Thursday, 14 October 2010

Wheat (Meantime)

Wheat beers. Yes, I know. Different, unusual, eclectic.

I've never really been the greatest fan, yet it was the least I could do to give the Meantime product a go, that venerable brewing institution being a continually reliable supplier of all things good in the ale world.

It's in an elegant ammunition casing bottle, tapered and elongated like the best of Suffolk Cru cider. It seems dark on the shelf, yet emerges from the bottle a crisp golden murk, a wheaty emulsified bullion of a beer. It smells Belgian and it looks it. The head is fine and blanched, and persists like a benign algae, suggesting extra biological life beneath it's auburn opaque depths.

The taste is wheaty of course, and is etched with the typical clove character of an ale harvested from such fields. It's less intrusive than the assertive likes of Hoegaarden, maintaining a subtle, drinkable veneer of inviting taste.

The bottle mentions notes of banana (yes), cloves (yes again) and toffee (perhaps) within the mix. The yeast strain is "genuine Bavarian".

The ale sits at 5% ABV, and is a fine example of what a wheat beer should aspire to. Personally, I prefer barley in my mix so can only grade it on my palate. I find it pleasant yet not moreish, a sociable figgy sup of a beer beside which I'd struggle to plant a flag, yet many would.

6/10 - A Good Beer. I'd head for this if the host had a limited range, but that strong soil/banana mix is not something The Broadside will ever crave.

- The Broadside

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