Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Otter Creek White Sail

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (735) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 28, 2010
In my foray into the beer-reviewing game I’ve noticed that one brewer’s take on a niche style of beer can be dramatically different from another brewer’s. Case in point: Otter Creek’s White Sail, a Belgian-style white ale reminiscent of Saranac’s Belgian White. Whereas the Saranac beer had a taste not unlike tropical fruit juice, Otter Creek’s take on is much drier in flavor. The result is a drinkable beer that’s definitely different than most everyday brews, but only average for a craft beer.

POUR, COLOR AND AROMA

This beer pours to a hazy, dark gold color. It doesn’t have the intense cloudiness of a hefeweizen, just a typical ale or lager out of focus. It forms a small white head which dissipates surprisingly quickly and leaves almost no lacing on the glass. There’s also extremely little carbonation present, giving the beer a very tepid, stale appearance.

The aroma is fairly citrusy, but only in passing. Mostly, it’s odorless with just a hint of fruity spice.

TASTE

Upon my first taste of White Sail I was reminded of Saranac’s Belgian White. The difference being Otter Creek’s brew doesn’t have nearly the intense, almost explosive flavor. There definitely is a citrusy taste to be found here, however, it’s buried underneath an overall dry palate. Not dry to the point of tasting like church wine, but enough to subdue the flavor.

White Sail definitely does not drink like something out of St. Louis or Milwaukee, but that doesn’t necessarily make it high quality. Mostly, it comes across as an American emulation of an inherently European recipe. Maybe that’s the problem, because European styles tend to be bland and dry anyway.

FINISH

Usually dry-tasting beers have an equally dry finish, making them a challenge to put away. However, I found White Sail to be surprisingly smooth. There is very little bite, probably due to the low carbonation factor. The clean finish helps you concentrate on the true flavor rather than the flaws.

BODY

Another attribute to White Sail is its light body. This is a beer that drinks like an ordinary “lite,” but is in no way of that class of brew. I was able to go through a few bottles of this beer before, during and after dinner without feeling full.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As an addition to an Otter Creek mix pack, White Sail is a good choice to accompany a meal, but as a beverage to be savored on its own it comes up a little short. I was surprised I was a little underwhelming by this beer, but I know it’s a lot better than many others out there. 
Grade: 6/10