Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Change of Plans: Sierra Nevada Unfiltered Wheat

On a recent visit to Bubbles to stock up on beer for a special occasion, I picked up the following items:

1 Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar, 22oz
1 Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale, 24oz
6 Bell's Special Double Cream Stout, 12oz
A mixed sixer of:
2 Bell's White Winter Ale, 12oz
2 Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, 12oz
2 Sierra Nevada Unfiltered Wheat, 12oz

My list was shaped in consideration of our guest, who is not a big fan of highly hopped ales and has only reached legal drinking age 14 months ago. I wanted to keep the ABV in a reasonable range.

I had the performance choreographed perfectly: The Double Cream Stout was penciled in as the headliner; the lead-up would be the Rogue coming after Bell's White Winter Ale as the bridge from the SN Wheat, which would pull yeoman's duty as the warm-up act. The SN Estate and Celebration might even make unexpected walk-on appearances!

Of course, such a careful plan could never come to fruition: We started with the Double Cream Stout, then off to the casino, then back home to finish off the Rogue. Now I've got to start making a dent in this inventory.

Sierra Nevada has always had a well choreographed line-up of beers, but in the past year there has been a change of plans and the Unfiltered Wheat was discontinued and replaced with a Kellerweis Hefeweizen. Smart move, because there is nothing particularly bad about this beer and nothing particularly good. It has a lemon scent and a light mouth feel. Sweet up front with a dry finish. There is not much wheat character at all. The best feature is the lingering spicy aftertaste, which allowed me to gain an appreciation for the type of flavor Spalt hops brings to the table.

Duly noted.

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