Josh Weikert's picture

Athena

Judges Rating: 
87
Aroma: 
22 / 24
Appearance: 
5 / 6
Flavor: 
35 / 40
Mouthfeel: 
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

As a common "gateway" sour, Berliner Weisse tends to be a little one-note, but it's usually a pretty good note! Athena follows that model, and is a good drinking sour even if it isn't a great example of a Berliner Weisse.

Pouring with a bit more haze than one would expect, even for a wheat beer, the color seems to be on the dark side, leaning more towards gold than straw. There was surprisingly little head formatting, but what did form was finely-bubbled and persistent.

The aroma is medium-funky (clean, lactic sour aroma), with a pleasant fruity background featuring lemon and apricot. A faint grainy note builds as it warms.

Athena is brightly but not prominently acidic, with the acid combining with the fruity character to create a pleasantly citric flavor. With almost no bitterness, some sweetness (either from the 4.5% ABV or a Pilsner or honey malt) lingers into the finish. Ordinarily that sweetness would be offset by a bite from the high carbonation or a dominant acidity, but neither is present here, and the result is a little too candy-like. That impression is amplified by a slightly slick mouthfeel.

None of these little quirks is a serious issue, though, and the overall impression is of a beer that will appeal to a wide audience of beer novices and experts. Those looking for a traditional Berliner Weisse (sharply sour, pale as a ghost, barely-there alcohol) might be disappointed, but this is still a very nice beer.

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