Every year, to
celebrate its birthday, Avery Brewing Company releases a special beer. Which
is kind of cool when you think about it: it’s their birthday, but the
consumer gets the present. This year, Avery pulled out all the stops and
brewed up a Weizen Doppelbock, an exceedingly rare style indeed, to
Admittedly, the number 13 is considered unlucky by many. But no need to worry, Avery didn’t fall victim to that curse, if you’re a superstitious sort. But they didn’t exactly hit the nail on the head either, even though the end product is a pretty darned good beer. That said, it’ll be necessary to talk a little bit about the style before we go any further.
So, let’s do just that.
Were you to play a word association game with a dedicated beer geek and offer up the word “weizenbock”, the response you will get, almost invariably, will be “Aventinus”. That’s because there really aren’t a lot of beers of this style brewed today, and the original and most famous is Aventinus. Based on the far more plentiful weizen (wheat) beer style, Weizenbocks are thicker and richer, dark ruby in color, with notes of clove and raisin, chocolate and banana. Just as bocks are stronger than most lagers, weizenbocks are stronger than standard wheat beers.
Now we know what to expect, so let’s see how Avery’s attempt at the style worked out.
Avery 13 Weizenbock pours to a deep ruby red color with a very light head formation and a chocolate, prune-lade nose. As soon as I pour the beer, I know this is a thick and rich brew as I watch the thoroughly viscous liquid pour from the bottle into my authentic Bavarian weizen glass.
A sip reveals a full, rich and luxurious mouthfeel, and a very complex flavor profile. Immediately, I get bock-like nutty-chocolaty malt flavors, rich fruity prune notes, molasses, vanilla, and fresh bread. They’re quite powerful indeed, and make this one hearty brew indeed. In the finish, there’s little hop character, but there is a good dose of alcohol warmth, not surprising since Avery 13 clocks in at 9.3% by volume. Also not surprisingly, the beer finishes decidedly sweet.
Aventinus is a big enough beer to be sure, but this one is even bigger. The only problem is what I’m not getting here: clove and banana flavors associated with classic Bavarian wheat beer yeast. Avery says they use it, but I’m not really getting it, perhaps a faint hint of banana, but it reminds me more of vanilla (a flavor also present in some wheat beers).
This beer really reminds me more of a double bock than a weizenbock. So points off for that. But it’s still a very delicious brew all the same. A bit pricey at $5.99 for a 750ml bottle, but a bargain when you consider the quality.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.