Those of you who have been around a while may remember that The Common Man's first foray into Leinenkugel's line of brews was largely disappointing. Indeed, at this point, the word "berryweiss" is verboten in The Common Man's house, despite the fact that 3-4 bottles are still hanging out in The Common Man's fridge, trying to be a bad influence on the other beers.
But since The Common Man seems likely to stay in Wisconsin for some length of time, he thought it only fair to give the unofficial beer of Wisconsin a second chance. So today, The Common Man sampled Leinie's Sunset Wheat and Honeyweiss beers. Much better, ladies and gentlemen. Much, much better.
Leinenkugel's says that "we captured the Northwoods' finest moment in every batch." Sound ridiculous? Yeah, it does. After all, what the heck would a sunset taste like if you could capture it? But more importantly, is it any good?
Well, it ain't bad. The Sunset Wheat is a dark amber in color and presents with a lightness that is a vast contradiction to its flavor. Indeed, the Sunset Wheat is hoppy. Very hoppy. And the hoppiness sticks as a strong aftertaste. It's much like an I.P.A., to the point where the hops truly dominate the beer. So, while not bad, it's not exactly good in anything but small doses. A beer at a time, maximum. Preferably sipped slowly over a long evening with plenty of hors d'oeurves.
On the other hand, the Honeyweiss is terrific. Smooth and sweet, it's easy to drink and lacks any of the aftertaste that diminishes the Sunset Wheat. It has a light and fizzy quality and the honey is subtle. It's more of a summer brew, not big enough or flavorful enough to satisfy in the cold of tailgating or while watching the snow fall for the 8th day in a row in March. You'll want to drink alot of it, so The Common Man suggests getting a case and sequestering yourself to watch the Olympics. You'll want to devote your entire weekend both of them anyway.
As a final note, The Common Man is amused to find out that Leinenkugel's web site suggests that you mix Honeyweiss with Berryweiss to make "Honey Bear." The Common Man cannot emphasize enough how bad of an idea that truly is. It's like taking the Mona Lisa, cutting half of it off, and stitching it to Dogs Playing Poker. Or watching the most exciting first half of football in history and coming back from the bathroom to start the second half and see that a soccer game has broken out instead. Just another example of Berryweiss's bad influence.