Portsmouth Belgian Wit | Portsmouth Brewery

very good
20 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Portsmouth Belgian WitPortsmouth Belgian Wit

Brewed by:
Portsmouth Brewery
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A touch of sweet & bitter: orange, coriander, pepper & cumin along with a special yeast make this summer wheat ale crisp & refreshing!

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-12-2004

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 36
Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Speiglau Wheat Glass from a 22oz bomber

Inch head and cloudy golden yellow color

Aroma is spicy and floral very appealing

Taste is light and refreshing with spicy fruity notes coming through

Body is thin but that is to be expected I believe from this style

Great beer for summer

 297 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at the Portsmouth Brewery and served in a pint glass. The beer pours a cloudy, unfiltered, pale yellow coloring with no head. The beer has an extremely clingy body, and it leaves traces all over the glass while you drink. There is a very fruity and spicy nose, with cloves and pepper throughout. Flavors of cloves and citrus sweetness, with a creamy body. The aftertaste is lightly spiced, with toasty qualities. An extremely smooth finish, with a mid-linger to the flavors.

 488 characters

Photo of Sean9689
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewpub.

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color, thick collar, thin cap.

S - Fruity, spicy, malty, citrus peel.

T - Lots of fruits and spices, orange peel, malts, sweetness.

M - Light to medium, good carbonation.

O - The fruity notes are nice along with the spices. I enjoyed this one and had another glass while I was there. Easy to drink and for 5%, perfect for the summer.

 401 characters

Photo of alpinebryant
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy straw yellow with a large white head that pretty quickly receded to a light dusting.

S: Bread dough, spices, oranges, coriander and pale malts

TMD: Relatively sour for a wit, sourdough flavored yeast, light biscuit malt, citrus / orange peel and some spices (coriander?). This is a relatively thick for a Witbier but I still enjoyed it pretty well. Drinkable yes but for a witbier only slightly less drinkable than you would expect it as a witbier due to mouthfeel and a light carbonation.

 500 characters

Photo of andrewinski1
3.04/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass with very little head that all but disappears on top of a clear light straw colored body; not a great start. Smells nice and spicy. I get a lot of banana and a hint of citrus and clove/cinnamon spice. Taste mimics the smell. The spice flavor dominates the finish leaving a less than pleasant after taste. This is a relatively light beer so if you're not put off by the taste it could be refreshing. Overall, not too impressed.

 451 characters

Photo of aahynick
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

40F in a pint glass 22oz bottle

A- hazy gold with very little head (I'm betting they fill these bottles from the tap and cap them)

S- a sweet malty aroma

T- sweet malt flavor

M - full body

D- very pleasant. Could use more carbonation and hops,but I go for it again.

 270 characters

Photo of portia99
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a cloudy, pale, pale yellow. A thick, two finger white head forms and quickly recedes to a thin, even layer across the surface of the beer. Thin, uneven lacing down the sides of the glass.

S - Yeasty, spicy, tangy...orange peel, citrus, coriander. A little bit of sugary sweetness.

T - Tart and refreshing...sour enough to make me think wild ale. Some sweetness and a bunch of bisuity, bready malt and yeastiness underneath the tartness. Lots of citrusy flavors too - lemon, lime, orange...Sour/tartness is quite good for me, but not exactly what I expected out of a white beer...a bit too heavy for the style.

M - Medium body, ample carbonation that keeps things lively. Tartness is a bit puckering, but interesting nonetheless.

D - This is quite refreshing on this very warm summer evening. Easy drinking, but the tartness is the limiting factor. A little less tart and this would disappear quickly. Low alcohol level keeps this sessionable too. Wish I had a couple more of these to share with friends on another warm evening.

 1,082 characters

Photo of tpd975
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first beer after a long trip to Turkey.

A: Pours a murky shade of yellowish orange. Nice puffy white head with pretty good retention. Very light lace.

S: Nice wheaty aromas with strong notes of clove, banana and yeast.

T: Nice citrus up front. Orange and lemon are both represented. Lots of clove and corriander to support the light wheat.

M: Light, good carbonation.

D: Pretty solid beer. Tasty on a hot Florida summer afternoon.

 438 characters

Photo of Bierman9
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stopped by the Brewery last Sunday (05JUL09) with my ladies for a late Fathers Day meal. First round? The Wit!

My shaker pint was filled nearly to overflowing with a muted, murky, golden hued liquid. Lots of haze here, yes. Head squeezed onto the top was thin, fine and white; mostly a rim-clinger, with a touch of lace. Nose was restrained, with a bit of citrus and hints of spiciness. Nice body and feel for the style. Medium all the way, with a low level of prickliness.

A little biscuity malt caresses the palate to start, leaving a suggestion of sweetness. Soon after some citrus comes out of the woodwork, with a pithy, orange-peel quality to it. Layered on is some coriander to spicen things up. Finishes dry and crisp; refreshing on a warm summer day. A fine representaion of the style.


look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4


 875 characters

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Portsmouth Brewpub.

Pours hazy gold, with a nice, fluffy white head.

Nose is citrus, a bit of banana, some coriander.

Taste is clean, spicy wheat, moving quickly to banana and bubble gum with a very clean coriander and lemon zest bitterness on the finish. Med light body with crisp carbonation. Almost tastes like a wit made with Bavarian hefe yeast. Interesting beer.

 384 characters

Photo of PatronWizard
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From tedstertm in Mass. Thanks buddy. You can get Portsmouth, huh? That means you can get ....

Dark caramel color until held in the light - then it's peach caramel. Head come up and head come down rather quickly. It was white.

