330ml bottle purchased from the brewery by my Dad.
Pours a very slightly hazed pale golen colour, with a little weak ring of white forming the head. Body is very light, although it has a bit more oiliness than others of its ilk. Carbonation is coarse and swift.
Nose is very mediocre. It has an oily, unctuous wheat note, which gives a kind of sourness, without the weizen yeast notes to back it up. Instead, it goes more towards the body you expect from a saison—again, without the yeast notes to back it up. Minimal influence from the hops, which leaves it in this limbo state between sweet malt and mild acid.
Taste is a bit better, because it's brighter and lighter. Here, for some reason, there's actually some weizen yeast notes of banana and pastry, but why they don't appear on the nose is beyond me. These lend some breadth to the beer, which then takes it in a different direction, going crisper and cleaner—it helps the drinkability, and to some extent the beer overall, while not adding much in the way of complexity.
Finish has a slight popcorn overtone, which isn't amazing, but actually weirdly punctuates the beer quite nicely. Feel is clean and light.
Overall, in the end, it's actually a fairly drinkable brew. It's not an amazing brew, but in some ways, its weaknesses make up for its... other weaknesses.
80 / 100
Can given to me by Jez for my birthday, tried on my own one Saturday night.
Pours a cloudy pale colour, kinda passionfruit colour or at least passionfruit soft drink. Head was white, pleasant when poured but dissipates to a thin rim of lacing. Looks alright; vibrant colour if not otherwise.
Smells pleasant; tangy passionfruit aroma with a slight acidic edge. Light grassy notes and some mild citrus. Mostly passionfruit really but a good tart edge that makes it smell very refreshing. Nice.
Taste is also intriguingly tart, actually. Not in the sense that it's sour or puckering but it's definitely tangy from start to finish. Big passionfruit upfront that gives a nice tropical flavour, then develops some pleasant citric and melon notes towards the back, and finishes quite fresh and nice. Mild grainy yeasty note on the aftertaste which is not wonderful but par for something that's 4%. Main story is that the palate is overall very drinkable and enjoyable, I like it.
Mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth; it's light-bodied but not notably thin. Pleasant.
This is a good beer; it's got a good bit of presence and mild tart notes from the wheat that complement the passionfruit nicely while allowing it to be the star. Very tasty.
71 / 100
330ml can purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA.
Pours a slightly hazed, very pale straw colour, with a flimsy white head that quickly disappears entirely. Carbonation is ubiquitous, to the extent that I wonder whether the hazing is actually just the constant stream of bubbles. Body is very light. Honestly, I'm underwhelmed.
It's better though. The nose brings a big sweet/sour passionfruit character to the fore—big, fresh and smelling just like the fresh fruit. It has some candy overtones as well though—the acidity is sharper than I expected perhaps, bringing in green apple and fairy floss.
Taste is also good. Lots of passionfruit fragrance throughout, lingering from the front to the back. In the middle of the palate, it has a sharpness, almost a salt or mineral character. But as this slowly diminuendos, it leaves a more true passionfruit character on the back, twinged with a lightly tart acidity. I feel a little bit as though the wheat helps provide, or at least accentuate, the sour character—the lightness certainly helps let it flourish.
It's a refreshing brew, no doubt at all. It has a lovely cleanliness to it, which just allows the passionfruit to shine. And let's be honest, it's the main and pretty much only character to it. But what a pleasant character it is.
79 / 100
750ml bottle purchased from Whichcraft in Austin, TX. A wheat beer base, brewed with oats, raspberries, cinnamon and brown sugar.
Pours a rather dark amber colour, but when held to the light it's clear that the colour is due to the raspberries, as it's actually a fairly deep red. Clarity is pretty decent, and the head forms frothily at the start, but runs out of steam pretty quickly. Looks decent enough.
Nose is clean and bright, with a pronounced raspberry character that stays rather pleasantly connected to the malt and grain notes. There's also a strange herbal character, almost like fresh spearmint, linked with a bit of plasticine. It's actually pretty pleasant.
Taste is better than it might have been, because here, there's a really strong malt presence, that provides a grain-based solidity to the back palate. The front is still dominated by raspberry, but it's really nicely connected to some spice and wholesome malt through the middle. There is a slight astringency—slightly phenolic and maybe due to a faint kick of booze. But it's all nicely moderated.
Feel is quite light, but it has enough weight to make its presence felt.
Overall, I'm really pretty happy with this. The last beer I had from these guys wasn't as well realised as this, but this takes some disparate elements and turns them into something pretty coherent and tasty.
59 / 100
American Wheat Beer brewed with juniper and bitter orange, for GABS 2016. Tried at the festival on tap.
Pours a gold coour, clear body with beige foamy head. Not bad, but I'm always surprised when a wheat beer looks this clear. Just surprised.
Smells decent. Lots of citric characters, with lemon and orange, and a fair black pepper hit as well. Not a lot of juniper except as part of that peppery note. That's OK though.
