Saturday, 19 July 2014

REVIEW: LIBERTY C!TRA

Et Cetebeer


STATS
  • Country: New Zealand
  • Style: American Imperial IPA
  • ABV: 9.0%
  • Serving Type: 500ml Bottle
  • Price: Slightly Pricey
My intake of New Zealand Imperial IPA's has been down a bit recently, as the colder months have encouraged the imbibing of more darker and Belgian styles. The fluoro green label really caught my eye and now here we are.

Liberty Brewing Company was not a name that I immediately remembered having had beers from. A quick look at their website later and I realized that I've actually had a few of their beers; Yakima Monster probably being the best well known. I actually had this beers baby brother (C!tra Junior) at GABS 2013 - it wasn't memorable, but I'm really looking forward to trying this I've heard great things.

My first impressions of C!tra were very good. It pours that lovely clear golden colour that my favourite Imperial IPA's pour. The head in an IPA glass is always amplified, but at 3 and a half fingers of tight white foam this is certainly impressive. If looks were everything Liberty's C!tra would be a fantastic beer, it's time to check out if the rest of it can cut it!

With a name like C!tra you knew what to expect - citrus hop aroma's everywhere on the nose! Liberty didn't disappoint either with a nose chock full of citrus, grapefruit and orange the most prominent, as well as tropical fruits like mango and pineapple. Despite this bitter, fruity hop assault there is also an earthiness to the aroma of this beer, indicating to me that it could be a quite well balanced IPA.

The way Liberty C!tra tastes is pretty much as expected from the nose. The beer had a slightly bigger malt backbone than I would've expected; but a cavalcade of citrus flavours from the hops made sure you knew this was a big bitter IPA. The bitterness is stronger than I expected as well - although after checking the bottle it did say it was 99 IBU's. The mouthfeel is lovely, not too thin or too thick. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and you wouldn't even know if was 9%, a really dangerous combination of deliciousness and ABV!

I'm not going to lie, I love this beer! Citra hops are one of my favourites and Liberty Brewing have really captured them beautifully in C!tra. It's not quite on the level of Hop Zombie or Pernicious Weed but it is a very very good New Zealand Imperial IPA. I'm going to have to get myself some more of this and do a big side by side; I'd recommend those of you who love really hoppy stuff do the same!

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

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