Flensburger Winterbock

Reviewed by on December 29, 2015 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Flensburger Brauerei GmbH Und Co. KG

  • Origin: Flensburg, Germany

  • Rated On: December 29, 2015

  • Best Before: October 3, 2016

  • ABV: 7.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: Doppelbock

  • Rating: OKAY

The Review

Flensburg is a city in northern Germany, right near the Danish border, who brew according to the German Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot), and seem proud of the sound that their swing-top bottles make when being opened – plop’!  What we have here is their seasonal Winterbock.

This 330ml, yes, swing-top bottle pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with one zaftig finger of puffy, densely foamy, and mildly bubbly eggshell white head, which leaves a bit of low-lying snow rime lace around the glass as things slowly subside.

It smells of gritty, grainy pale and caramel malt, a certain nail polish remover-esque booziness, a twinge of banana and clove, hovering phenolic yeast, and weak earthy, weedy, and floral noble hops. The taste is bready, slightly doughy caramel malt, a further wet graininess, bruised banana, muddled white pepper and clove spice, still testy and morose yeast, a pesky acetone character, and more underwhelming earthy, dead leafy and floral hop, um, ‘bitterness’.  The bubbles are pretty understated in their wan and shy-seeming frothiness, the body a decent enough middleweight, and mostly smooth, just a wee pithiness coming out of those aforementioned and still unwelcome phenols. It finishes well off-dry, the grainy maltiness (neither particularly pale or caramel in its bearing) trying to take back the reins.

While the preceding words make this one out to be something of an ogreish affair, it really falls right in line with the style – a (further) boozed-up German lager, where the extra alcohol can manifest in many different ways. Sometimes it’s very well integrated, and in others, the esters aren’t the ones you’re probably looking for – the latter predominates here.

Brady White

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