Today we have something I have never had before—a wheat wine. I quick search tells me it’s essentially similar to a barley wine except the malt profile consists of at least 50% wheat malt. The beer is a blend of not quite a barley wine and not quite a wheat beer, but is something that is distinctly American. This wheat wine comes from Montana, which is a great American state, based brewery Big Sky Brewing Company. Can we get any more American with that name? Yes we can! The name of the wheat wine—Power Wagon! With a picture of a pick-up truck.
This is a neat little brew—it’s barrel aged, so you know it is going to be fun. The wheat wine comes in at 9.7% ABV and comes in a 355mL bottle. I’d personally recommend splitting this wheat wine for 2 reasons: it’s a very slow sipper and the ABV is quite high.
On to the good stuff, at least that I could fine—the wheat wine comes in at a 53 IBU so it isn’t particularly hoppy. It pours a dark golden hue verging onto pale amber and produces a white head with very little retention—it is 9.7% ABV, so what can we expect?
On the nose we get honey, oak, candy/simple syrup, wheat, tropical fruit (mango, cantaloupe), bit of citrus, faint floral hops. Overall it smells very much like a wheat beer would, but there is an underlying oaky boozy aroma from the barrel aging that tells us this isn’t going to be light. It’s weird to describe, but you can almost smell the warmth. The fruit aroma is quite pronounced and is overlaid with the scent of honey—it’s the smell of ripe fruit, kind of sticky, and very sweet almost syrupy.
Overall body is medium-heavy; it is boozy and pronounced but it isn’t thick and syrupy. It still has a lightness to it which is a nice juxtaposition to the ABV. Flavour wise we get an almost mead like quality—very sweet, thick notes of honey, more tropical fruit, hint of honey lemon lozenge type flavour. That last descriptor sounds odd, but its very nice—you get that immediate honey lemon sweetness that almost opens the airways, but then you get this underlying pine like hop flavour that mimics a menthol effect once it marries with the ABV. This is a very warm wheat wine and finishes with a lot of heat and a nice dry finish. This is the kind wheat wine that is actually perfect for a cold day when maybe you have a bit of damp cold winter congestion. You know that feeling when it’s really damp and cold out and you come in and your nose get’s all gross? This is the kind of drink I’d want to warm me up after that. I’d pair this with a fish based dish, while the ABV is high the flavour profile would compliment it really well, any sort of seafood or pasta, hard crumbly cheeses—think cheeses you could drape honey over? Overall I really like this; I’d definitely drink it again.