this beer as a fall seasonal and can only keep it on tap for about three weeks due to the demand. The beer is far smoother and fuller on tap, and while the bottled version is decent, there are better examples available from Germany. I did notice, however, that the second half of the bottle tasted substantially smoother than the first, likely due to the yeast I stirred up into that part of the beer. I find this especially interesting given that many home brewers purposefully allow the yeast to settle out so that they can serve their Weizenbock “bright.”
Overall, I enjoyed this beer, although I was initially disappointed with Victory’s bottling. The catch here is that I noticed the bottle I bought was actually brewed last year, so I have hope for the fresh batch this year. I would give this beer a shot, but also grab a bottle of Aventinus, as that beer represents a deeper, darker, more plum-focused version of the style. I prefer a lighter, more banana and citrus taste, which is why I love the Moonglow on tap so much.