May 18, 2015

Terrapin And New Belgium Black is the New Wit

Rare is the case when, after fully drinking a beer, am I utterly unsuccessful in giving it some sort of numerical rating. Usually, I’m able to put thoughts together in some sort of coherent pattern and at least give it a thumbs up or down. That’s not the case with this collaborative effort between Terrapin Brewing and New Belgium. Black Is The New Wit has me so at a loss for words — positive or negative — that I’m not fully sure what to do.

This 7.4% tasty abomination (see, that’s how confused I am) is labeled as an imperial black rye witbier aged on Sassafras wood… So, yeah.

Black Is The New Wit is unlike any witbier I’ve ever encountered. It’s brewed with smoked wheat which provides a unique char all its own. The Sassafras then takes the beer in a direction that I’m not entirely sure I don’t like. There are elements within this dark beer’s flavor profile that I enjoyed and others that had my brain screaming, “WTF!?”


The beer, as expected pours a near opaque black in color with a beige cap of creamy foam.

Terrapin And New Belgium Black is the New Wit photo


I honestly don’t know what’s going on here. Wheat, a touch of smoke, wood and just a twinge of rye fill the nose in every effort to confuse the senses.


I can honestly say that this beer is one of the weirdest I’ve tasted. A smokey char leads the way for wheat, rye, odd woody notes, roast coffee and burnt caramel. A light-to-moderate bite fades slowly to a lasting finish. I don’t know what to say beyond that. The beer is medium bodied with decent carbonation.


Black Is The New Wit confuses me on so many levels. Part of my taste buds enjoys the Sassafras aging and smoked wheat. Another section of gray matter doesn’t know what to do with itself, curled in the fetal position in the darkest recesses of my skull. I’m not really sure I would recommend this beer, but then again how can I not. It’s intriguing and bizarre and I think folks should take a look at it for themselves. I wish them the best of luck and perhaps they could explain to me what’s going on here.

Rating: n/a

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