Archive for the ‘Wheat Beer’ Category

12 Beers of X-Mas: St. Bernardus Wit

Friday, December 30th, 2011

St. Bernardus WitFrom the brewers’ town of Watou, Belgium comes a witbier made by Brouwerij St. Bernardus.

The Wit looks much like cider with very hazy straw color. The bone-white head is somewhat thin. The aroma is light but complex. A spicy wheat berry character is supported by citrus, perhaps grapefruit. Bread and cloves round out the nose.

The flavor is likewise spicy, featuring cloves and black pepper. A serious acidic citrus flavor follows with orange, grapefruit, and maybe even lime. Some white bread flavor, and yet more spiciness. The palate is strongly effervescent, with just enough body to keep it from being sharp.

+St. Bernardus Wit

3.8 (4-8-7-3-16)

12 Beers of X-Mas: Sam Adams/Weihenstephaner Infinium

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Sam Adams/Weihenstephaner InfiniumThe largest American craft brewery, Sam Adams, and the oldest brewery in Germany, Weihenstephan, have teamed up to produce a prize beer called Infinium. They are awfully secretive about the supposedly novel process used to make this beer. The end result is not that unlike champagne, or in fact, DeuS, another bright, bubbly golden ale. They may not have intended this to be a winter beer, but it will fit nicely into your holiday celebrations.

Infinium pours a very hazy golden yellow with a copper tint. The off-white head is thick and solid. A spicy nose greets you immediately, featuring cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. A sweet bready maltiness follows, reminiscent of challah. This beer has the sort of mild yet complex aroma that makes you sit back and contemplate, content taking only a whiff.

The flavor of Infinium is likewise sweet and spicy, with some cinnamon and plenty of cloves. There is a significant alcoholic bite (reasonable, given it’s over 10%) which is restrained but invigorating. There are some floral and grassy noble hops as well. The palate is light, lively, and effervescent, but still rich and serious.

I shared several bottles with my family tonight, and here are some of their comments.

  • “Mild, yet wheaty…”
  • “…piquant…”
  • “…evolved…”
  • “…the smoothest ever…”
  • “A great dessert beer. Pairs well with chocolate.”

+Samuel Adams/Weihenstephaner Infinium

4.4 (5-9-7-4-19)

Mahr’s Saphir Weiss

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Mahr's Saphir WeissFrom Mahr’s Bräu in Bamburg, Bavaria, comes an amber-colored wheat beer brewed with a metric ton of Saphir hops. Longtime readers know that I am a fan of this unique strain of Hallertauer hops.

The Saphir Weiss is an opalescent copper color with a fair bit of creamy off-white head. The nose is full of classic weizen yeast character: banana and clove. This one has just a bit of an uncommon fruity hop aroma, something of a tangerine dream.

The bitterness of this beer is genuinely surprising; after the aroma you would expect a sweet banana bread flavor. A richly herbal hop bitterness takes its place. Grassy green and citric hops yield to cloves, which have an easier time breaking through than the banana. A bready malt sweetness supports the hops, and bananas echo in the background. There is just a bit of a lingering physical sensation on the tongue, accompanied by faint notes of banana and cloves.

+Saphir Weiss

3.8 (4-8-7-3-16)

Weihenstephaner Vitus

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

I stopped in at the Radegast beer hall on 3rd Street in Brooklyn. Plenty of wood and dim lights decorate this bar that has at least a dozen choices on tap at any given time. They’ve got a fair bottle menu of mostly German lagers and Belgians to boot: the entire line of Lindeman’s impresses me, the Boon Gueuze impresses me more. Lively staff, mustard produced in-house, and (according to my buddy Trevor) tasty sausages.

I had a draft of Vitus, a bock beer made with wheat (weizenbock), produced by the oldest brewery in the world, Weihenstephan. The brewery (as well as the university of the same name) sit atop a mountain overlooking the town of Freising in Bavaria. I’m not sure the Radegast should be offering this beer in 1.5 liter mugs; just one full liter of a beer over 7.5% alcohol is probably plenty.

The Vitus pours a golden straw color and deeply hazy. The generous head is frothy and bone-white. A strong spiciness and shades of banana lead the aroma and are accompanied by cloves and an earthiness.

Rich bready malt flavor and some residual sweetness almost entirely hide the alcohol. All that is present is the spice and just a hint of heat. A light herbal hop character complements this and balances the malt. The faintest hint of bananas. Creamy carbonation gives a soft and rounded body.

