Optimal Wit
Port City Brewing

Optimal WitOptimal Wit
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Belgian Witbier
Ranked #81
Ranked #28,203
3.77 | pDev: 10.61%
Port City Brewing
Virginia, United States
Very Good
Optimal WitOptimal Wit
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Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 426
Photo of argock
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on 03/05/19, served in a glass mug

Barely hazy golden with 1-finger foamy white head with skimpy lacing.

Grainy pils with light lemon and orange fruity notes will spicy herbal notes.

Delicious wheat pils graininess, deftly crafted, with low level spicy orange-lemon with light-medium bitterness.

Feel is on target for style but I wish it had a bit more body.

An excellent witbier - best regional wit in mid-Atlantic.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've spent quite a bit of time in Alexandria in the past six months and have resisted trying this one. Maybe because it's absolutely everywhere around here. Anyway, I finally gave it a go and I'm glad I did. Redolent of lemon and coriander, with nice wheat notes and a smooth, semi full feel. Quite worth a pick up or two.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the bottle, it pours a light hazy amber with a modest white head that lasts and leaves lacing. In the nose, it is a touch of yeast and a bit of, er, bubble gum. In the mouth, it is light and refreshing. Nice!

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Photo of Ryan8008
2.5/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up at the LCBO on a whim, as the few American microbrews they do carry are usually good.

L: pours a light golden, almost straw-like colour, almost yellow. No head at all.

S: initial aroma of yeast, followed by bubble gum. Not ver much aroma, really. Almost like white wine.

T : Flavour is not very strong - almost pilsner like. Quite weak, even a little watery. Hints of pepper towards the back of the mouth.

F: heavy on the carbonation, too much so. Once the roughness of the bubbles subsides, it goes down smoothly.

O: could take it or leave it. Would not buy this one again.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Review from notes, 473 ml can served cold into a pint glass. LCBO purchase for $3.60 CDN.

Appearance - Super pale, super clear golden color. A finger and a half of egg shell white coloured foam rests on top. Above average spidery lacing and nice bubbling action from within.

Smell - Coriander and oranges mostly, lots of wheat. Some clove and a slight bit of banana and bubblegum sweetness, showing more depth than many.

Taste - Wheat, robust orange and coriander. The citrus balances things nicely here. Less banana and bubblegum than on the the nose.

Mouthfeel - Easy drinking beer, super smooth and would be particularly good on a hot day.

Overall - It's not St. Bernardus, but Optimal Wit, is very solid and scores well across the board, making it a beer I would return to if it appeared again in some warmer weather.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look is quite average for the style, almost no head, which disappointed.

Smell is right on target for the style. Cloves, bananas, bubblegum and spices.

Taste is led by the bubblegum and candi, then you get some nice light spices.

Feel is light bodied with low medium carbonation. Finish is fruity and lingering.

Not a bad Wit, but it isn't one that wows me. I think I'd rather have a St Bernardus Wit any day of the week...and it costs about the same around here.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.62/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look: One finger white head, hazy yellow body.

Smell: Same as below.

Taste: Wheat, mild orange, mild coriander. Notes of lemon and banana.

Feel: Light body, medium carbonation, a hint of sweetness upfront, balanced finish.

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Photo of Gbpackers48
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours a pale, semi-hazy straw color with a white head with lively carbonation and minimal lacing.

Strong clove and funky yeast. Notes of wheat and citrus.

Wheat, clove, with lemon and a semi-sweet lasting taste. More akin to a traditional European witbier.

Medium body, lively carbonation, crisp and easy-drinking.

A funky Witbier of old, solid brew

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Photo of bibo_ergo_sum
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Funky, yeasty, bready, malty, yellow, and frothy four-finger head, are descriptors you don't want to hear come out of the mouth of an ob/gyn, but are optimal words for a Witbier. Indeed aptly named, Optimal wit checks all the marks for a delicious witbier.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours hazy pale straw with tall, long lasting, fluffy white head and lively carbonation. Aroma is of funky yeast, wheat malt, spices, candy sugar and citrus fruit. Body is medium and smooth. Wheat malt, yeast, lemon grass, cotton candy and spices fill the mouth. Finish is long and semi-sweet. OK brew.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.13/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On-draught @ Gramercy Tavern, New York, NY.

Crisp carbonation. Succulent and a bit juicy, evoking pear and lemon. Crackery dryness toward the finish cuts the juiciness short. Crackery malts and wheat compete for domination maltwise, but it lacks the fresh wheat flavour observed in the best expressions of the style.

Not unrefreshing. Smooth. Medium-bodied. Not oily, hot, gushed, rough, scratchy, harsh, boozy, or astringent.

Belgian yeast is indicated via clove esters and biscuity flavour, but it lacks the depth and delicate yeast flavour of, say, Allagash White.

Lemon peel is absent.

Should be softer.

Drinkable but underwhelming. Not a terrific expression of a Belgian witbier, but enjoyable for what it is and preferable to Hoegaarden. It ain't so "optimal" after all, but it's above the norm.


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Photo of lic217
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Head fades very fast, hazy yellow appearance, no lacing
Smell: Clove and other spicey fruity yeast aroma
TasteL Big clove starts sweet, but ends dry
Feel: Very drinkable
Overall: A solid beer

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Photo of teromous
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the neck of the bottle, in yellow lettering: "BOTTLED ON: 04/04/2017"

Appearance: The body is a very light straw color and it has a moderate haze to it. The head is short and white with good retention and moderate lacing. The surface of the head is very smooth.

Aroma: I am getting a bit of coriander and just a touch of a "tangy" aroma that isn't quite citrus. It smells good.

