Ardennes Honey Wheat Ale
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

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Beer Geek Stats:
Pale Ale - Belgian
Needs more ratings
3.87 | pDev: 0%
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
United States
View: Beers
Reviews by BuckeyeNation:
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ripe apricot that faded to lemon halfway to the sides of the glass. Numerous rapidly rising bubbles created a small yellowed ivory crown that lasted several minutes and deposited sheets of lace that, unfortunately, didn't remain stuck to the glass very long.

The nose was brightly citrusy and delivered quite a bit of yeasty spiciness (thanks to d'Achouffe yeast, which is where this beer gets its name). Today's world geography lesson: Brasserie d'Achouffe is located in the Ardennes region of Belgium. Since AHWA gets so much of its aroma and flavor from its yeast, I decided to go with the style seen above, even though it isn't necessarily a comfortable fit.

One mouthful is all it took to tell me that Ardennes Honey Wheat is good stuff. It would be great if all pale wheats used yeast with this much personality. Without generous hops or estery yeast, American pale wheat ales are the very definition of bland beer. Back to the review at hand.

Given the orange color and what tasted like a hint of caramel, I would have though that some amount of slightly darker malt was used. Maybe the honey malt is responsible? The beer had an enjoyable 'fresh cereal grains' flavor that was an pretty good base on which to arrange the remainder of the flavor profile.

Top notes included honey, banana, lemon zest, white pepper and clove. Those first two became even more prominent in the bottom half of the pint. Although citrus fruit and spice weren't added, the beer did have an interesting witbier-like vibe.

With a better mouthfeel, taste and drinkability *might* have been one notch higher. There were too many bubbles initially and they didn't fade much as I slowly nursed the glass. The carbonation was also too fizzy and harsh, eliminating any chance of creaminess.

Ardennes Honey Wheat Ale is a unique creation that straddles several different styles and was fun to drink as a result. The key is a wonderfully estery Belgian yeast strain that gave the beer flavor and character to burn. Thumbs up.

Feb 22, 2009
Ardennes Honey Wheat Ale from Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 1 ratings