Winter 2012 Winter Wit | Almanac Beer Co.

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Winter 2012 Winter WitWinter 2012 Winter Wit
Very Good
Winter 2012 Winter WitWinter 2012 Winter Wit

Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States

Style: Belgian Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 39
Photo of ronricorossi
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a bottle turned up from the cellar at Beer Revolution in Oakland, so I picked it up.

A - a lovely cloudy yellow with orange hues. Some light lacing and head, not too much.

S - pepper, citrus, malt and yeast, grassy odors, the sharpness of the ginger's there.

T- citrus and ginger up front. I think I'm getting more of the ginger than most of the other reviewers, and for me, it's adding a nice unusual dimension, combining interestingly with the earthy slightly bitter flavors of the belgian style.

M - light/medium body.

O - I enjoy this one a bit more than the consensus, maybe because I wasn't necessarily expecting the orange flavors to bring a dominant sweetness. light, refreshing, well balanced, nice combinations. A great wit.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Translucent golden with a lot of carbonation and a foamy white head.

S: Saison yeast, poppy, spices, wheat, and orange in the nose.

T: Orange, fall spices, poppy, and some citrus peel on a wheat backbone.

M :Medium bodied, not overly carbonated, and refreshing.

O: Not quite as good as I was hoping for, nor as sweet. Blood oranges, to my understanding, are supposed to be sweet.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to eyebereej for this one. Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into Peg's snifter glass.

A: Gold in color with some haze, more as we get to the bottom of the bottle. A small white head forms but quickly reduces to foam, amid a moderate amount of visible carbonation.

S: Overall mild. Present is a wheat breadiness, a bit of citrus fruit and orange, and a light spicy background.

T: Follows the nose. The flavors are subtle, but present and well-mixed. There is some pilsner malt character that i could do without, but not overbearing for a wit. More subtle flavors that pull through include the ginger, citrus, coriander, and wheat malt. There's a bit of citrus sweet and tanginess in the hang.

M: Medium body, no particular alcohol presence, and a good amount of carbonation sensation.

O: This is a really nice, well-made wit. There's nothing to write home about, but the flavors are put together really nicely. I would drink another.

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Pours a cloudy golden color with noticeable carbonation at first, that slowly disappears to no carbonation. A nice medium head that dissipates to a thin layer that never quite disappears, and produces a good lacing.

Smell – Orange, ginger, and coriander. Perhaps a touch more orange than I’d prefer. There’s also a sweetness that complements the ginger.

Taste – Ginger and a touch of orange. Not as tasty as the Belgian witbiers that I’m used to.

Mouthfeel – Strangely flat considering the carbonation that was initially present. Kind of thick and syrupy for a witbier.

Drinkability – Goes down well for a 7% beer, but not a 'top of the line' witwier.

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Photo of mactrail
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear golden color with a white foam. Looks more like a lager than a usual Wit. Nice nose of roasted wheat and grapes. Modest carbonation in the mouth.

Hints at richness but ends up tangy. Some citrus flavors. A touch of something floral like chamomile. Fair amount of the scratchy Belgian yeast flavor. Ends with quite a bitter candied taste as the malt fades. Herb tea, lime peel, straw.

I can't shake the impression that this is a hopped up malt liquor nicely packaged. From the 22 oz bottle purchased on a rare trip to BevMo, which seems to be the only place in San Diego that carries Almanac.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to barfdiggs for hooking me up with this bottle...
Limited Seasonal Release, Bottle # 3191 (12/29/2011)

A: Pours a cloudy orange/yellow with about one finger of pure white head. The foam settles quickly into a thin ring along the edges of the glass. There is little to no lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is sweet, yeasty, and packed with some citrus. I get light malt, yeast, and citrus peel. There is a bit of bubblegum in there as well. It says that this beer was brewed with ginger, but I don't detect that scent.

T: The taste follow pretty close to the nose. I get some nice sweetness and citrus right up front. Oranges, lemons, and yeast flood the palate in the middle, and it ends with citrus rind bitters. However, that slight sweetness lingers from beginning to end.

M: Light bodied beer. It hits the palate and the flavors seem to move through their transitions nicely. The mild sweetness stays with the beer the whole way, even as it bitters up in the finish. The finish is a bit drying.

