Citra | Kern River Brewing Company

398 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Kern River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A double IPA that is hazy pale in color with a strong pungent aroma that comes from large amounts of Citra hops.

Added by Solomon420 on 02-13-2010

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Reviews: 398 | Ratings: 1,741
Photo of EgadBananas
4.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light honey orange color, with an eggshell colored finger of fluffy head, nice lacing.

Floral hop notes, juicy citrus, and loads of tropical fruits.

The taste is bustling with tropical fruits, mango, pineapple, lots of citrus and floral hop notes. Sweet juicy citrus, and low bitterness.

Creamy, medium bodied, over all good feeling on the palate.

Big hop notes with low bitterness make this a great drinking DIPA!

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Photo of brew3crew
4.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler courtesy of cam

A-orange body with a white head of a round the edge

S-citra? Easily said. Done and done. Really doesn't smell that great

T-follows the Nose. Overly hoppywhich iisn't a bad thing. Nice hop bitterness to it

M-medium body and smooth

O-had side bby side with double dwisy and thought DD was better. Stikk a good Ipa, but has been bettered

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Photo of kbutler1
4.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler. Courtesy of maltzilla. Poured into a tulip glass a slightly cloudy orange amber color with a slightly off white head head that laces nicely as it settles. Aroma is that of tropical fruit like mango mixed with citrus. Malty start gives way to a very strong hop profile that lingers on and has nice flavors of citrus and fruit. Nicely done and well blended.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle thanks to DearthVader, this one was poured into my Duvel tulip.

Citra pours a largely clear orange, with just a little haze to it and some solid tangerine highlights shining through. The cream colored head tops out at over three fingers in height and has some fantastic head retention. The head is fairly sticky, but the lacing is just shy of perfection. It's interesting to compare the nose with this beer, which also used Amarillo hops, with the all Citra Hill Farmstead Double Citra that I had earlier this evening. They're certainly similar, but the Amarillo takes the edge off the citric and acidic fruit aspect of the Citra hops, resulting in a more rounded, fruity aroma (though those other attributes are also present). I just wish it had a little more oomph to it. There's a bit of caramel to be found in each sip, enough to differentiate it from a beer as bone dry as Ruination or PtE, but it's still fairly hop forward for the style. Mid palate bitterness is definitely present, but on the refined side. The Citra hops are a bit more dominant in the flavor than on the nose, as far as grapefruit and pineapple notes go. There's still some mango, and even peach present, but not as much so as in the aroma. The body is spot on, on the light/dry side while not letting the hops run 100% rampant. Carbonation is just as good, bubbly and exciting and really letting the hoppy flavors pop on my palate. Kern River's Citra is a very good DIPA, and I think it may be suffering a bit from having to follow a couple phenomenal hop forward beers from Hill Farmstead. I'll surely be cracking my second bottle soon, and this may be a rare case where I revisit and revise my scores.

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Photo of gibgink
4.09/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a very well made beer, but from talking with friends, the citrus profile falls off quickly. Well balanced with a small amount of citrus, but dominated by the dank/bittering hops.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.09/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle generously shared by Doug. Thanks man! Poured into a Bell's snifter today, 3/11/2014. Must be about 2, 2.5 weeks old as this is from the previous release.

App- Clear caramel-amber body, with a nice 2-finger white head with good retention, not much lacing. Fairly typical of a DIPA.

Smell- Pineapple, a bit of grapefruit and lemon. Good malt backbone consisting of caramel and brown sugar.

Flavour- Grapefruit with a hint of pineapple, caramel and toffee. Solid, even very good. The citra hops aren't bursting through the seams here. Not complex, not juicy, but certainly bitter.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, good carbonation, probably the best feature behind this beer. Fairly bitter, but not particularly resinous and it doesn't stick for a long time. Nice, palate drying finish.

