BREWER: Gosnells, South-East London, England
VESSEL: 330ml tin
DATE OF POST: 8th November 2020
When I think of mead I think of a Henry VIII (he was a shit) type character and his cronies having a right ol’ knees up. There he would be sat at the head of an oversized banquet table with a whole loaf of bread in one hand and a huge over flowing vessel of mead in the other. In front of him would be an apple plugged wild boar’s head and all folk around the table would have their eye on a night of total debauchery and getting utterly pewter tankard.
Citra Sea is a world away from this mead mise en scene. The packaging alone fast forwards to today and makes it very obvious what Gosnells have set out to do – modernise mead. A great alternate angle in today’s competitive beer market but not an easy task… but my oh my have they nailed it!
This mead pours a very light gold with a massive amount of bubbles running through it. From the look I expected this brew to be light and delicate in texture but I could not have been more wrong. It’s thick and heavy in the mouth with a very large presence of honey and lemon in the taste and somehow it is very good indeed! Now this is saying something as I’m not really a fan of honey to be honest and if this drink had been described to me I would have said that it wouldn’t be one that I would enjoy… but I did.
Now, for me there are two reasons for this. The quality in this brew is clear. So the result is a lovely refreshing and quaffable drink. But what really helps this beer out for me personally is the faint hint of salt at the end. It completely balances out the honey and turns a drink that I probably wouldn’t like into a drink that I enjoyed for sure.
On a side note there is one link that takes this mead back to big boy Henry’s time. See, Citra Sea would go very well with white meat I have no doubt.
Put the boar on… or maybe just a nice piece of pork tenderloin.
Jymi’s Rating: 80%
The English language is a wonderful, if a little complicated, thing. There’s so much we can do with it, so many nuances and plays with words. However, naming a beer (mead in this case) Citra Sea instead of citrusy (get it?) feels a little off point to me. So, needless to say, I ain’t a fan of the name. That said, the packaging on CS is fantastic. Ergo, even before I open this number up, I’ve a lot to say about it. And that’s not even including this is our first mead we’ve tested. Yes, I know, a mead I hear you all cry. Honey train, here we come… perhaps… given the name, possibly citrus too.
Now, I’m sure we all imagine mead to be sloshed around at a medieval banquet. Chicken (large ones at that) drumsticks hanging from bearded mouths only add to the way mead should be consumed. But CS is dainty in appearance, light and pale. And the nose is, well, it’s light and floral.
Once you let CS line your mouth, you know there’s honey here. It’s sweet, lightly citrusy (not in abundance) with a slightly salty finish. Sound odd. It is. But it’s incredibly well balanced and feels good in the mouth. And CS is very easy to drink – like it’s nose and appearance, it’s light and crisp.
What CS offers, is a great alternative to a heavy beer. I would definitely wash a larger chicken drumstick down with one of these, and I’d enjoy it. Sure, it’s different. But different in this case is good. It’s very good.
Perhaps not one for the purists, Citra Sea will be the talk of the banquet table…
Sammy’s Rating: 84%
MUSE ON BOOZE RATING: 82%
MOB review next weekend: ABINGDON BRIDGE by LOOSE CANNON BREWERY
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