Haystack Wheat | Left Hand Brewing Company

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Haystack WheatHaystack Wheat
240 Ratings
Haystack WheatHaystack Wheat

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Hefeweizen

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by finepaws on 09-04-2005

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Ratings: 240 |  Reviews: 180
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"There's no need to fear the wind if your haystacks are tied down."

--Irish proverb

Pale tangerine with a flurry of fine yeast and a generous number of uprushing bubbles. All that carbonation has created an ecru cap that was three fingers to start and shouldn't lose digits very quickly. It could be stickier, though, since no more than a few shredded sheets of soapy lace find their way to the glass.

Haystack Wheat is absolutely, positively, without a doubt a hefe weizen. I could tell that as soon as the first ounce splashed into the glass. The brewery considers it to be a 'German wheat' and says it has 'classic accents of banana, clove and nutmeg'. I agree, although I'm not so sure about that nutmeg thing. There's plenty of monkey fruit, that's for damn sure.

This is a pretty good version that, nevertheless, can't touch the German originals. I'm just glad that Left Hand decided to use an actual hefe weizen yeast strain and decided against foisting another insipid American pale wheat on us all. The world has far too many of those already.

Unless I miss my guess, quite a bit of pale malt (pils malt actually) is added to the kettles. The tart tanginess of the wheat still comes through loud and clear however. The other members of the malt bill are red wheat and dark winter wheat. Northern Brewer and Perle hops add a hint of flavor, a touch of balancing bitterness and otherwise stay the hell out the way.

Ripe banana isn't quite the presence on the palate that it is in the nose. Still though, the beer earns a more than respectable hefe weizen banan-o-meter score of 3.5/5.0. Ground clove is less prominent, but still noticeable. Still no nutmeg as far as I can tell. I like what I'm tasting and I like it even more as the goodies at the bottom of the bottle are added to the glass.

The mouthfeel isn't nearly as bubbled as it looked immediately after the pour. I like beer of this style to be either lightly silky smooth or more full and creamy. This one doesn't fit comfortably into either camp.

Sometimes it's difficult to tell if American craft brewers are trying to brew a true hefe weizen or not. This time it's obvious. This Left Hand offering is a commendable version that is nicely drinkable because the taste buds are given something of interest to chew on. I'd take a bottle of Haystack Wheat over an APWA any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Left Hand Haystack Wheat
12 oz brown bottle
Bottled on 06-28-06
Served in a Schneider Weisse glass

Pours a hazy and cloudy peach color. Decent head on top, but provides minimal sustain. Thick sediment appears from the bottom of the bottle.

Fruity nose with whiffs of wheat and a touch of lemons.

Flavors of banana nut bread and cloves. A dry wheat quality provides the foundation with an apple cider punch on the finish. Similiar to a true Hefe-Weizen in many respects, but not quite fully there.

I would like to try this beer again with a fresher sample. Nevertheless, a good American wheat beer with some hefe characteristics.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle with a bottled on date into a pint glass. It had a hazy golden year color with a small head and decent carbonation. The smell was sweet malt with a light banana smell that seemed somewhat off. It was freshly brewed and came from a good store so guessing that it just has an off smell and was not bad sample. Mouthfeel was standard. The taste was average in general and for the style. It was kinda weak with a slightly watered taste. This is the first Left Hand beer that I didn't love but will try again. For now, I'd only recommend if you just love the style or want to make off list. (3.5, RB, Tie, O)

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Photo of Beaver13
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a very murky yellow brown with a fine white head that retains and laces the glass.

The aroma is wheat, banana and cloves.

The flavor is sweet bready malts and lots of banana with some citrus and light spices. The mouthfeel is medium with sharp carbonation and slightly watery.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. It is a light and unadventurous hefe, but it is decent.

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Photo of zeff80
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a cloudy, gold color with a foamy, white two-finger head. Leaves no lace.

S - It smelled of wheat and clove.

T - It tasted strongly of clove, wheat and yeast. It was quite sweet, too.

M - It was crisp and very light-bodied.

D - Very good for the style. Nice blend of wheat, yeast and sweet kick.

