Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Just a Little Sumpin'

Something I bought recently as part of my summer mix-pack was a beer called “A little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale” from Lagunitas. This is a well-loved Californian brewery that I’ve had ups and downs with. It started with downs. For example, I had big hopes for their “strong ale” named Brown-Shugga, only to be let down with a thud. It sounded delightful on paper, and its reviews rave. But it was not meant to be.

Other beers of theirs hit high points in my eyes, and this one was no exception. In fact, it’s my favorite of theirs that I’ve tried.

First off, I don’t like the name. It sounds corny, the label looks silly, and I have reservations with a large handful of wheat beers. Strikes were against me here. I had this beer recently before at my in-laws. It was delicious. But as I drank it out of a mug with a nose that was a bit stuffy at the time, I wondered if I could get the aroma’s volatiles worked up better at home in a proper glass. Boy, did I ever.

The brew is a orangey-gold in color. It's half hazy. I can see my fingers through the glass but they're blurry. Head is one-finger in size and fades. 

BAM! Wonderful aroma of pine and a meld of citrus goodness in the likes of grapefruit, tangerine, and lemon. Amazing fresh hop oils at work here. 

Sweet acidic citrus flavors dominate and invite the taste buds to the party. Lemon, orange, and grapefruit are the primary players. A sweet malt provides a subtle backdrop for the hop flavors to get their groove on. A pleasant bitterness lingers after a crisp finish and mouthfeel. 

This is a bigger ale that deceptively acts light and refreshing while smacking you with American citrus-hop goodness. I could see people accidentally having too many of these as its looks and drinkability are deceiving. It hides a 7.5%ABV punch. So watch out. Or, scratch that. Just embrace its powerful deliciousness.  Recommended.

Grade: A+

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