Fortunate Islands | Modern Times Beer

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151 Reviews
Fortunate IslandsFortunate Islands

Brewed by:
Modern Times Beer
California, United States | website

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Fortunate Islands shares the characteristics of an uber-hoppy IPA and an easy drinking wheat beer. A massive dose of Citra and Amarillo hops gives it a blastwave of tropical hop aromatics: mango, tangerine, and passionfruit all leap out of the glass. Brewed with 60% wheat malt, Fortunate Islands also has the mild, nutty malt backbone, reasonable ABV, and restrained bitterness to make it an outstanding session beer.

Added by Pecan on 07-11-2013

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Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 1,016
Photo of SomethingClever
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can poured into nonic pint

A: Hazy dirty gold color not much head as it was a soft pour but the carbonation through the glass looks lively

S: So juicy very peachy light mango sweet maybe touches of bread and a little toffee

T: very peachy tasting some tangerine citrus surprisingly not as sweet as the nose would imply a little dry semi-sweet though very smooth no alcohol at all

M: Light and a little clingy which seems at odds but there it is

O: This is hands down my favorite wheat beer if you are forced to drink a wheat beer why not make it juicy with hops. Modern Times knocked this one out of the park Citra Hops in my Wheat beer why thank you I think I will.

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Photo of jchain
4.81/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I LOVE this beer! It is a citrus-y, tropical fruity, yet hoppy, wheat beer. ... Let that all soak in for a bit. Just a really enjoyable -- and surprising -- drinking experience. Highly recommended.

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Photo of breadwinner
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Great little session-sort of ale, all hopped up on tropical fruit, Citra out the nose, perhaps a bit full feeling because of the wheat, but altogether a fun and novel take on a sub-5% ABV wheat ale.

(Edit: Recipe appears to have changes slightly, with the ABV @ 5% flat now. Not sure what else has changed, but I can't say I'm enjoying recent cans as much as previously. The aroma is still nice, though not quite as rich in tropical goodness. The body also hints at a sort of wateriness that I don't remember it having previously. I dunno. Maybe it's just changing palates and all that. Still a nice brew, but not the unique session beer I remember it as.)

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Photo of nickvasallo
4.75/5  rDev +15%

My favorite new beer from Fortunate Islands in San Diego, CA. Hard to find. Not a wheat beer at all, this is more like a pale ale, hoppy yet smooth. It has a sweet fruity nose and fresh hoppy taste.

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Photo of SteveB24
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- color is a clear gold, scattered carbonation within the beer, pours 3 fingers of white, frothy head, about a half finger remains throughout with nice lacing.
Aroma is very pleasant, a solid presence of tropical fruit and citrus notes, with the wheat in the background. The flavor is very nice and crisp, citrus hop notes upfront, including oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit, with creamy wheat in the backbone. Texture is crisp upfront with a touch of dryness, finishes with a bit of cream on the tongue, carbonation is quite mild.
Overall; a tasty and balanced, light, experience. One of the best wheat beers out there IMO, hope to drink lots of this next summer.

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

16 oz. can obtained on trade (thanks, Dr. J.S.) from the greater San Diego area, unknown brewing/canning date, poured into my Smoke & Barrel snifter glass, drank over 30-45 minutes

A: 3/3 - golden-orange coloration, low clarity (cannot read or see through) but appropriate for a hoppy wheat, 1/4 glass lacing with lakes cling to the glass, low-to-moderate carbonation; small alcohol legs

A: 10/12 - moderate intensity mandarin orange, tangerine, pineapple, mango and pine; don't get much wheat or other malt character on the nose; little alcohol aroma; no DMS; no diacetyl

T: 16/20 - moderate hop bitterness hits up front; in the middle of the palate, the tropical fruit and citrus notes open up - again, tangerine, mango, papaya - with some pine; slightly bready and wheat funkiness; on the backend, there is a continuing sweetness that slight lingers; little alcohol flavors; finishes inviting of subsequent sips

M: 4/5 - thin body but slightly accentuated by hop oils coating the tongue; low-to-moderate carbonation

O: 9/10 - excellent sessionable wheat that I'd place right up there with Lil' Sumptin' Sumptin' and Gumballhead; the Citra and Amarillo combination plays really well, and I'd argue, is greater than the sum of it's parts; definitely recommend purchasing or trading for if you like hoppy, sessionable wheats in Summer

TOTAL - 42/50

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Photo of mdfb79
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%

From 10/16/14 notes. Big thanks ot Nugganooch for sending me this out; thanks Dane. 16 oz. can poured into a tulip.

