Optimal Wit - Port City Brewing

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Optimal WitOptimal Wit

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BA SCORE
85
very good

59 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 59
Hads: 284
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 8.16%
Wants: 3
Gots: 57 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 59 | Hads: 284
Photo of tlazaroff
4.54/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazy light golden straw color topped with a white head.

S: Bursting with Coriander backed by light orange peel, very similar to the Celis White. It is the perfect smell for a Wit beer if you ask me.

T: This is an amazing wit! As the smell is just like Celis White, the taste is too! Packed with a punch of coriander, orange peel, a nice earthiness, and malty goodness.

M: Medium bodied, a bit heavy on the carbonation, and bottle conditioned. Flavor lasts a while on the palate.

D: Moderately high. Delicious beer, the best they brew. (541 characters)

Photo of ahalloin
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
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. (980 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this one more times than I can count now: On tap at the brewery, growler fills, many, many bottles, and I'm just getting around to reviewing it.

This one has the added benefit of being a brew that my normally beer-hated wife will drink with me. She loves this stuff!

A: Beautiful, milky peach/lemon color, with a massive tighly woven 1-2 finger head after a very hard pour that resembled a nito-tap pour.

S: Hell Mr. and Mrs. white pepper and coriander! The spices actually buried the fruit somewhat on the nose, but I still got a slim smattering of citrus.

T: Despite the spice on the nose, I got a lot of fruit and candy sugar on the mid-palate that resembled a pixie stick dust based concoction. Peppery finish.

M: Creamy, and without even a trace of booze. The sweet elements were very disciplined and the spice content... well, they are extreme, yet justified.

O: I friggin' love this beer! A lot of people go nuts over their porter (which is also good), but to me, this is their crowning acheivement... so far. (1,031 characters)

Photo of mralphabet
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
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... (913 characters)

Photo of localone703
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great wit beer, it's everything a good wit beer should be - light and refreshing, but with a bit of body balancing good proportions of spice that identify themselves without overwhelming.

I can see this going over far better as an overall seller than any of their other beers, and deservedly so.

I'd take this over an over-estimated Oberon any day, now they just have to try to convince the brand-image moron drinkers to do the same. (445 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
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. (882 characters)

Photo of flyingpig
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (858 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
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 (733 characters)

Photo of dedrinker
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light hazy yellow color with a thin white head.

Aromas of coriander first, followed by a hint of orange peel.

This beer has a very good balance of malt and spice. I would have liked a little more of that lemony juiciness (little more orange peel?) I have found in others, but this one excelled in its moderate coriander profile - enough to always stay present and up front, but balanced off the pleasing light-yet-substantial malt character. It never got on the wrong side of tart and quenching (too soapy - Noxzema - or too tartly citric).

Light-to-medium body, and a clean quenching finish with more deftly handled spice. This is a consummately professional product - locals ought to shun other wit biers in favor of this one whenever they see it. But who's a die-hard born-n-raised local around here? Too many mid-westerner post-college transplants will stick to their Oberon, when this is clearly superior. Oh well, their loss, college don't teach much I reckon. (969 characters)

Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pouring into a pilsner glass, light pale straw. Becomes pale golden with addition of yeast sediment. Fine cream head, and very fine lacing.

S: Citrus zestiness, coriander spicing, and some grainy aromatics. Nothing overpowering.

M: Nicely balanced and refreshing from beginning to end. Smooth, creamy and finely carbonated. Could be a little snappier to start, but finishes with a perfect dryness fro the style accompanied by a subtle tartness.

T: Very grassy with pith appeal. Pear, some apricot, coriander, faint honeydew aspect make it only mildly sweet. Not the most adventurous, but very very solid. Its sessionability and refreshing quality is on-point. (665 characters)

Photo of 00trayn
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a light, transparent golden color. White head about a finger-width tall faded pretty quickly. Has some minimal lacing.

S - Refreshing citrus scent with a hint of spices. Very pleasant and not overpowering.

T - An initially wheat flavor profile gives way to a taste of orange and banana. The finish has a spicy quality. It's incredibly refreshing in the warmer months.

M - Very smooth beer that's easy to drink and enjoy. Moderately carbonated.

O - This has become one of my favorite beers and there is usually a 6-pack in my fridge. It's a solid beer from a new brewery and I'm looking forward to what else they come up with. (641 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (268 characters)

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

A: This poured a cloudy straw with bit of white head.
S: It smelled like wild yeast and grassy hops and creamy wheat with coriander and orange zest.
T: It tasted like sweet creamy wheat and wild yeast with some coriander and orange zest. It had a mellow and clean sour aftertaste.
M: It was watery with some carbonation...a bit dull.
D: This was a very nice wit. Great scent and taste. Body was ok, but it was super easy to drink. Recommended. (443 characters)

Photo of kevinv
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle picked up from Rick's Wine & Gourmet. Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a cloudy straw yellow color with about a one finger white bubbly head. Looks like your typical witbier. The head dissipates rather quickly and leaves little in the way of lacing.

S - The smell actually reminded me more of a Hefeweizen with the fairly prominent banana notes. There are nice aromas of orange peel and some spices. A light grassy hop presence becomes noticeable a bit more as the beer warms.

