Beer Review: CIGAR CITY GUAYABERA CITRA PALE ALE

Beer Review: CIGAR CITY GUAYABERA CITRA PALE ALE

Pouring from a 12oz can into a stemless snifter, the Guayabera presents itself with a deeper golden hue, slight haziness, and an impressive foam that lingers for over two minutes. The packaging date on the can is easily readable, and in this case, the beer is about a month old, well within the industry’s 4-month freshness window.

Aroma

The aroma of Guayabera is decidedly hop-centric, with the rich fragrance of Citra hops taking the spotlight. Notes of sweet cantaloupe, papaya, candied lime, and honeydew melon permeate the senses, effectively capturing the essence of Citra pellet hops.

Taste

In terms of flavor, Guayabera distinguishes itself from Cigar City’s flagship Jai Alai IPA. The beer is notably lighter-bodied, lacking the sweetness for balance found in its counterpart. The relative dryness amplifies the overall bitterness, pushing it into the aggressive spectrum. Bitter melon rind and lime peel dominate the flavor profile, showcasing the distinctive characteristics of Citra hops. However, the beer’s mouthfeel exhibits some roughness, with a touch of wooliness and a stinging effect on the palate.

Mouthfeel

The mouthfeel of Guayabera leaves room for improvement. It falls slightly short of expectations, displaying a rough texture that contrasts with the smoothness found in some of the top West Coast IPAs. This aspect, coupled with a moderate alcohol content and relative dryness, may hinder the beer from achieving a more refined and satisfying experience.

Overall

Guayabera emerges as a hop-forward but well-mannered pale ale. Its juiciness and sharpness, as opposed to astringency, allow the distinctive flavors of Citra hops to shine. While some may appreciate the beer’s refreshing quality and its embodiment of the American Pale Ale spirit, others might find the lack of sugar for balance a drawback. The call for improvement lies particularly in refining the mouthfeel, an area where its primary California competitor, El Segundo Citra Pale Ale, outshines it with a silkier texture.

Similar Beers

For those seeking alternatives, El Segundo’s Citra Pale Ale, with its 5.5% ABV, provides a comparable experience. Another option is Three Floyds Zombie Dust, albeit with a higher 6.2% ABV. Surly Xtra Citra, with a lower 4.5% ABV, offers a lighter alternative.

In conclusion, while Guayabera holds its ground as a distinctive Citra Pale Ale, there’s room for refinement, particularly in enhancing the mouthfeel. As the craft beer scene continues to evolve, critical reviews like these serve as valuable feedback for breweries, contributing to the ongoing improvement of beer quality and consumer satisfaction.