Pours a hazy golden-yellow color with one finger of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Citrus hops, tropical fruits, bready malts, caramel malts, light pine hops, and floral hops. Medium body and low to moderate carbonation.

Overall a good beer. Maltier than I was expecting just based on the description, but easy to dirnk and good. Worth checking out.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a deep yellow to a yellowish orange color. two plus fingers of a foamy white head that leaves behind a pretty solid lacing and has fairly strong retention. completely clear and bright

Smell: citrus, tropical fruits, fruit juice, hop resin. slightly sweet malty backbone.

Taste: opens up with strong hoppy flavors. ranging from citrus to tropical with a little bit of pine/resin thrown in. very juicy and has a strong fruit juice quality to it. after all this hoppiness there is a light semi sweet malt base.

Mouthfeel: light and wheaty. low lingering bitterness.

Overall: while this beer is a pleasant and tasty beer it is more inline with a hoppy pale ale than a wheat beer. from the clearness of the beer to the lack of wheat, grassy taste , it is hard to see this as a wheat beer.

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Photo of ianw87
4.75/5  rDev +15%

This is one of my favorite session beers I've ever had. I really enjoy the hop profile, perfectly bitter with a great fruitiness. Smooth, light and easy to drink. Modern Times is really killing it. They also post their recipes on BeerSmith which is awesome.

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Photo of BenwayPHD
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Pours a hazy golden color with a thick two finger head. The nose is all hops all the time. I'm talking pine, pineapple, tangarine, orange juice, orange peel, lemon. You want it, it's there. The first thing you taste is the resiny hop bitterness, but that is quickly followed by the wheat flavor. I've got to say I like the smell more than the flavor.

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Photo of SensorySupernova
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Appearance: Crystal clear straw color with a long-lasting, rocky white head.

Smell: Big floral and citrus hop smell.

Taste: Moderate hop bitterness right up front, quickly mellowed out by a hefty bready backbone. Some sweetness on the back end. Lingering mild bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Moderately thick, creamy, with plenty of carbonation.

Overall: Light but very flavorful American Pale Wheat Ale that is not too bitter, considering the amount of hop aroma.

Side note: Of the four-pack I bought, one of the cans was a bit dinged up and had a slight metallic aftertaste that was off-putting. The other cans were fine. I had it on tap later; none of that taste was present.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%

Thanks to grze for hooking up the tulip and an array of cans...enjoyed from said modern times tulip.

a - brew pours a semi transparent tan amber with a generous frothy IPA like head that never fully leaves, and leaves spotty lace in its wake.

s - nose is a burst of tropical hop. Rich and lush.

t/m/o - a wheat beer? Whatchya talkin about Willis? This is a west coast hop bomb, not a wheat beer. Really flavorful but not overdone like some west coasts can be. Really tastefully done, really easy drinking and refreshing. I wish I could get this locally. Great beer!

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.75/5  rDev +15%

This beer pours from a 16oz can (thanks for brining it cross country L!) and is a clear golden straw color. There is almost no foam here, what little there is almost completely dissipates within a few seconds of pouring this beer. The nose is nice and light citrus, mostly grapefruit and some small amounts of peach. The flavor here is a gentle grapefruit up front, but not in an intense (read DIPA) way. This fruit is followed quickly by a slight bit of hop bitterness, it does not linger and the aftertaste is a nice refreshing wheat beer. This beer is light, fruity, refreshing, and not overly crisp. There is some nice malt notes here (especially on the aftertaste) that balance the hops and fruit.

