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Citra | Pipeworks Brewing Company

122 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company
Illinois, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Imperial IPA hopped with so many, really just so many, pounds of Citra hops is one of our favorites to brew, mostly because it's one of our favorites to drink. Cheers! Drink early and often.

Added by emerge077 on 11-15-2012

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Reviews: 122 | Ratings: 1,277
Photo of Rope
4.84/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Burnt copper, light haze despite best attempts to avoid any sentiment from entering.

Citra magic. Smoother than a lot of the citra beers out there.

I thought the smell was going to be the best part about this beer. It is funny, because everything but the citra hop is far backstage... but it does not matter.

Thick and sticky, really coats the flavor on you. Decent carbonation.

I can see why it took me so long to get a bottle of this. It fires on one cylinder... one fantastic cylinder.

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Photo of MCain04
4.74/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Re-reviewing this one, given that my first offering was flat secondary to poor bottling. This is the freshest batch but interestingly made it out of the brewery without a batch number. Poured into a FFF Teku.

Looks more the part this time around! Opaque copper orange body with a large light-beige head with awesome retention and lacing.

Incredible citra aroma. Orange rind, lemon wedge, grapefruit pulp, pine needles, total citrus bomb. I expect this to be malty based on the ABV but the nose is all hops.

Bright juicy citrus hop flavor goes along with the notes, sweet citrus fruits and complemented by a generous malt backbone that balances surprisingly well. Bitterness on the back end is striking and lingering. Alcohol is noticeable but not unpleasant.

Really nice texture, crisp and easy to throw down, smooth, dry finish, medium bodied, fantastic for the DIPA style.

This lives up to the hype, especially for Citra lovers. So glad I got to try a good bottle this time. Seek this out, and do it aggressively, as it is awesome fresh and flies off the shelves when released.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.91/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: cloudy orange, finger khaki head,
stunning lacing display

S: massive punch of peach, mango and papaya!

T: peach + mango, firm malt, aged oak/woody,
long sticky citrus hop monster finish

M: med/heavy mouth, big sticky/uber oily

O: THIS BEER IS INSANE! I know everyone has
favorites, but I really love the Double + IPAs with
amazing citrus hops.


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Photo of ehammond1
4.02/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle (2013)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, Hugonaut13!

A very sticky dark copper in color. Thin khaki head. Sticky lined lacing down the glass.

Melon, citrus (grapefruit), and some mild pine and dank marijuana in the aroma. Those are all good things.

The flavor translates well--impressive, just like the aroma with moderate bitterness. The melon and grapefruit flavors rise above the marijuana and pine notes. The flavors, unfortunately, seemed to come apart somewhat as the beer warmed, with more harsh alcohol present on the finish. That being said, it wasn't distracting, but my initial sniffs and sips were better than the ones following.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

An excellent DIPA. Would drink again.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky, dark orange, with a two finger head that was off white and laced a ton. Aroma was undeniably Citra: big juicy citrus fruits, orange, mango, grapefruit, touches of caramel. Pretty spot on with the taste as well, boasting tons of citrus like orange, tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple. Bitterness was medium, body was full with an oily creaminess, but not too heavy. Sipped pretty easy, finished cleanly on the palate. Couldn't really detect any booze.

Quite the nice nightlight of the Citra hop. I'll be savoring another bottle tomorrow...

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Photo of Chibeerguy1
4.88/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just had this two days ago, enjoyed in a 3F teku glass. It was bottled 3 days prior, Batch #176.

Have been waiting to try this since I learned of Pipeworks, and I tend to gravitate toward the citrusy American Pales. This did not dissappoint.

A: Golden orange / reddish orange, about single finger head. A little lacing, but not too much as it is 9.5%.

S: Amazingly cirtusy aroma from the citra hops of course, Im sure the freshness helps out a lot. Can't seem to get enough of the smell!

T: An outstanding DIPA/IIPA taste, very well balanced, not too overly malty and brimming with bitterness

M: Just right leaves a nice lingering taste of the citra hops tat as it fades, begs you to take another sip

O: Im sold. Pipeworks can really make an unbelievable DIPA. I plan on getting another bottle or two before this ninja disappears.

