Nick Carr on March 9, 2015 0 Comments Quick Characteristics Brewery: Avery Brewing Co. Location: Boulder, CO Style: Belgian Wheat Ale (Witbier) ABV: 5.6% IBU: 22 Hops: Bravo, Sterling, Hersbrucker Malts: Two-row barley, wheat Appearance: Opaque, Washed-Out White Gold Aroma: Belgian Yeast Melds Aromas of Banana, Clove & Pepper Accompanied With Hints of Citrus & Coriander Flavor: Tarty Sweetness on the Sip; Notes of Clove & Coriander Blends With the Sweet; No Hop Bitterness Availability: Year-Round Pairs With: Spicy Thai, Blackened Codfish, Pepper Jack Cheese, Fruit Salad I’ve decided to continue exploring Belgian beers this week with a Belgian Wheat. It seems appropriate, having just finished up the first beer style profile of 2015, which is on a Belgian style (Belgian Triple), plus I’ve had a hankering lately for Belgian beer. Obviously that hankering wasn’t filled by the Chimay of my last review because here I am again, about to crack the top on some more Belgian goodness (hopefully). Adam Avery opened Avery Brewing in 1993 after several years of fiddling with, what would become, his three flagship recipes; Redpoint Amber Ale, Ellie’s Brown Ale, and Out of Bounds Stout. The company started as a small 7 barrel brewhouse, but has since grown, replacing the smaller equipment with 240 bbl fermenters and 120bbl unitanks. Along the way they won gold in the Great American Beer Festival in 1994, barely a year after opening, for the Out of Bounds Stout. They started a barrel-aging program and create libations that, just by the descriptions on their website, make me want to take a sampling road trip. White Rascal was first added to their year round line in 2010. It is a Belgian Wheat (White or Wit) Ale brewed with Curacao orange peel and coriander. Pour and Aroma Remember that with Belgian unfiltered beers much of the unique taste comes from yeast in the bottle, so when you pour be sure to slosh around the last couple swallows before adding them to your glass. This will ensure that the yeast in the bottle makes it into the glass and you get the full taste profile of the beer. The color is typical of a wheat ale; a pale washed out white-gold, like a wheat field under a bleaching sun. It is opaque, as any good non-filtered wheat should be. The head though, is not typical. Where most wheat beers have that two or three finger-thick pillowy foam… this one was curiously lacking any kind of head to speak of. It’s so non-characteristic of the style that I’m lead to believe I either made a slip in cleaning my glass or happened on a subpar bottle. I’ll have to drink a few more to see if this thinking holds true. The Belgian yeast creates a soft melding of ripe banana, clove, light pepper, and passing hints of bubble gum. Citrus and coriander put their two cents in creating the mellow spiciness of a classic Belgian Witbier. Mouthfeel and Taste The mouthfeel of this beer is unexpected. While most wheat beers are on the light side this one is thicker and full, a nice spring-summer transitional. No hint of the alcohol. A slightly tart sweetness hits first at the front of the palate before the yeast builds its slow wonder mid-palate. Clove, coriander, and low black pepper blend seamlessly with the sweet, while notes of citrus freshen and clean. There’s almost no hop bitterness. Banana and pear notes come and go after the swallow. Finishing the Impression I’m honestly not sure what to make of this beer. The taste is pretty standard for a Belgian White, but the mouthfeel is fuller than any other wheat beer in my recent memory. This could be a good or bad thing depending on what you expect from your wheat beer. This would be a pretty heavy lawnmower beer, though the taste is mellow enough to fit the bill, I personally would be full up after a couple of these. On the other hand, because it’s a little fuller in the mouth it would work well on cooler spring and summer evenings where a more typical wheat beer might not be as enjoyable. Would I by it again? Probably not, but it has more to with my own personal tastes then any fault in the beer. If you’re a fan of wheat beers and, especially if you’re looking for something to fill in those cooler days on the way to the real wheat beer season of hot Summer, or at the end of these hotter months when it’s getting on into Fall… this might be just the ticket.