Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Short's Brew Nicie Spicie review

Short's Brew Nicie SpicieMichigan craft beers in Colorado? Yes, but only for a little while. Here is another brew from Short's Brewing Company that I found in the single bottle section of my local liquor store. Shorts Brewing only distributed to Colorado for a single week during the Great American Beer Festival in late September 2011. So while it was in stock I had to grab one.

Granted, Summer is over and this is considered one of their Summer seasonals, but I was still game to enjoy one last summer spiced brew before I turned headlong into the dark side during the colder months.

Nicie Spicie sounded like a silly name, but it tried to convey the message that spiced beers can be "nice" too. This brew was made with a 50/50/blend of malted barley and malted white wheat. Then Shorts threw in a mix of citrus zest, coriander and a three peppercorn blend. It weighed in around 4.5% ABV and a lightly hopped 14 IBU bitterness rating. I bought this single bottle along with a build-your-own six pack for $8 for 6, so it was rather cheap for this single bottle.

Appearance: Short's Nicie Spicie poured a slightly hazed golden yellow with a small 1-finger white head. The head didn't stick around except for a very small ring around the top. No lacing was present with this pour.

Aroma: Here I smelled a bready wheat brew with a subtle spice and citrus nose. This brew had been in the bottle for several months already and the spices seemed toned down in the aroma yet was very inviting. I let this brew warm up only slightly from a near ice cold fridge.

Taste: Nicie Spicie was a medium-light bodied brew that tasted clean and smooth. With a low IBU rating, this brew was on the subtle end of the bitterness scale. The spices made up for a lack of hoppiness. The wheat/barley blend seemed to work well with the coriander and other spices. I tasted a slight tang to this brew as well. I couldn't help but wonder how this beer would taste if it had been slightly soured (like a Berliner Weisse), but as it stood it was good as it was.

Overall: Before tasting, I feared that it would be as spicy as a Saison, but I was happily wrong. Shorts Brewing did a good job of toning down the spices to the point that it tasted "natural" in this spiced brew. This is how a spiced wheat beer should be. This would make a great session-like brew for warm evenings.

Don't fear the beer because of it's name, rather embrace it for what it was intended to be, a more flavorful wheat and spice brew. The Spice is Right. You won't need an orange slice on this pour, it has plenty of flavor on it's own.

Video showing the pour of Short's Brew Nicie Spicie:

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