My colleague, Rupert --who, incidentally, is currently in Memphis with his band, Hootin' the Blues, representing Germany in the International Blues Challenge (best of luck guys!) -- brought a trio of beers from Brauerei Bauhöfer* back after a trip to deepest, darkest Baden. The first thing you notice about them has to be the screw top, which you don't see much on beers around here. It feels kind of odd, but I'm usually more concerned about the contents of the bottles.
Ulmer Export, weighing in at 5.4% ABV, is a pale yellow, slightly hazy beer with a lemony, resiny aroma that really strikes me as being more what one might expect in a German pilsener, assuming one wanted to stereotype (I don't like to, but sometimes can't help it), with a welcome sweet, bready undertone. It has a slightly oily mouthfeel, softish, but also with a bit of a carbonic bite. It's grainy, with pears and a touch of citrus bringing a freshness. There's a little hint of something like disinfectant in the finish, which is rather dry. It's not amazing, but neither is it crap. A refreshing sort of beer, although I think I served it far too cold, so might have killed it a bit.
Ulmer Pilsener comes in slightly lighter at 5.2% ABV and is, as one might expect, also pale yellow and a touch luminously hazy. I mentioned that I reckoned the fridge had gotten too cold, so this could be chill haze. The aroma is a bit subdued. A little bready, a little toasty, a little grassy. It feels soft on the tongue, but also a bit thin. It delivers hay, a clean bitterness, a hint of wood and a nice touch of spice to the finish. A pleasant enough pils, but let down a little by the thinness in the middle.
Der Ulmer Maibock is a reasonable 7.3% ABV and pours a clear, golden honey colour with a dense white head. It pushes out a light candy-like, fruity aroma, which gives a good impression. It has a smooth mouthfeel, leaning towards being almost creamy. Odd. It's bready, sharing a common trait with it's siblings, but also gives some caramel, slight cherry notes and a hint of raisins. It has a fine bitterness and what one might call that "noble" hop character; floral, grassy and a touch of spice, brushed with lemon. Rather nice actually! I've another bottle stashed in the office...
* I think I've lost count of the number of German brewery sites that use that "pop! glug... fizz... ahhhh!" kind of sound effect when visiting the homepage.