Willy Vanilly | Alpine Beer Company

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BA SCORE
84
good
41 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
Willy VanillyWilly Vanilly
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
41
Ratings:
209
Avg:
3.74
pDev:
24.33%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
15
For Trade:
1
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 209
Reviews by DocJitsu:
Photo of DocJitsu
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, classic golden color with a quickly evaporating yellow-white head. Vanilla aroma up front competing with wheat malt. A very light body with nice, but more carbonation than is usual for this style. I was concerned vanilla would be too powerful as evidenced by the aroma. Very nicely balanced as it turns out. Easy to drink and pleasant overall.

 358 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of nathanmiller
4.79/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

From look and feel, this is a pretty good wheat beer, basically as one would expect from a brewery with the pedigree that Alpine has. The head retention is fair, the color is hazy and clean, all in all, it's almost a textbook APWA - that is, in look and feel.

Taste and Aroma, however, are the outliers. The taste is pure vanilla (no shock based on the name) but not cloying or hot as might be expected. The aroma reminds me of baking cookies as a child.

Overall, this beer is wonderful.

 489 characters

Photo of ivegot3Dvision
4.49/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cream soda in beer form... delicious.

37 characters

Photo of Todd
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Vanilla, Marshmallow, Bready, Vanilla

Golden straw in color with a slight haze and a fluffy white head. Deep notes of vanilla permeate the aroma. Creamy, surprisingly medium-bodied with a bit of chew. Crisp underneath with soft vanilla notes and a sugary marshmallow suggestion merge with some bready sweetness and wheat character. A mild bitterness provides balance while subtle citrus undertones bring things together. Residual vanilla in the end is accompanied by an oily feel. Willy Vanilly works, but drink it cold since the vanilla takes over as the beer warms and becomes a bit artificial.

As reviewed in BeerAdvocate magazine #115 (August 2016).

 655 characters

Photo of aquazr1
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of ledouge
3.17/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of magictrokini
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Surpisingly good beer. The vanilla takes over this beer, but it is not overwhelming. The solid wheat base is a good choice. Very sweet beer, but in a natural way. I can't see drinking too much of this brew, but I would not turn it down in the future.

 250 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a bright golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Slight finger of white head that fades fairly quick.

Smell: A bready and fairly sweet wheat driven aroma with a scent of vanilla, wheat, and spice. Good upfront scent of vanilla. Belgian yeast with a scent of pepper, coriander, and clove. Malt scent of wheat, grains, biscuit, and cracker. A pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a bready and sweet wheat driven taste with notes of vanilla, wheat, and spice. Upfront presence of vanilla. Belgian yeast with notes of pepper, clove, and coriander. Bready malt notes of wheat, cracker, grains, and biscuit. A pretty nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and smooth.

Overall: A pretty solid twist on a Wheat ale. Nice mix of vanilla and wheat notes.

 891 characters

Photo of moundbz
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.01/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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.

 685 characters

Photo of ste5venla
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of Reappropriated
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

Photo of Johnny58
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Tuckersmth
2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

Photo of joeyjoey104
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of dertyd
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

 885 characters

Photo of avisong
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of emilylee
2.75/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of gldnns
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Kegatron
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

 900 characters

Photo of terpinsd
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of hophugger
3.31/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Willy Vanilly from Alpine Beer Company
84 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.
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