This month begins the newest entry in Summit's quarterly Unchained series of beers. This month is a Dunkelweizen.
I was pretty excited for this one when it came out. Dunkelweizens are somewhat ignored, and it's a great beer for spring. I bought this pack at Big Top, unrefrigerated, but presumably quite fresh.
It's a nice amber-caramel color and cloudy as you would expect. As for the taste? It leaves a little to be desired. I gave it a couple go's on different nights, and it's not a bad beer, but it's a little flat and doesn't leave much of an impression. It has a very nice balance of mild banana and clove (in that order) right up front and in the aroma. Some mild biscuit with a slight astringency follow and then it finishes quickly and quietly without much to say. It is missing a bit of the creaminess and that sort of hard-to-define subtle, wheaty/malty quality that outstanding German Weizens seem to have. This dunkelweizen is 6% abv, which strikes me as a bit high, but after checking, Erdinger (which is probably my favorite of the style that I've had) is only 1% abv less, so perhaps that not as large a difference as it seems.
I'd recommend giving it a try, and I'd love to drink it on tap, but perhaps it could have been better. One thing I do lament about the Unchained series is that they're here and then they're gone. I would love to try another updated version of this beer once they had some time to refine it, but that's it the nature (and part of the appeal) of these beers: one batch, and they're gone for good.