...Going through a bit of a Wheat phase at the moment... I'm not sure why, maybe it's a purge from all that heaviness over Christmas. So, in keeping with this, I decided to have an afternoon sampling all the Wheats I had sitting in the cellar.
First up, Little Valley's Hebden's Wheat. A regional brewery I'm really getting into recently: head brewer Wim Van Der Spek seems to have a canny knack for taking traditional styles and twisting them around a bit; making the ordinary seem a little more eccentric. Bottle conditioned, organic Hebden Wheat is a bright, straw colour with a fair bit of haze - as you'd expect. A quick sniff gives you a really earthy, almost horse-blanket (as i beleive the term to be amongst the professionals!) aroma; but the taste is pure coriander up front, and then followed by tons of sherberty lemon. I've never tasted anything quite like it; and to be honest I quite liked it. The spirit of adventure is alive and well in Cragg Vale, it would seem. Keep up the good work. Nice website, too.
It's across the pond now; of course it is - my love for American Beers knows no bounds - Blue Moon Brewing Co's Belgian White. And one look at this label had me sold; wonderful stuff. As for the beer - well, it looked the part: hazy, creamy yellow, and a great citrus nose. However, for me, the taste did'nt quite live up to the hype; very thin body and massive citrus - that all important spice coming on way too late and nowhere near prominent enough. Oh well.
Finally, back to the UK and the ever-ready Meantime Wheat. Pouring much more golden than the previous two, this was lesson in balance: a noseful of banana, vanilla and possibly cloves, and a much more warming taste than the previous two. Taste-wise, Citrus seems to play second fiddle to the full, tasty wheat body - but still managing to be a refreshing Wheat beer.
A good afternoon of tasting, that. I might try and group together more sessions according to style!