Mortlach (2490) - Rome, ITALY - JAN 7, 2016 Erlangernick (5) - Erlangen, - JAN 17, 2011
3.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tiefstest gold und krystal klar mit schönem, weißem Schaum, der allerdings ein wenig schnell abfällt. Eine leckere Marshmallow-Aroma kommt sofort vor, gefolgt von grasigen Hopfen- sowie schönen, leichten Pflaumen-Noten.
Díeses Festbier lässt sich sehr gut munden, aber was nicht erwartet wird, ist dass die Seiten der Zunge gereizt werden, welches ein fast salzartiges *Gefühl* gibt, aber doch nicht so wirklich *schmeckt*. Sehr interessant. Interessant genug ist es, um die ganze Flasche sehr schnell runter zu kriegen, im Versuch davon, den Geschmack genau zu ergreifen. Das typische runde Mundgefühl eines klassichen Festbieres ist dadurch vielleicht ein bisschen gestört, dafür ist der Ausgleich zwischen Hopfen und Malz bei diesem Exemplar aber sehr fein, weil Herr Witzgall keine Angst vor Hopfen hat.
Am Ende unterscheidet sich dieses Winterfestbier von anderen dadurch, dass es nicht überwiegend Malz-geprägt ist, wie viele sind, und dass es heller als alle anderen ist, die ich kenne. Eine aufzuspürene Besonderheit nur bei der Brauerei zu finden, und dann für den majestätischen Betrag zu erwerben: 0,55€ pro halbliter Flasche.
Deepest gold and crystal clear, with a lovely white head which does fall away a bit quickly. A tasty marshmallow aroma appears straight off, followed by grassy hop notes and nice, light plum notes.
This Festbier tastes very good, but what’s not expected is that the sides of the tongue are stimulated, resulting in a nearly salty-like *feeling*, though it doesn’t really *taste* so. Very interesting. Interesting enough to neck down the whole bottle right quick in an attempt to get an exact grip on the flavour. The typical rounded mouthfeel of a classic Festbier is perhaps a bit disturbed thereby, but OTOH the balance between malt and hop with this exemplar is very fine, since Herr Witzgall isn’t afraid of hops.
What distinguishes this Winterfestbier from others in the end is that it’s not dominated by malt like many are, and that it’s paler than any other I know of. A rarity worth seeking out and only to be found at the brewery, and then to be obtained for the kingly sum of 0.55€ per 50 cl bottle.
On tap @Birre sotto l’albero, Ma che siete venuti a fà (Rome). Pours yellow with a decent white head. Aroma is rustic, bread crust, hay, cereals, popcorn. Flavour is medium sweet with a light bitter end. Medium to light body, light carbonation. It was not in a good condition. ippopotamo36 (2496) - Rome, ITALY - DEC 31, 2015
At Birre Sotto l’Albero Ma Che and B&F pubs in Rome-Italy. On tap. Pours clear dark golden color with caramel highlights, off white head. Nose: a bit rustic, some flowers notes, yeast. Mouth: minimal carbo, sweet, malty, juicy nutty. 3fourths (9357) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - NOV 22, 2015
UPDATED: DEC 17, 2015 November 2015 bottle best by January 2016: Malty and minerally baked cookie and toast and graham cracker malt impression, strong mineral water quality, spritzy and prickly carbonation, vibrant and clean. All Spalt select, apparently, which gives it a woody-spice touch that compliments the malt so well. (4.4)
fonefan (50674) - VestJylland, DENMARK - MAR 4, 2015
November 2013: A sweet and chewy malt-driven heller festbier (not Märzen) suffering in the bottle. Toasted grain, corn kernels, potato starch malt with milk powder yeastiness and faint off-notes of green apple / acetaldehyde and metal flakes and alcohol. Medium body, decent froth of carbonation, nicely crisp and quenching but washes away in a minerallic flood of honey-ish saccharine and apple sweetness. I fear it is not in the best of shape, though we were told it had been bottled 4 weeks prior and lagered until then since September. Clear gold body, from bottle at the brewery, best by date December 2013. (a generous 3.1)
Addendum: One of the spoils of the last trip was coming back to Schlammersdorf a week after having this beer in superb condition (4.4) and finding it flabby, apple-like, slick, kind of dull, etc. Basically what it was for me in 2013. I managed to ask when the Festbier had been bottled, and the answer was November 18 2015 (with a BBD of January 18 2016 that equals 3 months). That 4.4 experience happened the previous Monday, November 23 2015, which means we unknowingly drank it 5 days fresh. By day 12 it had completely fallen apart. This was a peculiar mystery for me since I had previously noticed similarly sharp drop in quality/enjoyability with their Landbier, which went from really just about perfect (4.8) to something like stewed fruit and yeast with kind of a goopy-syrupy-flabby texture (2.8-3.2 level). I flew a case of days-old Landbier bottles with me to Puerto Rico and by day 5 (which was probably about 12-15 days since bottling, I now realize) the lager had fallen apart. I’ll still keep my high water mark score here, but the floor for this one is high-2’s. I’ve seen it twice now and I’m convinced. Moral: drink fresh, and don’t forget the bright Vollbier Hell on tap if the bottles aren’t shining.
