Central City/Parallel 49 2014 Calendar Day #4 – Red Racer Belgian-Style Wheat Ale

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Central City/Parallel 49 2014 Calendar Day #4

Red Racer Belgian-Style Wheat Ale – Central City Brewing, 5% ABV – 341ml., (Surrey, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“Traditionally opaque, this Belgian Style Wheat Ale is brewed with coriander seed and dried orange peel producing a beer light in body with a refreshing citrus and spice aroma.”

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  • Style: (spiced wheat ale) Belgian White / Witbier
  • Taste: Crisp dry banana wheat malt light citrus almost-barnyard
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not terribly exciting

Visual: Pours unfiltered cloudy pale orange with a huge creamy head, nice retention, some sticky lacing, many clusters of fast activity, sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

Nose: bright citrusy banana wheat malts, hints of barnyard. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: very crisp, fizzy tingly

Mid-palate: (lvl-2)-sweetness, (MAIN) wheat malt, banana, light lemon

Finish: coriander, ultra-subtle hopped bitterness, banana malt DRY finish.

Summary: Decent and drinkable, but it just doesn’t leave a lasting impression. Overall it’s too dry for me.

Cracked Pepper Wheat Ale – Big Rock Brewing (Calgary, AB, Canada)

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  • My Rating: [D],  I gave it a (1.7 of 5) on Ratebeer.com

Cracked Pepper Wheat Ale – Big Rock Brewing, 4.5% ABV – 355ml., (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

print on the front right-side of the can:

“Cracked Pepper. Hot days and long evenings call for something light, refreshing and quaffable. And this ale’s fresh, crisp fruitiness is all of that. To balance it, our brewmaster wanted to add a twist of black pepper. Of course, being him, no ordinary pepper would do. We use the King of black peppers: Tellicherry. As a result, you’ll find this ale is definitely all that it’s cracked up to be.”

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  • Style: (Black pepper) Spiced Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Thin-bodied metallic grainy mostly barley malt faint black pepper
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $23/12-pack – 12x355ml., July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no way

Visual: Part of a variety 12-pack, aluminum cans. Pours medium golden orange with a smallish somewhat lasting head, a thin layer of retention, no lacing, many clusters of fast activity.

Nose: almost non-existant; traces of bread. Weakest nose I’ve had in years. (lvl-1)-pungency

Attack: super crisp, off-tasting metallic flavour.

Mid-palate: (lvl-3)-sweetness, low complexity, (MAIN) barley malt, grainy

Finish: traces of pepper bitterness *weaksauce*, malty sweet light bitter hopped finish.

Summary: Such a letdown. The Tellicherry didn’t do squat to the primitive flavour profile. Not worth your time or mine. Okay as a meal beer or sedative.

Quick Wit Wheat Ale – Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers (North Vancouver, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Quick Wit Wheat Ale – Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers, 5% ABV – 650ml., (North Vancouver, BC, Canada)

on the front-side label:

“Designed to be a smooth and refreshing sip of summer at anytime of the year, this Belgian wit is a perfect blend of fresh spices and lively fruit flavours. Orange peel and fresh ground coriander are used to create this easy drinking Quick Wit Wheat Ale. As they say in Belgium, PROOST!”

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  • Style: (orange peel, coriander) Spiced Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Crisp banana wheat malt dry coriander easy drinking
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off) – 650ml., October 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Pours almost clear pale golden yellow with a good-sized head, scattered lacing, a decent layer of foamy retention, varied speed singular streams.

Nose: fruity banana-pineapple wheat malt. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: fizzy, super crisp bite

Mid-palate: (lvl-2)-soft sweetness, (MAIN) banana, wheat malts

Finish: burpy, coriander dryness, subtle orange oils, thin-bodied dry malt finish.

Summary: Not super impressionable but very drinkable texture and mouthfeel. Flavours seem a bit washed compared to a simliar brew, Upright Brewing’s Gose.

