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Citra - Pipeworks Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

113 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 113
Hads: 1,238
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 9.01%
Wants: 656
Gots: 124 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Pipeworks Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: emerge077 on 11-15-2012

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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 113 | Hads: 1,238
Photo of CuriousMonk
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
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 +7.4%
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%
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 +1.2%
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 +9%
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 +4.2%
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 -2.5%
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 +6.9%
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 +9.5%
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 -1.2%
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 +3.7%
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 +2.3%
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 +0.9%
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 +3.9%
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 -22.4%
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 +15.5%
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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Photo of WolfsbaneBloom
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep, hazy sunset orange with over two fingers of white, rocky foam.

Smell: A somewhat subdued and soft aroma of tropical fruit. Grapefruit, pineapple, and candied orange peel. The nose seemed to gain potency as the beer warmed a bit. This was not quite as pleasantly pungent as the last batch I had back in December but it's still quite good.

Taste: Mellow pine bitterness, soft grapefruit, tangerine, and blood orange with just a touch of lemon; sweet, caramel malt backbone and a slightly nutty finish. Alcohol remained hidden until the beer warmed up significantly.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. It seemed to get progressively thinner and a bit watery as the tasting went along. Still an incredibly smooth and easy drinker for 9.5%.

Overall, this is an excellent double IPA from Pipeworks that deserves all the praise it has received but I did find this most recent batch just a tad disappointing. The aroma was much more subtle than the two bottles I had in December, which blew me away with a huge blast of pungent tropical fruit. However, I did find the flavor to be smoother and more balanced this time around so I suppose that makes up for it. In any case this is a must try if you're lucky enough to find a bottle (not an easy task).

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 54
(Served in a Teku)

A- This beer pours a clear deep copper glow with a wall of microbubbles gliding to the surface and a sticky beige cream that that last and last.

S- The big juicy green hops have a bright citrus with a slight mint hint to them that comes through even during the pour.

T- The big juicy dry citrus hops flavor has some woody hop flavors to and a nice pineapple weed hop flavor in the finish. There is a gentle bitterness in the slightly dry finish and only a full pineapple weed pungency lingers. There is a soft slightly sweet pale malt flavor underneath that offers nice support.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a nice gentle fizz that boost the hops in the finish and no real alcohol heat is noticed.

O- This beer is a full hop bomb with only a slight bitterness and leans just a touch toward the dry side making it very drinkable and having a wonderful hop complexity. The depth seeps to grow as it opens up and it is very drinkable, especially for such a big beer.

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Photo of yamar68
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to blastbeats for this one!

Glowing anber/caramel body loaded with steady beading, a silky off-white head drenches the glass with lace... classic looking IIPA.

Lush tropical fruits melded with juicy citric notes... mango, pineapple... reminiscent of Sculpin in this regard I think. Lovely.

A smooth sense of bitterness keeps things dry without interfering with the fresh hop flavors... loads of bittersweet fruit with a touch of alcohol that mimics the bitter mouthfeel.

Great stuff. Thanks for the opportunity to give this one a try Evan!

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Don’t review quite as much as I used to, but needed to here for two reasons…
1) A shout out and thanks to Masterski for sending this my way. An unexpected delight!
2) The beer is awesome.

A nice cap of light tan foam sits atop the pint glass and fades to some sudsy lace. A orange/amber color that is exactly the color of the sweater I am now wearing.

Aroma is fantasic. Tropical burst with some freshly cut grass and chive. Just awesome. A hint of the juicy notes to come.

Juicy, juicy, tropical and wonderful. The chives and grass are evident in the flavor as well. Some nice herbal notes and a wonderful finish. Thought about white pepper now and again. A slight sense of the raised abv.

Slick and juicy.

Great beer sent by a great BA member. I am going to milk this 22oz bomber for all it’s worth. Well done Piperworks.

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Photo of beerrock
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 2 | overall: 5

I have had many IPA's that say they have used Citra hop's. But this is the first time I have had a beer that the brewery didn't go light on the Citra, Pipeworks Brewery has made a big statement with this beer and it a big WOW! This is a beautiful beer and I wish I could have bought more.

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Photo of kevanb
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into an Alpine pint glass.

The beer pours a nice medium amber color, hues of copper and orange with a nice solid finger of slightly off white head, very soapy with a little frothiness that leaves behind good lacing and has nice retention. The aroma is potently hoppy, resinous pine, bright citrus with a really nice amount tropical fruit before some caramel malt and alcohol come out, very inviting. The flavors are nice, lots of tropical fruit straight away, sweet malt, sticky pine are right behind it, a bit of astringent alcohol comes out at the end with a little bit of citrus. This beer is pretty straight forward with the hop profile, strong fruit, mild pine and bits of bright citrus, the balance is a bit lacking and the elements aren't always complimentary, they sometimes seem to be fighting for attention, the maltiness is appropriate but I am a little put off by how boozy this IPA is. The body is nice and smooth, a bit creamy, coats the mouth well.

Verdict: A pretty good Imperial IPA from Pipeworks and probably the best hoppy beer I've tried from them to date. The fruit notes are really pleasant and the bitterness is spot on but the booziness and lack of cohesion is the difference between this being a good beer and a great beer.

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Photo of KDawg
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into a pint glass. Pours a dark orange color with a good head.

Jumping out of the glass and jam packed with aromas of grapefruits, citrus, florals, hops and guava. Great depth with the citra hops.

Medium/full bodied with a very smooth feel. Balanced with very good flavors of guava, grapefruit, hops, and some tropical citrus.

Yea, this rocks. NvU with citra hops was always gonna be a winner, and it doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Light rusty orange with a fluffy and dense white head. No lacing.

There's a load of citrus aromas... Grapefruit, mandarin orange, and papaya. It has a sweet juicy scent to it.

No doubt this is a showcase of citra. Tropical fruits with a heavy caramel backbone. There's a fusel spice finish.

Mouthfeel is sticky and juicy. Medium body with moderate carbonation.

It's bursting with aroma and flavor. If you like citrus, you'll love this.

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Photo of ChiPool
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into Duvel tulip: from batch 59.

It took me a bit longer to find this than expected, butit's worth the wait. CN pours a relatively dark, amber color with about 3/4 inch of off-white head. The nose is pretty strong: orange/orange peel, a bit of sweet booziness. I'm imagining what an empyu bottle of Grand Marnier might resemble after a few days. Down the hatch, there is a lot more here than the nose would suggest. Yes: bitter, orange/grapefruit flavors lead. It finishes with a fantastic carmel sweetness, balancing out the bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy.

Another solid offering from PW. I think I liked SH a bit more, but this is one to brag about.

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Citra from Pipeworks Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 113 ratings.