Three Floyds: Mikkeller: Hvedegoop (USA: Barley Wine: 10.4% ABV)
Visual: Mahogany red. About half an inch of browned forth. Hazy body.
Nose: Cinnamon. Tangerine. Wheaty. Chocolate malt drinks. Toffee. Pineapple. Glacier cherries.
Body: Cherries. Malt drinks. Tangerine and white grapes. Light hop character. Light wheat thickness. Light bitterness. Some milky coffee. Lemon.
Finish: Moderate bitterness and hops. Toffee and malt drinks. Shredded wheat. Slight rocky touch. Light bitter coffee. Lemon touch.
Conclusion: Wheat wine. Sounds awesome. Unfortunately this is not quite the half way point between a hefeweizen and barley wine that those words call up. We could but hope.
Instead this is a fairly solid barley wine a like with a slightly thicker wheat influenced texture, though it does have slight lemon fresh characteristics like a good weisse.
The flavour leans towards the more hopped USA interpretations of a barley wine, almost all the expected elements of that are here – Bright citrus going from tart orange to grape and pineapple. beneath that is an oddly unsweet barley wine, more malt drinks or at times milky coffee rather than the more usual big syrup sweetness.
There is still some sweetness, but less than you would expect – possibly this is from the wheat, giving less residual sugar that a pure malted barley drink, but that is just a guess. I have no idea if that is how it works.
It’s a pretty solid beer, quite attenuated – the malt base tastes closer to the way I would expect an APA to be, with hop flavours closer to an IPA, and a texture like a weisse. It is an odd wee mix.
So, yes a solid barley (wheat) wine style. If this had more than just the lemon hints to the wheat then this could have been special, then again I don’t know if a true half hefe half barley wine is even possible. As is there are no regrets to drinking this beer, the attenuation is not my scene – and that is the main flaw to my mind, but overall it does not disappoint with big flavour and a lot to experience.
Background: The *goop series! A bunch of kind of barley wines, but brewed with a different adjunct. This one I did not think I would get hold of, a wheat wine from the early days of the series. I’m guessing they did another batch as it has started turning up again. The series has been pretty good so far, with some stand out entries, so I was looking forwards to this. Picked up from Independent Spirit. Drunk while listening to some Alanis Morissette – used to be a huge fan as a kid, still stands up in my old age – a bit more chilled than my usual far.