Lagunitas Hop Stoopid Ale

Lagunitas is currently my favorite brewery. They can produce some fantastic beers. This one has a story on the label that rambles on for some time. The upshot is that they used hop extracts in this beer, and those are usually used by big companies that make crappy lagers. Those companies are not mentioned specifically, but I think we all know who they are.

The color is a slightly hazy dark straw with a twist of orange - some might call it an amber color, but they lack imagination. The head is thick and sticky; it takes a long time to go down, and it hangs on for dear life as long as it can. The aroma is hops and citrus. It's not a particularly heavy scent, and it's very simple and crisp.

A sip is a very hoppy ale. It's got enough malt in there to balance the bitterness, but it does certainly bite. The afterglow - yes, I'm going with afterglow, as it is after the finish and after where you would expect what Diet Coke drinkers know too well as the "aftertaste" - brings a very orange, citrus taste with it. It's actually a nice way to leave your mouth. Many times, the beer will be so focused on getting the most out of the hops or spices that your mouth will eventually let you know that you need to stop drinking. With a fresh citrus taste, you could probably go on for a while; that's what hefeweizen drinkers know too well.

A swig can usually bring out new things and subtle bits of a beer, and I owe it to you, the internet.

Tip-in is entirely floral. It's not the crappy HiCu floral. It's very soft. It eases into the middle which brings just a touch of sweet malt. As the finish starts, the hop starts to bite. It doesn't bite as bad as it did in the sip, though. The finish evens out with a little toffee-like creaminess and fades with a heavier floral taste. Eventually, and it takes a couple minutes, the orange citrus is back.

This is a very good beer. I don't think it's stoopid at all.



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