T - A strong bready yeast is the first thing I notice. Very light and refreshing flavors of wheat, orange, spices, bananas, and grassy hops. The finish is clean and dry.

M - Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation.

D - This is a flavorful easy drinker and one I'm looking forward to having again when the temperature finally warms up here in NoVA. Like I said earlier, this kind of reminds me of a Hefe. (905 characters)

Photo of drizzam
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A cloudy light orange body is topped by a fluffy one finger head. Head retention is average and some spotty lacing is left down the inside of my glass. Looks like pretty much any other witbier I've had.

S - Wheat, citrus and coriander, with a slightly spicy note on the back end.

T & M - The wheat backbone is followed by nice accents of coriander, orange peel, and a nice little peppery twang toward the back end to give it a little spice. Light bodied with a clean, albeit slightly spicy finish. This is a very crisp brew.

D - A very enjoyable example of a Witbier. My first foray into the world of Port City Brewing, and so far I'm impressed. (653 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (558 characters)

Photo of sholland119
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blind BIF Round 4, Beer #4, blind growler. Took this one to our Monday night tasting group. Thanks to Thorpe429.

A-Cloudy, pale straw with a thin white head that does not last long.

S-Bubblegum and banana notes with some notes of lavender. Nice.

T-Nice wheat character, with banana and bubble gum notes, hints of flowery spice.

M-Light bodied, crisp, nicely dry, maybe a bit thin and a little watery.

D-Easy drinking and flavorful. (437 characters)

Photo of Arithmeticus
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in tall pilsner glass

A: little carbonation; minimal head; clear, solid yellow
S: clove, yeast; inviting aroma
T: dry, spiced, medium hops; light on the Belgian side of things (e.g., bottle conditioning); not very intense flavor

Overall, a good solid beer, drawing sound inspiration from the Belgians. (318 characters)

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light gold with with white head that eventually fades.

The smell is a nice zest from the spices but is mostly of a fruity malt.

The taste is laid back for the style but I kind of like it about this one. The malt is the big player here as well as a slight hint of lemon. There is still a little hit of spices.

Overall a pretty decent Wit and am glad it produced locally. Win. (385 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Founders pint glass. It poured a hazy, golden yellow color with a thin, bright white head covering the top of the beer.

The aroma has a bright, citrusy flavor to it with notes coriander and orange peel really coming out. I get a good amount of sweeter, bready, wheat malt flavors to it as well. Pretty nice for the style.

The taste also shows a lot of those brighter, orange peel and coriander citrusy flavors. The orange peel especially stands out to me. I get some bitterness to it in the finish that really helps balance it out.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is moderate, and perhaps a little below average for the style. Overall it's a pretty good beer of the style. The citrusy, orange peel and coriander were very nice and it was pretty balanced overall. A very nice new local beer option for a style we buy fairly frequently. (888 characters)

Photo of Dave1999
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale straw colour with a small white head.

The smell has strong cloves,coriander,yeast and little hint of lemon.

The taste mirrors the smell with the coriander come through pretty strong. It's light yeasty and wheaty.

Overall a decent wit bier light and tasty. (271 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on draft at Dry 85

A-Pours hazy pale golden with small white head. Spotty lacing.

S-Orange/Coriander aroma, medium body, medium carbonation, and pretty good small bubble lacing.

T-Taste is coriander, orange, spice (mostly grains of paradise), some floral, some grassy, some lemon, with crisp finish.

M-Mouthfeel has a medium body, medium carbonation, and pretty good small bubble lacing.

O-The beer has a fair amount of complexity (especially for the style) and flavor, pretty enjoyable. Nice local beer. (514 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (751 characters)

Photo of mpyle
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straw colored and a bit cloudy. Pours a modest white head, creamy and with some retention (but not great).

Aroma has some subtle spice notes, with pepper, orange, and coriander.

Flavor is more assertive than the aroma, with a nice hit of a peppery orange flavor. Dries out nicely and finishes with a spicy bitterness.

MF - Light body and high carbonation, as expected for the style. Carbonation adds to the drying sensation, and invites another sip.

Overall a nice, light Belgian style beer. Belgian character is present but not overwhelming, but does add a lot to the flavor profile. Definitely a good change of pace beer for the summer months. (651 characters)

Photo of TechTriumph
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes on 11/03/11:
No freshness date; Poured in a weizen glass.

A - 3" creamy white head that recedes to 1/2" after a few minutes; Straw yellow/amber color with a cloudy haze; Lacing is minimal

S - Very light smell; Notes of cloves, bananas, and fresh bread with a slight citrus aroma as well

T - Bread-like yeast up front; Cloves, spices, and slighty sweet citrus flavor comes through next; Light aftertaste with a subtle flavor of grains

M - Pretty good carbonation - tingles and massages the tongue; Nice clean and slightly dry finish; Light bodied

O - I think this brew does a pretty good job for a witbier. It's smooth, easy to drink, and very refreshing. I could certainly drink many of these in succession. I may wait until the warmer months, but I'll definitely seek out this beer and have again in the future. (828 characters)

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Optimal Wit from Port City Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.