Whaleback White - Leelanau Brewing Company
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 52 | Display Reviews Only:
4.43/5 rDev +9.1%
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.
07-29-2007 02:10:18 | More by Gueuzedude
4.4/5 rDev +8.4%
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.
09-11-2006 22:54:24 | More by nortmand
4.58/5 rDev +12.8%
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.
06-19-2006 03:58:44 | More by ypsifly
4.35/5 rDev +7.1%
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.
06-01-2006 15:13:33 | More by meathookjones
4/5 rDev -1.5%
Thanks to hopdog for opening this up...
Appears a pale yellow with a small white head. Little spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of tart apple with wheat and some oaky, wild brew with lemon, and clove.
Taste is of the same aromas.
Mouthfeel is tart and dry.
hopdog opened up a Calabaza Blanca side by side b/c I was suspicious about this being the same brew. The Calabaza Blanca is more sugary, with pronounced orange(while this was lemony), and less tart than this.
05-19-2006 17:45:13 | More by weeare138
3.63/5 rDev -10.6%
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
04-22-2006 20:19:04 | More by walleye
4.03/5 rDev -0.7%
750ml bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...
Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a big-bubbled 1 1/2" white head over the cloudy straw brew. Head snow-cones above the top of the glass, leaving heavy foam coats of lacing. Aroma is spices and citrus. Taste is quite tarts, but the spices and wheat take the edge off, making it all work quite well together. Mouthfeel is smooth, even with the tartness, and drinkability is good as well. I'm not the world's biggest appreciator of wits, but this one makes me rethink that position. Nice stuff.
12-11-2005 18:11:04 | More by ppoitras
3.55/5 rDev -12.6%
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.
09-19-2005 23:43:42 | More by mjohn27603
3.85/5 rDev -5.2%
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.
09-06-2005 08:54:26 | More by Gaisgeil
4/5 rDev -1.5%
The new offering from Leelanau Brewing Co. contract brewed by Jolly Pumpkin. I had to get it. I pour immediately upon taking this beer from the fridge. Bright yellow color, somewhat hazy along with an airy, volumnous, somewhat fizzy head. Aroma is muted by the coldness of which I first try this beer and so is taste. When ice cold all I really get is a fruit sweetness with a lemony accent. A bit winelike. But after 10-20 minutes this beer really opens up and the flavors meld together. Aroma is yeasty, a bit sour, some coriander in there, and herbal tealike notes. Flavors work together really well. Soft yet full bodied, yeasty yet fruity and a bit hoppy. Really bubbly in the mouth. Spices underlying in there come out towards the dry finish. The yeasty flavor gives this beer a sourness one normally wouldn't find with the other flavors. Some could really like it and some could really hate it. It took me about a glass and a half to really get used to it. More citrus flavors as the beer comes out. The finish also has quite a bit of acidity to it. Finish is clean and rounds out the flavors well. This beer could improve with age except I don't know if the abv will allow it to. I guess I'll have to come back to another bottle and find out some time down the line.
08-24-2005 18:15:21 | More by granger10
3.75/5 rDev -7.6%
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."
08-11-2005 18:28:29 | More by putnam
Whaleback White from Leelanau Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.