Monday, December 9, 2013

Victory Winter Cheers

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1019) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 9, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a weizen glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.79 ($0.23 per ounce).

Appearance: Bright banana-skin yellow hue. Nearly crystal clear with plenty of steady carbonation visible. Pours to a large, bright white, foamy head which retains and laces very well.

Smell: Mostly typical Bavarian yeast esters but with significant black pepper or other dry spice.

Taste: You don’t tend to see wheat beers, even weizenbocks, as winter or Christmas seasonals. Ironic since these type of beers tend to have a natural spicy character to them that would complement the cold weather well. Victory Winter Cheers is a good attempt at making use of the situational pairing, but doesn’t quite go as far as it should. A good beer nevertheless.

The palette here is akin to that of a summer beer as it seems to be brewed in the authentic German style of wheat beers. Right away there’s a lightly fruity taste of lemon and banana peels. Yes, their peels as it’s more a dry, rustic character and nothing especially juicy. The second half becomes much more zesty with a strong flavor of fresh ground black pepper and a hint of clove. There’s also dry bitterness and a hint of astringency, but that’s probably the point. I’d prefer something more intense without the overt dryness, but the taste here is pretty good.

Drinkability: What surprised me about Victory Winter Cheers was how refreshing the beer was. This is odd considering it’s a winter beer, and the fact it’s much heavier than your average wheat beer at 6.7% ABV. Yet, the body was on the lighter side and it finished clean. It seems to be a little too weight for its weight, which makes it tempting to drink in succession, though one serving is definitely satisfying and not challenging. 
Grade: 7/10