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Whaleback White - Leelanau Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Whaleback WhiteWhaleback White

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

86 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 86
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 28
Gots: 5 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Leelanau Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Witbier |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: putnam on 08-11-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 52 | Display Reviews Only:
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5/5  rDev +23.2%

DrDoitchbig, Nov 15, 2011
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4.75/5  rDev +17%

BjornRK, Aug 22, 2013
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4.75/5  rDev +17%

AJ01923, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of Domeshot14
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Domeshot14, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of AleWatcher
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottled 08.09.11

Looks like a cloudy white wine. Golden yellow... Virtually no head. Thin oily legs, no lace.

Smells glorious. Spicy wheat notes blend with lemony citrus sour tartness and create a delicious bouquet.

The flavor has all the notes from the nose, plus a light oaky character and a bit of earthy funk. The lemony tart sourness is amazing.

Medium feel with low carbonation... Really nice.

Overall-- very fucking nice. This IS the best wheat beer ever! Ever!

AleWatcher, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of ypsifly
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Capped 750 purchased at Village Corner in Ann Arbor and poured into a pint glass. No dates.

Slightly hazed straw yellow with an initial two inches of head that slowly sinks to a few cms and leaves a few thin wisps of lace.

The nose has an excellent balance of wheat, orange, coriander, and a slightly musty funk. I can also smell the barrel. Very complex and inviting.

The wheat and coriander flavors are the most noticable aspects but they are again blended perfectly with the orange and wood flavors. Tart, dry, and thirst quenching. Very well done.

Moderate mouth that is a bit puckery and has just enough carbonation to keep it from getting too sharp. Very drinkable as it is on the same level as the St. Bernardus version of the style.

ypsifly, Jun 19, 2006
Photo of rmalinowski4
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

rmalinowski4, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of Hugonaut13
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Hugonaut13, Dec 02, 2012
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4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

metalgdog, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Googs
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Googs, Jul 29, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Jspriest, Jul 10, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

apocalypsezombie, Jun 07, 2012
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4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

ltltony, Oct 22, 2012
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4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

redfacedshooter, Oct 06, 2012
Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

imperialking, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of vrazionale
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter.

A - Pale yellow body with a fluffy, two-finger head that fades down to an even layer across the top. Little yeast floaties can be seen along the edges of the brew where the light shines through.

S - Bright, juicy, sweet citrus alongside musky funk. A touch of apricot and an easy-going, well-integrated spice bouquet, with coriander and white pepper most prominent. The wheat notes are subtle, but very soft and clean, not really bready at all. I also pick up notes of sweet grass and even a whiff of ocean salt.

T - Delicious. Very juicy, with sweet orange, meyer lemon, tangerine, apricot, and lemon flavors all working in concert. The funkiness mostly remains on the nose, but I pick up a little wet basement funk on the finish. The funk adds a nice touch to the soft wheat and citrus fruit flavor profile.

M - Brisk carbonation, and very refreshing on the palate. The crisp mouthfeel really works well alongside the soft wheat texture.

D - Hands-down one of the best white ales I've yet come across. Normally I find white ales pretty boring and straightforward, but this brew is certainly an exception. At just over 5% ABV, don't expect big, bold flavors here - the wheat adds a soft texture to the interplay of juicy citrus fruit and wild yeast funk flavors. The perfect brew for drinking with friends on a warm summer night.

vrazionale, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of woosterbill
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle (bottled 8/9/11) into a wine glass at Spuyten Duyvil.

A: Lightly hazed gold body; a thin white head settles into a ring. Nice.

S: Lovely. Fresh, tart aroma of sour citrus, floral Brett, and general sour goodness. Awesome!

T: Even juicier and citrusier than the nose, with solid tartness underscoring the bright fruit and moderate minerality. Clean, tart, dry finish. Delicious.

M: Soft, delicate, ultra-fine carbonation in a medium body. Great.

O: The bartender recommended this as consolation for the last Fou'Foune having just been sold, and (while no Cantillon) it was a terrific surprise. Definitely more of a Wild Ale than a Witbier (even wilder than Anchorage Whiteout Wit, which was just purely Bretty - Whaleback is both funky and sour), this one delivers pure, unadulterated sour goodness. My friends and I all agreed that this was a real winner. I'll be seeking out more Leelanau stuff the next time I'm at a good NY bottle shop.

Cheers!

woosterbill, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of BeaBeerWife
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Surprised myself by thinking and then finding out that this beer is contracted out to Jolly Pumpkin brewery... Real nice stuff. Wonderful supurb white beer, without the wildness I was expecting. perfect carbination, lovely pour. Snatch this one up!!!

BeaBeerWife, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours with a fully hazy, yet bright yellow-straw colored bee. It is topped by a pillowy, frothy, pale, off-white colored head that starts out a full four fingers in thickness; the head dissipates at a medium pace, but always keeps the beer fully crowned by at least a thin layer of froth. The aroma is a mix of damp spices; sort of a mix of a damp, freshly rained upon earthiness, some definite orange zest, a smooth lemon-like & cleanly earthy coriander note as well as a mix of ginger, white pepper, something floral (like mix of honeysuckle & orange blossom). This has a fantastic nose to it; quite vibrant & actually quite spice dominated, yet the spices are so well integrated that they are not too much. There are some hints of funkiness here, but for now they are really quite soft.

