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Old Chico Crystal Wheat - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Chico Crystal WheatOld Chico Crystal Wheat

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

190 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 190
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 16.43%
Wants: 10
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: flexabull on 04-03-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 190 | Reviews: 49
Photo of DrunkEnTraining
1.17/5  rDev -66.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

Unless you are very, very big on pale ales with wheat in them avoid this one.

Photo of Tiffany88
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very refreshing with a nice mouth feel. Heavy on the wheat.

Photo of smakawhat
4.09/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle, into a wheat ale glass.

Deep light bronze body color, crystal clear, with a perfect amount of rising not too fine, not too big sized bubble carbonation. Head is fluffy white, with a big soapy cap, light smooth top, and big island retention of four fingers. Great looking brew.

Really fascinating aroma, hinting more hop forward. Hints of floral and big herbal spicy quality it seems, with a real nice sweet dry clove. Very inviting aroma, but hints almost towards czech style pilsner. When rested sweet malty aromas come out more like a pils than wheat. Doughy and crisp sweetness with a big hint of tangy quality. Smells really delicious.

Palate seems to take itself down a notch. The herbality hints more towards American on the hop angle, flushing out an almost creamy herbality and indistinct fruit and tropical zest. Very clean finish, almost lager like with a good but not great mouthfeel. Crisp body and accentuating the hop quality nicely. Not much sense of chewy wheat density to this.

Overall a real fascinating beer, quite neat and enjoyable.

Photo of Chico1985
3.59/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had to pick up a 6-pack of this while in California for namesake purposes, and always nice to try new/locally unavailable Sierra Nevada of course.

Appearance - Pale yellow body with a puffy cloud of white head. Retention: thick ring, lace: not much.

Smell - Actually some decent (albeit tame) hop presence - I get lemon, grapefruit, and some grassy resin. Cereal/wheat/grain as well, along with just a slight meh/adjunct feel to it.

Taste - Lemon, wheat and grainy flavors all around with some light grassy and spicy hop. Finishes with some cereal and baked bread. Some papery flavors here and there but mostly ignorable.

Mouthfeel - Crisp and light with pleasant extra-foamy carbonation.

Overall - Pretty straightforward American wheat ale, not too much for off-flavors, clean, drinkable and enjoyable. Not the first 6-pack I'd think to reach for but better than most for the style in my opinion.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.15/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a weizen glass.
4.8% ABV

A - Crystal clear, there's no false advertising in the beer's name! This golden brew has a plush white head that covers the glass in clumpy Swiss cheese-looking lacing for a beautiful appearance.

S - Bright and vibrant, Old Chico has an exuberant wheat aroma that capitalizes on the simplicity of the beer, transporting me to a field of wheat gently swaying in the summer breeze.

T - Grainy pale malt comprises a base that's reminiscent of milling grain before brewing and is wonderfully overcome by gentle wheat, which finishes out with a crisp cleanliness.

M - Light bodied, crisp with sparkling carbonation, and refreshing, Old Chico is a beer that demands to be downed on a hot summer day.

O - Sierra Nevada's Old Chico is a crisp and refreshing wheat beer that offers delicious simplicity with crisp and refreshing drinkability. If this beer was distributed here it would be at the top of my summer lawnmower beers list!

Photo of DesertRat
3.52/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip.
A: Weak head confirms this is not a Hef or strong wheat beer. Color is clear, definitely filtered.
S: Light yeast, reminds me of a lager yeast.
T: Very mild. Unsusspectingly noticeable hop middle. Tasting lager yeast on the finish. Interesting and light.
M: Dry and crisp up front, but finishes leaving me wanting a sip of water.
D: Nice alternative if your feeling like a lighter beer to have with food and not interested in a more boring option. By no means a bad beer, I think I was just expecting more.

Photo of DragonXero
3.52/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

To be completely honest, this is a beer that doesn't do anything wrong, but isn't particularly special.

Sierra Nevada doesn't seem to know how to seek a middle ground for their beers. This is a fairly average-tasting wheat beer, but it definitely has its high points.

This is a very lager-tasting beer. There are certainly hints of the wheat left after filtering, but it lacks that gritty mouthfeel of the unfiltered wheat. For many, including myself, that's definitely not a bad thing. I've actually had this both from a botltle and on tap, and both are extremely refreshing. The issue might be that it tastes a bit watery for some who like their beers chewy, but that's pretty much the style here.

Basically, this pours looking like a pretty standard lager. It has a fairly thin head, fair carbonation, and a nice, pretty light-gold color, but it certainly doesn't stand out.

