Review: Bell’s Winter White Ale

After a long day of unpacking and running errands for my new apartment in December, I knew that I had most definitely earned a beer. Enter Bell’s Winter White Ale (heinously overpriced at $12.99 for a six-pack), available during a quick duck in to my neighborhood grocery store. After doing so much lifting and moving and hauling and driving all day long, I was most interested in something straightforward that I could drink at home, preferably in pajama pants.

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Poured from a bottle and into a Perfect Pint glass, it presents as a somewhat hazy gold color with no head to speak of. What little smattering of foam there was vanished quickly and left no lacing behind.

The smell is slightly hoppy, fruity, and zingy. There’s some clove in there. The signature backdrop of this nose is the witbier, which is bready or yeasty in nature. This beer is apparently not brewed with any spices, so the clove notes are all from fermentation.

The carbonation is moderate and the taste is ready at first. Next comes clove, allspice, and a slight banana undertone. The finish is slightly dry to me. It’s very drinkable, though maybe more like a witbier and a little less like a winter ale than I was expecting, but still good overall.

Review: Hofbrau Münchner Hefe Weizen

This beer might be called  a happy accident. I used the shopping service at my local grocery store and, while I ordered the Oktoberfestbier from Hofbraü Münchner for myself, it turns out that the shopper accidentally grabbed the Hefe Weizen instead. Now, me? I didn’t notice the mix-up until I went to open the beer up a few days later. And, while I prefer Oktoberfest/festbier styles over Hefes, it’s still a style that I like well enough. So I went with it!

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Hefe Weizen beers are a type of German wheat beer that is made with at least 50% malted wheat (remember Beer 101: Malt?). It gets a lot of its punch from the yeast that is used, from the nose to the taste. “Weizen” means “wheat” and “hefe” means “yeast,” after all, so this beer strongly relies on those two elements to shape its flavor profile. The hefeweizen yeast style tends to create clove and banana notes in beer.

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It was poured from a green glass bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass (more on that glass in a later post!). It was a light, cloudy golden color with a fluffy white head that sticks around for a good long while. It smelled lightly grainy with no spice or banana nose to speak of. It has soft flavors like banana, bread, grass, and lemon.

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Honestly, it is weakly flavored overall. I like my Hefe beers stronger than this with a lot of banana and clove flavor to them. So while I’ve got a six pack of these to go through, I’m not too unhappy about it. They lack something in flavor, but are definitely refreshing beers all the same.