Christmas is over, and we’re well into 2015, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t crack open one of those holiday beers that you didn’t get to try during the actual holiday season. One such holiday beer that I didn’t get to try until after New Year’s Day is Victory Brewing Company’s Winter Cheers, a spiced Wheat Ale. When I think of Wheat Ale, I usually think of it as a warm weather refresher, so when I first heard about this beer, I was super curious to see what Victory brewed up. Something that I expect to be crisp and refreshing, but with a slightly higher octane than the usual summer friendly Wheat Ale, and a bit more spice? All I can say is “Yes please!”.
Before we get to our review, below is a highly informative video from the good people at Victory Brewing Company about the creation of Winter Cheers:
And now for our impressions of this beer…
- ABV: 6.7%
- Appearance: Blonde color with a creamy white head that tops out at about 1/4 inch. Moderate lacing.
- Limpd: A lot of baking spices (nutmeg, clove, ginger) and citrus with a hit of wet wheat bread.
- G-LO: Lightly spiced with hints of clove and lemon zest. Also picking up a bit of yeast, i.e. like a rising pile of bread dough.
- Limpd: The Winter Cheers is a typical Hefeweizen with all of the wheat flavors combined with the almost over powering baking spices. The finish is a little sweet and a little tart.
- G-LO: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation and a somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Clove and lemon zest are prominent from start to finish while the yeastiness is there in the background. The finish is crisp and clean with some clove, white pepper, and yeast notes lingering in the aftertaste.
- Limpd: Well, this is not one of my favorite styles of beer. I’m just not a big fan of the wheat or the cloves. Also, I’ve found that most American versions (notable exceptions are the Sierra Nevada Kellerweis and the Brooklyner Weisse) lack the crispness and the overall quality of their German counterparts (the Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier and the Ayinger Bräu Weisse are both fantastic). I thought the Winter Cheers was a good not great beer.
- G-LO: I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Victory’s Winter Cheers since many holiday beers tend to be overstuffed with a wide array of spices. To me, this was a solid and slightly more robust Belgian Wit. If I hadn’t read the label, I would have never known that this beer packed an ABV of 6.7%. I’m not the biggest fan of this style, but I really enjoyed this beer. I would definitely recommend giving it a try.