Smuttynose Wheat Wine Ale is a beer I enjoyed recently when visiting a friend up in New Paltz, NY. Just happened that a person was there who was ‘into’ beer, so it was a pleasant surprise to find beers like Ommagang Rare Vos, this ‘Big Beer’ from Smuttynose and other quality beers in-house! Woo!
Would the magic still be there, or was the company and conversation part of the formula?
As is happened, I found that I didn’t like the beer so much the second time around. I found it a bit more boozy and flatter than I had remembered it being.
I took a look @ the label and saw that it was conditioned in 2009! D’Oh! I have to get into the habit of checking labels BEFORE I buy a beer, and not AFTER!
I’d say that the age must have had something to do with my second experience, because I was really impressed with it the first-time-round.
The beer is a blend of a wheat beer and a barleywine (hence the logical name) and it seemed that after some time in the bottle, this beer turned mainly into a sweet-malty, overly boozy affair. My first try I had remembered more floral hops, less booze came through (although it IS 10.7% ABV – Big indeed!!!) In both samples, there was a decent amount of tartness, caramel-like sweetness, and some burn.
A lot of folks seem to think this beer gets better as it ages. Maybe mine was in its beer adolescence – rebellious and tamable by none. Maybe I should have given it another year to see if it mellowed out a bit? Maybe it WAS mellowed?
I don’t know? I enjoyed the Wheat Wine the first time, but this time has me scratching my head. Not sure what to make of it, but I’m glad I wrestled with it anyway. Hopefully, my new beer-loving friend in New Paltz has another bottle to try next time!
What about you? Ever have a beer change on you like that?