O: I think this is a really solid beer. I don't get a whole lot of ginger out of it, but the oranges are really nice. I'm really glad to have tried this beer, but I don't know if I would seek it out again. I suppose that all depends on the price, and I can't imagine bottles from Almanac being cheap.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden orange color with a white head. Nose is sweet citrus and wheat bread, maybe a touch of banana and ginger spice. Pretty straightforward...just dominated by the sweetness. Tastes pretty much like it smells. Almost cloying sweetness of candied orange and sweet malt. Bread, yeast, and light spice/pepper notes. Light banana notes and some ginger on the finish.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pale, semi-opaque banana yellow body. Creamy head on a vigorous pour with great retention and lace.

S - Bright nose. Sage, dry dandelion, orange zest, and thin layer of spicy ginger.

T - Stellar. A canvas of creamy wheat and soft white bread flavors support a palate of orange zest, dandelion, lemon citrus, and warm ginger. The flavor profile has extraordinary integration and balance.

M - Unbelievably smooth, cream, medium/full body. Excellent carbonation.

O - An awesome beer. A saison-wheat hybrid that I'd dare call a White Saison, the smaller, softer, more complex sister of the White IPA belgian/wheat/IPA hybrids.

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Photo of impending
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4


750ml into a tulip. Pours a mild hazy dull pale yellow gold, minor white head even with an encouraging pour, minor lacing.

Aroma is authentically belgian. Sweet spicy phenolic, minor candied jelly orange slices. Delicious

Nicely blended sweet and dry which seem to tumble over each other. Wheaty. Very minor bitter is joined by a zesty spice in the finish which fades quickly and pleasantly, pairs easily with food. Trace of chamomile. The pleasantly assertive ginger in the finish is a nice touch. Medium bodied slightly cloying mouthfeel.

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Photo of mountdew1
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 2532. Pouted into a wine glass. Poured a very pale color, with a thin 1/4 in head that was easily replenished by the bubbles rising from the bottom. Sediment visible in the bottom of the bottle. Aroma was predominantly yeast and wheat. Very small hint of peppery spice. Flavor started off slightly sweet, then switched to a bit of citrus, and then finished up with a bit of kick from the ginger. Well balanced, with none of the parts overwhelming the whole. Felt fairly good in the mouth. Coated nicely, carbonation would shift from barely noticable, to being a bit overwhelming. Overall a solid beer. Price is perhaps a bit high, but knowing the principles and practices behind it, its perhaps not as bad.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly clear golden-yellow with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some thick lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of wheat, orange and some other citrus smells, some light ginger, and some Belgian yeast and banana.

T - Starts off with a mix of wheat, orange and other citrus and a bit of Belgian yeast flavor. Through the middle, some ginger comes through alongside some more yeast character with some banana and a touch of spice. The finish is a mix of orange, Belgian yeast, banana, ginger and spice, and a bit of wheat.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and lightly spicy finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice complexity of flavors for a witbier. The wheat flavor is also not too strong which is nice.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Body is straw gold and hazy. Poured into a Bruery chalice, it forms a good 3/4 inch head that dissipates into a thick ring of foam, with some sticky lacing.

Nose is spicy with sweet light malt, coriander and ginger, and tangy citrus. Quite perfumy and really smells delightful with a good balance from the malt sweetness, citrus, and ginger.

This is a fine tasting witbier. The ginger is spicy, you taste it right away, and you feel it on the tongue and lips after a few sips, but in a nice way, like a ginger candy. It has a candy sweetness too, maybe a bit sweeter than the norm for a witbier, which pulls it more toward a Belgian golden style. Certainly not as dry as some witbiers. The big difference with this beer is the use of fresh locally farmed sweet and blood oranges and fresh ginger that sets it apart from probably almost all witbiers that typically use dried orange peel and dried ginger. The orange flavor is a lovely combination of the flesh and peel, giving it fresh acidity--really like the juice from a fresh squeezed orange--with just a bit of bitterness from the peel (if I remember a photo correctly, the oranges were partially peeled when they were added to the barrels, seems a nice calculation). The hops would seem to be of the noble variety, but that's hard to guage as this is not very hoppy. The yeast is also nicely phenolic, adding to the fruit character, and also a bit more husky yeast flavor than the norm. All that is gently supported by the bready/cracker wheat malt. Overall, this tastes brilliant, very fresh, and has more complexity than any other witbier I've had. There is nothing harsh in this as often happens with witbiers as one drinks them, and I don't get the sensory overload on the tongue that is typical of inferior wits (read Hoegarden) that just shuts the taste buds down. This finishes really clean with a nice fresh orange peel flavor that lasts and lasts. It reminds me of why a marguerita made with fresh limes tastes so much better than a typical bar-made version from mix.

