Lompoc Special Draft Specialty Ale, a flagship offering from New Old Lompoc, poured dark brown into the glass, allowing almost no light passing through. The ale was topped with a thin, sticky parchment-white head. The nose was the first clue there was something different happening, leading with big toffee and light coffee notes.
Lompoc Special Draft Specialty Ale had a surprisingly dry start, thick but light, with light coffee notes coming through as it settled into a dusty moth feel in the middle. A soft caramel sweetness came in right before the bitterness of the coffee took hold, thickening with the ale with a soft sweetness in the extended fade.
Lompoc Special Draft Specialty Ale is a surprising beer. It manages to stay light and refreshing while bringing some of the darker characteristics associated with stouts and porters. The lack of big hops excludes it from being considered a Cascadian Dark Ale, and the lack of roasted darkness excludes it from being a contender for a brown ale. Sometimes, a good beer is just a good beer.