The Oxford Companion to Beer doesn't have an entry on Landbier. My only other experience with the style was back in 2007 when I quite enjoyed the light toffee of Distelhaus Landbier. The second landbier of my life comes by way of my Beoir buddy Adam who has no more of a clue about what makes a landbier than I do. If anyone can enlighten us, we're all ears.
So this is Wüllners Braumeister Landbier, hailing from the west German town of Bielefeld (or does it?) and like its Distelhaus colleague is a vaguely dunkelish amber-to-brown lager. The nose offers up toffee and molasses, shot through with a very German grassy hops complexity. The big fizz subsides very quickly leaving only a vague sparkle to the beer.
Tastewise there's not a whole lot to it: the herbal hops sit at the front and the toffee is more of an afterthought, barely present and creating a sensation less like a malty beer and more like slightly flat Tizer.
There is potential in the style; it could be improved. Except... I think when the problems of texture and flavour are fixed, it stops being landbier and starts being Munich Dunkel or Alt. Or am I missing something about what makes the quintessential true-to-style landbier?