This past Friday marked the release of Kern River Brewing Company’s CITRA DOUBLE IPA. In honor of that glorious event, my roommates and I jumped in the car and made the 2 1/2 hour trek into central California. We arrived around 3:30 in the afternoon and were glad to see that the bar/restaurant was relatively empty. Soon we were seated and I had my first glass of Citra ordered. Sadly, I was unable to purchase any bottles to take home since they had sold out at 11:30. Boo. So, I ordered a second glass and made sure to take notes there at the bar, instead of at home (like I had originally planned).
Citrus DIPA is a limited release Double IPA with an 8% ABV.
Citrus, mango and pineapple aromas abound; but make no mistake, there is no fruit here, just a serious dry-hop regimen of Citra and Amaraillo hops. We put in just enough malt backing to balance out the flavor, but Citra Double IPA is as close as it gets to chewing on a hop vine. Enjoy this one fresh – at least while you can get your hands on it!
Citra Double IPA was brought to my outdoor table in a plain old pint glass. The beer was a light golden orange. It was slightly cloudy, with constant carbonation bubbles running up the side of the glass. The head starts at about an inch and a half, but slowly fades to just a film. No lacing was present.
I was a little disappointed by the nose at first, but as it warmed up it got bigger and bigger. Piney hops are forward in the nose. A hemp/marijuana like dankness grows as it mellows out. Faint orange and tangerine flavors try to make their presence known, but are oft overshadowed by the big hop scents.
Although the nose may take some time to open up, the taste is always big and piney. The blast of hops hits you big before some fruity flavors appear (orange and grapefruit). All the while the pine flavors are still there hiding the in shadows. There’s a faint tinge of what I imagine is the hemp flavors I detected in the nose. Thankfully this beer is nowhere near as bitter as you would expect from the abundance of hops.
Mouthfeel is light, but big! Hops flow through the beer and cling to everything in sight. Citra is definitely a Double IPA.
I drove a combined 5 hours to try this beer. Was it worth it? Yes…and no. Citra Double IPA is a really well made beer and I can see why people clamor for it, but there are better Double IPAs out there. The trip was in no way a waste of my time, but the bar in this style has been set pretty darn high.
Overall: 8.5 out of 10
As an IMPERIAL IPA: 9 out of 10
FOR FANS OF: Russian River PLINY THE YOUNGER, Brewdog CITRA (IPA IS DEAD), Goose Island CITRA IPA