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Vernal - Element Brewing Company

Not Rated.
VernalVernal

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

51 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 51
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 15.55%
Wants: 4
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Element Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  11.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: connecticutpoet on 04-02-2011

Dunkel Wheatwine.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 | Reviews: 17
Reviews by connecticutpoet:
Photo of connecticutpoet
4.37/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the neck label:

"This Dunkel Wheat Wine brewed with Element's house yeast, local maple syrup, and Pioneer Valley grown and malted organic wheat, uses a generous dose of Pacific Northwest hops to infuse crisp citrus flavors into Element's spring offering."

Please serve @ 283.15°K (50°F / 10°C)

Bottle 410 of 564.

I've been waiting for this one since trying 6:56 at the brewery and finally getting to meet Dan face to face. I'd like to think the maple syrup came from a suggestion I made, but I know these guys think WAY outside the box all the time, with delicious results.

After the shortest struggle with one of their corks I've ever had, a nice pour into my pint glass produced a one finger head atop a deep orange-amber, hazy body with plenty of tiny floaters. Gotta love bottle conditioning.

Aroma way many-layered. Strong malt aromas were up front, followed by sweet clean wheat. A spicy/peppery hop aroma followed, which shifted into citrus further down. I could detect some maple way down at the bottom. As it warmed, the sweetness came out more, along with some syrupy scents.

Taste started out bitter with the first swallow, first pine hops and resins, then citrus. By the third swallow, malt came forward more. Sweetness didn't make it through until several more swallows, and it was subtle. The more I drank, the more the malt began to express itself, and it balanced out more. At the moment, I don't know what the ABV is, but I can't detect it in the taste.

Mouthfeel was full, chewy, thick and somewhat oily. Yet it doesn't cling to the tongue.

Overall, a well put together beer. One that is good now, and probably will become even better with a year or two in the cellar.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ComputerBeer
4.75/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Some maple in the nose? The flavor is where the wheat presence really kicks in. There is an immediate dark wheat presence, followed by the sweet malt, maple mid tones , herbal hops finish with a lingering maple presence.

The mouthfeel is medium-high coating on the palate which as at times sweet, at times drying, and ultimately smooth.

I am impressed with this beer. Local is good, flavors are good, overall a very solid brew! ( Do agree this was an easy cork to remove)

Photo of Ommy
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden brown with a small bubbly head which dissipates quickly. The beer is slighly cloudy, looks delicious!

On the nose i get intense fruity banana notes. The hops are faint and with the malts only slightly more present.

The taste is a little different than I expected, but it's not a bad thing! This is a very different beer, lots of mouthful fruitiness, but in a dark, more complex way, not like berries.

The taste of this beer is so interesting... Though maybe it is because I haven't had many, if any dunkel wheat beers.

Mouthfeel is good, light body with crisp carbonation.

Photo of claspada
2.63/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled at a recent tasting; bottled in May 2011 from what I recall.

Pours a hazy orange color with a big fluffy head that fades semi-slowly with nice lacing.

Aromas begin with sweet lemon citrus and blood orange fruitiness. As it warms I get a little more pale bready maltiness and prominent sour wheat maltiness as well.

The tastes are really sweet and syrupy. There is a boat ton of sour and sweet honey maltiness. Booze and light yeast esters emerge as it warms which just adds another undesirable flavor blend to the already unpleasant mix. There is a lingering bitterness on the back as well yet it it still super sweet.

Mouthfeel is fulkl bodied with low carbonation. This is way too thick and syrupy and cloying for my palate.

Overall this way just a huge miss for me. Maybe it is still too young and the sweetness and unbalanced flavor profile will further meld together, but I am skeptical. Not recommended and definitely not worth seeking out in my opinion.

Photo of ppoitras
4.68/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle purchased at Atkins Farm, Hadley, MA. Cool informative paper wrap, corked and caged. Hangtag notes bottle date of March 4, 2011, and is #254 of 564.

Poured into a DFH snifter, formed a 1/2" tan head over the almost clear reddish copper brew. Head fades gradually, but quite admirable for the style, leggy with lasting lace. Aroma is sweet, boozy, and fruity.

Taste starts sweet, dark fruit in the middle, and then a maple sugar flavor at the close that is unlike any I've experienced in a brew. As if I melted a maple candy in my mouth with the mouthful of brew. Slight bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, and drinkability is sipping but definitely keeps you coming back for more. This brew surprised me, even better than hoped.

Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rudzud for sharing this. Bottle 312, march 4th.

Pours a big fluffy head that fades semi slowly with lacing over yeast and sentiment hazy auburn copper brown color.

Nose has nice brown sweet toasty malts, maple, brown sugar, molasses, light booze and esters, some light candy and mild earthy chewy hops, lots of toffee and caramel.

