Lakewood Brewing’s Grand Allowance Is A Slow-Sipper Worth Sharing.

Welcome to On Tap! Each week in this recurring feature, we’ll take an in-depth look at one of the many beers now available in the suddenly crowded North Texas brew scene. The goal here is to look at these area beers without our local goggles on and to wonder aloud, “Is this beer good or do I just like it because it’s local?” Should be a fun experiment, no? Cheers to that!

This week, we sipped on Lakewood Brewing Company’s Grand Allowance.Fast Facts on Lakewood Brewing Company Grand Allowance.
Style: Wheatwine.
ABV: 12.8 percent.
International Bitterness Units (IBUs): Not available.
Color: Medium brown.
Availability: Limited release: 22 ounce bottles and draft.

Way back in December 2016, I reviewed Thread Spinner, a super boozy barleywine from Lakewood Brewing. And now, Lakewood has released the ninth beer in its Legendary Series, called Grand Allowance. This represents another beer that is supposed to live within the same mini series within a series. Sheesh, have I lost you yet? I mean, there’s a story behind the offerings and why these are supposed to fit together. It’s getting difficult to keep track of how this-or-that beer fits in with what. So, Thread Spinner was the first of three in this mini sub-series. And now Grand Allowance is beer No. 2 in this three-part mini-series within the ninth-and-counting Legendary Series. So Lakewood has covered barleywine, and now wheatwine. What’s next, Lakewood? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the third beer is this mini-series is going to be a helmet beer, and it will likely have spent some time in a barrel. (Duh!)

Background on Wheatwine.
The wheatwine style lives within the Strong American Ale category. Overall, this style is a helmet beer, a slow type of sipper that demands respect. This style is a complex one, and there can be quite a bit of flavors and aromas to unpack. Aromas typically showcase some hops, although mild and of the very late boil variety. Flavor should showcase a moderate to high amount of “wheaty” malt, along with some bready, toasty, honey and dried fruit. Since this is a big, boozy style, noticeable alcohol notes will be present, but that alcohol sensation shouldn’t clobber you over the head. Mouthfeel is referred to as chewy, a sensation that some drinkers may find weird or undesirable. Lastly, here are a few vitals for this style: alcohol ranges from 8 to 12 percent ABV, hop bitterness is medium to high, residual sweetness can be medium-ish to high.

Grand Allowance pours a muted, cloudy medium brown with some reddish notes. As the beer warms a bit, it gets prettier! Maybe I’m on crack, but I swear that this beer seems to take on a more ruby appearance as it settles for a few minutes. There is a high haze factor with this beer, suggesting that there’s a large amount of wheat in the grain bill. Foam is spot on for the first few minutes for pictures, and then it slowly subsides and I’m left with just a trace on the surface of the beer. As I take my first few tiny sips, I see a leggy, thin cobwebbed network of foam begin its long fight to cling to the side of the glass.Aroma.
This beer is a real treat on the nose. The first sensation that I notice is a healthy dose of caramel and sweetness. It’s very reminiscent of a barleywine. And while I must confess that I don’t drink wheatwine on the regular, this style very much reminds me of a barleywine so far. Hop aroma is low, which is OK for style. I also sense some alcohol on the nose, but it’s surprisingly tame for the beer’s stated 12.8 percent ABV.

There is a huge wallop of sugary sweetness that hits me on the first sip. It’s close to being a cloying sort of sweet sensation, but it steps back just shy of that point of no return. While hop aroma is low, I do get some hop bitterness that rounds out the taste. About ten small sips in, the alcohol begins tingling my tongue, I can feel my mouth warming, and all of the fucks I gave earlier today begin to disappear. On the aftertaste, I get a dried fruit sort of thing, and a healthy dose of woody, oaky barrel.

Grand Allowance is a mouthfeel monster. There’s a larger-than-life amount of booze in this beer, and it gets damn close to having that hot mouthfeel from the alcohol present here. With the booze, comes the sugar too. In order to get this ABV cranked up on this beer, Lakewood uses a massive grain bill. And with huge beers like this one, the yeast quits doing its thing and can leave a robust amount of residual sugar. This isn’t a bad thing, don’t get me wrong here. The sugar left in this beer provides a dessert-like sipping experience, and tells my brain to slow down and enjoy this beer. If you don’t like a very full-bodied drinking experience (I’m looking at you, Natty-chuggers), this beer isn’t for you.

