Ballast Point: Wahoo Wheat (USA: Belgium Style Witbier: 4% ABV)

Visual: Hazy yellow. Large white head.

Nose: Slightly musty. Dried fruit mixture. Orange peel. Light lemon curd. Coriander.

Body: Lemon. Wheat. Vanilla back. Slightly fizzy. Toffee. Carrot and coriander. Light banana. Nice bitterness. Peach.

Finish: Wheat. Lemon meringue. Raw carrot. Coriander.

Conclusion: America has a wealth of good Belgium style beers, from Lost Abbey to Ommegang. Alas it seems to struggle making good wit beers. This could just be my experiences but during the “Road Trip Of Awesome” I had several Belgium wit beers and they ranged from ok to pretty damn terrible. I have had the occasional good Wit from the USA, but not many. Maybe I need recommendations.

Of course this isn’t a slight on USA, the style is hard to do well and even Belgium sods it up sometimes, heck the best take on the style recently I had was from Denmark.

This take is competent but not much beyond. There is a bit too much fizz and not enough grip for the flavours. A pity as if you let the beer roam in your mouth it seems to have the right elements, from light coriander, spice, lemon curd through to vanilla sweetness backing it up.  What it lacks is the capability to bring those flavours to the forefront to be enjoyed.

It does manage to keep quiet traditional in its interpretation, slightly dry and tart over the wheat styled base. It therefore avoids the over sweet interpretation that can be a bane to the style.  There is sweetness but used as background noise and lingering finish. if the other elements were bigger it would provide an appropriate backdrop. As is the wheat dominates the flavour too much and it relies on the slightly heavier than normal bitterness as a crutch.

It is a far better beer than some of the watery atrocities or over sweet version I had encountered (but not reviewed0 during the road trip, and uses good calls to the Belgium interpretations, unfortunately for all its attempts at matching their style it doesn’t pull it off.
A nice try but lackluster beer.

Background: So far my experiences with Ballast Point have been pretty spot on so I grabbed a few more of their beers to try recently. It had nothing to do with my urge to rub it in that these are easier to find in the UK than in some states of America. Honest.  I’ve been on quite a stout run recently so have been deliberately grabbing some lighter coloured beers to give me a bit of a break. Drunk while listening to Radiohead: Ok Computer because it’s been bloody ages since I last listened to it.