Witch's Wit | The Lost Abbey

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Witch's WitWitch's Wit

Brewed by:
The Lost Abbey
California, United States

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Convicted of a dark art, the crowd will gather to watch as they raze your earthen existence. An intolerable pain is the cross you’ll bear that day as you are removed from this righteous world. No one will summon the courage to save you in fear of their life. It sucks. But such is the life of a witch. In honor of your fleeting existence, we brewed Witch’s Wit. A light and refreshing wheat beer, it’s exactly the sort of thing you might expect to find being passed around the center of town on witch burning day. Say hello to the Prince of Darkness for us.

Added by illidurit on 08-04-2008

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Reviews: 168 | Ratings: 428
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.38/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle: Poured a golden color ale with a small pure white foamy head with minimal retention and some pretty good lacing. Aroma is sweet and somewhat cloying. Taste is also way too sweet for the style with honey taking too much place in the flavor profile.Wheat malt and spices are very subtle. Body is quite full with average carbonation. I would say this is one of the most disapointing offering from this usually fine brewery.

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Photo of champ103
2.42/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours an incredibly murky, yeasty, golden orange color. A one finger bubbly white head forms with pour retention. No lace. Dead and lifeless.
S: Dry, slightly tart apple cider in the nose. Sweet malt as well. The least offensive part of the beer.
T: Cloying sweetness, honey, light apple flavors. Buttery malt. The sweetness is really a problem for me here, with nothing else for any resemblance of balance.
M/D: No body, and no carbonation. Really dead. The lifeless feel and cloying sweetness makes this really hard to drink.

Another let down from Lost Abbey. I have said that a lot lately. Though, IMO this is one of the most over rated breweries I can think of.

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Photo of Talisker
2.72/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750ml corked and caged bottle purchased at City Beer Store, San Francisco, for $8.99.

Close to an outright miss for The Lost Abbey. This is a limp, watery wit without an ounce of pizazz.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bland yellow, macro lager color, albeit not entirely transparent. Warning sign - very little head, and lacing dissipates almost immediately. No active bubbles visible.

Smells like a wit, with the combination of fruit and spice. This one maybe more grapefruit-y than orange-y. Unfortunately it tastes like a bit of a cross between Hoegaarden and Budweiser. Not *interesting*, but also not very *good*. No carbonation or other qualities to excite the texture. Even a little sticky on the end, which doesn't go well with the thin watery texture.

I don't think this bottle was mistreated. Just seems like a beer that sort of missed its target, especially for the price.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
2.95/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The Lost Abbey Witches Wit, Malt Beverage brewed with honey and spices.

The label art depicts a medieval village, wherein an act of fatal violence is perpetrated against a purported black arts dealer. Florid, over-wrought, heavy-handed label copy goes on and on describing the scene, and only bothers to describe the ale as "a light and refreshing wheat beer", and as "exactly the sort of thing you'd expect to find being passed around the center of town on witch burning day." Whatever the hell that means.

Lightly hazed, pale yellow aroma, very small head, slims to nil in a minute. Bit disappointing.

Aromatics, light spices, minor fruit. Not smelling much like a wit, not feeling the orange or coriander, or the wheat.

Taste: Light bodied and flavorless. Watery. Little mouthfeel or texture.
Extremely minor spice, and fleeting wheat character. A bit of celery, with a drizzle of lemon. No reason to call it a wit, if it ain't. Or is this a joke? Did I get a bad bottle, or was this their intention?

This is what they'd be drinking when they murder on witch suspicion? Does that imply that witch burners have terrible taste? I've got half a mind about witch burning image was a desperate ditch at drumming up sales on this loser.


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Photo of Blakaeris
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours hazy golden with a thick soapy head.

Aroma is very medicinal, bubblegum, powdery and musty, with unidentifiable spices.

Taste is sweet up front. Citrus fruit, lemon grass and bubblegum. finish is medicinal, with lingering nutmeg, coriander, and allspice.

