THOUGH THE HVEDEGOOP was evidently revived by Mikkeller in 2012, it’s difficult to tell whether this sample was from that solo effort or the original 2008 collaboration with Three Floyds. The former seems more likely, as it was served on tap at the Mikkeller pub in 2013, but the chalkboard draft list named Three Floyds as collaborator, and Mikkeller is renowned for serving up barrels of boggling rarity. Case in point, their debut draft list for Mikkeller & Friends, their second bar in Copenhagen that opened in Nørrebro earlier this year. The kind of stock that can nonchalantly slip Westvleteren XII in at #18. Moving on.
The Hvedegoop comes from a series of high-gravity ‘goops’, each based on barleywine brewing technique but subbing out the barley for different grains. Think of it as the mad-scientist counterpoint to Mikkeller’s Single Hop series. Hvedegoop (Hvede meaning wheat) is the least extreme of these, given that wheatwine is also an extant style whereas other recipes in the series for ‘ryewine’ or ‘oatwine’ are decidedly not. And regardless of vintage, be it ’08 or ’12, this beer is characteristically complex and off-kilter, even considering the two breweries involved. A moderately orange/gold pour with a lively head and unexpectedly light body (once again suggesting the ’12 version). Call it a shade up from amber ale, somewhere around apricot. Smells more like a Mikkeller than Three Floyds, moreover, but with some extra honey blended in and darkened a bit from a standard ale. On the hoppier side, grassy-like despite its wheat-based grain bill, and with brushes of lighter fruits (bit of peach, pear) here and there. Caramel malts push through the bitterness about 2/3 of the way through, while alcohol heat (10.4%) increases throughout the drink. Wheat gives some aromatic fluff, but doesn’t deepen the flavor much; too many hops for that softer grain to really come to the fore. Spiciness at the end is more peppery than herbal. Interesting, but a marginal misfire for the style. Assuming they ever intended it to fit into just one.
Served: On tap (Mikkeller Bar, Copenhagen)