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Posts Tagged ‘wheat beer’

Heidi-Weisse

December 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.75

A new beer for 2017 from West, this one seemingly introduced earlier in the year to replace the since retired West Hefeweizen that I’ve tried on a number of occasions over the years and usually enjoyed. This is a rarity among West beers in that it is widely available in bottles around Scotland with their St. Mungo being the only other in that regard but it’s also a beer that I’ve tried previously on-tap at the brewery and thought it was a decent enough beer so it’ll be good to give it a proper review this time. This one will be my seventh review of a beer from the brewery and despite it being so close to me, this one will be my first new review of a West beer since trying their West Berlin for the first time back in July 2014 making this one long overdue.

Appearance (4/5): Cloudy and quite dark with the body an almost murky golden colour that is topped with a three-centimetre tall, foamy head that is white and holds well initially with a few bubbles rising to the surface as well.
Aroma (7/10): Light on the nose with some wheat and cloves in the early going, there was some nice banana notes too. Around the middle some coriander started to make itself known with a little citrus and some bread malts in there as well.
Taste (7/10): Wheat and some cloves kick things off with the taste, there was some lemon and faint spice a little further on before the bread malts from the nose made an appearance, coming through a lot earlier this time around. Towards the end the beer was a relatively sweet one with some background fruits and nice banana flavours seeing things out.
Palate (4/5): Quiet a lively beer with a sharp feel that was well carbonated and quite crisp as well. It was a fresh, easy beer to drink and the balance wasn’t too bad either with no one flavour overpowering.

Overall (15/20): Pleasant stuff from West, this one was quite a fresh and lively beer that seemed balanced and easy-going with some nice banana and wheat flavours throughout. Definitely a beer that I can see myself having again, it’s not a classic wheat beer but it was still a slight improvement on the West Hefeweizen that it seems to have replaced and that can only be a good thing.

Brewed In: Glasgow, Scotland
Brewery: West Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Hefeweizen
Abv: 5.2%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Aldi (Scotland)
Price: Gift

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Grand Kirin White Ale

November 8, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.2

One of two craft style offerings from the Kirin brewery that I managed to try over the course of my last few days in Japan last month now, this one a witbier offering from the brewery that I finally picked up in a Tokyo Family Mart store after seeing it a few times over the course of my holiday. Along with their Grand Kirin IPA that I’ve still to review here, this one appears to be a new offering from the brewery for 2017 and was released sometime around March, probably to get in on the craft beer market since it’s was one of the few craft style beers that wasn’t from the Yo-Ho Brewing Company that was fairly easy to find in convenience stores in the country, although this one obviously has a head start given it’s brewed by one of Japan’s largest breweries.

Appearance (3/5): Pouring with quite a clear body, this one is a light amber colour that is topped with a centimetre tall, foamy white head that has a little more build-up around the sides and left some lacing there as I started drinking the beer.
Aroma (7/10): Opening with a little wheat and some lemon, the main aroma is a citrus one that has some oranges in there too but seemed relatively basic. There was some grapes and faint pine a little further on with touches of earthy malt towards the end too.
Taste (6/10):
Opening with more pine than the nose hinted at, there was a few floral hops and a zesty bitterness to this one towards the middle with it seeming closer to an IPA in style than a witbier. Some earthy hops featured further on with a few burst of citrus and grassy hops with some hay and background fruits seeing things out.
Palate (3/5):
Medium bodied and quite zesty with a well carbonated feel that came through with plenty citrus to add a nice tang to proceedings. The beer hinted at being a dry one towards the end and there was a faint sweetness throughout that helped the balance some too, although it was a relatively basic beer throughout.

Overall (14/20): This one was actually quite an enjoyable offering from Kirin and one of the better from the brewery that I’ve tried, although it wasn’t quite a classic or one that I’d run back to on a regular basis. It started with a solid wheat beer nose that had plenty of citrus and wheat coming through but the taste was closer to an American IPA at times with more grassy hops and bitterness than usual for a wheat beer. It was quite a drinkable offering that had a pleasantly zesty feel, although it was definitely basic for the most part.

