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Posts Tagged ‘witbier’

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.)

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Suiyoubi No Neko

October 18, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.1

A complete lucky dip when I picked this can up after spotting it in a Lawson’s Station convenience store on a recent trip to Japan and discovering that the entire can was written in Japanese (or Romanised Japanese in the case of the name). I had spotted this can in a number of different shops in the early part of my trip but given that I didn’t have a clue who brewed the beer or what style it was, I had opted to avoid it initially but after working my way through the majority of the other craft beers I eventually picked up a can in Kyoto. As it turned out, the beer is a witbier from Yo-Ho and therefore the third of their beers that I’ll have reviewed, with another one still to follow.

Appearance (3/5): Light amber to golden-yellow with a slightly cloudy body but not as light as expected for a witbier. There was a thin, foamy white head on top that was more of a fine lacing around the sides of the glass with a slightly bigger patch in the centre.
Aroma (6/10): Opening with some wheat and cloves, there is a nice citrus and lemon backing to the beer with touches of Belgian yeast in the early going too. I managed to get some background banana and coriander towards the middle before the odd sugar rounded things off but like most Japanese craft beers I’ve tried to this point, the beer was definitely quite a light one on the nose.
Taste (6/10):
Starting with a combination of banana, clove and some wheat, the beer is thankfully a little stronger than the nose and has some subtle spices in there too. Further on and some coriander comes through, as does touches of bread malt and further citrus to see things out nicely.
Palate (3/5):
Light-medium bodied and fairly well-balanced too, the beer could definitely have been stronger but it wasn’t the worst. I got some subtle spices and background citrus which added a nice tang to an otherwise clean and basic beer.

Overall (14/20): Quite an average offering from Yo-Ho and definitely not the best I’ve tried from them, the beer was a lot light numerous other Japanese craft beers I’ve tried recently, basically it was quite weak and light. There was some pleasant banana and cloves flavours coming through alongside touches of citrus and wheat but it wasn’t exactly what I’d been expecting and it seemed miles behind some of the better European versions of this style.

Brewed In: Nagano, Japan
Brewery: Yo-Ho Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2012
Type: Witbier
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Can (350ml)
Purchased: Lawson’s Station (Kyoto)
Price: ¥268 (£1.78 approx.)

Blanche de Namur

August 30, 2017 1 comment

Rating: 2.45

A Belgian witbier that I’ve spotted in various Lidl supermarkets over the past couple of years but for some reason never been tempted to pick up, I eventually aquired a bottle as a gift from a relative when they spotted it for sale in a local Home Bargains store and decided to grab me a bottle. This one will be my first from the Du Bocqwhole brewery and I’m hopeful it turns out to be a good one, I’ve enjoyed a number of witbiers in the past and when it is done right it is one of my favourite types of beer.

Appearance (3/5): It took two attempts at pouring this one, the first being nothing but head although I’ll only count what it looked like one the second go here. Pouring a very bubbly looking golden yellow colour, initially there was a two or three centimetre head on this one that was white and very foamy looking but it seemed to keep getting bigger and bigger over the opening couple of minutes. Eventually things settled a little and the beer sat with roughly a four centimetre head that was dome shaped and held very well. A nice looking beer in the end but far too carbonated and an overly large head, particularly straight after pouring it.
Aroma (5/10): Some wheat and coriander in the early going but it’s definitely not a strong beer on the nose really, there was some citrus and lemon following on behind. Around the middle some pepper notes and spices start to come through but nothing too strong again sadly with the finish made up of some light cloves seeing things out.
Taste (5/10): Opening with some lemon and citrus flavours, this one is again quite a light offering that has some banana and wheat in there too but it could definitely have been stronger. The coriander from the nose shows here as well but it’s not as pronounced as it was with the nose sadly and some cloves follow not too far behind. The beer ended up being quite disappointing beer taste wise and I was looking for something more pronounced and with more variety too.
Palate (2/5): Light to light-medium bodied and definitely thinner than expected, the beer was a fresh one to start with good carbonation in the early going but from the middle on these characteristics started to fade leaving it a little flat and one-dimensional by that point; poor stuff here I’m afraid.

Overall (9/20): This one was a beer that got off to quite a bad start with far too much foam when I slowly started to pour it, there was a lot of visible carbonation in the body of the beer as it sat there too. Once I started getting into the beer there wasn’t a whole lot going on really, the nose in particular was quite light and the taste wasn’t much better with only some faint citrus coming through with the usual wheat and coriander; a poor effort and a witbier to avoid.

Brewed In: Purnode-Yvoir, Belgium
Brewery: Brasserie Du Bocqwhole
First Brewed: Circa. 2002 (Brewery since 1858)
Type: Witbier
Abv: 4.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Home Bargains (Scotland)
Price: £0.79

Beavertown Peacher Man

July 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.55

A reworking of a 2016 Beavertown collaboration here, this was originally a 6.2% abv. beer from the brewery that was made along with California based Heretic Brewing but has since been brought out as a summer seasonal solely from Beavertown and is a 5% abv. beer this time around. I spotted this one in my local bottle shop at the end of last week and was intrigued by the sound of a ‘peach and apricot witbier’ so quickly grabbed myself a can along with a couple other random beers to enjoy over the weekend. The beer will be my ninth from the brewery and follows on from their Lupuloid IPA, the last beer from the brewery that I tried when I had a can back in January of this year so hopefully this one proves to be as good as that one was.