Beerhunter111 (22214) - P´Castle, GERMANY - FEB 1, 2015
Bottle 500ml. @ home.
[ As Witzgall Festbier ].
[ Trade by Beerhunter111 ]. Clear medium to dark orange yellow color with a large, frothy, good lacing, mostly lasting, off-white to white head. Aroma is moderate malty, sweet malt, grain, straw, pale malt, moderate hoppy, grass. Flavor is moderate to light light heavy sweet and moderate bitter with a long duration, sweet malt, straw - grass, sugary malt, pale malt. Body is medium, texture is oily to watery, carbonation is soft. 
Klare dunkelgoldene Farbe, ordentliche weiße Schaumkrone. Geruch malzig, würzig. Geschmack sehr malzig, viel Getreide, hopfig würzig.
DerNorweger (28) - NORWAY - SEP 13, 2014
Good beer for the Christmas celebration and for the winter. Little bit light for the dark season, but tasting well to order one more to geniessen. Special in the origin Gaststube. TAR (2779) - Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA - AUG 25, 2014
Fresh bottle purchased and consumed at the brewpub in Dec. 2013: Rich golden. Creamy but broken white foam. Dull and flawed nose of metal, papery malt, pear syrup, and a hint of yogurty yeast and toast. Limp and flabby mouthfeel. Foamy carbonic residue. Fuzzily malty with a subtle papery limpness capped with honeyish sugars and floral hop accents. Minimal depth, character and texture from the tired, poorly extracted malt. Merely a touch of toasted hay is discernible. Yeasty twang clashes with the papery, wet hay maltiness. Dull and lifeless finish is overly sweet with notes of pear syrup and nonexistent hop flavor or bitterness. A highly curious concoction from a typically great brewer. Difficult to drink much of as it’s very muddled and unclean. Their glorious Landbier sometimes greatly suffers (and shines!) from the bottle, so perhaps the bottle is to blame for the lackluster quality in this case. Quite perplexing that this is a Witzgall product, but I hope to revisit and find it in better condition. motelpogo (7704) - Plzen, CZECH REPUBLIC - JUL 20, 2014
bottled. clear golden with a thin white head; aroma of sultanas and hay; some porridge and stonefruit flavours with a pleasant tinny bitterness and lively texture. decent stuff Mariusz (12088) - Baden-Baden, GERMANY - APR 14, 2014
Pours a golden colour with a white head that dies away after a while. Flavours of caramel, wheat, grassy hops and yeast again. jfb (6574) - GERMANY - MAR 12, 2014
(bottle, many thanks to pivnizub & erlangernick!) pours a slightly hazy amber colour with a frothy off-white head. aroma of caramel, peaches and worcester sauce, slightly grainy, with some hints of bubble gum and earth. flavour is quite grainy, with big notes of popcorn, pancake batter, some yeast and a hint of herbal hops in the finish. medium-bodied with average carbonation.