Taste is a lot more bland. Fairly sweet throughout, but without a lot of development of any malt complexities. Some sweet orange (rather than bitter orange) towards the mid, and then the finish is slightly adjuncty and veers out of beery territory, with cider and some vinous characters. Yeah doesn't do a lot for me.
Body is a little thin, texture is fine though, for the style.
Yeah, I'm definitely missing juniper on this, and I feel there's potential here for the palate to be really elevated by a slight herbal-spicy bitterness that the juniper could deliver if it was amped up more.
70 / 100
Reddish amber colour, clear. Head is white, large, with sparse bubbling. Lace is nice, and some nice cascading head when tilted. Looks pretty nice; the head is good.
Smells sweet, toffee with a note of coconut, and peach. Nice fruit backing with sweetness that is good, but a good fresh peach and stewed peach note at the back.
Taste is also quite fruity, kind of thin but with big fruit notes, with peach coming through in a big way late on the front. Develops towards the back into a light bitterness and some earthy grain notes as well. Hint of coconut sweetness as well and some biscuity notes. It's quite pleasant, but fairly subtle and mild.
Decent body, with a fair fluidity on it. Good for the style.
Fruity beer, fairly nice drinking. Maybe a touch dryer and heavier than it really needs to be. Note also, didn't really pick up the ingredients it was meant to have.
58 / 100
750ml brown bottle purchased from Spec's in Houston, TX.
Pours a pleasant berry-hued pink colour, very clear and bright, but also very light in the body. Head is frothy, but pocked with larger bubbles and very pale pink in hue. Lots of speckled lacing. Body is light, but the carbonation is beautifully fine and powdery. Look good all up.
Nose is slightly underwhelming. There is a faint fruit note that has some aromatic, almost floral characters to it. It's slightly organic, with a bit of spice, but certainly no hint of the basil. Otherwise there's not a good deal to it.
Taste is similar. There's a nice cleanness, maybe slightly herbal and earthy-bitter through the centre, but it's also very light all around. The fruit does make itself known, but it adds a rather insipid sweet-sour character around the edges of the palate, which is actually not a good character. Finish has a semi-tart note like seltzer, and the evanescence of the berries.
Feel is very dry and light. Perhaps with a bit of tartness or bite it would work. But it feels like it's just marking time here.
Overall, It's a bit insipid. It should be better than this—this is a nice idea, but it's not executed well. It needs something in the base beer to tie it together. It's decent enough in some ways, but it's also generally something of a disappointment.
76 / 100
On tap at the brewery, 22nd January 2016.
Pours a pale yellow colour, furious bead through the body. Head is white, very dense and good retention. Small bubbles at the edge. Looks great. Proteiny.
Smells very fruity. Big citra hop, fruit salad aroma but a big yet subtle grapefruit character coming through on the back. Touch of underripe mango, lime. Hint of coconut too. Smells fresh, lively. Could use a touch more wheat character, but very nice.
Taste is more wheaty. Pale grainy notes upfront, slight banana character and maybe a slight sour spice note. Hops come through midway, far more subtle than on the nose but fresh and sweet and slightly tangy. Touch of yeast, and some citrus rind bitterness. Pretty good characters, and nicely balanced.
Touch of sizzle, body is decent but it bleeds through a bit raw.
Pleasant drop. Summery, slightly wheaty but plenty Yankee. Well balanced and interesting.
Pours a pale gold, somewhat cloudy. Head is a thin white film. Some lace left behind. Not bad, but nothing spesh.
Smells weizeny. The banana esters are strong with this one. Some nutmeg there as well, and a slight tartness at the edge giving a mild vinegar note. Mostly sweet, and maybe a whiff of something stronger-boozier?
Taste is a lot tarter than I expected, and odd. Tart at first, somewhat wild-fermented with a touch of rice vinegar. Then the midway gets that sweet, banana biscuit flavour back, which lasts to the finish. Aftertaste is an odd blend of the two, which I call odd just because it works a great deal better than I expected. Just keeps it in a volatile equilibrium. Extra weight one way or the other and it would probably collapse horribly into a taste singularity and suck all tasty things from the universe.
A little thin, bits of drying texture on the mid-palate. Not much to it.
Yeah, a bit too much banana and no fritter.
500ml brown bottle purchased from Spec's in Austin, TX. Shared with Sam and Rich in Sydney during a brewday.
Pours a hazy golden colour, quite light, and clear than you generally get from a hef, and with a smaller, finer head of pure white. Decent streaky lace though. Carbonation is fine. Looks pretty solid.
Nose is quite odd, but certainly fulfilling the brief. Big hefe banana characters mingle with a tartness that suggests a little citrus leaf, or something else slightly vegetative. It's quite light, and the two characters are slightly at odds. To be honest, I can't fault it for delivering on what it promised, but right now, I'm starting to question its conception.
Taste is a little better perhaps, because the acidity becomes the main event. Even though that banana character still hangs around on the back, it's there largely to provide a little bit of body. The main flavour is that almost limey tartness that creates a sharpness through the centre of the palate.
Feel is quite clean, but a little flabby towards the back when the hefeweizen is strongest.
