Category Archives: Witbier

Dogfish Head ‘Namaste’ Witbier

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14502980_573156469535169_3014662647591685613_n“A witbier bursting with good karma. Made with dried organic orange slices, fresh-cut lemongrass and a bit of coriander, this Belgian-style white beer is a great thirst quencher. Namaste White was originally brewed at our pub in Rehoboth Beach with our Italian friend Leo from Birra del Borgo. It was a tribute to our friends at 3 Fonteinen brewery in Belgium, who had devastating production loss (1/3 of their annual production) in 2009. You can read more about the original brewing of this beer here on Sam’s blog.”

Served in a weizen glass. She pours the typical cloudy pale straw body but with a bright golden hue laced through. The pour generated a healthy two finger head which deconstructs and settles to a ring with some wavy lace left clinging to the glass. The aroma certainly presents more of a Belgian style rather than the Bavarian. She’s a fair bit stronger on the citrus tang and spice although the bottle does state that fresh orange slices and peppercorns were used in the brew. We’re getting nice wafts of fruit coming through too – hints of rock melon with subtle notes of apple pie in the background. Undertones of fresh coriander as well. Nice, summery and pretty well layered. So Dogfish! In the mouth it has a soft mineraly texture with delicate Co2. Quite light on, not so much that it’s thin but it glides over the tongue very swiftly. Lean body. Definitely a summer session beer so far. Taste follows on from the nose. Prominent orange flavours upfront with traces of herbs and subtle pepper in support. Hints of either pale or Munich malts offer a gentle grainy sweetness through the mid as a mild bitterness preludes a soft fruity finish with spicy and herbaceous notes in the tail. Look, to be honest we aren’t overly keen on witbier/weizen and we usually pan the shit out of most of the ones we try but this particular wit is quite palatable. No surprise though, as it is brewed by one of USA’s finest. It’s good….but nothing life changing.

Feral Brewing co ‘iWit’ Imperial Witbier

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image“We’re reinventing wheat beer from the ground up. It does everything a wheat beer should do, but in ways no other wheat beer has. It seamlessly syncs with your calendar, your contacts and music. We’ve taken what you loved about our Belgian wheat beer, Feral White, and upgraded it. More orange. More coriander. More white pepper. More Belgie. Our revolutionary tilt-and-pour technology is a game changer. Simply raise iWit to your lips, tilt to engage and start downloading. No third-party-plug-ins needed.”

We must admit this imperial wheat beer, as interesting as it looks and sounds, has been marketed geniusly. Not only has it taken on Apple’s highly influencial ‘i’ series of iPod, iPad, iPhone etc it’s abbreviation of the style of beer it is (imperial witbier to iWit) is simple but brilliantly effective. We’ve been off witbier now for years but the labelling on this has hooked us in. Respect. Served in a weizen glass. The slightly hazy golden pour generates a fizzy two finger cap which reduces to a collar with poor lacing to show for it. Smells like a good saison initially, very spicy with a high level of citric acidity. Scents of white pepper, tart lemon, underripe banana, meringue, lime juice, citrus rind, champagne and wheat malts come forward. Quite complex. The only slight turn off is this strange hint of grease. May just be a by-product of the extremely high acidity in the beer. Either way it’s a bit weird. The mouth feel is chalky with medium-high carbonation. The body is moderate and the ABV (7%) is exceptionally well disguised. The palate is quite tangy upfront with a mixture of citrus fruits, vanilla and a piquant acidity leading on to a somewhat sweet, fruity mid which reveals a hint of hop dryness. We get fresh mandarin as it progresses forward and finishes with spicy pepper, mandarin and a slight alcohol warmth. We’re loving the subtle heat from the pepper on the back end too. Nice touch. Essentially, we’re a little undecided. One, 7% ABV doesn’t really classify it as an imperial. Two, it’s extremely acidic and finally it’s a little strange…but we don’t mind a bit of that. It certainly has potential but we just weren’t sold on it.

Mudgee brewing co. Wheat.

