Coriander and orange peel are not among the typical ingredients you would expect to find in a beer. The German Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot) has a very clear message in such cases: unfortunately in Germany this is no beer at all. “Unfortunately” in the sense that nonetheless both ingredients work really excellent in Hoegaarden Wit. So personally I consider it a beer anyway – all conviction aside.
I really don’t want to enter the debate about the German Purity Law, whether it’s contemporary, senseless or an indispensable guarantee of quality. In the end, it’s mostly a matter of official labeling, respectively a matter of what can be called a “beer”. Whether the Hoegaarden Wit – Blanche (Belgium labels its products both Flemish and French) can be called a beer in Germany, or whether it only is a beer once you’ve crossed the Belgian border I really don’t care. It’s simply a delicious one!
Hoegaarden Wit – Blanche is a top-fermented wheat beer, which – I have mentioned it above – was finished with coriander and orange peel. Both ingredients are not really main impacts on the palate, so everyone can relax a little bit. It’s all just about a subtle influence to the overall tasting experience.
The beer is of very light color and the foam turns out to be quite voluminous when pouring it into the glass. On the nose you instantly realize that you’re dealing with a wheat beer. It really smells “light” and slightly fruity with hints of citrus. When it comes to the taste, my first impression was that I am drinking a white cloud. Unlike many wheat beers this one somehow tasted “whiter” than most beers of that category. With a little bit concentration I could also notice in fact the fresh coriander notes while the citrus components of the smell started to turn slightly orange. A refreshing wheat beer that once again lets me long for spring.