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Photo of KFBR392
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A deep, burnt orange color. Pours with about a finger of light head. Head has low retention throughout, maintaining on the edges of the glass. Very low carbonation active while drinking. Random lacing on the edges of the glass.

Smell: Wow, simply a beautiful, bountiful aroma. Citra hops all the way, drenched in bright juicy hops, tangerines, mangos, oranges, pine needles, straw, and lime. The malt backbone adds depth with a caramelized malt sweetness. Really amazing, I want to live inside this glass.

Taste: The front is a clean hop profile of lime sweetness and tropical fruits. The body continues to be such a strong bouquet of Citra hops. The malty presence kicks in toward the back half and finish of the beer. It really comes on heavy and takes it to the palate. Much thicker and creamier then I expected. Through and through, an awesome Citra hopped DIPA.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is a full on ride, beginning with a bright sweet hop presence and finishes with a ton of heavy malt.

Overall: Pipeworks just continues to kill it with this Ninja line. I missed Citra Ninja the first time around so I was pumped to get it this time and it did not disappoint. The malt presence comes on much more then I expected but it is done so well it only adds additional levels of depth to this brew.

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Photo of SeanBond
4.71/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I wanted to do a quick review of this after having a second bottle, just because I came into the beer having certain expectations, and I wanted to make sure I got those out of the way.

First off, this beer smells amazing; fresh and fruity, the citra hops burst through. Definitely a good start.

Upon taking a sip, your mouth will be blown away by the citra hops. Seriously, I've seen this compared to Zombie Dust a few times, and there's no comparison; Zombie Dust is a smoother, more balanced APA/IPA (depending on your definition), whereas Citra Ninja is an in your face citra bomb finishing off in a cleansing, bitter taste. If citra hops are your thing, get this beer; once it starts to heat up you'll taste the 9.5% ABV a little more, but you'll be too busy running through a forest of citra hops with the other Citra Ninjas to care.

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Photo of beardown2489
4.87/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pipeworks - Citra Ninja
Batch 177 as fresh as you can get it!

A - Golden Orange with a slight haze to it. Just enough to know its unfiltered. 2 finger head with limited lacing. 4.5

S - Tropical explosion. Ripe, nectary fruits like mango and probably other fruits I've never had. Smells like a juice I want on sunday morning. This beer has one of the best scents I've ever experienced. Impressed me just as much as my first experience with Sucks. That's high praise. 5.0

T - Right on the front of the tongue is an immediate bitterness. As the tongue reacts, the tropical flavors kick in and resonate for quit some time. I love beers that linger. Not really a malty beer. This is all about showcasing the hops. So ya, its not complex, but did you expect that from a beer called Citra Ninja? 5.0

M - Dry beer up front and leaves you looking for that next sip. The juicy hop resin lingers and makes me want to pick it up again. Is it funny that beer has expanded my taste for foods I hated, growing up? 4.5

Overall this is an awesome beer. Pipeworks showing off again. They know what they are doing. They have showed they want to do every style well. In a market filled with too many DIPAs, this is a DIPA that lives up to hype an is worth the search. 4.75

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an orange-amber hue,. A decent haziness, frothy whitish head atop sticks around and laces well throughout. Aromas are firm and vibrant citrus, showing good grapefruit, lemon, and some pithy rind. Florals, grass, a bit resiny. Grapefruit juice and rind meet lemon, florals, and grass. Not complex, but by the book with flavors that flow well and work well together. Middle shows a sustained fruity hop presence, big citrus, some bready malt, soap and florals meet some decent resiny dryness in the back. Mouthfeel is medium. Overall, a solid beer!

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Photo of Hendry
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep & cloudy honey color with a super fine one finger ecru head. Lacing is extraordinary.

Nose is floral and tropical with piney grapefruit and pineapple notes: there is a hint of malty sweetness lurking beneath. Citra hops are highlighted here, and there is a juiciness to the aroma that entices the first sip.

Taste is full, bitter and slightly sharp, but in a good way. Flavors of grapefruit rind are prominent. Carbonation consists of many tiny bubbles that keeps things lively. Relatively smooth for 9.5% but there is a touch of heat in the chest. There is some acidity going on here but not overbearing.

