Name: Oakham Ales Citra

Style: American Pale Ale (single hop)

Country: England

ABV: 4.6%

Beer description: As the name would suggest, this is a single hop beer using only Citra hops.  Single hop beers can be very difficult.  While they highlight a hop and many of the strengths of that hop are brought out, without other hops in there to round out the flavour, a single hop beer can often be two dimensional or have flavours pushed too far.

All that being said, trying some single hop beers is a great way to learn about different hops and learn where certain flavours are coming from in a given beer.

Citra is a pretty popular hop, and there certainly aren’t any surprises in this beer for those who have had a few craft beers in the past.  The aroma is mostly large amounts grapefruit and lychee, with a little bit of zest in the background.  The label also points to gooseberries in the aroma; unfortunately this reviewer has never had gooseberries so they’re hard to pick!  Once again though, this is the beauty of a single hop beer, it’s a great learning experience.  There’s also a raspberry/strawberry feel to the aroma that interacts very well.

In the taste, the lychee really comes through, with a hint of the berries as well.  The grapefruit backs off a fair bit here, but it’s still there.  As with the APA style, there’s a fair bit of bitterness in there, but not overly so like an IPA.  The bitterness lingers a little bit, and it’s quite a dry beer.

The dryness isn’t unexpected given how crisp the beer looks.  It almost looks like a dirty lager.  The mouth-feel is similar to a lager as well; it’s a crisp beer without a lot of body – perhaps this beer would have done better with a lager yeast in order to make it commit one way or another.  This is a bit surprising, especially from a British beer.

A little bit more body would have been beneficial, especially as it’s a single hop.  As mentioned, a single hop can often be a bit two dimensional, and a kick of a bit of extra malt could have added some interest and something to chew on.

Check out other American pale ale reviews.

See other Oakham Ales reviews.