Sunday, November 16, 2008

Anderson Valley Brewing Co: High Rollers Wheat

While it's getting dark very early and most of the leaves are changing colors and falling off the trees, it's still hot out here. I don't know why, but as long as this weather keeps up I need to cool down. I was in wine country over the weekend and it was a toasty 77 degrees. One of my favorite ways to regulate my body temperature is to have a nice cold class of beer. Yes, even in wine country. So I picked up a sixer of Anderson Valley's High Rollers wheat. Most of Anderson's offerings are quite good so I'd decided to give this beer a chance to cool me down.

On first look the beer is very clear with almost no head. It's not like many cloudy pale wheats you'll find on the market. I think AVBC went with a clear wheat ale because they are trying to make a very refreshing beer. Just what I needed.

The bottle label recommends adding a lemon wedge to this brew to enhance the taste. I wouldn't recommend that addition at all, because the beer already has a pronounced lemon citrus flavor. It tastes as if it is brewed with a splash of lemon. The aftertaste is very buttery with a pale wheat finish. Therefore despite this beer's lemony flavor, the extended taste of the body will remind you that this isn't a Belgian witbier. It's not sharp and no coriander flavors are present. AVBC doesn't make a witbier so there should be no problem of confusing this beer with any other of Anderson's offerings. I'm still working my way through all this brewery's brews and most have been quite good. This one is not as complex as some of their heartier ales, but for what it is, it works. Therefore, I think this is a beer that most people, regardless their personal palate, can enjoy.

So while most beer and grocery stores are promoting every type of winter warmer and other cold weather beers, unless it gets cold out west, I'll continue to mix in an occasional wheat beer. And probably share it with others. Stay cool. Cheers.

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