Fortune Islands Modern Times

Modern Times: Fortune Islands (USA: Wheat Ale: 5% ABV)

Visual: Clear grain to gold. Moderate off white tight bubbles head. Some carbonation.

Nose: Pineapple. Stewed banana. Peach. Lightly creamy. Light gherkin.

Body: Moderate bitterness. Slightly gritty texture – granite. Light pineapple notes. Light lime. Lemon sherbet. Pink grapefruit and stewed fruits.

Finish: Kumquat. Leaden bitterness. Cloying lychee. Sour dough. Lemon sherbet. Slightly gritty.

Conclusion: Wheat ales are a hard one to pull off – odd as both Belgian wit and German hefeweizen are amongst my most appreciated styles, but the wheat ale often seems to be the poor cousin, coming in a tad leaden and dull.

So, this is the beer to change all that, right? That is why I mentioned it? Erm, well, they do try. Very hard. The aroma is light, fresh and fruity and a very good start to the proceedings.

The body takes a bit of time to get going. Initially the more gritty and leaden elements of the wheat base seem to dominate. There is a light fruit character there but the dominant base just overwhelms it. At this point I was ready to give the beer a right kicking.

Time helps it out a bit – the initial citrus notes were too light, but over time they build up and bring the ale closer to its German and Belgian cousins. The base still feels too leaden though – it needs a lighter touch there but overall it does manage to come together just about.

At this point you have a heavier end of the scale feeling wheat beer soothed by tropical fruit – it still feels slightly too base, and gritty like licking a pavement at its lowest points. So, with some good high notes and some bad low notes, overall it is pretty much just an average ale. Ok but doesn’t make anything special. When it is good it just about matches the body, when it is bad it is rough. So, not really worth giving a shot.

Background: Saw this available and decided to grab it as it promised a hoppy twist on the wheat ale, which sounded interesting to me. That is about all I knew about the beer going in. Drunk while listening to Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes. Mainly “I Hate You“. Repeatedly. Which may give you a sign of a state of mind I was in that you need to take into account when reading these notes. According to the can this has 46 IBU, a final gravity of 1.008, and is made with Citra and Amarillo hops.

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