Overall, though, I'm not a fan. There's a reason why people haven't generally soured a hefeweizen. The banana character is really a bizarre match for the acidity, and I found it really quite off-putting by the end. That being said, if they genuinely set out to make a sour hefeweizen, they've pretty much hit it on the head. Now, sit down a question why they'd want to do that. And then question why I thought it was a good idea to buy it.
70 / 100
330ml brown bottle purchased from Leura Cellars.
Pours a rather deep golden colour, seemingly darker due to haze, but in actual fact rather light on the haze until you really agitate the bottle. Head forms a compact, somewhat coarse bubbling of white that leaves some wide streaks of lace. Body has a bit of heft to it, but flows pretty fluidly.
Nose is surprisingly rather spicy, with some of the hef characters coming through more strongly than the hops (certainly after you've added the yeast). Coarse pepper, a little clove, backed by some other spicy characters from the hops. I get a little pine resin, and almost a hint of tobacco. Under this is a smoothness akin to the classic banana notes you get in a German weissbier. It's pretty pleasant all up.
Taste is also quite smooth, once the yeast is added. Prior to that, it felt pretty thin, with a persistent hoppiness that felt reedy and insubstantial. With the yeast character, it almost swings too far the other way, with the weizen character coming through dominantly and almost overwhelming the palate with the wheaty banana yeast ester flavour. Still, there's a sting of bitterness through the back that does cut through this a little, meaning it does manage to fulfill both parts of its nomenclature.
Feel is fairly rounded and smooth with the yeast. Slight dank aftertaste starts to pile up after a while, but the hops do a decent job at clearing it away on each sip.
Overall, it's solid stuff. They've certainly done a good job of getting both the weizen and the hop characters into the beer—at first I thought it was too hop heavy, then I thought it was too weizeny. The fact that I thought both of those things must mean that they've hit it somewhere in the middle.
62 / 100
An apricot wheat beer, brewed originally for GABS 2014, which is where I tried it.
Pours a pale golden straw colour with a very light body and some haze. Head is rocky and coarse-bubbled, leaving a white crest and some middling lace. Looks decent without being terribly good.
Nose is reasonably pleasant. A touch of stonefruit comes through from the apricot, along with a very little mild pepper. It's a little weak, but it's fragrant enough in its way.
Light dried apricot comes through on the front palate, but the wheat and the fruit contribute to a sweetness through the centre, along with a touch of acid. Some stringy brightness adds a little fragrant elements before a buttery biscuit note comes through on the back. It's fine enough.
Feel, surprisingly, has a little smoothness to it, which really helps bolster some of the flavours.
Overall, it's nice enough stuff, but only really okay, not spectacular.
Tried on-tap at the Fourpure Brewery in Bermondsey while doing the Beer Mile.
Pours a pale straw colour, very solidly hazed and solidly weighted, like you want in a good hef. Head is disappointing, however—white in colour, but only a thin clinging ring of bubbles that leaves no lace. It's a shame.
Nose is extremely weizeny: estery banana/clove notes dotted with a crispness from the hops. I get a little red pepper and something bright and zesty coming through. It's interesting, but it's not all that well integrated.
Clean rounded entry on the palate with lots of weizen yeast leaving plenty of rounded banana and clove notes. Bright hops come through on the mid giving a sort of noble German freshness. Smooth on the finish—that banana just keeps on coming. Back has a crisp punch from the hops. Feel is smooth, with the proper weight of a weizen.
Yep, this is not bad at all, very solid and quite interesting. I don't know how I'd go drinking these all night, but it was certainly something interesting to try.
49 / 100
Pours a champagne colour, slightly cloudy with dense white head, packed tightly together but thinning out slightly more quickly than I'd like. Decent-looking wheat beer.
Smells grainy upfront, touch of sourdough and oatmeal on there. Touch of coriander and black pepper mixing with passionfruit on the back. Decent hops, and nice mix with the wheat characters.
Taste is yeasty, bready. Notes of caramel and buttery sweetness, with some slight astringent coriander on the late-mid and then a big fruity pineapple hop note with a touch of pear. Yeastiness is greatly disappointing, and the overall blend between wheat beer and hops is not quite fused together, seems an odd mix in spite of how pleasant the nose smelled.
Decent body, subtle texture. Not bad.
Not sure if this beer really works for me. It's OK but just seems a bit of a strange mix.
Tried on-tap at the GABS Festival in Melbourne. Edge is an interesting little project, forming from collaboration and so far only having released beers under other breweries' labels (Beer Here and Bridge Road). This is the first beer I've seen that's clearly been marketed as just from the project itself.
Pours a light yellow colour with some faint haze in the glass. Body weight is relatively light and flows smoothly around the glass. Head is relatively frothy and forms a decent crest of pure white. Not much lacing. Overall, it looks decent enough.
It's a bit downhill from here, unfortunately. Not much on the nose at all, despite the purported Rakau bonanza in the tasting notes. Thin wheaty notes, slight bread overtones and a porridge of rye cereal. Really quite disappointing.