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Photo of 1fastz28
2.97/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a very cloudy puke brown color with not much head, smells of citrus and malt. nearly no carbonation in this one, maybe due to the fact its january and its a summer release beer, tastes average for a what, nothing phenomenal, but still tasty nonetheless. tastes of citrus with hardly any hop character, i'd probably enjoy it more if it were a hot summer day rather than a cold winter night

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Photo of mentor
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle obtained in a mixed 12 pack. Bottle date 10-18-2006. Poured a soda poppy head until I swirled and dumped in the yeast. nice light tan head with staying power. Cloudy light brown-puke-colored wit particulates settled on the bottom. Smells fruity ester and sweet. Banana and a touch of phenolic edge.

Tastes spicey dry in the front while simultaneously wet in the back. Strawberry, banana, clove. Yeasty and dry pizza dough. Dry tongue in the finish. Hops are some clean lemon citrus and a bit grassy. Simple with an interesting sour during the swallow. A fine wheat beer (which is not a style I care for). Md to md-thick with heavy carbonation. Rated to style.

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Photo of Franchise
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark lemon/orange with a thick white head that stays a bit with this brew. The aroma is ripe bananas, cloves, honey, herbal sweetness, similar to a tropical drink. The taste is candied citrus lemon upfront followed by a fruity, honey spiced syrupy finish complemented with a wheat, bready, mouthfeel, and a hoppy bitterness. This imo is more like a traditonal hefeweizen than an American Wheat.

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Photo of normZurawski
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks fine, smells of yeast. Strong taste of yeast, with a little sour finish. Mouthfeel thin with light sour aftertaste which doesn't translate all that well to my taste buds. Drinkability is decent. Overall nothing to scream about. Not bad, but not worth going crazy for.

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Photo of terrabyte
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice hazy golden light-brown pour.

Yeasty smell with sweet wheat aroma.

Heavy orange citrus taste dominates this beer. A nice subtle hint of cloves and spices warm the flavor, transitioning to the aftertaste. Unfortunately, the aftertaste didn't change much for me, still giving me too much orange flavor.

It was still very drinkable, just not too complex.

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Photo of mountdew1
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled on 11 09 05. Drank from a standard pint glass. Smell was interesting, almost slightly like a pimento stuffed green olive. Taste had a very small hint of the same. The end of the pint was very very bitter, actually made me shudder. Possibly an iffy bottle, which heavily goes towards my averages across the board. It was a little thin in the mouth, I perefer a thicker drink that lingers for a while. The head disappeared quickly, with just a trace of white left during the drink. It was an interesting beer that I would want to try again before making a solid yeah or nay vote, albeit with a fresher bottle.

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Photo of asabreed
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle stamped bottled on 4.26.06. Poured into an Aventinus weizen glass.

Appearance: I swirled and poured the yeast, so there's a lovely haze going on without being so unfiltered-looking you can't see through it. Sappy, drippy patterned tears of lacing are slowly left around the top of the bulb, and the head fades fairly fast but still leaves some around the top, enough to have a visual white point of reference.

Smell: Bread and cookie flavors come first, with some yeast, highly sweet wheat aromas, some banana, and some heavy cream.

Taste: Again, the cookie like flavors, maybe from the yeast, come through, with the too subdued flavors of banana, yeastiness, bread crust, vanilla, and lemon. This has the potential to be awesome, but it's way too slight all around, minus the balance, as the finish doesn't end up too sweet, which I also like.

Mouthfeel: Slightly watery as I expected it to be a bit creamier with a bit more carbonation.

Drinkability: Not something I'd buy a 6-pack of probably, but I'd drink it again. It's not that it's not a balanced brew, it just seems a little safe and subdued to me and doesn't really take that extra step that a domestic needs to catch up to the real deals.

 1,233 characters

Photo of Dithyramb
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew was part of a mixed 12 pack that was purchased a few weeks ago. To the beer's detriment, I sampled it on the boat iced down. The bad part for the beer was that we also had a 6 pack of Dreamweaver chillin. Though this was a nice beer that wasn't bad in any way, the Dreamweaver was just better.
Pours as one would expect, with all the required esthers on the nose.
The taste was nice. It had very faint rumblings of the various wheat brew tastes that you are drinking it for. Not overly banana, clove, bubblegum or anything else for that manner. Felt, like with the other Left Hand brews that I've had, like it was being held back for some reason.
Finished pretty clean with a touch of sweetness. A little chewy and drinkable. From ice cold to warmed up because of crazy blue fish schools, this one wasn't bad.

