Just yesterday, time conferred upon me the dubious honor of turning thirty-six. And to toast the occasion, I decided that some fancy beer was needed. And so I went out and searched some of my favorite dispensaries for what is arguably my favorite beer of 2013 – the Moon Under Water Year One Wheat Wine. Lucky for me, one of my regular stops just happened to have three bottles left (though they didn’t know it at the time!)
And what is interesting is that when I came home and cracked open the bottle, the beer that came out did not appear as I expected. The first time I drank this little drop of heaven, it poured an opaque orange into my glass, had a rather unique malty nose and combined the flavors of a wheat with a citrusy west coast ale. And it finished quite nicely, once again combining a strong citrus finish with a hint of sourness that reminded me of a Flanders Red.
This time around, some months after its initial release, the bottle I procured poured out cloudy and translucent. What’s more, the nose on it was very much like a hefeweizen, malty, yeasty, but otherwise clean. The flavor was still delightfully layered, consisting of good wheat malts, citrus, some notes of sour cherry, and a noticeable alcoholic punch.
Alas, this too was slightly different from my last sampling, and the finish was much cleaner, with only trace amounts of citrus and some lingering sour flavor. Ah yes, and the sediment factor was also noticeably tamer. Last time, the beer produced some big, sticky floating masses of yeast. This time, all I found was some particulate matter in my glass, like little flecks or red sand.
All in all, I’d say this beer has aged well in the last few months, which is I’ve decided to upgrade my previous rating (which was an already stellar 9.5 out of 10) to an even 10. Because of this, it is now one of the top contenders in my Best Beers for 2013 listing, which I’ll be sharing soon. Cheers folks, and here’s hoping that 2014 proves just as satisfying for all the discerning Zythophiles and Cicerones out there!