Overall- This is a good Citra hopped DIPA. Technically, it's not single-hop Citra per the label. But King Sue, which is a single hop citra DIPA, wipes the floor, ceiling and all 4 walls with this beer. To me, this beer's popularity is borne at least partially from west-coast hype and scarcity. Don't get me wrong, this is a good beer and I enjoyed it, but given what west coast traders are asking for this, I'd very much rather pay the asking price for Abner or Double Sunshine. As a side note for my west coast friends, you should spend the time you'd chase KRBC Citra on finding Citra Showers the next time Noble brews it. That is a very similar quality citra beer that reaches distribution.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.09/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to DarthKostrizer for this timely bottle! 22oz brown glass pry-top. No date.

Pours a little darker than I was expecting. Guess I'm just getting used to the super pale VT IPA's. A warm golden amber with 1.5 inches of off-white head that has great retention.

Nose smells like peaches straight out of the gate...then mango and lovely blood oranges. "Warm" citruses perhaps (as opposed to "sharp"). The suggested pineapple note comes out too. Very tropical.

Palate is clean but not quite crisp. There's a honeysuckle-like malt character underneath all the flavors that carry over from the nose. Mango, papaya and pineapple are all big on the front and mid-palate then things move towards citrus and grassy notes on the finish.

Notes: Well, the color belies this beers tropical intensity. It's never aggressive, but always impressive. A lovely West Coast single varietal DIPA. FFO Hill Farmstead Double Citra or Double Galaxy.

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Photo of gpogo
4.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Light amber body with a white head and a light lacing. The head dropped to a light foam cap.

A- Citrus aroma with a light malt sweetness.

T- Enjoyable bitterness with a nice spiciness into the aftertaste. Light hop aroma/flavor, but not as intense as I would have expected. The hop flavor was flowery and perfumey in the body mixed in with an enjoyable malty sweetness. Not exactly what I expected from a west coast IPA.

M- Medium-light body, very enjoyable as I expected something at 8% to be quite heavy. Light carbonation.

D- A great beer, but the ratings seem quite influenced by hype. I'd gladly have another, it's on the order of a good homebrew IPA.

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Photo of jegross2
4.12/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the infamous Citra Double IPA from Kern River Brewing Company out of California. Today marks the last day of class in my law school career. I needed to celebrate with something special. Thank you Steven for sending me this one!

Score: 91

This bottle is from the March 23, 2012 release. Served in a Half Acre tulip and enjoyed on 05/02/12. Per Steven, this was stored in a fridge with set to a low/mid-30's temperature to help preserve its freshness.

Appearance: Pours a real nice golden orange color with two-plus fingers of foamy off-white head that slowly settles into a thin layer atop the glass. Very dense looking, and on the opaque side of translucent. Average lacing, good retention. 4/5

Smell: Lots of fresh tropical citrus in the nose. Pineapple, grapefruit, peach, mango, hoppy orange, lemon zest, and sweet-and-sour lemonade. Piney hops and fresh grass clipping. Incredible DIPA aroma. 4.5/5

Taste: You can tell the hops have fallen off a bit in the beer, but it still tastes good. Sweet tropical citrus upfront, counterbalanced by grassiness on back end. Upfront is zesty sweet-and-sour lemon, candied grapefruit, bitter orange rind, and pineapple juice. The back half is plenty juicy citrus as well, and mildly bitter on the linger with orange flavor to boot. The flavor profile is very similar to Heady Topper and Ghandi Bot, just "duller" and lacking any real bitter bite. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and on the higher end of carbonation. Juicy mouthfeel. 4/5

Overall: A solid, but nothing spectacular DIPA. I have had fresher batches since the original review, and although the nose is always great, the taste lacks the punch I prefer in an IPA.

Recommendation: Worth drinking, but overhyped.

Cost: $8 for a 22 oz bottle.

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Photo of BrlyHpsWtrYst
4.12/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Damian (Solomon420) for the trade

Pours a hazy amber with a finger or so of off white head which quickly laces away. Smells of pine tar pungency and wafts of orange oil, a little sweet pineapple on the finish and surprisingly.. a little alcohol glides through just at the very end. Taste follows the nose but more diminutive. Hop bitterness comes in on the finish and maintains a bitter aftertaste on the back of the palate. Medium bodied and mouth coating. leaves an oily slickness on the palate, light carbonation..

