THE MARKETING information for König Ludwig’s Weissbier emphasizes that its owners and producers are direct descendants of King Ludwig himself. A card worth playing, given that brewing Weissbier was once the exclusive right of royalty in Bavaria. But today König Ludwig is less recognized than other more ‘pedestrian’ producers, from Ayinger to Weihenstephaner, and frankly falls short of its pedigree. Still, Ludwig’s beer still boast an appealing brightness and clean wheat focus while shunning the sweeter pitfalls of many Weizens outside the top tier.
A full finger of white head subsides rather quickly atop a traditionally cloudy yellow-gold body with some continuous bubbling. The bouquet opens with moderate wheat, setting the grain foundation first before building up overtones of fully ripe banana (that low, earthy sweetness instead of bright and fruity). The aroma also has touch of grassiness and minerality, too, which the flavor readily backs up with moderate alkalinity. Dry cereal grains are quite prominent, slightly sweet, with only a touch of smokiness and little in the way of phenolic spice; bitterness is mild, albeit a touch higher than expected, countered by touches of breadiness and yeast that appears in the aftertaste. Carbonation seems moderate at first, not quite bursting upon the tongue, but its pinpoint prickles spike from the midpalate through the finish and leave a centralized impression on the roof of the mouth. Phenols have a limited role in this beer, but its overall presence remains balanced and readily satisfying.
Served: 33 cl bottle