Half-Wit, Caboose Brewing Co. (Vienna, VA)

In the run-up for my (temporary) move to Kansas, a conversation with my wife went something like this:

Me:  “We should have a going away BBQ or something.”
Wife:  “Oh, who should we invite?”
Me:  “…everyone?”
Wife:  “Won’t that be expensive to host?”
Me:  “We’ll do beer and wine, and make everyone bring something to grill instead of the other way around.”
Wife:  “I like that!”
Me:  “Not sure I have enough in the kegerator, though…”
Wife:  “Then go get another keg!”

Done.  As luck would have it, VBR member Ben is on one of his “diets” and is using bike rides to justify being able to still drink beer.  Whatever, I say, but his trekking up the W&OD Trail puts him at Caboose a few times a week, and quite recently that meant that the debut of a new beer did not go unnoticed.  Our conversation went something like…

Ben:  “This new beer would be perfect for your party.”
Me:  “Oh?”
Ben:  “It’s a Wit.  Apparently you have to order online ahead of time though so you should do it tonight or tomorrow to make sure you get it in time.”
Me:  “Right, I should order a sixtel of a beer I’ve never even tasted.”
Ben:  “…soooo come and taste it?”

(some time later…)

Me:  “Done.”

Half-Wit, Caboose Brewing Co. (Vienna, VA)
Witbier, 4.7% ABU

Presentation:  Draught pour into tulip.

Caboose half wit 1

Appearance:  More orange than white, but also on the darker side of pale with a medium haze.  Thick, luscious head with a few surprising tendrils of lattice.

Taste:  The quintessential Witbier features deep citrus undertones (frequently orange or sometimes lemon) with some spices (most often coriander).  You get deep orange aromas on the nose tinged almost with a little bit of olive oil rather than spice.  The flavor profile is crisp with only mild citrus, and then a sweet malty, nougat finish is a pleasant surprise.  When I say nougat, think Bit o’ Honey but not quite as sweet.  Distinctly complex and almost invites you to try a few different tasting techniques to pull all the flavors out.  For instance, swirling with your tongue as you might with one really enhances the orange, whereas a straight sip followed by a long pause gets you those nougat characteristics.  I never did get any of the added coriander, but I like what I did find quite a bit.

Mouth Feel:  As with the head, it’s practically creamy on your tongue.  Not in an orange creamsicle manner, but one where as the carbonation dissolves you can almost feel the beer foaming in your mouth a bit.

Overall:  This is Caboose’s best beer so far.  They have a few other standouts (Boxcar Brown for one!) but I’m not stating this as opinion.  In an informal taste test at the aforementioned party, with a sixtel of Half-Wit versus another very highly rated beer here at VBR, the Half-Wit keg was just about dominated.  It was consumed at a more than 2:1 ratio over the other sixtel which was nothing short of astonishing.  This wasn’t a selection by our friends among a summer beer and a winter warmer, but two beers with robust flavors and mild (or barely detectable) hop presences.  It even led to another friend vowing to pick up a sixtel!  Caboose really nailed it with this one, from the smooth body to the creamy finish.  Do yourself a favor and bike or drive down there soon to get your hands on the Half-Wit, or you are in fact half-witted.

Score:  9.0

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