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Willy Vanilly - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.
Willy Vanilly
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BA SCORE
83
good

100 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 100
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 2
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
The base for this beer is Willy Wheat. They add Vanilla to the tanks during aging. Try mixing it with Alpine's Captain Stout for a Captain & Vanille.
Draft availability only.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 100 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4/5  rDev +8.4%

08-18-2012 13:41:19 | More by t0rin0
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Poured a very light brown with a little bit of a haze; nice lacing as it goes down. The smell is dominated by the vanilla beans, which mix well with the wheat-beer style, but it just isn't quite the same as Alpine's fruit-infused beers. The taste is again primarily the vanilla bean, with a little bit of wheat-induced sweetness. The mouthfeel is fairly nice, light, and crisp, which leads to a fairly-nice drinkability.

01-20-2010 23:50:40 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of zestar
zestar

California

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

07-19-2014 04:14:10 | More by zestar
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4/5  rDev +8.4%

On-tap at Alpine

A: The pour is a clear golden color with a fluffy white head.

S: The nose is sweet and has a strong vanilla presence. I still am able to pick up some of the wheat as well, which I was a bit surprised by.

T: While the vanilla flavor is pronounced, it is not overwhelming (like I feared it might be). The beer is definitely sweet, but not cloying. As with the nose, I was amazed by how much "beer" flavor was still there. It was almost reminiscent of a Nilla Wafer cookie.

M: The body is medium with a bit of crispness and a moderate level of carbonation.

D: I was expecting this to be just bad, but it was actually quite a nice balance of malt and sweet vanilla flavors. I don't think I'd suck down a growler, but a glass was nice.

03-29-2010 02:51:35 | More by womencantsail
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3/5  rDev -18.7%

03-13-2014 22:14:05 | More by GRG1313
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

3/5  rDev -18.7%

11-14-2011 18:22:09 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of SocalKicks
SocalKicks

California

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

10-14-2012 04:27:19 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +3.8%

On tap @ the brewery on 11/11/09.

Pours a clear gold, with a soft creamy covering of brite-white head. This stays rich on the edges, leaving some moderate foamy lacing behind. The aroma is floral hops and wheat, with a pronounced (yet not overdone) vanilla character, which gives this an agreeable creamy sweetness in the nose. Pretty cut & dry.

The taste matches this, with a nice overall sweet mix of toasted wheat, citrus notes, and then that vanilla, which creeps across the palate with a soft flush. Some light hop activity drys out the finish. Quite an easy and pleasant profile. The mouthfeel is light bodied, with a bit of a firm prickle to the proceedings but this is mostly very easy drinking.

This wasn't bad at all. Luckily the vanilla flavor here lacked a real artificial feel to it, which I think helped it from wearing on the palate and keeping this quite drinkable. Tasty stuff.

12-06-2009 21:55:16 | More by Kegatron
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -3.8%

Draft at the brewpub.

Pours a pale golden yellow color with a one finger white foam head that slowly fades into a thin ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Slightly spicy aroma with lots of vanilla complimenting the bready yeast notes. Subtle citrus presence compliments the prominent vanilla.

Medium bodied but fuller than expected with bready yeast, and lots of vanilla.  The vanilla flavor dominates providing a lot of sweetness that compliments the bread notes but takes away from the citrus and spice.  Some banana and lemon peel along with some subtle clove/pepper.  Could use a bit more balance.

02-10-2012 20:54:43 | More by corby112
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

09-02-2012 05:49:16 | More by drewone
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

09-26-2013 00:58:49 | More by BillRoth
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

4.01/5  rDev +8.7%

On tap at the Alpine brewpub. Cloudy yellow appearance, thin white head.

Tons of vanilla in the nose, man this is heavy. Possibly the most vanilla I've ever smelled in a beer.

Light wheat smoothness accompanied by the heavy dose of vanilla. Light orange in the mouthfeel. Pretty mild malt bill. The heavy vanilla probably obscures its minimalism.
Carbonation is probably a little lower than most wheat beers.

I think you really have to be a vanilla fan to be into this beer. I like vanilla, but I can't see drinking this in mass quantities like the hoppy offerings from Alpine. Its a soft wheat and massive vanilla bomb. I liked it, a vast improvement over the non vanilla willy.

03-13-2013 16:19:41 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

3.85/5  rDev +4.3%

Draught @ Alpine Brewery
The beer pours a slightly hazy gold, the head white and creamy with the lace a thin sheet to seal of the glass. Nose is rich in sweet vanilla; fresh, very pleasing, start is quite sweet, nicely malted and the top light. Fair to middling carbonation, lightly hopped and the sweet vanilla last to the end of the aftertaste. A nice beer, not something I’d drink all the time, but something nice at the end of a long day when you want something light.

06-14-2004 21:18:45 | More by Gusler
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

3.13/5  rDev -15.2%

On tap at the brewery.

App: Hazy light gold, small white cap of foam. Average retention; spotty lacing.

Smell: Strong vanilla aroma dominates, mild wheat and maltiness underneath.