Taste is sweet, light esters and booze jump out front, hint of phenols too, then sweet malts, brown sugar, syrups like molasses, caramel, toffee, lots of maple, crystal malts, brown light toasty malts, then come hops with a bitterness, some earthy chewy hops, light candy hops. Finishes still fairly sweet, a light musty grape seed and biscuit taste later, some fresh grains taste, lingering bitterness and sweet malts, maple.

Mouth is heavier bodied, surprisingly decent carb, some warming booze.

Overall pretty good, some booze esters, sweet, nice bitterness to sweet malt and syrup ratio, the hop flavor could have been a bit more dominant.

Photo of AgentZero
2.76/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to MasterSki for sharing this one. Name sounds like some sort of STD.

A - Burnt copper colored beer with a fairly good-sized white head that left a bit of lace on the sides.

S - Maple syrup adds a ton of sweetness. There's a bit of hops and some spice along with citrus. Not a big fan of the citrus and maple. Not a fan of wheatwines in general and this isn't doing anything to make me feel better about them.

T - A bit of maple and too much earthy tones and bitter hops. I really don't dig this citrus and maple together, just kind of weird.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O - I don't really care for the taste of this beer, and it is kind of hard to drink. Kind of a weird combination of maple, citrus, and hops. Not working for me, and don't care to have this again.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.03/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a shaker pint glass.

Thanks to cbeer88 for this bottle!

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF 7. Figured I'd bring this over to my Hallowe'en shindig, share some blind fun with others. This stuff pours a clear smoky topaz topped by a finger of relatively short-lived sienna foam. The nose comprises honey, light maple syrup, light clove, and a touch of rye bread. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a touch of wheat and a large amount of waxy orange rind. The bitterness of the latter really detracts from the overall experience for me (others in the room felt otherwise). The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a generally smooth feel. Overall, an alright wheatwine, but one that suffers from overly high bitterness. I do like the approach of a dunkel-wheatwine, though...

Photo of WanderingFool
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vernal pours a clear, amber color with a small, creamy off white head on top. The foam disappears quickly leaving a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is subdued, but has notes of maple, dark fruit and caramel.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is smooth, slightly chewy with mild carbonation. The flavor is sweet with lots of maple sweetness. Dark fruit, bread and caramel are also present. It finishes mildly bitter with a touch of hot alcohol. The maple lingers on the palate when gone.

This beer reminded me of a maple candy. Very sweet and easy to drink.

Photo of scottfrie
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into Portsmouth snifter. Thanks, wyllder. Bottle #50, March 4, 2011. Split with Abel.

A: Pours a murky mahogany color with a thin dark tan head that slowly faded into a fuzzy film that left some soapy spots of lacing down the glass.
S: I get lightly sweet notes of dark fruits, caramel, citrus hops and sugary maple. Smooth.
T: Fruit juices, leather, pear, spices, sweet caramel, hop resin, raisin. Vanilla in aftertaste, with hints of maple in finish.
M: Thick body, smooth and slick mouthfeel, with even, light, carbonation.
O: Much milder than expected. Clean and smooth for a wheatwine. I’m usually not a huge fan of the style but this was very drinkable.

Photo of Dope
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 3/14/2011. Almost a year and a half old.

A: Pours a very dark amber with a good sized frothy tan head. Fades quickly leaving nice lacework behind.

S: Lots of maple syrup. Dare I say a little brown sugar? Other than that just some bready wheat. Maybe a hint of molasses.

T: A touch of maple syrup and caramel up front, then it's loaded with ridiculous amounts of bread. Literally like drinking bread. On the back end there is again a bit of sweet maple once the bread fades. Some bitterness lingers in the aftertaste, I'm not sure exactly what it's from - maybe resinous hops? Slightest bite of alcohol in the finish as well.

M: Fairly heavy and smooth.

O: It's not bad at all. Just very simple and one dimensional. Bread and maple syrup and a touch of bitterness to round it out. Maple is quite nice, I will admit.

Photo of rudzud
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at Russell's in Amherst back in march. This bottle is bottle number 312 shared with Jlindros. Not a bad interval.

A - Poured into a Samuel adams perfect pint glass a gentle hazy amber with a creamy two finger head that fades to leave very good side lacing. Suspended particles in time ...just like the label states. Actually this might be the best interval appearance yet.

S - nice maple notes with some light wheat as well as slightly floral hops. The ABV definitely present on the nose

T - nice and sweet thanks to those great malts and maple syrup. A slight medicinal hop bitterness. Its an interesting flavor profile that works with this element offering.

M - Only typical knock is the mouthfeel which is my usual complaint with all element interval. Nit flat but quite lowly carbonated . Slightly heavy and syrupy but to be expected

O - Overall I didn't think this beer is not that bad. That being said I'm not a fan of spending $16 for this. Still not the worst interval I've had. Would like to get another bottle to age and see what happens with the flavors.

