Recently, we checked out another brew from Abita Brewing called Purple Haze. It was a raspberry flavored wheat beer, and it didn’t really rock my world, but earning 2.5 stars, it wasn’t awful either. Hearing many good things about Abita Brewing, I didn’t want my one average sample of Purple Haze to be my only exposure to Abita’s Products.
So, when I saw this Abita Satsuma Harvest Wit was part of our recent The Brew Club beer exchange, I was quite happy! I usually enjoy these Wit beers, and the idea of Satsuma (fancy name for orange) in the mix just made it better!
First off, this 5.1% ABV wheat beer contains this satsuma stuff. What’s satsuma? Well, as I mentioned, its a type of citrus that’s probably a type of orange. The satsuma used in the Satsuma Harvest Wit are actually grown in Louisiana, home of Abita Brewery. The Satsuma Harvest Wit is part of Abita’s ‘Harvest Series’, and one might think this is some kind of really early Autumn seasonal beer – but no, its definitely a beer intended for Summertime enjoyment, and I can only guess that the summer is when these satsuma citrus fruit things are ready to eat and are harvested.
The beer itself looks a lot like a wheat beer should. As you can see in the picture, this Abita Satsuma Wit looks to be straw colored, perhaps a touch on the orange side giving a nod to the satsuma oranges that it contains. It creates a typical whitish wheat beer head that doesn’t last all that long. The beer, as one might expect is cloudy as well.
Smelling the Satsuma Harvest Wit, I can smell the spices and the citrus. Regarding the aroma, I’m not really able to say ‘orange’ (or satsuma in this case), but definitely citrus. All these beers remind me of how the Hoegaarden smells, but if you’ve ever had Blue Moon you’ll have an idea of what this smells like I think. Citrus, spices, yeasty, wheaty…Its quite nice actually and it smells very refreshing.
Speaking of refreshing, today is the first 90+ degree day we’ve had here all summer in New Jersey! I’m not complaining (too much) but so far this beer is a nice treat to have on such an oppressive weather day! (I’m beginning to think pool reviews might be an even better blog concept.)
Drinking this Abita beer, I’m again reminded of Hoegaarden or of many beers of this similar style. (We’ve actually reviewed a bunch of Belgian Wit style beers) but there is definitely more of an orange flavor as compared to Blue Moon or Hoegaarden. It doesn’t reveal itself as orange so much as citrus in the aroma, but certainly a bi more in the flavor. Still, I could imagine people sticking an orange slice on their glass and it working just fine. Not that I condone that practice.
As expected with this style, there are the peppery spices in the mix which make this a very tasty beer indeed! It’s light feeling, not overly carbonated, but is does have a crispness to it that as I mentioned earlier, make this a very nice treat on a really hot day! This beer is not water thin, but its not heavy either, so I guess you could say its medium-bodied. Somewhere in the aftertaste, there’s a little bit of a prickle on the tongue that undoubtedly are the spices at work that I thought was rather nice.
So, without boring you to death, I would say that if you are a fan of the Belgian White style of beer, or you’re a fan of Blue Moon or Hoegaarden, then I think you will also enjoy the Abita Satsuma Harvest Wit. Its of the same cloth so-to-speak, but the orange is a little bit more pronounced and perhaps the spices are as well.
I was happy with this beer, and I’d have it again particularly in the summer months, but I’m doubtful that I will feel an emptiness in my heart if I were never to have it again. It’s good, but its too similar to the other many beers of this very popular Belgian Wit style to be really memorable. Still, it was quite refreshing on this 90+ degree day, and hit the spot.
I’m giving this beer 3 stars. Worth a try!
Have you tried the Abita Satsuma Harvest Wit? What did you think? Do you have a Belgian Wit that you like better? Let us know in the comments section!