Sunday, December 18, 2011

Stone Brewing Co., The Bruery and Elysian Brewing Co. - La Citrueille Celeste de Citracado

Within the world of craft beer, collaborations are a relatively new and exciting development. When collaborations arrive on shelves, beer lovers are eager to purchase and enjoy the new and unique brews. This eagerness stems from the opportunity to try products from breweries that normally aren't distributed in one's area. The, La Citrueille Celeste de Citracado, brought together three outstanding west-coast breweries: The Bruery, Stone and Elysian and gave me - an east-coaster - the opportunity to sample a product from Elysian. With some of the most innovative minds in craft beer working together, the brewmasters from these three breweries tried to create an incomparable pumpkin ale with the use of international ingredients: Fenugreek and Lemon Verbena.
The addition of these uncommon ingredients peaked my interest - how would these ingredients enhance the rich flavor of a pumpkin ale?
This pumpkin ale pours a very dark chestnut color bordering on black. There is a beautiful and alluring opaqueness with a two-finger head sitting frothily on top. There is great head retention that leads to very intricate lacings on the glass.
The aroma was a balance between the bitterness from the hops with a malty sweetness. There were two companions that accompanied this balance: cinnamon and brown sugar.
Even after reading the description on the bottle, my pumpkin ale habituation needed to be suppressed because I was expected traditional pumpkin spices. After a couple of sips, I was able to pick up a nice hop bitterness from the Citra hops. To complement this light bitterness the brewmasters have infused the beer with a toasted-malt character balancing bitterness with sweetness. This sweetness could be due a brown sugar addition which was very present during the initial phase of the taste. As the beer warmed and opened up, the yams become more apparent, but the taste profile lacked a true pumpkin character.  
The mouthfeel was much thinner than I anticipated after seeing a very dark beer enter my glass. There was very little in the way of carbonation, which, if present, may have lead to a more noticeable pumpkin flavor. My wife enjoys wine more than I, and we both noticed a wine-like dryness and finish to this ale.
I appreciate the attempt to produce a distinctive pumpkin ale, but the taste was lacking a true pumpkin flavor. At 5.0%ABV, La Citrueille Celeste de Citracado is very sessionable, however there are many other pumpkin ales/lagers that I would look for first, most notably, The Great Pumpkin Ale from Cambridge Brewing Company.



No comments:

Post a Comment