Two Chef’s: Tropical Ralphie Weizen (Netherlands: Hefeweizen: 5% ABV)

Visual: Lightly hazy clear lemon juice. Massive white mounded head.

Nose: Passion fruit. Wheat. Light hops. Apricot skin. Cane sugar dusting. White grapes. Dry lemon.

Body: Pineapple. Vanilla. Dry lemon. Grapes. Wheaty. Slight dry liquorice.

Finish: Moderate hop character and light bitterness. Vanilla. Pineapple. Slight dry liquorice. Light tart grapes. Flour.

Conclusion: This is listed as a weizen, but I have to say it doesn’t have much of the banana, cloves or wheaty notes I often associate with the traditional takes on that style. Instead this feels like a traditional Belgian wit that has been punched up with a touch of tropical hop usage.

It isn’t the sweeter more Hoegaarden like take on a wit, and as mentioned it isn’t much like the German take on a weizen, instead it feels closer to a drier more traditional Belgian wit, with that familiar dry lemon character. It has a slight vanilla sweetness, but is well attenuated and generally not too heavy.

Over that dry lemon base is a dash of brighter hops – tart pineapple and a touch of grapes that brings it in line with a more craft beer take on the style. It is refreshing in a way that is perfect for the heat right now – though with a slight flour thickness that works against that. There is similarly a hop feel that gives slight fluffiness, but low hop bitterness. Generally it is a trade off, the extra grip makes it less easy to drink but gives some weight of flavour.

On the downside, there are some slight off notes, that being a dry liquorice touch. Not a heavy note, just a subtle dry savoury note that doesn’t quite mesh with the rest of the beer. Similarly that slight flour feel I mentioned can get a bit sticky by the end.

So, decent dry base, nice hop use, a few off notes that don’t quite work, but a decent wit beer that tries to be a weizen.

Background: I was over in the Netherlands recently, only a short trip and didn’t do many notes while I was out there, but it would have been rude of me to not do any at all. So here we go, first notes of two. Not much backstory to this one – saw it in a supermarket, like the bottle imagery – looked a bit Guile from Street Fighter 2 which was nice. I like a good weizen. You may have noticed despite me saying it reminds me of a Belgian Wit in a lot of ways I have listed this as a hefeweizen. In general I go with the brewers description – unless it is seriously and obviously wrong – they listed this as a weizen so I listed it as such. It was stupidly hot in the Netherlands, with up to 40 degrees at times, so I kept this as chilled as I could before drinking.