ralflott (13) - Michigan, USA - OCT 23, 2010
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. zinvegas (10) - California, USA - NOV 24, 2011
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.
A lot of orange and banana on the nose. Color is very murky orange with a nice white head. The flavor was a lot of banana, which I liked, but which was surprising after all of the orange on the nose, and I would say a little less citrus than an actual German hefe would have. The beer also is a little thinner in texture than what I would expect from a German-style hefe. If you like the banana flavors more than the citrus in a hefe, though, this is a great choice. lapbplayr (2) - , Alabama, USA - JUL 5, 2008 does not count
This is a new brewery in Fullerton CA that just starting selling their beer. I had a chance to try it straight from the brewery. The old world was great, unlike the ’American Hefe’ that we are used to. It has a distinct banana yeasty taste to it, but not over powering. The body and mouth feel is smooth and it coats your mouth like a velvet blanket. If you get a chance to try this beer do it! cubs (10721) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - APR 21, 2012
UPDATED: FEB 17, 2013 Bottle @ home. Cloudy yellow orange appearance with a white head. Delicious, spicy yeasty, rich banana, nice wheat malty aroma. Tasty, a touch tart, rich wheat malty, delicious banana, kick ass vanilla flavor that is refreshing and not over the top. One of the better American versions of a German Hefeweizen out there. JeffreyH (2) - orange, California, USA - SEP 13, 2008 does not count
I think this beer is amazing, my most common beer at Heroe’s and for growler fills. I’ve tried it at the brewery on several occasions, and have always been very happy with the flavor. Much more flavorful then many of the Hefeweizens I’ve had in the past, while also being much smoother.
mspindler (489) - Alta Loma, California, USA - APR 11, 2010
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. arminjewell (9720) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - APR 21, 2012
Pour out of 22 oz bottle thanks to Aaron for the pour! Hazy orange with nice fluffy white head, aroma brought notes of nice banana, caramel, toffee, hints of clove and spice, hints of coriander, slight peach notes as well. Taste is a mix of nice caramel, biscuit, touch of sweet banana and peach, nice vanilla notes mixing with slight spice, finishing fairly sweet but very tasty. brokensail (16670) - Dublin, California, USA - FEB 23, 2010
UPDATED: FEB 21, 2013 Hazy golden orange pour with a big white head. Great banana, clove, yeast, and bread aromas. Nicely sweet, but not cloyingly so. Moderate citrus notes, too. The flavor has a really good banana character, some hints of bubblegum, and really nice clove spiciness. Good yeast and bread flavor and a balanced sweetness.