Sunspot | Greenbush Brewing Company

32 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Greenbush Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Hefeweizen

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Grain: White wheat, 2 row malt, black malt and flaked wheat

Hops: Saaz

Yeast: German wheat yeast

15 ibu
6% abv
8.1º Lovibond

Added by alleykatking on 07-08-2011

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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 217
Photo of Raime
1.53/5  rDev -57.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.25

Possibly infected. Within date. Extremely bad. Nothing like a hefeweizen. Worst beer I've had in years and usually this brewery does a great job with everything they make. Four glugs was enough to lead me to a drain pour.

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Photo of Khazadum
2.86/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Great lacing, not sticky enough for my glass. Amber body, good carbonation, great lingering time on head generation. Scums down to a pond skin and creamy collar.

Strong diacetyl presence that is hidden by the chill. As it warms it comes out to overwhelm the clove and bubblegum nature. Very faint bubblegum... all about the clove here.

Spicy clove, bits of generic spice, apple phenols, but throughout the entire play is diacetyl and biscuit. A wheaty malt backbone helps as well. Is that bubblegum? Barely. Diacetyl becomes the name of the game and boy does it linger into the finish as an awful chemical laden bread.

Full crisp body, very bright carbonation, very sticky and prevalent flavors. If only they weren't so.... unbalanced?

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Photo of smmeier819
3.09/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is by far the strangest Hefeweizen I have ever had. First off, it is amber orange in color, not the typical light gold you get from the German imports. Also, it is clear versus the typical cloudy. It is unfiltered as you can tell by the millimeter deep dregs on the bottom of the bottle, but the yeast doesn't stay suspended.

The first time I tried to pour this puppy in a tall glass it foamed up like a rabid dog. The second bottle I decided not to even try after it exploded once I opened it. This thing is crazy carbed, as it should be, but come on.

As for how it tasted, lots and lots of yeast character going on here. Phenols galore, both the banana clove good phenols, and the band aid medicine bad phenols. The malts show up with a very bready profile, but there is a strong bitter aftertaste especially for a beer with only 15 IBU.

Overall, it's okay. There are better hefeweizens out there for sure. Cross it off the bucket list and move on.

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Photo of Brenden
3.11/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very dark in color for a hefe, I'm not sure it fits within the range or if it sits on the very outskirts of it. It's extremely muddled, completely opaque in its thick murk. The color is a sort of honey-orange. The fluffy, pale orange-tinted head stays at one finger's height for almost the entirety, with a sort of film developing on top of the fluff. Lacing is left in plenty, mostly in patches.
I'm not sure exactly what I'm getting out of this aroma. It's steely, and that's fine if it weren't the main element and one of the only detectable notes. Some dry cracker and a touch of banana, along with something very mildly clove-like, are all else I can get.
The flavor has a bit of very tangy lemon right up front, very juicy, with some very light spiciness, pear and banana behind it. It develops a bit more sweetness and allows more of the spiciness to come out as it sits. A touch of floral hops with a bit of herb come out in the middle and carry through to the finish.
It's soft, fluffy and fairly smooth in a medium body with a bit of crispness to it. It works fairly well.
In every way, this is an okay beer, but I wouldn't have bothered labeling it a Hefeweizen.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

There's black malt in this hefeweizen? Okay. It pours a clear bronze topped by a finger of cream foam. Hm, looks like there is some more darkness than usual. Fair enough. Looks good. The nose comprises wheat, light candi sugar, light honey, light corn, and a touch of toffee. This smells like no hefe I've ever had, nor any I'd likely wanna have. The taste holds notes of orange zest, black pepper, light clove, sweet biscuit, and a touch of some spice in the background that I just can't for the life of me pin down. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a decent hefe, I suppose, but one that's strangely too malty and a touch too spicy for its own good.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.14/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, I poured it like a traditional German Hefeweizen (pour, swirl, pour). It looked normal at first, but after the swirl of the yeast, it became an extremely hazy, murky, opaque, grayish-yellow colored ale that was topped with a creamy, ivory head, that did hold excellent retention. Aromas are hefe yeast, bubblegum, clove, banana, faint citric hop. Tastes are somewhat tart, grassy, citric, banana, clove, bubblegum, yeast, finishes acidic, and rather off putting. Mouth-feel is creamy and smooth, fullish body, but that acidic finish is getting to me. Overall, sub-par German style Hefeweizen. Might have been better without all the yeast added at the end, but there are many other superior imported German Hefeweizens I doubt I'll buy it again.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 fluid ounce bottle
Served in a weizen glass