Overall a very solid DIPA.. well made and balanced, I will be seeking this one out whenever I can

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Photo of DaveHS
4.12/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler shared with Stupac2.

A-Pours clear light amber with an inch of fluffy off white head.

S-I can smell this from across the room. Intense citra hop fruit explosion! Purees strawberries, bittersweet citrus skins, mango...making me drool.

T/M-Soft and full bodired, with light, supportive carbonation. Initial tropical fruit hop flavors recede into tasty marijuana earthiness. The finish is dry, with light mouth coating tannic earthy hoppiness.

O-Not sure how much this lives up to the insane hype surrounding it, but it is one of the better Citra-centric beers I've had. Uses the aromatic properties of the hop to its full potential.

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Photo of ahalloin
4.12/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good friend acquired this in a trade and generously shared it at a low-key tasting. Thanks Jonathan!

The beer pours a dark gold. I can't think of another DIPA that pours this dark actually. It was almost the color and density of apple cider with all the cloudiness. A good sized white foam cap formed showing the carbonation had lasted the transcontinental voyage.

The smell is very nice with some toffee sweetness backing up a major dose of super tropical fruity hops. It is so tropical that it reminds me of candied mango.

The taste has a nice smooth sweet, toffee-ish base. Over the top, we get tons of citric hop flavor. This isn't really a complex beer, just sweet base and citra hops. I generally prefer a few layers of hops but I don't get that in this beer. The finish has a medium-low bitterness: IMO, it is too low.

The mouthfeel is smooth with a medium body.

Drinkability-wise, I think this is a very nice beer. The low bitterness makes it accessible but doesn't really move my taste buds to NEED another sip.

I love the Citra hop and this beer is a very good hommage to it.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.13/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650 mL bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to iHEARTbeer247 for this bottle.

Appearance - Deep orange body. Cloudy with a big white head. Great sticky lacing and a nice layer of foam remains on the beer.

Smell - Hoppy. Clearly. Straight citrus hops with a bready malt in the back. It's really nice, but it's not complex like other great IPAs.

Taste - Yes, it's hoppy, but it's just citrus again. It's pretty damn good, but it's just not very interesting. If the other hop flavors were more prevalent, this could be fantastic. Anyway, the malt flavor is bready and just a touch sweet, but it still manages to be quite imposing on the palate. The flavor drops off abruptly at the end to a very slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - It's crisp, but the hop flavor isn't sustained throughout the drink. Hoppy at first and malty in the back. The one-dimensionality of the hop profile makes it incredibly drinkable, but only because I want the hop flavor back.

Overall - Ok, so everything it has is great, but it doesn't rival the best out there. I'd take a Pliny or Heady Topper over this easily. I want the flavor to build, but it doesn't. If this beer wasn't hyped to hell, I'd be singing its praises.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A:poured a bright orange in color with golden yellow highlights and a finge of head leaving some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: there was plenty of grassy piney hops on the aroma with citrus, caramel, sweetness from the malts, and a bit of pineapple fruit.

T: the piney grassy hops were very good and had a good balance between the sweetness from the malts. It did have citrus, caramel, and pineapple flavor accents as well.

M: the brew was mediumin body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, piney grassy hoppy, mild fruity, and bitter bite finish.

O: it was definitely a good beer but not a great DIPA in my book. I thought the aroma was better than the taste but that's just my opinion.

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Photo of Retsinis
4.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle from a store that asked to not be named (their request) which I will honor, as I called to reserve a bottle, and they held one for me, a huge treat as a loyal customer, and saved me from having to hunt one down.

Review from notes

A: Poured from the bomber into a Bruery tulip glass. The beer pours semi clear, with a mild haze, and a billowing, frothy, two inches of head, that slowly faded, depositing a smooth film of creamy lacing. Color is a dull copper, or tangerine orange peel color.

S: Citrus, mango, pineapple aromas, just as the bottle says to expect. Quite tropical fruit forward, which is very nice.

T: Medium bitter bite upfront, Citra & Amarillo hop oils, light semi sweetness in the middle, and finishes mildly dry. There is a might malt backbone, and light toast quality in there as well.

