Oct 28, 2016

Stone 20th Anniversary Citracado IPA

Over the past few years, we’ve become accustomed to experiencing a unique IPA with the latest anniversary release from Stone Brewing — from about the 14th celebratory brew until now. This time around, the brewery decided to not only celebrate themselves, but also pay homage to their region, utilizing Citra hops and avacado flower honey to create a wonderfully balanced and deceptively easy drinking imperial IPA.

The 20th Anniversary Citracado IPA didn’t turn out to be what I was expecting when I first purchased the brew. I was anticipating a modern, fruit-forward beer packed with tropical fruits (Citra is known for imparting those traits). What we’ve got here, however, is a big, hoppy beer that brings out both the luscious fruits, but also a welcome and balancing amount of hop bitterness with 90 IBU that do a nice job of reminding you just whose beer you’re drinking. Add in a touch of flowery, earthy honey and you’ve got yourself another outstanding release from Stone Brewing.

The company surprised me with this beer. You hear “citra hops” and, lately, the brain has been trained to expect a certain array of flavors. Stone has done a great job of imparting those expectations while also keeping them reigned in and balanced for a drinking experience worthy of the anniversary designation. Citracado IPA is not a beer to be cellared, as with many celebratory releases, but one that should be enjoyed as fresh as possible. Enjoying this one back in early August (bottled 08/06/2016), it provided a fresh, lively combination of flavors that hit the spot wonderfully.