Overshores Blanc de Blanche Belgian Wit
4-pack, $9.99++, 6.4% ABV
Purchsaed at Maximum Beverage, West Hartford
I’m white. Super duper white. I’m a white mutt, like many of us are. My particular flavor of whiteness is a combination of English, Scottish, and German. I like hockey and drive a Subaru and live in the suburbs and like to hike and drink craft beer. That’s pretty darn white.
So when a beer comes to me called “Blanc de Blanche,” I should love it. After all, “blanc de blanche” translates to “white of white,” which makes no sense, but whatever. The point is, this is a white beer. (And while it was made by white people, it’s certainly not only for white people, because that would be racist. And stupid marketing.)
This kid here in this picture? He’s not white. Sure, I dressed him up in the go-to white trash stereotypical undershirt, camo shorts, and made him hold the whitest thing I could think of in the moment – last Friday’s (!) completed New York Times crossword puzzle (WHAT’S. UP.) – but his mom is Vietnamese.
So he’s Asian according to the US Census bureau. Never mind his milky skin or wavy brown hair. He’s Asian. You got that, MIT, Harvard, and/or Stamford? Good.
Let’s get to the beer.
Overshores Blanc de Blanche is a prime example of the Belgian wheat beer or wit. Brewed with small amounts of coriander and dried orange peel, the Blanche exhibits a gentle complexity and smoothness that makes it perfect for summer parties, picnics, and meals on a deck or patio.
Pair with havarti, frites, antipasto, mussels, shrimp, haddock, veal.
Ah, the signature Overshores menu-pairing! This is great, because we’re having haddock and havarti tonight. (Actually, the “frites” and mussels is the quintessential Belgian dish – moulles et frites – and since this is a Belgian Wit beer, that one is spot on.
Speaking of food, let’s talk about bananas. The Blanc de Blanche is bananas. And when we talk about bananas, we need to talk about esters. Ester production is directly related to fermentation, and warmer fermentation temps increase their presence. Belgian beers are fermented at higher temps than other beers, somewhere around 70 degrees. A few degrees up or down and your beer’s ester profile can change fairly dramatically. This is why “farmhouse” and “Belgian” beers range from bubblegum to clove to nail polish remover to vomit to… bananas.
The Blanc de Blanche hit the banana high point of ester flavor and got bottled up. Some of my friends use “needs more banana” as a sort of in-joke, probably because it sounds so ridiculous. (And frankly, it is sort of ridiculous. But trust me, this beer is bananas.
It’s also highly carbonated, as my kitchen counter can attest to. Furthermore, Overshores put out a very sweet wit beer here as well. Now, this may very well have been the intent, as many people love the banana esters (which, if you’re curious, is due to the presence of Isoamyl acetate).
I don’t hate it, but I usually like it to take a backseat to some yeasty tang or clovey and/or coriander spice. As Overshores is a fairly new operation, I expect some differences in each brewed batch. So maybe I got the banana brew – or maybe I got the perfect brew in their eyes. I have no idea, but since they don’t mention bananas in their description, I’m thinking my particular beer was fermented a little hot.
Oh well. The backbone of the Blanc de Blanche is solid, and perhaps a tiny tweak in the process will ultimately produce a rather perfect wit. But as for now, it’s only slightly above average.
Overall Rating: B-
Rating vs. Similar style: C+