Monday, July 28, 2014

Smuttynose Wheat Wine Review

Name: Smuttynose Wheat Wine Ale
Style: Wheatwine
ABV: 10.8%

A couple of weeks ago, I had my first ever Wheatwine courtesy of Fitger's Brewhouse and found myself drawn to its prowess. Sadly, wheatwines are one of the more uncommon styles of beer and I've only seen this style available in bottles a handful of times. Now imagine my surprise when I found out that I was able to procure a commercially available Wheatwine courtesy of Smuttynose Brewing Company.

Based out of Hampton, New Hampshire, Smuttynose was also a fairly regular visitor in my fridge during my time in Chicago and I'm thankful enough to keep up that tradition where I'm at right now. Part of their Big Beer Series, Smuttynose Wheat Wine Ale was a Gold Medal Winner at the Great American Beer Festival back in 2005. What also makes this beer unique is that this is aged on oak chips. Enticing enough for me, let's try this out!

The beer pours a very dark red color that takes on an almost crimson appearance. Interestingly enough, there is quite a bit of bubbly carbonation going on which I'm actually kind of surprised by. Not really much in terms of a head, which has a very thin appearance that has some pretty good retention.

The nose is initially quite malty with some strong wheat notes, caramel and toffee sweetness, a bit of citrus hoppiness and a very distinct oak scent to it, no doubt thanks to the oak chips used in aging the beer. As it warms up, I'm picking up on a bit of tropical fruitiness in the overall scent.

Much like the aroma, the flavor is very malt forward with some caramel sweetness, some malted wheat and a very distinct tropical fruitness which I would probably pinpoint as being from the citrus hops; We're talking mangos, tangerines, oranges and even a slight hint of pineapple.

Not surprisingly, the body is very thick and heavy in weight. The carbonation intensity is actually quite low with only a slight bite to it but it's subtle enough to where you can enjoy the flavors this beer has to offer.

I have to say that I found Smuttynose Wheat Wine to be an extremely robust & flavorful beer. I'm glad I got to try this out because it's not too often you see this style of beer. Anyone looking for a more uncommon style of beer should definitely check this out.

Smuttynose Wheat Wine - 9.5/10

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