M: Medium carbonation, oily mouth feel, mildly dry.

O: Good, but not my favorite DIPA. For those specific Amarillo and especially Citra hop lovers out there, this is your dream DIPA beer, and those flavors shine, especially in the aroma's. For me, I prefer more of a malt backbone to balance out a DIPA. Great treat to finish the bottle myself, and would certainly not pass up a taste if offered.

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Photo of cetherid
4.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to Wadsey for sharing the growler

poured into dogfish head tulips


hazy orange amber color. 2 fingers worth of eggshell-like head. Huge amount of lacing going on while sipping on this beer.


Citrus hops with a hint of pineapple, apricot and cat piss. (yes, cat piss). Every citra hopped beer I've had has that subtle cat piss smell to it.


very west coast-like. Citrus hops with subtle pine in there. not as hoppy as I thought a Double IPA would be. Slightly sweet as well. Good, but nothing spectacular. Not much different than having a Dreadnaught or Cenotaph from 3 floyds.


medium bodied with lots of carbonation. Very crisp and smooth for a double IPA.


would be a 5 if it was readily available. The ABV is hidden well. I could drink this at least a couple times a week.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Solomon420 for the hookup!

Poured into a Hill Farmstead tasting glass. Forms a nice white head on top of an unfiltered orange body. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

Citra hops dominate the nose, followed by caramel malts and an array of fresh citrus fruits. Tangerine, orange, peach and just a touch of grapefruit. Probably one of the heaviest fruit forward DIPAs I've had. Fruity hop nectar aroma.

The taste is filled with citrus laced hop. Caramel and candied sugar. Slightly more malty than I was expecting, but still does a good job of focusing on the hops. Slightly meaty with a little bit of grassiness. Hops are accentuated on the finish.

Mouthfeel is filled with a nice level of hop crispness. Body has a strong malt backbone, but is still hop forward. The ABV is unnoticeable and there is a nice level of bitterness throughout.

Drinkability is good. I would have no problem putting back a pint or two of this brew. Definitely a quality DIPA. Maybe a little bit hyped, but then again, I haven't had this fresh from the tap. A great DIPA overall and worth seeking out. I'm probably just spoiled since I have Ephraim nearby.

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Photo of craytonic
4.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Best part of the beer, nice cloud/haze to a honey-straw-golden pour. Perfect white head which leaves some good craggy peaks, although not much lacing down the glass.

Smell: Second best part of the beer, rich grapefruit, oranges, pineapple, and mango. Very fresh and moist. Maybe the best part.

Taste: Here is where we run into trouble, this is a little behind pliny the younger and further behind Boy King. A good bit of the problem I think stems from the mouthfeel (more later). Its got the elements of the nose, the grapefruit, pineapple, orange, mango, etc; but not in abundance as I had hoped. Also doesn't have that great hop (not malt) sweetness that the top dogs do. Not as hoppy as I had hoped either.

Mouthfeel: A bit thinner than I had hoped, which affects the taste as well. Good carbonation.

Drinkability: Probably higher on the DIPA side due to lack of intensity, but I am not sure that is a good thing. Very good, but not best of show (or even really in the running).

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Photo of gcamparone
4.16/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter. Thanks kflah41 for this whale!

Appearance - Pours a slightly hazy, somewhat dull orange body with a decent sized, 2 finger head that reduces very slowly and leaves thick, foamy lacing.

Smell - Nothing hugely pronounced or overwhelming.. I really like a blast of tropical aromas from a west coast IPA of this caliber, instead I have to strain to get slight notes of pine, citrus, some tropical mango and pineapple.

Taste - Upfront I get subtle piney flavors and semisweet malt, followed by a tropical kick of lemon-citrus, mango, and a resinous bitterness that sticks on the tongue for a while.

M - Easy going down, medium carbonation and body.

Did I enjoy Citra DIPA? Absolutely. Does it hold up to some of the other world-class DIPAs I've tried? Not really. I was going to do a side-by-side of this and Heady Topper, but it wasn't necessary because I knew which one would win. My advice is: if you're looking to try some of the best west coast style DIPAs on the planet, try some of the easier to acquire ones (Pliny, Heady, enjoy by, etc). Once you've tried those, seek this out.