Taste is similarly weak. Light, flat entry on the palate with a very slight grain note, middling wheat tones through the centre and a dead finish that leaves a slight cloying sweet grain character. Aftertaste is yeasty and floury.
Feel is a little better, having a little heft. Although this does assist the cloy on the back of the palate.
There's actually not a lot to this. I was pretty disappointed. Edge have done some interesting things so far, but this is far from interesting, and was completely overwhelmed at the festival.
12oz bottle purchased from Berkeley Bowl West in Berkeley, CA.
Pours a mildly hazed pale lemon yellow hue, with a reasonably frothy, messy head of white. Lacing is smudged in insect-like patterns. Body is extremely light and the carbonation streams through it at the speed of sound. I like the colour, and the haze is appropriate, but it does look like it's going to be a pretty light-on brew.
Nose is extremely weak. Faint wheaty grain characters and a slightly sweet lemon character, but very little else. Some crushed flour when it's swirled, and perhaps a slightly yeasty note: but not the pleasant phenols that would come from a German wheat beer yeast. This just smells dull and tired.
Taste is light and clean, but, hard to ignore it: dull. Faint carbonic bite, some very watered down lemon, and that's about it. It has about as much character as mineral water that has been in the same room as an uncut lemon.
Feel is light and empty, with a slight spritz from the carbonation.
Overall: it's sluggable, but it has so little flavour I wonder what's the point. I really don't want to say that there's only a minimal advantage in drinking this over Bud, but... I guess I just insinuated that anyway. Let's leave it at that.
79 / 100
Pours a pale gold colour, slight cloud with a bit of bead through the body. Head is over-generous, fluffy and nice texture though. Decent lace.
Tangy and fruity on the nose. Lots of orange peel on there, with a touch of lemon, pine, passion and mild green pepper. Touch of star anise and champagne as well. Nice complexities, nice and pleasant.
Taste is also fairly tangy, a bit more acidic and bitter than expected. Quite a bit of lemon pith and zest on there, touch of orange peel as well. Some peppery spice, floral notes with lavender, frangipani and decent spicy phenols towards the back. Really quite pleasant.
Solid mouthfeel, bit of acerbic puckering bitterness towards the back though.
Really pleasant, great drinking but interesting wheat beer. I'm really a sucker for these sorts of beers at heart, and when Søren's on the case you know it's gonna be good.
330ml bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.
Pours a mildly hazed golden yellow colour, with a full and pretty persistent head of fluffy white. Head is slightly flat, although pocked with larger bubbles. Lacing is excellent. Very slight, but relatively large-bubbled carbonation when tilted. Looks pretty decent.
Nose is luscious and fruity, with deep sweet mango characters melded with something spicy and organic. I believe there's a hint of the wheat coming through, which gives a rounder, sweeter character to the hops (hence the mango). But there's a sharpness as well: a bit peppery, a bit green and bitey. It's a nice way to cut through but support the sweetness. Nice stuff.
Taste is clean and bright, with a positive hop character through the centre of the palate. Mild wheat characters give a slightly more acidic tone than might otherwise have been there, and allow a peppery, slightly herbal character to dominate. It feels slightly thin, although that maybe accentuates the hops a bit more, and leaves it less filling and more refreshing.
Overall, this is pretty good stuff. Clean and bright, with a really solid hop character to it. The spice and bite of the hops does tend to overwhelm after a while, but given it's a showcase of the hops, that can easily be forgiven.
Pours a straw colour, lots of haze that makes it almost opaque. White, foamy head, sticks around nicely. Good-looking wheat beer.
Spicy and slightly phenolic on the nose, with hints of green apple and maybe a touch of POR from somewhere? OK, but nothing special.
Simple palate again, slightly dry and slightly spicy. Not a lot of hops, but a bit of spice. OK.
Bitty texture, quite dry. Decent.
Not a bad wheat beer, but I kind of expected more. Prickly Moses can be quite hit and miss, and this has elements of both. It looks great but doesn't really deliver much beyond subdued, typical wheat beer notes.
Bottle purchased from Slowbeer.
Given the yeast wasn't a big part of the beer (according to the label), I chose to pour this carefully without any yeast sediment, which gives it a good clarity and a bright pale golden appearance. Head is big and white and frothy, leaving sudsy lace, but collapsing under its own ephemeralness. Carbonation is large-bubbled and very boisterous.
Nose is very bright and hoppy, but in a rounded, blended generic way. There's not the sharpness of individual hops coming through: more, you get a melange of subtle fruits a hint of spice and some floral characters, with everything muted or truncated. There's a thin wheatiness to it as well, something which gives it some mild husky grain overtones. Interesting, but not stellar.
Taste is actually quite disappointing. Thin wheat characters and a husks-and-bottom-of-the-grain-bag earthiness combine with some mild, generic fragrances that hint at the memory of hops. Feel is weak and thin, and this has almost no body to go with it whatsoever. I feel like the wheat malt robs it of richness, and the lack of weizen yeast doesn't give the commensurate spice and complexity to fill the gap.