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image“Mudgee Wheat is a traditional European-style beer, brewed using lots of wheat malt. It also uses Hefeweizen yeast, which gives the beer its cloudy appearance, and its distinctive aromas of clove and banana.”

Big ups to our younger bro for picking this bottle up from the brewery. Served in a weizen glass the hazy straw-yellow pour constructs a tight 1 inch head that fizzled away to a ring with a patch of foam in the middle. Standard lacing. Well, all the main stayers are here – banana lollies, clove, bubblegum and wheat but not much else. Maybe a really subtle funky undertone but from the outset we’re fearing another mainstream Wit. The mouth feel does offer a creamy texture, but it’s slightly watered down. Mildly carbonated. Very light on, hints of wheat malt and banana lollies upfront are met with a touch of clove through the mid-palate. Finishes sweet with lingering banana and wheat malt on the back end. Pretty good length. 4.7% ABV is about standard. As this beer was going nowhere we decided to throw a wedge of orange in to see what happens and instantly the zesty flavours balanced out the cloying sweetness. Its nothing new as we’ve tried it before with other wits such as blue moon and Hoegaarden and it has improved the flavour. Essentially a bit too home-brewish.

Anchor brewing co. ‘Summer beer’ Wheat.

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image“Released each year in advance of the summer season, Anchor Summer ® Beer is an all-malt craft beer, with over 50% of its malt derived from malted wheat. It is fermented with a traditional top-fermenting “ale” yeast, yielding a clean, balanced flavor that highlights the refreshingly light flavor of malted wheat. The head is unusually abundant due to the natural protein deposits of wheat, with a thick consistency similar to meringue.”

From the bottle and served in a weizen glass the translucent golden pour whipped up a fluffy 1 and a half inch white head with good retention and lacing. From the outset the aroma is a little strange, we’re getting a dusty character from it. Subtle banana, hay and spice come forward but they’re heavily muted. Not a great deal happening here at all. In the mouth it’s smooth but it’s a touch too thin. Mild carbonation and very light bodied. Upfront, all we can detect is a soft hop bitterness on a weak malt base. Almost a sulphuric flavour in the mid which is quite distasteful. Finish is soft and watery, lacking any real flavour to pick up on. 4.5% ABV. Well, I think we’ll pour this out and forget it ever happened. Bland, flavourless and uninteresting. Real shame because these guys have brewed some nice beers.

Hop dog beerworks ‘bingo wings’ summer wheat ale

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image“A non-denominational, nondescript beer without borders. It’s primarily a wheat beer that once read a book about Belgium, and loves American TV sitcoms. Bingo Wings is a tribute to summer and the fads of buffing up and getting your bikini/mankini bod in shape. It’s also brewed with ale malt, wheat malt and oats, hopped generously with NZ Riwaka, and spiced on the end of the boil with orange peel and white & pink peppercorns!”

Just recently returning from a trip to the Hop Dog brewery which is situated a few kilometres south of Nowra on the south coast of NSW, we loaded up our growlers and squealers and saw this little beauty on our way out. We thought we’d have to give this a nudge. Served in a Weizen glass the slightly hazy straw golden pour produced a fizzy 1 and a half fingers of foam that slowly dissipated to a film on top. Reasonably laced. Off the nose we get hints of tropical fruits and soft bubblegum notes. Some subtle orange peel zestiness and a touch of peppery spice adds the lovely summery vibe to the aroma. The mouth feel is smooth with medium carbonation and medium body. Quite light on. The palate showcased soft tropical fruits, peppery spice, grassy/vinous hops and grain on entry. Through the mid and to the finish offers slightly dry and bitter notes with hints of wheat and oats on the back end. Decent length. 5% ABV is quite conservative but works well with all the flavours. Not a bad drop at all, definitely a crisp, refreshing summer beer. Nice drop.

Mad brewers ‘Garden de paradisi’ Witbier

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image“For their latest release – the sixth on the Mad Brewers’ label – the mad men of malt (and hops) have turned to Africa for inspiration. Garden de Paradisi is brewed by Dan Feist and Josh Staines, two of the younger talents on the James Squire craft beer team. Intriguingly, it features a rare West African native spice that was once used by Ghanaian witch doctors (and, supposedly, Caribbean voodoo priests) and dubbed Grana Paradisi, or ‘Grains of Paradise’, by crafty medieval merchants to increase its value.”