Sweet Heat – Burnside Brewing (Portland, Oregon, USA)

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  • My Rating: B+

Sweet Heat (wheat ale brewed with apricots and scotch bonnet peppers) – Burnside Brewing, 4.9% ABV, 9 IBUs – 1pt. 6 fl.oz., (Portland, Oregon, USA)

on the front-side label:

“Sweet Heat is a gold medal winning wheat beer with the addition of 200 pounds of apricots, then dry hopped with imported Jamaican Scotch Bonnet peppers. Notice a subtle tartness from the fruit with a slight spiciness from the peppers which also add to the aroma. Excitedly the heat may vary due to the nature of the pepper.”

  • Style: (apricot, scotch bonnet pepper) Spiced Wheat Ale
  • Taste: Sour-sweet spicy apricot wheat ale
  • Where I got it : W.16th Liquor Store
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off) – 1pt. 6 fl.oz., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours cloudy golden sunshine yellow with a small foamy dissipating head, thin layer of retention, lots and lots of active streams.

Nose: Fruity apricot with some funk, citrus, and wheat malts. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: incoming sourness, crisp fizzy mouthfeel

Mid-palate: (lvl-6)-fruity sweetness, medium-high sourness/tang, tart mouthfeel, (MAIN) apricot, bright pineapple, wheat malts, jalapeno-like pepper vegginess

Finish: medium-lvl deep heated spiciness, clean wheat malt off-dry finish.

Summary: Extremely sippable with a good balanced complexity of sweet-sour-tart-heat-fruity. Definitely unique and original.

Belgian White – Shock Top Brewing (St. Louis, MO, USA)

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  • My Rating: C

Belgian White – Shock Top Brewing (Anheuser-Busch InBev), 5.2% ABV – 473ml, (St. Louis, MO, USA)

On the front of the can:

“Ale with coriander, orange, lemon and lime peel. Contains wheat.”

  • Style: (spiced wheat ale) Witbier
  • Taste Profile: light citrus sweetness -> coriander/orange/bitter peel -> wheat/yeasty dryness/sour/tingly okay finish.
  • Where I got it : Legacy
  • How much: $3 (after 10% off), November 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Beer in a can = usually not good but then I read the small print of ingredients at the bottom and said why not? Pours translucent cloudy light orange a decent dissipating head, ringed retention, a plethora of activity.

Nose: Barnyard (mild pukey) wheat malts on the nose with a touch of citrus.

Attack: 4/10-light malt sweetness

Mid-palate: coriander, mild orange, mild bitter peel, faint notes of lemon/lime peel

Finish: wheat/yeasty dryness, light-med sourness, mild tartness, tingly almost clean finish.

Summary: The initial sips were underwhelming due to the lack of any prominent flavours. Subsequent tastings revealed a mellow wheat-citrus body which were decently pleasant. Just average I’d say.

Electric Unicorn White IPA – Phillips Brewing (Victoria, BC, Canada)

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  • My Rating: C

Electric Unicorn White IPA – Phillips Brewing, 6.5% ABV – 650ml, (Victoria, BC, Canada)

on the front side label:

“Electric Unicorn is a hop-infused white ale; best enjoyed while riding a mystical mono-horned laser beast, racing through the galaxy to the sonic backdrop of screaming metal guitars, time to ditch reality and take this India Pale fairy tale for a ride.”

Ingredients: water, barley, wheat, hops, yeast, coriander & orange peel

  • Style: Spiced Wheat Ale
  • Taste Profile: CREAMY FIZZY -> (weak) orange/wheat malt/coriander -> yeasty dry finish.
  • Where I got it : W.16th
  • How much: $6 (after 10% off), June 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Visual: Eye-catching artwork, but cheap laserjet printed label (and cheap price too). Pours cloudy light orange-yellow with a decent lasting foamy head, lots of sticky lacing, lots of activity, and lots of sediment in the bottle.

Nose: orange, wheaty malts and a bit of citrus tang

Attack: creamy fizzy yeastiness, 4/10-sweetness

Mid-palate: light orange, wheat malts, coriander, light tang/sourness

Finish: watery texture, off-dry yeasty finish

Summary: Decent drinkability but lacks punching power. It doesn’t leave much of an impression other than it’s a wheaty ale.

