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A giant hop aroma burst out of Sierra Nevada’s Hop Bullet Double IPA when I poured it into my old Pabst Blue Ribbon beer chalice.
Seven varieties of hops are used in the making of this beer, including what the brewery describes as a new technique “hitting the beer with a one-two punch of Magnum hops and lupulin dust – pure, concentrated hop flavor – directly into the tank to emphasize the intense pine and citrus flavors of classic West Coast hops.”
The grain bill necessary to hold everything together includes two-row pale malt, caramelized malts, acidulated malt, oats and wheat.
The result is an 8 percent, 55 IBU double IPA that pours slightly hazy and orange-tinted and packs a bold hop flavor with a grassy finish. The big grain bill helps tame the inherent hoppiness, but the hops definitely put their stamp on this beer Hop Bullet of a beer.
Despite the imposing name, it’s not freakishly hoppy. It’s an easy-drinking double IPA, and another fine entry from this venerable brewery.
I decided to stick in the pale ale category by next cracking open Guayabera, a citra pale ale from Cigar City Brewing of Tampa, Fla., gifted to me by a part-time Florida resident.
It, too, poured a hazy orange color, with a resilient pure white head. In short, it has a lovely and inviting appearance. Makes you want to dive right in.
A limey, grapefruit aroma bites the nose, a salute from the Citra hops used exclusively in this pale ale.
When first bred in 1990, from a lineage that included Hallertau Mittelfruh, US Tettnang, EK Goldings, Brewer’s Gold, Citra was known as X-114. It was first released commercially in 2007 as Citra, and the world beer scene was forever changed with this interesting addition to a brewer’s tools.
As with every other Cigar City beer I’ve had, Guayabera is well made and highly quaffable. The citrus and berry flavors imparted by the hops to this American pale ale make it extremely refreshing and drinkable, so much so you hardly notice it weighs in at 5.5 percent.
FYI: the Guyabera is a four-pocketed summer shirt popular in the Hispanic countries. Cuba recognizes the guayabera as the “official formal dress garment.”
I would love to drink a Guayabera in a guayabera.