Over three years ago, just as I was truly “going big” on selective beer drinking, I started aggressively buying strange brews from Belgium, Germany and the US. Before 2006 I was a “dabbler” who’d buy the odd amber ale, porter or IPA that I’d never heard of, but rarely targeted my searches on highly-rated, high-ABV beers that beer dorks raved about. Now, of course, I do. Well, back then I bought an AVENTINUS WEIZEN-EISBOCK, a German beer that was an accident of history, created when a portion of the water was frozen off from the rest of the beer, then re-introduced. Hey, don’t ask me, but this process add a ton of alcohol kick and some really intense malty taste. When I tried it three years ago, I crudely and dismissively pronounced it “the worst beer I’ve ever had”. Ladies and gentlemen, I was simply not ready. We all have our growing-up moments, and after drinking my second AVENTINUS WEIZEN-EISBOCK the other night, I say “mea culpa” and consider myself properly chastened.
Thanks to “Peet” for bringing me one of these and getting me to reconsider. I’m not going to say it’s now my #1 favorite beer (“From Worst To First” just sounded like a good headline), but I loved it this second go-round. Big, syrupy malty taste, almost like maple was dropped right into the fermenter. It also tastes heavily of bananas and dark plums, and yes, of alcohol. Yet that hot boozy taste that I noticed the first time I had it wasn’t really that apparent this time around – which either means I’m now acclimated and grown-up enough to finally enjoy one of these, or that I drink too much. I’m going with the former. It’s 12% ABV, which is easily one of the strongest beers out there. AVENTINUS WEIZEN-EISBOCK was at one point on the Beer Advocate 100; right now it looks like it just misses the cut. Over here at HBJ we’re going with a big 8.5/10. Are you ready for this one yet?