Name: Honey Wheat Ale
Brewer: Mitchell’s Backyard Brewery (Philippines)
Style: American Wheat Beer
Review Year: 2021
Honey Wheat Ale is a summertime thirst-quencher from the award-winning Philippine craft brewery, Mitchell’s Backyard Brewery. This “wheat ale” is actually one of the first beers that head brewer James Mitchell brewed for the company.
This beer is being evaluated as an American Wheat Beer (1D) in the context of the 2015 Beer Style Guidelines of the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). The most current version of the guidelines can be found on the BJCP website.
Slightly hazy deep gold; white head. Moderate aromas resembling honey, wheat, and bright malts were initially noted. Additional doughy-grainy and subtle hop impressions surfaced upon revisiting. Medium-light body; moderate carbonation. The flavor profile mirrored the aroma with moderately strong doughy, malty, and grainy notes. Bitterness was a notch below medium; hop character was low and citrusy. Dry finish (very low residual sweetness); crisp. A subtle honey-like malty undertone without the sugary sweetness was also noted. No inappropriate fruity esters (e.g., banana) and phenols (e.g., clove).
Honey Wheat Ale is a crisp and very refreshing beer that has the hallmark doughy, malty, and wheaty qualities of an American Wheat Beer. This is neither a German Weissbier nor a Belgian Witbier, so banana, clove, and coriander should not be expected.
The perceived honey-like aroma and flavor are not typical in a classic American Wheat Beer, so this may suggest that these were either imparted by some special malt or we simply experienced a bias because of the label. In fact, there is no mention of honey on the list of ingredients. At face value, the perceived honey qualities seemed to have made this beer much more approachable and have even enhanced the signature American Wheat Beer attributes mentioned.
In our opinion, Honey Wheat Ale could still have a slightly higher carbonation level. Moreover, while perceived bitterness was already within the acceptable range, we think it can still approach the upper limit to balance the honey-like notes without overpowering the doughy and wheaty malt backbone. Overall, this one is an excellent brew that can be enjoyed with pizza.
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