Brewed In: Tokyo, Japan
Brewery: Kirin Brewery Company
First Brewed: 2017
Type: Witbier
Abv: 5.5%
Serving: Can (350ml)
Purchased: Family Mart (Sin-Okubo, Tokyo)
Price: ¥297 (£1.97 approx.)

Minoh Weizen

October 30, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.6

A third beer from the Osaka based Minoh brewery now and my second in quick succession after reviewing their Pilsner here last. Not to be confused with the brewery’s Momo Weizen that I reviewed recently as well, this one is the second hefeweizen from the brewery that I’ll have tried and another that I picked up from the Yamaya Nagahoribashi supermarket in Osaka during my time in the city. Like their Pilsner before it, this is one of Minoh’s year round offerings and beer that I was quite excited to try upon picking it up despite the fact that I’d tried countless Japanese brewed hefeweizens in the week leading up to this one and the majority had been fairly average offerings; my hopes were that this one would be different.

Appearance (4/5): Golden amber and quite cloudy with a half centimetre head that is white and foamy looking, with the odd bubble showing through it. There was good retention in the early going here with minimal reduction in the size of the head over the opening few minutes and the beer generally looked like a good one upon pouring it.
Aroma (6/10): This one started off with aroma that wasn’t much like a hefeweizen and one that consisted of corn and basic malts but thankfully there was some banana and clove showing nearer the middle of proceedings to turn things around. I got some wheat and the odd adjuncts at this point too before some citrus and biscuit malts came through but it definitely wasn’t the most complex of the style out there.
Taste (7/10): The beer opened with the wheat and clove from the nose, although both came through a little earlier this time around and as a result the beer seemed like a hefeweizen from the start. There was some pale malts and citrus following soon behind as well as some banana and a little coriander towards the middle, although this was quite light in truth. The beer had some touches of spice showing and seemed fresher than the nose with some zesty flavours and a faint touch of bubblegum towards the end; a definite improvement on the nose.
Palate (4/5): A medium bodied beer with a good balance and a semi-sweet feel coming through alongside a citrus tang that featured around the middle. The beer was a touch weak on the nose but that was put right by the taste thankfully and the beer was a well carbonated offering that went down easily enough despite being somewhat basic at times.

Overall (14/20): Not a bad hefeweizen on the whole despite starting poorly on the nose with some corn and basic malts kicking things off, thankfully the traditional wheat beer flavours weren’t too far behind though and it turned out to be a pleasant and drinkable beer with some nice banana, clove and wheat flavours alongside some faint bubblegum towards the end. Whilst not the best of the style I tried in Japan, the beer was enjoyable enough to make it worth trying but I’m not sure if it’s one that I’d go back to again.

Brewed In: Osaka, Japan
Brewery: Minoh Beer
First Brewed: circa. 2004
Type: Hefeweizen
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Yamaya Nagahoribashi (Osaka)
Price: ¥410 (£2.72 approx.)

Minoh Pilsner

October 30, 2017 2 comments

Rating: 3.65

The second of six Minoh beers that I managed to try on a recent trip to Japan, this being the first of five bottles from the brewery that I managed to pick up at the Yamaya Nagahoribashi store in Osaka after discovering they has one of the better beer selections in the city. The beer follows on from the keg serving of the brewery’s Momo Weizen that I managed to try at the Two Dogs Taproom in Tokyo early on into my trip and being a brewery that I’d read a little about before my trip, I was eager to pick up a few more of their beers if I could.