Appearance (4/5): Pouring a very thick and cloudy looking yellow to golden colour that is topped with a centimetre tall, foamy white head that covers the surface well and holds not too bad either over the opening few minutes; very much a witbier appearance from this one.
Aroma (6/10): Quite a fresh opening with the obvious wheat notes that are backed up by some early lemon and coriander notes that work well together. It’s slightly floral with a few other citrus fruits coming through alongside some herbs and spices but nothing notable at this stage. There’s some lighter malts towards the end and a few fruits too but I’m finding it hard to detect much in the way of any peach at this stage sadly; there is perhaps a touch showing but it’s difficult to be sure.
Taste (7/10): Fairly tangy and again quite fresh, the beer opens much like the nose with some lemon and citrus flavours before a few lighter malts start to show. There’s a combination of spices and some coriander in the early going to and these are followed by a few fruits that are definitely a little stronger than they were with the nose; at this point I got some hints of sweetness too. There is some peach at this stage with touches of vanilla adding to the sweetness before a few cloves and wheat flavours make themselves known again at the end.
Palate (4/5): Sitting around medium bodied, this one is a little thicker than I’d expected but that’s definitely a good things and the beer is also quite crisp into the bargain. There’s a lot of citrus which give proceedings a nice zesty tang that helps keep it feeling lively along with the sharp, strong carbonation levels. It’s quite an easy oen to drink with an okay balance but the citrus definitely dominated along with the wheat and spices; it was still a very nice beer on the palate though.

Overall (13/20): This one got off to a shaky start with the nose not coming through quite as good as I’d expected but things were turned around slightly come the taste with the beer seeming a little more balanced at this point and the citrus flavours coming through a little stronger and fresher too. The beer was a relatively easy one to drink with some nice touches of wheat coming through from the early going but I’d have like to see more of the peaches that the beer takes its name from showing, there was a some with the taste but almost none on the nose which was a little disappointing.

Brewed In: London, UK
Brewery: Beavertown Brewery/Heretic (collaboration)
First Brewed: 2016
Type: Witbier
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer (Glasgow)
Price: £2.60

Żywiec Białe

April 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.2

A fourth beer from the Żywiec brewery now and another that I sampled whilst visiting Warsaw last month, this one following on from bottle of their Porter and Saison that I managed to try in the city as well. Unlike their Porter, this particular offering isn’t a beer from Żywiec that I was aware of before visiting Poland but since I always like to pick up new wheat beers when I can, I opted to give this one a go in my hostel bar and actually ended up drinking a couple bottles of the stuff. The beer is a witbier styled offering that was introduced in 2014 and appeared to be readily available throughout Warsaw, although it also appears to have attracted some poor reviews online but I didn’t feel it was a particularly bad one; here’s what I thought of it at the time.

Appearance (3/5): A cloudy amber coloured beer that was slightly lighter and less bright than expected, the head was also a slight disappointment given it started about a centimetre tall and then disappeared completely within the first minute; not what I expect from a wheat beer really.
Aroma (6/10): Opening with some wheat and banana notes in the early going, there was some bread and a few malty smells following on behind before some subtle citrus started to come through. The beer wasn’t overly lively or fresh really, it featured some lemon and a few touches of biscuit nearer the middle but it was standard to basic for the style really.
Taste (7/10): Again opening with a combination of bread malts and banana, the beer was sweet and slightly stronger than the nose with some citrus featuring as before. There wastouches of clove and a few fresh fruits nearer the centre, I managed to detect some orange and naturally a lot of wheat. Down the stretch there was some floral touches but again the beer was a relatively basic offering for the style.
Palate (3/5): Medium bodied but with less carbonation than I’d have expected, the beer was sweet at times and slightly dry nearer the end. As I’ve said, it was a basic take on the witbier still but it was crisp and relatively easy to drink too.

Overall (14/20): A fairly standard but still drinkable wheat beer, there was a good opening with the banana working well together with the bread malts to give the beer a sweet but balanced taste. The beer was definitely lighter and less carbonated than I’d have liked to see but it was drinkable without being one I’d seek out if it was available in the UK.

