By Iron Chef Leftovers
I tend to stay away from the lighter beers, just because they usually lack the depth of flavors that I am looking for when drinking a beer. There are some breweries that I would still try their lighter beers, just because of their track record with making beers that I enjoy. NW Peaks is one of them. So when they released Kaleetan as part of the August Mountainbeers lineup, I was actually looking forward to drinking it.
From the NW Peaks Website:
The name. The mountain. Kaleetan is a peak close to Snoqualmie pass. It is one of the more impressive peaks in the area and its name means arrow, while others have described it as “matterhorn” (both aptly describing it). It’s a great day climb and/or ski depending on the time of year and conditions. In the summer trails go from Denny Creek to Melakwa lake. Heading up to the summit gully and easy class 3 scrambling can take you to the exposed summit. In winter, source lake is the preferred starting point.
The beer. Kaleetan is an “American Wheat Beer.” It has a wheat base and we used hops that have lemon qualities for the flavor and aroma. We finished off the beer with some lemon zest, enhancing the lemon properties. The result was a light beer with a light/delicate lemon aroma. The aroma is followed by a bready flavor with light herbal notes (a secondary characteristic from the sorachi ace hops). Overall, Kaleetan is an easy drinking wheat ale with light lemon and herbal notes.
The beer pours pale yellow in color with a fizzy white head. The nose is dominated by strong notes of yeast and wheat with touches of lemon interspersed. On the first sip, light notes of grain appear on the front of the beer with a very mild hint of yeast, before moving into slightly dry/tart lemon notes, before finishing with a hint of refreshing bitterness and touches of lemon peel. The beer is light and refreshing but surprisingly complex and it vaguely reminded me of a pilsner and would be perfect on a hot day. I think the beer is complex enough to keep an advanced beer drinker happy and subtle enough to have mass appeal.
NW Peaks Kaleetan-weizzen climbs to the top and announces its presence with a strong 4 yodels out of 5.