Overall this beer is wonderful. Flavorful, but still dangerously sessionable. A quote from my tasting notes: “how does it hide the whatsit percent alcohol?”

++Weihenstephaner Vitus

4.4 (5-8-8-5-18)

Bacchusbräu

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Bacchusbräu brewhouse - Photo courtesy RheinTheater.de

Photo courtesy RheinTheater.de

This is the first of several posts that I took notes for in Germany but didn’t get around to finishing. The last few weeks there and the first few back home were hectic. Anyway, on to the beer.

While traveling with my mother around the Middle Rhein Valley, I had a chance to try the beer from one of the smallest breweries in Germany, Bacchusbräu in Bacharach, Rheinland-Pfalz. On their 200 liter brewing system Armin Mahl makes the beer to go along with wife Annette’s wonderful cooking. But this is truly just the Theatergastronomie adjacent to the theater they built, which features marionette shows as well as ones with regular actors.Braumeisterbrötchen On one side of the building, directly facing the old city wall, and beyond it the Rhein, there is a patio under the canopy of an old carousel and a fence made of barrel staves.

I was impressed with just about everything about this place. They bake a rich and savory mini loaf of multigrain bread called Braumeisterbrötchen – Brewmasters’ Rolls – that are stuffed with fillings. The vegetarian one had cheese, mushrooms, onions, and caraway seeds, and was divine.Cat at Bacchusbrau Oh, and their cat is ridiculously friendly.

I started out with the standard lager, Loreley. They call it a pilsener but it really seems to me to be a classic Munich helles. Named after perhaps the most famous rock in the world, Loreley is easily one of the best German beers I have had the pleasure to taste.

A yellow gold with a beautiful haze is topped with some creamy white head. The rich malty aroma is thick with bread and just a little sweet. Delicate floral noble hops dance.

Bacchusbräu Loreley and 1689The flavor of Loreley is barely dry, but still has a strong malt richness. The high quality malt used clearly shows through, so the beer tastes quite fresh. The palate is full and round without intruding. It is not bitter, but rather remarkably balanced.

Next I had the Münchner dunkel, called 1689. I’m not certain what the name refers to, though I know that year there was some unpleasantness related to the Nine Years’ War in nearby Mannheim and Heidelberg.

A pleasingly opalescent very pale hazelnut brown with some white head. The aroma is light, with malty caramel and hints of hops, and a little sweetness. It is promising, but much too fleeting.

The flavor is also a bit on the mild side. Caramel and toast malt flavors are complimented by an earthy and herbal hop character. The hops also lend a reasonable bitterness. Something is making it a bit astringent, Bacchusweizenwhich grows more prominent through the taste. The palate is full but still drinkable, but the 1689 would benefit from a bit more carbonation.

The wheat beer is named simply Bacchusweizen. It is naturally very hazy, and by looking at the bubbles rise, clearly very active. Golden straw in color with a creamy, cloudlike white head. The aroma is light and bready, with a lot of cloves as well. Some floral on the nose could be from hops.

The taste of the Bacchusweizen is dry, with a solid clove flavor. There is a good wheat character manifesting as bread and rich maltiness. The light hop flavor is spicy, complimenting the clove from the yeast. The palate is dry and quite lively. The adding of flavor hops to weizen is a relatively new concept, but there are a few that do it do good effect, including this one. Even discounting the hops this beer is a unique hefeweizen, drier and spicier than most. Very refreshing.

Finally the bock beer, Burg Stahleck – Verlies. Burg Stahleck is the castle overlooking the town of Bacharach, now a youth hostel.Bacchusbräu Berg Stahleck - Verlies Verlies is the German word for “dungeon”. They properly serve this strong beer in a hefty stone mug.

It is richly hazy, with a deep caramel brown color and creamy tawny head. The aroma is rich and sweet with caramel, dark fruit, and a rich spiciness of cinnamon and cardamom, pepper and cloves.

The flavor is malty and sweet. The spiciness on the taste is quite strong, dominated by cinnamon and pepper. The alcohol makes itself apparent with a warming sensation. The whole of it almost gives the impression of brandy. The Verlies is full but not cloying, active but not bothersome, and rich but still drinkable. Just well-crafted strong beer goodness.

