Dining & Drink

Going Dunkel On You

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(STAFF PHOTO J.T. WAMPLER) Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel is a 5 percent alcohol dark wheat beer from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu in Munich.

Exploring the dark side of a wheat beer

Wamp’s Wisdom

Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel is a 5 percent alcohol dark wheat beer from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu in Munich and is part of the Belgian Anheuser-Busch InBev family.
Hefe means yeast and Weisse means wheat in German. Add the dunkel and you have an unfiltered dark wheat beer with light hop character.
It pours a cloudy brown amber with a lively white head that retreats to a thin layer of bubbles with scant lacing. Aroma is fruity with cloves and raisins. Taste is malty and mild with an aftertaste of cloves and charcoal like the burnt edge of a steak. Overall this is a really nice wheat beer. I’m not a fan of too many commercial wheat beers but this dunkel weisse would go nicely with a hearty meal.
Pair with a charbroiled ribeye and roasted garlic potatos.
Rating: 3 caps

Rico’s Reaction

My skill on the billiards table ranges from below average to suckzilla, regardless of whether my beverage consumption consists solely of water, beer or something else. My ability to turn easy shots into miraculous misses and to send the cue ball flying off the table is legendary among my friends and probably a host of folks who have laughed their asses off glancing in my direction.
I love to play despite that — particularly nine-ball — with a cold beverage near at hand. On the rare occasion I do get someone to play with me, I usually direct the festivities to Tables & Ale in Fayetteville for one reason: the joint keeps Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse on tap. I love many an unfiltered wheat beer, and the Franziskaner is one of my favorites to have a draught mug of.
From the bottle though, I prefer the dunkel or dark version of the beer. Being commercially produced, it’s not as complex in its aroma or flavors as many craft beers, but it makes up for that lack with its smooth, easy drinking nature. And simpler in taste doesn’t mean flavorless; this dunkel is rich with caramel, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon properties.
The monk on the front of the Franziskaner bottle doesn’t look especially cheerful — odd considering the tasty delight inside the glass. So I like to think of him being placed on the shelves next to a six-pack of St. Pauli Girl. That should cheer him up and bring a smile to his serious face.
Rating: 4 caps

Rating system

One Cap: Put it back in the horse!
Two Caps: Consume only if the other choice is Tijuana tap water or Coors Light.
Three Caps: Acceptable without standing out. The Tito Jackson of beer, if you will.
Four Caps: Nice beer that rises above most but may not deliver enough to be considered great.
Five Caps: Truly great beer that delivers on all counts. A credit to its style. Could only be better if served by scantily clad concubines.
Six Caps: Any five cap beer served by scantily clad concubines.

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