The Weizenbock is a strong, malty, fruity, German wheat-based ale combining the best malt and yeast flavors of a Hefeweizen — or Weissbier — (pale or dark) with the malty-rich flavor, strength, and body of a Doppelbock.
Pale and dark versions exist, with pale versions being light gold to light amber, and dark versions being dark amber to dark ruby-brown in color. A very thick, moussy, long-lasting white to off-white (pale versions) or light tan (dark versions) head is characteristic. The high protein content of wheat impairs clarity in this traditionally unfiltered style, although the level of haze is somewhat variable. Suspended yeast sediment can contribute to the cloudiness.
Medium-high to high malty-rich character with a significant bready-grainy wheat component. Paler versions will have a bready-toasty malty richness, while darker versions will have a deeper, richer malt presence with significant Maillard products. The malt component is similar to a helles bock for pale versions (grainy-sweet-rich, lightly toasted) or a dunkles bock for dark versions (bready-malty-rich, highly toasted, optional caramel). The yeast contributes a typical weizen character of banana and spice (clove, vanilla), which can be medium-low to medium-high. Darker versions can have some dark fruit aroma (plums, prunes, grapes, raisins), particularly as they age. A low to moderate alcohol aroma is acceptable, but shouldn’t be hot or solventy. No hop aroma. The malt, yeast, and alcohol intertwine to produce a complex, inviting, prominent bouquet.
Similar to the aroma, a medium-high to high malty-rich flavor together with a significant bready-grainy wheat flavor. Paler versions will have a bready, toasty, grainy-sweet malt richness, while darker versions will have deeper, bready-rich or toasted malt flavors with significant Maillard products, optional caramel. Low to moderate banana and spice (clove, vanilla) yeast character. Darker versions can have some dark fruit flavor (plums, prunes, grapes, raisins), particularly as they age. A light chocolate character (but not roast) is optional in darker versions. No hop flavor. A low hop bitterness can give a slightly sweet palate impression, but the beer typically finishes dry (sometimes enhanced by a light alcohol character). The interplay between the malt, yeast, and alcohol adds complexity and interest, which is often enhanced with age.
The Weizenbock has a medium-full to full body with a fluffy or creamy texture. This ale typically also lends a mild warming sensation from its substantial alcohol content. Moderate to high carbonation.