Review: High Seas Mutiny Fleet Hang Ten Weizen Doppelbock

Another specialty “Mutiny Fleet” brew from High Seas, which was discontinued in 2010.

When I was first introduced to various beers, I was told that a smell like banana candy in a beer was a bad thing, and it meant that there was something wrong with the hops. I’ve since learned that it’s not necessarily true — that there are several varieties of beer that generate that fragrance due to the particular fruit esters involved. Still, many beer drinkers find this to be undesirable, so I was surprised that the first thing I noticed about Hang Ten was the strong smell of banana candy. I know that it’s a common smell for weizen beers, but this was fruity enough to be jarring.

The color was medium brown that turned nearly red when held up to the light. The immediate sensation on the tongue is sweetness, but very shortly thereafter I noticed a strong flavor of alcohol, which made me wonder if this variety had been somehow fortified. Doppelbocks are supposed to have a thick, persistent head, but there was no head at all on this beer.

The taste was not nearly as banana-esque as the fragrance, but the alcohol taste was a bit too strong. It didn’t taste like any weizen I’d ever had, and only its rich maltiness tied it to any doppelbocks that I’ve had.

The bottom line is that I can’t tell if the beer was fermented at too high a temperature (which can result in strong banana scent and strong alcohol flavor), or if this was the intended result of matching a weizen with a heavy-duty high-powered doppelbock. Either way, I can’t say that I’ll buy this one again. If I can find another weizen doppelbock (by another brewery), I’ll give it a shot to see if it’s the style I didn’t particularly care for, or the beer itself (which I would grade as a C+).

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