This light Belgian style is perhaps more sophisticated than a traditional Grisette. On the nose, a significant amount of drying barnyard brettanomyces, almost filtered through ripe plum. The spiciness of that yeast characteristic persists all the way through to the dry finish with a lemon zest peak in the mid palate bolstered by a spiky carbonic attack.
An innovation from Budweiser, this beer features the presence of Jim Beam barrel staves. Perhaps it is the connotation of the name, but there is a small metallic presence on the nose along with overripe banana and a touch of coconut from the oak. The caramel sweetness of the body suffers a little distraction from oak tannin. Better in concept than execution.
Part of the Brewery Mix Pack Volume 7, Wellington’s Apricot IPA has an apricot nectar nose that is evident several feet from the glass. The fruit character persists all the way to the finish at which point the bitterness becomes more pronounced with a touch of cedar like wood character emerging. Practically the entire experience of eating an apricot, right down to scraping the pit.
Voted best Helles Lager in the UK three years running at the World Beer Awards, Paolozzi borrows the pop art for its label from its namesake. On the palate, the balance of sweet and bitter is elegant with a light confectioners’ sugar character reminiscent of candy dots. The real interest is on the nose, where bright lemon, spring flowers, wild thyme and a touch of eucalyptus play. Expensive, but worth the experience.
British Columbian Victoria’s Phillips Brewing has benefited recently from national representation in Canada, allowing for wider distribution of the Oro Blanco Grapefruit Sour. A bright grapefruit and lime nose with a hint of lactic acidity. The initial impression on the sip is sweetness, which battles for dominance as the sour grapefruit asserts itself on the palate. For all the tartness, a comparatively well-balanced mimosa of a beer.
Rarely seen in comparison to the other Chimay products, the Patersbier or Enkel is bright, sweet and herbal on the nose with a lasting moussy carbonation. Lemon rind acidity at the back of the palate and a touch of retro-nasal clove complement a light peppery bitterness. A simple, straightforward, but exquisitely balanced beer.
From Abensberg in Bavaria, Kuchlbauer Weisse is a surprisingly light take on the style, with nearly all of the individual components of flavour dialed back except for a bright, wheaty acidity which makes it seem even lighter on the palate. Nuanced bubblegum yeast character with an light woody aftertaste from local hops. Functionally, a quantity quaffer.