“Who-Garden” – this is one of those beers I’ve drunken probably ten plus times without writing a review. It’s finally review time so I can reverse engineer exactly what it is I like about it so much. We can start with the obvious – it’s a wheat beer.
Further details: 4.9% ABV, brewed by Hoegaadren Brewery. The bottle reads that it’s a naturally unfiltered cloudy Belgian white beer. It pours well with an average to large frothy white head (about 1″ to 1 1/4″) following the recommended pouring method (2/3 into the glass, swirl the bottle, remaining 1/3 on top to create the head and charge the beer). The head dissipates slowly and the carbonation is light to soft. The body has a deliciously cloudy (a bit murky) and unfiltered goodness to it, combined with a light yellow golden appearance.
The smell is wonderfully sweet – citrus – orange and lemon, and a slight floral aroma plus a touch of wheat. The flavor backs up the aroma, a mild sweetness with a great lemony taste with coriander and a hint of banana. The mouthfeel is watery and it’s quite thirst-quenching. The finish is about average in duration and also mildly sweet with a little hop bitterness to it. I want to say I picked up a slight bubble gum flavor to the finish as it warmed, but I wouldn’t swear to it in a court of law.
It’s very refreshing and super-easy to drink. It’s got a pretty good balance to it. It’s similar to a hefe, but slightly different in a good way. You could easily slam back a few of these and call it a good night, especially a summer night.
Overall it’s a strong contender. It has all the elements of a great one – highly repeatable, very drinkable, somewhat memorable. It’s along the same lines of the Jahrhundert – a bit like a radler in Germany, though not quite as sweet. It’s worth the six pack and I bet this would move up to a 9 if you could find it on tap.
Hoegaarden Rating: 8 out of 10 (?)
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