Alexander Keith's Premium White | Alexander Keith's

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Alexander Keith's Premium WhiteAlexander Keith's Premium White

Brewed by:
Alexander Keith's
Nova Scotia, Canada

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Shadman on 03-25-2009

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Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 110
Photo of funkengruven
2.53/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I saw this on the beer list at the Whistling Walrus, and figured I'd get a pint, expecting something similar to Canada's other macro Wit. What I got, was something else.

This came to me in a pint glass with an orange, as usual with this style here. Beer was quite cloudy with some nice puffy white cloud head on top, quite nice acutally. Smell was a weak combination of cinnamon and citrus, not terrible. Flavor is where it falls completely flat, I didn't detect any flavor profile until the finish, which was a weak citrus and cinnamon flavor, like water with a hint of orange and cinnamon. Mouthfeel was slightly creamy with ample carbonation.

Is this stuff drinkable? well, it doesn't go down terribly but the flavor is a bit too weak for this to be enjoyable. Not something I'd bother with again.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Blurry pumpkin orange with equally blurry lemon yellow trim. The eggshell colored cap looks decent enough, although it won't win any awards. Foam sticks to the pint glass in several spots, leaving scraps of sudsy lace as it slowly deflates. Not bad, not bad at all.

The nose is okay too, although it strikes me as belonging to a macro witbier rather than a craft witbier. The same sentiment would apply even if I didn't know that Alexander Keith's is a division of Labatt Brewing Company. AKPW has a sweet, grainy aroma and doesn't show off its fruit and spice as well as it might have. Warming definitely helps.

Seville oranges are used, which are both more tart and more bitter than the more common sweet oranges. In addition to the classic coriander, cinnamon and cloves were added as well. That should make for an interesting flavor profile, though the newcomers weren't appreciated in the nose. On second thought, there might be a whiff of cinnamon.

Alex Keith's Premium White is along the lines of most beer that has the word 'Premium' on the label. Once taste bud contact is made, it's obvious how un-craft-like this witbier really is. The front half of each mouthful isn't too bad, since that's where the orange and the assorted spices make their moves.

At the midway point, things break down in a big hurry and we're left with a grainy, bitter macro lager-like experience, with lingering traces of tart fruit, clove and cinnamon. The body/mouthfeel deserves part of the blame, but even a good mouthfeel couldn't have saved the day. Freshness shouldn't be an issue since last month was the release date.

The beer is thin (without being watery) and has poor quality carbonation. The number of bubbles seems fine, but they're harsh and short-lived, which results is no creaminess or volume whatsoever.

The final pour murks things up nicely and provides a boost of spicy flavor that was sorely needed. I still can't be convinced to award an average flavor score, but have decided to reward drinkability instead. Bottom line: start with a single or you might be sorry.

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Photo of biegaman
2.8/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Cheddar cheese pancake with dismally feeble head. There's a little too much orange hue to appear as a textbook witbier. No matter, it does lend the beer a nicer complexion. It also helps to bulk up the appearance; judging from the bottom of the bottle and a close inspection up to the light, this appears to be only very lightly sedimented. Clarity is distorted alright, but probably as much so by the tone as by any haze.

I'm willing to overlook the aesthetics if the rest of the beer is better. From what the first few sniffs have indicated things won't be improving much. Sure, there is some light zest and a big shake of white pepper but there is also the unmistakably musty scent of damp cardboard, too. It smells just like a typical macro, albeit flavoured with some questionable additions. It's certainly far more off-putting than tart, zestful, fruity, floral or grainy.

I didn't hope for much in the taste - but I hoped for a little more than this. It turns out I knew nothing about damp cardboard until I tasted the thing. I was hoping that since they put "premium" in the name they'd use a higher concentration of real malt rather than extracts and adjuncts. Turns out, I was expecting too much of them.

The flavour, at least how my palate perceives it, is tinged with an unmistakably corn-like chicken feed taste. I'd be oblivious to the use of orange peel if I otherwise wasn't informed of its inclusion and the coriander, although meager, is drying and overly peppery. I'm not sure if it's possible but I'd be willing to bet Labatts used some sort of adjunct or extract for the orange peel and coriander as well.

If you're going to use corn or rice or any combination of low-grade, synthetic fermentables as adjuncts than surely you can't expect to imitate the endearing mouthfeel of a witbier. A true wit will be tart and spicy, juxtapose grainy and creamy from the unmalted wheat and be effervescent and gratifyingly refreshing due to the high carbonation and light, citric acidity. This is flat, cloying, astringent and painfully compromised.

This is really no more a witbier than it is an adjunct-ridden, marketing driven macro lager. I hope this beer doesn't find its way into the wrong hands, that is of those who are looking to experiment with different styles and are eager to try one of Belgium's most classic beers. This displayed none of the distinguishing features or virtuous traits of the witbier - rather, it showcased all that is wrong with large scale commercial brewing operations.

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Photo of Shadman
2.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Oh Hoegarden, look what you have wrought with your shrewd marketing and mass availablity? Another mass market brewer trying their hand @ something new.

Decent looking brew even if the color is more remeniscent of a Hefe like Paulaner than a Wit like Hoegarden or even Richard's for that matter. Pale aprocot, unfiltered ( they got that part right..yay!) Nice head, lot's of lacing down the sides of the glass.

Hmmm...certainly lacking in the aroma dept. Coarse, grainy malt seems to dominate here with only a hint of spice and citrus.

Hmmm...Heavy on the malt up front...very faint coriander spiciness follows. Noticeable metallic twang along with a dry, slightly citrus-rind bitterness at the end.

Smoother than any Keith's product to date, but nothing to get too excited about either. Carbonation level @ least fits the style.

If I was to choose between Rickard's and Keith's for a domestic, Canuck Witbier my vote will go to the former. This seems nothing more than a watered down attempt to capture some of the craft/import segment of the market.

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Alexander Keith's Premium White from Alexander Keith's
2.81 out of 5 based on 110 ratings.
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