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Citrus Ninja Exchange (2011) - Apple Brandy Barrel-Aged | Westbrook Brewing Co.

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Very Good
14 Ratings

Brewed by:
Westbrook Brewing Co.
South Carolina, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by zac16125 on 10-10-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 14 |  Reviews: 6
Photo of beernads
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of ncstateplaya
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of MacQ32
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - very hazy golden orange with a beautiful finger of caramel head, great retention, thick outer rings crawls up the glass wonderfully

S - very boozy, tons of sweet oak, apple, lots of citrus lemon and orange rinds.

T - lots of strong vanilla sweet oak and brandy booze, citrus is a bit dominated but definitely present. Some sweet caramel peeks through, Very mild bitterness and decebt booze/burn at finish.

M - medium bodied, fairly drinkable but quite strong. Carbonation is medium/appropriate

O - quite good, very sweet vanilla woodchips and rather boozy. A good strong brandy flavor. Fairly drinkable regardless of the strength of the booze. Citrus is present but slightly overpowered and the hop flavors have definitely diminished.

 743 characters

Photo of mikeincharleston
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of jsanford
4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler from CBX.

Pours a hazy apple juice brown with and a patchy white haze that fades to a thick ring. Definitely getting the apple brandy, along with some nice citrusy hops and sweet caramel malt. Really nice, and the apple brandy character is phenomenal. Taste is equally nice, with more citrusy hops, tropical fruit, white wine, and boozy apple brandy. Sticky mouthfeel, with a medium-full body and good carbonation. Really neat beer, loving the apple character. Can't wait to see other stuff in these barrels.

 517 characters

Photo of fehrminator
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of thagr81us
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

“This is from the very first batch of our Citrus Ninja Exchange collaboration with Westbrook Brewing back in 2011. It spent a full year aging in a Laird’s Apple Brandy barrel and was then dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Pacific Jade hops!”

Served from growler into an oversized wine glass. Poured a very hazy yellow-orange with a minimal off-white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, dark fruit, citrus, citrus hop, sweet alcohol, wood, and very subtle acetone. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, wood, sweet alcohol, dark fruit, earth, citrus, caramel hop, and earth hop. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. This is probably one of the most complex DIPAs I’ve had in my life. However, it wasn’t what one would expect from the style though. There was huge hints of caramel and sweet hop rather than the citrus you get with the base brew. The apple brandy character from the barrel completely dominated this brew if you ask me. I am a big fan of Laird’s Apple Brandy by itself so that aspect didn’t bother me too much, but as far as a DIPA goes it was just too dominate. Worth trying at least once to say that you have or if you are a big apple brandy fan, but if you are looking for a complete and total hop-bomb as most do with this particular style, I suggest you look elsewhere as this is a different kind of beast.

 1,462 characters

Photo of mondegreen
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

32oz CBX Growler into a Bruery tulip.

Pours like apple cider. Given that it spent a year in Apple Brandy barrels, the rusty orange-brown color is not a fault. Nice lacing for a beer this big, too.

Nose retains a touch of citrus hops, but is big on the apples & wood. Brown sugar and vanilla add a delicious depth.

Boozy, but delicious. Apple sweetness leads the charge into a wonderfully bitter finish. I know it's cliche, but this beer went into the barrels a DIPA and came out something more akin to an old ale. In any case, it's wonderful.

The beer is a tad thin, but the slightly increased carbonation than one would expect for a beer like this helps the feel.

Overall, I'm glad I got a growler of this. I just so happened to be in Charleston when the original batch of Ninja was on in 2011, so I feel very fortunate to have been back in town when the BA version was on. Westbrook is one of the top up and comin southeastern US breweries, and I can't wait for them to get thier product into Georgia.

 1,013 characters

Photo of JISurfer
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of jrohrbacher
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

32 oz growler from CBX poured into a pint glass at fridge temperature.

L – A very murky medium amber color with a 2.5-finger bubbly, foamy cream-colored head. Excellent retention and lacing. The color and amount of haze is very reminiscent of apple cider. I would rate this lower if it weren’t for the great head retention and lacing.

S – The strong presence of grapefruit and lime from the original beer is still very much apparent along with new aromas of grape, apple, boozy brandy, and a little bit of wood. The blend between the aromas of the original beer and the apple brandy barrels (plus some more hops) is very well done.

T – There is a ton going on in this beer. It starts off sweet with a little bit of bready and caramel malt, some brown sugar, and a lot of apples. A little bit of grapefruit starts to sneak in mid-taste and then comes the earthy and woody taste of the brandy barrels. The bitterness and spice starts to pick up at the finish with grapefruit, lime, mango, and black pepper hops.

F – Light-to-medium-bodied with lots of carbonation, a sticky, chewy, creamy, and astringent mouthfeel, and a very bitter and very dry finish. Spicy and grapefruit hop and dry brandy-tinged wood flavors linger and pair very well with the palate-and-throat-warming sensation from the alcohol.

O – This is a very tasty and well-crafted beer. It should really be in a category of its own – it’s so much different than your standard DIPA. This is obviously to be expected since this thing has spent a year in brandy barrels, but man there’s a lot going on here. The original grapefruit-heavy characteristics of the original beer pair so well with the apple, woody, and boozy flavors from the barrels. I’m glad they did the dry hop additions, as well. I think they maintained a solid hop bitterness that would have inevitably been gone after spending a year in barrels. Due to the intense amalgam of flavors and the 10% ABV, this is certainly a sipper, but a delicious and drinkable sipper. Awesome beer from Westbrook and CBX.

 2,057 characters

Photo of zac16125
4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured into Snifter
released today at CBX

This is the original 2011 Citrus Ninja Exchange, aged in Laird Apple Brandy Barrels for 1 year and dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Pacific Jade hops.

A: Pours a very murky, and somewhat unappealing brownish color thats reminiscent of apple cider, with 1/2 a fingers width of light tan head that quickly dissipates down to a whispy film and outer ring. Leaves a few small patches of lacing.

S: Apples, tons of sugary sweetness, booze, smells like a very high gravity beer, actually reminds me of DHF 120 with the addition of apples. Burnt sugar, cinnamon, a touch of citrus with grapefruit and orange rind. I love it.

T: Heavy on the brandy notes, and comes out boozy. I also get burnt sugar, with apple on the backend along with some hop bitterness. Hops become more noticeable as it warms with a biting lemon zest and piney bitterness.

M/D: Pretty heavy carbonation for how big this beer is. ABV is certainly noticeable and plays a big role in this beers profile, which i enjoy. I'm not sure how accurate the quoted 10% ABV is, but I'd bet my house that this has a higher ABV than 10%.

O: This is a big, high gravity, boozy bomb....and I love it. I have an impression that this will not appeal to the masses, and its in no way reminiscent of an IPA/DIPA, but its my kind of beer. Really reminds me of 120min with the addition of apple brandy flavors. Another well done beer by Westbrook! Keep up the good work!

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Citrus Ninja Exchange (2011) - Apple Brandy Barrel-Aged from Westbrook Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 14 ratings
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