Exemplary Craftsmanship
A Review of Weihenstephaner Vitus by Weihenstephan
Posted on 6/21/2013 by Chops
Beer enthusiasts have an unwritten obligation to take their passion seriously when confronted with a world-class offering. In other words, there are certain beers out there that demand your undivided attention. And if not given, you disrespect the brewers and their devoted followers. This is an unfortunate gray area in the upper echelons of high quality beer. It's one of the very few times where the snobbery conversation has at least a sliver of merit. All subjectivity aside, some beers are undeniably the best of the best. They are the products by which you can judge all other products. I say all of this for a very good reason. I recently had my first experience with the Weihenstephaner Vitus Weizenbock.

As a necessary back story, Vitus is crafted by the Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan. This brewery was established in 1040 and is recognized as the oldest brewery in the world. This is the humbling amount of experience and reputation that goes into crafting this most exquisite of beers. Back in 2011, the Weihenstephaner Vitus was even named World's Best Beer by the World Beer Awards in England. It also took top honors in not one, but three style categories (World's Best Wheat Beer, World's Best Strong Wheat Beer, Europe's Best Strong Wheat Beer). So yeah, this is the gravitas that Vitus brings to the table.

In the glass, this beer has a bright sunburst yellow coloration with an even haziness. It comes with a big frothy white head that has really nice retention. On the nose, I found a strong aroma of ripe bananas, freshly cut grass, light sweet bread, hints of tropical citrus, and a dusting of herbs and spices. At this point I should note that the weizenbock style is adored for its strong fruity, malty, and bready characteristics. These brews are meant to be the wheat beer equivalents of rich strong bocks. And I'm here to tell you, before this beer even touched my lips, I was shaking my head in disbelief. I realized at that very moment that I had never experienced a truly amazing weizenbock. Vitus openly challenged my preconceived notions before I even tasted it. This, my friends, is the power of great beer.

And then came that first magical taste. Let's see if I can put this into words. Despite the burst of delectable flavors tantalizing my taste buds, the first aspect I focused on was the mouthfeel. Sweet mercy this beer is buttery smooth and drinks like a dream. It's amazingly clean with a solid medium body and perfect balance. So perfect is the balance that I imagine it mystifies other brewers. Once I finally started paying attention to the flavors, I was treated to warm herb-infused banana bread, tangy fruits like grapes and pears, a hint of bubblegum, and a myriad of savory herbs and spices. This is a wheat beer you can chew on like an over-cooked turkey leg. There is so much going on and the flavors are so satisfying that you can't help but treat it like a fine wine. Light sip, mouth swish, lip smack, rinse and repeat. The beer finishes clean and exits with a lingering tingle of herbs and spices.

Overall, the Weihenstephaner Vitus Weizenbock is a perfect beer. I have never met its equal, even among the elite of German brewing. I was truly stunned by how spectacular this beer is, so there's really no point in breaking down recommendations. Go get it, right now. So sayeth BrewChief. For me personally, Vitus has transcended great beer. It's great craftsmanship. I want to place it on a shelf next to a Stradivarius violin where it belongs. This beer deserves every ounce of praise and attention it receives.

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Weihenstephaner Vitus by Weihenstephan
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