Mouthfeel is the heavy side of medium, with the flavors starting out coating the top of the palate with the malts that are necessary to balance out this hop bomb, then the hop bitterness reaches the sides and resides there as if it has a lease. A touch of heat is detectable but not detracting.

Overall, my first impression of Pipeworks is a positive one, and Citra Ninja is a fine example of a 2IPA spotlighting the delightful citra hop. With my palate being horribly spoiled to other citra hop masterpieces created in Vermont (Lawson's Double Sunshine and Hill Farmstead Double citra), the bar is set incredibly high. Citra Ninja is an excellent 2IPA, but falls short of the hand crafted micro batch excellence that share the coveted "world class" BA rating.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Batch # 109.

Pours a murky orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, and citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great citrus hop presence in the aroma and flavor.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle batch #109 (I would guess it is about 3 weeks old now) poured into a Bell's snifter and quaffed today, 4/22/2013.

Aroma: A lot of grapefruit and mango such that tropical fruits is an appropriate catch-all term here, accompanied by faint hints of cat piss. I had a cat when I was a kid so I know exactly what that smells like. But otherwise it's a big nose full of tropical citrus. Just what I was expecting from a beer called Citra Ninja.

Colour: Pours a hazy, dark copper body with a fluffy, bubbly 2cm white head that actually builds up for half a minute or so, then recedes gracefully into a moderately thin collar and very small traces of film on the surface. The lacing is solid, but not particularly inspiring. The appearance is rather appetizing and invites the quaff.

Flavour: Dang, this is pretty nice. Delicious sweet breadiness, a small amount of toffee that is accompanied by a grapefruity sweet and bitter dichotomy. It's a nice mix of sweet and bitter with the sweetness weighed more at the beginning and the bitterness kicking in at the end. Somehow for a single hop beer, I get a nice complexity of both sweet and bitter that is quite refreshing to drink.

Mouthfeel: A medium bodied brew that is well carbonated- comes with a good fizz on the tongue. Resinous brew that coats the mouth yet is refreshing and wet e.g. opposite of dry. Aftertaste is a nice citrus bitterness and even a touch of sweetness. Hides its 9.5% well, no heat at all. A true pleasure to quaff.

Overall: Excellent example of a single hop beer. Delicious as hell. I'd call it a single hop version of Surly Abrasive- just as bitter but focused on a single hop's contribution- in this case, the Citra. The Abrasive has the floral, earthy and pine hoppiness in addition to the citrus. However, despite being a more mono-hop beer, this is just as quaffable and delicious to drink as the Abrasive. And it's certainly a big brother version of Zombie Dust (though Permanent Funeral is the eldest brother) though Zombie Dust doesn't leave the palate stinging like this one. Perhaps this beer can stand as an example of "less is more" in terms of the variety of hops being used.

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Photo of atomic
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Served into a Unibroue Ephemere tulip.

Seems this beer has become pipeworks' new bad boy. I've heard this likened to a Zombie Dust on steroids. So lets see....

Smells about right. Zombie dust on steroids does seem appropriate here.

Taste. Very good. Certainly worth the praise it gets. Citra hops showcased very well, the usual grapefruit up front, floral and bitter on the finish.

Mouthfeel. A lot more carbonation on this one compared to ZD. CO2 bubbles bombard your tongue.

Overall, Pipeworks has a winner IMO. Much better than Ninja Vs Unicorn if you ask me. Now if only they bottled in 6pks, till then, this, like all their beers, is a bit on the pricey side of things when you consider beers like Hop Stoopid, ZD, Gubna, etc... But I get it, PW is still a new brewery and I don't mind supporting them until their bills are paid off!

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Photo of wyatt13
4.51/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 109. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into my 7venth Sun tulip glass.

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden color, with a rippling two-finger head of white foam. The bubbles form a tight net that only dissipates with reluctance. Decent lacing that doesn't seem to follow much of a pattern.

S - Blasts of the namesake hops, with immense tropical fruit aromas that are overwhelming in their intensity. Mango, pineapple & sweet grapefruit all blend into a smell that is nice & juicy.

T - Incredibly smooth blend of sweet tropical fruits. Fruit cocktail syrup is all over the front of the taste, with a bit of earthy or herbal bitterness on the finish. A mild alcohol heat creeps in at the very end, but even so this drinks nowhere near 9.5%.

