I was fortunate to receive a beer advent calendar for my Christmas present from my olds – a different beer each day until Christmas Day, a departure from the thumb size chocolates I would chow into as a wee lad . There’s an air of mystic around each bottle, too – first, each is wrapped in a brown paper bag, and secondly there’s a label on the top of the bottlecap indicating which day of December it should be consumed, which covers the brewery’s logo.
The first beer off the rank was a wheat beer, courtesy of Red Hill Brewery. It’s not my favourite style, but one or two wheat beers never go astray. Red Hill have no previous form in my books, this being the first of their beers I’ve been able to try. “Fine handcrafted ale” they boast on the label, and to be fair, they aren’t far from the truth…
A golden, cloudy beer with minimal head greeted me, along with some strong scents of wheaty and floral esters. The sweetness of the wheat malts really comes through in the mouth, along with pear or fruity tartness in the aftertaste. It’s lightly carbonated (contrary to the bottle which said it was highly carbonated), but sits very well in the mouth and blends well with the tart aftertaste.
The Germans and Belgians arguably lay claim to being masters of the style, but this is a dam fine example of a wheat beer to line up with the best of them. It’s aromas and flavours give it a nice balance from the first time it touches the lips right through to the aftertaste. A winner for me from this Victorian brewery, and a brilliant beer to kick off the summer!
Drunk: from the bottle