Review: X-114 IPA, Widmer Bros.

X-114 IPA
Widmer Bros. Brewing Co. — Portland, OR

  • Style:  IPA
  • Bitterness:  50 IBU
  • ABV:  6.2%
  • Malts:   2-Row Pale, Caramel, 10L, Carapils
  • Hops:  Alchemy, Citra
  • Dry Hop:  Citra 
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle (provided by brewery)
  • Price: $6.99 six-pack at grocery store.

Description:  "Meet X-114, our secret formula for hophead nirvana. Named for the experimental hop that came to be known as Citra. This aromatic IPA balances perfect proportions of big fruit and citrus flavor with hints of peppery spice. Caramel malt sweetness and a bitter but smooth finish. It's one experiment that bears repeating. Often." — Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. 

Random thoughts:   I had a preview taste of X-114 a few months ago and remember its amazing tropical fruit aroma.  It's now widely available as part of Widmer's unique Rotator IPA series, which will bring us variations of the IPA style throughout the year.  I'm looking forward to comparing and contrasting each of the releases.  X-114 will be available until mid-August, when it will be replaced by Falconer IPA.

The tasting:  Deep golden orange in color, clear, with a frothy white head that dissipated slowly, leaving lacing on the glass.  X-114's appearance is striking—it's a beautiful beer.  Aroma of tropical fruit (pineapple, guava, and mango) and tangerine.  Flavor of caramel and bready malts, along with with citrus and earthy hops.  The strong tropical fruit aromas don't come through in flavor.  X-114 is light to medium bodied, has medium carbonation, and a smooth mouth feel.  It finishes semi-dry with a with citrus hop bitterness.  Overall bitterness is medium—which is a nice change from most IPAs which tend to be highly bitter.
Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again!   I'm glad I had the chance to revisit X-114.  It's different from most IPAs.  I loved the tropical fruit aroma, its lower level of bitterness, and the subtle sweetness.  I can't wait to taste future Rotator IPAs.  I think I'll store a few bottles of X-114 and do a side-by-side tasting of all of the Rotators after they've all been released.

Have you tried X-114 IPA or any other Widmer Bros. beers?  

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