Griffin Claw Brewing Company

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American Wheatwine Ale
Ranked #13
Ranked #6,355
4.09 | pDev: 8.8%
Griffin Claw Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Notes: Bourbon barrel-aged wheatwine
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 68
Photo of thebeers
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Hazed gold with two fingers of airy, off-white head. Sort of looks like a tripel. Decent lacing.

Musty, woody aroma with hints of vanilla bourbon.

Taste largely follows the nose. The barrel presence is a bit more distinct. There’s a little apple and raisin. Clear alcohol. The beer is fairly bitter and a touch dry for the style, although not over the top.

Medium bodied with tight carbonation.

It’s okay, but is a bit of a let down. Worse than other wheatwines I’ve tried, and not in the same class as the Flying Buffalo stout.

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Photo of Sammy
3.27/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

raisiny.not so drinkable. bubble gum in finish. something real sour milk finish.2014 bottle.off flavours for sure thinks, from the beginning.big booze.

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Photo of BWood
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to @ecoboostinst for this one.

2015 vintage

Copper orange color with no real head.

Smell is sweet wheatwine with some vanilla and slight slight barrel.

Taste is good. Nothing stands out as exceptional though. The Bruery makes a BA wheat wine that is much better imo. But this is not bad though.

Silky feel. Clean finish. Pretty creamy.

Overall this was good. But I was hoping for more to be honest since I am a fan of the style.

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Photo of maximum12
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Lazhal for this: I am on a quest to collect & pass through my bladder every wheatwine, everywhere. 22 oz. white-waxed bottle dated 2015 split with my wife.

The wax is both brittle & resistant to most man-made tools; I manage to get it off without shedding any blood. Pour is a fiery orange that I believe Guy Montag would approve of. Smells like birch syrup, vanilla sweetness. No beer. I’m OK with that.

OB.LIV.I.OUS…did I get the periods right? The bottle is all the way across the room. Super sweet malts with a heavy dose of vanilla to the right lung sac, & a soft backing of bourbon. Wood – probably St. Helena Gumwood – mingles socially with sherry, creamed oranges, with the wheat coming in gently on the finish. Appropriately heavy, & I could appropriate this whole bottle. Unfortunately my wife is enjoying her 11 ounces as well (OK, her 10.25 ounces).

My quest so far for the rye version hasn’t borne fruit, nor wheat, but after suckling at this teat, I’ll go at it again. Excellent beer & wonderful example of the style.

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Photo of stortore
3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into a tulip snifter.

Pours a clear, copper color, with a half inch, quickly dissipating head and little lacing. Smell is lighter malt, bourbon, yeast, vanilla, caramel, a bit of a spicy aroma. The taste starts with the bourbon, then the lighter malt, caramel, vanilla, some orange and oak. Smooth, good body, well carbonated.

Good effort, true to the style, it's really bourbon forward when warm. Enjoyable to drink. The really high price point for this, makes it a little hard to solidly recommend a purchase, though.

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Photo of larryi86
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thank you strohme2 for this
22 oz bottle poured into tulip

A- A clear copper color with a two finger white head.

S- Sweet, caramel malts, vanilla, bourbon, oak, some toasted wheat, some earth spice.

T- Sweet, caramel malts, toasted sweet bread, vanilla, bourbon, touch of fruit, some nice oak and earthy spice, well balanced.

M- Smooth, medium body, creamy.

O- A well balanced and very easy to drink wheat wine, 10% ABV is not noticeable. Nicely done!

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, 2015 vintage bottling. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy orange/amber color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big caramel, honey, brown sugar, toffee, golden raisin, plum apricot, apple, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, light herbal, and yeast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of pale malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, honey, brown sugar, toffee, golden raisin, plum apricot, apple, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, light herbal, and yeast/oak earthiness. Light-moderate bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, honey, brown sugar, toffee, golden raisin, plum apricot, apple, vanilla, bourbon, toasted oak, light herbal, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of pale malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great malt/bourbon/oak spiciness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth and cream/silky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barrel aged wheatwine style! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of pale malt, fruity yeast, and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle at a New Year's Eve "party." $18 for a bottle I believe ... hadn't had a wheatwine for awhile, so decided to take the plunge.

Appearance: A clear orange-brown color with really no head or lacing. Some steady carbonation from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Wish I did notes while drinking. I remember a super nice bourbon barrel aroma more than anything, with a clean caramel malt sort of undertone. Not super wheaty, and definitely not how I remember wheatwines tasting ... although I've only had a couple.

Taste/feel: Not very heavy, and there's an unexpected "crispness" to this beer that I wasn't at all expecting. I was looking to see a boozy, warm, lightly carbonated brew, but this actually has a decent bit of carbonation to it. The flavor is like the smell -- not much to it, but very pleasant. Nice bourbon barrel flavors predominately, with some caramel malts and a tiny bit of wheat.

Again, wish I took notes while drinking this beer. What I remember was, "This is really tasty, but not $18 a bottle tasty..." since it lacks depth. Not bitter, not very sweet, not very hot/boozy... just a nice tasting -- albeit overpriced -- beer.

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Photo of Giggy
4.04/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper in color, very little head, but what little there is sticks around. Served in a snifter, very little aroma. Sweet with a bourbon bite at the end of the swallow. Good not great.

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Photo of justinp444
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft poured into a snifter vintage 2014 . It has a nice gold amber color with a thin head. Smell of oak, cherry, vanilla, dried fruit. Massive taste of fresh fig and other dried fruits, smaller notes of vanilla, cherry, oak, and some floral flavors.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Red wax capped 22oz bottle from IAmJacksHopTongue (thanks so much!). Vintage 2014. Served in a Three Floyds teku.

Pours a deep, murky, golden amber with about two fingers of frothy white head. A fairly thick collar lingers and leaves some sizeable patches of lace.

Fairly sharp aromas of sweet wheat grain, apple skins, toasted oak and a hint of toffee. Not necessarily what I expect from either wheatwines or bourbon barrel aging but decent nonetheless.

Flavors are bready and boozey. Wheat grains, apple, toasted oak, doughy bread, caramel, cereal, mild toffee, vaguely funky almost Belgian seeming yeasty notes and a healthy kick of alcohol. There is some good stuff going on but it seems like some of the flavors clash instead of harmonize.

Syrupy medium full feel with moderate carbonation. A good bit of boozey heat in the finish with layers of grainy wheat, yeasty apple and caramel.

OB.LIV.I.OUS is certainly on the right path but unfortunately falls a bit short for me. Between the apple, grain and booze heat there are just too many disparate notes that don't mesh well in my opinion.

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Ob.liv.i.ous from Griffin Claw Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 68 ratings