Listed on the "1001 Beers To Drink Before You Die", this probably deserves to be on the list because the master brewer is one of the grand-daddy's of the craft beer movement. And because Napa is in the cradle of American wine, so it is a gentle dig on the competition. This was part of the flight I Had of six brews. I can see why this brewery has a reputation for culinary compatibility; most of the flight I can imagine as companions to a narrow range of mild-ish foods. Not even the IPA was too hoppy.
Had in Napa's taproom, my ratings are much higher than other BA average and three years more recent. So I asked one of the brew workers if this wheat beer was close to the one being reviewed earlier. He didn't know for sure because he didn't know the previous recipe but had been told that the current one was a tweaked experiment. Obviously, I think they tweaked it for the better.
Pours a clear, rather wan solar yellow with a thick, if not too persistent, white head. Wheaty aroma is none too strong and has a hint of yeast. Flavor has a malty core and wheaty and yeasty notes, plus a hint of fruit. Smooth texture has typical body and fizz, leaving a tingle that is persistent if not strong. Though not the best wheat I’ve had, give it a try if this is your favorite style.
12 oz undated bottle served in a lager glass.
A: pours clear golden with a well-proportioned, dense, off-white head. It has a high level of visible carbonation and leaves some nice lacing. Small amount of sediment in the bottle, a bit of which was included with the pour.
S: a mostly unappealing floral aroma with musty, yeasty and grassy notes. Hints of cardamon and ginger.
Taste is way better and fresher, as well as more delicate and less spicy than expected. Wheat is evident but subtle, Hints of cinnamon, cardamon and ginger. Light on hops for style. (yes, I know this style is supposed to be light on hops.)
M: Medium-light bodied; medium-high but soft carbonation.
Thin head on a clear, medium straw colored body.
Smells of fruit: apple and pear mostly and a little honey.
Taste starts with a little sweet note, then dry bitterness... the middle and end are watery and bland. Starts out okay and then runs out of flavor halfway through.
Crisp texture, low carbonation and medium body.
The taste was a real disappointment, the rest of it was average.
I've had this bottle for several months and figured I'd better drink it before it got too old. I didn't expect much from it but I was pleasantly surprised. It poured a clear gold with a nice fluffy two finger head, decent retention, and decent lacing. The nose was mainly floral. Mouthfeel was good but maybe just a wee bit too much carbonation. Taste was mainly fruit but with some bitterness to balance. It sort of reminded me of a weaker IPA (not a bad thing.) Overall I loved it and the low ABV along with an easy drinkability would make this offering ideal as a session beer.
Again for this brewery: a drinkable beer that doesn't really go anywhere near the style parameters. Very mild wheat tones that show an extremely small amount of character. Little bit of spice. Kind of a dirty, earthy aftertaste. Easy drinking beer, but I'm here to be impressed, not to just have something to drink.
Pours out to a thin head that dies quickly. Amber-gold color. Aroma is stale and flat--smells of Play-Doh and stale bread. Flavor is gross, metallic and woody, sharpness from the wheat is ok, but hops and other subtleties are faded. Mouthfeel is average. This stuff tastes like crap. I can't imagine this is fresh--this is more of a distribution and storage problem. It tastes like old beer. If I ever get to have a sample at the brewery or in California, I will re- review and hopefully get to revise this assessment.
I picked this up at Quick six in west York, PA. poured chilled into a cervoise.
A deep golden apricot shade with mild haze and thick white cap that settles to a ring with ultra fine bead, good retention is noted. The smell is very fruity from the yeast ester which is slightly apple and floral in odor. The feel is slightly sweet with mild malt body and gentle tangy yeast with a slightly high carbonation level and semi-dry finish.
The taste is good with some fruitiness from the yeast and slightly toasted wheat flavor which complements the notes of light golden apple in the background. The flavor has an almost white-wine like tangy flavor which is brought out by the effervescence. The overall vibe is a pretty average beer, but it is quaffable and brewed well enough to enjoy again. I considered it a decent wheat with better than average drinkability.
This is another very mediocre beer from this brewery, although I like it better than some of their others.
Gold, it has a small white head slowly shrinking to a lasting, foamy ring.
Aroma is wheat, grass, soap, with faint hint of lightly flowery apple juice.
Taste is light, basic but decent wheat ale character, light fermented lemon, wheat, grass, hay, and a 7-up hint in finish. It is a bit soapy overall, a tad rough, and slightly on the sweet side. It's one of their better beers in my book, but still only decent, but at least it's enjoyable enough to drink.
Napa Smith's wheat pours a straw yellow, murky but not cloudy. The fizzy eggshell white head forms quickly and gets pretty tall, then fades methodically leaving not too much behind.
I'm surprised by the hop character in the aroma. It is very sharp and has a bold herbal and citrus bite to it. Behind the lupulin dark horse, sits a well balanced fruit and wheat backbone. Banana and pepper make an appearance as well.
The flavor is a bit vague compared to the nose, but it has a good balance of power between sweet and spicy. The wheat flavors pretty much carry the load, but that same kiss of hops lingers. Accompaniment by sweet lemon and earthy grains are greatly appreciated, as they add some fleeting character.
The feel is crisp and sharp, but seems on the light side as it lacks the creamy full feel that so many wheats do well. This beer is no award winner, but it's crisp and refreshing, and that's what it's made for.