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Willy Vanilly | Alpine Beer Company

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BA SCORE
3.7/5
Good
292 Ratings
Willy VanillyWilly Vanilly
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States
alpinebeerco.com

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

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
Ranking:
#28,585
Reviews:
63
Ratings:
292
pDev:
11.08%
Bros Score:
3.66
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
39
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 292 |  Reviews: 63
Photo of Texasfan549
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%

Photo of jaydoc
4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.54/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is really good, its the right kind of sweet because the vanilla is real authentic, it makes this the new standard for pale vanilla beers in my mind. wheaty base, i have not had the base beer plain yet, but this is killer, and i couldnt imagine it without the vanilla after this one. a little haze to a pale yellow beer with an inch of white head served in a pint glass. it doesnt look anything out of the ordinary. the nose is sweet vanilla cream, supported by some nice cerealy wheat structure. in the taste the vanilla really does take over the beer, but its genuine, like whole beans, the difference between french vanilla ice cream with the specks and plain vanilla without them. just way better. medium body, some residual sugar but the flavorless yeast dries this up pretty well. i found it real easy down, and even refreshing still for something like this. i even was close to ordering a second one, which is unheard of for me int his style. way better than any of its peers in the vanilla cream or vanilla wheat categories. an outstanding offering from alpine, a little departure from their hoppy wheelhouse, but i like it a whole lot. not much could be improved upon here, this rules.

 1,198 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Knapp85
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nmann08
3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.54/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Crisp, refreshing and mellowly spiced with soothing vanilla- the Alpine brewers bring a flavor of fall to the Southern California palate with the familiar pale wheat beer that's designed to beat the heat, but this time with an autumn smoothness and lushness.

Willy Vanilly pours the expected pale straw color with a short white froth. Bold vanilla, whipping cream and dough rolls through the nose and lands at a taste of cereal, grain and husky pilsner malt. Sweetness is heightened due to the impressions of vanilla milkshake that the spice provides.

The middle is more balanced as the palate acclimates to the silky smooth vanilla and its sweet cream impressions start to sway. The taste of grain brings a sense of whole-wheat bread, husk and a raw cereal quality. Briefly citrusy, grassy and sprucy, the final taste is classic blonde ale with a hint of wheat and cream.

Finishing with a medium-light body and a crisp mineral graininess- the beer's pilsneresque character begins to show. Light grain derived astringency plays into a finish of lemongrass, fresh-cut grass, and an herbal leafiness akin to sassafras tea.

 1,123 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of zeff80
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 12/24/2016. Pours fairly hazy/cloudy golden yellow color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy white head with solid retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Good appearance. Aromas of vanilla, wheat, cracker, and biscuit; with lighter notes of lemon, apple, banana, clove, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of vanilla, bready malt, and light fruity/spicy yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of big vanilla, wheat, cracker, and biscuit; with lighter notes of lemon, apple, banana, clove, and yeast earthiness. Light bitterness/yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of vanilla, wheat, cracker, biscuit, light banana/clove, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness and balance of vanilla, bready malt, and light fruity/spicy yeast flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth and moderately creamy/grainy mouthfeel that is nice. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 5.5%. Overall this is a very good pale wheat ale. All around good robustness and balance of vanilla, bready malt, and light fruity/spicy yeast flavors; very smooth and refreshing to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,434 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of chinchill
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 fl. oz. bottle in a goblet on 19 November, 2016.

The pour is a slightly hazy golden color with a short, weak head. Minimal lacing.

Aroma: vanilla, light bread and spicy hops.
Flavor: lots of vanilla, perhaps too much, along with a faint toasted malt note and light, spicy hops.

Medium body.

 298 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very light brown with a little bit of a haze; nice lacing as it goes down. The smell is dominated by the vanilla beans, which mix well with the wheat-beer style, but it just isn't quite the same as Alpine's fruit-infused beers. The taste is again primarily the vanilla bean, with a little bit of wheat-induced sweetness. The mouthfeel is fairly nice, light, and crisp, which leads to a fairly-nice drinkability.

 420 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Kegatron
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
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 vfgccp
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of nathanmiller
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.

 489 characters

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Willy Vanilly from Alpine Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 292 ratings
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