Saturday, February 14, 2015

Otter Creek Citra Mantra


4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1282) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 14, 2015
Otter Creek is a brewery that’s really upped their game in the last few years. I wouldn’t consider them trend-setters per se, but when a new style comes along, they’re able to jump on the bandwagon and made a great entry without the pretentiousness of smaller, supposedly "artisan" breweries. Citra Mantra is their take on the popular IPL style and it works for all the right reasons – looks great, smells great, tastes great and is easy to drink. What’s not to like?

I poured a 12oz bottle into a footed pilsner glass. It was bottled on 1/22/15 and cost $2.30 ($0.19 per ounce).

Appearance: White gold hue over a very clear body (surprising, since it mentions being unfiltered on the label). Pours to a large, white, fluffy head which laces and retains very well.

Smell: Nothing but hops; herbal notes especially, though some lemon or other citrus character is present. Spicy but clean.

Taste: With the exception of American hops (of the Citra variety, obviously); this beer is actually a fairly traditional German Pilsner brew. Compare it to BJCP style 2A and you’ll see it hits on pretty much every point. Clean, crisp maltiness at the base without any residual sweetness and no esters or flaws, either. But instead of Noble hops, which tend to be spicy, Citra hops create for a citrus/spicy taste sensation. Lemonpeel is quite prominent immediately, with a dry spiciness on the finish. Though only 55 IBUs, this is still plenty bitter. An interesting hybrid of a traditional recipe and contemporary innovation.

Drinkability: Crisp and effervescent like a pilsner, but with the hoppy bite of an IPA. There is some residual startch-like sensation that lingers on the tongue, though the beer is quite refreshing while in the mouth. Otter Creek Citra Mantra is a spring seasonal, though I’d say it would be suitable for year-round release because it’s so easy (and fun) to drink. It’s strong enough to stand up to pretty much any meal, and at 5.75% ABV it’s light enough to drink as a double-header without being overwhelmed. 
Grade: 9/10