Friday, February 8, 2013

The Citizen from D.C. Brau

DC Brau is an excellent brewery. The Citizen, however, is not their best offering (that would be On The Wings Of Armageddon). But it is worth discussion. 

So, allow us. 

In essence, The Citizen suffers from an unfortunate dichotomy. It doesn't succeed purely as any version of traditional ale (nor does it intend to), but it also falls below the bar set by other Belgian-styled beers. 

While not striking out, The Citizen could smack a homerun if only it drove home one of its dual competing styles.  More on that later. 

The Citizen is golden, hazy and opaque.  Upon pour, it develops little to no head.  Any foam that appears instantly rushes away. 

At first, the aroma is only revealed upon vigorous shifting of the liquid. Then, it is only faint with a mild melon characteristic.  The scent builds during the drinking experience, becoming more floral in nature and, overall, quite pleasing. 

Upon initially tipping the glass, a  robust carbonation strikes the tongue, but diminishes as the liquid washes across the palate. 

While the peppery Belgian spiciness gives the impression of a thick and full brew, ultimately, the follow-through makes apparent The Citizen's relatively thin mouthfeel. 

The flavor profile is familiar and, with thought, provokes reminders of a screwdriver-- orange juice and vodka type. A taste of tropical up front and in the middle, orange and pineapple, with a dry alcohol splash on the backend. 

Once departed from the glass, the sneaky Citizen leaves little evidence of its former presence in the glass. 

The Belgian aspect provides adequate balance, represented by its black licorice trait.   

The Citizen's issue:  It seems this is DC Brau's take on a sort of traditional Belgian style beer.  Clearly, no one informed this Citizen, because it yearns be a smashing, refreshing Farmhouse brew. While it lusts to go wild, the brewers chose to restrain it in search of stylistic uniqueness.  

DC Brau's effort is admirable.  Unfortunately, The Citizen is less distinct than perhaps its producers desired it to be.

In the end, it lacks the extra spunk of Saison Dupont or even that of a similar local beer I adore, Borman's Belgian Ale from Blue and Gray

DC Brau rarely swings and misses.  The Citizen is more of ground ball for an out, then a strike. 

And while it can only be granted 2.5 of five stars, it is good reason for to recommend DC Brau's other choices, particularly The Corruption and the aforementioned (and utterly delicious) On The Wings of Armageddon. 


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