Total Score: 7.8/10
Huh, would you look at that: I haven’t reviewed a single Ballistic Beer Co brew yet. I could have sworn I did their Australian Psycho IPA, I certainly drank a couple 4-packs of that (nb: it was a tasty West-Coast IPA). Well I guess it’s time to rectify this oversight and review this intriguing Oaked Citra XPA (Xylophone Poodles Arriving???) from Salisbury, Brisbane. Never had an oaked XPA, I’ve had Oaked Stouts and Porters, but lighter (coloured) beers oaked? That’s a new one. I’m not sure if this is barrel fermented or oak chips, but I’m guessing oak chips otherwise they would have raved about their barrel fermentation process on the label – I mean WHO doesn’t get excited about barrel fermentation processes? I know I do.
Poured from a 375ml can into a nonic pint.
A: Fairly clear deep golden body with a thin spotty near-white head that leaves lines of lace as it goes down. Not the best looking beer it has to be said, but it’s only worth 5% of my score weighting so no biggie there Ballistic. 6/10.
S: Nice peachy and grapefruit overtones, vanilla/woody notes from the oak, a touch of lemon (thank you Mr. Citra) with a light biscuit/cracker malt base underneath. This is a solid Pale Ale to be sure, probably one of the best PA aromas I’ve whiffed in a while. With more and more Aussie brewers tending now towards lighter and tropical-accented Pales, “gateway pales” I like to call them, this Oaked Citra XPA is a breath of old, and IMO: better, air. 8/10.
T: What a playful brew! Starts of all citrus-driven and fresh with grapefruit/lemon hop character, then in comes a wafer-thin cracker malt base, followed by a peachy/vanilla/woody character (American Oak at play there), and finishes with a light green herbal hop bitterness. Aftertaste comes in all peachy. If Southern Comfort released a beer it might taste a little like this. 8/10.
M: Mid to light bodied with a reasonably gassy and dense carbonation… probably could have done without the 12 odd burps this drink gave me. 7/10.
D: Flavour-wise I reckon this one will be a divisive beer for many – it’s going to upset the old-guard craft drinkers with its overly fresh and peachy flavour, and the new-guard (aka the ones who love modern/lighter/gateway Pales) will find it a bit in-yo-face. TBH I think Ballistic have struck a good balance here and it’s definitely a brew I would get a 4-pack of for a change of pace, it’s a “change of pace” beer – that’s what this is. Cheers Ballistic, keep the interesting beers coming! 8/10.
Food match: Lighter salads, deep-fried zucchini flowers, chicken, that stuff.