Monday, May 17th 2010
Golden Frau Honey Wheat
(Thunderhead Brewing Company)
Several firsts with this can of beer from Thunderhead Brewing. Its my first ever beer from the state of Nebraska and its also the first braggot-style beer that I've had in a can. At least that is the style in which this beer is categorized on BeerAdvocate (on Rate Beer its just called a wheat ale). A braggot is a "beer" fermented with both malt and honey. Not to be confused with mead - which is just honey. Technically half of the fermentable sugars need to come from honey to be a braggot since Golden Frau is brewed with a decent amount of honey and weighs in at 7.5%, I'd say that could be possible.
From the Thunderhead site:
"A wholesome wheat beer brewed with sweet Nebraska Sand Hills honey...Some breweries use honey in their wheat beer to allow them to use less malt and therefore create a much lighter beer. We think that’s a waste of good ingredients. We start with a standard American Style Wheat Beer (wheat malt flavor, low bitterness) and then add 1.2 gallons of honey per barrel to the kettle at the end of the boil. The result is a full malty flavor accompanied by cinnamon notes from the honey and the complex flavors that come from fermenting that much honey. This is far and away our best selling beer.
Here we go...
Pour - almost milky or cloudy yellowish orange with a seltzer like fizz as the thin white head forms and then quickly fades away.
Aroma - apple cider, wheat germ, lemons and a little sourness. Not a whole to speak of when it comes to the smell. Sweet pretty much sums it up.
Taste - this really reminds me of a sweet cider or a dessert wine. Its smooth going down but has a sweetness that never leaves the tongue and no real hop flavor balancing things out, although I didn't really expect that. The honey really comes out in this brew as the wheat doesn't do much to mask it. If you like a nice sweet dessert-type of beer this would be perfect. Its not the sort of beer that I'd be having more then one of, but that is just me.
Overall - not a bad brew by any means. Its a solid strong wheat beer with a nice sweet honey flavor that drives the alcohol levels up quite a bit compared to a normal pale American wheat ale.
Would I buy more of it? - I'd go for their dark wheat over this one. Its just a tad too sweet for my tastes.
Note - Thunderhead Brewing has just released their second canned offering which is called Cornstalker Dark Wheat. The website says it is available at the brewery in six-packs.
Posted by Russ
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