Wow. This is a deeply disappointing brew from 8 Wired. Indeed, even SÃ¸ren's blurb on the label seems filled with apologia. Sure, it's light and drinkable, but it's so light as to be almost pointless, and pointless beers are far from being this brewery's strong suit.
41 / 100
On-tap at GABS. This is a pale wheat ale brewed with Australian Stella hops and lemon rinds.
Pours a pale lemon yellow hue, with a light body riddled with thick haze. Fine ring of white foam forms the head. No visible carbonation. Looks decent enough, if not terribly exciting.
Nose is earthy and gritty, with yeast characters coming through and a sweetness which melds with the lemon rinds to give a lemon butter sort of character. Eh.
Earthy, gritty entry on the palate again, with a character which is almost reminiscent of Pride of Ringwood, except that I know otherwise. Finish is pleasantly clean at least, but it's very light all over, throughout the palate and in the feel.
I mean, it's drinkable enough. It's just really quite boring.
78 / 100
Pours a lovely hazed, burnished amber colour, with flashes of ruby and gold at the centre and edges respectively, especially when held to the light. Head is a full, frothy off-white meringue, forming cascading, anarchic lace. Body is firm but light, without much visible carbonation. Looks damn good.
Nose is bright with crisp tropical fruits and a leafy, slightly fragrant citric overtone. Slight peppery spice comes through as well. It's very pleasant indeed.
Taste is not as bitter as I may have expected, with more of that leafy, slightly citric echo on the front palate, before a smooth and rather light wheaty character melts down the centre of the tongue. Very light bitterness on the finish, leaving the palate cleansed but not overwhelmed. Feel is also good, although I was tempted to say too thin early onâin fact, the clean smoothness just adds to the drinkability, without relying too much on getting the balance perfect. It's an interesting approach.
Yep, I really loved this beer, although the "hefe" in the name probably puts some folks off when they actually try it. Hef it is not, but it compares favourably to some of the good hoppy American Pale Wheat Ales such as Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin'.
78 / 100
Pours an orangey colour with plenty of carbonation stream. Head is off-white, fairly dense and creamy with a nice, slightly crusty-looking curtain of lace. Not sure about the amount of carbonation but otherwise looks great.
Smells pleasant, light and slightly hoppy but mostly a pale malt character, lots of caramelised grain with notes of apple, pear and some strawberry. Mild toffee as well. Pleasant, light yet very aromatic nose.
Taste is tangy from the get-go with early hopping and slight yeast esters - apple, peach and some mango notes that develops nice, earthy malt flavours midway with a toffeed pecan edge to it. Bitter, resinous hops finish off with nice phenolic edge, but plenty of light, citric notes for a good balance.
Body is there and somehow that really strong carbonation doesn't really show. It's quite a smooth, creamy mouthfeel overall if a little on the thin side.
Very pleasant beer; plenty of grounding but very drinkable as well.
58 / 100
Kicked off the Mikkeller Tap Takeover at the Local Taphouse with this offering.
Pours a pale champagne colour with fair amount of translucent cloud. Head consists of big bubbles, white, without much lace. OK.
Smells hoppy; lots of deep floral notes with pine, passion, citrus, cake batter, orange peel and a slight savoury whet note at the back. Mostly hoppy but really quite nice.
Body is thin, firstly. Palate is light, dry, with some champagney notes, slight wheat grain on the front. Gets bitter towards the back, resinous and citric notes, light with a weak orange flavour and slight woody hop notes. Resinous, light, very drinkable but thin and empty for the most part.
47 / 100
Had on tap at the brewery, 16/08/11.
Pours a pale straw colour that thins at the edge, head is white and whispy and quite thin. Decent lace, OK but flat.
Smell is paled fruit, with plenty of watered-down lemon, underripe banana and pear. Touch of nutmeg and vanilla as well. Decent wheaty smell.
Taste is tangy fruit for the most part. Banana with orange peel, banana flesh and some just soda watery bitterness. Fruit doesn't last long enough and not enough malt to cover the thinness on the back. Just a bland wheat beer, really.
Thin, watery mouthfeel, but a bit of texture from the carbonation and not too much.
Refreshing enough, but not very exciting.
First beer of the day for the Mikkeller Tap Takeover of the Local Taphouse in Sydney.
A 2.4% beer from Mikkeller? It's an interesting concept.
Pours a clear and slightly hazed light yellow colour, with a frothy, but large-bubbled head of white. Very light body, almost watery and insipid. Lacing is anarchic and sticky at least. Not a bad looking brew all up, really.
Nose is great. Really fresh and bright tropical hop notes, with an underlying round wheat sweetness and a touch of butterscotch. With a swirl, it gains a slightly astringent greenness to it, sharper than the other characters, and biting through nicely.
Taste is a lot worse, but that's probably to be expected. It has very little to the body at all, meaning it sinks meaninglessly on the palate, and doesn't leave much of an impression. Some hop bitterness springs up on the back to try to revive it, but by this stage the grainy, watery thinness hasn't done much.
Not bad for a light beer, but the excess of hops just means that it feels unbalanced without any body. I know you have to do something to give a light beer some flavour, but better yet is to not brew a light beer at all.
