Willy Vanilly
Alpine Beer Company

Willy VanillyWilly Vanilly
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Wheat Beer - American Pale
Ranked #162
ABV:
5.5%
Score:
83
Ranked #38,572
Avg:
3.7 | pDev: 11.08%
Reviews:
65
Ratings:
294
From:
Alpine Beer Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  9
Gots
  42
SCORE
83
Good
Willy VanillyWilly Vanilly
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 65 | Ratings: 294 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum from California

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A recent visit to the Alpine Beer Company with fellow BA’s xlperro and EyeChartBrew, on 12th July 2003, gave me the opportunity to try several of the ABC beers that are not yet bottled (though this may alter). They are currently available to buy here in 5, or 15.5, Gallon Kegs, or just for filling up an ABC Growler which you can purchase for $5 and fill for $7.

ABC Name: Willy Vanilly.
ABC Description: Willy beer conditioned with Vanilla beans.
Listed Strength: 4.9%ABV.

Presentation: 4oz Sampler for 50¢.

Appearance: Light brown in appearance, had a very light haze to it.

Nose: Vanilla beans are the most obvious characteristic of the nose, but they are in no way overpowering. They merge well with the wheat aspects of the original Willy Beer.

Taste: Light wheat beer intermingled with Vanilla Beans that balance well, but it is rather one dimensional at times. However, the trick is getting the Vanilla to balance the tastes of the host Willy beer, which in itself is quite an achievement. It does have a lovely appealing character.

Mouthfeel: Average, given its relatively low strength, but the mouthfeel is clean, crisp and nicely structured.

Drinkability: Given the fact that the Vanilla was not over powering, this beer had the Drinkability of the Willy beer, mixed with the additional enticing flavors of the Vanilla Bean. At 4.9%ABV, it was easily imbibed without leaving any annoying lingering flavors.

Overall: The fourth and last of my ABC samples, I had left the Willy Vanilly until last, just in case they had overloaded the beer, so I would avoid overloading my palate with the bean taste. No such fear! All of my crappy English jokes about the band “Milli Vanilli” were understood but failed to raise a smile, but this beer most certainly did. It might be perceived as an experimental beer, or even a variant of an existing base beer, but it works! And it works extremely well. Well worth a try.

Jul 16, 2003
More User Reviews:
Photo of ivegot3Dvision
ivegot3Dvision from Oregon

4.49/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cream soda in beer form... delicious.

May 26, 2015
Photo of nathanmiller
nathanmiller from New York

4.79/5  rDev +29.5%
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.

Jan 05, 2015
Photo of sisterthelonious
sisterthelonious from Wisconsin

3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Nov 02, 2013
Photo of Reappropriated
Reappropriated from California

3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Mar 24, 2014
Photo of JamieDuncan
JamieDuncan from Maryland

3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Light clear golden pour, limited white, almost fizzy head that dissipated quickly and almost completely. More grainy than bready, not picking up much vanilla. Sweet grainy taste with a late vanilla punch that seemed artificial. Kinda sharp feel with a bit of a lingering hop. Overall I would give them credit for creativity but it really did not seem to work, everything seemed out of balance.

Jul 14, 2016
Photo of LakerLeith
LakerLeith from California

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Jun 29, 2014
Photo of Furlinator
Furlinator from California

3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at SD Taproom on 07/29/16.

Lots of vanilla with a hint of floral hops.

Jul 30, 2016
Photo of Iamjeff6
Iamjeff6 from Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dec 30, 2016
Photo of socalbrewlvr
socalbrewlvr from California

4/5  rDev +8.1%

Oct 10, 2013
Photo of Tsar_Riga
Tsar_Riga from Indiana

3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Clear golden yellow body, thin white head, no lacing.

S - Malts, grains, sweet vanilla notes.

T - A pretty standard pale wheat, with vanilla notes that heighten the sweetness. Mild bitterness in the close.

M - Thin, a bit of lingering dryness in the close.

O - Decently crafted but not my thing.

Nov 27, 2016
Photo of bcerv-ca
bcerv-ca from California

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Oct 06, 2013
Photo of SimcoeKid
SimcoeKid from California

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Nov 26, 2013
Photo of BigBlueShep
BigBlueShep from California

4/5  rDev +8.1%

Sep 15, 2014
Photo of Drink_LocalSD
Drink_LocalSD from California

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Nov 05, 2013
Photo of Gkruszewski
Gkruszewski from New York

3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sep 15, 2016
Photo of BarbieWanders
BarbieWanders from South Dakota

5/5  rDev +35.1%

Nov 07, 2013
Photo of robebo44
robebo44 from Virginia

3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sep 14, 2017
Photo of IGOTASIXPACK
IGOTASIXPACK from California

4.39/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Feb 05, 2015
Photo of T_Hass
T_Hass from Georgia

4/5  rDev +8.1%

Mar 09, 2014
Photo of Taologic
Taologic from Oregon

3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Jun 26, 2016
Photo of atrocity
atrocity from Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Aug 05, 2016
Photo of Stofko1992
Stofko1992 from Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

May 29, 2016
Photo of epyon396
epyon396 from Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jul 23, 2015
Photo of tmryan21
tmryan21 from Illinois

3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Feb 01, 2017
Willy Vanilly from Alpine Beer Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 294 ratings