Whiner Beer Company

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French Bière de Garde
Ranked #87
Ranked #27,198
3.8 | pDev: 6.05%
Whiner Beer Company
Illinois, United States
Very Good
Notes: Wild Biere de Garde, dry-hopped with Hüll Melon hops.
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 38 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a heavily clouded rusty-orange with a full fist of dense soap bubble straw colored foam that slowly sinks to a thin frothy cap. An enchantingly Belgian aroma of rough but sweet esters, not so much fruity as boozy and funky. This can is over a year old, but the carbonation is still strong, I guess can-conditioned is acceptable? Seems more developed/attenuated than would be expected for the style anyway. Soft floral hop note, clean and indistinct with a solid amber malt backbone. First sip is remarkably smooth given the aforementioned bouquet; creamy smooth caramel malt sweetness and a gentle but cleansing hop bite. Alcohol is present but doesn't tip the scale like a malt liquor or Belgian strong ale. Carbonation is large and airy but lifts the twang and ester easily enough along with the alcohol for a pleasant mouthfeel. The tang and slight alcohol kick seems appropriate for the style and does not impair drinkability. I may have gotten lucky with a nicely aged can, and would be curious to try this fresh from the tap, but it stands as an interesting quaffable summer beer that stands apart without being over the top with yeast character.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Canned 6/11/16; drank 6/30/16 @ the Yarchives.

Opaque dull orange rust appearance.

A rough pour yielded a HUGE, noisy eggnog head; frothy lace.

Honeyed grain & mild peach notes in the nose.

Medium thin mouthfeel. Wheat, mild honeyed grain & faint almond flavors.

Mild & not overly pleasant; quaffable but instantly forgettable.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the 12 oz can in a snifter. This rather nice ale pours a medium brown
tinged amber with a fantastic head of off white foam that settles to a thick ring
and layer with excellent lacing. Nose of apple, yeasty funk, breaded malts,
orange zest, and subtle sweet candy malts. Flavors follow the nose with
doughy malts blending with yeast and apple cider that is dashed with lightly
sweet candy malts and mild Belgian spice and rounded out by zesty hop notes.
Nice mouth feel; medium high carbonation, medium light mouth feel, and a lightly
tart apple tinged finish.

overall, a solid brew from a new to me brewer. Nice.


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Photo of BB1313
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz can poured into a tulip. Pours copper with a subtle haze and has bubbles racing upwards; big chunky light khaki head that sticks around leaving great thick retention and sticky lacing. The aromas have a nice balance of sweet fruits and malts. Yeasts are there. Floral notes are there. Hints of banana and bubblegum. The flavors follow the nose for the most part. More hints of banana and bubblegum. Nice fruit flavors. Some apple in the mix. Mild and subtle hints of cocoa, caramel and toffee. Moderate sweetness and bitterness. Malts and yeasts do their thing. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's on the fuller side of light-bodied with sharp active carbonation. It's very fluffy and smooth.

This is a nice brew. It's clean, crisp and refreshing. It's fun to drink. Enjoyable stuff.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had a few brews in this style, but I really don't remember them that well. This one seems at least an equal. It's good! Whiner comes through with another unique can to stare at while you consume the great contents. I look forward to the last of my Whiner taste - a Belgian wheat.

It pours a pretty, cloudy light brown with a smallish head. The aroma is a nifty slightly roasty malty smell. The taste follows suit with a roasty aftertaste. It totally works. I wish someone would Americanize this style with more hops and malts (alcohol).

Recommended as a great change of pace.

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Photo of Blackop555
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours light cloudy, dark amber. Thick, tall, off white head fades slowly to a rocky head with good lacing.

Smells doughy malt, fruity, yeast Funk, light spice and hint of apple.

Tastes Doughy malt, light fruitiness, touch of apple, light yeast Funk of fruit and light spice. Finish is dry with a malt and light yeast linger. Medium body and soft, fizzy medium carbonation.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm impressed.
For starters, I have never heard of Whiner. (I know quite a few whiners, but none of them could keep a brewery open.)
Then in reviewing Whiner's beer list, it seems they, by osmosis, are following my advice: that startups should focus on one tradition and develop their niche there.
And most important, they selected my favorite tradition... and the hardest one to succeed at because the Belgians (who include the northern French for you detail-sticklers) understand their distinctive yeast thing better than anyone else. I'm only aware of less than ten North American crafters who even get close to getting Belgian yeast right.

So about Rubriq-a-brac... I won't give a long review because I dropped this can so hard that its bottom bulged.
Fortunately, it tasted great.
Looks are murkier than typical for a biere de garde, but its Smell is right there: malty, fruity and modest spicing.
Taste is even more balanced and, possibly, more intense. The mouth seems rich and full and flexible: as the style is intended. It went well with three different dishes.

Based on their preliminary webpage, Whiner seems only to be starting their marketing... but I hope to visit their taproom soon. Maybe I even bring home a growler of Rubriq-a-brac. It is a prize.

6/13/17 What is wrong with me? This is one of the best ales for garlicky foods I've tasted from a young brewery. I need to focus, get a sixer and appreciate this more within its proper pairing.

7/10/17 I finally got the sixer and you know what? This is not the same batch. Worse, this batch is inferior. Suddenly this great food-friendly beer is something you'd only drink at the table. Consistency is a big problem for young brewers and I'm wondering if another is suffering from this problem. A .5 decrease in Feel and .25 Overall until this problem is solved.

