Whaleback White - Leelanau Brewing Company

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Whaleback WhiteWhaleback White

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BA SCORE
89
very good

52 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 52
Hads: 94
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 29
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:
Beer added by: putnam on 08-11-2005

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 52 | Hads: 94
Photo of rtepiak
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

definately unorthodox. no hint of the typical corinador and orangepeel. color on the lighter side... lemony straw. similar funk as the jollypumpkin wit, but not as much hoppiness and oak interaction. lighter in funk. crisp think head. almost champange like with good density... lacy, contract slowly into light califlower curds... great volume! cirtus, oregano, oak. lighter on the wheat... nice summer michigan style artisan brew for meat. farmhouse funk works different, will try again to break the witbeir convention. (520 characters)

Photo of paco1029384756
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light gold color with a short off white head and a lot of carbonation.

Scent of citrus, orange peel, spices, yeast, some funk and a bit of sourness.

Taste of citrus, orange peel, funk, and some sourness. Strange for a Wit style, but I like it.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and heavily carbonated. (304 characters)

Photo of putnam
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale papery yellow with a busy explosion of gas, though no foam. Certainly citrus and brown spices are in here. Watermelon candy and dry doughy scents emerge. Dry as a cracker and sour as a lemon. Glycerin-rich texture is tucked in with relaxed fizz, mellow ripe lemon acidity and wood tannin (presumably from wood.) This is an open, leafy, loose-knit wit, with aromas and back flavors of over-ripe citrus and under-ripe dessert apples. Wilderness flavors of decomposing fruit, leaves and wood tends to dominate the musclebound, root-flavored structure.

This is a completely original take on a Wit as far as I know. Sour and oaky: like stereotypical Wit bred with Lambic. Probably ideal with garden vegetables and fatty seafood.

"Brewed and bottled exclusively for the Leelanau Brewing Company by Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales LLC, Dexter Michigan." (852 characters)

Photo of craytonic
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice hay-straw-ellow golden pour with great chambagne carbonation. Good white head that sticks around.

Smell: Never would have guessed that this was a witbier; nice earthy spiciness with lemon, orange and coriander with some sort of floral notes. Very very faint funkiness but a nice nod.

Taste: Slight lemon-tartness, with lemon and orange followed by coriander and other spices with perhaps a faint oakiness in the back. Very very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Nice champagne- bubble light carbonation keeps it spritzy and drinkable.

Overall: I really enjoyed this one, more so than most jolly pumpkin offerings. They need to make more and send it my way. (661 characters)

Photo of BierFan
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass.

Large off-white head dominated the glass. Body of the beer is a hazy bright yellow. Sour and ctric, a little bit of oakiness once the head has settled. The sourness no doubt comes from the oak aging it underwent at Jolly Pumpkin where it was exposed to Brettanomyces. Certainly tastes unlike any other white ale I've had. The Brett dominates the flavor, but I think the sourness really lends itself well to the witbier style. (472 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (682 characters)

Photo of ypsifly
4.59/5  rDev +14.2%
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. (753 characters)

Photo of seaoflament
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to hoppymeal for sending me these Leelanau beers, I've had them in my wants for a while and was really excited to try them. Shared this one last night at La Bella with Danny and Joey.

Poured a slightly hazy apricot color with a quarter inch of foam.

Brett on the nose with some oak, lemons, coriander, orange, very floral, pineapple, nectarine, peach, also very fruity, and some white pepper. Nice light brett aroma, hay, grapes and a bit of sweat too. Very appetizing and well balanced, could wait to take a sip of this beer.

Tart lemon on the front, wheat, orange, grapefruit, pear, peach, nectarines, grapes, more wheat flavors, lots of fruit in this one. Lightly spiced, lactic, and yeast flavors too. Nice dryness in the finish and very crisp, would make an awesome summer drink.

The carbonation was nearly perfect, very creamy, effervescent and lively on the palate with a soft fizz. The $10 price per 500ml is a shame because I would love to get a couple of these. (982 characters)

Photo of walleye
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from the bottle. poured a lemonade with a big bubbly white head, that left some lacing. aoma big yeast lemony, sourness, coriander, and some other spices that I could not figure out what they were do to the sourness masking them. flavor big hit of lemon and surpisingly got some nice sweetness, than the yeast. I would of like this yeasterday after I got done mowing the lawn very refreshing and easy drinking. but just wondering since this was brewed by Jolly Pumpkin which of thier bers is this close to? I do not recall any of thier beers tasting like this (559 characters)

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, soft yellow color, with nice white huge-bubbles carbonation head.

The smell is a bit tart and fruity, reminds me of an wheat ale with something a little zestier added to it.

It tastes great. Your typical white ale, accompanied by the zesty orange and lemon peel flavor, coriander, and something leaving a tart, almost souring flavor that is somewhat similar to yogurt. Not meaning to make it sound bad, as that is only noticed spottedly, and when really savoring the flavor. It tastes pretty darned good, and has a crisp, clean finish. Finishes similarily to dry champagne, and very bubbly throughout.

Mouthfeel is thin and light, but beer is still quite flavorful. Nice abundance of carbonation throughout this beer makes it even more enjoyable and molds nicely with the dry finish. I really like this one, wish they would sell it in twelve ounce bottles. (873 characters)

Photo of GDBEERMAN
4.3/5  rDev +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. (649 characters)

Photo of nortmand
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
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. (364 characters)

Photo of shroompod
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a rocky white meringue head that lasts the whole glass. Cloudy light yellow in color.

Aroma of light citrus rinds and a slight musty funkiness.

Flavors of coriander, tart fruity wheat , and orange peel are evident.

Mouthfeel is creamy, light with good carbonation.

