Summertime Seedless

Maryland
United States
Summertime Seedless, DuClaw Brewing Co.
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
87
Aroma:
19 / 24
Flavor:
35 / 40
Appearance:
6 / 6
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20
Description 

Like a kiss of sweet watermelon on a warm day, this sunny sour is balanced by hoppy tartness and lactose for a smooth finish. A simple slice of summertime perfection.

Profile

ABV: 
7.1%
IBUs: 
12
Served at: 
40º F
Hops: 
Huell Melon
Malts: 
Pilsner, Unmalted Wheat, Malted Oats
Judges Review 
Rick Franckhauser's picture
Judges Rating:
87
Aroma:
19 / 24
Appearance:
6 / 6
Flavor:
35 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

Summertime Seedless by DuClaw Brewing Co. was judged as a Wild Specialty Beer, BJCP category 28C. There is a slight impression of sourness in the aroma followed by a moderately high level of grassy hops. A slight earthy note with a little grainy malt comes through as it warms. I could not find anything reminiscent of watermelon or any esters. Nothing off or out of place. The beer is medium-gold with substantial haze. A creamy, slightly off-white head is present with good retention. The flavor opens with a semi-sweet and lemony sourness. There is a little honey malt character and just a touch of white toast. The citrus notes seem to be hop-derived but are aided by the lactic acidity. There is a very faint hint of watermelon, which comes across more reminiscent of cucumber and provides a “freshness” to the beer. The balance is just slightly toward the tartness offset by some residual sweetness. Medium body with moderate carbonation. A very slight tingle to the palate comes via acidity but overall this beer is smooth and almost creamy.

Very enjoyable beer but it comes across as more of a sour American Wheat Beer. I find watermelon to be a very challenging ingredient to present well in beer. The natural fruit is itself subtle and hard to integrate while maintaining its character. The watermelon beers I’ve encountered have either tasted artificial Jolly Rancher-like, or as with this beer, more of cucumber or the rind of a watermelon. While I find the cucumber aspect to be pleasant and reminiscent of watermelon, the levels are very low and I had to go searching for them. I discovered after evaluating the beer that it also contained lactose, which explains the residual sweetness and creamy mouthfeel. The indication that the beer was a “hopped sour” led to a little disappointment as the hop levels are rather low. I would have scored the beer higher had it been presented as a sour American Wheat and didn’t need to go hunting for watermelon and hops. Having said all that, I really enjoyed the beer and appreciated the rounding effect of the lactose.