Overall Impression.
I’m sort of on the fence about Grand Allowance. I mean, it’s interesting, for sure. There’s a massive amount of complexity here, and I appreciate the balance of sugary sweetness left in the beer post-fermentation, the tickling hop bitterness and warming alcohol. As I near the end of this pour, I am growing weary of the sugar, though. My glass seems to be sticking to my lips more, and I’m bordering on calling this beer cloyingly sweet. What does this mean for you? Well, first, make sure that if you have this beer at a bar, that you get a small pour of it. It’s very enjoyable in a small-format pour. Second, this is absolutely a share beer. I can imagine the slog that this beer would be – and how shitfaced I would be – if I plowed through a bomber by myself. All in all, this beer gets a recommend. There’s a novelty to the wheatwine style, and it’s an under-represented style in DFW.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give Lakewood Brewing Grand Allowance a 8.

What’s happening in the area brew scene?
• Thursday, April 20. BrainDead’s Smokin’ a Fatty.
• Friday, April 21. Dank Daze at Cedar Creek Brewery.
• Saturday, April 22. BBQ Pitmasters Class w/ Lockhart Smoke House at Franconia Brewing Co.
• Sunday, April 23. Crawfish Boil at Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House.
• Sunday, April 23. Crawfish Boil at TUPPS Brewery.
• Saturday, April 29. Hypnotic Donuts and Beer Pairing at On Rotation.
• Saturday, April 29. TAP Fest at Texas Ale Project.

