Monday, May 12, 2014

Beer Review: Harvest Dance Wheat Wine Style Ale

When it comes to flavor, beer has a lot of similarities to white wine. So beer-guzzling-manly-men that say white wine is for women are all tools. That's right, I just said that. If you're drinking a Hefeweisen while knocking Sauvignon Blanc then you need to check yourself, fool. But beer is awesome and even the most wine obsessed is in dire need of a good beer every now and again.

I was in a beer kind of mood on Saturday. It was a very long, hard-fought day and my beloved Boston Bruins were playing game 5 against the hated Montreal Canadiens that night. Due to circumstances beyond my control I wouldn't be able to have said beer until after the game but I needed something to either celebrate with or cry into later.

This one almost immediately caught my eye: Harvest Dance Wheat Wine Style Ale by Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City.

I mean, it's got a picture of the Grim Reaper dancing with a bundle of wheat for Godsakes! Then I saw that it said "WINE" on the label and that sealed the deal. Yeah, I scanned the rest of it first but that didn't matter. It could have said "tastes like swamp-ass" on the back and I still would have bought it. I never said I was mentally stable.

I'm not going to bullshit you: I know jack squat about beer. This one is made from Citra hops. Do I know what Citra hops are? Hell no! I have no idea what separates Citra hops from regular hops, if regular hops are even a thing. And you know what? I LIKE IT THAT WAY! I get to relax and enjoy a beer for what it is, only judging it on whether I like it or not. That's a nice little change.

So the Bruins won and soon after I popped open the bottle.

I figured that by saying "wine style" it was referring to the texture. Maybe the carbonation was a bit calmed or the mouth-feel just came across smoother but I couldn't be more wrong. The texture is very, well, wheaty. And although it's not overly hoppy, the hops do contribute some bitterness. To be honest, this beer is nothing like I thought it would be. Apparently what they meant by "wine style" is that it's aged in French and American oak, and bottle conditioned with Muscat grape juice. Pretty cool, right?

Visually this beer is cloudy and pulpy. The nose shows lime, brown sugar and butterscotch.

The palate is loaded with orange peel and has notes of straight-up oak, browned apple and a Fino Sherry flor yeastiness. Then it takes a drastic turn when the finish comes around with a spike of green table grapes and chili pepper. The rest of the appeal is based on the previously mentioned body, mouth-feel and hops.

Did I like it? Hell friggin yeah. I loved it.

Would I buy it again? I guarantee that I will. 

Should it have "wine style" in its name? That's a resounding no.

Did Tony die at the end of the Sopranos? It still irks me eight years later.

The bottle used was purchased by myself for the purpose of this review.


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