Review: Freigeist Abraxxxas Smoked Lichtenhainer Weisse

Review of Freigeist Abraxxxas Smoked Lichtenhainer Weisse from Freigeist Bierkultur in Germany.

Beer Type: Lichtenhainer Weisse  ABV: 6.0%  Tried from bottle

Their Description: “Inspired by the rare and nearly-extinct eastern German tart wheat beer once known as “Lichtenhainer”, Abraxxxas is sour and complex, with a balancing smoky maltiness. As freakily drinkable as it is challenging, this ale was deemed an instant classic upon it’s release in the U.S.”

The Reality: This beer pours a deep cloudy orange color with a scent that is faintly smoky and tickles your nose with funk. Mildly sweet malt tones start this beer off before subtle tartness rolls in and a smoky backdrop finishes the whole thing off. All the flavors play well together, as none of them are that bold. The aftertaste leaves a savory dryness on your palate. It isn’t as similar to a Berliner Weisse as you’d think.

Final Verdict: What the heck is a Lichtenhainer Weisse anyway? The dictionary definition reads “Lichtenhainer is a tart sessionable Berliner style beer with a distinct yet palatable smokiness”. I’d say that hits the nail right on the head. What I thought was really interesting is the way they balance these flavors that would normally be considered quite bold. This beer is not too sour/tart and it’s not too smoky. Those flavors are present, but really not assertive in this beer which allows other subtle notes (like wheat and malt) to also play a part. Overall I found this beer to be a pleasantly unexpected experience and quite drinkable. It’s mellow enough that you can keep drinking it without abusing your taste buds.

Speaking of taste bud abuse there is currently a bill before Congress (The Save Our Tongues Act of 2016), to try to curb the rampant taste bud abuse in our country. It seeks to put a ban on repeat offenders of taste bud abuse, such as:

…And many more. If this is an issue that hits close to home for you please call or write your local congressman and tell them you support the Save Our Tongues Bill.