Harvest Dance - Boulevard Brewing, Kansas City
There aren't a whole lot of Wheat Wine style beers on the market, so when Boulevard first announced it would be releasing a harvest-time Wheat Wine I was really excited. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from the Harvest Dance other than the vague similarities to Barley Wine. The Harvest Dance is, in many ways, the opposite of a Barley Wine. Technically, there are many similarities between the two styles, but the Harvest Dance is much lighter and sweeter than most Barley Wines. The Harvest Dance is to Barley Wine, what white wine is to red wine. What I mean by that is even though both are stylistically the same in the many ways, the flavor profiles are quite different.
Boulevard's Harvest Dance has a great aroma, it smells very crisp and citrusy like a juice spritzer. There is a hint of hops on the nose but those hops are much more evident when you take a sip. Considering the style, Wheat Wine, I wasn't expecting this beer to be very hoppy at all. The Harvest Dance has an interestingly sharp hop bite that'll grab your attention right off the bat. The hops in this beer don't become bitter at any point, which is a big relief because this beers sweet creaminess is what makes it so enjoyable. Below the spicy hop component this beer has a sweet white grape flavor that remind me of a Pinot Grigio wine. There is a little bit of peach or apricot sweet fruitiness in this beer as well but it is much more mellow than the grape levels.
Even though this beer has a number of sweet components, it comes off as rather dry. I went into this beer expecting it to be creamy, sweet and otherwise pretty mellow. The Harvest Dance ended up being spicy, a bit dry and quite tart. That may not sound particularly appealing but it really is a very enjoyable drinking experience. There are several layers to this beer and part of the fun is peeling away the layers that have been brewed together to create this rare style of beer. Whether you like hoppy beers, fruit beers or Barley Wines, I'd suggest trying a bottle of Boulevard's Harvest Dance.