It's a great summer beer, but it definitely doesn't have the consistency to hold up in the fall and winter months, so if you're going to buy a pack, get it while it's scorching outside. There's very little bitter taste, and it finishes quite smoothly.

In short, this isn't the kind of specialty craft beer you pick up to do a tasting with friends. This is something you'd be happier just grabbing a six-pack for yourself and downing it to cool off. Be mindful, however: This does have a fair kick to it, betraying its smooth taste. A six-pack of this will definitely get you further along than the macrobrew lagers, and its less-bitter taste is quite deceptive.

It's a beer you'll probably want to drink more of, simply because the flavor is there, but not overwhelming. It's smooth and crisp, but it will get the job done. It may not be cheap, but it certainly beats the taste of a macrobrew lager.

Photo of vkv822
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz : tulip
bottled May 2nd, 2013

Pours a brilliantly clear, golden with a thick, foamy white head.

Aroma, while pleasant, is quite subdued, with just some faint floral hops and grainy, malty, wheat notes. The taste follows through with pretty much the same profile.

Medium-full body with foamy carbonation.

The taste was not unpleasant, but it was quite subdued, which is what led me to score it as I did.

Photo of JamesQuaff
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gift bottle from the neighbor. Served in a pint glass.

Poured a deep golden-yellow with a 1" head that faded quickly, leaving light lacing. Very clear and clean. Would make a great movie prop for 'glass of beer'. Looks like something either meant to be drunk standing up while outdoors or in a 1930's photo of people drinking beer.

I can smell the wheat, and a different hop profile than I'm used to from Sierra Nevada, much less aggressive. A few faint floral/grassy notes. No off notes, but it's really making me struggle to pick out anything specific. Not particularly aromatic. But I like it. Smells like something that's about to go down smooth.

I'm really digging the taste. The wheat comes on first, intensifies and fades, then the bitterness comes in and lasts through the finish with the tiniest hint of floral sweetness.

Mouthfeel is just right for the style. I was anticipating a bit more bite from the carbonation based on the appearance, but it was quite smooth. Light-bodied and crisp.

Overall a very refreshing, tasty beer. Quite sessionable, but with a good measure of flavor and enough complexity to be interesting. I can see this guesting at a BBQ or two this summer.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to drewone for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, wheat, grains, and some slight hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is light and easy to drink.

Photo of dfillius
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.
A: Moderate pour yields 1/2 finger of pure white head with poor retention; only a thin film remains. Better head retention please. Liquid is crystal clear pale gold.
S: Light apple, ester, yeast mustiness.
T: Delicate. Bready with a gentle but noticeable citrus and apple hop bite in the aftertaste. A bit 2 dimensional in that it is not quite full and round. Not entirely cohesive either.
M: Dry, kind of thin. A bit too dry. made with fresh hops? (not sure why I noted the last sentence in my hand written review)
D: Enjoyable, but I wouldn't order another or buy 6. Maybe I'd grab a second if at a BBQ or something like that.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.27/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Half finger of head, golden transparent color.

A metallic smell with a mild orange.

Soapy taste, orange, banana and lemon.

Crisp and clean body, moderate carbonation.

A good enough beer, maybe for throwing back a couple on a summer day.

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden-yellow color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind some light lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of wheat with some orange zest and other citrus flavors, with some light grassy and floral hops.

T - Starts off some wheat with some lemon and orange peel and bit of citrus hop. Through the middle, some grassy and floral hops come through with a touch of bitterness. The finish is a mix of wheat, lightly sweet malts, with some floral and citrus hops.

M - Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and dry finish.

D - Very drinkable. Feels smooth and very crisp. A good session ale with enough flavor and balance to stay interesting.

Photo of HalfFull
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear blonde with a nice half inch cap of foam.

Nose of wheat and some citric/lemony hops. An intriguing blend of American and German hop character is evident.

Taste is solid and offers a nice lingering finish. Unique for the sttyle with some background spice characteristics.

Feel is solid with a good carbonation, quite lingering on the finish.

Photo of Giovacchini
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- amber with a thin white head that disapates.

S- floral hops, bread, wheat, and citrus.

T- wheat, bread, sweet maltiness, subtle spice, and lemon.

M- mild bitterness, nice carbonation, and a slippery mouthfeel.

O- good drinkable beer from SN but not great. I want to try it on tap.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a clear, golden straw, with a finger width head, dissipates quickly, and leaves behind a fair, sticky lace.

Smell - Primarily wheat, some sweet malt, and a bit of hoppiness. All very basic.

