Hello again, another week, another Feature Beer Friday here at Bite And Booze. Chuck keeps putting the bite in the blog, and I'll keep supplying the booze! This week we're making our first FBF trip up to Shreveport, with an offering from Great Raft Brewing. Great Raft Brewing was among the "second wave" of sorts of Louisiana craft beer, following Abita but now having been established for a number of years. In addition to their flagship brews, Great Raft puts out some excellent sours, a number of collaborations, and some phenomenal hoppy offerings.
Today's review is of their latest hoppy offering, the Rhinestone Life New England Style Wheat IPA. By now I'm sure you're all aware that "New England Style" refers to the hazy trend that's dominating the IPA world and is often abbreviated as a NEIPA. A lot of NEIPAs rely on flaked oats to create some additional body and haze, but the Rhinestone Life from Great Raft takes that up a notch by using wheat in addition to the oats and a base pilsen malt. It's then hopped with a blend of Simcoe, Mosaic, and Citra.
|Great Raft's Rhinestone Life New England Style Wheat IPA|
The first thing I noticed from this brew is a hazy orange-red color, definitely a deeper color palate than most beers of the style, which I can only assume comes primarily from the wheat in the grain bill. The head is bubbly and white as you can see, and left some excellent lacing as I worked through the pint can. The aroma is hoppy as expected, with the citra hops providing the bulk of the aroma that I pick up. On the taste there is definitely some wheat malt providing a backbone of sweetness, but it's nicely complimented by the strong hop presence. The mouthfeel is silky smooth thanks to the oats and the wheat and it really allows those hop flavors to meld together and stick around through each sip.
Another well done beer from Great Raft, and I'm sure you'll see more of them on Feature Beer Friday in the future. Cheers!