Sunday, September 4, 2011

Gruut Belgian Wit Bier


Chris is back and he's here to help me try these two unique Belgian beers. They're traditional Belgian style beers but brewed with gruit or "grist" (herbs) instead of hops. These were sent to me from Bart in Belgium (thanks again for the beer!).

NOTE: there will only be two more episodes of Season 14 after this review. Then all viewer request month will begin.

Gruut Belgian Wit Bier

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (643) - Albany, USA - SEP 4, 2011
I received a 11.2oz bottle from a friend in Belgium (thanks, Bart!). I split it with a friend and poured it into a beer festival tasting glass.

Appearance: By far the whitest beer I’ve ever seen! Even lighter and paler than Hoegaarden. Extremely effervescent at first, but carbonation calms down quickly. Forms a small, bright white head of suds that fizzle away quickly and leave no lacing.

Smell: Neither citrusy nor herbal. In fact, I detect an off smell - almost skunkiness or perhaps oxidation? Otherwise odorless.

Taste: When Gruut Belgian Wit Bier first hits the palate it’s a taste not unlike a fizzy yellow lager, just without the overt repulsive qualities. Call it grainy, call it bland - it’s not what you’d expect in an authentic Belgian White at first. The second half is where all the flavor lies - a mild mélange of citrus pith and a quick burst of spice rack herbs oregano, basil, and parsley flakes. This is due to the fact this beer is brewed with herbs, rather than hops, to bitter the beer.

As I drink on the beer becomes a little more authentic tasting, but still mild overall. The taste of citrus pith (the peel of a citrus fruit rather than the fruit itself) becomes a little more prominent, and a slight tart white grape flavor emerges as well, but the herbal aftertaste all but disappears. Despite all these apparent flaws, this is still a decent palate due to the fact there’s nothing off-putting about it overall, but it seems like so much more could be done.

Mouthfeel: Thin, slightly fizzy but eventually tepid. Clean aftertaste.

Drinkability: While the palate is not very exciting, Gruut Belgian Wit Bier is an extremely easy and fun beer to drink. Its mild palate with light fruit notes makes it very refreshing and would be a great beer to have on a hot summer day. It’s 5% ABV weight actually seems a little high, but I think this would be an easy beer to session by anyone.

Overall, Gruut Belgian Wit Bier is little strange considering its country of origin and brewing method. However, it’s a perfect introductory beer for those looking to transition from Blue Moon to the real deal.

Grade: 6/10