After running to the Crossroads District to buy some Christopher Elbow chocolates (Chris was there today saying hi to people) I decided to have a light dinner and beer at Flying Saucer in the “dreaded” Kansas City Power and Light District. As much I hate KCP&L, I like some of the places that are in it, mainly Flying Saucer. Today’s “fire sale” beer was the Sam Adams White Ale.
White Ale is in the Belgian witbier or “white beer” style. “Wits” are traditionally light, moderately to highly carbonated and spiced with coriander and bitter orange peel to lend a unique flavor profile. Witbiers range from ridiculously spiced (Blue Moon, Southampton Double White) to almost no spice at all, which Sam Adams’ version definitely takes the crown for.
The White Ale is a good drinker on tap. Not overlay carbonated, light, and goes down easily. That said, I don’t think it’s a great representative of the witbier style because it’s so modestly spiced. There is a touch of coriander in the flavor along with the hops, both of which die early in the taste. Way in the back is a hint of orange, and the finish is definitely more malty than anything. I think this seemed a lot like a pilsener to me. About halfway into the glass the flavor of apricot hit me, and this beer reminded me of Magic Hat #9, something I had on tap a few times when I was in Buffalo, NY a few years ago.
I had an appetizer of Flying Saucer’s chicken nachos for dinner. They were really yummy, with fresh salsa and a nice chipotle sour cream. Pretty zippy without being overly hot. The White Ale was a good accompaniment to the nachos, just because the carbonation and mild flavors really paired well with the food. I don’t think a stronger wit would have worked very well, so I was actually quite happy with my unintentional pairing.
Overall, Sam Adams White Ale is not a bad beer. It would make a fine “lawnmower” beer or gateway into other beer styles for the leery. But, it’s not a great witbier.