Overall an easy drinking beer , recommended. (326 characters)

Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Surprised to see this is brewed at Jolly Pumpkin.

Milky golden yellow body, fluffy white head. A little dark for a white ale.

Strong lemon, belgian esters coriander and a little bubblegum aroma.

Taste follows the nose with a strong lemon flavor. Zesty and crisp on the finish. Some coriander and esters in the background. Very refreshing but people could be taken back by the powerful lemony-ness of this beer. (414 characters)

Photo of SykDoc
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a pale yellow color. A two inch white head forms and slowly reduces to a healthy full coverage lacing. Definite visible carbonation and no sediment.

The aroma is quite good and has a healthy sourness to it. There are notes of coriander, white pepper, and orange rind, as well as some wheat and grass components.

The taste is a bit mild to me. There is the healthy dose of sour, which is quite pleasant. There are again, notes of coriander and orange, as well as lemon and yeast. Good but could be thicker.

The mouthfeel is fairly light bodied with a good dose of carbonation, which highlights the flavor. It is crisp and clean with just a little dryness left over.

This is a good beer. It is easy to drink and could be enjoyed any time of the year. There are just a couple spots that keep it from being really good. (868 characters)

Photo of Gaisgeil
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As wits go, this one is pretty darn tasty and I usually just don't care for the style, but this one really helps me to appreciate them quite a bit.

Pours a very nice hazy gold in color with a tightly formed fluffy white head with great retention. Nose is quite grainy, a bit fruity but not overly so. Taste is a bit sour and spicy, just enough to make the flavors come through but not in an overpowering way. Some citrus tartness combine with the spice well, end note is quite dry with a medium nicely carbonated mouthfeel. Quite balanced and highly drinkable, Jolly Pumpkin makes some very nice beer.

Slàinte! (617 characters)

Photo of mjohn27603
3.55/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours faint yellow in color out of the bottle. Very light in color. Loads of carbonation. The beer continues to fizz long after pouring. Beer has sour aroma, slightly grassy in odor. Beer has a sour taste and a bit of fruit like lemon. Sharp tart taste. Finish is a bit on the dry side. The taste leaves you not very refreshed after drinking. (342 characters)

Photo of techfed87
4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
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! (409 characters)

Photo of BieresDesMoines
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had one of those "you know you're a beer geek when" moments when my heart nearly leapt from my chest when i found this gem on a store shelf in Chicago. Pours a nice golden color of course at the beginning of the bottle with perfect clarity, as the bottle drained of course it became hazier and hazier, but no less beautiful. The head is medium white and leaves some lace. The aroma is very funky with some lemon rind and a slight alcohol character. There is some good barnyard aromas along with some citrus and new oak. The flavor follows perfectly dry with that essential lemon rind character. This beer is all kinds of tart with plenty of sourness however it has some great fruitiness and a mild malty and spicy character to it as well. Everything about this beer works in this sort of perfect unison. Of course you can tell that Jolly Pumpkin house character is in there, but I can't wait to see what these folks do at their own brewery, they'll be standing on the shoulders of a giant no doubt. I wish I could drink this beer every single day, multiple times a day. The cost of something like this is of course is one of the biggest arguing points for working on your homebrewing chops. (1,192 characters)

Photo of vrazionale
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
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. (1,400 characters)

Photo of Scoobydank
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L:Bright yellow color. Very cloudy with a ton of sentiment floating around. The head is a bright white, two fingers.
S: I struggled a bit with the smell on this beer. All I could pick up was a very faint lemon citrus
T: Really tart up front. The tartness is a good lemon zest though.
M: Really sharp fizz on the front of the tounge.
D: This is a good refreshing beer to drink in the summer. Nothing to spectacular, but good (424 characters)

Photo of davedahl
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Interesting blend of sweet and funk.

The Leelanau beers, if I recall, are brewed on contract by the folks at Jolly Pumpkin and it shows in the brettomyces influence. The bottle I bought was a 1/2L bottle I picked up from the terrific people at Siciliano's Market in Grand Rapids MI.

It pours a bright golden color with a slight chill-haze that dissipates as it nears room temperature. At that point it becomes brilliantly clear even more golden. The fluffy white head consists of very tiny tightly-packed bubbles that dissipates slowly to a thin single-layer of bubbles. No lacing. A smattering of tiny bubbles continue to come from the bottom of the glass for the duration.

The aroma is strongly a wet blanket and horse. A slight bite in the nose that might be cinnamon or the cardamon that the bottle suggests.

It drinks with more bold funk but balanced with lots of nice fresh apples, citrus, and a pinch of black pepper.

Mouthfeel is largely dry - a little lingering tartness from the apply-fruit and funk.

Complex, but seemed like it needed something to "bring it all together". Maybe some citrusy Cascade hops? Definitely see it out. (1,145 characters)

Photo of BeaBeerWife
4.42/5  rDev +10%
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!!! (250 characters)

Photo of cmadd
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (610 characters)

Photo of sbrotschul
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this bottle up at House of 1000 Beers (http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/15450) in New Kensington, PA. It was my first time in the store, so I picked up a few guilty pleasures beer -- including three from Leelanau Brewing Company. I had lived in the county and know of the brewers through friends. This was my first time trying their beer.

Appearance. A great bottle, a fun pour. A really interesting witbier -- which made me think of champange -- all that was missing was the cork. Start of the bottle was clear to the yellow; end of the bottle was hazy to the muddled orange.

Smell. Not a typical witbier. Fruity, fun.

Taste. As close to champagne as you get with a beer ... nice!

Mouthfeel. Bubbly, nice, strong.

Overall. A good selection from Leelanau Brewing Company. (788 characters)

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Whaleback White from Leelanau Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.