76 / 100
On-tap at Barcade in Williamsburg. Having tried my first Ithaca beer (Flower Power) earlier in the week, and being amazingly impressed by it, I was keen to try others.
Pours a hazed golden colour, bright and lively. Head is fine and white although small. Chaotic, but rather refined lacing. Fine light body. Looks really good.
Nose is crisp, but round. Some sharp, leafy aromas, a little citrus and a touch of pepper. Although the yeast profile is subtle, I do get a whiff of some of those round Belgian esters that suggest a traditional witbier yeast might have been used. Not bad.
Taste is smooth, but laced with pepper and phenols. Vanilla wafer characters come through, with a good dollop of earthy bitterness. Hint of booze and astringency. Some faint esters of coconut and a hint of wood. Deel is smooth, but light. Not bad.
Pretty decent all up. Smooth and drinkable, but with plenty of character. Not on par with the awesomeness of Flower Power, but another very solid brew from Ithaca.
Pours a pale gold, very hazy but still letting lots of light through. Head is white, medium-sized bubbles and nice cradle of clingy lace. Not much head left after a while. Looks decent.
Smells sweet, kinda Belgiany with boiled toffee and lots of stone fruit - peach, apricot and a lot of honey as well. Mild wheat tartness helps with the grounding. Not bad.
Taste is also very sweet, with big honey notes on the front with rich caramel malt. Develops grainy bread notes towards the mid, brown bread, rye and oat. Some fruit characters around the edges - peach, banana and orange peel. Finish is a little bit dry and enjoyably long, albeit just a trailing off of that candied fruit flavour. Nice complexity, but still a bit sweet overall for my taste.
Too much sizzle adds a sharpness throughout, but it's a nice solid body otherwize.
Stylistically good and it's an interesting beer. Good things done, I think, with what they've got.
56 / 100
On-tap at Milk Bar in San Francisco.
Pours a hazy light orange colour, with a fine but filmy head of white. After a while, the head stops forming, leaving only a thin filmy gauze. No lacing, very light body. Looks rather generic.
Very minor nose, without a lot going on anywhere. Slightly buttery with a hint of banana esters and a slight carbonic acidity. A bit crisper than your usual hef, but that's not necessarily a good thing.
Smooth palate, but very light on flavour. Buttery characters again with a hint of sweetness and a grainy corn character coming in late. Finish gives off a slight lemony acidity. Very light for a hef, and not that impressive.
It's decent enough for what it isâa faux-craft readily available alternative to the big name American brews. But it's not a great Hef, and not huge overall.
60 / 100
The only other American Pale Wheat Ale I've sampled (or truly American one, at least) has been Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin', which was a cracker, so I pounced on the opportunity to try another one I found this at Perth's International Beer Shop.
Pours a clearly translucent, but somewhat hazed golden colour, with a fine and slick head of white foam that depresses to an oily glaze. Lacing is fine and leggy, leaving patterns I associate with pilseners. Carbonation is streaming, and passes swiftly through the light body. Looks decent.
Nose is a bit light, with some sweet cereally grain characters the majority note. Some hints of zesty lemon and a slight honeyed note come through, but it's quite minor.
Taste is a little better, giving a slight grainy bed to a subtle zesty note. Finish is bright and a little empty, leaving the wheat-husk aroma of processed white bread. Light feel is textured by an oiliness that actually aids drinkability.
Eh, it's not bad, but it's very bland, and I expect APWAs to up the ante over their German Hefe counterparts. This is like a pedestrian brewed wheat beer without the German yeast to give it its estery goodness.
Pours a clear golden colour, medium-to-generous head, white in colour with small dense bubbles. Leaves some decent lace behind. Slow bead. Not sure about it as a wheat, but it looks good as beer.
Nice NZ hop character up front on the nose - citrus, passionfruit and some good phenols. Slight rubbery note, just going along with the flow. Not really balanced, but a good mix and provides a nice dry, crisp fragrance.
Taste is quite rich, with lots of metallic earthy notes. Big malt with a brassy edge and brown sugar on there with some slight vegetative-sour notes and odd sherbet tang on the back. Citric hops that are not very complex, just distinct and flavoursome. Definitely needs more wheat characters. As it is, it's largely just a hop bomb; some more spice or phenol would be welcome. Pleasant, but less than expected.
Lotza tingle with a slightly thin body to struggle against it. Could use more body, although it's okay for the style
Yeah a good quencher with nice flavour. I wonder if I'm unnecessarily kind to the first beer I have after walking up Albion street. But this is definitely drinkable.
74 / 100
Pours a very clear golden colour, with a filmy head of white close-knit bubbles. Body is very clear for a wheat beer, but I guess that's what you get when it's not bottle-conditioned. Light body. To be fair, I'm pretty disappointed in the appearance.
It gets better once we get into it, however. Big hoppy aroma on the nose, clearly delineating it from a hef, or a European style wheat beer. Big citric notes of West coast hops, with a slight sweetness, and a twinge of acidity that I'd normally associate with the wheat if not for the big hop aromas. Very nice, very pleasant.
