Friday, August 24, 2012

Highland Brewing Razor Wit

A leftover from my one year spent in the mountains of North Carolina--a single bottle of Highland Brewing's Razor Wit.  Worth reviewing, I figured, because I don't expect to be drinking it again anytime soon.  Highland is based out of Asheville and doesn't distribute north of Virginia.

I'm a fan of witbiers, and the Razor Wit is a pretty solid version of the style.  It pours a nice hazy shade of gold, the result of the type of yeast used and the beer being unfiltered.  Not much head on my pour, and what was there dissipated quickly and left basically no trace of lacing on the glass.

This beer has some nice stuff going on in the taste: a little bit of funk, a little bit of wheaty sourness.  That being said, it's not the most complex, and it's on the lighter end of even the witbier register at 4.5% ABV.  When it comes to witbiers, I like the wheat flavor to be more in the background, obscured by strong spicing.

Compared to a couple witbiers I tried for the first time this past year--Allagash White and Dogfish Head's Red & White--the Razor Wit comes in a pretty distant third.  But look, Allagash White is one of the best examples of the style, and the Red & White is witbier on steriods: 10% ABV, it's fermented with pinot noir juice and partly aged in oak tanks.  I've tried several different beers from Highland, and they're all solid, worth recommending.  The seasonal Thunderstruck Coffee Porter is a standout, worth searching for.

The Razor Wit didn't ease my longing for a Great Lakes Holy Moses white ale, my summer beer of choice the previous few years.  I love the way the Holy Moses is liberally spiced with orange peel, chamomile, and coriander.  Alas, Great Lakes isn't distributed to the western side of New York, and I believe the farthest east it travels in the state is Syracuse or Ithaca.

Still a few months until I start craving their Christmas Ale.  Maybe another goal of this blog should be trying to get Great Lakes distributed a little farther east here in the Empire State.

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