Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bryan's "Blackbery Wheat" review...

Here's another of the three that Bryan sent my way, via UPS.. first, a visual:

Bryan's Blackberry Wheat
I'll be damned if I can find the info sheet Bryan sent my way for these beers, so I'll have to wing this one and not be able to provide the info he sent for the brew like I did for the last one. Anyhow, it pours out with a relatively foamless head, which was a bit surprising from the pretty explosive 'pop' the Grolsh bottle gave when I let the top go on this one. It's not a clear beer, but rather a pretty hazy thing.. forgiven as it's a fruit beer, and sometimes those never clear quite right. On the nose I'm getting the blackberry pretty plain, and what I wanna say is a pinch of banana, but it's so fleeting I'm really not sure. Carbonation bubbles readily rise to the surface, so I know it's well carbed up. The body is big and fluffy, with the berry flavors carrying along quite well. I have no idea of the abv on this beer, but it doesn't present any real big alcoholic notes to give away that it's a huge beer or anything.. I really have no idea what its strength is. I'm getting a bit of a bubblegum flavor on the third sip and onwards, which I think would be irritating in most other beers... but is this case, seems to compliment the beer, making it appear almost 'Belgian-y', inadvertently. Heh! There is no astringent, tannic or mouthfeel issues here from use of the fruit. It seems to just work. No hops come into play at all, except for the balanced, background bitterness hops that are letting the rest of the beer take the stage. About 1/3rd of the way into the beer, and the bubblegum flavors are taking over more and more.. they're not objectionable, but they're becoming more of the centerpiece than the fruit flavors are, which I'm not sure is what Bryan was shooting for.. but snap, it's still working in the beers favor. Now towards the end of the pint, the bubblegum is definitely the dominant flavor, with the Blackberry taking a back seat. Curious that, the flip-flop of flavors from the beginning of the pour.. but there it is. It was enjoyable all the way through, bublegum or no. Mind you, that would have been a serious no-no in damn near any other brew, but in this one I think it can be overlooked. I think if Mr. Gold renamed this a the Belgian Blackberry Wheat, he'd have quite the showpiece to brag about...

In other news, I came home from vacation to find our house sitter had collected these little guys and arranged them into a centerpiece:

Some tomatoes from the garden, as well as some reddened Jalapeno's and Hot Cherry peppers too.. looks quite nice there.