Solid medium-bodied wheat bock hybrid offers cocoa nibs and orange peel adjuncts to brown chocolate-spiced frontage. Though the citric influence fades alongside the stylish caramelized banana creaminess, enough mocha tones surface to keep this rich. Dank cellar waft and peaty soiling add earthy musk.
On tap at Blue Ribbon Tavern, enthusiastic winter-spiced dark wheat ale (with well-hidden 7.5% ABV) loads bruised banana sweetness atop brown-sugared coriander-cinnamon-clove seasoning and ripe raisin-fig-prune conflux. In the background, a hint of vanilla creaming contrasts sharp hop astringency. In the bottle, caramelized banana-clove entry picks up brown-sugared raisin, fig and cherry niceties alongside rum-spiced toffee malts. Tertiary pecan, nutmeg, vanilla and molasses undertones increase mildly spiced sweetness.
On tap at Redlight Redlight, confusingly updated bock (2013) allows musky earthen rusticity to enjoin dewy peat mossing for dryer-than-expected copper-bronzed dunkelweizen changeup. Snubbing the usual dark fruited holiday spicing for molasses-buttered nutbread insistence and tobacco roasted crisping, its brown-sugared fruitcake dalliance fades precipitously alongside the wispy caramel malt backbone.
Strong Belgian-styled wheat ale (brewed in collaboration with De Struise) offers musty Muscat grape aromatics to banana nut-breaded sweetness and advertised floral spicing. Black-peppered rose, violet and jasmine niceties regal dried grape-skinned plum-fig-date backend.
Mouth-puckered Munich-styled dark wheat ale seems stylistically off-center, yet its eccentric sour ale tendencies may win over dry wine drinkers. Vinous green grape bittering, oaken cherry tartness and light lemon licks bring unexpected opening salvo as sweet Vienna malts get pushed back. Raw molasses acridity adds dank sinew. Plantain found in deep recess.
Perfectly stylish sweet ‘n sour banana tartness picks up clove spicing and vanilla sweetness over sugary wheat backbone. Subtle banana-breaded hazelnut buttering adds to the moderate charm.
Rough-hewn hybridized dark wheat ale collides vinous Cuvee-like purple grape wining with coarsely sharp-hopped dried fruiting. Dessicated fig, raisin, apricot and banana spoilage as well as whiskey-soured citrus nuances infiltrate shaky pumpernickel wheat spine. Raspy alcohol burn swallowed up.
Leaning more towards dried fruiting than most banana-sweetened dark wheat ales, its advertised walnut essence gets upended by an overriding fig-sugared green raisin and purple grape souring that works its way into creamy Vienna malts. Banana nut bread, honeyed praline and almond illusions provide background subtleties.
Aggressive German-styled dunkelweizen not far removed from English Special Bitter with its dryer character. Never short on brevity, its ashen hop char seeps into dark-spiced autumnal foliage, sharp walnut roast, and bread-crusted coffee nuance, deepening Blackstrap molasses bitterness. Brown-sugared cocoa-pecan-praline conflux soaks latent maple sapped sweetening. Confoundedly vanquished plum-raisin-banana confections, stylistically apropos, lack affirmation.
Satisfactory dry-bodied copper-hazed winter ale closer to English-styled pub ale due to organic earthen nature and peat-y rye malting. Toasted whole grains upend constricted piney fruiting. Date nut bread, pumpernickel raisin bread, and brunt toast illusions mask subsidiary pineapple-grapefruit-raspberry whir. Traditional-minded winter spicing (cinnamon-nutmeg-gingerbread) shunned in favor of dry-hopped dark wheat tendencies.
Peculiar sour tropical fruiting invades unfiltered dark wheat ale. Traditional Bavarian yeast mired by crowded flavoring and mild brettanomyces astringency. Tart banana-peeled cherry-dried clove-spiced entry picks up pungent fig-dried date thrust above white grape esters and cinnamon-nutmeg-allspice seasoning. Dry white wine illusion drifts by sour-candied banana bread finish.
Problematic ‘Alpine-style dark wheat ale’ sustains sour-malted rye-pumpernickel blandness, phenol dried fruiting and dismal nuttiness. Though never catching fire, red grape-fig-date tartness and banana bread illusions nearly save the day.