Most people in the craft beer world are always looking forward. What’s new? What haven’t I had before? I’ll admit, I’m guilty of this as well. Especially running Drink Craft Beer, we’re always looking for the newest beer or brewery to tell you all about. But sometimes you just have to sit and go back to an old favorite. Allagash White is one of the beers that helped to popularize craft beer and was a part of the explosion of Belgian-style ales that we saw a while back. Since then, they’ve been able to ride their White and grow the business while greatly expanding the lineup to include tons of amazing specialty beers. That said, when a friend who is new to craft beer asks me what to try, there’s a good chance Allagash White will be on that list. So let’s all take a moment to remember this beer and sit back and enjoy it.
I’m almost shocked by the appearance of this beer. I don’t remember it being such a radiant yellow, it almost looks like there’s coloring in it. A puffy white head settles on the top, crowning this beer that has conquered so many craft beer doubters before it. I would say this is one of the top 5 most influential beers to ever come out of New England.
I can only laugh because I’ve forgotten how pungent this beer is! As soon as you smell, Belgian yeast esters, banana and peppery spice just take over! As you keep pushing through it, the familiar notes of wheat, that dry, minerally wonderful grain show through. This takes me back to my early days of getting into craft beer!
And that taste is why this is still the beer I recommend to friends when they don’t know what they want, despite the fact I haven’t had one in who knows how long! As strong, and enticing, as the smell is the taste is a bit milder. While the wheat and yeast all vie for dominance in your nose, on your tongue it’s more of a chess match. Up front the beer is simply crisp and refreshing. As you swallow, around your mid palate, you start to get yeasty notes of banana and spicy esters...but they’re toned way down from the smell. Finally, on the finish, that wheat comes back to dry your tongue and crisp the whole thing up. I love wheat beers! There’s just something about a great wit bier or hefeweizen: the history, the flavor, the subtlety mixed with brashness that makes them special. I’m going to have to drink this one more often!