Whistler Winter Dunkel Brewery

Reviewed by on February 4, 2014 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Whistler Brewing Company

  • Origin: Whistler, BC, CA

  • Rated On: December 30, 2012

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: between cold and cellar temperature

  • Style: Dunkelweizen

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

A welcome arrival here in Alberta; if the stereotypical orange/chocolate combo is maybe a tad late, the generic winter association sure isn’t. And yes, yes I have ‘tried a Dunkelweizen’, as per the label’s admonitions.

This 650ml bottle pours a clear, dark, yet bright red brick amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, thinly foamy beige head, which leaves a variable hanging wall of patchy, fuzzy lace around the glass as it genially recedes.  It smells of, well it smells pretty much like somewhat watery Terry’s Chocolate Orange, quite evocative of a few very recent office party over-indulgences, i.e., milk chocolate laced with sweet, sugary, candied orange essence, and very little else beyond a generally drying character that I suppose can be attributed to the overmatched workaday hops. The taste is still replete with bittersweet chocolate malts, juicy orange fruit and zest, some seemingly more pedestrian pale and caramel malt, nothing really resembling the proclaimed wheat, a bit of sassy vanilla vodka, and earthy, and surprisingly kind of bitter leafy hops.

The bubbles are present and well wrought, with a nice subtle hum throughout, the body a tremulous, but mostly steady medium weight, and smooth, though with little fanfare. It finishes quite off-dry, the lingering baker’s cocoa and fruity orange notes not blanching just yet, even in the face of an opportunistic earthy, forest floor subdued bitterness.

Well, I likes me the choco-orange combo as much as any holiday imbiber, but the recent offerings purportedly incorporating such have left me wanting, as of late. No longer, it would appear, as Whistler has accomplished a pretty good thing here – the (sub) titular additives play out loud and proud, and don’t really overdo it, allowing a relatively serene balance to be maintained by dint of the understated and under-loved hops. The only issue may be the proclamation of this as a Dunkleweizen, as any of the specific malty fruitiness of that style, if it actually exists, just gets lost in this particular mire.

Brady White

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