Driftwood Gose-Uh

driftwood_logoBack again with another limited release from the Driftwood Brewery. And this time around, its the late summer seasonal known as the Driftwood Gose-uh. According to the commercial description, Gose (pronounced gose-uh) is a rare type of German beer that originated in Leipzig. Using both wheat and barely malt, sea salt, coriander spice and the same type of yeast strain that gives sours their tart taste, this beer has apparently gone extinct twice, but is once again being brought back by artisan brewers who want to revitalize it.

driftwood_gose-uhAnd after sampling it, I could certainly see why efforts are underway to restore it. Much like a good Belgian Wit, the Gose is light in color, cloudy in appearance, and has a gentle malt profile and a some nice spicey notes due to the addition of coriander spice. But the Gose manages to augment all that with a little saltiness and a smooth, clean finish that has just a hint of sour flavor. All in all, it’s basically a nice light ale with some added complexity that is well paired with spicey food, or just on its own as a way to beat the soon-to-gone summer heat. Personally, I hope the style catches on again and remains popular amongst the artisan brewing community and beer drinkers alike. I don’t imagine I need to tell anyone that a beer going extinct diminishes us all!

Appearance: Light yellow, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Wheat malts and traces of yeast, strong notes of coriander spice
Taste: Good concentration of wheat malt, coriander spice, mild saltiness
Aftertaste: Lingering spice flavor, slight notes of sour, quite clean
Overall: 8.5/10

What’s next for the Driftwood Brewery and its seasonal/limited-release lineup? Well, multiple visits to the brewery to get my growlers filled has yielded some insight there. Though there are no plans as of yet to release another in the Bird of Prey series, the brewery does have an anniversary coming up and promises to greet it with a specialty beer of some kind. I’ll let you know more as I hear about it!

Moon Under Water This is Hefeweizen

MoonLogo1Hi all and welcome to another installment from Moon Under Water! Lately, the product lineup has been expanding, and I was sure to do my best to get in on the ground floor. Not long ago, I managed to snag a bottle of one of their first limited releases – their Brewvic Maibock – and was quite pleased. But this latest addition is permanent addition with year-round availability. So I felt that impressions counted doubly here.

moonunderwater_this_is_hefThough this is not the first wheat beer to be introduced to the brewery’s product line – i.e. the appropriately named Victorious Weizenbock – this wheat is purer example of the brewing tradition. I’m guessing that with all their success thus far, the brewers felt they needed to add a straight-up German wheat, with no crossovers or merging of styles to speak of. And the end product is certainly consistent with that, a very good, clean tasting hefeweizen that weighs in at an even 5.5% alc/vol. However, it manages to retain some spicy characteristics which are reminiscent of a Belgian Wit as well, mainly in the notes of clove and coriander, and rounds it out with a hint of vanilla.

Appearance: Deep orange, cloudy, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Distinct yeasty notes and wheat malts
Taste: Mild wheat malts, very smooth, hints of coriander, clove and vanilla
Aftertaste: Very smooth, hints of wheat malt and yeast, mild spice
Overall: 8.5/10

Overall, I was quite impressed with this beer and will definitely seek it in the future. Though there has been no shortage of limited-release hefeweizens and wits available of late, this one stands out for me as being one of the more drinkable and subtle. Delightfully colored, smooth, clean, refreshing, and with a subtle but discernible spice palate, it is an all around winner and perfect for these last few weeks of summer!

Schneider Weisse Mein Nelson Sauvin


schneider-weisse-mein-nelson-sauvinThanks to my local dispensaries, which excel at stocking their shelves with a wide array of international beers, I have managed to get my hands on the latest from the Schneider Weisse brewery! This time around, it is a limited reserve known as Mein Nelson Sauvin, a specialized wheat beer that incorporated Nelson Sauvin hops and comes in a tall, wine-like bottle.

And I can honestly say that I’m quite impressed with how this old and venerated brewery – which is responsible for producing my favorite wheat beer and one of my favorite beers of all time – is branching out and experimenting. This would be the third special release beer of theirs that I’ve tried now, and I can honestly say that I think it’s the best. In addition to possessing all the characteristics of a fine Bavarian bottle-fermented wheat beer, it also possesses some decidedly barley-wine like characteristics.

Appearance: Dark golden, opaque, heady foam and good carbonation
Nose: Yeasty, sweat malts and sugars, fruity notes
Taste: Rich malts, barley-wine like sweetness, yeasty effervescence, notes of grapes, mild spice
Aftertaste: Lingering yeasts, lingering sugars and grapes
Overall: 9.5/10

It also seems fitting that this beer comes in a wine bottle seeing as how it is in possession of a complex, spicy flavor that oftentimes tastes and smells like Riesling grapes. Oh yes, and it weighs in at a respectable 7.3% alc/vol, not quite what their Aventinus Doppelbock rates at, but still what one would expect from a barley-wine like specialty beer. Yeah, not a bad bottle of hefeweizen at all. Might just be a contender for the “Best Wheats” list.