Profiled by Maria Devan for PGA
Victory has made a hefeweizen and called it a winter beer. Now that’s a surprise. This is one beautiful beer. Hazy, turbid and yellow. Soft pastel lemon yellow. A cream colored head of foam sits atop this beer and lasts and leaves lace.
It’s subtle and has an overall softness to the nose and to the palate. There is a delicate hoppiness to the middle of the beer that is a mere touch of lemon citrus, and what I can only call hop succulence. Dry crisp wheat with it’s golden sweetness, a crisp cracker. Light banana, soft clove, light bubblegum. The mouthfeel is creamy and there is a slight bite form carbonation. There is lemon grass here and rather than become green with herbal it seems to stay yellow and drier with the lemon grass. The finish is spicy and has a touch of mild white pepper with a nice maltiness to linger. It’s only in the very last moments of the beer that you notice a faint bitterness from hops. Again, perfectly soft, perfectly subtle and 100% under control.
Gosh I like this so much more than all that cinnamon in the other “winter beers.” I also like the subtlety of this beer. It does not crowd the palate with over ripe fruit or with too much citrus so that you would question it’s true nature as a hefe. This beer would compliment a variety of holiday cookies and cakes and that was one of my first thoughts.
Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”
Maria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is frequent reviewer of beer and a beer lover deluxe.