Reviewed: Epic Brewing New England Style IPA (Citralush)
Product description: New England style IPA with Mosaic and Citra. First in a series.
Epic Brewing – Epic New England Style IPA (Citralush) – 12 oz. can poured into specialty glassware – 7.3% abv.
Sampling from a 12oz can with no packaging date that I could find, Epic’s hazy IPA rendition starts off with a bright orange to peach juice colored liquid into the glass that generates minimal head with relatively poor retention for this style. It’s quite murky, though, and still looks the part. Apparently Epic is debuting an entire hazy IPA series with similarly designed cans that look an awful lot like something Evil Twin would design with that saturated polygon look. The can has “New England Style India Pale Ale” in massive font in the front, and by only looking at the reverse in small font can you see this beer’s name, Citralush. So once more beers are released in this series, your regular customer is not going to know which beer they purchased thinking there is only one “New England Style India Pale Ale” from Epic when there will be four. To make things more confusing, Citralush was originally released in 22oz bottles under their Exponential Series of beers, though the ABV was 6.5% instead of this one’s 7%.
Onto the beer. The aroma on the Citralush is sweaty and a touch funky with some sour notes like acidic peach and pineapple. There are notes of vanilla and fresh dough mixed in as well. It’s odd but smells great overall. The flavor is certainly sweeter up front in keeping with this style moving on to a diet peach soda character like Fresca – maybe more tangerine juice with that aspartame type sweetness. The mouthfeel is somewhat calcium/chalk heavy, which is common in this style from all the yeast sediment in solution. The beer could probably be a touch sweeter to allow the fruity Citra and Mosaic hop oil flavors to pop and add a bit more body, but otherwise, it hits all the marks for hazy IPA. Carbonation remains high and sparkling throughout giving it a refreshing character. It’s very good, outstanding if you’re into Fresca like my abuela.
My wife sampled this blind and found it to have a sour lemon aroma with a body focused on bready malt and yeast. She noted it was medium sweet and medium bodied with some iced lemon pound cake flavor. I don’t think hazy IPA came to mind for her.
I think we both liked it. It’s just that hazy IPA can quickly move on to something like sweet fruit beer if you’re not careful. If Epic had called this a peach blonde ale, I wouldn’t bat an eye. That’s sort of the trap of calling everything an IPA nowadays. The term means nothing except that the beer is not Bud Light.