Taste is extremely interesting, and very good indeed. Slight hoppiness throughout, but mellowed perfectly with a sweet wheat bite, the two mix together to give a fragrant, luscious character of dried apricots. Light marzipan character on the back, which dries out into a distinct but mild hop bite which cleanses the palate with bitterness. Ooh, such lovely flavours on the palate. Such a unique blend as well, which is where this beer shines. You couldn't get quite the same effect if not for the hops and the wheat. Lovely.
Feel is light and smooth, with enough sparkle to accentuate the characters on the palate.
Don't judge a book by its cover. I'm glad I didn't (eventually), because this is a really tasty brew, and an exceptionally drinkable one. The characters are unusual, but balance against each other well. I love slightly off-kilter beers that still work so well. This is a good example of one.
77 / 100
Pours a weird candied orange colour, completely opaque haze to it. Head is very decent, sudsy, retaining a thin film with masses of thick lace. Can't quite get past how opaque that is. But it looks great, so don't care that much.
Smell is very malty but with a very pleasant clovey character to it as well. Lots of fruit with apricot, peach and pineapple, slight lychee on there as well and of course some banana notes lingering at the back. Standard weizen notes, only sweeter. Pretty nice.
Taste is ramped up even more. Lots of sweetness on it but a huge phenolic spice cuts through early. Lots of caramelised pears, some apricot and light banana providing some acid. Then coriander, pepper and clove notes combine to cut through, giving a slight mediciney flavour and a large boozey wham that serves to warm the cockles on the back. Almost a bourbon flavour, sweet but strong and bold. Overall, this is very refreshing, oddly enough, and the boldness of the flavour is one I definitely like and respect.
Feel has a slight carbonation sizzle but a great texture and a lot of body that manages to go down smoothly. Pretty good.
This is too strong to down, but a really nice beer is always pleasant to sip. This is one.
75 / 100
On tap at Sydney's Local TapHouse Canadian SpecTapular.
Pours opaque, really cloudy, looking like guava juice; a trubby golden light brown colour with a huge and frothy head of pocked creamy white. Looks genuinely awesome.
Nose is extremely weizeny, with big banana esters doubled or tripled to a confusing and confronting boozy extremity. Spice gets up my nose in a tingling tangled mess. What delicious anarchy.
Taste is big and boozy, with the layers of fresh weizen mingled with big, almost Belgian phenolic characters on the back. Finish is surprisingly clean considering the body, and the heaviness of the alcohol. Mouthfeel is almost too tingly, although I can see they're going for the leavened and lively hefe palate, but it seems out of place with this one.
Very heavy, but it's quite amazing how close they managed to get this 10% monster to a regular 5% hefe - it's as though they were trying to downplay everything except the number next to "ABV".
Still, this is a huge beer, and unsurprisingly, it takes its toll after a while.
45 / 100
Pours a pale straw colour with effervescent bubbling and an eerily translucent haze. Bubbling livens it up, head is thin but resilient. Thin wisps of lace dot the glass.
Nose is remarkably tangy and not very honey-esque. Fair hints of citrus, with a lemonade kind of character, floral aroma and maybe a touch of vanilla. Not particularly fragrant though, just subtly floral.
Taste is a lot more potent, but it remains to be seen if that's a good thing. Honey is more prominent, but it sort of hides behind other flavours rather than leaching out. Creates a rich, earthy base, while hints of grass, lemon zest and cooked greens provide a mildly bitter palate. Organic and mildly acerbic, but not overpowering. Mouthfeel is moderate, with a slight fuzzy foam texture, not a lot of sparkle but not thin.
Tastes a lot more lagery than I expected; with more hopping it would frankly taste like a pilsener. This is nothing like what I'd expect from a "honey wheat beer". It's not very wheaty or honey-y. Even though it's light years more palatable than its more commercially viable but utterly vile bastard cousin Beez Neez, this just isn't very impressive. Taste is confused and unbalanced, and the honey is more of a hindrance to flavour than a standout quality.
57 / 100
Pours a golden colour with a lot of bubbly carbonation. Sparsely bubbled head sinks slowly but dramatically. A few specks of lacing here and there. Looks nothing like a witbier, in fact looks like a pale lager. Very blah.
Nose is better, good hit of spicy hops. Slight citrus character and a hint of fresh milled wheat but not enough, not very potent. Actually smells quite like a pale ale. Not a bad nose but again, not particularly witbiery.
Good spicy yeast character, with hints of coriander and clove on the mid-palate. Fairly prominent candied orange character hiding behind and persisting through the palate. Finish is quite grassy and a bit sour. Overall the fruit and spice are well balanced to give this good wheat characters, and the mouthfeel is tingly and pleasant.
This is quite drinkable but not quite spicy or potent enough to impress me. Tasty but not very impressive.
Got given this when I asked my mate to fetch something that would 'surprise me' - of course I'd already seen Beez Neez was on tap so I was willing to take the risk.
Came out looking alright, golden colour with fair carbonation, sparsely bubbled head but fairly good retention. No lacing at all; I find this disappointing in a supposedly sweet beer. Everything else pretty meh.
