Monday, July 14, 2014

Saranac Cloud Splitter


3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (1128) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 14, 2014
I poured a 12oz bottle into my official Saranac shaker glass. I had a best before date of 10/31/14 and came as part of a summer mix pack for $14.47 ($1.25 per bottle or $0.10 per ounce).

Appearance: Pale orange/lemony yellow hue. Unfiltered and opaque, though speckles of sediment are visible. Initially pours to a two-finger, white, soapy head which never completely dissipates and leaves only minor lacing on the glass.

Smell: Orange sherbet or Creamsicle, though mild. Some herbal hop character.

Taste: I’m quite sure “The Cloud Splitter” is simply Saranac White IPA re-packaged. Judging by the info on the brewery’s website, there really doesn’t seem to be any difference between the two. I seem to enjoy it a little less than I did when I originally had it two years ago. Though last time around it was more of a true white IPA whereas this time it seems a bit more of a generic American Pale Wheat Ale with more hops.

The use of Citra hops and orange peel create for a fairly strong orange flavor (not surprisingly). A little on the sweeter side at first with a bit of an orange popsicle taste. There’s bitterness there as well, though it’s contained and on the drier side. The second half of the palette is more rustic as it imparts a slightly spicy/herbal flavor from coriander and hops (not quite as intense as Mosaic hops, but of a similar flavor profile). There’s some astringency on the finish that probably doesn’t need to be there. Also, this brew doesn’t have the Belgian character of a true witbier. While not a bad beer, it just seems to have an identity crisis.

Drinkability: While the flavor here is a little odd, I do appreciate the fact Saranac Cloud Splitter is not a challenge to drink at all. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with consistent crispness and smoothness going down. A slightly residual pasty sensation in the aftertaste, though it’s easily tolerable. It doesn’t seem to take full advantage of its 6% ABV weight, though. In fact, it’d be tempting to “session” both bottles on a hot summer’s day. 
Grade: 6/10