Kern River Citra Double IPA
Brewed by: Kern River Brewing Company
Beer Classification and Specs
- Style: IPA
- Variation: Imperial (Double)
- Limited: Yes
- ABV: 8%
- IBU: N/A
Notes: Won Gold Medal at 2011 Great American Beer Festival.
Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients
Citrus, Mango, and Pineapple aromas abound; but make no mistake, there is no fruit here, just a serious dry-hop regimen of Citra and Amarillo 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.
Hops: Citra and Amarillo
More Kern River Citra Double IPA Images
Artwork: “Citra” is spelled out with grains and hop cones.
Color: Slightly hazy metallic, like deep golden or copper.
Aroma: Ripe tropical fruit and melon.
Arrived in: 22oz. Bottle
Served in: Specialty IPA Glass
Kern River Citra Double IPA is one of the most sought after special release beers brewed in California. It used to be sold in a lottery system by the six pack, but with a recent brewery expansion, Kern opened up the sale to a case of bombers. We cannot thank our good buddy Tom from Hoptology enough for making the trip up to Kernville and landing this whale!
Citra Double IPA poured somewhere within the metallic ranges of color you look for in an IPA: bronze, to deep golden, or coppery, with a slight fogginess in the glass. Its fluffy pure white head showed excellent retention, and still remained a few fingers tall after a couple of minutes. Each sip crusted the side of the glass with a lacy curtain.
This beer looked very promising, and only heightened our expectations after a single whiff. There were HUGE aromatics to this beer! With such a pleasing blend it was difficult to pinpoint one type of fruit over another. But it was like inhaling over a fruit bowl you’d find at a buffet in Hawaii — bright melon, sweet pineapple, mango, and papaya.
On the palate, Citra served up almost exactly what the aroma offered, with a quenching twist of citrus. Tropical fruit was up front on the sweet side, with predominantly mango and a hint of pineapple. A mellow wash of tangerine or grapefruit came on for the finish, with almost no bitterness.
Kern River Citra was too easy drinking for a Double IPA. We still don’t understand how they brewed it up so light, dry, crisp, and most importantly — balanced. It featured a lager-like body, but still packed a big hoppy payload of fruity tropical goodness that wasn’t too overdone.
The flavors were so good, we just wanted to keep our palates bathed in it, but knowing Citra was such a special beer to be savored, it kept us in check. On the label it said “This beer is all about the hops”, and that couldn’t ring more true after drinking it.
Final Score: 4.5/5
Kern River Brewing Citra Double IPA was the kind of IPA that’s right in our wheelhouse, thanks to its massively dank aroma, and juicy tropical and citrus fruit flavors. This beer was loaded with big time hops, yet somehow remained so balanced.