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Photo of gunnerman
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a wheat glass, nice looking gold color with a nice 1 inch head that leaves minimal lace on the glass. Smell is of cream corn maybe thanksgiving turkey. Taste reminds me of juicy fruit gum, very refreshing and tasting, this would be good on a hard sweaty summer day to just drink and refresh yourself. This is one of my favorites from Left Hand and I rate this wheat beer as one of my all time summer drinks.

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Photo of shbobdb
2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Good lord!

An honest attempt to make a Hefe-Weizen by an American brewery! I was shocked when I tasted this beer to find that banana-bubblegum flavour that I long for in a good Weizen.

Unfortunately, as I drank on, it became apparent how one-dimensional this beer really was. First, it was slightly undercarbonated for the style. More importantly, it nearly completely lacked the clove taste that serve to balance the banana flavours in most weizens. *MOST* importantly, there was something definately missing in the malt department. This beer felt . . . thin, and the wheat spiciness didn't really manage to come though.

As the beer warmed, man. Artificial banana, that's all I've got to say. Yellow-popsickle. I mean, it makes sense, since I'm guessing the yeast make the same ester that some factory off the New Jersey turnpike makes to flavour your popsickles.

By the end of the beer, I was really tryin' hard to finish it. A weizen normally ranks amongst the most drinkable of beers. That this one, well, isn't, should tell you something.

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Photo of ChrisA
4.09/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Banana and cloves on the nose. Poured a cloudy golden color. Thin head. Cloves and banana follow through on the palate. An excellent wheat. Closest version to a German Hefe from an American brewer yet. This was off putting to my wife and friends. They did not like the idea of their beer tasting like bananas. I typically don't care for wheats, but this one delivers as promised. A definite departure from what I normally prefer, however I will rate this one based on style. Excellent wheat beer. I highly recommend if this is your style.

 538 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is a cloudy golden orange. Head is below average is height and doesn't last very long. Aroma reminds me of a witbier, smell is a sweet combination of orange peel and spices. Flavor is more of the same, belgian spices are evident alongside sweet citrus. Wheat flavors provide a solid backbone. Corriander is especially noticed in a peppery finish. One downside, the flavors could be a bit bigger.

Note: Most reviewers linked Haystack with flavors typical of a hefeweizen, for some reason my sample displayed the characteristics of a witbier.

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Photo of dturchin
4.17/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

bought at: learys, newburyport, ma

A: an inviting hazy golden hue as you'd expect from an hefe, that unfilterted sediment slowly glides down the center of the brew dulling the shimmering gold which eventually fades into a more muted/tarnished gold/orange sun reflected in the ocean on hot summer day...make sure to roll this one around and repour to get the good stuff from the bottom if you're drinking out of a bottle, its so exhilirating to watch that yeast swimming to the bottom of the brew and start to let off those big aromas

S: sink your nose into the glass and its hard not to stick out your tongue and start lapping this stuff up...big overripe banana/banana bread with faint citrus undertones (grapefruit is predominant), with subtle suggestion of clove to come

MF: banana and faint citrus up front with gum coming on later, banana really sits on the middle of your tongue as citrus fades towards the sides and gum washes over the back...perfect carbonation for the style, if only a bit prickly towards as it goes down

T: cirtus comes on first, big, if not slightly unbalanced,banana all over the place coupled with citrus undertones as it goes down, really subtle clove as the flavors start to leave your tongue, with that ever so subtle gum/"band aid" (as one reviewer called it - pretty accurate) coming off the tongue as the banana and citrus wash over

D: great session beer if you're ready for a big banana/banana bread presence thats gonna linger...awesome summertime beer...six pack on the beach...can't go wrong with this one if you want to class it up a bit

overall way above "average" (however you may define that, i guess its relative) in terms of american wheats, im a big sammy fan being from the boston area but this blows their summer offering (which i once swore by) away, if youre looking for a little banana in your life, this is your summer brew...would i like more balanced flavors? maybe, but the flavors that do come across are well executed in an overall very good to great beer

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Photo of sterstar1
4.8/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite summertime brew. Light, crisp and smooth with a banana nose and a clove finish. This brew is fantastic on tap but like most beers, it looses something when it goes into a bottle. When pouring from a bottle, you need to roll the bottle on it's side for a few minutes to get the yeast that has settled in the bottom to mix back up it's the yeast that gives this true German hefeweizen it’s wonderful taste and aroma. If you ever get a chance to get this amazing beer on tap, order one and you won’t be disappointed.

