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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Day 159 Drink: Deschutes Miss Spelt Hefeweizen

The letter from Deschutes Brewery starts off: "Dear Fellow Beer Lover, We invite you to fill the difficult role of "Deschutes Brewery Beer Tester." The letter goes on to explain they want feedback on a beer they have been "experimenting with in our Bend and Portland pubs for the last several months." Two bottles with plain white labels are packed with the letter. So far, so good.

The beer in question is currently being called Miss Spelt Hefeweizen. Beyond that the good folks at Deschutes are pretty tight lipped on this brew, saying they want opinions "unsullied by our explanations." So, in the name of research and better beer everywhere, I chilled down one of the two bottles they shipped my way and cracked open this lab experiment.

Deschutes Miss Spelt Hefeweizen pours a cloudy orange-gold with a nice firm medium-size head. An inviting citrus and banana nose is pretty clear and straightforward. The flavor has the classic banana base, but not overpowering. A minor amount of the expected clove, but way in the background. There is also some good crisp citrus that comes into play and the beer finishes dry. Which encourages the next sip. Very drinkable. If Deschutes is looking for a summer wheat beer entry, they are on the right track.


Mutineer Magazine said...

Nice, sounds (and looks) great! Thanks for sharing.

Steve said...

I got my sample from the brewery after tasting it first at the Bond Street Pub last winter. I was hoping, if they were going to market it as a Hefe, that they had made some changes to the recipe. Sadly, no.

This is not really a Hefeweizen, by most definitions. Certainly, Hefes with some spice profile aren't unheard of but this had the body, sweetness, and spice notes of a VERY Belgian-styled Saison. I know that Deschutes is keeping a bit mum on the recipe and maybe, yeah, all that spice does just come from the spelt, but it is just a tad too fleshy and viscous to be a summer ale, which was, I think, the point. I am Deschutes' biggest fan and always rave about their beers in my blog in the Seattle P-I, but this one, IMHO, just flat misses the mark. If they had called it a saison, I'd be singin' a different tune but...NOT a Hefeweizen.