Alaskan White

I apologize profusely for the quality of today’s photos, I ran out of time while there was still an adequate amount of daylight left and had to resort to using my flash…which I despise.  Also because of my rushing, I ended up having to chug the first beer, which we will not discuss further.  It happened, I’m disappointed in myself enough, I’m trying to move on.

This is my first Alaskan Brewing Company beer, and no, it is not local, but it is a microbrew/craft beer, and I have to expand my horizons at some point.  The Alaskan White is classified as a Belgian-style witbier, or White (wheat) beer due to the wheat proteins that are suspended in the liquid to create a cloudy appearance.  On pour, it is a cloudy golden amber with a very soft 1-finger thick fizzy head that diminishes into patchy islands rather quickly.  It leaves behind a very minimal spotty lacing and as the beer sits, yeast sediment collects on the bottom.  After doing some research on witbiers, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is a little darker than I expected, but I’m no expert.  Yet.  (Insert evil grin here).

The smell is first and foremost a very obnoxious mix of coriander and orange peel, and though not strong, it initially overshadows all of the other scents making it hard to pick any one out.  What I thought was a hint of caramel turned out to be the sweetness of the wheat poking through, followed by a light lemon and thyme type of concoction, and a touch of yeast.  Again, it’s not a very robust or powerful combination of aromas, but the coriander and orange peel steal the show here.

Leading into the taste, the coriander and orange peel are again in the forefront, leaving little room for a light lemon tartness, a tangy sugary wheat, and the swishes of yeast that quickly passed over my taste buds.  The Alaskan White is almost spicy from the prickly carbonation and ends on a lightly dry finish.  It is light-bodied and smooth, almost creamy, with a clean finish that isn’t quite as crisp as the smell.  And though there are lots of grains (which I read are more common in American wheat beers), there are practically no hops present in either the smell or the taste, which left it quite “lackluster.”

While this brew is rather easy to drink, it most certainly borders on average – at least until the coriander and orange peel stop trying to beat everything else up.  As far as I’m concerned, this beer is just short of the depth and complexity and missing a certain light fruitiness that is supposedly common in the witbier style.  With all of the spices overshadowing everything, this almost tastes like it wants to be a holiday-type drink, and would probably be best enjoyed paired with a salad covered in rosemary vinaigrette or lemon and a white fish.  It’s a little too light throughout, but I’m certainly more than happy to continue trying Alaskan’s beers, as I hear they have a pretty good reputation.


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