Monday, May 4, 2009

Beer Review: New Glarus Black Wheat

I'll keep this short and sweet, but a few caveats: I've had a lot of beer this weekend and my tastebuds are about shot, I'm really tired, and the Amazing Race is on TV so the beer doesn't necessarily have my full, undivided attention. But, you know what? This is how we drink beer. We don't sit down and drink beer in a quiet, closed, reproducible environment with bright lights, a moderate chill and well-cleaned glasses.

We drink beer in front of the TV, we drink with dinner, we drink beer standing out by a sandy ball diamond. We drink beer all the time in non-ideal environments. Heck, 95% of the bars in the universe are non-ideal beer-drinking environments. So, why do we think we need to review beer in ideal environments? So long as we are able to identify the factors in our environment that may affect, either positively or negatively, our appreciation of beer, drink beer wherever and however you please.

Interestingly, I've been traveling and moving around a bit the past few weeks and I don't always have a perfect "beer clean" glass to drink out of. So I've started to appreciate the fine art of drinking fancy beer out of a bottle. I've found that hop bitterness tends to be over-pronounced and aromas are non-existent. Maltiness tends to be more subdued and body seems to be lighter when drinking out of bottles instead of glassware.

I didn't quite have the guts to drink this beer out of the bottle.

New Glarus Black Wheat (BA. A-. RB. 96)
Appearance: The huge foam settles out like a waterfall cascading down the sides of the weizen glass; deep, deep brown with tinges of amber on the edges
Aroma: toffee and weizen yeast
Flavor: coffee and chocolate with light clove and banana; the wheat is hard to pick out
Body: a pretty solid medium to full body
Drinkability: It would take me about 3 days to kill a six-pack of this
Summary: Incidentally, both BeerAdvocate and RateBeer list this thing as a dunkelweizen with only 5.7% ABV. Given the biggish body, it seems more like a dunkelweizen bock (I say that like that's some sort of super-common style that everyone brews), so I guess I'm surprised that this this thing is only 5.7% ABV. I really like this beer but it's a little fuller-bodied than weizens that I'm used to, so it's not exactly a warm-weather thirst quencher. But it's certainly a wonderful way to enjoy a mid-spring evening.

1 comment:

  1. I saw a sign for this at The Old Fashioned recently and begged off. Then a group of us got together for dinner at the Glarner Stube in New Glarus a few weeks ago and we each polished off a pint before the door closed!

    Imminently drinkable...get some before the warm days hit!


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