Thursday, August 30, 2007


If it was all about the smell, then this BERT GRANT’S MANDARIN HEFEWEIZEN scores a straight-up perfect ten. Then again, I’m one of those guys that buys those globe-shaped chocolate oranges with the individual “slices” that you break off by smacking the middle. Anything with orange – I’m on it. It’s why my initial glass of BLUE MOON Belgian Wit with an orange slice on the side was not met with revulsion, as it was by so many beer dorks, but by pure glee. Yet it’s not all about the smell, is it now. This wonderfully fragrant orange wheat beer promised sheer nirvana, and as it turned out, was pretty darn good, even after the initial letdown of the beer not quite comparing with that incomparable smell. But I digress.

Now BERT GRANT’S – that’s a name from the 1990s for me. I used to buy their SCOTCH ALE when I lived in Seattle from 1997-1999, and I guess after I moved back to California, these Yakima-based microbrewing pioneers just sorta fell off the map for me. I saw this in Central California a couple weeks ago and got all excited & stuff. Beer Advocate claims the beer is “retired”. If that’s true, then I bought a 2-year-old bottle of beer from a cooler. I think what’s more likely is what I read elsewhere on the web – that this beer is contract-brewed “somewhere’ using the Bert Grant’s name. Whatever. The MANDARIN HEFEWEIZEN, after that burst of sweet-smelling oranges and flowers, reins it in a bit with a very carbonated (perhaps a little too much), cloudy, unfiltered wheat beer that at times was even a bit on the tart side. That’s OK. Tart is good. We’re starting to dig tart. I drank it much too fast, which I think means I enjoyed it. Then I realized I’ll probably never ever see it again. Then I walked over to my notepad and put down a 7/10 so I could write this review for you. See if you can find one and let me know what you think.

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