Mikkeller - Winbic
Serving Temperature:48–55° F
Suggested Glassware:Tulip, Tumbler, or Chalice
Mikkeller’s Winbic is a blend of the brewery’s Spontanale and Saison, resulting in what we found to be a fresher fit for the holiday season. While the alcohol level is on the modest side, the profile here is super ideal for serving during big family meals: bubbly effervescence, tons of peppery spice and lightly acidic nuance without weighing down the palate, and, ultimately, a beautiful dry and toasty core at the center of things. Crisp, palate-refreshing, simply perfect for alongside dishes like roasted turkey and ham, and still a bunch more details beyond that.
One can understand why they previously packaged this beer in magnums.
While, yes absolutely, this is a highly drinkable beer, there remains a whole lot to dig into. As the aromatics on this open up with some warmer temperatures, you start to see both saison- and lambic-like aspects coming through quite clearly. On one hand: white pepper, hay, toasty pale malt—even a hint of clove and rind. The other: some vibrant, lemony acidity; a modest tartness, cheesiness and funk (all secondary notes or quieter); maybe even soft wood aspects.
But the contributions don’t feel separate unless you’re specifically trying to pick apart pieces, deciphering Saison from the mysterious Spontanale in the blend. The saison elements add a toasty depth that’s seamless from the vanilla and citrus. As we dug in further, and tried to let our heads go of the contributing parts here, we found notes more along the lines of a lemon custard or lemony tea, even a red-berry quality that syncs perfectly with the spice and toastier elements. Ripe apple. Some modest tannic structure. Orange marmalade appearing gradually.
Overall: just a phenomenally versatile beer that had us thinking of things we’ll frequently go for this time of year on the paler, table-beer side: De Ranke XX, Saison Dupont, Avril, plus a variety of things from Brasserie de la Senne (like Taras Boulba). While Winbic feels sturdy, we’d be most inclined to savor it fresh, given some of the more subtle qualities at play here. With that lemony acidity and pepper character, this beer might truly be made for turkey.
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