Tasting Notes: Sublime Citrus Wit from Starr Hill Brewery

StarrHillSublimeTasting Notes is back in regular rotation and this week we are going to take a look at Sublime Citrus Wit from Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, Virginia).

Sublime Citrus Wit comes to us by way of Starr Hill Brewery’s new Heavy Rotation Series, a series that provides a fresh look at non-IPA styles by utilizing “really interesting new yeast strains, additives and processes.”  Sublime is rocking Belgian Witbier yeast, Saaz hops, and 2-Row & Wheat malts, but this brew gets its twist thanks to freshly zested lemons and limes.  To pair with this Witbier, Starr Hill also compiles a playlist to enjoy with this and all Heavy Rotation brews.  To access the playlist and more information on Sublime Citrus Wit, click here.  Sublime is available on draft and in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles now and will be hanging around through the month of August. Look for this one at select craft beer establishments in Alabama and throughout Starr Hill’s distribution footprint.  Now that we have those particulars covered, it is time to track down a bottle opener and get to some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Sublime Citrus Wit from Starr Hill Brewery

Appearance: Sublime Citrus Wit pours a very pale, hay-like golden in color.  Held to the light, the yellow hues brighten and gain vibrancy to achieve an almost sunshine quality.  The body is lightly cloudy, but not by any means opaque.  A sizable and lively carbonation level is on display throughout the body.  The initial pour supplied almost a finger of loose, pristine white foam that falters quickly to the thinnest of rings.  That ring of head does what it can to leave what lace is possible, but it only provides minimal spotting.

Aroma: The Belgian Wit character is certainly present in the aromatics for sure.  The fruity and lightly spicy Belgian yeast kicks things off here.  Wheat maltiness lends some sweetness, but it is countered quickly by the unquestionably clear notes of real lemon and lime.  An earthy hop presence is muted and merely here to lend support and balance to that lemon-lime character.  This beer just billows a sense of refreshment.

Taste: The flavors first up to the plate are those incredibly pronounced qualities of lemon and lime.  The citrus is huge, but somehow not overwhelming every aspect of the flavor.  It is just clean, impossibly clear and distinct, and offers up just a touch of zing.  This shifts effortlessly into the Belgian Wit base of spice, coriander and Belgian yeast goodness.  In keeping with the idea of what one would expect from a “sessionable Witbier”, the malt sweetness and hop bitterness remains light and wonderfully on point.

Mouthfeel: This beer is very light in body with a crisp, bright carbonation level.  Coming in at just 4.7% ABV, any and all alcohol presence is seemingly nonexistent.  Ridiculously clean on the palate, Sublime dries out easily and almost immediately.  The aftertaste is all lemon and lime.

Final Thoughts: Could it be the best of both worlds here?  Sublime Citrus Wit has a firm foothold in the Belgian Wit style, but it absolutely has all the citrus (lemon and lime in this example) and refreshing qualities that are synonymous with American-made “session beers” these days.   It may not be the most dynamic beer that Starr Hill Brewery has released lately, but that is not saying it is without complexity.  With that said, a sessionable brew should focus more on drinkability and clean flavors over a crazy amount of complex qualities that aggressively challenge your senses.  A beer such as this one is all about sipping while relaxing after a day out in the summer’s heat.  If that is the goal, Sublime Citrus Wit certainly walks that walk with ease.  Overall, this is a fantastically presented beer and a great drinking experience.  Prost!