Red Hare has a new winter seasonal for 2016 (at least I think it’s new, I’ve never seen it before) in Berry Belgian Waffle, a beer they describe as “Belgian Style Ale Brewed with Blueberries & Flavor”. On the can, they also say it’s:
Intrigued, I bought a can to find out for myself. I love holiday/winter/Christmas brews, and I also generally adore Red Hare beers. Red Hare, in Marietta, is one of the closest breweries to me. So their winter seasonal was definitely on my must try list for 2016. Would it be a new holiday favorite? Only time would tell, but I picked up a single to see.
From the website:
With a rich dark amber color, this waffley sweet treat is neat! We began with copious amounts of Wheat, Victory Malt, Carabelge, and Belgian candied sugar to set up the malty waffle backbone, then played with an Abbey yeast to bring the taste of waffles and syrup together.
Starting at 19.6 Plato, then finishing around 5, many residual sugars still reside as we move the almost finished beer onto over 2000 pounds of blueberries.
Red Hare Berry Belgian Waffle has an alcohol content of 7.9% by volume with 12 IBUs. It was running $10.99 a six-pack at Total Wine when I bought my can, which has a best by date of May 16, 2017 stamped on the bottom.
Red Hare Berry Belgian Waffle pours to a murky reddish color with a light but short lived head formation and a vibrant blueberry nose. Taking a sip, the beer is fruity again with the blueberries and thick and almost syrupy, very sweet indeed and warm with alcohol in the finish. I’m not really getting the “waffle” part (the thick blueberry sweetness drowns out the malt), but the beer finishes with a hard, sharp hop note and alcohol warmth. The beer is overly sweet and syrupy (the syrup I guess) but the hop bite clashes with the sweetness and fruit.
That harsh note seems overly pronounced for a 12 IBU beer, but there it is. I found Red Hare Berry Belgian Waffle to be not very waffley, not very Belgian, but very very berryish. Too sweet for me, and not a beer I would buy again.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.