Sunspots are basically nothing more than dark spots on the surface of the otherwise bright sun. Often occurring in pairs, they are the result of what amount to magnetic burps. Lasting hours to months, they are actually much cooler than the rest of the sun: by over 1500 Celsius (plus or minus a few hundred more degrees).
Don't let their size fool you, either. The sun, as you probably know, is huge. 865,000 miles across, in fact (according to one source). Given the scale of the whole affair, it is easy to forget that tiny dots on a giant orb are quite large themselves. Sunspots can actually be upwards of 100,000 miles across. Given that the diameter of the Earth is slightly less than 8,000 miles, that makes for a big burp.
Of course, if the sun can belch, we can, too, right? Especially if a beer is a tad over carbonated.
Sunspot (#1484), is a hefeweizen from the Greenbush Brewing Company.
A south German style of wheat beer, hefeweizens are brewed with a yeast that produce crazy flavors of banana and cloves. Dryness, a tad of a tart edge, and some spiciness with bubblegums or apples can be the norm, as well. A hop bitterness on the finish is light at best. Visually the beer is yellow or gold and very cloudy. The Hefeweizen, in the words of the guys at Beer Advocate, can be one sexy looking beer. Given the overall lightness of the body and feel, they go down well on hot summer days.
So how was Sunspot? All in all, I think it was fine representation of the style. The banana tones on the nose were absolutely astounding. A third-grader could have detected them. Nothing subtle here. In addition, I found the hop presence to be a bit more than expected but certainly not enough to distract me from the experience.
The distraction, came in with the carbonation on the tongue. In my experience, the pour can be an indicator to the level of carbonation - a quick dump in the glass (or even a careful one) can result in quite a bubbly mess. There was no such hint here. It poured with the inviting white head one would expect. In my opinion, the bite of carbonation was a bit high. While this is just me talkin' here, I can say that some at the BA site noted the same.
Was it bad beer? No way. Perfect? It fell a bit short. If they find a way to ease back on the carbonation, they have a dynamite beer. 4 out of 5.