Previous On Tap Reviews:
Revolver’s Sangre y Miel: 10.
Peticolas’ Royal Scandal: 10.
Community’s Mosaic IPA: 10.
Peticolas’ Velvet Hammer: 10.
Collective Brewing Project’s Boysenbarrel: 10.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Legion: 10.
Community’s Legion: 10.
BrainDead’s Fill in the Blancs: 9.5.
Oak Highlands’ Freaky Deaky: 9.5.
Deep Ellum’s Barrel Aged Four Swords: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Saint Dymphna: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Lost Epic: 9.5.
Community’s Ascension Porter: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Temptress: 9.5.
Lakewood’s Goatman: 9.5.
Community’s Public Ale: 9.5.
Peticolas’ Thrilla in Brazilla: 9.5.
• Collective Brewing Project’s SMaSHY: 9.2
• On Rotation’s Lingonberry Sahti: 9.25.
On Rotation’s Jalapeno Saison: 9.
Woodcreek’s Bourbon Barrel Bock: 9.
Lakewood’s Wild Manimal: 9.
Revolver’s Blood & Honey: 9.
Martin House’s Imperial Texan: 9.
Community’s Trinity Tripel: 9.
Peticolas’ Irish Goodbye: 9.
Four Corners’ Block Party Porter: 9.
Cedar Creek’s Belgian Dubbel: 9.
Small Brewpub’s Black Pepper Pils: 8.5.
Peticolas’ Ghost Of Alfred Brown: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Easy Peasy IPA: 8.5.
Deep Ellum’s Oak Cliff Coffee Ale: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Rock Ryder: 8.5.
Rahr’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer: 8.5.
Lakewood’s Raspberry Temptress: 8.5.
• Peticolas’ Prime Minister: 8.25.
Community’s Texas Helles: 8.
On Rotation’s Moar Blackberry: 8.
Lakewood’s Thread Spinner: 8.
Texas Ale Project 50 Ft. Jackrabbit: 8.
Texas Ale Project’s Payne Pils: 8.
Noble Rey’s Bridesmaid’s Tears: 8.
Collective Brewing’s Urban Funk House: 8.
Lakewood’s On Call: 8.
Oak Highlands’ Golden Mustache: 8.
903 Brewers’ Crackin’ Up: 8.
Deep Ellum’s Play Date: 8.
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s 11th Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Belgian Tripel: 8.
Noble Rey’s SteamPunk: 8.
903 Brewers’ Citra On Top: 8.
Bitter Sisters’ Hissy Fit: 8.
BrainDead’s Gritz: 8.
Community’s Barrel-Aged Inspiration : 8.
Cedar Creek’s Fisticuffs: 8.
Lakewood’s Punkel: 8.
Four Corners’ El Chingon IPA: 8.
Martin House’s Day Break: 8.
Deep Ellum’s GOURDzilla: 8.
Peticolas’ The Duke (Aged 12 Months): 8.
Deep Ellum’s Pale Ale: 8.
Revolver’s Bock: 8.
903 Brewers’ Sasquatch: 8.
Peticolas’ Wintervention: 8.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Brunch Money: 8.
Martin House’s Salsa Verde: 8.
Cedar Creek’s Spinning Mule Robust Porter: 8.
Lakewood’s Holiday Bonus: 8.
Lakewood’s Hop Trapp: 8.
TUPPS Full Grown Man: 7.75.
3 Nations American Wit: 7.75.
Armadillo Ale Works’ Dapper Apple: 7.75.
Chimera Dirty Dog: 7.5.
Legal Draft’s Accused Amber Lager: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Reserve Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse: 7.5.
Martin House’s Stars Above: 7.5.
Grapevine’s Prickly Pear Wheat Ale: 7.5.
Bitter Sisters’ Knock Out: 7.5.
Four Corners’ Notorious O.A.T.: 7.5.
Noble Rey Golden Rey With Raspberries and Ginger: 7.5.
On Rotation Saved By The Belma: 7.5.
True Vine’s Unicorn’s Revenge: 7.5.
Deep Ellum’s Hop Seeker: 7.5.
Four Corners’ El Super Bee: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Hopochondria: 7.5.
Three Nations GPA: 7.5.
Martin House’s Rubberneck Red: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Antigoon’s Revenge: 7.5.
Community’s Texas Pils: 7.5.
Lakewood’s Zomer Pils: 7.5.
Cedar Creek’s Dankosaurus: 7.5.
Cedar Creek Brewery Clover Kicker: 7.25.
Noble Rey Sex In A Canoe: 7.25.
Oak Highlands Brewery’s Oktoberfest.: 7.25.
Deep Ellum Rye Pils: 7.
3 Nations Mango SMASH IPA: 7.
Legal Draft Chief Justice Stout: 7.
Manhattan Project’s Plutonium-239: 7.
Backcountry’s Texas IPA: 7.
Backcountry’s Double IPA: 7.
Rahr’s Visionary: 7.
Shannon Brewing’s Irish Cream Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Guava Good: 7.
TUPPS Brewery’ Northbound 75: 7.
Rahr & Sons’ Iron Joe: 7.
BrainDead’s I Like Harvey IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Turtle Power: 7.
Collective’s Petite Golden Sour: 7.
Shannon’s Chocolate Stout: 7.
BrainDead’s Red Ale: 7.
Community’s Razzy Raspberry Witbier: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway Blonde Ale: 7.
Bearded Eel’s Purple Unicorn: 7.
Noble Rey’s Off The Leash: 7.
Shannon Brewing Company’s Irish Red: 7.
Texas Ale Project’s Somethin’ Shady: 7.
Deep Ellum IPA: 7.
Cedar Creek’s The Lawn Ranger: 7.
Martin House Brewing Company’s Cellarman’s Reserve IPA (Amarillo).: 7.
Lakewood’s Till & Toil: 7.
903 Brewers’ The Chosen One: 7.
903 Brewers’ Sugar On Top: 7.
Martin House’s Gateway XPA: 7.
Armadillo Ale Work’s Quakertown Stout: 7.
Revolver’s High Brass: 7.
Community’s Pale Ale: 7.
Oak Highlands’ Chump Change: 7.
Martin House’s River House: 7.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Sir William’s Brown Ale: 7.
Community’s Funnel Cake Ale: 7.
Audacity’s Boss Raptor IPA: 7.
Martin House’s Queen of the Mist (Prickly Pear): 6.75.
Three Nations Texas Xmas Hazelnut Ale: 6.5.
Martin House’s The Juice: 6.5.
Collective Brewing Project’s Mom Azacca: 6.5.
Four Corners’ La Lechuza: 6.5.
Revolver’s Ironhead IPA: 6.5.
903 Brewers’ Trot Line: 6.5.
Four Corners’ Celebración: 6.5.
Peticolas’ Operation Collaboration: 6.5.
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Nightwatch: 6.5.
Peticolas’ The Duke: 6.5.
Deep Ellum’s Double Brown Stout : 6.5.
On Rotation’s Mexican Barleywine: 6.25.
Wild Acre’s Tarantula Hawk: 6.
Martin House’s Kafkaesque: 6.
TUPPS’ Cotton Mill Gold: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Tweedleyum: 6.
Rabbit Hole’s Off With Your Red: 6.
Cedar Creek’s Elliott’s Phoned Home Pale Ale: 6
Grapevine Craft Brewery’s Lakefire: 6
Armadillo Ale Works’ WunderMelon: 6
Deep Ellum Pale Ale: 6
Lakewood’s Troll Toll: 5.5.
Martin House’s Hell Below: 5.5.
Lakewood’s La Dame Du Lac: 5.5.
Woodcreek’s Lakeside Cerveza: 5.
Martin House Cuvee Pumpkin Latte: 5.
Intrinsic’s Crunktoberfest: 5.
Martin House’s Mind On My Money: 5.
903 Brewers’ The Land Of Milk And Honey: 5.
Deep Ellum’s Numb Comfort: 5.
TUPPS’ Day Off: 4.75.
Four Bullets’ Black Jack Brown: 4.5.
Audacity’s Checkered Past: 4.
Four Corners Heart O’ Texas: 4.
Audacity’s Sunset Boulevard: 4.
Shannon Brewing Company’s IPA: 4.
Grapevine’s Monarch: 4.
Good Neighbor Brews Slim Sweetness: 3.
Twin Peaks’ Dirty Blonde: 3.
Franconia Wheat: 3.
Miller Lite: 1.

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