Thursday, March 21, 2024

Beer Review - The Citrus Blossom Beer Flight


A flight of three beers in a brown cardboard carrier with tasters of Orange Twist Imperial Ale, Lemon Drop Shandy, and Tangerine Express Hazy IPA
The Citrus Blossom Beer Flight

Everybody loves Orange Bird, and he is clearly the king of Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival 2024. In The Odyssey, formerly the throne room of Figment, one will find all things orangey from hats, to bags, to beers! And I’ve heard quite a few good things about the beer flight at this Orangey Location. There was enough good press about it in my house, I wasn’t even the one who wanted to order these three beers!

The flight features three beers representing three different citrus fruits; orange, lemon, and tangerine. And they have three very different taste profiles.

A taster of Orange Twist Imperial Ale
Orange Twist Imperial Ale

  • Southern Tier Brewing Company’s Orange Twist Imperial Ale has an 8.6% ABV, making it Imperial with a bigger ABV and only 10 IBUs. The brewery is from Lakewood, NY, so not a Central Florida brewery like all three brews in this citrus-focused trio. The only location where this beer seems to have been rated recently during the festival season is Epcot. Still, it’s not a festival-exclusive beer as it’s a collaboration with Perry’s Ice Cream in New York State. So you are likely to not find it outside of the Disney bubble or the greater New York area. The orange liquid is very orange-forward, with a touch of citrus and beer that tastes like beer notes on the backside. In my party, this taster was finished by the drinker who least likes beers and ales.
A taster of Meyer Lemon Drop Shandy
Meyer Lemon Drop Shandy

  • Left Hand Brewing’s Meyer Lemon Drop Shandy has a 5.5% ABV with 0 IBUs. Left Hand out of Longmont, Colorado is a brewery that you can find pretty much in any market. But this beer also seems to have only been rated during festival season at Epcot. And I wonder if this will change as they have an image of a Meyer Lemon Drop Shandy seasonal can on their website. Perhaps, this is Left Hand attempting to break into Leinenkugel’s monopoly on shandies nationally. It’s been quite some time since I’ve had a Leinie, but I think I would prefer that option. I found this to be a lemon shandy meeting an IPA, despite the low IBUs. But it also had tones of lemon cleaner on the tongue, which while I didn’t mind it, I also found myself asking how I knew what that tasted like! In my party, the taster who is nearer to beer finished this taster.

A taster of Tangerine Express Haxy IPA
Tangerine Express Hazy IPA

  • Stone Brewing’s Tangerine Express Hazy IPA with a 6.7% ABV and a big 75 IBUs, compared to the rest, finished out the flight. Stone IPAs are everywhere in every market and a standard for IPA fans. This beer is not at all special or exclusive to the festival as you can likely find it pretty much anywhere in the U.S. all year long. It is what it says it truly is, a juicy orangy IPA. Of the members of my party, I finished this taster and didn’t hate it one bit. But I also would never say, I want to go to a festival just to drink this brew as I can get it anywhere. In fact, I was SHOCKED, I had never drunk this before and think it was a lie in my data.

Overall, I think this flight was fine. The family member who wanted this would never order it again and was a little disappointed. I think for them either an orange seltzer or an orange pastry sour would have made them much happier with that offering coming off as more of a low-alcohol cocktail. I thought it was fun to compare different beers in a flavor profile. But I would get a different flight if given another chance to walk Epcot for the day. I do think there is a missed opportunity to have a Florida-based brewery make an exclusive orange or orange-themed beer that you can only get at the Odyssey during the months of the festival.

Who Drinks This: This is an easy one, festival-goers wishing to give tribute to the Orange Bird! As my notes pointed out, this is really best to drink together in a group. That way you can compare palates, share the tasters, and find someone in your party willing to finish the taster glass. By sharing, you also open yourself up to sampling more on a long festival day.

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