Considering this is a James Squire brew we were a little apprehensive, though to be fair they do have some very nice beers. The hop thief APA being one of them. This edition we poured into a Weizen glass, the appearance displays a milky straw yellow with a quickly collapsing white head which struggles to omit any lacing at all. Aroma leaves a bit to be desired, very subdued. What we could pick up was very subtle citrusy notes of orange, apricot, peach, clove and white pepper. Restrained but highly refreshing on the nose. The mouth feel is quite soft and well-rounded. Mild-medium carbonation and medium body. The palate captures the feature spice well from start to finish. Accompanying this are light additions of citrus, stone fruits, lime and spice with a dry, zesty finish. 6.2% ABV is quite well hidden. Not too bad for Squires, refreshing and tasty. A good summer drop.

Belgian blue original wheat ale

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imagePicked this up from Dan Murphy’s purely as a curiosity buy. It comes across as a cheap contract brew but a quick look on the breweries web page and the conclusion is that it looks legit. Let’s see how it fares.

Served into a weizen glass the appearance displays a clear gold with a big, frothy 3 finger crown that retains well, eventually reducing and holding at about 1cm. Good head retention, resulting in thick soapy lacing on the glass. Not a great deal off the nose. Initially dry and fruity with hints of lemon sherbert, taking us back to Saturday sports and post game canteen lollies but as we let it warm undertones of peppery spice, banana, white bread and candy come out. Medium carbonation with a smooth mouthfeel. Quite light on. Initially the taste is citrus-fruity with a mild tartness that leads to hints of Belgian yeast and that certain banana flavour in the mid-palate. It’s finished off by a slightly dry, spicy/herbal finish. Average length. 4.5% ABV. We weren’t expecting a whole lot but to be honest it was actually well executed. Definitely not life changing but it’s sessional and it’s light. Not bad.

Matilda bay ‘red back’ wheat beer

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image“Redback Original is Australia’s original craft beer — first launched in the late eighties. Produced around the time of the Americas Cup defence — Redback’s innovation and unique style took an Australia starved of beer diversity by storm.”

Not a bad brewery this one and we know we harp on about it all the time but we did lose a little respect after they sold out to CUB (Carlton united breweries). Served into a weizen glass the golden appearance is boasting exceptional clarity as the 2 finger white head gradually reduces to a light film on top. Reasonable head retention produces oily lace trails down the glass. The aroma is nothing more than ordinary with banana lollies and clove dominating. Hints of bubblegum, dough, creamy vanilla and wheat are also coming through. Mild-medium carbonation and body. Slightly soft mouth feel with a creamy texture. Taste is sweet, again like the aroma the palate displays bubblegum, banana and a subtle touch of spice. We don’t like to point out the bad in a beer but there is some really off flavour that we detect initially…something earthy. Potato maybe? We’re not sure but whatever it is it doesn’t work. Finishes with a lemon citrus freshness which goes a long way to helping this beer. 4.7% ABV. We weren’t at all pleased with this beer, although some may like it. Not for us.

Blue moon brewing co. Belgian Wit

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imageWe first tried this on tap in the UK last year and drank only this for the rest of the night. Although this beer is predominantly brewed in the USA by Coors we are pretty sure we were told that the Blue Moon we were drinking that night in London was brewed in Canada.

Anyway, we served in a weizen glass, the hazy golden/orange pour generates a big, foamy 3 finger white cap that shrunk down to a fine layer on top. Laced well despite the diminishing head. The aroma was slightly restrained but is offering up subtle hints of wheat malts, orange peel & blossom, banana, coriander, spice and a touch of grain. Light bodied with mild carbonation. Highly drinkable. The palate initiates with a very light on combination of orange blossom, grain and some wheat malts upfront. There is a mild dryness through the mid which leads to the super smooth, dry finish, revealing a muted spiciness on the back end. At 5.4% the booze is very well hidden. So sessional it’s not funny, not as good as we remember it to be (we know this is craft beer faux pas) but drop a slice of orange in with it and taste the difference. Good drop for a mass production brewery.

