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The Weekly Beer Geek: Peach Belgian Blonde with Coriander

Peach Belgian Blonde with Coriander
Victory Brewing Co.
$3.19/Bottle (12 oz)
Grade:

The Beginning:
This is the 6th entry in Victory’s Blackboard Series- adventurous, innovative, and downright weird beers, like Cold Brew Coffee Cream Ale and Hazelnut Porter. In a world of Surfaces and tablets and even the now-humble white board, there’s something romantic about a good old-fashioned blackboard. The scuff of the chalk, the poof of the dust, it’s a great place for serious creativity and brainstorming. It sounds like Victory is going for an equally whimsical image here. Well I, for one, will drink whatever weirdo brainstorms a brewer comes up with, so I’m in.

The Brewer’s Pitch:
The Blackboard Series is all about fresh ingredients in interesting combinations. This one starts with fresh peaches and spice, leading a syrupy stone fruit sweet profile that quickly feeds into a refreshing dry finish. Along the way, the characteristic coriander and orange zest of a Belgian and the bready wheat beer body balance it all out into one refreshing bit of thirst-quenching beer not quite like anything you’ve had before.

The Beer:
This is deeply hazy, a bronzed orange with some brown highlights through the center and a thick creamy off-white head. The nose is jammy peaches, sweet and syrupy with elements of clove and cinnamon. The body is full and smooth and heavy with just enough carbonation to keep it from sitting too heavy on the tongue. The front end is like biting into a perfectly ripe juicy peach. Thick bold sugary sweetness is tempered by hints of sourness. A deep cozy spice blend develops slowly and brings a peach cobbler character to it- I could identify coriander, ginger, and cinnamon, but there’s probably more. The strong peachiness slowly fades through the beer. By the end it’s a more traditional Belgian with a strong wheat and coriander character along with light citrus notes, and the peach is present as more of a persistent backdrop.

The Breakdown:
This beer is very, VERY good. The peachiness up front is absolutely astounding, and really serves to put to shame all the “fruit” beers that taste just like any other beer of that style except a bit sweeter. It hits the mark perfectly between the too-sour aggression of some fruit-added beers and the candy sweetness of others to conjure up a spectrum of peachy imagery on the tongue. This feels like the perfect beer for a summer evening- cool and sweet and refreshing. If I could make ONE request for a change, I wish the peach stayed a little stronger to the end. By the end it’s a good Belgian with peach notes, and that’s very tasty- but it is a come down from the astounding front end.

The Bottom Line:
There is a small farm near my childhood home that sells the best peaches I have ever tasted. To this day, my parents sending me some is a highlight of my summer. The first sip of this beer was the closest thing I’ve ever tasted to one of those peaches. That should tell you how good they nail the flavor.

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