Boldly Going Where No Wit Has Gone Before
A Review of Namaste by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Posted on 6/3/2011 by Chops
After finishing up a few entertaining days of BrewChief events, my co-founder and I were deciding on what would be a good send off brew before heading home. We had just sampled a new witbier at our Victory Round Table, so with that fresh in our minds, we thought it was only appropriate to see what Dogfish Head has to say on the matter. Namaste it is, ''beer brewed with coriander, orange, and lemongrass.''

Compared to all the witbiers I've sampled to date, this one is by far the most unique. For those of you unfamiliar with the wit style, think of it as the Belgian equivalent of a German hefeweizen, only thinner and lighter without sacrificing flavor. Consequently, wits tend to taste either crisp and clean (good) or bland and watery (bad). Quite literally, drinking a weak and bland wit is like drinking lemon flavored water. And I'm sure many of you can instantly pick out a few of the mass-produced crap ''wits'' using only that description.

Namaste is one of the few witbiers I've come across with a big body. You can even tell when you see it in the glass. It's a deep, thick gold, similar to a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. Most wits tend to be on the light hazy yellow side of the color spectrum, so you can tell that there's a lot of heft swirling around in there (for a wit). The aroma is very pleasant, lots of grassy and lemony notes (perhaps from the lemongrass... maybe). It's a very inviting beer and has you looking forward to the first sip.

Luckily this beer tastes a lot like it looks. The big spicy citrus flavors are hard to miss up front. The coriander is easy to pick out and adds a great herbal quality to the taste. There are several other spice and herbal undertones, but I had a difficult time picking them all out. The mouthfeel is somewhat creamy, which was unexpected for a wit. I thought it added a much needed body to the style, allowing for year-round enjoyment. There are also a lot of tart notes that even out the creamy feel, preventing it from feeling like a cream ale. The finish is crisp and dry, dissipating quickly without leaving a lingering yeasty aftertaste.

Overall, Namaste is a very nice wit and it's unlike any wit I've ever had before. For that very reason, I can recommend it to any level of beer fan solely for the experience. This is one of those beers that is completely up to personal taste. Seems like an obvious statement, but I would imagine that there are some wit fans out there that wouldn't like this beer. On the flip side, I'm sure there are imperial stout fans that would. It has that certain uniqueness that you can't put your finger on. And of course, this is why we love Dogfish Head. They are always making us think about our beer.

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Namaste by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
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