Jamieson mountain ale

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image“The Mountain Ale is a modified and improved version of the original Dark Wheat Beer.This has a dark brown colour with thick foamy head. This beer has distinct chocolate malt flavour with caramel tones. The Mountain Ale is brewed with 60% wheat and is unfiltered. The high protein levels of the wheat gives it a creamy smooth finish. Awarded Silver (Top of Class) in Australian International Beer Awards.”

This is a superb Australian brewery. From the brewers of the Jamieson beast IPA comes this version of an original dunkelweizen. Served in a weizen glass the dark mahogany pour produced a short creamy head that peels off and settles to a thin film on top. OK lacing. The aroma is offering a mildly sweet aroma with a decent backing of chocolate, caramel, bready malt, cream, spice and grain. Medium carbonation with a slightly oily mouth feel. Very palatable. Sweet Dark fruits make up the fore flavour which is followed by creamy, malty, toffee-like undertones in the mid. Nice subtle hop bitterness in the finish that endures through to the back palate. Only a very light funky hint throughout but other than that there are no real wheat characteristics to speak of so, personally it presents as more of a dark ale. 4.9% ABV doesn’t really play a role so we thought it could have been a little higher. Nonetheless a good attempt at an old German favorite.

Hunter beer co. Witbier

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imageOn tap at the brewery (Potter’s hotel) in the Hunter Valley. This Witbier is a part of their core range and pours a cloudy pale straw-yellow with a short white head that maintains well, omitting some nice webbed lacing down the glass. We couldn’t get much off the aroma, slightly restrained hints of banana, herbs with a touch of tart lemon, hay and wheat malts are coming through. Really smooth and silky in the mouth. Quite light on with medium carbonation. The flavour is more present with dominant flavours of banana, herbs, tangy orange and a touch of citrus. The Belgian yeast is firm as you would expect from a good Belgian Witbier. There is also a hint of herb and spice in the finish. At 4.8% ABV it’s actually quite a sessional beer and would go great on a warm day paired with either salty/savoury snacks or seafood. Not bad, plenty of better options on tap though.

Franziskaner weissbier

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imageThis is a staple of a witbier. Easily found in most bottle shops and pouring through most taps in pubs like the Bavarian bier cafe and other German-inspired bars around major capital cities. We picked this bottle up from Dan Murphy’s.

Served in a weizen glass it’s pouring a slightly hazy golden yellow with a good 2 and a half finger head that steadily deconstructs and settles to a firm layer over the top. The head retains quite well and leaves some bubbly lace clinging to the glass. On the nose it’s slightly restrained with some faint lemon citrus, bready malts, wheat, banana, spice and grains. The prototype of Weissbier’s. In the mouth it’s soft and silky smooth with mild weight on the tongue. Medium carbonation. The palate offers much the same with a very crisp and clean mix of citrus, yeast, spice, some hay and banana leading to a slightly dry, bitter finish. Length is a little short. Quite a sessional beer. Not really a lot to speak of craft beer-wise but this beer is huge in Europe and in the Snowy Mountains (or anywhere you find snow). Sitting at a mild 5% ABV the alcohol doesn’t contest the flavours making it pretty easy to put down. All in all it’s a good representation of the style with minimal craftiness. Not bad.

Wicked elf witbier

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image“This is The Little Brewing Company’s version of a Belgian White Ale, a style brewed by monks in the Middle Ages and only recently revived. This beer is made using 50/50 wheat and barley malts and is ‘bottle conditioned’. ”

We are huge fans of Waz and his team’s superb range of beers. If you’re ever around Port Macquarie we would definitely urge you to pop in and trial his range fresh out of the keg. We served this in a weizen glass. The cloudy straw gold appearance whips up a rocky 1 inch white cap. Good head retention, allowing plenty of soapy lacing to be strewn all the way down the glass. The aroma is nice and heady with a subtle tart sourness that puts a slightly phenolic French saison touch on the nose. As the beer warms the initially muted wafts of banana and clove come through with coriander, lime, citrus rind and light wheat malts backing it up. Solid stuff. In the mouth it’s light and oily with moderate carbonation. Mild-medium body. The front palate offers a nice mix of herbs, sour lemon and citrus. Not overly sweet as the mid carries on from the fore flavour delivering a crisp, dry finish with a shortish lingering sourness on the back end. 5% ABV. This is a well brewed Witbier, the Belgian characters are all here with a sour, yeasty, almost saison-like spin on it. Not bad,not bad at all.

