Wäls Tropical Christmas Saison

Reviewed by on December 12, 2014 in Holiday Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Cervejaria Wäls

  • Origin: Belo Horizonte, BR

  • Rated On: December 11, 2014

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 7.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Saison

  • Rating: OKAY

The Review

Cervejaria Wäls is a brewery from Belo Horizonte, a large metro area in the interior of Brazil – here, they have appropriated Christmas themed beers by taking a Belgian-style saison, raising the ABV, and providing figs and raisins to the mix, which I’m guessing adds up to and/or justifies the ‘Tropical’ moniker.

This 330ml bottle pours a clear, pale golden yellow colour, with one skinny finger of weakly foamy, bubbly, and generally fizzy dirty white head, which leaves some trailing ocean plane crash detritus lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of grainy, bready pale malt, testy coriander, white pepper, an indistinct dark fruitiness, edgy yeast, a faint orange citrus zest, grape must, and a hint of metallic alcohol. The taste is semi-sweet pale and caramel malt, a too-sugary mix of orange peel and coriander spice that would have any self-respecting witbier shaking its head, hovering yeast, ethereal musty black fruit notes, and a still standoffish booze warming. The bubbles are pretty AWOL for the most part, though maybe a small, tittering frothiness is evident at times, the body a sturdy medium weight for the style, and so-so in terms of smoothness – the yeast and spice not overbearing, but hardly helpful by the same measure. It finishes on the sweet side, as that coriander/citrus saccharine essence starts to even trod upon the lingering malt.

Not a bad-tasting brew, to be sure, but overall, a simple, and somewhat overwrought attempt at this venerable Belgian style – if something is inherently good in a recipe, amping it up is not necessarily recommendable. Anyways, I have no idea what this has to do with the Yuletide, save perhaps the Middle Eastern dark fruit adjuncts, which do little to represent. Ah well, this at least inspires warm thoughts, of a few different varieties.

Brady White

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