A - This beer turned into a glass of eggshell foam when I poured it. There was literally no liquid, just foam, on the initial pour. Finally, after about five minutes the foam subsided enough to pour in the remaining contents of the bottle. I ended up with a cloudy orange bodied beer with golden highlights.

S - I got a little of that trademark hefe banana smell, but the spices were more prevalent.

T - I get a bitter taste. There is only a slight hint of the normal banana and cloves taste. The finish and aftertaste are bitter. It is not pleasant.

M - Moderate

O - I hope this is just an old bottle. Maybe I can find it on tap sometime and get a better feel for it.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.19/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Excessively hazy orange-yellow body, very fizzy eggshell head, ambient carbonation. Nose is very fruity with orange peel and cantaloupe, slightly floral, and noticeable yeast. Taste is also fruity, albeit a tad watery, with just a kiss of spice. A minor but disruptive metallic note rings throughout the entire smell and taste, too. Body is light and watery, and the fizzy head doesn't help.
This was a pretty big letdown. It was a far cry from a well made hefeweizen, and it didn't do anything innovative, either. Missing the full range of key features, watering down those that were present, and allowing a flaw here and there made for a disappointing experience.

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Photo of Fcolle2
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pour dark murky dark orange near brown with a 3 finger huge foamy head. Looks odd for a hefe.

Smell has big yeasty charicter to it, banana clove note are slightly mild for a hefe.malt has a slightly sharp note to it.

There is slightly more banana in the taste and a bigger carmel malt presence with a very slight sulfuric taste to it

Carbonation is really high. A little to high for my liking. Medium body

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.29/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: None on bottle
Glass: Weihenstephan weizen glass

Sunspot is a better-than-average hefeweizen (which I would say is generally flavorless and watery), but does not compare to most German imports or the top of the NA craft scene. In my opinion, it is too yeast-heavy, with more attention needed to the malt and yeast-produced esters and phenols. Not one I'd seek out again.

Pours a towering head of off-white colored foam, made up of small-sized bubbles, with excellent retention length of several minutes. The head eventually fades to a 1cm cap that remains atop the body of the beer for the entirety of the drinking session. Lacing is excellent: thick, interesting patterns cling to the insides of the entirety of the glass. The body is a dark golden brown color, with light bringing out paler golden yellow hues. Carbonation is visible through the opaque body, moderate in amount and activity.

Aroma is very yeast-heavy, with strong mushroom/soil/earth nuances and light hints of vanilla and clove. Not particularly appealing, but not appalling, either, and definitely a bit "off" for the style.

Front of palate picks up lightly sweetened wheat bread with heavy yeast/mushroom/earth and a touch of vanilla and cloves. Mid-palate detects continued semi-sweet wheat bread, light popcorn, continued yeast/mushroom/earth, and minor banana and clove. Back of palate is quite yeasty, with bready wheat being a secondary thought, along with mild German hop bitterness and much reduced banana ester and clove phenol. Aftertaste of yeast, wheat bread, overripe bananas, and modest Germanic hop bitterness.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of medium intensity, resulting in a notably foamy, smooth mouthfeel that is characteristic of the style and quite fitting for this beer in particular. Closes dry, with minor stickiness on the palate and lips.

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Photo of warnerry
3.36/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Original review from draft in 2011:

A - Pours a hazy golden brown with a finger of head and some nice lacing.

S - very nice aromas of banana, cloves, some citrus and wheat.

T -- Similar to smell, nice citrus and banana, great wheat presence and apparent but not overwhelming spices. One of the best hefeweizens I've had.

M -- Medium mouthfeel with a nice creaminess.

