Beer Review: EPIC BREWING NEW ENGLAND STYLE IPA (CITRALUSH)

Beer Review: EPIC BREWING NEW ENGLAND STYLE IPA (CITRALUSH)

Epic Brewing’s New England Style IPA, dubbed Citralush, pours into the glass with a vibrant orange to peach juice hue, embodying the signature haziness of the style. The minimal head and lackluster retention may disappoint aficionados seeking a more robust visual appeal. The can design, reminiscent of Evil Twin’s aesthetics, raises eyebrows with its generic “New England Style India Pale Ale” tag, potentially causing confusion as the series expands. Furthermore, Citralush’s shift from a 22oz bottle under the Exponential Series adds a layer of perplexity, with a slight ABV increase to 7%.

Aroma

Upon a whiff of Citralush, one encounters a peculiarly sweaty and funky aroma, accompanied by sour notes reminiscent of acidic peach and pineapple. Subtle hints of vanilla and fresh dough intermingle, creating an odd yet intriguing olfactory experience. The overall bouquet, while unusual, manages to be appealing.

Taste

The initial taste profile leans toward sweetness, in line with the New England IPA tradition. Progressing into a diet peach soda essence, akin to Fresca, the flavor landscape unfolds. There’s a suggestion of tangerine juice with an aspartame-type sweetness. While the beer could benefit from a touch more sweetness to elevate the Citra and Mosaic hop oil flavors, it successfully checks the boxes for a quintessential hazy IPA. The calcium/chalk-heavy mouthfeel, a characteristic of yeast sediment, adds depth, and the persistent carbonation maintains a refreshing quality.

Mouthfeel

The mouthfeel of Citralush bears a noticeable calcium/chalk weight, a common trait attributed to the yeast sediment suspended in the solution. Though a tad more sweetness could enhance the body and amplify the fruity hop oil flavors, the carbonation persists, offering a sparkling and refreshing experience. It leans towards the positive end, especially for those with a penchant for Fresca-like sensations.

Overall

In the grand scheme, Citralush earns praise for its adherence to the hazy IPA playbook. However, the risk of the style veering into a sweet fruit beer is acknowledged. Blind taste-testing elicits notes of a sour lemon aroma, with a focus on bready malt and yeast in the body. A medium sweetness and body, coupled with an iced lemon pound cake essence, showcase a nuanced flavor profile. While the term “hazy IPA” accurately categorizes Citralush, the broader industry trend of labeling everything as an IPA leaves room for interpretation, making it imperative to explore beyond the nomenclature. If not for the IPA association, Citralush could easily pass as a peach blonde ale, exemplifying the ambiguity prevalent in the modern beer landscape. In essence, the beer holds merit, but the broader classification trends in the industry warrant consideration.