Appearance (4/5): Golden straw in colour with a semi-clear body and a centimetre tall, foamy white head that had a little more lacing built up around the sides too and managed to hold well over the opening few minutes.
Aroma (6/10): Quite a fresh beer on the nose with citrus and lemon notes opening things up alongside a few biscuit malts and background fruits but for the most part the nose is quite a light one. There was some cereal and grassy hops further on with a little hay in there too that made for a pleasant aroma, although one that could have used being a touch stronger at times but it certainly wasn’t weak either.
Taste (7/10): Opening with biscuit malts and some sweeter ones too, the beer was relatively fresh with some lemon and background fruits coming through; mainly apples with a faint peach taste as well. There was a few grassy hops and hay with a little corn and citrus at the end too which all seemed to come through slightly stronger than it had with the nose.
Palate (4/5): Quite a fresh offering with a medium body and a fairly smooth, balanced feel to proceedings. The beer was sweet for the most part with a subtle tang and quite a dry feel towards the end but one that remained easy to drink throughout.

Overall (15/20): Quite an enjoyable beer from Minoh and probably one that was on par with their Momo Weizen that I reviewed here previously, this being despite the fact that I had expected this to be one of the poorer beers from the brewery that I picked up. The beer was a well-balanced and easy to drink offering that was quite fresh and sessionable, the nose was perhaps a little weaker than I’d have liked but it was a minor complaint with the rest of the beer seeming quite lively.

Brewed In: Osaka, Japan
Brewery: Minoh Beer
First Brewed: Brewery since 1997
Type: Pilsner
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Yamaya Nagahoribashi (Osaka)
Price: ¥410 (£2.72 approx.)

Doppo White Beer for Oyster

October 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.5

Probably the most random beer that I tried when travelling around Japan recently, this one is an oddly named hefeweizen brewed by a sake company and one that I only spotted on Miyajima Island in Japan despite the fact that the beer isn’t brewed anywhere near the island. I picked this one up based solely on the name and thought it might end up being an oyster stout or at least a darker beer only to find yet another Japanese hefeweizen upon opening it, although luckily it wasn’t a bad one in the end.

Appearance (4/5): Light with a cloudy amber body and a half centimetre head that had good retention, covering the surface well and left some touches of lacing on the sides too.
Aroma (6/10): Quite a light nose with corn and lager style malts before some wheat and banana started to come through and give it more of a hefeweizen aroma. There wasn’t anything overly strong showing but some citrus and background adjuncts rounded things off.
Taste (6/10): Opening with a combination of banana, wheat and clove, the beer has a standard hefeweizen taste but the odd lager malt still sneaks in at times. There was some subtle grassy hops with a sweetness from the banana but it was a little fresher than the nose and featured some background fruits and citrus too before a little funk showed at the end to round things off.
Palate (4/5):Light-medium bodied and quite sweet with a fairly good balance with some lager malts and wheat beer sweetness working well together with moderate carbonation levels.

Overall (14/20): This one was a beer I went into not having a clue what it would be, even the style was unknown until I cracked the bottle open to be greeted by a wheat beer that started with some lager malts that initially had me slightly confused. As things progressed the banana and clove flavours came to the front alongside some citrus and the beer was definitely a hefeweizen. A pleasant offering that went down quite easily, although I’m not sure how well it would pair with oysters really.

Brewed In: Okayama, Japan
Brewery: Miyashita Shuzo
Type: Hefeweizen
First Brewed: Doppo range since 1995
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Miyajima Island, Japan
Price:‎ ¥600 (£3.97 approx.)

Miyajima Weizen

October 20, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 4.0

The first of two Miyajima Brewery beers that I picked up at the end of September when taking a day trip to Miyajima Island near Hiroshima, I actually thought I’d picked up three of the breweries beers but a mix-up at the shop meant I ended up with two of their still to be review here Pale Ale’s. Prior to my trip to Japan I had read a little about this breweries beers and the fact that they are really only available on the island so I knew I’d find a couple when I visited. Brewed under license at the Helios Craft Beer brewery, this one is yet another Japanese brewed hefeweizen which appear to be a style that absolutely everybody offers in the country and one that I was definitely looking forward to trying.

