Chad9976 (1021) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 4, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I’ve never been a fan of fruity wheat beers because they seem so token to me. Just about every mid-level [craft] brewery and their brother brews some kind of “(insert fruit here) Wheat” and most often than not they’re just fruit-flavored light lagers.
I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that Samuel Adams would include a beer among its 2008 “Long Shot” winners that’s a much bolder take on this rather pedestrian style. Boston Beer Co. employee Carissa Sweigart’s “Cranberry Wit” is that beer. It’s got all the makings of a mainstream fruity wheat brew, but the difference is the heavier, more robust body and palate that’s complex, spicy, sweet, tart and smooth all at once.
APPEARANCE AND AROMA
It’s usually a bad sign when a beer’s color is anything approaching the red/pink spectrum. While I wouldn’t say this beer is quite on that side of the color wheel, it is indeed peachy and hazy – like a dirty shade of amber. There is no sediment, but it is not transparent by any means. It forms a thick layer of firm, white foam which is slow to dissipate and leaves some lacing on the glass.
The aroma is characteristic of a generic fruity wheat beer with a slightly tart scent. Cranberries are noticeable but so are spices.
The best way to describe Long Shot Cranberry Wit is to take all my reviews of other fruity wheat beers and invert them. This is a beer that actually has really character and flavor to it. It’s not just fruit-flavored watery wheat beer, there’s actually genuine flavor.
Cranberry, as its name indicates, is the first and last ingredient I taste. It’s only slightly tart and very well-balanced through the addition of a spicy, complex palate. The label indicates the usage of cinnamon, coriander, orange peel and grains of paradise – all of which are detectable. The beer has a slight kick of spice on both the front and back end, but they do not overwhelm.
To me, this is would make a great Christmas beer, so it’s a nice change of pace drinking a beer of this style in the summer. I wouldn’t call it refreshing, but the taste does satisfy. It’s original enough to appreciate, but also mild enough to remain drinker-friendly.
With a thick, soft mouthfeel and a smooth finish, Long Shot Cranberry Wit is a very easy beer to drink. This really shouldn’t be surprising since fruity wheat beers are known for their drinkability, but considering just how complex and spicy the palate it that makes it an even more appreciable accomplishment.
I could tell only halfway through my first bottle that this was no ordinary summer slugging beer. Cranberry Wit has body through and through and at 5% ABV the statistics certainly back up that claim. I was able to drink two bottles back to back without feeling remotely overwhelmed. Nor was my palate saturated with spices, either.
I’ll be honest, I assumed Long Shot Cranberry Wit was going to be just another “girly” fruity wheat beer, so I was pleasantly surprised to realize just how unique this beer really is. This is a great compromise beer that will appeal to and satisfy lightweights and connoisseurs equally.
NOTE: Watch the video version of this review at:
NJBeerman013 (1042) - Hamilton Twp., New Jersey, USA - FEB 16, 2010
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle. Light golden orange in color, fluffy white head. The aroma is tart cranberry, wheat, and spice. Flavor is a little bit sweeter and maltier than expected. Lots of grains, sweet fruit, a touch of coriander. Smooth, easy drinking, very refreshing.
patrick767 (3232) - fort wayne, Indiana, USA - JAN 24, 2010
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
bottle - Pours hazy yellow-orange with a one finger, very long lasting white head. It smells of wheat and berries. The flavor is sweet and fruity with good berry and wheat taste. It has a creamy mouth feel and while it’s all about the sweetness, it’s not overpowering. Pretty good.
jgb9348 (4285) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - JAN 19, 2010
2.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Very hazy golden coloured body with a mild orange tint and a very thin slightly off-white head. Aroma of wheat, coriander seed, cranberries, yeast, tart cherries and a touch of grassy funk. Medium-bodied; Mild wheatie flavour with a touch of cranberries or raspberries, some mild citrus and a lot of overpowering, slightly stale wheat and malt. Aftertaste is a bad bitterness, some soapy touches, a light offensive mustiness and a touch sour citrus. Overall, not good at all in the taste - definitely worse than a non-offensive beer, this one shows bad. Too bad - I was expecting this to be much better. I sampled this twelve ounce bottle pulled from the sampler six pack, purchased from Total Wine in Chantilly, Virginia on 11-July-2009, sampled at home in Washington on 18-January-2010.
Dickinsonbeer (5076) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - JAN 3, 2010
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours a hazy murky dull peach with a thin white head. Aroma is cranberry and perfume, cherry pit, dull crackers and light wheat malts, mineral and slate, and light spice. Light airy flavor- some mineral and pitty fruitiness, cranberry tartness and astringency with lots of skin, dusty malts, cracker, light bready wheat, toast, and a phenolic spritzy finish. Boring light and messy.
lithy (2996) - Capital of Appalachia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 29, 2009
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle thanks to decaturstevo. Darkish yellow-orange, puffy white foam. Coriander, wit spicing aroma, light tart cranberry sweetness. Taste is much sweeter, cranberries, spices, orange, coriander.
ContemplateBeer (1347) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - DEC 23, 2009
2.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
Aroma of mostly coriander, orange and some light cranberry, none in abundance. Appearance was translucent gold with foamy head. Flavors are pretty much on the nose, with most of the cranberry in the finish. Palate was creamy. Refreshing, but nothing too noteworthy here. A pleasant beer with just enough flavor to be appealing.
Rynoplasty (700) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - DEC 8, 2009
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours hazy light amber with a small off white head. Aroma is faint but has hints of cranberry and not much else. Flavor is light with hints of cranberry and spice. Pretty bland.
undsioux7 (789) - Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA - DEC 5, 2009
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours cloudy orange with light red hihlights. Aroma of cranberrys, orange, grains. Tastis sMe with a tart bite
tgncc (2497) - Bellmore, New York, USA - NOV 30, 2009
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Aroma is wheat, spice, cranberry, a little tart. The appearance is yellow, somewhat hazy, tinge of pink, and an off-white head. The flavor is cereal grains, light tart quality, cranberries. The finish is coriander, and other spices. The mouthfeel is thin/medium. Not bad - not as bad as I expected. Easily my least favorite of he Long Shots. Appropriate on a hot summer day.