Monday, October 26, 2009

118. Long Trail Blackbeary Wheat

Our third beer from Long Trail, and the second in three days (DIPA and IPA). We’d like to start by observing that this beer has one of the best labels ever. The nuance of artwork in the picture—we’ve got a bear who is about to get roller-pinned for stealing pie—is, well, downright priceless. Not only is he wearing glasses and making the “oh” face because he thinks he’s about to get away with something, he’s got a magical floating bow tie that matches his suspenders. But that’s just the beginning: coupled with the slightly phallic placement of the beer bottle and hand, the stolen pie takes on potential new meaning, as does the female bear’s angry response with the rolling pin—she has the classic angry line shaped eyes, indicating her ire at the pie-stealing, pleased with himself, sporting a beer bottle woody bear. Not to get all psychoanalytic on all y’all, but this label is truly a work of art.

Blackbeary Wheat is a brilliant straw color with a light white head. The nose combines elements of dry lager malt characteristics, fruit and jammy blackberry aromas, and a slightly metallic fruit smell. Blackbeary Wheat starts with a light and crisp malt front—almost lagerish—and then moves into a subtle but pleasant fruitiness in the middle with light but clear blackberry flavors. The finish is rather clean with some crispness, although the fruitiness lingers. Blackbeary Wheat has a light, soft, but crisp mouthfeel—it is both lively and brisk with a pleasant carbonation bite and clean palate flavors. Light bodied—it is light enough to be either a lager or a dry cider—but simultaneously exhibiting a substantial depth of flavor, Blackbeary Wheat is a well balanced beer. The fruit flavors are enjoyable, but do not dominate, and the beer is dry and clean with crisp taste on the palate. Deceptively complex for such a light clean fruit beer, Blackbeary Wheat is an excellent and thoroughly enjoyable beer. And an easy Top 10 Best Label contender.

From the bottle: “Blackbeary Wheat features 2-row malt, crystal, plenty of malted wheat, and is finished with a hint of blackberries in the kettle. >6 carbs!”

From the Long Trail website: “Light & refreshing with a hint of blackberry at the finish makes this beer a real thirst quencher! This brew combines 2-Row Pilsen and of course plenty of malted wheat.”

ABV: 4.0%
IBU: 8
Malts: Two-Row and Wheat
Hops: Nugget


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