Rosée d’Hibiscus – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel (Canada)

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  • My Rating: C+

Rosée d’Hibiscus – Brasserie Dieu du Ciel, 5.9% ABV – 341ml, (Quebec, Canada)

On the 6pack box:

“The 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. (Noted: 2006 to 2009 vintages 5.9% abv; 2010 vintage 5.0%)”

Ingredients: water, malted barley, wheat, hibiscus flowers, hops, yeast, spices.

  • Style: (Spiced) Wheat Ale
  • Taste Profile: Sour-tangy light pukey strawberry-banana wheat ale
  • Where I got it : Firefly
  • How much: $22/6pack, May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not really

Tasting notes: (Man I hate buying 6packs. You gotta love a beer a lot to not get sick of it 5 more times after the 1st. Well this only came as a 6er and I love me my spiced beers… ) Anyways, this pours a nice glowing orange-copper-red with almost no head but lots of active streams, larger CO2, minor sediment. Strong hibiscus flowers on the nose, orange & fruity.

Attack: 5/10-sour/tanginess, 6/10-sweetness,

Mid-palate: familiar wheaty banana, more tartness along with roughness, hibiscus, minor yeast, mild funk + sour

Finish: partially rough with accumulating phlegm from the sourness, acidic, light sticky, citrusy not-so-smooth

Overall somewhat interesting, but also hard to finish the entire bottle because the sourness is too powerful and lingering for my tastes. I think it needs more brighter florals to balance it out.

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-= March 27, 2014 =-

(2nd-tasting): Somewhat rough-sour-pukey up front, lots of airy wheat notes in the mid, berry-fruit throughout. Decent when chilled, but I can tell it’ll be overly sour/palate-wrecking when closer to room temp. Upgraded from C to C+.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale (Boston, USA)

Samuel Adams Summer Ale, 5.5% ABV – 355ml, (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

on the front label:

“Brewed with Lemon Peel and Grains of Paradise, Samuel Adams Summer Ale is a classic American Wheat Ale. Refreshing and citrusy, with just a hint of spice on the finish.”

  • Style: Spiced Wheat Ale
  • My Rating: C+
  • Taste Profile: Creamy lemon citrus -> bitter lemon peel -> dry light peppery watery finish.
  • Where I got it: Firefly
  • How much: $3 (after 10%), Summer 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours almost clear golden orange, nice creamy foamy head, light retention, lots of active streams. Sweet wheat malts on the nose. A burst of lemony citrus up front, 5/10-sweetness, transitions into bitter lemon peel, and a dry soft-biting light peppery finish, although somewhat thin/watery. Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, okay carry, okay drinkability. Not a super awesome flavour but somewhat interesting.

Calabaza Blanca – Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales (Dexter, MI, USA)

Calabaza Blanca – Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, 4.8% ABV, (Dexter, MI, USA)

On the side label:

“An artisan white ale brewed in the classic biere blanche tradition. Spiced with orange peel and coriander, you’ll find it refreshingly tart, with a wonderful dry finish. ”

  • My Rating: B
  • Why I like it: creamy smooth and tangy
  • Where I got it: Legacy Liquor
  • How much: $13 (after 10%), Nov 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours translucent golden yellow, small head , lots of active CO2 streams. Sour malts on the nose. Lemony sourness (8/10) up front, mild barnyard, coriander, fruity sweetness (4/10). Medium complexity, medium-high depth, good transitions, good carry, great drinkability.

Gose – Upright Brewing (Portland, OR, USA)

Gose – Upright Brewing, 5.2% ABV

“A wheat beer brewed with coriander and salt

My notes:

  • My Rating: B+
  • Why I like: good body for low ABV
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek (?)
  • How much: ~$12 , 1 pt. 9.4 fl.oz., 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Tasting notes: pours clear amber yellow with a sizable thick foamy head, some retention, lots of active CO2 streams, sticky lacing. Bright sweet wheaty malts and apricot on the nose. 7/10-level sweetness fruity banana, apricot up front, great fullness, medium malts, yeast, coriander in the background, creamy mouthfeel, and the salt kicks in near the finish, which is clean, crisp, and leaves only a hint of roughness on the tongue. Medium complexity, medium depth, great transitions, great carry, great drinkability. Great balance of flavours and texture.