Boulevard Brewing Harvest Dance
After what seemed like an explosion of wheatwines a year or so ago, I haven’t really seen all that many in the past 10-11 months. It’s a style that I have begun to gro fond of, but wasn’t able to properly stock up after the burst of selections started to fade. So when this bottle of Boulevard Brewing’s Harvest Dance, was spied on the shelves at a local shop, I had to pick it up.
This9.5% ABV brew is far from your run-of-the-mill wheatwine though. It’s crafted with a blend of raw wheat, malted wheat and oats before being introduced to a Belgian yeast strain. The beer is then hopped with Hallertau and Citra varietals before then diving into an aging process that involved both French and American oak. It sounds complicated, but rest assured the end result isn’t nearly as complex. It’s layered with an amazing array of flavors, but it’s also very well balanced.
Harvest Dance pours a golden amber in color with a large stack of frothy, off-white foam.
Subtle wheat, grapefruit, a little orange zest, grains, light oak and distant booze form the medley of scents that comprise the wonderfully aroma of this beer.
Even before attempting to digest all that is going on within this beer, the first thing you notice is how balanced and smooth the beer drinks. It starts off slowly with wheat and grains along with a moderate sweetness as it builds gently through to a lasting finish with a healthy hop bitterness and lingering hints of oak. There are pine, orange and grapefruit notes among the spicy hops. The Belgian yeast adds an interesting character to the beer, bringing a fruitiness and spiciness to the table. The finish is also quite warming as expected for the higher alcohol content.
Now, this is a wheatwine that I can see myself sitting down with for quite a while. It’s big, layered with flavors and deceptively smooth. It’s also probably the most unique example of the style that I’ve had thus far. I’m kicking myself for not having picked up more when it was readily available.