On my first sip of Redhook’s Wit, I audibly exclaimed, “Well, that’s sort of strange.”
I initially registered a light spiciness mixed with some effervescence. It took another sip or two before my tongue and brain calibrated to the underlying beeriness of the drink.
This take on a Belgian witbier (literally “white beer” from the cloudiness of the style) replaces the common coriander and orange peel with a solid hit of ginger. The style doesn’t rely on hops, instead using aromatics and herbs to lend bitterness. Hence the low IBUs on this brew.
I don’t really want to compare the Redhook Wit to a beer mixed with ginger ale, because that sounds disgusting, albeit intriguing, and I actually liked this beer quite a bit. But that combination is sort of what it made me think of.
After my initial reaction, I proceeded to down four bottles in somewhat rapid succession. The spice and carbonation help keep the palate feeling clean and refreshed. Most of the beer flavor is in the aftertaste, which is mild and pleasant, or if you let the beer sit in your mouth for awhile. (But what average drinker ever really does that?) The beer is only very slightly sweet, just enough to play with the ginger. The body is pretty thin, and the beer has one of the cleanest finishes I’ve experienced in a long time.
Redhook Wit was an intriguing and refreshing surprise. Other reviewers seem a little divided, though. The crowd over at BeerAdvocate offers up a respectable 81, while the Bros give it a very nice 88. However, over at RateBeer, it gets a dismal 35.
This beer seems to divide the masses. Go grab a sixer and decide for yourself.
Redhook has breweries on both the left and right coasts, in Woodinville, WA, and Portsmouth, NH. I can only assume my beer came from the Washington locale. As an added note, I really like Redhook’s bottle, probably just because it’s a little different from the norm. And that’s what I liked about the beer: it’s a slight change from the usual.