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Willy Wheat Ale - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Willy Wheat AleWilly Wheat Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

142 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 142
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 3.31
pDev: 15.71%
Wants: 0
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
An American Wheat ale. More than half the malt used is White Wheat known for a sweetness not found in red wheat or malted barley. Unfiltered and easy to drink.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 142 | Reviews: 49 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TrojanRB:
Photo of TrojanRB
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%

TrojanRB, Apr 13, 2014
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Cynic-ale, Jan 03, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev +13.3%

chinchill, Jul 20, 2014
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3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

mrelizabeth, Apr 19, 2012
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3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Sammy, Jan 19, 2014
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2.75/5  rDev -16.9%

emilylee, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of nickd717
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber from K&L Redwood City. I was so excited to see Alpine there that I just had to buy this one.

All right, time to Free Willy, or as iTunes' idiotic censorship algorithm puts it, Free W***y. Willy comes out of the bottle looking the color of, well, something that came out of a willy: pee. If not for the fact that it had better head retention than the infamous yellow liquid, I would be a little wary of drinking this. The beer is crystal clear and I don't see much to differentiate it from, say, Budweiser.

The aroma is wheaty, grainy, and subtle. Just a little citrus, without much real hop presence.

The flavor is also very simple. Wheaty and grainy with sweet pale malt and lemon. Very mildly sweet and not very bitter - not much of anything really. This is subtle as all hell.

Very smooth on the mouthfeel. Goes down almost like air. Fairly dry mouthfeel with a body on the lighter side.

Overall, well, I guess it's decent for what it is. Session beer? HELL NO! Not a session beer! There are British people who would kill me for claiming that, being >4.000% ABV. It is sessionable, or successionable, though.

nickd717, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of trubeernick
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

trubeernick, Aug 10, 2014
Photo of terpinsd
3/5  rDev -9.4%

terpinsd, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of HalfFull
3.58/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a growler picked up at the brewery less than a week ago. Pours a clear(unfiltered?) deep straw with a short lived half inch of head. Lacing is likewise light but present, along with a surface ring. Closer to a Kristalweizen in appearance, this beer isn't pretending to foray into the Hefeweizen arena as are many of the style.

Smells of light malt, wheat germ, wet bread dough and a drop of vanilla. I pick up an occasional tiny bit of sour lemony funk. Minor enough that I won't find it if I seek it.

Taste is smooth and crisp with definite wheat on the palate as well as a subtle and light hazelnut in the background. A light sweetness closes with some nondescript fruit flavors. Mouth feel is good as the beer has a light yet decent structure in the finish and a good carbonation. This, along with the light ABV make it quite drinkable, yet not extreme for the style.

A nice non pretentious and subtle ale that likely gets frequented during those hot summer months in Alpine.

HalfFull, Dec 17, 2008
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3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

GRG1313, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of KYGunner
3.75/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Some times you find a beer that may not be immensely complex or for that matter it may never win an award, but it delivers a very satisfying and delicious experience. This is one of those beers. The body holds a clean honey complexion while the nose and flavor mirror that. Fresh wheat malt, honey sweetness, a touch of bran or barley and a soft perfumey flower petal meet the nose and palate. The feel is very clean and easy and though it drinks like water it is never watery. Perfect for hot weather or to be a simple sessionable ale.

KYGunner, Jul 01, 2014
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3.25/5  rDev -1.8%

LakerLeith, Jun 29, 2014
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3/5  rDev -9.4%

jlb502, Nov 15, 2011
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3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

DrHoptagon, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of TexIndy
3.05/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a weizen glass. No dating info but Milt picked this up at the brewery and shipped it so it's fresh. Was a slightly hazy pale yellow color with massive carb streams. It had a good sized white head that settled into a constant small foam cap. Quick sliding lace with some sticking.

The aroma was very weak. Lemon, wheat and not much else. Alpine usually has such good aromas but this one is way off the mark. The taste followed the aroma. Weak with lemon and wheat. The whole thing seems to be dumbed down to just be easy to put down without much consideration on the aroma or taste. It probably has a home but I'm way down the road from this one. Mouthfeel was light and a little watery.

Overall, a miss from an outstanding brewery. Just didn't have anything there to grab onto. Not available here - got shipped as an extra to fill out the box full of Ned's. Rotation - one is enough as they have more more excellent beers to have when out west. [N;N]

TexIndy, May 22, 2010
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3.25/5  rDev -1.8%

HoldenDurden, Apr 04, 2014
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3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

BuckTuckian, Jul 16, 2014
Photo of smakawhat
3.2/5  rDev -3.3%

Poured from the bottle into a wheat ale glass.

Thin head, off white, and very fleeting, barely makes a finger off the pour. Settles to a very thin puck, but gives a thin slightly hazy barely golden lemon body. Lots of carbonation, but barely keepin a two milimeter collar alive. Beer looks a little dead on arrival.