M - A little thicker than I was expecting, which I think actually worked well. The heavier mouthfeel only makes this remind me even more of fruit juice or syrup. Slightly sticky on the lips & inside of the mouth.

O - I've tried a lot of the Pipeworks hoppy beers by now (almost all of them), and this is without a doubt near the very top for me. Intensely flavorful while still keeping a very drinkable balance.

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Photo of Hamburgers
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Batch #110. Pours slightly hazy, dark orange. One finger white head. Minimal lacing. Aroma is pineapple and oranges. Somewhat floral. Flavor is mostly citrus and tropical fruit, pine and a kinda graininess. Heavy body with super creamy carbonation. Very bitter finish. Excellent balance between the high hops and heavy malts. Absolutely loved this beer.

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Photo of Justin_Neff
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a somewhat hazy copper color. Semi translucent. Shiny,white, fluffy, pillow-like head. Leaves good lacing as it settles into a layer of fizzy bubbles.

S: Citrus dominates. Grapefruit, orange, lemon, and mango aromas from basically all citra. Not much else going on but the citrus aromas that come from the hops - but its really nice.

T: Citra hop dominates, but is balanced tremendously. The sweetness of the grapefruit and orange flavors offset the hop bitterness very well. It almost has a taste of juicy fruit gum.

M: Medium body. Moderate-high carbonation. Sticky. Smooth and refreshing. Juicy. Somewhat oily. Booze is seemingly nowhere to be found.

O: This one is dangerous. It's so good that it's easy to get caught pounding this one. Very crisp, and extremely refreshing. For being higher in ABV, the booze is completely hidden. The citra hop dominance in this one is remarkable. Hopefully I can try this again someday.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.74/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Robbie for this bottle! Batch #109. Bottled on ???
Poured in to tulip.

A - Slightly hazy golden orange with half a finger of dirty white head.

S - Massive fresh tropical fruit aroma of mango, peach, pineapple, grapefruit and pine. Some honey sweetness in the background.

T - A big bitterness up front that is complimented by fresh mango, peach, pineapple, grapefruit and pine flavours. A perfect amount of honey sweetness in the background.

M - Medium body, creamy. Sticky. Moderate carbonation.

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Photo of csparace
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The burbs don't sell out of this as quickly as downtown so I was lucky enough to grab one. I should have grabbed two. I'll be back tomorrow to check if they have any left.

Appearance (3.5) – Pours from a bomber into a Matilda glass. Hazy light Arnold Palmer. Color and hue are pretty nice. Pours with virtually no head. Slight amounts of carbonation rising to the top. No real lacing.

Smell (4.25) – Hello citra hops. I'm definitely not wondering why they're called citra. Its beautifully overwhelming and I honestly don't care that there's nothing else going on.

Taste (4.25) - This comes off right away as a well balanced beer. The grapefruit and lemon content is not overwhelming at all. The crunch of the hops is balanced well with malts. The finish looses a little bit of the fruitiness. The 9.5% is invisible.

Mouthfeel (4.5) – I think that carbonation is crucial in the mouthfeel and this delivers. Then the balance goes to create an overall tremendously refreshing beer. Its not the lightest beer in the world though, so you take a good bit more time with it.

Overall (4.5) – If you like citra (and who doesn't?) then you're going to love this beer. It's a little less in your face than say Zombie Dust, however, I think the balance is really what makes this beer. Its really surprising how bad the appearance was.

Beers like this are why Pipeworks is exploding. Next time I see this beer on the shelf I will definitely grab at least one. Definitely get this one and drink it fresh.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.49/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

. poured into tulip glass.

reviewed from notes taken 4/5/2013.

Appearance: orangeish yellow bodied beer with 2 finger of of white head that drops to a thin cap. Spotty lace.

Smell: Huge oranges and tropical fruits, a little grapefruit noted too. Hint of bready malts; really nice.

Taste: Mild hop bitterness with big hop flavors of oranges and tropical fruits. Grapefruit and lemon are supporting cast in the citrus profile of this beer. Lots of tropical fruits, especially the pineapple; hint of mango. The malt profile is practically nonexistant just a hint of breadiness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with moderate carbonatioin. This is sooo darn drinkable its drinks at 5% abv. Its seriously almost like a session DIPA.