This is a beer that I can only dream about having regular access too. My god its good!

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Photo of Treyliff
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%

no canning date. poured into a pilsener glass

A- pours a clear golden color with only a small haze, foamy and fluffy white head that retains long after the pour, leaving some lacing behind 4

S- loads of tropical citrus notes jump out immediately with an emphasis on tangerine, mango & passionfruit. Underlying toasted malt with wheat on the back end. The tropical fruit aroma is out of this world 4.5

T- the tropical hoppy notes continue through to the taste; fresh tangerine juice, mango, guava, even a little bit of pineapple. There's a nice toasted wheat malty background that rounds out the tropical hop notes and gives great balance, toasted malt on the finish with more tangerine on the linger 4.5

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthful, eventually finishing smooth and crisp 4.25

O- One of the best session beers I've ever had. The tropical fruity hop notes shine, despite being less than 5% ABV. The toasted wheat finish balances it nearly perfectly 4.5

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed out of a 16 oz tallboy can with no dating that I can locate anywhere on the can. Poured into a classic 20 oz weizen glass.

Appearance (4.0) - Pours a brownish amber hue with a slight haze--I expected a bit more cloudiness--and a lazy trail of bubbles rising up through the glass to replenish three fingers of tight cream white foam. Retention is quite good, with the head hanging around far longer than I'm willing to wait to start in. As I drink it down, there are random patches of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell (4.0) - A really pleasant blend of citrus and tropical fruits, but not overpowering or pungent like you'd expect from an IPA. Instead, they provide a pleasant, soft infusion of fruit, with notes of mango and blood orange alongside some gentle grapefruit pith to infuse just a hint of acidity. The wheat base doesn't come through much, but there is a clear pale malt component to the grain bill to provide a base for the hops.

Taste (4.25) - Here, the wheat base is more present, but not overly aggressive and still allows the excellent blending of hops to shine. As with the aroma, the fruity elements are at the same time clearly defined, yet not overpowering or pungent. Pleasant mango and guava profiles flow through alongside a slight grapefruit bitterness. Both rest alongside a nice grainy base of wheat cracker and fresh bread.

Mouthfeel (4.25) - Light-bodied with moderate carbonation and a round, creamy feel on the tongue that gets just enough counterpoint from the active carbonation to feel active and refreshing.

Overall (4.25), a really nice take on the hoppy pale wheat ale substyle that seems to be more and more popular. I like that it manages to retain it's wheat beer roots while imparting a perfectly complementary blend of citrus and tropical fruit through the hops.

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Photo of mabermud
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer has a clear, golden body with a white thin head. It smells like honey, but doesn't match in the taste department. The front end is drab, but the back end kind of makes up for the mismatch with some sweet, faded tropical hops. The mouthfeel is lacking. I am disappointed. Maybe I received old cans...Who knows, I will revisit in the future.

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Photo of farrago
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Finger plus of just off white foam, mottled surface, dissolves fairly swiftly thus revealing its airy structure, hardly any stickiness to the lacing hence not much lacing. Thin orange color, the liquid is very bright and shiny just not much depth of hue, some fade to yellow around the edges, minimal visible bubbles. Very pleasing and clean nose, youthfully fresh pineapple, guava, nectarine fruit, blood orange citrus, pretzel dough, wheat germ, grassy but never too biting, the malts do not coalesce into distinct scents but lend textural softness, lingers well without seeming forced. Light to medium-bodied, smooth mouth feel although the carbonation at times seems too aggressive for the overall weight. The graininess is present while the herbaceous element recedes. The sour orange to grapefruit citrus steps up its game, big player. There’s flavor but not sugary sweetness in the pineapple, apple, nectarine, papaya fruit, allows for a more sour finish. Delivers some floral retronasal lift. Earthy residue on the tongue, not unclean but has been out in the fields all day. Interesting, drinkable, not something I’d seek out multiple times but happy if it crossed my path.

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Photo of GJ40
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 16oz can with no date.

