Sunday, September 23, 2012

From the Cellar: Weyerbacher Fourteen

Weyerbacher is great.They do a lot of really amazing beer that people miss because, frankly, up until the last few months their labels were TERRIBLE.

'Cause yeah, even though we know we shouldn't, we really do judge books by their cover. I've often said that Weyerbacher would be more widely considered a great brewery if their branding wasn't so bad. They wised up, contracted a new logo, and are now in the process of rebranding their whole line. Excellent!

So what does this have to do with a three-year-old brew put out for their 14th anniversary?  Nothing at all. Just thought it would make for a good intro.

Anyway, for the Weyerbacher's 14th anniversary they brewed a spiced up wheat wine, essentially a boozed-up barleywine but with wheat as a primary fermentable grain. These beers are BIG, complex, and age well.

And this 2009 vintage fits the description. After three years, the aroma is a boozy, murky mix of bread, spices, and a touch of caramel. Drinking it, though, you'd never know it was so strong. Despite coming in at a whopping 11.8% ABV, there is little alcohol heat to speak of here. It starts to show through as the beer warms, but even then it’s much less than you’d expect from a beer this potent.

Rather than bitterness, here you get spicing, with hints of rye, pepper, and summer herbs. As the beer warms this really ramps up, too, providing a surprising spice kick. Meanwhile, the wheat malts bring a smoothness to the beer that makes it go down better than any three-year-old, nearly 12% beer has a right to.

Overall this is a big WOW. If you have one, I suspect now is a great time to open it. If you see one, get it and drink it right away. 'Cause this stuff be gooawd.

BEER: Weyerbacher Fourteen
TIME AGED: 3 years

VERDICT: This beer has laid down pretty well. If you're lucky enough to find a bottle, consider scooping it up.

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