Widmer Brothers Brewing — X-114 IPA (Rotator IPA Series) — 6.2%

If I had to live anywhere else in these United States other than my native San Francisco Bay Area, it would have to be Portland, Oregon, and beers like this one are exactly why.

Quickly turning into my early summer favorite at the shack, this Citra-fired hop bomblet pours a style-perfect yellow-gold with a tight, inch-deep snow white head that shows decent retention and throws quite a bit of lacing.

Given that the X-114 was designed as a Citra delivery system, it succeeds in its mission quite well; delicate florals (as well as a veritable holiday basket full of citrus) inherent in that variety come though intact, and give the beer a sweetness that balances the bittering aspects of the hybrid hop. As for the fruit basket, X-114 serves up more and more generous slabs of lemon, pineapple, and tangerine as it warms.

A sturdy foundation of malts help to prop up this very balanced, surprisingly refreshing introduction to the summer drinking season. As the second offering in Widmer’s Rotator IPA Series is scheduled to drop during the summer months, I—for one—intend to put a dent in this limited stock while I can.

Grade: A

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