Flying Dog Citra Single Hop Imperial IPA
I’ve been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to try out several of Flaying Dog’s Single Hop Imperial IPA series (Simcoe, Chinook, El Dorado and Centennial) over the past couple of years. From the super fruity and amazing Simcoe release to this latest batch brewed only with Citra hops, each one has been dynamic, balanced and showcased the hop in use to its fullest.
Just as with previous releases in this series, the Citra Single Hop Imperial IPA weighs in at 10% ABV and 70 IBU. Some of the releases have leaned heavily toward tropical citrus fruits while others more toward the earthy, pine-like character found in the variety. This Citra-based version somewhere in the middle. It’s still got a decent fruit presence (as well as pine resin), but it’s also a bit more herbal than the others in the limited run of beers. It was darn tasty, but the edge still goes to the Simcoe release as king of the single hopped brews.
The beer pours a clear, pale amber in color with a rocky, off-white head that deposited sticky lacing as it dropped. It’s much lighter in color that previous releases.
Hops, duh! A solid amount of grapefruit arrives in the foreground with lemon zest, light pine, herbal notes and grains sitting comfortably in the background. At 10% ABV, there’s but a hint of alcohol as the beer warms.
The herbal hop character fills the mouth first closely followed by grapefruit, grains and grasses. It’s not as citrus fruity as some of the others in the series, but I do like the more pronounced earthy and “natural” presence that it has. It’s also much more drying on the back end with a light glow of warmthin the chest. The hop bitterness is pretty high and is only accentuated by the dryness of the lasting finish. As the beer warms it gets a touch fruitier with indistinguishable tropical notes.
This is probably the most “extreme” release of this series in terms of bite and dryness. It’s not a beer that will destroy your palate, but it’s also not all that shy in punching you in the taste buds with a good deal of hop bitterness. As I’ve noted above, the fruitiness of previous releases isn’t as prevalent and it’s got more of an herbal, earthy quality to it that I particularly enjoy. Again, the brewery has done a great job in presenting a single variety of hop to its fullest.
This is a review of a promotional sample from the brewery.