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Review by SAP on 08/30/08  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
72 3 8 14 4 7 2008
Batch 315/316; Sampled August 2008
A soft pour produces a two-and-a-half finger thick, pale, off-white colored head. The beer is deeply hazed and has straw color as it sits on my desk, when held up to the light, despite being so light in color, it is opaque in my 25cl tulip glass. Lots of grain-like aromatics are noticeable; grassy, crushed grain and bright wheat notes are noticeable. There is a light tartness to this brew as well as a musty, earthy funk. Some slight clove and the wheat aromas are all that weakly links this with a traditional German Hefeweizen. None-the-less the aroma is quite nice smelling. Other aromas of lemon zest, crushed saltine crackers and some slight phenolics of the none clove variety are also noticed. Interestingly enough, the wheat and grain character is perhaps the biggest contributor to the aroma.

Quite light feeling with a zesty carbonation that causes the beer to dance across the tongue. The flavor is much more what I was hoping; it is in fact a nice mix of traditional German Hefeweizen flavors and the signature JP barrel funk. Flavors of clove up front yield to a tart lemon zest character, but then switches to a mix of banana (this is very soft) and clove flavors as well as some light, spicy oak notes and a tart, wheat driven finish. The barrel funk is definitely young here as it is not overly noticeable; a touch of roundness seems to belie some tannic oak notes, a light tartness and a boost to the spiciness of this beer are what is most noticeable. My second pour has me noticing a touch of green apple fruitiness and, along with the light oak character, is somewhat reminiscent at times of an oaky chardonnay.

Like each of the Bam beers, this is eminently light and quaffable; it is very dry and quite close to water in its heft. This lightness works quite well here as it keeps the beer refreshing and there is lots of complex character to keep one interested in exploring the nuances of this brew. The aroma is a bit of a miss for a beer that is touted as a mix of a Hefeweizen and the JP barrel aged character, as the traditional Hefeweizen notes are much muted and even lacking. This is for the most part made up for in the flavor, but I wouldn't mind a touch more of an assertive Hefeweizen character here either.

Served In: Tulip