Brew In Review: Review: Widmer Brothers – Citra Blonde Summer Brew, Rotator: X-114 IPA, Drifter Pale Ale, and Hefeweizen

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review: Widmer Brothers – Citra Blonde Summer Brew, Rotator: X-114 IPA, Drifter Pale Ale, and Hefeweizen

I enjoy mixed half-racks of beer. They force me to try new beers or revisit old favorites that I typically would not be willing to buy a full six-pack of. Plus, a variety of beers in the ‘fridge is never a bad thing. For the purpose of the blog, the mixed boxes are terrific. With one purchase I can review four beers and compare them to one another. This week’s sale items at the store included Widmer’s half-rack mixer. I’ve already reviewed Rotator: X-114 IPA and previously mentioned my affinity for Widmer Hefeweizen when ill, but I was excited to see what summer seasonal they had tucked in the mixer and its been almost a year since I last had Drifter.

I drank the beers in the following order: Citra, Rotator, Drifter, and Hefe. The beer reviews are in order of preference:

Rotator: X-114 (Second review. Read the original review here.)
Once again, this beer has a wonderful aroma. Very clear golden body and pours without a head. Great fresh floral/citrus hop flavors and a strong resiny aftertaste. A good IPA.

Now I know it’s a faux-pas to place a lemon wedge in your beer, but as this is an American Hefeweizen I feel that it is okay. Moreover, this beer is enhanced from a squeeze of lemon juice. Or if you prefer – have it California style with an orange wedge. I didn’t have any citrus fruits on hand last night and I was surprised at how much of a citrus flavor is present in the beer. Since I almost always squeeze lemon juice into this beer when I have it, I had to wonder how much of a lemon flavor was actually present in the beer and how much I was imagining. I really like Widmer Hefe; it’s the archetype of American Hefeweizens. It’s mild and smooth. To me, the bitterness tastes just like lemon pith. The only problem with this beer is you cannot get drunk from this beer. I’ve tried. It’s not possible. I think that Citra Blonde may also suffer from this problem.

Citra Blonde Summer Ale (Previously known as Sunburn Summer Ale)
Upon opening the bottle I was hit with a strong yeasty smell, whichdissipatedas I drank the beer. I drank this beer from the bottle, as I happened to be grilling at the time. I picked up the initial citrus bitterness and flavor, but there was no lingering after taste from this beer. I’m a little confused about who this beer is targeted for. The Widmer Brother’s quote on the bottle reads, “The blonde of your dreams”, yet the prost on the bottle cap was “To a girl’s night out” (also got that on the bottle cap for Drifter). So is this a light beer for the ladies to consume with their girlfriends or the blonde of a man’s dreams? Conflicting. I will say though that it did feel right to be grilling and drinking this beer. At only 4.3% I know I can have a few of these without worrying about burning myself or not making it to dinner.

Drifter Pale Ale
Pours a light amber color with a small white head. Fruity/citrus flavors with a sweet malty body. Its very drinkable, but overall just okay.

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