Tasting: December 4, 2011
Style: Imperial IPA
Lagunitas is a brewery with a sense of humor and this one really proves the point. Where else could you find a beer that insults their own brand — really? The name of this ale is “Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale”. Why are they taking a shot at themselves? Apparently the brewery (like many others) currently face capacity issues and a decision was made not to produce their usual seasonal offering called “Brown Shugga”. It was reported that the time and space it takes to produce Brown Shugga – limits production of other Lagunitas offerings. So, Lagunitas offers a replacement ale for this season and hopes to get back on the ball with an expanded brewing operation in 2012. They offered this apology on their label: “This sad holiday season we didn’t have the brewing capacity to make our favorite seasonal brew, the widely feared Brown Shugga Ale. We’re just out of capacity. There is nothing cool about screwing up this badly and we know it.”
Well apparently, the nightmare continues. I read on beernews.org the other day that their new brewhouse arrived — except it looked like it was dropped off the Empire State Building. Check out one of the photos posted by Lagunitas. Here’s hoping that they can get on track in 2012. They really are a first rate brewery and I wish them all the best.
Another scan of the label and they reveal an OG (original gravity) of 1.085, ABV of 7.85% and an IBU of 63.21. Those numbers tell me — big beer flavor and a moderate bitterness. Smells of bright grapefruit, pineapple and pine — brilliant. Simple as it is — that pine does remind me of my own christmas tree. So there – they’ve succeeded with me. First sip and this is a hop beauty. Same fruit comes shining through. Hops linger on enough without crushing your tastebuds. You might think that the IBU is understated because its so hoppy — but don’t forget IBU is for bitterness. A hop offers so much more than bitterness and this is a great example. Really a bright and elegant imperial IPA here. I wholeheartedly encourage you to go buy this beer before it disappears. I’ll also hope that Lagunitas makes this a part of their annual holiday offerings — easy 90 from me.