Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Westbrook White Thai

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (1051) - Albany, New York, USA - JAN 28, 2014
I poured a 12oz can into a tulip glass. There may have been a freshness date, but it was smeared. The can cost $2.99 ($0.25 per ounce).

Appearance: A pretty hue of bright yellow/pale orange. Quite hazy. Pours to a large, bright white, frothy head which retains and laces extremely well.

Smell: Classic witbier aroma of Belgian yeast esters, some citrus and dry spice.

Taste: Usually when I try a brewery for the first time I prefer to have something that complements the season. Westbrook White Thai is a witbier in style, but not brewed to style. Combine that with the fact I’m drinking it in the coldest part of the winter and this beer definitely had a lot of obstacles to overcome to impress me. But sure enough it did, as I enjoyed the subtleties of the palette as well as the easy drinkability.

The brewery indicates this beer is made with lemongrass, ginger root and Sorachi Ace hops - none of which are common for the style. However, in concert with each other they end up working quite well as substitutes for the usual spices. Witbier, when done right, tends to have a lemony character to it, so using lemongrass instead of orangepeel, is a natural addition. Normally, I dislike ginger in beer, but it’s in such a finite amount here that it works as a true spice and isn’t a distraction. The Sorachi Ace hops give it some peppery bitterness, especially on the finish, though this is by no means a hoppy or bitter beer per se. I could see this palette being appreciated by drinkers of all experience levels.

Drinkability: "Drinker-friendly" is definitely a term apropos to Westbrook White Thai. Not only is it tasty and balanced, but it’s easy to drink. The mouthfeel is thin, but not to the point of being watery or distracting. It’s quite refreshing and finishes clean. At only 5% ABV, this is definitely in the "sessionable" category of beer for sure. I could see six-packs of this going quick at my house in the summer. 
Grade: 8/10