Summer Wine make puckeringly bitter beers, it's their trade mark and personally I love 'em. If you don't like bitter beers then you probably won't like a lot of Summer Wines beers.
This beer is no different, but it's also one of the most elegant beers I've drank from Summer Wine. Yes it's bitter, but it's also got a real depth of hop flavour and a great interplay between sweet malt, citrussy hops and funky yeast character. Magic Rock's Clown Juice is an obvious comparison, but for me, Half Wit is by far the better beer.
The aroma is yeasty orange, boiled sweets, and a touch of sweet pine. The flavour has that signature bitterness with just enough sweetness to calm your tongue down, before a final onslaught of orangey, citrusy hops and a little bit of barnyard funk which sticks on the tongue in the finish.
There's a truckload of hop character in this beer. A good minute after I've swallowed I can push my tongue against the roof of my mouth and the bitterness returns.
It's got a funky yeast character but it doesn't taste anything close to a wit, more like a Belgian yeast IPA, but do you know what? I don't care. Its a fruity, resinous pine and citrus hop hit with an edge of Belgian yeast. The bitterness will kick your arse but if you like big hop flavour and lots of bitterness, you'll love this.
I want more.
Summer Wine Half Wit Reviewed by Neil, Eating isn't Cheating on Thursday, September 13, 2012 Rating: 5