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
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.