Northdown & beer here collab. ‘Victoria’s secret’ hop wheat beer

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imageEdge brewing project, as they are known formally, is the amalgamation of two gypsy brewers from opposite ends of this earth. In one corner we have our very own Adam Betts (Northdown brewing) and from the other corner of the earth, namely Denmark, is Christian Skovdal Andersen of the internationally known Beer Here label. Together they have teamed up to produce this single hopped wheat ale which looks quite interesting to say the least. A chubby platypus in a bikini anyone? Not our idea of a Victoria’s secret model, but hey it’s not about glamours in bikini’s…it’s about the hops! So we press on. Served in a weizen glass. The cloudy straw-golden pour generates a healthy two finger crown that gradually deconstructs and retains at a decent 5-6mm covering. Laced well. The description on the bottle does say to expect a different aroma and they aren’t wrong. We’re getting wafts of acidic, sour lemon, slight funk, grapefruit, orange peel, wheat, dry, musty notes and a faint hint of spicy white pepper in the back ground. Certainly leaning more on the saison side than anything else. Still, quite a nice aroma. In the mouth it’s light on with an airy feel to it. Co2 levels are mild and the body is about medium. Pretty sessional stuff. Upon entry we get a really smooth fusion of citrus fruits, wheat malts and a touch of sour acidity. Muted hints of spicy pepper and grapefruit develop and carry through the mid leading to a dry, bitter finish with a fruity note to the back end. 6% ABV, so there is a little kick to it but it’s well restrained in flavour. To sum up it’s really not a bad beer at all, quite acidic though. It doesn’t detract from the overall flavour and character of the beer which is good. Good drop.

Dieu Di Ciel ‘rosee d’hibiscus’ wheat beer

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image“Rosée d’Hibiscus is a soft spoken wheat beer. The rose colour comes from the hibiscus flowers added during the brewing process. The aromas and flavour of this tropical flower are very prominent in the beer, giving it a slight acidity and a very agreeable fragrance. It is the perfect thirst quencher on a hot summer day”. 

Another quirky beer from this top notch French-Canadian brewery. Once again, great artwork on the label. Served in a weizen glass the unique copper red pour offers gorgeous crimson hues. Atop sat a short off white head but that disappeared quite quickly leaving very minimal lacing clinging to the glass. Initially the aroma struck us as floral and quite sweet with slightly cloying hints of rosewater, spice, tart berries and of course, hibiscus. To balance out the sweetness are very subtle hints of bready, chewy malt but it’s futile and far outweighed. The mouth feel is slightly watery with mild-medium carbonation. Light bodied. Upfront the floral flavour as expected is dominated by the hibiscus with hints of sweet berries/tart cherry. Hints of rosé wine forms through the mid-palate, in turn delivering a soft fruity finish. Overall it’s very sweet and sticky, it would be a great beer for the ladies. 5.9% ABV. A one off average beer from this world class brewery.

Hop dog beer works ‘red rum’ raspberry wheat beer

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imageWell what a curiosity-provoking beer we have here! Without telling the full story, the brewer begun with a standard wheat beer and fermented fresh raspberries in the rum barrels and combined the two to produce a really interesting-arousing beer in all aspects.