Quite dry and it is well carbonated as the beer froths up as it hits my tongue for the first time. The bone dry character of this beer accentuates a nice, almost biting, tartness that, with the orange zest notes, makes this beer taste lemon like. Despite coming from the Jolly Pumpkin brewery, this is actually quite clean tasting; I wouldn't guess there were any wild bugs here. There is a soft oak character to this beer though; it is barely perceptible at first, but contributes a oak-like spiciness as well as a touch of tannic backbone. Both of these wood-derived notes are noticeable in the finish. The wood is actually at just about a perfect level of flavor integration; it is subtle enough that it is almost not noticeable, yet it does contribute to the character of this brew, even if it is just a supporting role. Soft, zesty notes of coriander sort of blend with the spicy oak notes. The beer is not nearly as spicy in the flavor as it was in the nose; ultimately I think this is a good thing as it allows hints of barrel notes as well as a soft wheat character to come through in the flavor. Flavor notes of orange blossom honey, subtle-yet-sharp lavender, white pepper and young ginger are all noticeable in the taste.

This is a very nice example of a Wit beer. Despite the fact that I was hoping for some wild funkiness (which is certainly not here), I am really enjoying this beer. I really like the mix of spice notes, grain character and the fact that this is bone dry and so light and drinkable; truely a perfect warm weather drinker. I am a sucker for Wit beers and this one really hits the style & more importantly it hits the spot that satisfies my craving for tasty Wit beers. This is possibly one of the best, non-funky Wits out there.

Gueuzedude, Jul 29, 2007
Photo of nortmand
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours cloudy yellow with a huge white head. That leaves some nice lace.

Rich coriander aromas mingle with pickle for a strange, yet pleasing medley.

Sweet spiciness up front. Ends sour, a bit too there. Could use a tad more subtlety. Very refreshing, though.

Medium bodies and very drinkable. I'm excited to see what Jolly Pumpkin beers have evolved into.

nortmand, Sep 11, 2006
Photo of techfed87
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a well sized frothy head. Color is dark yellow.

Smells tart, with sour overtones.

First sip is nice and tight, almost more like a champaign rather than a beer. It's light, a fruit-like sour yeast presence, and a great carbonation presence. It's refreshing in exactly the same way that a soda would be on a hot day. And with an ABV much within normality, it would make this an absolute must for summer!

techfed87, Jul 06, 2010
Photo of meathookjones
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly cloudy straw yellow color body with a tall foamy white head that almost erupted out of the glass. Sticky patches and rings of laced adhered to the glass. Nice spicy and yeasty aroma really jumps out at you once this is poured. Lingering underneath that are sweet fruit notes with just a touch of tartness. Sweet and tart fruits with plenty of spices upfront on the flavor. Doughy malt and yeast notes over some lightly tart woody notes really add to the depth. Dry and slightly tart finish with a mild notes of green apples. Lively carbonation with a crisp and refreshing feel. I could have a few bottles of this in a sitting. Easy drinking and lots going on in the flavor.

meathookjones, Jun 01, 2006
Photo of cmadd
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into oversized wine glasses.

A: Hazeless body and light morning yellow body. Minimal head, but decent retention on the edges. Golden and illuminated.

S: Wheat malt, lactic acid and funk, lemons and white grapes.

T: Sharp lactic acid in the front with a light wheat backbone. The finish rounds out with lemons and white grapes and melons. Minimal bitterness and incredibly refined. This may not bowl you over with flavours, but they are clear and bright.

M: Mild carbonation and light body.

O: This witbier is so refined and gentle that it feels like a refreshing dawn, quiet and bright. Wonderful.

cmadd, Aug 30, 2012
Photo of GDBEERMAN
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle shared, into tulip. Thanks buddy for bringing this cellared gem over.

A: a hazy golden straw body, with a white head, low levels of carbonation. Light lacing as well.

S: light wheat and total funk, wow this beer has become quite the epic sour. Lemon notes of zest and orange, blend very well with the acidic body.

T/ M: This aged brew, has developed very well in the realms of sour, a laco acid bit, with barnyard brett. Smooth and light mouthfeel, this is a great base beer for barrel aging and souring.

O: Overall I would have liked to try this brew when fresh, but with a little age, this is one he'll of a sour, intended or not.

GDBEERMAN, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml format; bottled on 08/09/2011.

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: A pale and bright straw yellow bodied beer. The beer has 1 finger worth of white head that drops down to a thin cap.

Smell: Lemons, spicy, funky, wheat, and hay. This is not you standard wit beer! Really nice!

Taste: starts off with moderate lemon tartness. Hint of oranges and granny smith apples. The funkiness hits midpalate on into the finish and I would say the barnyard funk almost matches, but really balances the lemon flavors nicely. Some bready and yeasty notes are found in this beer as well. You do get the spiciness from the nose as a faint pepper and coriender notes. I get oak barrel in the finish and some earthiness to compliment the oak. This is not your standard witbeer...its way better.

Mouthfeel: Almost a medium bodied beer, but I am going to says it on the high end of light bodied. Its heavy for a witbeer anyways. Carbonation levels are moderate. The beer feels heavier than a witbeer, but its still really easy drinking. Its tart, crisp, refreshing, and mildly acidic. Finishes a little bit dry and tart.

Overall: Really enjoyable beer for a hot day. More of a sour than a witbeer, but the two styles overlap. This beer has taken the best charistics from both styles and used them to the beers advantage! Got really lucky finding this beer!

4DAloveofSTOUT, Apr 25, 2012
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Whaleback White from Leelanau Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.