Brewery: Weissbierbrauerei G. Schneider & Sohn, Kelheim, Germany
Style: Weizen Bock
Rating: 4.5 stars
The one beer this year that tasted nothing like it appeared--in a good way. And it's probably the most well-hidden 8.2% ABV I had all year too. Though I haven't had many, I have no doubts that this is one of the best wheat beers in the world.
The taste is beyond complex--dark fruits, subtle pineapple and banana with a smooth texture unachievable by most dark beers. There's the typical caramel taste, but it's hidden beneath so many other flavors that it's hard to pinpoint. There are cloves, other spices and a general sweetness that is extremely pleasant. It would take a thorough tasting or a few of these to clearly define even half of its characteristics. Drinking a few would be possible, too, because it's so delightful, but I have a feeling the alcohol content would hit you hard after a couple.
I knew I would like most of the beers to come on this list, but this one was a shot in the dark that surprised me more than any other in 2008. I'm sure it will be a recurring feeling throughout this top ten, but I want one of these right now pretty badly.