++Loreley

4.2 (3-9-8-4-18)

++Burg Stahleck – Verlies

4.2 (4-9-7-4-18)

+1689

3.8 (3-7-8-4-16)

+Bacchusweizen

3.8 (4-7-7-4-16)

Spotlight Week: Moosbacher

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

2010-01-12-moosbacherThe tiny Bavarian village of Moosbach is located on the Czech border, just a stone’s throw from Pilsen. In the center of town, Brauerei Scheuerer was founded in 1887 by twenty-eight year-old Lorenz Scheuerer. Today the family brewery is run by fourth-generation Erhard, though they are proud that third-gen Johann II shows up every day, at least to drink “his 4 daily bottles!!!!”.

They package their beer in swingtops, which I like for three reasons. 2010-01-12-lagerFirst, you can drink half and leave the rest for later without losing too much carbonation. Second, as a homebrewer I’m always looking for ways to avoid capping bottles, so reusing swingtops is ideal. Third, I have a neat trick I can do with a swingtop bottle. Ask me sometime, I’ll show you.

Brauerei Scheuerer produces the Moosbacher beers, a pretty standard Bavarian lineup. Besides what I’ll be tasting they offer two export lagers (Export and Zoigl), a pilsner, and a shankbier for children and ladies, their Leichte Weisse. I have two lagers and two wheat beers to try tonight. I’ll start with the helles, called just Lager, move on to the Kellerbier, and then the Weissbier. Finally, I will be interested to see if the Schwarze Weisse is in fact black or just a normal dunkelweizen.

The Lager is a lightly hazy pale yellow. The head is bone white and creamy, leaves a lacing on the glass, but falls quickly. The aroma has good base malt character with just a bit of breadiness. Some noble hops and a level of Bavarian sulfur. A little sweet on the nose but still playful.

2010-01-12-kellerbierThe rich malt flavor practically sets you down in a Moravian barley field. Faint malty sweetness and strong hop bitterness (for the style). A healthy herbal hop flavor indicates the influence of the Czech way of brewing. Some contribution from sulfur compounds. Hints of many things, but none for very long: apricots, chocolate, peanuts, fresh cut grass. Full bodied but thoroughly refreshing. In my opinion this is among the top Bavarian lagers. The German Beer Institute calls helles lager a style of “infinite subtlety” and the Scheuerer family has certainly hit the mark there.

The Kellerbier pours a barely hazy caramel color. The off-white head is creamy, but again, could last longer. The aroma is practically non-existent, so drink this one relatively warm. Hints of caramel and toast and just a bit of sulfur. The flavor is also much lighter than the Lager. A smooth and creamy malt flavor is accompanied by the finest noble hop character, but it is all much too timid. 2010-01-12-weissbierAs it warms it picks up more caramel and toffee and gets a little sweet. Again the body is essentially perfect: a full mouthfeel but refreshing and quaffable. I was not expecting the kellerbier to take the subtlety so much further than the helles lager, but here we are.

As if to pay penance for the first two, the Weissbier is effervescent to a fault. I had to pour out a whole glass of foam at first! The carbonation supports a strong and thick pure white head atop this pale golden yellow beer. The nose is full of banana. Also, wheat character, banana, some nuttiness, banana, clove, and banana. Very appealing, but actually not as rich as it might seem (for all the banana).

And the taste is a total surprise. Clove city! I wish I knew what exactly creates a disconnect in flavor and aroma like this, because beers with this variety in their sensory experiences are such a treat. Strong piquant clove flavor with black pepper and oregano are accented by just a hint of alcohol spiciness. There is, of course, a banana character, and some wheat as well. The body is full yet smooth but borders on cloying, despite the extreme activity.

2010-01-12-schwarze-weisseLast but not least, the Schwarze Weisse, which turns out to be a disappointing pedestrian amber color. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful beer, it was just framed for me in a particular way that didn’t come to pass. Oh well. Fairly hazy, the Schwarze Weisse is a copper-colored amber with a decent amount of thick tan head. Nowhere near as excitable as its cousin the Weissbier. Subtle yet assertive, the nose is perfectly balanced. Cloves, bananas, and caramel malt come out in equal proportion. Really a textbook dunkleweisse aroma.

The flavor is much less impressive: too clean. The cloves are there, but get outshined by black pepper. The banana is almost gone. A reasonable toasty flavor and some sweetness are the bulk of the taste. A bit of bitterness and hop flavor disrupt the impression of a wheat beer without being serious enough to count, so the beer ends up tasting flat. The palate is full but there is a lingering sweetness that gets to be unpleasant. After the stellar aroma I am pretty disappointed by the taste.

