Celis White

By on January 6, 2011 @ 7 PM (No Comments)

For the first review of the New Year we’re trying the Celis White, which comes to us from Michigan Brewing (via our friends at The Beer of the Month Club).

Interesting story on Celis – it was developed by Pierre Celis, a brewmaster from Hoegaarden, Belgium. He opened Celis Brewery in Austin, TX in 1992 to brew his decades-old Belgian beer recipes (Celis White had an almost cult-like following). He moved back to Belgium in the late 90’s and the story almost ended. The brewery got into the hands of Miller and was closed in 2000. However, the Celis brewing equipment was purchased by Michigan Brewing in 2002 and they revived the Celis line of beers which you can continue to enjoy to this very day. Hats off to Michigan Brewing for saving Celis.

Back to the Celis White – it’s a witbier (Belgian white) and the ABV comes in a little on the low side at 3.9%. We were able to find an IBU of 15 from the Malt of the Earth newsletter.

The Celis White explained from the Michigan Brewing web site:

Celis White is seasoned with Curacao orange peel and coriander, and is brewed from a unique recipe first brewed in Belgium in 1453. It is top fermented and brewed from 50% raw winter wheat and 50% 2-Row malt, hopped with Willamette and EKG hops. Its sweetness balances many spicy foods and is especially good with fruits, salads, delicate sauces, fish and poultry, or as an aperitif.

For those not in the know, an aperitif is an alcoholic drink served before a meal. Feel free to use that knowledge at your next dinner party. For our review we served this 12 oz bad boy up in a weizen glass and got a starting temperature of 45.7 F. Our initial pour gave us an average 1 1/2″ white foamy head that left no lacing as it dissipated quickly. There was a medium amount of carbonation and there was a light haziness in the very light straw colored body.

For our aromas we got sweet biscuit, wheat, light lemon, orange zest, light banana, bubble gum, coriander and clove. It’s got a really great nose to it – it smells a lot like our beloved Franziskaner Hefeweizen and let us tell you that’s okay in our books.

Our initial flavor impressions were a light sweet followed by a moderate sweet, light bitter and light tart on the finish. For our tastes we held pretty true to the nose – sweet biscuit, wheat, light lemon, orange zest, light banana, bubble gum, coriander and spices. The tastes in this thing work wonderfully together and it’s just a complete gem. It’s like a cross between the aforementioned Franziskaner and a Hoegaarden and that, our friends, is a beautiful thing.

It’s got a short finish to it, a nice oily mouthfeel and the tongue hit comes in somewhere middle to back. There’s no body lacing left on the glass as we gulp it down and on the patented malt to hop scale it comes in one click to the left of balanced on the malty side. Right where we like it.

For our bottom line notes we got all yeses – drinkable, repeatable, balance, harmony, memorable, wow factor and buy again. It actually got a write-in “hell yes” to drinkable – it’s that good.

It perfectly bridges the gap between a hefeweizen and a witbier, with a skew towards the witbier. Hefeweizen notes lie in the background while witbier notes lie in the foreground. It’s pretty tame so that makes for a great session beer. It’s just a real treat – if you see it buy as many as you possibly can. No need to send us a thank you letter, we’ll be too busy drinking Celis White to read it.

Celis White Rating: 8 out of 10 (?)


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