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Photo of Phatz
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer pours a very golden color with a hazy translucent body and a large off-white head that has decent retention.

Smell: Somewhat typical American Hefe smell of banana and cloves, then a splash of lemon and a serving of wheat in the nose.

Taste: The taste is classic banana, clove flavor but not cloyingly banana; only a gentle hint along side a nice lemon grass flavor. Basically the flavor is pretty straightforward and clean but approachable and easy drinking.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is light with a nice amount of carbonation and apropos for the style.

Drinkability: This is a very easy drinking, great hot summer afternoon light, sessionable, wheat beer.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

5/22/06- Purchased at Holiday Wine Cellars in Escondido, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with a bottled on date on the side of the label. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Cloudy yellow, maybe darker yellow-urine colored. Huge overflowing head. Lost a good few ounces of brew due to the overflow. Foam stayed for most of the beer. Impressive or flawed? Lacing was better than average.

Smell- Dank wheat scent with a bit of a grainy nose.

Taste- Wheat, wheat and more wheat. A bit on the sweeter side. Mild to moderate spices. Maybe a touch of banana and clove. Hefeweizen aspects.

Mouthfeel- Pretty hefty in the carbonation department.

Drinkability- Pretty decent example of an american wheat. Would recommend. Not sure of the overflow though. Spoiled? Tasted decent enough.

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Photo of russpowell
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours straw colored (a little cloudy) with an efferevescent 2" deep white head. Some lacing and head retention

Smell; Huge band aidy& banana peel scents, hefe fans will dig this

Taste: Large fruttyness up front with a hint of cinamon??? Then banana peel hitsfollowed up by a quenching bubble gum finish

MF: Good carbonation & balance

Pretty drinkable despite this being one of my least favorite styles. If this isn't really a hefe, I'd say my scores need to drop, but every time I've had this, it says hefe! This would fit in well in Germany

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Photo of weeare138
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to TomDecapolis for this...
Appears a hazy, light gold with a small fizzy white head that fades out quickly.
Smell is of lemon, orange, mild banana esters with a nice punch of yeast & wheat.
Taste is mildly tart of citrus with a yeasty wheat combo.
Mouthfeel is slightly thin but ok in the grand scheme of things. A drinkable American Hefe.

 351 characters

Photo of DogFood11
3.41/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Be careful on the pour with this brew, it can get away from you. Forms a big, loose, fizzy head that lays down some decent lacing. Little bit of sediment, medium carbonation, hazy orange color.

Pretty light in the nose, some bananna, cloves, spiciness here and there. Comes across a bit bolder in the taste which was welcomed. Kinda sweet, kinda boring. A little citrus lemony zest type pucker is short, cleaning up some sweetness. Something about this reminds me of that distinct belgian yeast taste that really makes this interesting In the end its a decent American wheat and compared to most this is well above average in my book.

Refreshing, light and easily a sessioner if you desire.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a slightly hazy peachy orange color with a light cap of head over top. A mild carbonation bubbles from the bottom of my glass. . I get a mild banana estery fruit character, with a nice creamy wheat behind it. There is also a light lemonyness faint in the background. Fruity banana domnates. Flavor is again, mild banana and clove spice with a rich wheat creamyness, with that lemon making an appearance on the finish. Its mild, with flavors coming across a little muted, but its tasty. Feel is on the light end of moderate with a solid active carbonation. Overall, this is a nice interpretaion on a wheat beer. I'd swear that this one is brewed with a hefe strain, at least in part. I'd like the flavors to be a bit stronger, but I'd have it again.

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Haystack Wheat from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 240 ratings
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