O -- My first from Greenbush, and it is very impressive. Would definitely have this again.

Rated it 4.5 across the board.

Bottle review May 2014:
Not sure what happened to this beer (I think the bottle was pretty fresh) but this bears little resemblance to the beer I originally reviewed. Not much citrus, and an unpleasant bitter finish. Would be willing to try on draft at the source again, but very glad I bought a single bottle.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.41/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a cloudy orange color. Produced some great white froth with good retention behind it; some good lacing left behind as well.

(S)- A bit dry with lots of yeasty biscuit. It actually is a touch funky with a bit of lemon peel too.

(T)- A nice biscuity wheat meets some lemon and banana. Finishes with a subtle clove-like spice and bubblegum.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. The bitterness climbs quite significantly as it warms and the yeast really starts to take over.

(O)- It is a solid Hefeweizen. I have definitely had worse from the states, but this one is well made.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.44/5  rDev -5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

Lots of foam pouring from the bottle to form a very tall, obstructive head. Checking my watch here, waiting for it to die down. Finally seeing some body, it's a golden blonde with a greenish tint. Astoundingly 100% opaque. The frustration however of waiting minutes on each micro pour for the head to recede in a tall glass just makes things difficult, and I'm going to dock it a bit. Edit : Oh, the very last pour from the last 1/3 is totally murky, dirty, like 3rd world water. Docking, docking, docking.

Typical Hefe aromas of clove, banana, wheat, circus peanut, some dry malts. Nothing really stands out above the rest, but nothing's off the mark here, either.

Flavor is very creamy, almost buttery...with a whipped character, like a cream ale... ending on some banana chips and creamsickle flavors. Some apple skins, cinnamon, and clove also float around in there as well.

Feel is first off, problematic because even a sip from the bottle when not tamed for 3 minutes in the glass wells up into a foamy explosion in the mouth. Secondly when it IS sipped from the glass, it is very thin and watery.

Overall hard to drink because of the insane fermentation and foam going on. Other than that, yeh, it's decent.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - nice burnt orange color with a big froth of foamy white head. Good Clarity with bubbles racing. Decent webbing and stick at first that quickly disappeared.

S - Wheat, grains, banana bread, dough.

T - Follows the nose closely with a bread dough, bananas, clove. Easy drinking, but the flavor profile doesn't meld perfectly.

O - This is a decent offering for the style, but doesn't knock my socks off. I could drink it on a lazy summer day.

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Photo of richj1970
3.49/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass.

A: Pours a lemon yellow with hints of burnt orange. Gigantic head. Man this one is a gusher. Took me almost 10 minutes to get it to fit into the glass. Head slowly dissipated with sticky lacing.

S: Lots of yeast, biscuit mixed with banana and clove. Smells more of a saison that hefe.

T: Follows the nose quite closely. Nice earthy funk.

M: Nice body but way over-carbonated to the point of being ridiculous.

O: Enjoyable brew. If you had given it to me blind, I would have swore it to be a saison.

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Photo of Redrover
3.54/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown longneck poured into a shaker, the beer is a chill hazed apricot with a medium beige head.

The beer has an aroma of something sweet backed with lots of spice. The clove and allspice of hefes are present and accounted for.

The taste starts with banana & clove. The spice flavors in this on are on the heavier end of the spectrum and that would limit this beer to a once and awhile beer instead of a normal rotator.

The mouth is slick with pin pricks of carbonation.

Not a bad shot at a hefe. Personally I would like to see the clove aspects turned down a notch, but for people how like the heavier spice notes instead of the banana element, this would be right up their alley.

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Photo of matjack85
3.59/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I bought this single 12oz bottle at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL as part of a build-your-own six pack for $9.99, making them $1.67 each. No freshness date.

The beer poured a cloudy gold color with 3/4 of the weizen glass filled with frothy white foam. It took over 3 minutes to go down and it left some pretty good lacing.

Weaker smell than most hefeweizens but still with the traditional aromas of banana, clove, and wheat, with the wheat being the most dominant.

A bubble gum sweetness hits right away with wheat, banana, and clove coming thru as well. Very mild bitterness, if any at all with just 15 IBU's.

