Nicie – An American Wheat Ale Brewed with Orange Zest, Lemon Zest, Coriander, and Peppercorn
It is certainly hazy, but not cloudy. It is certainly golden, but with more of a yellow brightness. It certainly has a fluffy looking white head, but it’s not stacked up high in your glass. Before me is a beer that looks like summer and I’m delighted to partake.
My first thought when sipping became, “Zesty indeed!” As an American-style wheat ale, Nicie gets its kick from both the orange and lemon zest, with the added underbelly of coriander and peppercorn to lift it further. The coriander is oh-so-wonderful in particular with the orange zest notes in the flavor.
The nose is a bit more mysterious as it only really emits the coriander and stronger peppercorn notes. The spicing almost gives me the impression of sniffing a meal. Though it doesn’t exactly smell “savory,” the spices lean towards that end of the aroma spectrum.
As I swirl I can hear the carbonation rise up near my face and fizzle at me. Swallowing the beer gives me the eerie impression that I’ve drunk more in one swallow than I had originally intended. The flavors start out strong until you begin the swallowing process and the spritz and zest and wheat smoothness takes over to create a quaffable beer. The carbonation levels feel as though I get a zip along my tongue, but at the same time I don’t have to worry about the constant urge to belch in 10 minutes.
The dosing of the spices is truly magnificent, and I’m finding myself enjoying this beer more and more by the minute. When I think of an American Wheat, this is what I’d hope for (granted I know they have added more spices than in a traditional American wheat) and it feels like a pleasant blend between an American style wheat beer and a Belgian Witbier—in color, carbonation levels, and flavor.
Why yes, I WOULD pair this little brew with food. A filet of a mild fish such as Mahi Mahi would be stellar, and I’d even take a guess that this beer would fit nicely with pistachio ice cream, using the cream to cut the peppercorn spice. The salty pistachios would lend their saltiness to the beer, giving it an almost Gose beer style kind of enhancement.
To top it all off, the Montecristo White Series cigar would be a fine cigar choice to pair with this brew. Using the orange zest and the peppercorn notes of Nicie to meld with the distinctive woodiness and hint of peppercorn notes of the Montecristo White, the imbiber would find a refreshing, yet complementary, experience.