“DEM HIMMEL SO NAH.” The sky so near. Such is Benediktiner’s pitch to sell their Weissbier, along with a suggestively beamish monk on its logo. And the Klosterbrauerei Ettal is indeed the brewing operation of a Benedictine monastery, drawing resources (e.g. yeast, water) from its hallowed grounds in the Alpine foothills of Bavaria. No surprise, then, that their brews are traditional thrice over: guided by Bavarian tradition, bound by the Reinheitsgebot, and derived from their monastic precedent.
But sometimes precedent is more limiting than inspiring. It’s especially hard for German breweries to do something new—or at least something old worthy of new note—that others haven’t been doing for centuries. Such is the case with this Weissbier. Its color is the familiar gold, but a uniform turbidity and touch lower carbonation rob it of some swirling allure and yield a smaller head, besides. The aroma has some nectar and medium fruit esters, but none too much of banana and hardly any clove phenols. All of the above translate almost directly to its flavors and finish. Altogether Ettal has produced quite a drinkable brew, but it lacks the magic that its prime situation and purity of resources could (should?) have provided.
Served: 50 cl bottle