Mouthfeel is light-medium in body. Spritzy.

Overall drinkable, but flavor is disjointed. Oddly medicinal and almost flat tasting. Not my favorite.

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Photo of busterthecat
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

poured into a wine glass

A- Pours a nice bright golden hue. A little head develops but fades quickly.

S- A sweet hay, some citrus, very light pepper/ spice. kinda light.

T- Quite light. Similar to smell but notes are fainter. The hay and citrus most prominent. Simple.

M- Very light, almost no body. Kinda watery, nothing lingers. Kinda poor after taste.

O- A decent brew. Nothing special. I would have expected more from Lost Abbey.

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Photo of stimulus
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle, corked and caged.

A: Pours a pale gold with a light white head, but no yeast appears to be present.
S: Some light spices, but not your typical wit.
T: Very sweet, sugar and honey appear before the light spice, but the honey/sugar dominate the palate.
M: Light bodied and well carbonated.
D: Just a bit too sweet to drink more than one glass. Honey instead of orange peel and coriander doesn't appeal to me that much.

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Photo of Overlord
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a bright gold, surprisingly small white foam head. Sparkly!

Smells like grass, herbs, and maybe some yeast. Taste is zesty, with that an expected grassy herbal flavor, a bit of pop in the form of spices (coriander?), and maybe just a tad of residual sweetness. Honey? Yeah, not getting that.

A surprisingly dry mouthfeel and finish, it's pretty champagn-ey. I'd say the mouthfeel is the best thing about it, as I'm not that excited about the taste.

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Photo of MrBoz21
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

poured cloudy straw with thick white head. Good retention, and mild carbonation

Aroma: wheat and citrus

taste: sweet with lemony wheat character. Minimal hops.

mouthfeel: sticky with a bit of tingly

overall: pretty tasty, but sweet and bit thick (cloying). could stand to be dryer.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle tried 10 Sep 2008.

Small white head. Moderate carbonation. Cloudy dull straw color. Smells of lemon, yeast and grapes. Starts with some honey lemon flavor but not too sweet. Ethanol very light. Medium chewy body. Not much of the expected coriander and citrus flavor. Finishes somewhat bitter and pithy.

Overall not bad but definitely needs more coriander.

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Photo of mactrail
3.22/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sparkly and bubbly in the New Belgium snifter. Like a Lager in color and spritziness. A nice head on the glass. Mild aroma of coriander, with more in the nose. slightly tart with a taste of something too much like chamomile.

The spice is quite prominent, and seems to be a little too much of a good thing. A touch of dried orange and lots of the spice with some Hefeweizen wheaty esters. LIght bodied yet plenty malty. No hint of hoppy taste or bitterness, either. The flavor wears a little on the palate. Not one I can drink much of.

From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido.

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Photo of ccrida
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle poured into my Lost Abby goblet, Witch's Wit is a chill hazed gold with a small white head that leaves lighter lace.

Smell is soft and floral, a slight, honey phenol, sulfur and other minerals, sweeter wheat as it warms, which was much better then the fridge serving temp.

Taste is spicy, bittersweet and grainy, very light, tropical fruit esters and a dry, biting bitterness on the abrupt finish and lingering astringency. Barley opens up as it warms.

Mouthfeel is lighter, slick and dry.

Drinkability is ok, I didn't really care for it much at all at first, and while it grew on me, it's not my taste in Wit's at all, under attenuated and biting.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: Really cool label (as per usual w/Lost Abbey)...glad they didn't change it, as much of a tree-huggin liberal as I am. Nice cork/cage job, though I really wish it had a date.

Appearance: Slightly hazy goldenrod beer, capped with a white crown with good retention. Lots of small C02...nice looking beer.

Smell: Dead on for a wit; lots of crisp, off-sweet orange and other citrus (esp. lemon), w/a nice, delicate spice note as well. Touch of sugar cookie-like sweetness?

