Saturday, 27 March 2010

Three Little Pigs - A Westerwald Trilogy

My colleague, Henning, is a denizen of the Westerwald, and last year he gave me a bottle of Hachenburger Schwarze, from he Westerwald-Brauerei H. Schneider. The Schwarze was more like a Dunkel, but a nice simple beer nonetheless. Henning kindy brought me back a selection of their other beers.

Hachenburger Pils gives off a sweetish aroma, with a touch of resinous hops and sulphur.The flavour is similarly sweet, bready and has an ever-so-strange minty dimension. Following this is a slight citric quality, a bit like thinned lemon juice. The finish has a odd sweetness that reminded me of artificial sweetener (although clearly none was used) and a light lemonade, or Radler touch. Like the Schwarze, a simple, inoffensive beer.

Hachenburger Ur-Trüb is an unfiltered pils, and it shows it. It has a surprisingly fruity aroma with a touch of grassy hops. The initial mouthful shows a really soft mouthfeel, and delivers soft caramel, a touch of pear and banana fruitiness and some earthy, vegetal notes. Surprisingly, I picked up a hint of a vinous edge to the otherwise mildly hoppy finish. I know they say it's an unfiltered pils, but while not earth-shattering in any way, it tastes like so much more than just another pils.

And, finally, Hachenburger Weizen. I'm always interested in Weizen's produced in the northern half of Germany, just to see if there's a different interpretation compared to the Weissbier motherland (most peoples' opinion of nordie Weizen seems to be a bit jaundiced). The Hachenburger Weizen is distinctly orange-tinged and heavily clouded. The aroma is a checklist of classic Weizen aromas, so no worries there. It then kicks in with a really zesty blast which gives way to big esters and a tongue-coating all spice and clove flavour. It's quite spicy in that regard, and backed with a vaguely soapy-ish orange flavour. As it warms a bit, more classic bubblegum flavours begin to show. Actually, a pretty decent Weizen.

Thanks for the bottles Henning! I'd be happy to have some more Ur-Trüb and Weizen!:)

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