“Northern Michigan spiced wheat ale. A 50% mixture of premium two-row malted barley and malted white wheat makes golden wheat ale balanced with Ahtanum and Cascade hop varieties. This ale is spiced with fresh zest of lemon and orange rind, coriander, and black peppercorns.”
Short’s Nicie Spicie
Spiced Beer, 5.2% ABV
Sayeth the Guys:
Karl: I once bought a bag of coriander seeds to try my hand at making samosas a while back for a party. I still have most of those seeds and I can attest to exactly how odiferous (not necessarily in a bad way) they can be when ground or toasted and used in food. The “Nicie Spicy” from Short’s is brewed with some of that spice and it didn’t surprise me that it tended to dominate, along with the orange peel as well.
On the initial pour, this beer Nicie-ly (get it?) produced a nice gold color with no head, no lacing, just liquid. It’s got a nice light body and seems built for sessioning, and on the front end there’s a large coriander presence as well as citrus, starting with orange and then as it develops gets into the lemon category as well. Interestingly enough, I got a bit of vanilla in there as well, unexpected and definitely appreciated.
As for the promised peppercorns, I found no evidence. The first thing that sprang to mind was “Dreamsicle,” not “spice rack.” I consider that a good thing, although the promise of the beer didn’t exactly live through to the expectations. Additionally, much of the nose dissipated pretty quickly, within a few minutes – I wonder, would it last longer if you drank it from the bottle, but then would you get the experience that we had on the front end?
An interesting experiment, but one I don’t see myself rushing back to sooner than some of our other Short’s beers.
Ryan: All the beers we’re reviewing this week I picked up two weeks ago during a jaunt through Michigan for work. Short’s has been releasing never-before bottled beers in chunks since about last December. It’s always a crap-shoot as to which craft beer store has what, but I lucked in to a couple of the beers I had been dying to try since their release was announced. Nicie Spicie was one of the them.
The beer poured orange to copper in color. This was an aggressive pour, yet it didn’t yield too much in the way of head or lacing. Take a good whiff and you get the promised coriander, some oranges and a bit of lemon zest.
The same goes for the taste – at least up front. You do get a good zing of citrus with the orange peel and lemon zest. The coriander is a very nice touch too – and is the most pronounced flavor of this beer. But, if you let it warm a bit Nicie Spicie develops a smoothness that I can’t quite describe – but it’s good. Karl mentioned the vanilla, and I picked up on it too. It’s most noticeable in the aftertaste and really compliments this brew. While Karl did not pick up on the peppercorns, I did, but I had to force it. If you let the beer hang on your palate for a bit you’ll notice the peppercorns pop out but they are very muted if you’re just sipping on this.
Overall this a very flavorful session beer that I would happily reach for again and may have to look for the next time I pass through Michigan.