Mallinsons Citra is reviewed by Craig Heap.
Mallinsons Brewing Company
ABV 3.9% (bottle) 3.8% (cask)
For those unfamiliar with the Huddersfield-based micro-brewery, we have previously reviewed their Castle Hill Premium Bitter and Emley Moor Mild. In all, they’re a solid brewery, if presently hampered by a limited distribution. If you’re not in the Manchester-Huddersfield-Leeds area you would be hard pressed to find a drop of their wares.
They like to experiment with their craft – not in a BrewDog “let’s high hop this beer to hell, freeze it, cut it, evaporate it, blast it into space, sink it to the bottom of the ocean, fire lasers at it and then see what it tastes like” sense, but more of a determined, almost insomniac frenzy to try every combination possible. Glance at the beers page on their website to see what I mean. With such potential for resounding hits and the occasional catastrophe, finding a new Mallinsons on tap or in bottle is always a tantalising game of chance.
Citra, the hybrid hop variety, is a relatively recent newcomer to the hop scene, originating in the United States around 2007. The complex, citrus flavour profile and novelty of the hop have made it something of a brewers’ vogue at present. It works in both a bittering and aroma-providing role so many citra-based beers, such as Mallinsons Citra, are single-hopped. Most other hops are likely to be overpowered and lost when combined with citra. This could kill the fad when, in a few years, consumers turn away from it as brewers struggle to add anything new to the style. In the meantime, it’s winning awards, and Mallinsons Citra is no stranger to accolade.
Mallinsons Citra is a pale, lagery gold colour in the glass with a bushy, white head. There’s a broad citrus smell, with grapefruit and mango striking high. The body is soft and light, with a clean, refreshing profile that invites big, big gulps.
The slightly sharp tang of grapefruit slowly prickles its way across the tongue while the sweet mango oozes into the nooks and crannies of your mouth, eventually massaging your gums with its gentle, natural-sugar sweetness. An overall citrus zing picks up again and takes you through to a nicely balanced finish which resonates away steadily in time for the next big gulp.
Given the citra hop-base, there may be the occasional impression of passion fruit or guava for some but, and by their own admission, Mallinsons Citra is mainly about grapefruit and mango. The two flavours are a simple but effective combination. Mallinsons Citra could prove to be a good late spring/early summer thirst quencher, when the sun is still gentle enough to allow decent folk to drink a beer that doesn’t need to have come from the icy depths of a nitrogen bath.