Taste - A little on the hoppy side, but plenty of wheat maltiness shines through. Very plain. Not much outside of a basic wheat, hop, and yeast profile.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body. Decent carbonation.

Overall - A fairly bland, lifeless wheat beer. Drinkable, but nothing outstanding.

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.97/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle tried 9 Jan 2012. Served in the Saint Arnold wheat glass.

Large light yellowish head. Well carbonated. Clear bright yellow in color. Aroma is light, wheat, mineral, slightly fruity tart. Relatively light in flavor as well. Some mineral and lemon to start. Medium body. Light ethanol. A pithy bitterness in the finish and aftertaste.

Well balanced. Easy to drink.

Photo of raynmoon
3.34/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's completely clear and light gold in color. Very small head that disappeared pretty quickly. Looks like a typical Macro lager but slightly more orange in color.

It smells very grainy, a little grassy maybe? Sweet malts.

The taste is much better than the appearance and the aroma. Really crisp, a little bitter, but refreshing.

Overall it is pretty nice. Reminds me of some pilsners I've had. Not the greatest offering from Sierra Nevada, but worth trying. The packaging definitely sells it.

Photo of mactrail
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A hoppy and light-bodied beer. Dry and biscuity wheat malt taste. Nice nose of hops with a lingering but restrained bitterness. Just a touch of flowers. It is fairly sharp on the tongue, starts out well carbonated, but flattens out fairly rapidly. Looks nice in the glass with the light amber color.

Certainly one of the better entries in this often anemic category. Flavorful and a good choice for a lighter alcohol version.

Photo of kaseydad
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear yellow (dare I say pee) ale with a fizzy white head. The smell is definitely cracklin wheat and a whiff of light lemon. Not getting anything else here. Yikes…I might even be getting some cereal like characteristics. Uh-oh. The taste is wheat…and more wheat with a healthy dose of hoppiness on each sip. Slightly peppery but not all unpleasant. Nothing of note on the mouthfeel. A tad thin. Overall I was not overly impressed with this offering. If you are a wheat loving person….this is your beer. I could see myself partaking of this on a hot summer day washing cars…or the dog but otherwise I would pass. Cool label though. Rustic and just plain cool.

Photo of williamjbauer
2.98/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A light golden-amber color
S Medium wheat scent with light pine overall very light scent
T First strong wheat flavor with citrus tones afterward
M Pretty smooth mouthfeel

Overall - best drank on a hot summer day, an average wheat beer, I'd drink it if it was on sale or a gift :)

Photo of Zorro
3.06/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear golden colored ale with a medium sized white head.

Smells of wheat cracker and lemon with a slight citrus funk. Truthfully the scent is very light.

Starts out light and mildly sweet with a wheat cracker flavor. Slight vanilla and caramel flavors. This is lightly flavored and fizzy, pretty much a lawnmower beer.

Mouthfeel is light.

Overall this is OK and a good choice for treating thirst. This is just a light wheat ale.

Photo of harrymel
3.29/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled around 01DEC11

A: pours a brilliant straw ale with a finger of fine, white foam. This falls to a sheet of the same leaving soapy lace.
S: Wheat, grain, dust, some earthy crispness. It seems to have a decent pilsner tone with subdued earthen hops.
T: Some sweet cereal flavors with a bit of crispy pizzazz that provides a slight peppery flavor. I can dig.
M: thin with hi carb and a dry finish.
O: Really a drinkable beer. I wouldn't got too far outta my way to drink it, but if it were 100F outside, I'd be happy to split a pitcher.

Photo of ales4baldo
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation- nice bottle. Shows the brewery or what seems to be the old one. Nice.

Appearance- really clear. A soft light gold like color. Like an apple juice almost.

Smell- not really getting much. Yeast and wheat are present. Minimal hops. Normal.

Taste- Lots of wheat for sure. Clean. Subtle.

Mouthfull- Nice carbonation. Has a lot of it too. Clean and bubbly. Finishes nice and somewhat dry.

Overall- Not bad for a wheat beer. I don't drink much of these types of beer but it's pretty good. It's really mellow, good drinking beer. I like.

Photo of Bobheed
3.52/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Very clear bright yellow. About a two finger bright white head, lots of bubbling.

S: Wheat. Actually reminded me of the smell of whole wheat flour, a bit of fruitiness from the hops as well.

T: Very refreshing, crisp, smooth, definitely get the wheat malts, some small hop bitterness.

M: Highly carbonated, but still goes down like water.

This is what we call a river beer. Not too complex, but still a great, refreshing beer to enjoy out on the river.

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Old Chico Crystal Wheat from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 190 ratings.