I smell the spices and malts. Rather pleasing. Cloves.

Taste like marmalade and alcohol. Lots of alcohol. Some days this might be no bueno, but after sixteen hours away from home some alcohol is most welcome. To be honest, I don't taste the spices at all. Can smell 'em but there's too much alcohol in the tongue to taste 'em.

Pretty smooth stuff.

Typed in the above from notes. Looked at the ABV on the site here and all I can say is bullshit! I like alcohol, I drink straight liquour often, and I say this has more than 5%. You gotta be kiddin me. I couldn't catch a buzz on 5% if I tried all day, and this bomber had me feelin quite relaxed if you know what I'm saying.

Overall: greatful for the opportunity

 943 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle bought at the Portsmouth Brewery store.

Pours a pale yellow color with hardly any head, no lacing.

Smell has a light grassy aroma, not very citrusy or yeasty but I can make out some orange, bit of a butter scent which is rather odd.

Taste is light and crisp, still rather grassy, strong clove taste, slight buttery banana taste with an orange rind bitter aftertaste, carbonation is barely existent, rather disappointed in this witbier.

 445 characters

Photo of DIM
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: This was a hazy pale orange color. It poured with a medium sized, creamy, sticky white head.

s: The usual suspects are here. Yeasty, sweet bananas and spicy cloves. This leans to the spicy side ove rthe sweet.

t: This is spicier than the average wit, I tasted lots of cloves here. In addition, there were some sweet, wheaty, banana flavors before the dry, flowery finish.

m: Pretty well carbonated with a prickly, dry bite to it.

d: Thanks to joepais for a very tasty summer brew.

 487 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours clear gold with a cola-like effervescence. A faint white head barely made an appearance before fizzling to nothingness. Zero lacework.

Aromatics are an interesting mix of orange peel, grape jam, honey, and bubblegum. Some mild coriander rounds out the nose along with some doughy malt.

Light bodied and slightly creamy. A low carbonation level causes the beer to fall a bit flat on the tongue.

Bitter orange peel, coriander, earthy cumin, and lemon zest lead off the pallet. Some dusty wheat malt follows through along with some silky oaks and clove-studded bannana.

Finishes somewhat watery with fading mild spicing and a lemony dryness.

I think a higher level of carbonation and some yeast in suspension would have made a world of difference with this brew. On the second half of the bottle I swirled the yeast into the brew and it added a nice yeast bite.

 869 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from purplehops courtesy of Birthday Club 2, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is fruity and spicy with a mild background of yeast, wheat & light malt and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with flavors of lemon & spice, then a strong bready flavor containing yeast and wheat quickly follows. The malt character is hearty but still on the thin side as it should be in a Witbier and there’s a very mild hops presence. The spices get a little stronger as you continue to drink the beer. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Very smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, very clean finish.

D: Quite tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, excellent representation of style, decent kick, definitely a good beer to keep drinking for an evening and it’s light enough to drink quickly if you want to. This is another highly enjoyable beer from Portsmouth Brewery and reminds me that I need to get myself up there again very soon.

 1,196 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber of this when I was buying my wife her blueberry ale fix. Poured into a tulip glass, it was a yellow-orange color with a small, quickly dissipating head. It had a spicy, citrus aroma. Taste was mostly that of a warming spice, with a little bit of lemon. Pretty good beer if you're a wit fan.

 309 characters

Photo of xumbi
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at the brewery on Friday afternoon, poured into a large red wine glass on Tuesday night.

Appearance is nice, with a one finger head that fades a bit too quickly. Aroma is interesting, different from any wit I've had before. I smell lemon and something else I can't put my finger on, most likely a spice I'm not familiar with. Mouth feel is good, I think it might be a bit thicker than what I'm used to for the style. Taste is right on par for a wit, lemon-y and spice, but the big surprise is the hop flavor. The hops really come through toward the end, and leave a bitter aftertaste that personally, I'm not a big fan of for the style. One big item of note... where is the alcohol!?! I honestly can't taste it! Not a small feat at 7.5%

All in all, this is a good wit from my home state. If you're a hop-head, and other wits have left you unimpressed, you should definitely seek this one out.

In closing... this is my first review! :)

 962 characters

Photo of plaid75
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy light copper hue with a one finger pillowy white head. There was good retention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured a solid wheat and yeast aroma with elements of orange peel, coriander spice and pepper.

The taste was very biscuity with a good orange sweetness and pepper spiciness. Excellent actually.

The mouthfeel was full and chewy. The spiciness added a bit of zest on the tongue

Overall a very savory wit. Nice masked ABV - 7.5%. Highly recommeded.

 484 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a light cloudy yellow with a white head and tiny lacing.
Smell is of coriander, pepper, and slightly odd citrus that doesn't seem right.
Taste is of creamy wheat with some good spice and again, that wild citrus flavor that seems a tad bit off.
Mouthfeel is creamy with decent spicey and bitter notes hanging around.
Drinkability is good, despite the oddities of the brew.

 383 characters

Photo of NEhophead
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bright white head that leads to decent lacing throughout the glass. A hazy, golden color.

A nice floral aroma accompanied by lemon and banana. The lemon smell is very pronounced.

The banana and lemon flavors carry the taste unitl the end of the sip which has a spicy hint to it. Their's virtually no bitterness or excessive corriander and clove flavors.

A very crisp beer on the palate. Light and refreshing.

A nice version of the style: nothing amazing but nothing bad either.

 492 characters

Portsmouth Belgian Wit from Portsmouth Brewery
3.83 out of 5 based on 36 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.