The beer pours a cloudy pale-straw color. The head is thick, frothy and persistent. The beer is gorgeous when poured in a tall wheat beer glass that can accommodate the beer’s large head of foam.
The aroma of the beer is a medley of freshly-cut hay, flowers, and citrus. The honey I used in the beer was an afterthought. The recipe only called for eight ounces, and I was primarily concerned with increasing the alcohol level. I just grabbed whatever honey was in the counter. The honey turned out to be a blend of orange blossom, clover, and buckwheat honeys. The blend worked perfectly in a beer that already had fresh citrus zest. I’ll be sure to use that exact brand next time I brew the recipe.
The beer has a rich and creamy mouthfeel, but the body was still light and refreshing. The carbonation dried out the finish nicely as the beer cried out for me to take another sip. At least I think that’s what I heard so I’ll go with it.
The wheat was at the fore in-terms of flavor. The malt was sufficiently balanced with sweet orange notes, spice from the coriander, and the dry finish. I did get some residual sweetness from the honey and some delicate esters. It all blended perfectly.
I was in love with this beer at first sip. After a few the beer started to remind me a bit of something I couldn’t put my finger on, then it hit me,I thought made a Shock Top clone! It wasn’t until I had my beer and a Shock Top Belgian White recently that I was reassured my beer was superior. Shock top and Blue Moon use a sweet orange peel not unlike the navel orange I used, as opposed to the more traditional bitter orange peel. I think that may be where the similarity came from.
This was one of the best beers I have brewed in a long time. The only change I may make for next time is swapping out the fresh orange zest for a more bitter orange peel you can buy at a homebrew shop. I probably won’t, but it’s a thought. If I didn’t already have so many other beers in my pipeline I would brew this one again soon.