Aroma is not particularly impressive. Slightly dough malts but an off sense of rancid grain a bit. Manages a husky quality but there's an off sensation that almost borders vegetative character. Some decent quality and faint sweetness and chew hiding, but totally buried. Very borderline could go either way.

Palate mentions to show up. A surprising splash of lemon citrus and density, but an extremely fleeting palate. All the flavor is in the aftertaste. Bakery white bread finish and dough. Surprisingly very wet texture, with a flattened soda like carbonation. Warmth brings a bit more controlled flavor and drinkability, as the chewy character seems to build.

There's a good beer in here screaming to show up, but it just doesn't get out. Much better APWAs out there, and unfortunate bit of underwhelming brew from Alpine. Still drinkable.

smakawhat, Aug 19, 2014
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3/5  rDev -9.4%

TheRealDBCooper, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of CEDAMA
3.75/5  rDev +13.3%

CEDAMA, Apr 13, 2012
Photo of jsanford
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%

jsanford, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
2.7/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz Bomber served right out of the fridge and poured into a Pint Glass

A – Poured a very nice and crystal clear amber color with a very nice three finger high head of fizzy and foamy white froth across the top. Very nice retention as this hung around for a good few moments before finally settling down into a thin pillow of white the reached across the entire top of the glass and started to coat the sides. Very nice carbonation as there were streams of visible bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass and racing towards the top to reinforce the foam across the top. As the contents of the glass went down there was some nice side glass lace that started to become visible and drip down the sides of the glass giving it a rather nice look for a pale lager.

S – The aroma was very musty and just chock full of malts. This had to be one of the strongest aromas of musty bread that I have ever smelled coming off a brew. To be honest it set me back a little bit as I was not expecting it to be so strong of an aroma. Some other hints inside alluded to lots of grains, and a somewhat muted, but still present smell of apricots, very clear with this smell, and not really sure where it was coming from, but it was definitely there, but suppressed by the large dose of malty bread coming through.

T – Now again I have to be honest an upfront, this was not my favorite thing in the world that I have ever tried. That being said I can proceed. The flavor seemed old to me, like, I know this seems weird, but a sweaty gym sock, if you know what I mean you can figure where it went from there, if not, it was a very musky, almost moldy type of taste with a somewhat muted but still bitter aftertaste, but not really in a good way. It did not taste “skunked” or bad really, just a style and a flavor I do not care for. There were hints of apricots again, and a ton of bread and other malts inside, but to be honest, it just was not there for me. I am not sure just what it was, but every sip seemed a little more painful then the next, so I just chugged the rest of it.

M – Very light bodied ale, with more then ample carbonation; this was definitely trying to be a light crisp refreshing sort of drink. Now had it not been for the taste, it would have pulled that off just about perfectly, as the feel was light, well carbonated, and crisp and clean. It was the flavor that really threw me off and made it quite unpleasant.

D – Now this is a loaded question. On one hand, it is low ABV, crisp, clean and well carbonated with a very light body. Now all of this would lend itself to being a very sessionable ale with loads of drinkability potential. For me though the flavor just killed it. Again it’s hard for me to describe, but it was just a musky old type of flavor that I just did not find enjoyable.

Overall I was sad that this did not turn out as well as I had hoped. I really did think this was going to be quite good and actually was going to try and get some to have as it seemed like it would be perfect to enjoy while watching a game or something, but the flavor was just not up to my tastes. It’s a shame to as I have loved everything coming out of Alpine so far, just not this one. But you know what; I try so many new things I am bound to find one I do not like. I am still glad I tried it though, different, just not my thing.

mikesgroove, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of franksnbeans
3.33/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy straw color with a minimal white soapy head. Nothing much in the nose, a little grain and a hint of sweet malt. A minor nut flavor then the rest is corn like. Very minimal taste. Thin in the mouth but not crisp. Drinkable if you want something very light and flavorless.

franksnbeans, Dec 02, 2007
Photo of rallison
3.08/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Slightly hazy light golden color with mostly no head.

S: Citrusy with a slight toasted character. There is also a touch of diacetyl as well, unfortunately.

T: Relatively light flavor with citrusy hops and a decent touch of toasted malts. Diacetyl is slightly present in a sweet, buttery presence. Decent, but nothing special.

M: Decent. Lighter body with medium carbonation.

D: Decent. It's easy enough to drink, but the flavor does get a bit boring.

Overall, meh. Nothing really drew me back to this. It's ok, but I really don't see buying this again. Maybe, without the diacetyl. But, as is, it is flawed and a bit too simple.

Edit: Man, the diacetyl is getting annoying.

rallison, Jan 06, 2008
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Willy Wheat Ale from Alpine Beer Company
77 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.