7/17/17 Had another as table beer to accompany Indian leftovers. Not inappropriate. The carbonation helps clear the palate for the next bite and this low-hop beer lets the Indian spices do their work. But the richness of this Biere gets lost.

10/15/17 Had on tap at the brewery. Better than the worst can I Had, on tap it still was not the best. A good brew. No change in rating. But I am waiting for Whiner's consistency factor to improve with age. Also, maybe consider less dry-hops.

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Photo of PhilsPils
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly cloudy, dark copper color with a two-finger off-white head. Aroma is slightly musty, barely funky with some toasted malt notes. Not overly funky in taste and also not very tart (I was a bit afraid after having a Le Tub). Seems like this would be a good introductory beer for someone wanting to explore Belgian styles. It has enough malt in the profile to hint at a little upfront sweetness but the backend asserts enough funk/tart to keep it grounded. I like this beer and it seems very representative of the Biere de Garde style.

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4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Whiner Rubriqueabrac

A: This Biere de Garde pours a deep reddish brown, a little darker than copper. It is cloudy but not hazy, and the head gushes out and makes the beer nearly impossible to pour. Retention is surprisingly good, as is lacing. It is a nice-looking example of the style, but the gushing is annoying. 4.25/5

A: Rich malts, fruity and spicy esters, and a twinge of sourness all add up to an overall impression of strawberry marmalade on nicely caramelized toast. Some leathery funk hangs out in the back, and a little vinousness like red grapes mesh with the overall very earthy impression. It is not an overly complex beer, but it is intriguing. If the sourness is kept in check (unlike Whiner's lacto-heavy Le Tub), it could be a great example of the style. 4/5

T: Like the nose, there is not a lot going on, but what is here is quite tasty. Again, it is like strawberry marmalade on perfectly cooked toast, almost a biscuity note at the end with subtle caramel as well. Funk is very light and leathery. That vinousness creeps in again and is very pleasant. Acidity is very low, well within palatabity. There is light spiciness and a little hoppiness, as well as just a hint of melon but only upon searching for it, which is a little disappointing given the advertisement of the very unique Huell Melon hops. Again, it is not overly complex, but this is a very tasty beer. 4.25/5

M: Here, it falters a little, which is surprising given the style and the Brett fermentation. Carbonation is low yet oddly prickly and almost unpleasant. The beer feels heavy and sticky on the tongue. Alcohol heat is slight, which is nice. This area could use some tightening up. 3/5

O: This is a very fine biere de garde, and it is great to see the style in a can. It is even better to see this be a brewery's flagship beer. The Brett fermentation really adds something to the style (even if it loses some of the nice Belgian esters that a different, more typical yeast would bring). This is a really nice local option alongside Off Color's more traditional Le Woof, and it is the best Whiner beer I have had (to be fair, Le Tub is the only other, and that carried a very heavy-handed, imbalanced lactic sourness). Pair with Hail the Sun's "Wake," which has its moments and is pleasant, yet does not reach true, complete greatness. 4/5

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Slightly hazy copper body with plenty of fine bubbles rising all around, very creamy billowing head with plenty of thick lace- reminds me of an IPA. Smells a bit vinous, like it was aged in red wine barrels, along with just a touch of sourness and a healthy dosage of dusty, bready malt. I really love that. The flavor is almost entirely simple malts; liquid bread, semi-dry. There is a bit of grape skin and sawdust, an outline of bitterness for balance. Body is medium weight, a bit slick, with fine and ample carbonation.
Great nose, really got me excited, but unfortunately the flavor couldn't hang. Which isn't to say it was bad, but the nose set the bar high. It was a good beer overall, in honesty I think I just don't fully understand the style.

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
3.34/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Taste: refreshing, crisp, fruit notes. semi sweet fermented fruit and bread nose.
Amber color, slight haze, tall foamy head. Medium body. Complex and a bit toothy finish. 26 IBUs

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Photo of FBarber
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear crisp brown color. Effervescent at first, it settles down in time. Fizzy white head dissipates leaving sticky lacing and a residual foam on top of the beer.

Smell has aromas of malt, some spice, a hint of grass and fruit from the hops. The spice is interesting - it has notes of all spice, with an almost sweet molasses type character. Very interesting - not what I'd expect but its quite inviting.

Taste is malty with some of that spice coming through. Touch of sweetness, but in no way too much. There is a slight sourness/funk on the back end. Very earthy. There is also a strong noble hop-esque flavor throughout in the beer. The flavors are simple, yet there is a complexity and depth to it.

Feel is light to moderate. I think its a bit light for the style. Mild carbonation.

Overall this is a really unique and unusual style to have as your flagship beer so props to Whiner for that. Its a really good beer. Definitely not much funk here, so don't be scared off. As for a bier de garde, its a solid representation of the style. I'd actually pick this one up again.

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Photo of mschrei
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a big wine goblet. Tannish brown orange color with lots of particulates and not much in the way of foam or carb. Big funk smell with what seems to be a little fruit on the back end. Not much in the way of taste other than the funk, very light. Not a bad beer, just not a lot going on with it.

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Rubriq-a-brac from Whiner Beer Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 38 ratings