Pit Caribou’s Oxymor Wheat Wine does Something Different

Pit Caribou is a brewery out of Gaspe. I haven’t had too many of their offerings, but the ones I have had were quite good. Their Oxymor series seems to be beers that they are trying out, or at least beers that are a bit off the Beaten path. I couldn’t find too much information online about these beers, like why they are using different art work? Why the cryptic label? Why they are so expensive? But none the less I wanted to try them, and I’m glad I did because although I might not buy them all again, it was an interesting experience.

I reviewed the Oxymor “Forte IPA” several months ago and have included the short write up at the end of this article.  However, for today I’ll be reviewing the Oxymor Wheat Wine.  I can’t say I have ever had a Wheat Wine before – Barley wine is generally sweet, malty and if done in the American style, quite hoppy too, so I’m not sure what to expect from this “wheat” version. So let’s see!

It pours out a ridiculously beautiful bold orange color with some cherry red highlights,  there are clearly loads of hops in this beer as the head retention is fantastic.  There is tons of lacing, with little pillows of foam sticking to the walls of the glass. It’s relatively clear besides a few specs of yeast floating around. Overall, I must say, it looks fantastic.

The aroma is rather interesting. Right away I’m getting a lot of sugars mixed what I’d describe as sweet almonds and autumn spices.  I’m also definitely getting a lot of aromatic hops, with a slight fruitiness if the background. Quite a malty aroma as well, which I’m presuming mean it’s going to be sweet.

Wow, this is some interesting stuff. In a lot of ways this reminds me of a Double/Imperial IPA – lots of malt sugars, cut by a long bitter finish –  however, there are a few other things going on here.  Those “autumn” aromas are even more predominant in the taste, with what I believe to be cardamon and/or allspice pretty much taking over the whole thing.  It is a bit off putting as your palate tries to adjust to the spice bomb that just went off. Don’t get me wrong, the flavors go well together but the spices are just a little too much. As I drink more of it I’m getting more used to the flavor, but I still find it a bit overpowering. There is still a nice hoppy aftertaste that lingers as well which makes the whole thing better.

I think I could have been a bit more critical reviewing this one, but given that these seem to be “experimental,” it was a good endeavor, and the bottom line being that I enjoyed the experience. I guess the hard part for me was knowing that this has so much potential,  but slightly fell short.

I wrote the following review in April 2012 for the Oxymor IPA fort. I liked it so much that I went back and got a few more bottles 🙂

Pours out a foggy, dark ruby orange with little to no head. Deep hop aromas omitting tons of tropical fruit, berries and citrus. Sweet smells all over, also a bit funky. Clearly a lot of aromatic hops used in this IPA.

Wow that’s bitter. You can taste the hop resins right off the bat. I get the same nice tropical fruit flavors that were in the nose, but lessened by the bitterness. Not as sweet as I would have thought from the aromas, but there are still some sugars in there. Aftertaste leaves you with lingering bittersweet grapefruit on the back of thyoure tongue. Hopheads would love this – so clearly I do! Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, very little carbonation, which I guess would be it’s only downfall, but one could argue that it doesn’t need it. First for me from this Gaspe brewery. I avoided them for a while because the prices didn’t seem worth it, but this bottle caught my eye – being an IPA fan and all. Was totally worth it, I’ll get more. According to the bottle they are just testing this out, I hope it catches on.