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Optimal Wit - Port City Brewing

Not Rated.
Optimal WitOptimal Wit

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

61 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 61
Hads: 300
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 23.68%
Wants: 3
Gots: 67 | 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: 61 | Hads: 300
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.8/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy yellow w/ minimal head and no lace but you can see constant carbonation. Aroma is rather mild, almost airy. I do get some of spice and citric/lemoz zest, and some floral and bready notes but not alot. Light, easy to drink, almost lawnmowerish beer, the sweetness is there for a wit and I like the smoothness but the lack of defines flavors - there's a crisp, lemony/spicey finish but the body of the beer is just a little bit of citric/spice/malts. Just enough going on to be a truly great wit.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my buddy Dan for this one.

A – Poor head retention and lace. Pale banana yellow color.

S – Yeast, banana, sour apple lemon, and a hint of sourdough bread. Touch of earthy coriander and green peppercorns in there as well.

T – Not bad at all. The beer has a honey-like sweetness and a bright, juicy center of apple, coriander, peppercorn, banana, and pear. The finish is semi-tart with white grape skins.

M – Well balanced acidity. Medium body, but sub-par carbonation for the style. Light, but lingering finish.

O – Refreshing with a pleasant complexity.

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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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear straw color with a reasonably impressive head that displays decent retention and leaves a few shards of lace

Smell: Bready, with orange peel, grains of paradise and coriander tones

Taste: Bready, up front, but the pithy , grains of paradise and coriander flavors quickly jump forward; after the swallow, there is a hint of sweet malt that adds to the profile

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: I would prefer this to be a bit drier but it is a fairly decent stab at the style

Thanks, smokeypeat, for the opportunity

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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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.

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Photo of devilben02
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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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...

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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.

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Photo of wahhmaster
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Moab Brewery shaker pint.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, very pale yellow color. Has a thin, fizzy head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing. Typical witbier territory here.

Smell: Smells fruity and spicy with definite citrus and coriander notes.

Taste: Slightly bitter up front. Finishes sweet and fruity with a hint of spiciness.

Mouthfeel: A bit on the thin/flat side but still adequately refreshing.

Overall: This is a very average witbier, well-done but unexciting. I would be willing to give it another shot solely because, for me, it's a local brewery and I try to favor local establishments if I can.

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Photo of mactrail
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

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Photo of Godot
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Belgian Wits are not my go to style but this beer is definitely a nice option for summer drinking. Pours a hazy yellow with a big clunky white head. Smell is of orange peel and grains of paradise. The taste is refreshing and well spiced (read not overly spiced). It has a dryer finish than say Hoegaarden, but that is kind of nice. My wife, who is more of a witbier drinker, enjoyed this one thoroughly and I am sure it will be going into her rotation. As for me, I would never turn it down. Definitely a nice and refreshing offering from Port City.

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Photo of Marty30
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to smokeypeat for sending me this brew! Poured into A Founders snifter at fridge temp.

A. Body is a pale straw yellow,leaves about a 1 inch white head that dissapates very quickly.Spotty lacing is stuck to the glass.

S. Lemon and orange zest upfront with spicy Belgian notes. Has A very nice kind if bread crust back bone.

T. Follows the smell pretty good. Citrus and spicy notes round this out.I'm getting Some corriander,lemon,bread like notes.

M. Light medium feel makes for easy drinkability. Good carbonation cleans the palate.

Overall A very well made beer in my opinion.I havn't had many witbier's this is one of the best I have had.

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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.

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Photo of SummitVA
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice pale pour with rocky white head. Heavy carbonation.

S – Lemon, sweet pils, and spice—coriander and pepper notes jumping out especially.

T – Sweet pilsner malt followed by lemon and spice. Malt is finished with a beautiful dry tart bite. Coriander, pepper, and lemon linger in the aftertaste.

M – Light.

O – Best offering of Port City IMHO. Fantastic Wit with all the key components. My only complaint is that I’d love a slightly fuller malt presence initially before the light finish. As is, it gives the impression of being a little thin throughout, even when considering the style. A very minor knock on an otherwise fantastic beer. Cheers,

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: highly hazy burnt yellow hue. billowing white head wont let me fill my glass all the way. no carbonation can be seen through the unfiltered body.

S: cracked black pepper. smells like a florist shop with the bouquet of flowers. gentle honey. a dry simple sweetness.

T: a zesty citrus. orange juice. soft sweetness. a bit of lemon that adds just a touch of sourness in the middle. pretty dry finish. not a whole lot of tartness.

M: hard carbonation on the border of effervescent. medium body.

D: one of my favorites from this new northern va brewery. looking forward to some seasonals!

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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.

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Optimal Wit from Port City Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.