Photo of capeannbass36
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 65 of 564...bottled in March 2011.

A- Pours a brilliant reddish orange, copper color, topped with a finger and a half off white head that slowly fades away. Medium light lacing throughout.

S- Sweet malt, sugar and booze.

T- Sweet malt, sugar and booze. ABSOLUTELY NO MAPLE?? Slightly bitter, metallic aftertaste.

M- Medium light carbonation. Coats mouth with an odd aftertaste. Cannot figure out.

O- Not gross. But....kind of a letdown. a bit disappointing due to price paid. NOT CHEAP. Sat on this since last spring. Surprised that I taste NO MAPLE. Booze seems higher than advertised ABV.

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours clear and brown with no head. No lacing either. Dull coloring.

S-Maple syrup all over the place. Sugary sweet with the whole 'brown sugar,caramel, molasses' bill.

T-So much Maple syrup. The first few sips were very cool, then the second half of the glass really became cloying.

M-Every sip lowered the beer's drinkability. It really weighs on you over time.

O/D-Started high and ended low but the overall experience was fun. Happy to have tried it.

Photo of MasterSki
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Reagan1984 for sending this one my way. I liked the other Element offerings I've tried so I was looking forward to this one. Served in a Hill Farmstead tulip glass. Bottle #486 of 564.

A - Quick-dissolving white foam settles to a very thin ring, leaving spotty lace behind. Dark brown-red body that is largely opaque.

S - Maple is certainly present, along with some herbal hops, a hint of alcohol, wheat, caramel, and some spicy yeast as well. It smells nearly exactly as described on the label, but the combination of aromas isn't very cohesive.

T - Taste is less pleasant. There's a hint of initial maple sweetness that migrates to faint citrus hops, and then finally disintegrates to roasted malt and herbal hop bitterness.

M - Medium-full body, slightly grainy texture with some residual stickiness as well. Medium-low carbonation, and some alcohol warmth.

D - The alcohol isn't very well hidden for a beer that is only 9.2%, and this drinks quite heavy - I actually thought it was stronger. While the flavor and aroma are largely what is described by the label, the components seem to clash, and the bitter finish is just plain unpleasant. I didn't really want more than a few ounces of this one. I'd perhaps try it again to see if the alcohol and hop flavors dissipate, but I didn't really enjoy the other flavors enough to think that it might turn into a great (or even good) beer.

Photo of Auror
4.23/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Popped this open to kickstart a party last Friday. Bottles are numbered (mine was #24 out of 564).
Poured from a bottle into a tall souvenir glass at room temperature.

A- Not my best pour ever resulted in a thick fluffy head on top of a hazy, awesome burnt-umber colored beer. I really dug the look of this beer.

S- A random person who had not seen the bottle or knew what I was drinking (and not a BA by any stretch) picked out the maple syrup on the first try, so there's definitely that. Also some cirtus notes.

T- Everything the bottle promises comes through. Wheat/malt, maple syrup, pacific hops, citrus flavors. There is some alcohol also, but not to an unpleasant degree. It was slightly hoppier than I expected as a "Dunkel Wheat Wine", but I wouldn't exactly say it was "hoppy".

M- Medium body and low carbonation. Very smooth in the mouth.

Overall- Definitely a sipper. I really dug this beer. Most maple syrup drinks/beers taste odd to me, but somehow the balance of the citrus hops really worked with the earthy maple and wheat sweetness. At nearly $20 a bottle, it isn't cheap, but if you can snag one of these and split it with someone it is definitely worth trying.

Photo of Reagan1984
2.97/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottled 3/4/11
Bottle # 464 of 564

Poured into my DFH huge goblet as the bottle suggested a wide mouth glass. A finger+ of pillowy biege head forms and then changes texture and becomes more fizzy as it slowly collapses. Dull amber color with some ruby notes. A real deep color.

Aroma is svery rich and hangs heavily in your nostrils. I do get some maple along with a lot of fruit. A little black cherry perhaps. This may sound a little strange, but I keep thinking of Arrogant Bastard. Yeah, the more I think about it, the aroma really reminds me of that.

Should have let this age a little more. Still a bit too much alcohol up front. Alcohol gives way to fruit notes then moves through a moment of maple. Bitterness then mingles with a second showing of alcohol.
The wheat provides a bit of a dry, almost crisp/clipped finish. Sometimes a malty beer tastes like dirty dish water smells. This has a twinge of that.

Medium bodied, the opposite of slick. Not astringent, but not "wet" if you know what I mean.

I'm a little disappointed here. The description of this was right up my alley. It just didn't work nearly as well as I had hoped.

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Vernal from Element Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.