Taste: My first thought is that (even though this is nearing a year old) this is significantly more bitter than a wit should be. Which is too bad, because that bitterness takes over from the first sip and hangs on, really fighting the orange and (peach?) fruitiness. There's a bit of spice in the background as well, which I'm assuming is coriander. Honey is not appreciated on the palate.

Mouthfeel: As a wit should be; fairly light, but yet somehow creamy and a bit substantial.

Overall: I'm not sure if the odd bitterness here is coming from the hops or from some kind of spice, but it's really quite distracting from the otherwise nice flavors. Overall, it's an ok wit in a really cool bottle; I might be tempted to pick it up once in awhile, if it wasn't for the $10.00 pricetag for the 750.

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Photo of mcallister
3.24/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very stale pour. Hard pour yielded hardly a head and what was there faded very quickly. A golden copper color and clearer than I would have thought.

Smells like a belgian white. Spicey with corriander, orange peel, yeast and hints of a carbonation aroma.

Lacking complexity which is suprising for a LA beer. Still good flavors yet a little thin and watery in mouthfeel. The same corriander and orange peel the nose suggests. Some belgian spice character and yeast. Could easily drink many of these although I'm not
sure I'd want to considereing the thiness.

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Photo of David121
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

This wit beer has great long lasting head, delightful smell, and very HEAVY citrus peel and coriander taste. It is by far the most flavor of all the wit beers I have ever had, its almost unbearable. Every time I think about it I dislike it more and more.

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Photo of pwoods
3.27/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged brown bottle, purchased from Joey at South Bay, poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a golden grainy color with a bit of clouding... too dark. A short head forms and dies fast. Little lacing.

S: Smells pretty sweet, a honey sweetness. Very grainy and wheaty. The yeast isn't as potent as I'd like it to be and contains little fruity esters.

T/M: More from the nose. Lacks the fruitiness and liveliness that the yeast needs to bring. Just kind of bland. More of the honey sweetness and strong wheat notes. Body is medium light and without enough carbonation. Mouth feels almost slick... I'm not sure why.

D: Really disappointed in this. Probably The Lost Abbey's weakest offering. Decently easy to drink.

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Photo of hopdog
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle.

Poured a medium golden color with an average sized head. Pours were subsequently hazier as I go to the bottom of the bottle. Aromas of honey, wheat, and spices. Tastes of honey, citrus, some wheat, and spices. Thinner body.

Notes from 9/1/08

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Photo of Knapp85
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Wit pours out as a cloudy yellow colored brew with a fizzy white head on top. The smell is citrusy and floral, theres some spicy notes too in there. The taste of the beer is much like any other wit out there. There some grainy wheat and citrus with a little bit of spiciness in there. Not an overly exciting brew. Glad I had it but I won't need to have again.

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Photo of cvm4
3.36/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours very golden in color, almost see through and has a thin head to it.

S - Malty, wheaty & slightly floral.

T - The taste is very perfume/floral. Light malts along with spices & not much else.

M - Light body & high carbonation. Fits the style.

O - It's good but not great. Way too much floral & perfume going on in here for me.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food. Consumed on a mildly full stomach.

Yields a satisfying pop upon opening.

A: Pours a two finger beige colour head without much cream, of okay thickness, and average retention. Colour is a nontransparent yellow-orange. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Lemon, lemongrass, lemon peel (yes, these are all distinct notes...), clean malts, hints of funkiness (unexpected), and wheat. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Wheat, funkiness (maybe even brettanomyces?), lemongrass, lemon, clean malts, barley, and background citrus esters from the light subtle hopping. Balanced and built well. I like it. A bit simple, but pleasant and enjoyable.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some needed coarseness on the climax. Suits the flavour profile nicely. Thick enough. Adequately carbonated.

Dr: A drinkable little wit. I quite like it. An excellent summer brew. Refreshing and pleasant. I'd definitely have this again, though the price is a significant drawback. A good session beer. Fans of the style will definitely like this one. Another solid offering from Lost Abbey.

