Thursday, 14 June 2012

#43: Schneider Weisse, Macardle's Wrong

I would apologize for the terrible pun in the title, but in truth, I regret nothing.

A strange duo, this. Of course, I didn't drink these two in a single sitting, just catching up on more notes. Significantly, I'm finally getting around to trying Schneider Weisse, a beer that should have been one of the first on my list to try when I became interested in craft beer, but I just never got around to trying it, seeing as my hefeweizen needs were already being catered to so well by Paulaner. Before long, Belgian beer took precedence over the Bavarian nectar in my beery explorations. As for the Macardles, this is just a bottle I saw for the first time in an off-licence in Kinsale. It was Irish, and it came in the rare proper pint bottle, so I gave it a try. Of course, as soon as I bought it, every alcohol-selling shop I came across was selling it too. Oh well... Also worth noting is that yes, I am depressed with the shocking display that Ireland just offered up against Spain, and I'm really considering opening up a Westvleteren 12 to ease the pain... Either way, I'll soldier on and offer the same consolation I did against the Croats - at least our beer is better. More Euro 2012 to come next week.

The Schneider Weisse Tap 7 pours like a Paulaner - cloudy, massive foamy head and closer to a dark orange than to a pale amber. On the nose it's typical hefe, with sharp citrus notes and sweet yeasty bread taking the front seat, with banana and clove riding in the back. Honestly, there's a chance these banana and clove notes may only be here because you expect them to be. Malty caramel and bread, grassy hops and light candy notes are all very subtle but nonetheless crucial to the beer's complexity and balance. The first big sip is bloody refreshing - it's light and fruity enough to be truly thirst quenching and quaffable, but flavourful and well, full enough to be a very interesting drink in it's own right. I would say that it lacks the body of other hefes, but only in a small way towards the end. Citrus and banana up front, with fresh grassy hops and a muted candy-sweet finish. It's better than the Weihenstephaner Hefe-weissbier in my opinion, but maybe not as intense as I'd like from this style. I know it's supposed to be relatively light and easy-going compared to, say, a Tripel or something, but it just feels a bit too understated. Regardless, it's a good beer, and I'll be hoping to try more from Schneider Weisse.

Macardle's Traditional Irish Ale, then, is a decidedly average beer. Let's just get that out of the way. It's a standard ale all-round, and that's pretty much better than I was expecting. Clear copper in colour, malty and biscuity on the nose, and exactly the same on the tongue. The toffee and chocolate malts that are announced solidly in the aroma are late to get involved in the taste, and when they finally arrive at the end of your gulp, they're muted and elbowed out of the way by what must be that common hop variety, Regulation English Ale Bittering Hops. 

This nondescript ale cost me €3. That's 10c more expensive than a bottle of St Bernardus Abt 12. Think about that.


  1. There are some real stunners in the Schneider range, like the Grünes (Tap 4), Hopfenweisse (Tap 5) and the dark weizenbock Aventinus (Tap 6). It's my favourite of the Bavarian weissbier breweries.

    1. I'll be trying all of those I'd say, thanks for the recommendation. Weihenstephaner Vitus was my first weizenbock, and when I was researching the style people seemed to throw the word 'Aventinus' around quite a lot!

  2. Don't forget the Tap 3, an almost drinkable non-alcoholic beer, I'd still probably stick to water but a very fine effort! I think the Tap 6 is my own favourite but it really does depend on my mood!

    McArdles isn't a bad beer, it's just not a particularly good one, but it's easy drinking if you are in a situation where you're having a few beers and they don't have anything more exciting!

    I've read through the posts and you have some very good writing on here! And I look forward to seeing Ireland in the next round of your euro 2012! And as the beer nut said in his tweet, the photography is pretty decent!

    1. Cheers! Yeah I'm usually on the Coca-Cola when I'm not drinking, but I used to try and drink Paulaner's Hefeweizen Alkoholfrei - like the Tap 3, a decent effort but in the end not really worth it.
      About the Euros, lets just be grateful Belgium aren't taking part - we might go all the way!