Drunken Speculation

#46 Monteith’s Unfiltered Apricot Wheat Beer

Monteith's Apricot WheatMonteith’s, a craft brewery from none other than our most beloved of neighbours, New Zealand. Although, so far, I must admit I haven’t been their greatest fan (and if some of the other beer blogs I follow are anything to go by, I’m not alone in this: beerisyourfriend; beerbarband). I’ve only had a couple of their brews and they’ve been average at best so let’s see if their Unfiltered Apricot Wheat can change that.

The concept of adding fruit flavours to any kind of beer certainly appeals to me after [quite some time ago] having had the pleasure of consuming a blueberry ale by Marin Brewing Co – fantastic!

The aroma is one of intense apricot, sweet but with hints of tartness that you might get from some not-quite-ripe specimens of the fruit.

As I pour it into my new Spiegelau Wheat Beer glass, the head is ever-growing with big, loosely-packed bubbles. It’s a clear, very light straw colour and not at all cloudy which being an unfiltered wheat beer was not what I was expecting.

The head disperses quickly, which is a nice break from some of my other wheat beer drinking experiences. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite strike the balance though. Instead, it goes to the other end of the spectrum and I’m left with a beer that doesn’t at all look like your typical wheat beer.

To taste, there’s not much of that apricot sweetness that you get in the aroma – actually, there’s not really much of anything going on. In a word, I’d describe it as bland. There are some light apricot notes on the front but it turns all to rapidly to nothing but a water-y flavourlessness. There’s a hint of bitterness on the back of the palate though with only 14 IBUs it’s not a bitterness that’s built to linger so not I’m can’t criticise the beer here.

I feel like it’s a beer that’s a bit half-baked. Perhaps if it were given a little bit more sweetness, however subtle, it could really make that apricot pop and really make the craft beer nerds swoon. Overall it’s just a little bit boring, one dimensional and unintriguing on the palate despite the interesting concept and its potential to be the opposite.

Sorry Monteith’s – still not a fan.

  • Website
  • Genre: Fruit/Honey
  • Regionality: Greymouth, NZ
  • Strength: 5.0%
  • Rating:  0.5 / 3 taste +  1 / 2 ancillaries =  1.5 / 5
  • Plus: Fantastic aroma.
  • Minus: The flavour comes nowhere near matching the intensity of the aroma.


  1. At least you gave the beer the best chance possible to perform by using the most perfect glass for it! Spiegelau: 1, Moneith’s: 0.

    Wheat beers are one of my least favourite styles, so I barely use my Spiegelau Wheat Beer glass. I wish I had more cause for using it more often.

    • Personally, I think we won’t waste our time on Monteith’s anymore. That’s 3 of the 46 reviews and none better than a 3. Life’s too short.

  2. squeeg

    Yeah this was a strange one, it was kind of like drinking one of those dried apricots. Definitely a one-off beer.

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