Medium body with low to moderate carbonation.

It's OK, but nothing to make it stand out from other run-of-the-mill hefeweizens.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in tulip glass)
A- The murky caramel body has a thick creamy light tan head that last a good bit.

S- The rich banana bread ester aroma leads to an odd wheat shampoo aroma that grows and grows.

T- The banana esters lead to apple juice notes and some unripe plantain notes in the finish. A green woody hop snap finishes dry with some bread crust notes coming through as it opens.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel has a tight little fizz.

O- This beer has a clean crisp nice full ester profile but it has an odd quality to the aroma that starts to dominate.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: No bottling date. A cool looking label of the sun, with that flat paint or matte feeling paper that Greenbush uses. Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint. The beer itself is definitely unique... I've never seen such a dark hefe in my life. This beer is so murky that you can't see through it at all at the top of the glass. At the bottom, it's very hazy. Truthfully, it looks like sewage water, but for a beer, this actually looks great. Head is about two fingers and sticks at about one ... the head is both off-white, and a tan/orange color as well after pouring the "goop" from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Banana taffy. Normally in hefe's I drink I get that banana/clove aroma. This one has clove without a doubt, but it's at a level I can tolerate (I've learned that it's hard for me to stomach much clove in my beer). This essentially does smell like banana taffy, with just a hint of clove. Not much else.

Taste/feel: About 65% banana, 35% clove... the mouthfeel is thick like any other Greenbush beer that I've had -- silky and "big." For hefeweizens the only flavors I tend to get are bananas and cloves, and then other little spices. This beer tastes like it smells and should taste like an ordinary hefeweizen to me, but the ratio is what makes this a beer I can easily enjoy. I'm not normally a huge hefe guy, but I enjoy this. The feel, like I said, is heavy ... in most hefes I've had from memory, they've been relatively thin. This thickness almost makes this beer drink like a smoothie or something.

Solid beer. I wouldn't often seek this beer out given that I'm not big on the style, but this is actually very likely my favorite hefeweizen. The look of it, the feel of it, the emphasis on banana rather than clove/spices/yeasty flavors... this is quite good.

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Photo of stortore
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle into a Weizen glass. Bottled 4/27/16.

Pours a hazy, dark yellow, not much of a Hefeweizen head, some foamy lacing and streaming bubbles. Smell is yeast, banana, wheat, straw, light malt and lemon, some spiciness but not much clove, if any. Taste brings yeast, wheat, grass, malt, light lemon, some straw, some earthy bitterness. Smooth, fairly creamy, crisp and refreshing. The body is a little hefty for the style. I like it.

Not totally traditional- a little more wheaty and the heavier body, and not a knockout, but it's a solid beer that's really drinkable and enjoyable. Worth a try, and especially if you buy them at Greenbush. Goes great with a brat at the Annex.

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Photo of GRPunk
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into my Oktoberfest 1/2 marathon shaker pint.

A- A normal pour creates 2-fingers of khaki head. An initially clean, golden-orange body clouds nicely with a swirl of the yeast. Medium-light carbonation. Great head retention (1/2 finger or more) and thick bands of lace are even fluffy on the glass.

S- Classic hefeweizen. Banana and clove with hints of citrus and gum. Maybe a little "juicy fruit-like."

T- Solid again. Strong clove, lighter banana. Gum and citrus are lighter still. A little black pepper sneaks in.

M- Medium body. Creamy feel. Sips are through a significant, fluffy head.

O- One of the better American versions of the German style. Very flavorful while staying very refreshing. I'd buy a sixer of it next summer.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Sunspot is a decent Heffe. The beer poured a cloudy gold with rich head that is leaving a lacing. The scent carries banana and clove. The taste is slightly sharp toward the clove, but not over done. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall this is a sessionable Heffe and should be enjoyed by those that prefer this style.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Greenbush's Sunspot last week for $1.79 at The Lager Mill. This is the newest Greenbush beer to see distribution and since I like this brewery I thought I should give it a try, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but it just showed up so it should be fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a Weizen glass.