Taste: It starts out with a wonderful coriander flavor paired in equal parts to a delicious wheat flavor. There is just a touch of a tartness to the beer which livens it up nicely. It is very well made.

Mouthfeel: It is light in the mouth but with texture. It has a nice bubbly carbonation that accentuates a great tartness in the beer.

Overall: It is an outstanding Witbier that focuses on delivering the flavors of coriander and orange peel. If you enjoy a spicier Witbier then this is definitely for you. It is very well made and at just over a month in the bottle it still tastes very fresh. I would drink it again and I would recommend it.

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Photo of Riff
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy yellow color with a white head that dissipated quickly. Smells of cloves, wheat, and lemon. Tastes of wheat and banana, with a light spicy flavor like cloves and white pepper. Lighter body beer with a dry, clean finish. Easy drinker with a nice flavor to it. Just about right for a nice summer day or early autumn weather.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at brewery (revisit can at 4 weeks old):
Ok, far from the first time I've had this, but always before this in bottles.

Pours a hazy yellow, white a nice white head that could be a tad thicker initially, though sustaining head is thick at the edges and give a smattering of lacing.
(can: nice initial head, but nothing grand. sustainability is nice, though, light lacing)

Nose is a classic witbier, wheat with a little banana, with a bit of spice accenting the base. A little hint of lemon also gets in there.
(can: about the same, a little more earthiness in the spice)

Taste follows, with the wheat being an obvious taste early as the bass, while a light tartness plays the melody. Banana notes come as the two octaves come together to crest into a nice, light spiced (clove and pepper) ale. Lingering notes have a hint of yeast to them.
(can: not much different at all, though I notice it's leaning a just a little more sweet than I've noticed before)

(can: feel is medium carbonation but with a nice softness overall, making it easy to take a refreshing pull and enjoy the flavors)

Pretty solid, but maybe a bit nuanced. Low rating for a GABF winning beer, even given my adjustments for style. I think maybe it's a bit more "mass appealing," but that doesn't hurt the beer really.
(can: a little more straightforward as a nice, slightly malty, easy drinking beer that has enough going on to be more than just a "thirst quencher")

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Photo of Schoeni
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Looks nice in the glass... straw colour. Opaque turbidity. Aroma of Spice, coriander and herbs. A little yeast Character.. typical for the style.

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Photo of CTHomer
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: hazy; pale gold in color; 1 finger moussy white head that receded to a wispy cap; very little lacing;

S: coriander, lemon, and bready;

T: follows the nose; more coriander toward the end; mild bitterness on the finish;

M: light to medium bodied; moderate to high carbonation; dry finish;

O: very nice flavor;

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Photo of Billolick
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tall can with brewed on dating (?) perhaps on the bottom - 6/01/16

Pours lightly hazed, dear dull golden, minor off white cap and leaving a delicate film, thin collar, and a few bit of fine lacing

Faint sniff of lime and perhaps some pepper

A bit better then middle of the road wit beer...some more lime, coriander and agian light pepper..decent but not striking me as anything very special....

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Photo of stevoj
2.98/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Draft at Yard House-Springfield. Light bodied wit (I know, right?). Pale, hazy golden with minimal head. Aroma also very faint, taste brings this into the zone, but just. Finishes flat, chalky mouth fell. Almost there....

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Photo of seedyone
4.11/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Lovely pale blonde & hazy look. The aroma is vague but the citrus comes through. Crisp lemony flavor. Just the thing for 70F in March in NYC. Pefect texture with a lingering aftetaste that invites food.


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Photo of cyclonece09
3.69/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. Pours slightly cloudy yellow orange with a small white head. Smells of Belgian yeast, wheat, and slight citrus. Tastes of wheat and citrus, nice balance but not overly sweet. Beer is light bodied good carbonation, easy drinking. Overall, a good beer.

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Photo of tone77
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A big thanks to the legendary woodychandler for this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a cloudy golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of citrus, spices, wheat. Taste is strong of oranges, some lemons, a bit of spice, a touch of tartness at the finish. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall a tasty and refreshing beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Looking over past reviews, I see lotsa bottles and some drafts, but no CANs and that just makes me sad. 8=( Thankfully, I scored a CAN in DC during my latest foray to our nation's capitol. The CANQuest (tm) rolls on!

From the CAN: "The perfect blend of spice is found in Optimal (r) Wit. This Belgian-style witbier is crisp & citrusy with layers of flavor that evolve in the glass. It is brewed with Virginia wheat, Spanish orange peels & coriander. Grains of Paradise give a subtle, peppery finish."; "It taste like Sunshine & Happiness!"; "Elevating Craft Beer".

I Crack!ed open this 16-fl. oz tallboy and began an inverted Glug until the foaming action became too much & I had to back off. It settled into a finger of dense, bone-white head with great retention. Color was a very cloudy Straw-Yellow (SRM = > 2, < 4). Nose was very citrusy with the orange peels commingling with a lemony scent accentuated by a peppery spiciness. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, big for the style. The taste was spicy, but in a way that left it refreshing as opposed to overwhelming. The orange peels were more prevalent in the mouth, but I was still getting a lemony flavor and the black pepper of the coriander was like Baby Bear's everything - just right. Finish was semi-dry and highly refreshing. This would be perfect on a hot summer's day.

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Photo of VABA
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Revisited 1/19/19

A-Pours a hazy color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has citrus and coriander hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a wheat coriander and citrus flavor
M-A light bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A refreshing beer

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Photo of vabeerguy
4.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint glass (I have also had it on draft at many locations). Color is a cloudy golden yellow. An easy drinking, refreshing beer. This is one of my favorite Wit beers.

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Optimal Wit from Port City Brewing
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 426 ratings