Brewed In: Żywiec, Poland
Brewery: Grupa Żywiec
First Brewed: 2014
Type: Premium Lager
Abv: 4.9%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Oki Doki Hostel, Warsaw, Poland
Price: 9PLN (approx. £1.80)

Six°North Wanderlust Wheat

April 7, 2016 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.25

A second beer from Scotland’s only Belgian beer brewery now, this one is Six°North’s take on the witbier style with their Wanderlust Wheat offering. Six°North is an Aberdeenshire based brewery that specialises in brewing Belgian style beers and takes its name from the fact that the brewery is located 6° north of Brussels. I’ve previously only tried the brewery’s Hop Classic Belgian IPA, both on-tap and in a bottle, and that was a beer that I really enjoyed at the time so I was naturally eager to try a couple more of their beers given the chance. This one is a bottle that was recently available in Aldi supermarkets in Scotland and also featured as their beer of the week as part of their recent beer festival, thankfully I was able to grab a bottle and give it a try. It’s not everyday you find a Scottish brewed witbier so I’m quite excited about this one and finding out how it compares to their Hop Classic, let’s find out.

Six°North Wanderlust Wheat

Appearance (4/5): This one pours a hazy, golden-yellow colour that is topped by a half centimetre, foamy white head that has okay retention and doesn’t appear to lose much of its initial height over the opening minute or so at least.
Aroma (6/10): Starting with some light wheat notes and a little Belgian yeast, this one is fairly fresh on the nose and comes through with touches of citrus and a pleasant banana aroma. There was a little lemon and the odd funky note but on the whole it was quite a light beer on the nose with some grassy hops and a couple of background fruits seeing things out.
Taste (6/10): Some light malts and a pleasant citrus taste kick things off here, there was some touches of lemon and a the bit of funk carrying through from the nose as well. I managed to detect a background sourness to the beer and a few grassy flavours with a subtle sweetness coming through from some bananas before a little spice and wheat brought things to a close.
Palate (3/5): Light-medium bodied and strongly carbonated, this one was quite fresh but came through with a slightly grainy feel that also featured a background sweetness and a crisp finish. The balance of the beer was okay but nothing seemed particularly strong or noticeable as a result.

Overall (13/20): This one was an okay offering from Six°North but when compared to their Hop Classic it has to be considered a disappointment and I was expecting a lot more going into this one. There was some nice sweetness and a few subtle fruits that came through but the nose and the taste could both have been a lot more pronounced, I found it difficult to detect much of anything from this one to be honest. The light sourness and funk touches helped mix things up a little at times but there wasn’t enough going on with this beer for my liking and I don’t imagine it’s one that I’d go back to again sadly.

Brewed In: Aberdeen, Scotland
Brewery: Six°North
First Brewed: 2013
Type: Witbier
Abv: 4.6%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: Aldi (Scotland)
Price: Gift

Vesterbro Wit

April 6, 2016 2 comments

Rating: 3.8

A thirteenth beer from Copenhagen based Mikkeller now and one that will move the brewery into my top ten most rated on this blog. The beer is one that I managed to try in the Mikkeller Bar bar in the Vesterbro area of Copenhagen that this beer shares its name with, sampling it on the first day of my recent trip to the Danish capital. The beer is a witbier offering from Mikkeller that was one of about three or four that bore the Vesterbro name in some form and I felt obligated to try a glass when in the bar. Originally released back in 2010 as a draught only offering, apparently only available at the bar I tried it, it was since been found available in bottles at bars as far afield as Chile and China but I’m still glad to being trying it pretty much at the source, on-tap. This will also the second new Mikkeller review that I’ve uploaded here this year with it following on from the bottle of their To From Via that I sampled over the Christmas and New Year holidays and thoroughly enjoyed so hopefully this is more of the same from them.

Vesterbro Wit

Appearance (4/5): Golden amber in colour with a semi-clear body and some touches of white lacing around the edges for a head with some patches of lace dotted around the middle too.
Aroma (7/10): This one had quite a light and slightly fruity nose that was kicked off with some subtle pine hops and a couple of fresh, almost floral notes with some grassy hops in there too. Around the middle some citrus came through along with a tiny bit of sweetness plus some wheat with everything coming through quite light but balanced.
Taste (7/10): Fresh citrus and some pleasant floral flavours start things off with the taste, there was some background pine and faint grapefruit that added to the bitterness a little as well. Some of the wheat from the nose made an appearance here as well with some bread malts and a faint sweetness but it didn’t seem to be an overly complex beer to me in truth.
Palate (4/5): Quite a fresh and very dry beer with a sharp bitterness to it and some lingering floral touches in there too. It featured quite a faint sweetness that was most noticeable around the middle of the beer but never really asserted itself. There was crisp carbonation and the beer came through with a nice bite to it and quite good balance as well.

Overall (16/20): This one was quite an enjoyable beer from Mikkeller with a pleasantly fresh and balanced taste that had some nice bitterness towards the end as well. It wasn’t exactly what I’d been expecting from a witbier and I felt it was stretching it to call it one at times but it was a nice beer that was fresh, crisp and highly drinkable without it being overly complex; another winner from Mikkeller.

Brewed In: Copenhagen, Denmark
Brewery: Mikkeller
First Brewed: 2010
Type: Witbier
Abv: 4.6%
Serving: Draught (400ml)
Purchased: Mikkeller Bar, Vesterbro, Copenhagen, Denmark
Price: 55 Danish Krone (approx. £6.05)