It's back to the old whipping boy that is American wheat beers today. Other than a handful of notable exceptions they're a characterless bunch, and when there's lots of top-quality pale ales and lagers brewed to the same specifications, I don't quite see the point of them. So I was very interested to find out what the highly-regarded Three Floyds brewery did with the style.
Seems to me they walked around it a few times, gave it a good look over and decided that the only possible way of salvaging it was to add shedloads of hops. The end result, Gumballhead, is a thin and rather harsh beer with 4.8% ABV. It's shockingly citric on the first sip with little by way of follow-up -- just a bit of sugary sweetness, a touch of soap and an irritating wateriness which becomes the dominant characteristic once your palate has adjusted to the hops. Had I not been told it was a wheat beer in advance I doubt I'd have spotted it: there's no wheaty flavours and hardly any haze.
On the plus side, the aroma is gorgeous and runs alongside the whole drinking experience reminding me of how good a beer this could have been with a bit more malt depth to it. If ever a beer disproved the adage "if in doubt, add more hops", this is it.
Westmalle Dubbel - *Origin: Belgium | Date: 2008 | ABV: 7% | On The Beer Nut: October 2007* It's a longtime favourite today. Westmalle Dubbel goes back to the very beginnings...
1 week ago