beer reviews Spain

A Study in Wheat

Almost two years ago, in our 2009 wish list, we mentioned that we were interested in trying Estrella Inedit. On our recent holiday, we finally got round to it, picking up a bottle in a wine shop in San Sebastian.

The first thing to note is the amazing aroma — roses and lemons, like a box of Turkish delight. Unfortunately, the flavour doesn’t quite live up to that fanfare. It has a slightly dry, chalky maltiness with hints of sugar and orange. Not, in fact, a super-complex connoisseur’s beer as the packaging and pretentious label would have you believe, but something of a dumbed down Belgian-style wit.

We tried it with and without food to see if it lived up to its claim of being specially formulated to accompany food. The best we could say is that it is suitably unobtrusive, but it certainly didn’t (with apologies to Garrett Oliver) chat up our chorizo and chick pea stew and take it round to the back alley for a knee trembler.

It cost €4.50  for a 750ml bottle, which is fine, but any more than this (i.e. the £10+ prices people are charging in the UK) and you’d feel quite ripped off.  All in all, if you divorce this from the pretentious marketing and packaging (“serve in white wine glasses no more than half full to appreciate the aroma”) it’s an excellent beer by Spanish standards, and we’d be delighted to find it in our local tapas restaurant in London.

Interestingly, Damm have also brought out a cheaper, less highfalutin, German-style weizen, Weiss Damm. It stands up well in comparison to Paulaner Weiss, which is probably the wheat beer most commonly available in Spain.

8 replies on “A Study in Wheat”

I tried this at the Bruges Beer Festival last month. Lots of hype and pretension surrounding what is quite a dull beer I thought. It’s not something I would seek out.

a super-complex connoisseur’s beer as the packaging and pretentious label would have you believe

It cost €4.50 for a 750ml bottle

BrewDog’s AB:01 costs a tenner for 330ml. Compare and contrast. (On the other hand, by all accounts AB:01 does actually live up to the hype – but on balance I think I’d be disappointed most of the time at £3 a pint than blown away most of the time at £18 a pint!)

And the Abstrakts are sold in a 375ml bottle, bringing the notional price per pint of the AB:01 down to a mere £16.

I’ll shut up now.

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