I've been given recommendations on Victory stuff for a bit now but hadn't had any of the company's makes pass my tastebuds yet. On my last visit to the vendor of finer brews and ales in my town there was Whirlwind on the cooler shelf. I swore I heard it say "Pick me! Pick Me!" How could I refuse, ya know?
When it comes to American breweries take on wheat styles there can be a lot of fluctuation (I know I say something to that effect everytime I get to talking about wheat beers but I feel I can't stress it enough). From the flat out fakeness that is Leinekugel's Sunset Wheat (Yep. Two month's later and I'm still bent on how crappy it was. Did the people who came up with that recipe even taste that stuff after it was made? And if they did-did they shrug and say "Well, if we market it right some schmuck will think it's good stuff" then laughed maniacally about it?) and the blandness of Goose Island's 312 Urban Wheat to the consistent goodness of American pale wheat ale's that North Coast hits with their Blue Star and Bell's Oberon (both of which I already name checked in the Sunset Wheat diatribe...Sorry if yr yawning about me going over it AGAIN but I wanna make sure you are taking notes. These points will be stressed on the final exam) ya never can be sure what your getting into until you pop the top.
Victory's Whirlwind is a witbeer in the style of Belgium greats like Hoegaarden. Unlike a Hoegaarden though, which can be a bit too grainy and murky at times for the superheat the season is giving us right now, this may be unfiltered but delivers a much cleaner presentation from start to finish. Scents of citrus and bananas, a nice fizziness on the tongue with a nice balance of lemon peel and light bitter hops to keep it from being too sweet (the downfall of many an American made wheat style for me) and general earthiness. The aftertaste reminds me of something a little spicy and is that blueberries I'm thinking as well too? This is a damn good twist on the summer wheat styles. Completely thirst quenching and refreshing especially on a doing yard work in a scorcher of a day like today. If this is any indication of Victory's does with they're other brews I will be sure to try some of the other things they make soon and (hopefully) on a regular basis.