Taste: Very much like the nose; extremely vanilla-forward; a little bit artificial and extract-tasting; on the sweet side, with a thin, non-descript wheat flavor and next to no hop presence. Cream soda meets beer.

Mf: Crisp, fairly clean, but thin and watery. Vanilla sweetness lingers a bit in the aftertaste.

Overall: Just a bit too much vanilla for such a mild, easy-drinking thin-bodied beer. Felt like an odd combination; a light beer with vanilla extract. There’s no booziness and the flavoring is well integrated but it's just not all that good (to me), unfortunately.

02-03-2012 05:13:11 | More by tobelerone
Photo of GraduatedCashew
GraduatedCashew

California

4/5  rDev +8.4%

09-05-2013 22:53:43 | More by GraduatedCashew
Photo of Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +8.4%

11-27-2011 05:55:13 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of iL0VEbeer
iL0VEbeer

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +8.4%

09-25-2013 16:15:41 | More by iL0VEbeer
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

3.78/5  rDev +2.4%

A recent visit to the Alpine Beer Company with fellow BA’s xlperro and EyeChartBrew, on 12th July 2003, gave me the opportunity to try several of the ABC beers that are not yet bottled (though this may alter). They are currently available to buy here in 5, or 15.5, Gallon Kegs, or just for filling up an ABC Growler which you can purchase for $5 and fill for $7.

ABC Name: Willy Vanilly.
ABC Description: Willy beer conditioned with Vanilla beans.
Listed Strength: 4.9%ABV.

Presentation: 4oz Sampler for 50¢.

Appearance: Light brown in appearance, had a very light haze to it.

Nose: Vanilla beans are the most obvious characteristic of the nose, but they are in no way overpowering. They merge well with the wheat aspects of the original Willy Beer.

Taste: Light wheat beer intermingled with Vanilla Beans that balance well, but it is rather one dimensional at times. However, the trick is getting the Vanilla to balance the tastes of the host Willy beer, which in itself is quite an achievement. It does have a lovely appealing character.

Mouthfeel: Average, given its relatively low strength, but the mouthfeel is clean, crisp and nicely structured.

Drinkability: Given the fact that the Vanilla was not over powering, this beer had the Drinkability of the Willy beer, mixed with the additional enticing flavors of the Vanilla Bean. At 4.9%ABV, it was easily imbibed without leaving any annoying lingering flavors.

Overall: The fourth and last of my ABC samples, I had left the Willy Vanilly until last, just in case they had overloaded the beer, so I would avoid overloading my palate with the bean taste. No such fear! All of my crappy English jokes about the band “Milli Vanilli” were understood but failed to raise a smile, but this beer most certainly did. It might be perceived as an experimental beer, or even a variant of an existing base beer, but it works! And it works extremely well. Well worth a try.

07-16-2003 05:33:53 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

264th review on BA
Draft to pint

On tap @ Alpine

App- A standard wheat color with some haze to it and some lighter yellow highlights. A pretty big two finger head on this one.

Smell- Light all the way around. Wheat is most prevalant but the vanilla will pick up on a huge whiff.

Taste- I can't deny I am a sucker for vanilla. This was pretty heavy vanilla and I was diggin on it. Nice wheat base on which it played from but dominant character was the vanilla.

Mouth- A bit thin with wasn't a huge suprise. The carbonation level was fairly high on this one.

Drink- I could drink this all day. It had a big punch of flavor and was super soft and not at all filling.

02-20-2011 05:48:26 | More by FosterJM
Photo of ste5venla
ste5venla

California

4/5  rDev +8.4%

06-08-2014 21:44:53 | More by ste5venla
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

4/5  rDev +8.4%

08-12-2012 17:40:19 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of millerbuffoon
millerbuffoon

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

01-16-2012 03:31:02 | More by millerbuffoon
Photo of akang
akang

California

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

11-03-2013 07:40:30 | More by akang
Photo of Fettpopps
Fettpopps

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +8.4%

03-16-2014 00:10:31 | More by Fettpopps
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

3.93/5  rDev +6.5%

On tap at the brewery. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Served with no head. Beer is a cloudy lemon that reveals ample carbonation. Little to no lacing with very little stick.

S: Nose is simple and sweet but very pleasant. Vanilla, wheat, citrus, and lemon with the first aroma coming on very strong and lasting through the entire glass.

T: Vanilla is big and creamy at the outset. Lemon, wheat sweetness lasts to the end. Cane sugar in the middle and slightly bready at the finish. Little to no aftertaste.

M: Light bodied and highly carbonated. Lively, abrasive, and coarse in the mouth. The same going down. Finish is slight messy with little aftertaste.

D: Very drinkable and an appreciable twist on a very familiar style. Vanilla is apparent here and Alpine makes it clear that they didn't just dabble with this flavor infusion. Definitely worth a try if you're in the area.

11-14-2010 04:39:39 | More by SpeedwayJim
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Willy Vanilly from Alpine Beer Company
83 out of 100 based on 100 ratings.