Beer Review: ALLAGASH WHITE

Beer Review: ALLAGASH WHITE

Allagash White pours into the glass with a glowing pale straw color, presenting high turbidity due to yeast sediment, creating a hazy and inviting “white” appearance. The bleach-white foam lingers for well over a minute, contributing to its visually appealing presentation.

Aroma

The aroma of Allagash White is a robust mix of heavy esters, featuring notes of banana and yellow pear, entwined with hints of angel food cake and lemon squares. This yeast-forward profile deviates from the norm, making it a refreshing change of pace. Notably, the beer manages to avoid excessive phenolic qualities, setting it apart from other witbiers.

Taste

Allagash White offers a soft and mild taste with low sweetness and bitterness. The focus here is on the mouthfeel, allowing the house yeast to take center stage without distractions. Flavors of yellow apple, pear skins, and lemon peel come together, creating a perfectly refreshing beer for the summer. The addition of grassy hops and subtle tannins from Curaçao orange peel contributes to a well-balanced profile. Despite the wheat and oats enhancing the mouthfeel, the overall impression is dry and crisp, characteristics not commonly associated with wheat ales. A bright zestiness and a lingering sourdough flavor add depth and quenching qualities to the beer.

Mouthfeel

The wheat and oats in Allagash White contribute to a bolstered mouthfeel, but the overall beer maintains a dry and crisp texture, defying typical expectations for wheat ales. The combination of ingredients results in a soft and quenching experience, with a notable sourdough flavor lingering in the back of the palate, complemented by lactic-like acidity.

Overall

Allagash White stands out as exceptionally delicious and well-refined, showcasing nuance within a style that is often overlooked. Despite its outstanding qualities, the beer’s pricing is on the higher side, facing competition from larger brands like Blue Moon, Shock Top, and Hoegaarden. To stay relevant in the craft beer scene, a shift to 6-packs of 12oz or 16oz cans with a price reduction per unit is suggested. While Allagash’s recent announcement about offering Allagash White in 16oz cans is a step in the right direction, availability on the West Coast is still pending. Once accessible, these cans are poised to become iconic summer beers.

Similar Beers

For those seeking delicacy akin to Allagash White, Hitachino Nest White Ale from Japan is recommended. If a fuller body and more pronounced esters and phenols are desired, St. Bernardus Wit is a suitable choice. Avery White Rascal offers a solid alternative, though leaning towards intense spiciness. Bell’s Winter White excels as a winter seasonal, capturing the essence of the witbier style. Hoegaarden remains a reliable macro option, while those craving uniqueness can explore Anchorage Whiteout Wit or Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca, incorporating wild yeast for added complexity.