Name: Oakham Ales CitraOakam ales citra

Style: American Pale Ale (single hop)

Country: United Kingdom

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.

Drink when: The citrusy aromas and flavours, as well as the general light body lend this to be a refreshing drink.  A lager would be more crisp, but this would do well after a hard day’s work.

Drink with:  Difficult to say… while the Citra has a lot of flavour, this beer doesn’t have enough “umph” to go up against something rich that would go with an IPA or a robust APA, there are some strong flavours. 

Rating to style/intention – 7/10: This beer needs more body.  Single hops beers are difficult, so it gets points on intention there. However, the body of the beer seems confused, it needs more, or go way out there and try a single hop lager.

Rating on sessionability – 8/10: This is a very drinkable beer.  It could have been boring but it’s not.  Citra is a very good hop to do a single hop with.  The review beer was a 500 mL long neck, and I could do another right away.

Rating on complexity – 5/10: There’s a lot in there, yes, but it’s all coming from the one hop and there’s very little malt to add a twist.

General rating – 7.5/10: It’s a good beer and very easily drinkable.  They should try it as a lager.

Overall rating and summary – 6.88/10: Give this beer a go with some friends and debate it. 

Oakham Ales Citra:


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