Smells alright and better than it does out of a bottle. Distinct honey aroma which, basically, is what I expect. Little bit of floral hop behind, but not enough to make a fanfare about. Decent nose, but simple.
Taste is a hodge-podge and badly so. Starts with a strong honey hit on the front palate, seems like it's heading for sweetsville then takes a sharp right into nasty, sharp adjunct flavour. The honey which makes this beer a marketing bonanza lasts for about a second, and the mid-palate is flat and weak, while the finish is very nasty bitter with no real hop character. Just a sort of chemical bitter, like putting your tongue to a battery. Mouthfeel is thin and dull, no carbonation, and the finish really renders this a difficult one to get through.
Again, I'm really put off by this beer. It's just all wrong.
60 / 100
Pours with a Coopers-esque appearance, very cloudy with a slow, light bead around the edge. Fair head, but not much and lowering quite quickly. Fair amount of lacing but not spectacular.
Very fruity on the nose with a tangy, tropical edge. Hints of pineapple, passionfruit, guava and even mango. Very light, pleasant aromas. Not a lot of hop, so it does have a soft drink kind of feel to it, but very nice anyway.
Again, light and fruit characters, only this time with a slightly hoppier flavour hidden around the edge. A slightly sweeter, vanilla character comes through on the middle. Quite light and not as fruity as the nose would suggest but a fair amount to like. Mouthfeel is full, maybe a bit fizzy, not bad at all. This is a genuinely drinkable beer, with many good flavours, and probably good on a hot Summer's day.
In the intervening years since rastaman reviewed this, they may have honed this recipe a little, because I'm quite convinced this is styled as a Kristal Weizen.
Pale yellow gold, exceptionally clear with a thin white head of foam and small streams of carbonation bubbles.
Light fruity characters on the nose, a bit of banana and citrus. Light wheat acidity is noticeable. Bit of vegetation adds some greenness. Not bad. A little simple, not bursting with aroma, but pleasant.
Very clean and crisp on the palate, but with a sweet fruit character, and a nice twist of wheaty tang. Nice kristal characters, clean, light but interesting. Mouthfeel is light and smooth. Very suitable.
Overall, I think this is a pretty decent kristalweizen. Very drinkable, pretty tasty.
49 / 100
Presented in a standard dark brown bottle, with a somewhat illegible "bee sting" scrawled vertically on the front of a black label. This is a pale ale brewed with honey, from another Australian winery trying their hand at the microbrew scene.
Light pale gold, filmy head. Lots of fine carbonation. Looks quite sophisticated, if a little weak.
Noticeable honey on the nose, with touches of citrus and yeast. Is this a wheat beer? Nothing to indicate as much on the label, but there's wheat elements here. It's a reasonable nose, quite light, but with no malt, and very little hops.
Taste brings noticeable sweetness from the honey, followed by toasted malty bitter notes and fragrance. Strong, yeasty back-palate ruins the lightness, and ends up leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Mouthfeel quite flat and lifeness, considering the carbonation.
Eh. It's ok. Nothing I'd seek out again though.
48 / 100
Appearance: Slightly cloudy dark gold body with almost no head. As I poured it I tried in vain to produce some kind of froth, but nothing was happening. Very inauspicious, uninspiring beginning.
Nose: Not much to note on the nose paart from a little yeastiness. It's probably still a bit cold, so I'll put off judgement just now. Hmm, yes, it's better after a while, some fruitiness coming in from the wheat malt, sweet oranges, cut grass and maybe something like pickled onions. It's subtle, but the aromas are quite pleasant if you give it time.
Taste: Disappointing after some deceptive but promising smells. There is the hint of sweetness and the wheat sourness which I often like in a wheat beer, but very little
Mostly, this tastes like a very average beer.
There is some hidden promis in there which makes me hopeful for the future of this brewery. I certainly found this one more inspiring than their English Ale.
I'd been drinking Kilkenny Draught all night, and thought I should try something different. Despite the fact that I'd tried it from bottle and disliked it I ordered a half-pint of Beez Neez (they didn't sell it in pints, they said, and it still cost about as much as the pints of Kilkenny I'd been drinking - ridiculously overpriced - I guess if they charged $10 for a pint of this someone would click).
I took it back to our table. "Ooh," said one of my friends, "I know some people who really rate Beez Neez". She tried it and then decided that "some people" need a serious re-education.
Ok. So what about the beer? It had a very standard lagery kind of look to it. Amber colour, maybe a little orange. No head.
It smelled like bad lager. Maybe they tried to distill VB or something and mix in honey. (The honey comes later, you couldn't actually detect it in the smell). Wet paper and bad yeast.
The taste was slightly better, in that it didn't actually make me want to retch blood. But it was just bland as all hell. Watery, flavourless, oh yes, except for that sickly sweet residual honey flavour which caught on the back of your tongue. Mouthfeel was almost non-existant. Like drinking filtered water (even tap water has more character).
Sigh. I've been really disappointed in Matilda Bay. They seem to make all their beers taste the same, and that's bland. Not impressed.