Body is light and the carbonation is gentle, giving it a refreshing mouthfeel that is a little mousselike, in between fizzy and creamy.

The flavorful yeast and somewhat higher alcohol seems to pull this more toward a Belgian golden style, but the light body and the coriander, ginger, and orange flavors anchor it within the witbier style. It's a witbier with pizzazz. What's not to like about that--no lemon slice need be added here--and it has a good fresh orange character that invites pairing with a variety of foods. Very nicely done, IMO.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I just feel like I want to say that this is my favorite beer from Almanac so far. Their last release was good (at least, to me it was), but I find this one better.
The wheat tones on this are nice. Hearty and rustic. But the orange and spices that intermix really set this apart. Far from subtle (like the last Almanac release), but also far from obnoxious and overdone, the accents the fruit and spices give are really well done. Like I said earlier, this beer hits me as hearty and rustic, as do all of Alamanac's beers at this point to be honest. I like this one. Witbiers are a bitch to execute. This is well done. I will continue to look forward to future Almanac releases.

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Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Cloudy straw blond body capped by a thin but lasting head.

Smell: Spices come through strongly on the nose with a blast of ginger and coriander - a bit too dominant to me. Bright citrus notes follow, and I find myself enjoying the piquant orange aroma much more than the somewhat overbearing spices. There's a yogurt-like lactic yeast note that's complementary to the citrus.

Taste & mouthfeel: Milky, lactic, very grainy. Spices come through pretty strongly again, but don't feel as overwhelming as they do on the nose. The orange character is really pleasant, integrating nicely with the wheat and lactic, funky yeast. The body feels a bit heavy and slick rather than light and refreshing, and there's more residual sweetness than I care for in a wit. Beyond that, I'm not sure why this beer needs 7% alcohol.

Overall: Probably the best Almanac beer so far. I still don't think it's great, but the brewery seems to be improving.

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Photo of nataku00
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a fluted wine glass. Beer poured a hazy golden color with a finger of white bubbly foam. Head leaves a bit of lacing as it recedes, sticking to the sides of the glass. Good amount of carbonation floating up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is citrus peel and hit of fruity esters, bubble gum and banana. A bit of coriander and ginger spice comes through as the beer warms to room temperature.

Taking a sip, some orange and lemon zest bitterness upfront, then mostly fruity esters and coriander middle of the tongue. Ester flavors and a hint of orange peel continue to the back of the tongue. After a few sips, the spiciness from the ginger starts to make itself known at the back of the throat.

Light body and well carbonated, but it became still after around 10 minutes or so. A good wit bier, with some interesting flavors due to the ginger.

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Photo of Zorro
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy gold colored beer with a good sized snow white colored head. Appearance wise they nailed this one.

Smell is sweet and spicy with a chalky yeast aroma. Coriander herbs and flowers. Smells a lot like a field of flowers.

Starts out spicy and sweet but definitely more on the spicy side. Wheat cracker malt flavor. Spicy coriander with a twist of lemon. Tasty but it is also pricey.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is tasty but not $15 a bottle tasty. Found at the Cork & Bottle in Fremont California.

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Photo of drgarage
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Grape and Grain in San Mateo

I've been following Almanac closely since their launch, so I was excited to see this on draft at my after-work watering hole.

A: Muted, creamy orange. This is an unfiltered beer and it's one of the cloudiest I have ever seen. It seriously almost looked like a pulpy orange smoothie. Minimal head, with yeast skittering across the surface. One of the most unique-looking beers I have ever seen.

S: Hints of ginger and orange juice with a bit of Belgian bite on the back end.

T: Gentle orange and ginger mixed with a typical wit character behind it. Definitely not the kind of intense fruit you would find in a limbic, but a nicely structured fruit character indistinguishable from esters. Dig it.

M: Great wit mouth. I slurfed this a lot, and quite noisily. Very pleasant and interesting.

O: The best Almanac beer yet (the summer vintage was the previous champ and might be again with age). Definitely spendy, but really unique in its us of local, seasonal ingredients. Basically, it's Chez Panisse in a bottle. Worth checking out, especially on draft.

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Winter 2012 Winter Wit from Almanac Beer Co.
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 39 ratings