Friday, November 20, 2009

Down the hatch: Boulevard's Harvest Dance Wheat Wine

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 3:00 PM

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Pull your tractor into the barn (or your Civic into your garage) and get ready to celebrate this year's crop. Boulevard Brewery's Harvest Dance Wheat Wine Style Ale (750 ml bottle, $10.76 with tax at Royal Liquors on 103rd and State Line) is now on shelves. 

The latest entry in the Smokestack Series lets you know what to expect from the moment you begin to pour, thanks to a hint of banana. It is a heady beer, one that would threaten to overflow your glass if you were pouring too quickly.

This is clearly a wheat beer -- kind of a steroid-y, older brother of the traditional wheat bottle -- which means it is very drinkable and yet has a stronger but pleasing finish. The bottle suggests "a long, dry oaky finish," and it delivers. The slight bite at the end makes me want to pair this with beer with chicken souvlaki or something that has been cooked slow and low. 


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Harvest Dance is made with Hallertau and Citra hops, which caught people's attention in the new Torpedo Extra IPA from Sierra Nevada. I didn't pick up the tropical fruit notes that are characteristic of the domestic hops, but chalk that up to my palate and the relative newness of the hops.


The beer's carbonation produces a bit of tingle on your tongue, which is part of what entices you to keep drinking. At 9.1 percent alcohol by volume, this is a dangerously easy beer to drink.

When you combine that pop with the oak finish, this could be the Smokestack beer that becomes your go-to when you don't want to bring a bottle of wine to friends' houses. Even if they're exclusively wine drinkers, they'll find something to like about this complex, wheat wine style ale.

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