Overall: This is definately the best DIPA that pipeworks has ever brewed. Its just as good as the World class DIPA that are overhyped. Pipeworks brews amazing hoppy beers. I have tried Ninja vs Unicorn and Unicorns revenge already...Citra ninja wins out as the best!

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Photo of AJacob81
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A Citra bomb from the spunky li'l brewery that brought us Ninja vs Unicorn? Yes, please. Served in a Half Acre tulip.

Pours deep sunset orange w a finger of eggwhite foam. Good legs and delicate lacing, a resiny film coats the glass. The nose is a citrus bouquet, popping w blood orange, grapefruit, and lemongrass. In a word, Citra. Taste follows right on, w a little more grassy undertones than similar offerings. Enough malt sweetness to provide a bit of balance but still feature the wonderful flower that gives this Ninja its moniker. A bit boozy in the finish, but that's not a bad thing in the least. Palate is full and creamy, also sticky w resin.

What a fantastic brew. One-note symphonies are possible.

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Photo of spicoli00
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch #109

The ninja is back. Beer pours a dark coppery hue. Medium head that fades pretty quickly. Smells gloriously like citrus and hay. Flavor brings to mind pineapple and tropical fruit/mango. Bitterness is strong throughout. The ninja finishes with a bit of sweetness and hint of grass.

This beer is not for the timid and destroys your palate. Excellent showcasing of citra hops.

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Photo of jeonseh
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of Citra Ninja into FFF Teku

A - Deep, hazy orange with a light brown accents. Off-white rocky head with small layer of foam.

S - Loads of citrus hops (tangerine and orange) with slight grassy aspect to it. Slight candied orange peel as well. Drink it on the warmer end because as it warms up, the nose gets really good.

T - Loads of citrus hops that have orange, tangerine, lemon, and other citrus hops. As it carries on, there is a big hit of grapefruit and pine that leave a slight bitter aspect to cut the sweetness. There is a light grassy aspect as well. There is a slight boozy kick near the finish

M - Thick body with a slight syrupiness to it. Good amount of carbonation as well. The finish leaves a hop resin on the tongue and is slightly astringent.

O - Solid IPA with loads of Citra flavor. Good citrus flavor with tangerine and orange up front, a touch of grassy hops and slight bitterness. Definitely a great offering from Pipeworks.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.36/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to djcorrao for the bottle.

Appearance: Hazy burnt orange/copper. Head is off-white and drops to a small cap in short order. Some sheet of lacing stick in clumps and rings. Moderate carbonation.

Smell: Citra and caramel and biscuity malts. Tropical fruit. Some mango and passionfruit with cooked and caramelized malt sweetness. Some tangerine as well. Touches of orange. Something like a fruit smoothies. Touches of toasted malt. Very bready. Undercooked dough. Maybe even some banana.

Taste: Big bready malt layered over a load of tropical fruit. Pineapple, mango, tangerine, and a touch of peach. Seriously a smoothies. Bready malts carry some lingering caramel sweetness. Cooked and caramelized malt sugars. Some backing pine needle bitterness. Warming pushes a bit more caramelized sweetness Pithy.

Mouthfeel: Fuller side of medium body. Moderate carbonation with a lingering dryness on the back. Smooth until then.

Overall: The beer equivalent of Beverly Hills Ninja.

In the end it's solid, but it's no ninja movie. A more subtly use of Citra yes, but it loses some of that Citra magic as a result. Nice to drink, but there are better Citra-centered beers on the market.

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Photo of mishtif
5/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

had this out of a bomber a week or so ago poured into an imperial pint glass

Pours a golden color with a slight ahze to it, Big citra nose to this beer. Taste real smooth a bit of pine, pineapple and grapefruit. hides the 9.5% very well, was not overwllemed by the booze in this one. left a small bite with the bitterenss at the end of this. over all one of the most solid DIPA's that i have had. I am a local to chicago and will continue to support Pipeworks. They will become the next "Big Brewer" here in chicago.

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Citra from Pipeworks Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 122 ratings.