Hermitage Brewing Co. — Wheatopia Double Hefe — 8%

I have really enjoyed some tasty craft brews from San Jose’s Hermitage Brewing Company in the past, so when I saw their new “double” offerings, I had to pick up a couple. The first, a “double hefe,” had me intrigued, considering I had never heard of a “double” hefeweizen and wasn’t sure what would even constitute one.

Wheatopia pours like a somewhat murky American wheat: California sunshine in color with a white head that dissipates pretty quickly leaving a little bit of lace behind. Upon first sip, however, it’s obvious that this isn’t your ordinary Americanized south German thirst quencher. There is something off with this brew that bears consideration.

Backtracking for a moment, the aroma isn’t all that enticing, I liken it to wet dog with lemon. Or perhaps a kinder description would be—to borrow a term from the Scotch lexicon—“peaty.”

Oddly missing from what I expect from a decent hefeweizen are the banana and clove flavors associated with the traditionally used yeast strains; in its place is that strange ashtray note that keeps me from liking lagers, bocks, ashtrays, etc.

On the upside, the mouthfeel is active with a hop-driven zing although you can’t really taste them. All-in-all, not what I expected, if this is indicative of a double hefeweizen, make mine a single.

Grade: C+

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