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Beer Review #193 Whitewater IPA

I was excited to try my last beer reviewed, but it left me wanted. Perhaps the most interesting beer in the Sam Adams Variety Pack is Whitewater IPA. The bottle says a “wheat ale brewed with apricots and spices.” According to Sam Adam’s website the idea behind this beer was to combine an IPA with a Belgian-style White Ale. Before I dive into this review I want to share a few quick thoughts on the Boston Beer Company with you. For such a big brewery they really seem to embrace the “homebrewer mentality.” They do not seem to be afraid to try something different and out there. While they don’t get the acclaim of a Dogfish Head I really feel like they do a great job of making different beers. They are also 100% American owned, have a beer buyback program, and encourage homebrewers to try new things, which, with all things considered, makes them pretty badass. Maybe I am alone in that feeling as they have grown out of the microbrewery category, but I really respect what they do. Your regularly scheduled beer review continues below.

Whitewater IPA pours a hazy yellow-orange color and have a fluffy white head. The nose is very much that of an IPA. The hops are on the citrus side of the hop world with lots of grapefruit coming through as well. I didn’t get any Belgian odors nor did I find any apricots in there either.

The first sip lead to some very solid hops. This IPA has a fruity character to it. The hop flavor really enhances some of the fruit vibes in this beer. I did get a slight bit of apricot mixed in before the hops hit, but it wasn’t very strong. There is a strange flavor about halfway through a gulp that made my tongue feel slightly numb. I’m not sure if it was the Belgian component to the beer, but it was noticeable enough to make note of. The hops come in right after the strange flavor and do a good job or cleaning up the beer. They are full of citrus with some piney notes at the very end.

This IPA is one of the creamiest IPAs that I have had in awhile. I’m assuming that it comes from the use of wheat malt which can help contribute to mouthfeel. I really liked the balance on this one. The apricots didn’t add anything to the beer, but we can let that slide. I liked this much more than Might Oak Ale, too bad it is only in the variety pack right now. (more…)

Beer Review #95 Peak Winter Session Ale

I have another beer from Portland, Maine for today’s beer review. I don’t remember this brewery at all from my travels in the northeast, but I am glad that I found them. They make some wonderful beer. I recently picked up a four pack of their Espresso Amber Ale and I suggest you do the same as you see it. Peak Organic Brewing Company makes some wonderful beers and I was thrilled to try their Winter Session Ale.

This winter ale pours an amber color and a slightly off-white head sits on top of the magic below. The beer is classified by the popular beer review sites as a “dark American wheat ale.” I honestly have no idea what that means or what to expect from it. The nose spews grapefruit hops, and that’s it. I guess I see where the American part of the classification comes in.

The taste is surprisingly complex. The nose just hinted that there would be hops, but it hid all of the other flavors. There is a great coffee/roast flavor in the malt of this ale that is paired nicely with a hoppy finish. It is very nicely balanced and a joy to drink. This beer rocks in at a modest 5.0% ABV so you can enjoy quite a few of them before calling it quits. This Peak offering is very complex for a beer that doesn’t offer much in the aroma department. Grab it if you can! (more…)

Beer Review #66 Wailua Wheat

I really dig Kona Brewing Company. I think it is more do to the fact that I loved the time that I spent in Hawaii, but I do love me some Kona. Wailua Wheat from the Kona Brewing Company is a wheat ale brewed with passion fruit. The bottle says that it is a limited release, but I have no idea how limited it was. I got it when I was in Texas, so it probably wasn’t super limited. I guess it falls into a summer release as it is in production from March to September. Wailua is Hawaiian for two fresh water streams mingling.

It pours a light straw to blond color and is perfectly clear. For a wheat beer there really wasn’t much head to speak of. It was pretty thin, full of tiny bubbles, and white. The nose is very sweet. You can get the fruit on the nose as well. I really don’t know what passion fruit smells like, but I think the beer captures a good fruity smell that I can only imagine is passion fruit.

Wailua Wheat has a slight biscuit flavored maltiness which is quickly taken over by the passion fruit. The two flavors then combine on the aftertaste and mix really well. There is no hop to speak of which was just fine with me. The beer is actually pretty solid for a fruit wheat beer. Usually the fruit is over the top and makes it undrinkable. Wailua Wheat is much more balanced, but as you drink more, the fruit/sweetness starts to get a little overwhelming. Not a bad beer by any means and a solid summer beer, but not something I loved. It did take me back to Hawaii for a bit, and for that I am thankful. (more…)