New Belgium Heavy Melon

Reviewed by on May 20, 2016 in Summer Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: New Belgium Brewing

  • Origin: Fort Collins, CO, US

  • Rated On: May 20, 2016

  • Best Before: September 18, 2016

  • ABV: 5.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: Fruit Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Heavy Melon is New Belgium’s new summer seasonal, and yup, just uttering the name of this watermelon and lime-flavoured brew evokes the Judas Priest classic ‘Heavy Metal’ in my brain’s reptilian wiring.

This 12oz bottle pours a clear, bright medium golden amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly ecru head, which leaves some splendid cobwebbed lace around the glass as it slowly and lazily subsides.

It smells of bready and biscuity caramel malt, subtle generic citrus notes, an even more ethereal watermelon rind green thing, and some further toasted graininess. The taste is yeah, watermelon – both the pithy rind and the sweet flesh – grainy and crackery pale and caramel malt, a still muddled and plain citrusy character, some cucumber/carrot light vegetal joint, and very gentle leafy, herbal, and grassy hop bitters.  The carbonation is fairly light and innocuous in its clipped frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and mostly smooth, just a small fruit and/or vegetal pithiness taking the sheen off of the proceedings here. It finishes trending dry, the graininess starting to wither, and the watermelon seeming like it was left just a wee bit too long on the vine.

Overall, I gotta say that they’ve succeeded with this offering, in the sense that it appears to be very difficult to have that flavour persist through the brewing process, based on almost every other watermelon beer that I have encountered (counted on one hand, of course). Quite refreshing, and worthy of summertime patio/backyard BBQ, 19th hole excursions alike, and whose ‘beat’ won’t give double vision.

Brady White



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