As always, the characteristic green cap is popped and poured into a weizen glass. Pours a very unique golden-yellow with a deep pink hue, almost looks like a Rekorderlig cider in the glass. Very effervescent, streams of bubbles rise up to the good one and a half finger head that peels off to a collar with average lacing. The nose offers lots of tart raspberries and forest fruits. We certainly get a bit of vanilla and oak coming through that offsets the sourness quite well. Maybe an undertone of Kahlua to add to this aroma’s complexity. Very nice. In the mouth it’s frothy with relatively high carbonation levels. Mild-medium body. A surge of carbonation upon entry is followed by a slight alcohol (6.2%) warmth and tart flavours of raspberry and fruits. Following on from the aroma we also taste muddled fruits and rum with hints of woody oak and creamy vanilla developing through the mid. Finishes tart and dry with reasonable length. It’s bottle conditioned so either give it a roll on it’s side or watch your pour. We have to hand it to Tim, he does like to brew some really crafty beers, and this one lives up to the name. Really different and actually quite tasty this one here. Decent offering.

Barossa brewing co. ‘bee sting’ honey wheat beer

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image“This was the only beer with a honey addition to win a medal at the 2014 Australian International Beer Awards. We ferment out residual sugars in the ale, ensuring the Orange Blossom honey we use adds honey roundness and character without excessive sweetness. Refreshing but slightly different. Great with Asian foods.”

Situated in the heart of South Australian wine country is this relatively small scale brewery. This is their 1st and signature brew that also comes decorated, taking away a medal at the 2014 Australian International Beer Awards. Served in a weizen glass the pour is providing a milky straw-yellow appearance. Quite a fair bit of active carbonation, generating a huge 4 finger head that gradually reduces to a 1cm crown with a tonne of lace being omitted. A slightly hesitant aroma of honey, some spice and bubblegum notes present with subtle undertones of orange blossom and banana lollies. In the mouth it’s quite frothy with light body. Carbonation is medium-high. Fairly dry upfront with hints of orange and a soft hop bitterness in the background leading to a hint of subtle honey through the mid. Finishes dry and earthy with a touch of zesty orange on the back end. Not bad. 5% ABV is about on par. Look it’s an OK beer there’s definitely nothing outrageous happening in aroma or flavour, just a well balanced and easy drinking wheat beer.

Grand ridge brewery ‘natural blonde’ wheat

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imageHmmm .. Imagine German wheat beer but no where near as bubbly. Pours a hazy straw yellow with a sweet floral aroma. flavour is weak with only the wheaty, sweet malt flavours coming through. a touch of citrus on the back end. Again in the theme of this brewery, very smooth to drink. If you like wheat beers, then this is nice. Not strong at all- 4.5% so you would easily nail a 6 pack.

Brasserie du bocq ‘Blanche de Namur’ Belgian white

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image“Blanche of Namur was the daughter of John, Count of Namur. It is told that Magnus IV Eriksson, King of Sweden and Norway, was attracted by the young princess’s beauty, when he was travelling to France in search of a prestigious wife. The princess embarked for Scandinavia in August 1335 and was never to see the banks of the Meuse again. She would become Queen of Norway, Sweden and Scania. In memory of her beauty, her sweetness and her delicacy, the Brasserie Du Bocq dedicated a wheatbeer to her: The “Blanche de Namur”.

Served in a weizen glass. The heavily clouded, milky yellow pour does a good job of arousing this fizzy, sparkling white crown which stands at about 3 fingers in height. Excellent head retention on show as the foam reduced but held at about 1cm. Plenty of healthy lace trails clinging to our glass. On the nose we detect some interesting scents. There is certainly something unique here, maybe lemon meringue? We also get firm wafts of fresh coriander, funk and orange rind with yeasty hints of banana lolly, clove and spicy aniseed. Very interesting aroma. In the mouth it’s soft and quite light on with a chalky texture. The carbonation levels are mild and the body is mild-medium. The palate has an extremely similar flavour to Hoegaarden with flavours of minerals, vanilla, coriander, wheat malts and a slight mustiness on entry. A suggestion of orange peel develops through the mid leading to a light, fruity/herbal finish with reasonable duration on the tongue. Weighing in at a mild 4.5% ABV. It states on the bottle that this is the best wheat beer in the world. As far as classic witbiers go this is pretty damn good but we wouldn’t go as far to say this is the best we’ve ever tried. Nevertheless, a good drop.