Thursday, October 24, 2013

Blanche Niege Tasting

Reviewed 8/2/13


This one got lost in the shuffle last winter. I brewed it during the holidays as the “Winter White” and it has had mixed reviews. In the beginning it was kind of a cluttered mess that lacked any depth or backbone, but over the months it has rounded out a bit and proved to be a great summer beer. Go figure, a light Wit in the summer ;)

Definitely at its best with a slice of lemon.
Appearance: Milky yellowish white. The head was never spectacular, which was a disappointment given the style and relatively thick body for such a small beer, but still showed strong enough. It definitely pours too clear if I forget to give the bottle a shake first to rouse that wheaty yeast.

Smell: Has always smelled weird, especially given the style—tart, sweet, and yeasty, not unlike a sourdough loaf with a lemony glaze. There is a faint hint of spicy oak, but it lacks a lot of the crazy bubblegum and spice associated with Wits. Smells inviting, but not a whole lot like beer.

Taste: As it has settled down over the winter is has changed from overwhelmingly tart and cerial-ish to a nice and smooth, thick, wheat beer with a tart and lemony finish and a hint of Vanilla. The oak, lemon, and yeast make for a nice, but unconventional combo. There is a slight bubblegum and cloves thing developing, but barely.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy. Smooth, and clean finishing thanks to the lemony tartness with a hint of vanillin in the finish.

Overall: Turns out fermenting this yeast strain at the low end of the spectrum makes for a strangely clean and slightly acidic beer. All and all it is just an OK beer—I’ll probably use the same grain bill again, but leave the oak out in lieu of some other spices or fruity hops and let it ferment slightly warmer. I do really like the acidity though.

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