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Peter LaFrance

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Taste of… Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Chippewa Falls, WI (USA)

This is the last of the Leninkugel summer beers online for tasting. It’s called Sunset wheat, and they say that it is “beer with natural flavors.” A note on the label informs me that it is 4.9% alcohol by volume.

I’ve noted before that I’m not a particular fan of American wheat beers. However, I’m willing to give this one benefit of the doubt.


The beer is straw colored, hazy and opaque is topped by a very rocky, but very light sandy colored head.


The first aromas are almost absolutely traditional in the style of Bavarian wheat beers.

Mouth feel:

Not too heavy and, neither surprising or confusing.


This is where I get confused. There is some bubblegum flavor here, but it is not offset by either the banana esters or the clove esters that are traditional to Bavarians style wheat beers. It does not fit the pattern for an American-style wheat beer either. After the second sip the odd flavors seem to balance out. I feel that there is a disconnect between the promise between lip and step in the final finish of this beer


This beer has very little finish to it with vague echoes of the early aromas of bubblegum, an unidentified perfume and a bit of tutti-frutti. Then it disappears quite quickly quite completely

Comments: I’m not too sure what to make of this beer. It has some of the attributes of the Bavarian wheat beer but almost none of the attributes of an American wheat beer. As noted above, there is an odd perfume note in both the flavor and the finish. A drop or two of fruit spirits might turn this ugly duckling into a swan… it is possible.

Brewery site: http://www.leinie.com/sunset_wheat.html

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