A bad candidate for aging.

Would pair well with a lightly dressed salad, buttered soft pretzels, and orange rind cheese.


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Photo of sessycuban
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- The beer pours a dried straw color with two fingers of head. Good head retention and lacing.

S: The smell is a mélange of gala apples, white pepper, and coriander.

T: The beer tastes of lemon zest, white pepper, gala apples, and grapefruit. It tastes a bit bready when it warms.

M: The beer is light bodied and well carbonated.

D: The beer is very well balanced. The style is spot on. I would've preferred if this was a Port Brewing offering as it is very pricey for a witbier.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap in a pint glass, this brew pours a rather hazy carbonated lemon orange and offers some nice lacing.

Mostly dry wheat on the nose with hints of clove, lemon and grapefruit, a bit more subdued than expected with a touch of wet flowery spice, banana is nowhere to be found.

Taste offers a bit more of a malt body than many a witbier and fits with the orange color yet is nothing special. Feel and Drink are equally typical for the style. Nice easy drinking summer beer but not going out of my way for it again.

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Photo of impending
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5


750ml into a tulip. Pours a crystal clear classic yellow gold, minor cream colored head, ok lacing.

Aroma is mildly sweet and yeasty. The citrus shines a top the coriander note. All in all fairly subdued.

The flavor matches the aroma with the grapefruit now obvious. Again the citrus is dominant although it is clearly from rind, not hops. Medium bodied. Mild in every measure. The mouthfeel and medium carbonation keeps it from entering the realm of crisp and refreshing but pleasant none the less.

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Photo of errantnight
3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Let me just say that if I was reviewing this from a tap sample... the scores would be higher across the board. But enough is fucking enough... Lost Abbey has simply got to get their carbonation issues in order. It is completely and utterly ridiculous that this (deservedly) famed and highly regarded brewery could make batch after batch of exceptional beer and undercut with sloppy bottle fermentations. The list is virtually endless... from special releases like Cuvee de Tomme and Bourbon Barreled Angels Share to Port Brewing beers bottled at the same location like Shark Attack Double Red and Panzer Imperial Pilsner and their 2nd Anniversary Beer to one-off special blends like Veritas 003 to their more regular seasonal specialties like Inferno, or 10 Commandments (a delayed release dropped into stores a solid 2 or 3 months away from having reasonable carbonation, and with no fore-notice). And now... Witch's Wit can join that illustrious group is a severely undercarbonated beer that suffers tremendously for it. I'm through with making excuses for a brewery that seems willing to halt their love and care for their amazing beers a little short.

That said... as with many of these poorly carbonated beers (under or over) the carbonation merely stands out as an unfortunate flaw in what is otherwise quite clearly a deserving beer.

Pouring a virtually flat gorgeous hazy pale straw, the beer still manages to have a lovely citrus-tinged and lightly spiced aroma that is charming in its subtle complexities.

The body is medium-light and seems thin and watery, which consequently disguises some of the nuances dancing around in this beer. Doesn't have an overbearing spice or orange note, nor a pasty, chlorine presence, it feels like a subtle dance between a wit and a table saison. It's very, very good.

Despite my frustration, the beer in this form still delivers much of what I loved about the tap Witch's Wit, and while I'm sad to say I'm glad I only had the one bottle, if this is the only form you can find it in I suggest you do so... it stills has its merits, and hopefully it'll be instructive to compare next year if they can do something about the conspicuous lack of bubbles.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked & cages bottle poured into a Piraat tulip.

Pours a hazy light yellow color with a super thin white head. Nose is bready, yeasty an fruity. Lemon zest and citrus notes.

Taste is bready and yeasty, not really and fruity at all. Mouthfel is thick and rich, overall a decent beer that's easy drinking.

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Witch's Wit from The Lost Abbey
3.79 out of 5 based on 428 ratings.
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