Doubling up on a dunkelweizen
A Review of Slam Dunkel by Weyerbacher
Posted on 10/18/2012 by Chops
I am going on record as apologizing for this review. We all know that infuriating feeling of reading a review about a product you want, but just can't get. When beer fans find a seasonal brew that they really enjoy, it's a common practice to grab a few extra packs to save for a rainy day. The bartenders at my favorite local pub know that I love to sample new brews. On a recent visit, I learned that they had found a straggler brew hiding in the back of their refrigerator: the Weyerbacher Slam Dunkel, a seasonal brew released in March. They saved it for me and I thanked them for the kind gesture. So why apologize for drinking a seasonal brew out of season? Well, I'll let Weyerbacher answer that question:

''This 7% Double Dunkelweizen is unfiltered and made with over 50% wheat malt along with pale, munich, and a touch of chocolate to give it the traditional color and flavor. Bitterness is subdued to allow the Weihenstephen yeast to shine through with those traditional notes of banana and clove.''

See what I mean? I get to tell you all about this beer. But, you have to wait until March to get it. So, I sincerely apologize.

In the glass, this beer has a rich thick brown coloration with an amber hue. It comes with a frothy white head that dissipates quickly. On the nose, I was greeted with a strong sweet malty aroma and plenty of dark toasted bread crust. I also found a thin boozy note resting on top that is uncommon for a dunkelweizen, but entirely plausible for a double version. Rounding out the mix were those signature bananas and cloves and of a great dunkelweizen.

Right away you can tell that this beer is smooth as silk and very easy drinking. So be careful because that 7% ABV can sneak upon you really quick. The malt profile takes on a sweet candied vibe with a dash of dark chocolate, which balances well with the alcohol presence. The banana and clove notes are also out in full force. The wheat character is very rich and thick, giving this beer a solid toasted bread crust foundation. To be honest, this beer drinks a lot like a lighter Belgian quad minus the Belgian yeasts. It's really complex and a lot of fun to study. The beer finishes smooth and leaves a sticky sweet malty aftertaste.

Overall, the Weyerbacher Slam Dunkel is a delicious brew with a unique personality. As essentially an imperial dunkelweizen, it's unlike anything I have ever tried before. It has also left me wanting more. I have always been a fan of the dunkelweizen style and my first imperial version only amplified my appreciation. Consequently, I can recommend this beer to any and all beer fans. Seasoned drinkers will love this beer as a beefed up version of a delicious beer style. Novices will appreciate this beer as a smooth and flavorful intro into bigger beers. Slam Dunkel is actually a fantastic bridge into imperial beers and I would advise using it as such.

Unfortunately now we are all left with the painful realization that Weyerbacher's Slam Dunkel is out of our reaches until next March. Again, my apologies. But one thing is for certain, when the season rolls around again, this beer fan is stocking up for the winter.

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Slam Dunkel by Weyerbacher
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