++Moosbacher Lager

4.0 (3-7-8-5-17)

+Moosbacher Weissbier

3.7 (3-7-7-4-16)

+/-Moosbacher Schwarze Weisse

3.7 (4-9-6-3-15)

+/-Moosbacher Kellerbier

3.6 (3-6-7-5-15)

Spotlight Week: New Glarus Brewing Company

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

2010-01-10-new-glarus-capFrom the tiny hamlet of New Glarus comes the beer that is the de facto king of Wisconsin microbrew, Spotted Cow. There are very few bars in the state that don’t have it on tap. But Daniel Carey, co-founder (with wife, Deb) and head brewer of New Glarus Brewing Company is no one-trick pony. They are continually producing Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart, two of the winningest fruit beers out there. Fat Squirrel and Stone Soup are stellar malty brews, and their Dancing Man Wheat is one of my favorite American wheat beers. They have ceased production on a few of my top picks, including Yokel (“Buy local, drink Yokel”), Uff-da (a rich bock), Hearty Hop (their IPA), and Copper Kettle Weiss (an incredible dunkelweizen, named after the copper kettles Dan brought over from Germany).

But Dan really comes into his own when brewing the Unplugged series. These (usually one-time) brews have included some divine sours, imperials, and barrel-aged selections. The Bourbon Barrel Bock has yet to be matched by a bourbon aged beer in my mind (I once said I would be happy just to smell it). Enigma was among the most unique beers I’ve had the opportunity to try, comparable only to Unibroue’s Quelque Chose. Dan is also one of the few brewers around here to attempt a Berliner weisse, a style that is all too easy to seriously butcher.

2010-01-10-edel-pilsNew Glarus beer is only available in Wisconsin. This is absurd considering their position among the largest craft brewers. People in Wisconsin drink a lot of good beer. Hey, leave some for the rest of us! After a brief attempt to expand distribution to Illinois a few years back, they built a new brewery up the hill with a much larger capacity. After a year of operation they still have yet to expand outside their home state, vexing craft beer lovers everywhere.

Tonight I have three examples of the work coming out of New Glarus this past year. First up I’ll try their Edel-Pils, brewed last summer. I know, I know, I should have consumed this fresh. Well, I’ve kept it dark and chill so hopefully it hasn’t lost too much. I’ll also have a pair of the Unplugged selections from 2009, the Imperial Saison and the dry-hopped Imperial Weizen.

The Edel-Pils pours a crystal clear golden straw. The bone white head is frothy and leaves significant lacing on the glass, though it could last longer. A rich noble hop aroma greets you from a distance. More deliberate investigation yields a delicate malt character and a hint of that Bavarian lager corn character (almost certainly from the yeast. I think Spotted Cow is the only beer they make with corn). The flavor is filled with malt, a clean and rich barley taste with just a bit of sweetness. Balancing bitterness and grassy noble hops round out the flavor. The body is full and creamy at first but gone in an instant. A well executed pilsner.

2010-01-10-imperial-saisonThe Imperial Saison is a beautiful opalescent coppery gamboge. The head is creamy, the appearance of clouds, and leaves not just lacing but a coating as it (slowly) falls. This nose is thick with fruit and spice. Apricot, orange, lemon, and apple dance with coriander and black pepper. Some alcohol pungency adds complexity yet refrains from being sharp. A bit of caramel and almond make for a truly intriguing aroma.

The first of the taste is a spicy alcohol warming on the tip of the tongue. This is accompanied by a hint of crisp acid and a dustiness to ensure you know it’s a saison. Some fruit comes out, but very different than on the nose. The apricot remains, joined by kiwi and banana. A bit of caramel and clean maltiness round out the flavor. The body is light and refreshing like lemonade. A bit of bitterness and some of the fruit lingers. This beer is quite complicated. I’m glad I have a second bottle to sit on for a while, to see how it ages.

2010-01-10-imperial-weizenFinally, the Imperial Weizen. The color is very close to the saison, a bit more towards copper. Chunks of yeast hang suspended in the beer. They are pushed up by the bubbles evolving in the middle and drift down towards the outside, almost giving the appearance of a lava lamp. The creamy off-white head leaves a great lacing but doesn’t last nearly long enough. The aroma is rich with spices: clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Sweet toffee and plenty of wheat come out, too. There is just a bit of higher alcohol that could be perceived as medicinal, but that is probably simply interaction with the spices.

The clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon are alive and well in the taste. Here they are joined by a citric hop flavor of grapefruit and orange. Caramel and toffee from the malt also contribute to the character. There is certainly an alcohol warming, and a lively effervescence that threatens sharpness without delivering. Complicated bordering on gridlock. By that I mean, though the flavor is certainly interesting and not at all unpleasant, I wonder if perhaps there is too much competition. To some extent the richness of tastes block each other out. Still quite a good beer.

++New Glarus Imperial Saison

4.2 (4-9-7-4-18)

+New Glarus Imperial Weizen

3.9 (3-8-7-5-16)

+New Glarus Edel-Pils

3.8 (3-8-7-4-16)

The Session #32: Eastern Beers

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

session_logoThe Session is a beer-themed blog-off occurring the first Friday of every month, featuring articles on many different beer styles as well as numerous tangential topics. Look here for more history or information on participating. This month’s session, Eastern Beers, is being hosted over at Girl Likes Beer. The prompt is located here and the roundup is here. After pondering the western sources of many of the beers she has tried, Girl Likes Beer directs us to have a beer from a country EAST of our own. She asks simply, “why do you like this beer?”

I spent a while pondering what to drink. It seems the prompt would allow me to drink any European (or African or Asian…) beer, but in keeping with the spirit I’ll have Grieskirchner Weisse, an Austrian wheat beer from Brauerei Grieskirchen. At just over five percent alcohol this is pretty heavy for a weissbier. It is interesting to note that wheat malt is listed before barley malt in the ingredients, indicating to me that the grist is over 50% wheat, a ratio uncommon but not unheard of.

The Weisse pours a moderately hazy old gold. A bone white head is never particularly big but it does linger.2009-10-02grieskirchenweisse The mild nose is fruity – bananas mostly, some apples and lemon. There is just a bit of alcohol tingle.

The taste is mild as well, with biscuit flavors from the wheat malt and the same fruit as the nose. As it warms a flat metallic taste comes out. Quite sweet, but doesn’t leave too much of a mouth coating. The very low carbonation (for a weisse) probably makes this beer more nondescript than it could be.

Girl Likes Beer requested we include the flag of the country of origin of the beer we drink. Sorry, I don’t have an Austrian flag. She also asked that we share the “coolest stereotype associated with the country”… I guess maybe some people think they’re Australian?

+/-Grieskirchner Weisse

2.8 (3-6-5-3-11)

Festival of Iowa Beers 2009

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

2009-09-06-prosI had a pretty good time at the Festival of Iowa Beers today. As always, the buzz and bustle was around the homebrewers’ tent. There were a wide range of beers on tap there: imperial this that and the other, a few sours, and several real ales served on a beer engine. The pros had a few interesting taps, but predictably most were pouring their usual fare.

There was plenty of gossip and news to be had, lots about brewery openings. The owners of Jasper Winery are apparently occupying the old Maytag factory in Newton with their new brewery. That’ll be running a copper 15 barrel two-vessel brewhouse. I also heard about a new startup that’s currently courting investors – they call themselves Grass Roots Brewing.

2009-09-06-hub-cityHub City up in Stanley is finishing the preparations on their new addition, featuring a 30 barrel brewing system. They will apparently be running double batches into 60 barrel (!) fermenters. That’s a huge increase in capacity, but apparently their distributors are working hard to keep that beer on the shelves. Hub City will also be releasing two small batch series: one of seasonals and one of high-gravity specials available only outside the state (thank you Iowa ABD!). More about those nearer to their year-end release.

I was able to try two of the beers B.J. from Hub City is developing. The first was the Russian Imperial Stout, the initial release in the out-of-state series. It was deep mahogany brown, lightly hazy, with a yellowed ring of head and a malty aroma. The taste is roasty with coffee and burnt toast. Thick and chewy, with a complex yet delicate flavor.

+Hub City Russian Imperial Stout

3.7 (4-6-8-4-15)

I also had a taste of a steam beer B.J. has been working on for the seasonal schedule. It has a light fruity nose, a pale yellow color, and almost no head. The flavor is a little sweet with a prominent yeast roughness and fruity hop character.

+Hub City Steam Beer

3.1 (2-6-7-3-13)

From the Burlington Makers of Beer (MOB) I had the cask-conditioned Mildly Interesting ale, an English-style mild. This is a near clear gamboge color with some frothy tan head. The nose is lightly malty and yeasty. It has a cider and caramel flavor, with just a bit of pomegranate.

