Glassware: Aroma is always key with any hop forward beer. The truest taste from the delicate hops occur through one’s sense of smell. Glassware that perfectly traps the aroma as well as allows the beer to slowly warm is the best selection. Spiegelau’s IPA glass is a wonderful choice as well as a snifter. A Willi Becher pub glass will also work wonderfully. A Lagunitas mason jar is also a fun choice, while it does not trap the aroma well is does allow for a quick exit from the glass into the mouth!
Description: CitruSinensis pours a clear deep gold with dark orange highlights with a light frothy while head that leaves a thick layer of lacing on the glass. The aroma is wonderfully bright and refreshing with notes of sweet blood oranges, lemon, tropical fruit, sweet malts, and beautiful hop dankness. The taste follows the nose with notes of blood oranges being the most prevalent which offer a subtle bitter quality followed by citrus and tropical fruits before the smooth and sweet malt backbone takes over to provide perfect balance. The bitter quality is absolutely perfect and offers just the right balance between hops and malts for a beer that is refreshing and highly drinkable. The higher ABV burn is not present and drinks like a much lighter beer, so be careful. The moderate carbonation and mouthfeel are perfect and aid in this beers smooth, drinkable quality. This is a stellar beer and a must try for all hopheads and those looking to escape a bit of the winter blues!
Food Pairing: Winter seasonal beers are often dark and heavy, but Lagunitas has released a beer that is light, refreshing and does not weigh too heavily on the palate or stomach. The best food pairings have similar qualities. The trouble with enjoying lighter dishes with a glass of your favorite beer is that the beer can quickly overpower the dish. CitruSinensis has a depth of flavor that can match heartier dishes but also sits perfectly with lighter dishes such as a salad. Try pairing CitruSinensis with a salad topped with your favorite fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, peaches or oranges and topped with a light vinaigrette. The sweet malts are light enough to not overpower the dish, but hefty enough to cleanse the palate. This is a beer that can go a bit bigger and is the perfect accompaniment for a delicious steak with blue cheese crumbles. It is a great beer to have with barbecue, especially ribs covered with a spicy sauce. The touch of sweetness in the beer makes it great for dessert and goes exceptionally well with ice cream.
The Final Word: Lagunitas needs no introduction to craft beer lovers. They have long been one of the largest craft brewers in the United States and are still brewing some of the best IPAs in the country. The brewery has no desire to rest upon those earned laurels though and still brews some incredibly exciting beers. CitruSinensis is one of its newer beers in their wonderful One-Hitter series which is its limited release line. Not only is this an incredibly refreshing pale ale, but its bright and juicy characteristics make for a beer that will brighten up even the gloomiest of winter days. The blood orange flavor offers a uniquely bitter quality. This is a beer for those who love good hoppy beers and for those looking for a gateway beer into hoppier styles.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewer: Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer: CitruSinensis (OneHitter Series)
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 7.7 %