Dunkler Weizenbock - Privatbrauerei Plank, Laaber
Plank is a German brewer which only recently started showing up in the import section of my local liquor store. I haven't been drinking many German styles recently so I pretty much overlooked Plank's entire line up. This bottle of Dunkler Weizenbock was a gift, and a well thought out one at that. I've had only a handful of Weizenbocks before and I've really enjoyed them. In the world of German beers there are only about five main styles and the Reinheitsgebot doesn't allow for a whole lot of creativity, at least not when you compare German beers to their Belgian or American competition. Weizenbocks are one of the stylistic offshoots that provide a little variety in the otherwise strictly ordered world of German beer.
Plank Dunkler Weizenbock is bottled in half liter stubby necked bottles. The label is a classic Germanic design with a kingly red lion icon flanked by two white billy goats. This Weizenbock pours about as dark as the color of the brown glass it's bottled in. The beer settles to an almost pitch black color topped by a rather thick off-white foamy head. The head retention on this beer is insane, the foam never seemed to dissipate, it stuck around until the beer was completely gone.
The aroma of the Plank Dunkler Weizenbock was great, it smelled like rich dark caramel and cola. It reminded me of a Doppelbock at first but the grains seemed lighter thanks to the wheat. The kicker was the hint of dark fruit that was hiding under all the malt and caramel. The flavor is just barely yeasty enough to give that signature Hefeweizen semi-sweet, tart and sour flavor of banana and coriander. It's an interesting combination of flavors, rich and malty, dark but still a little sweet and fruity in the right spots.
I'd only really recommend this beer to fan of other German styles. If you aren't already familiar with Weizens and Bocks, the intricacies of a Weizenbock might be lost on you. That being said, this beer is quite approachable and very enjoyable.