Review: Joseph James Citra Rye Pale Ale

Review of Joseph James Citra Rye Pale Ale from Joseph James Brewing Co. in Henderson, NV.

Beer Type: Pale Ale  ABV: 5.4%  IBUs: 55  Tried on draught.

Their Description: “A true amalgamation of unicorn tears and awesomesauce, our gold medal winning pale ale will leave your palate demanding more. We start with 2-row, Vienna, and Rye malts to create a bready malt flavor and dry finish to accentuate the hop flavor. We then add Cascade, Centennial, and of course, a massive load of Citra hops at finishing, leaving you with enticing aromas of lychee, gooseberry, and passion fruit delivered only by the unique Citra hop. Put this full-frontal assault of deliciousness all up in your grill immediately!”

The Reality: It has a nice head with mild malt and hop scents.The taste falls in a gray area between Pale Ale and IPA. It starts smooth and malty, then the rye kicks in followed by a finish with subtle citrus and pine notes. The aftertaste has a hoppy bitterness that rounds out the whole beer, leaves your mouth clean and dissipates quickly. It is easy drinking, almost like a session IPA, but is still 5.4% ABV. I didn’t detect the “unicorn tears” or “awesomesauce”, but I thought I noticed hints of Minotaur sweat and Spectaculaise.

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Final Verdict: Seriously, who did Joseph James hire to write the description of this beer, Guy Fieri? I’m surprised they haven’t come up with a limited edition of this beer that’s been deep-fried in Rumple Minze and aged with raisins. Regardless of all the hyperbole this is a really good beer, and doesn’t need to be oversold. They talk about “enticing aromas” of “lychee, gooseberry and passionfruit”, which I detected none of, but I didn’t need to. This is a really well-balanced beer where the malt, rye and citra hops play really nicely together, giving you more complexity and flavor than a typical pale ale while drinking lighter than an IPA. If I lived in an area that sold this beer, it would be a staple in my fridge, as long as Guy was banned from the premises.

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