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Photo of zac16125
4.17/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Citra DIPA
22oz bottle into a snifter
no born on date, acquired in a trade, presumably from the latest release

A big thanks goes out to Bonez05404 for sending this one over in a trade.

A:  Pours a slightly hazy golden amber with just under 1 fingers width of sea foam white colored head, which dissipates down fairly quickly to a thin film.  Leaves a fair amount of streaky, spotted lacing.  

S: Big citrus hop aromas, grapefruit, pineapple, and most notably orange.  A fair amount of dank, resinous pine.  A swirl of the snifter brings out more tropical fruits and some sweet malt aromas.     A touch of booze as well. Excellent.

T: Somewhat muted up front with most of the flavors coming out in the backend.  Pine, orange rind, a good degree of bitterness, raw sugar sweetness. A hint of booze.  Not nearly the citrus characters on the taste as the nose implied, but more sugary sweetness.  Honestly could definitely be more hop heavy in my book.  Tasty, but somewhat disappointing.  

M/D:  Smooth, carbonation on the low end, but appropriate, medium bodied.  Drinkability is high, although its a touch boozy for a DIPA thats only 8%. Real nice mouthfeel though.  

O: Very good, but in my opinion nothing spectacular, and certainly not top 10 overall for all styles as the rating shows (although I say the same thing about Pliny).  I had high expectations that this would join my personal "big two" of Heady and Hopslam, but it falls way short of those expectations. Dont get me wrong, its quite an enjoyable beer, but to me its not worth the hype.  Maybe a case of limited availability equaling overrated?  

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Photo of nkersten
4.18/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been wanting to try this one for a long time now, a big thanks to Chris for bringing this back. Pours light golden orange with a small white cap, good retention and lacing. Smells of citra hops and straw, very grassy with some bright citrus fruit, slightly malty and very balanced. Taste is grassy and bitter, pale malts but not sweet, some orange and tropical fruit hops in the finish. Medium bodied with a medium light carbonation. A very drinkable IPA. Not my favorite of the night, but this is the one I went back for more of. Very subtle flavors for the style, an excellent DIPA.

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Photo of oldsailor
4.18/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

While this is a great example of a good west-coast double IPA, I don't know that I agree with the consensus so far in that it's top 50 worthy. The flavor was solid, but nothing over the top like some others, and the mouthfeel was pretty standard for a high quality IPA. Glad I tried it, but won't be rushing out to get it again.

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Photo of camil1mj
4.2/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by Romulux at a local BA tasting.

A: Wonderful golden-orange with 2 finger white head.

S: Lots of wonderful hops with a hint of citrus fruits.

T: Wonderful initial hoppiness followed by pineapple undertones. I reall was not sure I was going to be able to taste the fruity undertones, but they really are there.

M: Typical to the style: Medium body with a good amount of carbonation present.

O: Overall a great DIPA that does deserves to be up their with the best. However, I still feel that the current DIPA craze is all a bunch of hype. There are world class DIPAs that I can get right here in Michigan that are just as good without giving away my whole cellar.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.2/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes

Pours a murky golden color with spotty lacing left behind by a huge, fluffy mountain of head.

Aroma is very floral, with notes of orange zest, white grapes, and straw

The flavor starts off with odd but pleasant notes of butterscotch up front with an earthy hop profile. Not very high on bitterness and the hops aren't very "bright," this one is well balanced by a sweet caramel maltiness

The body feels nice and heavy with low carbonation. Great.

Overall this is a clean tasting and well balanced DIPA that is easy to drink. The flavor is actually the weakest aspect of the beer and obviously that is the most important, but it is still very solid overall.

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Photo of dboon
4.2/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Clear golden pour with a nice white head. Tropical fruit & citrusy hop aromas. The taste pretty much follows suit with peach, orange, mango, pineapple, and pine notes supported by a muted caramel malt backbone. Light and refreshing. A very nice DIPA, but maybe not worth all the hype...

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Citra from Kern River Brewing Company
4.56 out of 5 based on 1,741 ratings.
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