Optimal Wit - Port City Brewing

Not Rated.
Optimal WitOptimal Wit

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

279 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 279
Reviews: 64
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 3
Gots: 49 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Port City Brewing visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Witbier |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 02-04-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 279 | Reviews: 64
Reviews by flyingpig:
Photo of flyingpig
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle as a gift brought home from Virginia:
Hazy, light, golden colour with a thin, white head that consists of tonnes of tiny bubbles and stays well for a minute or so.

Spicy notes initially with some yeast and lemon coming through along with it. There is a strong smell of coriander that follows this and some bananas and orange peel.

Strong wheat and yeast flavours with some banana and clove to kick things off with. There is hints of coriander in the taste too along with a bit of citrus lemon and some orange zest.

Light medium with some spice and a citrus tang along with a relatively creamy and smooth taste, coupled with strong carbonation.

Miles better than I was expecting and I knew it was going to be a nice beer before I tried it. All the usual suspects are there for the style but they come together great and the beer is a cracker.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #62 (Mar 2012):

LOOK: Hazy golden

SMELL: Doughy, coriander, ripe plum, orange peel, earthy, floral, yeast

TASTE: Smooth, nutty, biscuity grain, yeast, coriander, mild bitterness, peppery, orange pith, faint saltiness, ripe fruit, spicy, grainy finish

Brewed to style with all the right bells and whistles going off, meaning that it does not taste like you have walked down the soap aisle in a department store. The use of grains of paradise adds that needed depth that most American brewed Witbiers lack.

Photo of Todd
3.44/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

LOOK: Dirty blonde, cloudy, near opaque, foamy white head that fizzes away

SMELL: Powdery, floral, citric rinds, perfumey, yeast, grain husks

TASTE: Firm, oaty fullness and flavor, wheat, citric snap, orange peel, sweet bready grains, coriander, yeasty, earthy, dry floury finish

A bit heavier and darker than most traditional Witbiers, and it's missing that crisp, dry and effervescent edge that I've come to expect. Whatever percentage of oats they used seems to overpower a bit too much as well; lending too much flavor and body. Still, not bad.

Photo of ChadwickHines
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Great all the way. Unique

Photo of KTCamm
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours yellow/golden with some darker tones. Light foaming. Wheaty smell, notes of citrus in the nose. Taste is a rich full wheat flavor with a light citrus lemon mouthfeel. Very smooth. Minor rind taste. Very good.

Photo of PhillyStyle
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Pizzeria Paradiso, served in a tulip glass - Old Town, Alexandria, VA (3/2011):

The appeared a bright, hazy, light golden color with a nice white, foamy head that was well-retained and settled into a spotty cap and some nice lacing. The beer looked as expected for the style.

The beer gave off the typical wheat-ish aroma, with hints of yeast/bread, orange and some other spices. The aroma was good, not overpowering, but solid.

The taste of the beer was good, followed the nose really well. The yeast/bread/barley was the first thing that was tasted, followed by a nice hint of the spices. The only problem that I had with the beer is that it got a little watered down at the end. I have never experienced that before, so I am not really sure what to think of it.

The beer had a light feel to it. The beer was very smooth and clean, good carbonation and easy to drink.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip.
5% ABV, no date.

Thanks to Thorpe429 for this brew (and sorry I've slacked majorly at getting the reviews up!)

A - A swirled bottle releases hazed pale straw yellow beer with a short-lived white head. Fingers of lace cling to the glass. It looks the part so far!

S - Intriguing aroma of mild Belgian yeast, coriander spice, a hint of orange peel citrus, and a clean, soft wheat finish. Inviting and refreshing.

T - Soft wheat and pale malt is strong in flavor with an underlying coriander spice. Minimal Belgian yeast components going on here though.

M - Soft and clean with a supple feel and smooth, light body. Refreshing finish!

O - Enjoyable and refreshing, this wit is a good American-brewed version of the classic Belgian style. Move over Blue Moon, I'll take this beer over you anytime.

Photo of smakawhat
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Off the pour gives a small but marginally sized white heat of two and a half fingers. Body is a slightly opaque lemon gold, looking very much like a Hoegarden only a little deeper.

Bouquet is minimal muted wheat and yeast, faint grain sense. Some small sense of clove spice but not much going on here. It is however pleasant, and solid, but not particularly engaging and big.

After all that you would expect a little disappointed but, luckily from there everything improves. Taste is solid and expansive but simple. Simple chew and spice clove, with a good body. Finish is deep and solid and coating.

This is a straightforward easy drinking example of this style, not much else to say about it, just wish it had a better bouquet.

Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: opaquely cloudy golden color - typical wit, with a white head that shows average retention

s: clean, spicy wheat body, full bready yeast presence, nice balance of orange and coriander in "just right" proportions, grassy hops

m: lively carbonation - just over moderate, an otherwise light body carries a fullness on the back of the tongue imparted by the oat addition

t: nice set of wit flavors - clean wheat body, lots of bready yeast, orange, subtle coriander, a little spicy, grassy hops, finishing dry and clean with a very mild bittering, hits all the right notes

d: drinks very well, clean with plenty of flavor and a refreshing finish

good first from this new local - look forward to what they'll put out in the future

Photo of devilben02
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

While visiting family in the NoVa area, my Coors-Light-loving cousin offered this one to me as an alternative to the light lagers he normally keeps stocked. It pours a pale, lemony hay color with only a thin, wispy white head. The aroma has a subtle musty, yeasty character as expected for the style. The flavor is lightly fruity, with a faint banana character, which is contrasted by an earthy yeastiness. The texture is fizzy and light, which is fine with the light flavor profile but unexciting. Overall, this beer is light and pleasant, yet nicely flavored, making it a solid albeit unremarkable witbier.

Photo of obywan59
3.81/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pale, faintly golden yellow. Cloudy, but transparent. 1 finger white head that settles quickly leaving a but of shrinking lacing.

Coriander and clove in the forefront with a followup of banana.

Ditto in the taste, but the clove and banana seem seem to have stronger presence Tart wheat sets it all off.

Crisp and peppery. Moderate in body. Slightly astringent and slightly warming.

Well done in my opinion. It seems to hold to the style well. Quaffable and well balanced. I would try it again.

Photo of HattedClassic
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a very bubbly white head that dissipates very quickly. The beer itself is a surprisingly clear hazy yellow with a bit of orange in it. The beer has a very simple orange and lemon smell with a bit of Belgian yeast and spice. The spice and yeast are very faint but still pretty decent. The taste is very similar to the beer smell with orange and Belgian notes. The orange is a bit light with the Belgian yeast and spices. The taste also has some coriander notes that get a bit lost but occasionally surface. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly carbonated with biting carbonation. Overall, the beer is fairly decent. The brewery can certainly improve upon it but it's still drinkable and worth getting on a hot day.

Photo of ShanePB
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, courtesy of Mike, straight from the brewery. Bleak and boring label...

A: Hazy pale yellow, fizzy almost non existent white head, unless you pour quite vigorously.

S: Quite muted, though some notes of clove, spice and orange peel come through. Subtle notes of coriander and banana in the back end.

T: Very refreshing and light. Lemon, orange, mango and some clove spice. Nothing is dominant or over done - all flavors are blended quite well with each other. Finishes leaves a bit of dryness that I wish wasn't there.

M: Low end of being a medium-bodied beer, nice ample carbonation.

An extremely easy drinking Witbier, for sure. There isn't too much going on here in terms of flavors in both the nose and taste, but there's enough to be refreshing and tasty. Sure there are better Witbiers out there but a really good first attempt from a new brewery.

Photo of Cresant
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 12 oz. into a footed tulip glass. No date. This one was a gift, I would never have purchased this one on my own due to this not being a favorite style. The body was clear, with a bright yellowy-gold color. The bright white head dissipated quickly.

The smell was cloves and fresh grain.

The taste was white peppercorns and spicy yeast. There was a snap of wheat. Crisp tartness was so refreshing and tasty! I enjoyed this one much more than I had anticipated.

The mouthfeel was medium to light in density. Adequate carbonation. Easy to drink and quite nice.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruge hybrid glass on 8/16/11
*From notes

A: Cloudy and sandy beach white-amber. A one finger head and moderate lacing are the product of a decent pour.

S: Cloves and bananas. It's got the characteristics you look for in the wit style.

T: Again, a generous helping of ripe banana. Hints of orange and a dusting of spice add a complexity to this low ABV brew. The finish is rather yeasty.

M: Pretty damn creamy. It's packs the proper punch.

O: Port City's Optimal Wit is a solid little offering. It's exactly what I think of when I think "Witbier", and if you're a fan of the style, you could drink this all day. As someone who is not, I'd still put a couple of these back.

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a hazed golden orange color with a short bubbly white head.

S:Some wheat and fresh apricots up front then some coriander and other mild spices, maybe ginger. Some citrusy hops give a strong note.

T: Citrus, apricot and fresh grains provide a solid start. Coriander comes through and maybe a bit of ginger and they are in good quantity not overdone.

M: Lightly crisp light body and fairly smooth drinking.

O: Solid American wit and certainly not a lot of flaws so it is worth a try.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a tumbled.

Pour is a cloudy light orange color with a pretty decent amount of haze. White head with some pretty sticky lacing. Overall, a good start. Nose is creamy and full of rich wheat plus some orange zest, coriander, and slight spice. Nice and well-rounded without any taking the front.

Taste is equally as good as the nose. Very pleasant wheat base with a touch of spice along with some nice citrus character. The mouthfeel really takes it away. Light body is enhanced by a nice wheat base and there is a touch of spice throughou along with a nice orange presence. Fairly light carbonation carries it through. Drinkabiliy is really nice. This is quite quaffable even after a 15-minute walk through the cold.

