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.