Profiled by Tom Becham for Professor Goodales
Widmer Brothers is one of the more widely-known, and one of the earliest participants in the craft brewing game. Their Hefeweizen (which is actually an American Wheat Ale and not a true Hefeweizen) almost singularly popularized wheat beers in America. Lately, their efforts have seemed somewhat bland and lifeless compared to a lot of the extreme brewing going on in the craft community.
Hence, Widmer recently introduced the Brothers’ Reserve series. These are limited edition beers with unusual ingredients, higher alcohol levels, and/or stronger tastes. They have been somewhat hit-and-miss for me.
So, upon first seeing Widmer’s Brothers’ Reserve Lemongrass Wheat Ale, I was intrigued enough to pick up a bottle.
My wife and I split the bomber into Belgian chalice glasses after lunch one afternoon.
The first thing noticeable about this beer is the bright orange-yellow color, almost like a Saison. The head is somewhat small for a wheat beer, probably due to the high alcohol content (9% ABV).
The aroma is pretty much as expected. Lemongrass dominates the nose, with small hints of graininess, some grape, and a tiny bit of bubble-gum phenol. Upon discovering the grape aroma, I looked at the bottle again, and discovered that the beer is also made with muscat grape juice. Hmmm. This was going to be interesting…
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