As much as I am a sucker for an interesting label, I am also one for a style that I have not tried previously or one that is relatively new to me. Since I enjoyed the Maibock from Fort Collins, I had little hesitation in trying their Wheat Wine as the first of the (unofficial) style for me.
To me the body that the wheat provided struggled to hold up against the higher ABV and muted the bigger flavors of what would be a Barleywine, but I will continue sampling others for comparison. A rough job, I know!
Now on we go . . .
Brewery: Fort Collins Brewery (Fort Collins, CO)
Name: Wheat Wine Ale
Style: American Barleywine (?)
ABV: 9.33% (+/-)
Tasting Notes: Stored in the wine fridge (52 degrees +/-) and served in an oversized wine glass.
Aroma: Light, sweet, slightly fruity aroma with some faint notes of caramel and alcohol in back. Interestingly, the aroma really fills the nose despite being relatively light overall.
Appearance: Full amber to copper color. Short, solid, frothy, cream color head with good retention that leaves a solid trail. Pretty clear (though dark) with some rising bubbles visible.
Flavor: Light sweetness initially with some bitterness and a low level of (hop) spiciness after that. Relatively mild flavors overall with a sharp, somewhat minerally dryness at the finish. The alcohol also comes through at the finish and dominates the previous flavors left on the palate.
Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a moderate amount of carbonation that is very volatile when agitated. Smooth and creamy with some warmth from the middle through to the finish.
Overall Impressions: The first wheat wine for me and there was certainly a noticeable difference in mouthfeel versus a Barleywine. The warmth (and bitterness) becomes too dominant with the lack of a big, malty profile. Not really that well balanced and one that does not get better as the glass empties. The Wife gave it a one sip and done C.