Westbrook Brewing Co.
Mt. Pleasant, SC
Single Hop: Citra Rye Pale Ale
One of Westbrook‘s earlier and more popular beers was the Citra Rye Pale Ale, which gives away everything about it in its name. First brewed in May 2011 and draft only, it’s returned as part of the brewery’s Single Hop series, following Pacific Jade, Amarillo and Nelson Sauvin.
I’ve had Citra Rye on draft a few times before and it’s just as great out of the bottle as it is from a tap. Popping the cap releases a burst of citrus and tropical fruit flavors which are tenfold on the nose. The Citra aroma is gigantic with mango, pineapple, peach and papaya absolutely dominating the senses. As with the other Single Hop beers, there is certainly just a touch of rye spiciness and malty sweetness, but the beer is designed to showcase the hop and it does that perfectly. It just smells so. Damn. Good.
And the taste doesn’t disappoint either. On the front of the tongue is a spicy bite which, to me, was a mix of the rye, the carbonation and the tartness from the Citra. It’s a big sour pinch, but it vanishes almost instantly as the taste continues across the palate. The middle of the mouth is very malt with a big biscuity and bready quality. There’s also a good bit of that tartness again, but the malts take the forefront in the middle.
The rye is also prevalent throughout the taste, more so than I remember with the previous Single Hop beers. The more you drink, the more you can taste the spice in the middle of the tongue and on the back of the throat. The tropical fruit flavors are strong as well, with peach and papaya taking the lead midway through and that lingering tangy grapefruit flavor sticking to the back of your throat. It is a Citra bomb, for sure, and a damn good one at that.
Everything about this beer screams bright and fresh. From the yellow label to the fluffy, foamy head to the aromas and taste, Citra Rye is such a lively beer and another excellent entry in the series.