The Ames Brewers League was one of many to bring an imperial stout aged on wood. Theirs is a Whiskey Barrel Russian Imperial Stout. It’s near black, with hints of brown and a ring of yellowed head. A sweet nose greets you initially, with prominent whiskey and rye. Thick and sweet, the flavor is toasty with a bit of roast and a strong alcohol spike. The sweetness and an astringency linger.

I had the Gruit beer from Cenosilicaphobia Brewers (a homebrew club out of Pella, Iowa). This one was labeled “NO HOPS”, and in red lettering “SOUR”. It is a hazy orange yellow with no head. The nose is lightly citric and a bit tart. The flavor is a clean lactic sour, with orange, grapefruit, and raspberry. There is just a bit of pale malt flavor. It is refreshingly tart, but not too intense.

Old Man River Brewery in McGregor, Iowa, is now bottling under the name Einfach Beer (“simple beer”). I tried both of the beers they brought to the festival (they forgot the Dunkel at home). The Oktoberfest is rich with malt flavor: toast, caramel, and bread. It is amber, almost clear, with a light malt nose. Sweet and smooth, decently authentic.

+Einfach Oktoberfest

3.0 (3-5-7-3-12)

The Helles is a clear straw with generous and creamy white head. The nose is light with corn, somewhat metallic, and a little toasty. The flavor is sulfury corn with a bit of sweetness. Actually remarkably authentic.

+/-Einfach Helles

2.8 (4-5-6-2-11)

2009-09-06-amsPowder Keggers is a women’s beer appreciation group in Des Moines, but they were able to muster up a few selections of homebrew to bring to the festival. (ed. note: this was meant to read “they’re a beer appreciation group, but they brought homebrew anyway” rather than “they’re a women’s group, but they could still figure out how to bring beer”) I tried their Lady Nessa’s Grand Cru. It was a very clear pale amber color with a little white head. The nose was malty with notes of grassy hops. The flavor is malty, with an alcohol tinge and a balancing sweetness. Some earthy hops come through. The body is thick but not cloying.

From the Raccoon River Brewers I tried an Oktoberfest. This one highlighted the difficulties brewing a good festbier. It was an opal amber with some off-white head. A lightly sweet, toast and corn nose led into a flavor of cotton candy and some bread. Sweet and cloying.

From down in Fort Madison the crew at Lost Duck Brewing Company brought a few interesting beers. The one I tried was the Duck ala Orange, an orange-infused lager. This one is light on flavor with an orange character that borders on synthetic. Very sweet, it’s a beer for those who appreciate Leinie’s Sunset Wheat. The redeeming quality is the bitter orange peel that comes through if you look for it.

+/-Lost Duck Duck ala Orange

2.6 (2-4-7-3-10)

From the MUGZ homebrew club I tried Little Brown Winkie. It claimed to be aged on sour cherries. Lightly hazy and reddish brown, the Winkie has some tan head. The nose is strong with pie cherries, I’d say montmorency. There is also just a bit of gym sock. It has a strong sharp pie cherry flavor with some malt. An astringency and sweetness linger.

Well, as usual I don’t think I was there long enough and I don’t think I had enough variety. But all in all it was a pretty good festival.

Oh yeah, and I took a look around the new brewhouse at Millstream. It’s coming along…

2009-09-06-bh

New Glarus Black Wheat

Monday, August 31st, 2009

From New Glarus Brewing Company in New Glarus, Wisconsin, I have a bottle of Black Wheat. This weissbier is made with not only the traditional wheat and barley but also roasted malts, oats, and rye.2009-08-31-black-wheat The roasted malts make it dark, the oats make it chewy, and the rye makes it spicy.

Black Wheat is a deep dark chocolate color. The tan head is thick, creamy, and long-lasting. This wheat beer has a smooth malty nose with hints of complexity. Toast, wheat, roast, and chocolate malt aromas lead the way, with spices including cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper complimenting the grains. Just a hint of fruit, probably banana.

A creamy palate and rich and dry malt flavor greet the tip of your tongue. This beer is an ideal hybrid of English stout and German wheat: robust malt character with coffee and chocolate of a stout, rich wheat flavor and spiciness of a weizen. Toast and coffee with chicory balances the wheat and bread. Cloves, nutmeg, and rye add a new dimension. A slight banana flavor rounds out the taste. This beer is malty but also quite dry with a lively carbonation.

An interesting concept, well executed.

+New Glarus Black Wheat

3.9 (4-8-8-3-16)