A- The label looks nice it's got a slight dash of darkness that some Greenbush labels seem to have. It poured a hazy golden orange color that took on some darker orange hues when held to the light with three fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thin ring that left some nice lacing behind. This was a good looking beer that looked pretty true to style, I liked it.

S- The aroma starts off with a high amount of medium sweetness followed by some wheat, ripe bananas and spices with cloves seeming to stick out the most. Towards the end I get an earthy aroma that might be from some hops. This beer had a nice aroma that was pretty true to style.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma but lighter and it starts off with lots of wheat and grainy flavors with a some lighter bready flavors. Next comes a lighter amount of banana and a lighter spicy aroma with cloves still sticking out the most. On the finish it's a little earthy with a low amount of bitterness with bananas and cloves carrying on into the aftertaste with a little bit of wheat. This was a nice tasting beer that was fairly true to style.

M- Smooth, crisp, slightly refreshing, medium bodied with a higher amount of medium carbonation that was slightly prickly. The mouthfeel was nice and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and a nice example of the style, I have had better Heffeweizens but most of them have been from Germany so this was pretty good for a domestic example of the style. This beer had good drinkability, it was smooth, a little refreshing and the flavors did a decent job at holding my attention, I could drink a couple of these on a warm summer day. What I liked the most about this beer was the appearance and the balance, it didn't go overboard on the ripe bananas. There wasn't anything that I really disliked about this beer, it was good for what it was. I would buy this beer again when looking for a nice Hefeweizen and I would recommend it to anyone who likes the style. All in all I thought this was solid for the style and I liked it, it's not my favorite of the style or my favorite Greenbush beer, but it's another solid beer from Greenbush, keep it up guys.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a tawny color with a finger of foam that's hit and run, and leaves no lacing behind. Typical aroma and flavor for a hefe: banana esters, clove, fruity. Wheat and yeast in their beautiful dance. The ale goes off-style on the feel a bit, it's fuller and fluffier than any other Hefe I've ever had, but it's kinda OK. Glad to drink another one again.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.91/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Ashley's in Westland for the Shorts vs. Greenbush Throwndown. Sunspot pours like murky apple juice; kind of muddled and rusty looking, topped off with a soapy, bone-white layer of foam. The head recedes quickly for a hefeweizen and settles at a skin no more than a millimeter in height atop the rustic looking brew.

As with the best beers of this style, the yeast is clearly the star of the aroma profile. Big time hefeweizen yeast notes; clove, bubblegum, and some delicate spices. Very estery, with heaps of ripe banana, orange zest, and faint lemon rind. Hops are only slightly noticeable, but provide a mild grassy note that integrates pretty well. Softer handfuls of wheat blanket the edges and pull everything together. With warming, some mild sugar sweetness escalates as well. Nothing mind-blowing, but still a very solid hefe-style aroma.

Sunspot is pretty smooth on the palate, although it seems a little more watery than I'd like. Typically hefeweizens are lighter, while maintaining a "full-feeling" body, but it's only a minor gripe. Musky hops hit first which kind of surprises me after smelling it. Bitterness is quite low, but the mild-leafiness from the hops is a fairly prominent part of the flavor profile and I can't decide if I'd like it better without it or not.

Some expected hefe-style flavors are abound - banana, heavy wheat, clove, coriander, spice, and some residual, ester-laden sugars - but there's also one different component that seems to stand out to me. I'm sensing a light, funky-wood flavor... Not quite like the funk you'd get from Brett yeast or even wine-barrel aging, but just a mildly funky, damp wood, borderline musky cellar kind of funk. Light in comparison to the rest of the flavors, but heavy enough to be noticeable. It's different... I like it. I think. The finish contains mild sweetness and the lasting taste of some nice German yeast.

I'm a sucker for a good hefeweizen, and while this one doesn't quite stand up to the "greats" out there (Weihenstephaner, Franziskaner, Dancing Man), it can still stand on its own two feet pretty well. Definitely one of the better offerings from Greenbush that I've had. I could picture rocking a few of these on a hot, summer day.

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Sunspot from Greenbush Brewing Company
3.62 out of 5 based on 217 ratings.
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