DarkElf (3014) - La Jolla, California, USA - JAN 19, 2011
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
19-Jan-11 (22-oz bottle: Purchased 03-Nov-10 for $3.99 at Total Wine & More in Tustin, CA) This middle-of-the-road hefeweizen pours a slightly hazy, golden-orange body with a short, fizzy, white head that fully dissipates in less than a minute; there’s not even a thin ring of bubbles, so lacing is impossible. Straight-forward aromas of sweet, banana bread and banana pudding are pleasant but very simplistic. Fairly doughy and wheaty on the palate, but equally prominent are the banana esters from the yeast – ripe, sweet, almost sugary – and there is a hint of clove as well. A gentle reminder of grassy hops resides very far in the background, rarely catching my attention. Medium in carbonation and medium-full in weight, kind of heavy for a hefeweizen, and because the beer is definitely on the sweet side with little to counteract the sweetness, it’s not especially drinkable. Overall, this beer is decent, but it’s sweet, simplistic, and a bit boring, certainly not a beer that makes one contemplative.
SDalkoholic (2057) - Linda Vista, California, USA - NOV 21, 2010
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from Ken N Bottle #2: Poured into the glass as an opaque glowing yellow that was much hazed while the head was a small layer of thin foam. The aroma was moderate with background scents of German yeast and banana. Flavor is a combination of sweetness and bitterness with a huge grained wheat flavor over ruling the additional tastes of banana and bubblegum. There is an empty aftertaste that makes me ask where did the flavor go? But, I’d have to say this is a decent attempt at a hefe and is easily quaffed down especially on a hot day such as today.
Ratman197 (8870) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - NOV 15, 2010
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bomber poured a cloudy golden amber with a quickly disapating ring of off white foam. Aromas of wheat, carmel and light banana. Palate was light bodied and crisp. Flavors of carmel, wheat, light banana and light citrus with a crisp lingering carmel finish.
ralflott (2) - Michigan, USA - OCT 23, 2010 does not count
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Summary - Bootlegger’s has an excellent taste - good banana flavor but not too sweet, perfect mouth feel,very good finish and ideal level of carbonation. One of the top 5 American-made German Hefeweizens I’ve tried.
Background (so you know my frame of reference) My taste in Hefeweizens runs a little on the sweet side. I lived in Bavaria for a few years in the 1970s, when Weissbier was only available in bottles (risk of explosion was the routine explanation). I worked for about 6 months in a pub in Munich and had the chance to try most of the leading Bavarian Weissbiers, my favorites being Schneider Weisse and Schneider Aventinus Weizenbock.
I have tried many American made German-style Hefeweizens and found only a few I really enjoy. Bootlegger’s Old World Hefeweizen is one of those. I bought a bottle at Whole Foods in LA and sampled it alongside Hefeweizens from Mission St.(steinhaus) , Trader Joe’s, Island Brewing (Carpinteria), Franziskaner, and Sierra Nevada ("Kellerweiss"). I had Bootlegger’s at the top, with Sierra Nevada close behind and Franziskaner an honorable third. (Mission St. and Island were generic, as was Trader Joe’s, which had no redeeming qualities other than price.)
I visited the brewery in Fullerton on a lark and found the fresh product
in my growler even better. It makes you want to take small sips so you can have more swallows before you’re incoherent. Even though the tasting room was not open, the staff and the master brewer were quite accommodating and informative. The other beers and ales on tap we sampled were all good, but the Hefeweizen and Golden Chaos (Belgian) were superb.
glennmastrange (2125) - hobe sound, Florida, USA - OCT 22, 2010
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tap. Light to moderate aromas of grain, lemon, dough, banana white wine and clove. Head is large, creamy, white with fair lacing and is mostly diminishing. Color is murky pale amber. Flavor starts lightly sweet and lightly acidic, then finishes lightly acidic and bitter. Palate is medium, creamy, with a soft carbonation and a metallic finish. A pretty good German Hefeweizen with some savory aromas, but the metallic finish drop it a few points
badnloose (111) - North Hollywood, California, USA - AUG 5, 2010
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Pours a rather hazy burnt orange. Standard citrus and wheat notes, standard citrus and wheat taste. Clean finish. Fairly refreshing Hef.
bb (6532) - Alamo, California, USA - JUL 20, 2010
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Hazy amber beer with a big cream colored head. Spice and yeast aroma with light wheat. Wheat and light spice flavor with light yeast. Medium bodied. Wheat and light spice lingers.
ghawener (1432) - San Salvador, EL SALVADOR - JUL 7, 2010
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle: Malty heffe taste, vanilla, banana, bread notes; solid. Food Pairing: Weisswurst.
alexanderj (3264) - Gilbert, Arizona, USA - APR 17, 2010
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
On tap; claimed to be a hoppy hef, but didn’t get much of that. Still nice sweet flavor with some good balance.
Earlier Rating: 2/27/2009 Total Score: 3.4
Bottle; a nice cloudy, ruddy gold color with a smallish off white head. Aroma of sweet malt, wheat, banana, citrus/lemon, with a dash of spice/pepper. Really nice and soft palate. Flavor definitely had a bit more hopping in it than the style. Wheat/banana, sweet malt, with a good amount of spice and pepper in the finish. All in all, a pretty solid beer.
mspindler (489) - Alta Loma, California, USA - APR 11, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Pours a muddy orange color with a thin white head. Aroma is bananas and tons of overripe fruits, maybe some bubblegum. Flavor is fruity and yeasty, more ripe fruits and some sweet floral notes. Light bodied, well carbonated, very refreshing.