Golden and clear with a small white head and a steady rise of bubbles. The aroma is fantastic with citrusy and floral hops that greet you with every sip. A slight contribution from the wheat as well. The flavors stays true to the aroma with wonderful tropical fruit and citrusy notes. The bitterness is a bit low and if anything, I think this beer could use a bit more. Smooth with a low carbonation.

A super refreshing beer with lots of well behaved flavor. Perfect for a warm summer day.

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Photo of brentk56
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a clear goldenstraw with a massive head that leaves lacing all over the place

Smell: Tropical fruit and citrus with perhaps a hint of bread

Taste: Wheat bread underpins the tropical fruit and citrus flavors from the hops; a bit grassy, too; lingering bitter finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: This is what all American Wheats aspire to be when they grow up; best in style by a mile

Thanks, lincolnbeard, for the opportunity

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks, Abraham.

A mildly hazy orange with a dense off white head with solid retention and lacing, this looks good. Not surprisingly, this doesn't smell like an APWA. Instead, its massively hoppy with plenty of bright citrus and tropical fruit, so much so that it smells like fruit juice. Mango and peach are most prominent. A mild grainy backbone is noticeable as well. Excellent.

The palate opens bright and fruity with juicy mango and peach along with grapefruit and oranges. This is followed by an earthy, mildly crackery malt backbone, dry, snappy, mildly crisp and with some wheat. Drying on the finish with lingering peach with a faint bitterness and grainy huskiness, this beer is light in body and is highly carbonated, more than I'd like in fact. Very good.

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Photo of JDV
1.92/5  rDev -53.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Smell is huge diacetyl. Buttery popcorn all the way. Very big disappointment. Hopefully a bad batch because this is not good at all. Tastes buttery, creamy, stale and in no way smells or tastes tropical or even wheaty. Bad first impression to a brewery I was excited about and was thinking I was really going to like.

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Photo of MisSigsFan
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16oz can into my Spiegelau glass. Light golden yellow with foamy white head. Malty sweetness on the nose with some citrus and fruit. It's not faint either, it's very in-your-face. Taste is not at all what you'd expect from a wheat beer. At 46 IBU this is basically a pale ale with wheat malt as the base. There's a lot of wheat in the front with a good amount of citrus and tropical fruit to go along with it. This is an IPA lover's wheat beer. Mouthfeel is pretty good, I'd say it needs more carbonation though. Other than that this is the perfect summer beer. Light, hoppy, and very sessionable.

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Photo of ANIMOUL
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While not a fan of wheat beers, this was a pleasant surprise. A great combination of fruity-hoppiness and the smooth drinkability of wheat-type beers. It has a sweet floral aroma (i.e. smell). At a couple ticks below 5% ABV it is very crushable (i.e. sessionable). I can see why it's classified as a 'wheat pale ale'.

Good stuff from a great San Diego brewery.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.57/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is probably the best pale wheat I've had. Big tropical fruits and tangerine/mango nose. Great right from the can. Crisp and refreshing. This is what a session IPA wishes it could be. Balanced sweet & bitter. The mouthfeel has good carb and is quenching.

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Photo of hopsputin
3.74/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: its a dark burnt orange/caramel color with some lighter orange notes on the bottom. 2 finger fizzy white head that fades down to 1 finger pretty quickly

s: wheat, pale malt, apricot, juicy fruit snacks (i know i know), some sharp grapefruit, strawberry. end with some crisp sweet caramel

t: had a hard time the first few sips trying to pick something out - its a little flat at first. there is some pale wheaty-straw. there is some watery fruit in here as well. strawberry, apricot, grapefruit, pineapple. ends with a little punch of buttery flavor

m: its a lighter mouthfeel with almost no carbonation

o: well, i'll start by saying that there is nothing offensive in here. however, its a bit watery and has too much of that buttery flavor in here. everything seems a little too mixed together, and nothing is really pippin in here. its definitely an easy drinker - but seems to come at a cost of a little flavor

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Fortunate Islands from Modern Times Beer
92 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.
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