Red & White Christmas

Witbier De Proef BrouwerijMikkeller ApS

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Red & White Christmas, a Belgian Witbier brewed in conjunction by De Proef Brouwerij and Mikkeller ApS

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Red & White Christmas is a Belgian Witbier brewed by De Proef Brouwerij in conjunction with Mikkeller ApS. For the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a wheat beer glass from a can.

Appearance

The ale pours a crystal-clear amber and is topped by a mountainous stack of rocky, cream-colored foam that shows fine retention. A web of sticky lace is spread amongst chunky gobs clinging to the glass.

Aroma

The aroma is a dank blend of pine sap and resin. A scent of spices and booze appear as the beer warms.

Flavor

The palate begins with a taste of orange peel and toasty bread. Sweet caramel follows and finishes with a bite of grassy, piney, and citrusy hops; warm with spices and booze.

Mouthfeel

Its feel is smooth with a body that’s medium-full and has less-than-moderate carbonation. Finishes dryly and warmly from the alcohol.

Overall

It’s possible that the Red & White Christmas isn’t classified appropriately as it’s far from a typical Witbier. Its appearance doesn’t match the style as it’s much darker in color and shows high clarity. Its ABV is very high and its presence can be smelled, felt and tasted. Its feel is heavier and less carbonated.

This brew is closer to a Belgian Strong Dark Ale instead of a Witbier. Its bitterness would be high for a Dark Ale but its spicy palate and boozy warmth works well—not just for the style, but for the season.

Red & White Christmas isn’t a beer that fits neatly into any one box, but it’s an enjoyable brew just the same.

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About the Witbier

The Belgian Witbier dates back four centuries and all but vanished by the 1950s. The style was revived at Hoegaarden and its popularity has grown during the modern craft beer movement. The wheat ale ranges in color from pale straw to gold and has moderate alcohol strength. Its feel is dry and slightly creamy with a medium-light to medium body. Effervescent from high carbonation. Light bready malt with little to no hop bitterness. Bright orange citrus flavor typically spiced with coriander.