Appearance (4/5): A very cloudy looking beer that sits with an orange to amber colour in the glass with a nice, two centimetre head that is foamy and white looking. There is some good lacing on the sides of the glass from the head and the beer has a thick appearance with good initial head retention too.
Aroma (8/10): Stronger than expected on the nose with a solid banana aroma in the early going before some further sweetness was provided by an unexpected butterscotch aroma. There was some creamy notes coming through with touches of wheat and clove too, although the citrus touches were minimal. Towards the end some pleasant malts and a little peach showed with a subtle hint of apricot seeing things out nicely.
Taste (8/10): Opening with some wheat and bread, the beer wasn’t quite as sweet as the nose but there was some butterscotch and vanilla showing as well as the creamy touches from the nose. Around the middle some grassy hops and citrus started to come through alongside a bubblegum flavours and a little clove too. It was definitely an interesting take on the hefeweizen style and one that wasn’t at all what I was expecting.
Palate (4/5): Medium bodied, perhaps a touch thicker and fuller bodied than expected with a smooth and quite sweet feel to it. It’s softly carbonated with a decent balance and a pleasant dryness towards the end; a nice variation on the usual hefeweizen style.

Overall (16/20): Definitely a beer that surprised me a little, after countless Japanese hefeweizens before this one I had assumed they were all pretty similar but the addition of some butterscotch and vanilla to this one kept things interesting. The beer was sweeter than expected and even had some subtle fruits towards the end of the nose which I liked; a very nice beer and one I’d like to try again at some point.

Brewed In: Miyajima Island, Hiroshima, Japan
Brewery: Miyajima Brewery
Type: Hefeweizen
First Brewed: 2013
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Can (350ml)
Purchased: Miyajima Island, Japan
Price:‎ ¥500 (£3.31 approx.)

Fujizakura Heights Weizen (363 of 1001)

October 20, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 3.75

The first of two Fujikankokaihatsu beers that I reviewed in quick succession after finding both at Raku Beer in Hiroshima on a recent visit, this one along with their Fukizakura Heights Rauch offering are two beers that feature on the 1001 beers list and that I was looking out for on my holiday. Currently listed as the eleventh best hefeweizen on the RateBeer website, this one comes highly rated and was one of the beers that I was most looking forward to trying before setting off for Japan and here’s what I thought of it when I finally managed to find it on-tap somewhere.

Appearance (4/5): A slightly lighter than expected amber colour that borders on yellow with a cloudy body. The beer had a two and a half centimetre head that was white and bubbly, holding well for the opening minute or so before turning to a thin surface lacing thereafter.
Aroma (7/10): Fresh with some lemon and orange notes to open proceedings, there was some wheat and cloves coming through in the early going too. I managed to get some touches of yeast and spice further on alongside some banana sweetness that made for a fairly pleasant smelling wheat beer.
Taste (7/10):
Quite a similar taste to the nose, the beer opened with some coriander and clove followed by some yeast and a faint funky flavour. There was some freshness around the middle with a couple of lighter malts coming through alongside the banana from the nose.
Palate (4/5):
Fresh and medium bodied throughout, the beer was balanced with a subtle sweetness from the banana and plenty of citrus too, particularly early on with the nose. Easy to drink throughout, the beer was quite a standard but pleasant wheat beer offering that had some dryness further on too.

Overall (15/20): Quite a decent wheat beer from Fukizakura Heights with a good amount of wheat showing alongside some early citrus and a banana sweetness that was present throughout. The beer was smooth and balanced, making it easy to drink with some slightly funky flavours around the middle too. It’s a nice beer and one that I’m glad I tried and it’s one of the better hefeweizen that I had in Japan too.

Brewed In: Kawaguchiko, Yamanashi, Japan
Brewery: Fujikankokaihatsu Co. Ltd. / Sylvans Restaurant
First Brewed: 1997
Also Known As: Fujikankokaihatsu Kogen Hefeweizen
Type: Hefeweizen
Abv: 5.5%
Serving: Keg (300ml)
Purchased: Raku Beer, Hiroshima, Japan
Price: ¥800 (£5.30 approx.)