Saphir is a new variety of hop that has been popping up in several German beers as of late. It’s a variety of the venerable Hallertauer hop. Mahr’s Bräu Saphir Weiss is one of these new beers featuring this new varietal. (The label will link you to Mahr’s website. I only included it at this point because it made me laugh with it’s early ’90′s “under construction” logo. The link earlier in this paragraph will take you to their importer’s, Shelton Brothers, description of the brewery. According to the label, this wheat beer is brewed with “tons” of this new hop.
Appearance: Honey/Amber with a bright white head. Moderately hazy/cloudy.
Aroma: Clove, spice, hop spiciness with a touch of citrus. Malt notes of creme brulee.
Taste: A medium mouth-feel with loads of spice and touches of malt sweetness. Notes of cinnamon bread on the finish.
Overall Impression: If you go into this beer with an American attitude looking for big American style hops exploding with pine and grapefruit, you’ll be severely disappointed. If you taste this beer with the attitude that you’ll be seeing a really cool use of a new variety of Noble hop, then you’ll be quite satisfied. This beer is a unique interplay of yeast character and hop character blending together with a nice level of maltiness.
Availability: In select markets at better beer stores or German delis.