Very glad to add the first beer for this place. It's a good feeling to finally have a local brewery that's actually in my town.

Photo of Rifugium
3.11/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

First had: on tap at the brewery

Cloudy, pale, golden-colored liquid with a small cap of foamy white head that receded to a ringlet. Light aroma, toasted wheat, citrus zest, faint Belgian yeast. Taste of toasted grains, bready yeast, essence of orange blossom and light coriander, as would be expected of the style. Body was light, mouthfeel was thin, but there was nothing off or offensive, so it was pretty drinkable if you're a fan of the style, even if not the best there is out there.

Photo of mralphabet
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Poured 2/3 bottle....clear yellow with a touch of orange... swirled last 1/3 and poured... now we are a murky light orange with a about a fingers worth of fluffy head that settles to a nice ring with minimal lacing.

S: Smells great, like a great Wit.... Lots of coriander, orange peels, spices, yeast, and wheat. Everything you want...

T: Wheat is right up front with a good touch of orange zest, peels, spices, coriander, and yeast. Finish is clean, crisp with very little aftertaste. Right on top of the style for me...

M: Mid to light bodied with a moderate carbonation. Very smooth feel... good body, very easy to drink.

D: Good ABV, great taste.... Good combo... This is currently my favorite Wit.. Everything fits the style to a tee... Very very drinkable Wit. Seek this one out... Worth a try.

Side note: This is a very young brewery... Give these guys a try...

Photo of ahalloin
4.53/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the brewery.

Pours a hazy light golden color with snow-white frothy head. Looks spot on for a Wit with the classic unfiltered appearance.

Smell is good strength for a 5% beer with spicy yeast phenolics and bready malt body. The additions of orange peel, coriander, and grains of paradise are apparent but not dominating.

The taste is really outstanding actually. Muted bready malted body up front with slight sweetness puts you at ease, but then a sudden attack of spicy tartness and slight bitterness bring this beer to a bone dry finish that is very satisfying and refreshing. This is one of those beers where you NEED another sip, after each sip. It is really inviting and well balanced with a spectacular finish.

Mouthfeel is nice with a lighter medium body and medium carbonation. Possibly more carbonation would be right for the style.

Drinkability is great. This beer will make Blue Moon drinkers realize what they are missing in a properly made Wit.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.57/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, buck nidynine from the Village Pump. They were all out of Nugget Nectar, so I grabbed a couple of ticks instead.

An incredibly hazy (in a nice way) yellow with a dense, white head, choppy and bubbly, that recedes to a disk leaving little lacing. The nose has a ton of wheat with a nice, yeasty, bready character. Spice character here is moderate, with a nice blend of coriander (almost makes me think of cilantro) along with some orange peel. Quite refreshing.

The palate is pretty decent too. Plenty of wheat and grain up front, with a pretty quenching and refreshing carbonic acid bite, this is quite nice. The spice character is actually really nice, with a delicate coriander and even some grains of paradise, delicate and mellow. The water, though, seems a touch heavy on the mineral content, causing the flavors to dissipate and the mid-palate seem watery. Light on the body with crisp carbonation, this is quite refreshing, and quite enjoyable. Not the best wit, but among the better domestic versions I've had.

Photo of WesWes
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudy blonde with a two finger white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a light, pale and wheat malt scent along with an excellent citrus and coriander character. There is a bit of lemon zest that really enhances both the aroma and the taste. The taste is good as well. It has a quaffable pale and wheat malt flavor. It's crisp and refreshing with spot on spicing. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a very drinkable summer seasonal; a good representation of the style.

Photo of zeledonia
3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden straw yellow, a might bit hazy. The one-finger white head, all big bubbles, disappeared when I turned my back. No lacing.

Smells of wheat, spices, and Belgian yeast. Quite nice, kind of a kitchen sink variety, with the various aromas almost, but not quite, blending together well.

Tastes much like it smells. Pale malt, nice soft peppery spice, wheat. No hops, no bitterness. Just tasty smooth pale spicy goodness.

Medium-light body, carbonation is a touch low. Finish is neither quick nor long - right there in the middle. Slightly dry.

A very solid wit, with everything you'd expect and nothing you wouldn't. Pretty darn tasty, but nothing amazing. It's exciting to see a local brewer making this style one of their staples.

Photo of CaverDave
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Outlier requires five word review

Photo of mactrail
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Celery is the surprise flavor. Very vegetal with lettuce and a hunt of radish sprouts, or is there actually some pepper in this? Quite tart with little hint of malt. Very nice mouthfeel-- well carbonated with a silky sense.

Might be a good quaff. I don't care for it as much as other Wits I've tasted. Less beery and more acidic than I like.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Optimal Wit from Port City Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 279 ratings.