Kabinet Citra Pale Ale

Kabinet: Citra Pale Ale (Serbia: American Pale Ale: 4.5% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy yellow, with some sediment from the pour. Mounded white froth head.

Nose: Crisp hops. Pears. Dried apricot. Buttery shortbread. Nicely bitter. Kumquat. Chilli seeds. Apples.

Body: Paprika. Dry, but at some points brings a creamy mouthfeel. Spicy. pepper. Soft apples. Solid bitterness. Kiwi. Lightly tart,

Finish: Bitter. Wheaty. Pear drops. Drying. Gritty. Vanilla sweetness. Unleavened bread.

Conclusion: Ok, another pale ale that goes the highly attenuated route. I will admit not my favourite interpretation of the style. This one using the Citra hop as a pick me up to give a flavour burst against the dry backdrop.

So, that is the plan anyway, doesn’t quite work that way. the base is dry, bitter and gritty. By itself that isn’t terrible, but it requires a careful hand at the wheel, and makes it very reliant on the hops for most of the flavour. The hops here are bringing gentle green fruit – apples and pears – and also a resilient hop bitterness. The lightly tart set of fruit flavours is pleasant, but is nowhere near strong enough to work over the gritty base. The flavours are too easily overwhelmed.

So, it either needs to go with stronger flavours to work with the dry bitterness, or rein in the bitterness a bit to give the softer flavours room to roam. So, as is, it is not really one for me. Then again, the American Pale Ale is often like that for me, it takes real skill to pull off one I really like – this does not manage that and ends up too spicy and dry.

Still their IPA is cool.

Background: Grabbed while I was in Belgrade, as I wanted to try more from the Kabinet brewery. Drunk while listening to Against Me!’s live album 23 Live Sex Acts. Very cool album. That is all.

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