Saturday, June 13, 2009

New Belgium Mothership Wit review

New Belgium Mothership WitI've been on a witbier kick lately. Every since my visit to Texas Road House and I had a witbier there, I've tried 3-4 witbiers since and have been enjoying exploring this style. To be honest, this is a beer that I tasted years ago when I had first visited New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins. At the time, I was new to craft beer and hadn't yet developed a taste for Belgian-style wheat beers. I thought that now that I was touring witbiers that this would be a good time to revisit this old standard from New Belgium.

Mothership Wit is billed as an organic wheat beer. I think they label it this way because not only is it made with all natural organic ingredients, but it is closer to a wheat beer than it is to a witbier. Witbier is translated as "white beer" and the Belgian version of a witbier is spiced with coriander and orange peel. New Belgium lists both of those flavors as ingredients too so it matches the style fairly well.

Appearance: The Mothership poured a very pale yellow with a big frothy white head. It looked well carbonated and was cloudy as most wheat beers tend to be. I chose to pour it into a New Belgium glass instead of a fluted glass. This beer weighed in at 4.8% ABV and is easily considered a session beer.

Aroma: The aroma has a typical Belgian yeast aroma. It's slightly funky, citrusy and spicy and reminded me a bit of wild cut grass. This had more of a traditional wheat beer aroma than some of the witbier aroma I have had recently. If you've never had a wheat beer before it may take you a bit getting used to the smell of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Mothership Wit was initially bubbly on the tongue and coated it slightly with the grains and yeast. It had what I'd call a slippery feel to it, almost chewy. The bitterness of the brew could be felt throughout the entire tasting but was not overwhelming in the least.

Taste: Mothership Wit was rather biscuity, yeasty and a tad grass-like. I didn't notice the spices in this as much as other wits but rather the wheat and yeast dominate this drink. There was also a slight bitter aftertaste to this brew. I served this fresh out of the fridge and was quite refreshing when cold. Despite the funky wheat taste, it was smooth and thirst quenching. This beer would go quite well outdoors in the shade on a hot summer day.

This beer had a classic wheat taste with a Belgian twist. I got the feeling that New Belgium could have put a touch more coriander and orange peel in this beer. The yeast and wheat dominate here. It even tastes organic, if there is such a taste. I could imagine that I was drinking a glass of nature with this brew.

I noticed that the bottle had a "Best By Date" on it, however the label was slightly worn and I could not read the date on it except for a 2009 on the side. The beer tasted slightly unfresh as I had expected a bit more ZING to it. Hopefully it was from a fresh batch.

Overall: To be honest, this beer was not one of my favorites from New Belgium. I am a big fan of their 1554 Black Ale, La Folie, Dark Kriek, Biere de Mars and Mighty Arrow (and others). This beer had a bit too much wheat funk in it for my liking. Still, I was able to easily finish the entire 22oz bomber of this brew. Mothership Wit was well made but not in my top half compared to other witbiers I've tried recently.

I'll give this beer a tentative thumbs up with a note to others to be sure you enjoy wheat beers before picking up this beer. Its OK but a bit middle of the road for me. I have another witbier waiting for me in the wings that I'll be reviewing soon - Orchard White from The Bruery. Look for that review soon.

What do the rest of you think of NBB's Mothership Wit? Does this beer stand out for you? Let me know what you think of this.

Update: December 2011 - Rumor has it that Mothership Wit will go on indefinite hiatus in 2012. No word yet on if/when this beer will return to the line-up. In 2012 look for Dig and Shift to be added to the New Belgium mix.

Related articles:
- Tasting room notes at New Belgium
- New Belgium Mighty Arrow Pale Ale review
- New Belgium La Folie Sour Brown Ale review
- Samuel Adams White Ale at Texas Roadhouse

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