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Peter LaFrance

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A taste of… Deschutes 20th Anniversary Wit

Deschutes Brewery
Bend, OR

Preface: This is another bottle-from-the-back-of-the fridge… I have no Idea how long it has been in there and can’t find any promotional material to describe it. The label tells me that it is a 20th anniversary reserve.

A note on the label says, “After twenty years we know a thing or two – About beer anyway. We took everything we’ve learned to handcraft our 20th Anniversary Wit. It’s a traditional easily drinkable witbier combined with years of passion, brewing tradition and oh… some hints of Curacao orange peel, coriander and grains of paradise thrown in for good measure. We think you’ll thoroughly enjoy this new twist on a classic style.”

Alcohol by volume: 5.5%

The following are my tasting notes:

Appearance: A straw-yellow with a touch of yellow-gold brew is topped white head of fine small bubbles. The Belgian Lace is skimpy but there.

Aroma: As soon as I opened the bottle there was a hint of wheat. The first impression is a distinctive wheat tang that is followed by a green-grass aroma. The second impression brings a very slight hint of banana to the forefront in a shy, rather than brash way… The lip-to-sip confirmed the previous flavor sensations.

Mouth feel: After the refreshing chill of the brew the impression is of a medium to slim body. The carbonation doesn’t get in the way.

Flavor: The first flavors are wheat tang and then a sweeter malt flavor follows up with a friendly hop “shadow”. The American Wit flavor profile is unabashedly celebrated in this brew. That is to say there is no obvious bubble-gum or ripe banana flavor or aroma that Bavarian wheat beer yeast is noted for.

Finish: The finish is a pleasant clean exit by the previously mentioned flavors. At the very end there is a cleansing sensation from the last vestiges of the hops.

Comments: Let me start out by noting that I am not a great fan of American style wheat beers. However, this one is so easy-going that I can’t find any fault. It is a well presented version of the American wheat style.

I would take a great deal of pride presenting this brew as an ingredient in steamed clams and, well chilled, as a beverage of choice with those steamed bivalves or with clams on the half-shell. What we have here is a real summer brew!

The Brewery: http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/splash/default.aspx

What others say:

BeerAdvocate: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/63/43397

RateBeer: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/deschutes-20th-anniversary-wit/89158/

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