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Friday, October 14, 2011

Lagunitas Lucky 13 Anniversary Alt Ale

Lagunitas Lucky 13 Alt Ale, a summer seasonal offering from Peteluma’s ubiquitous Lagunitas Brewing Co., poured a lighter color into the glass than I recall from years past; a light, copper brown hue topped with a small white head.  The nose brought forth butterscotch, peach, orange, and a slightly off-putting resinous pine.

Lagunitas Lucky 13 Alt Ale opened smooth, with caramel malt supporting a huge, but somehow blurred, hop profile.  The hops carried forward typical flavors of fruits, citrus, and pine, but were haphazardly formulated and, at times, at odds with each other.  Heavy carbonation exacerbated the issue by adding spice, minerals, and zest to the palette.  The ale ended on an escalated heat and sweet note, not quite cloying but a little rude in the alcohol department. 

Lagunitas Lucky 13 shares the same blessings (and curses) of most Lagunitas offerings- a huge malt and hop bill for a bigger-is-better aesthetic, heat and sweetness that stand out too much in the fade, and an almost reckless hop pairing that leads to some interesting off-notes.  Not really fitting into any one style, I believe Lagunitas was successful in their attempt to make a big, somewhat generic ale to occupy the sub-$4 22oz bomber spot on the shelves for someone looking for something different. 

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