Shattering all misconceptions
A Review of Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier by Weihenstephan
Posted on 2/27/2014 by Chops
It is a common misconception in the beer world that a light shade of yellow is synonymous with low quality. But once budding beer fans acquire some basic beer knowledge, it is soon apparent that color plays almost no role in quality or strength. Take the Kristallweizen beer style (crystal wheat) for instance, also known as the Kristall Weiss (crystal white). This is a German-style wheat beer that has been filtered to a crystal-like clarity. One of the best examples in the world is the Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier. If you were to place this beer side by side with a typical domestic garbage lager, I doubt most beer drinkers could visually tell the difference. One is little more than drain fodder, but the other is a world-class wonder full of delectable flavors.

As a little side note, the Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan was founded in 1040 and is the oldest brewery in the world. A millennium of brewing experience goes into each and every bottle. It's important to have that perspective going into any one of their brews because presentation, while certainly important, is almost insignificant when Weihenstephan adorns the label. It could look like sudsy purple Kool-Aid and it will still be better than most other beers on the planet.

In the glass, the Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier had that familiar pale golden coloration. This, of course, is where the similarities to lesser beers ended. It came with a big and bright fluffy white head that had great retention. On the nose, I was greeted by that classic mixture of savory banana bread and earthy grass. I also found that signature clove character as well as an array of lighter fruits like pears and apples. I could tell long before taking that first sip that I was dealing with yet another world-class offering from Weihenstephan. I just grinned in delight and dove right in.

Game, set, match. Whenever I muse on the concept of a beer being ''refreshing'', I will always picture a German wheat beer. But from now on, I shall be thinking specifically of the Kristall Weiss. You almost have an unwritten obligation to let out a long satisfied ''aaaaaahh'' after tasting this beer. It had a light and airy body that was buttery smooth and clean as clean could be. All of the aromatic notes make their standard flavor appearances. Banana bread, cloves, pears, apples, herbs, grass, all present and perfectly balanced. The hop profile was muted and added a delightful herbal compliment. The beer finished very clean and exited with a pleasant doughy herbal aftertaste.

Overall, the Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier is wheat beer perfection. Not a surprising revelation considering its source, but I always feel compelled to say it anyway. After all, there wouldn't be the complexity and variety we enjoy today without the sturdy foundations established by breweries like Weihenstephan. I am always amazed by how consistently mind blowing these beers are, even when brewed at the mercy of the Reinheitsgebot (the loved and reviled German Purity Law). But hey, perfection is bound by nothing. This is a beer that I can easily recommend to any and all beer fans, for obvious reasons. Novices can especially benefit from this beer because it shatters all misconceptions as to what constitutes great beer. As for the seasoned pros, this is the original session beer. (sip) Aaaaah!

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Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier by Weihenstephan
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