Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lagunitas CENSORED Rich Copper Ale

Lagunitas is a brewery that does not get enough attention on this blog. They sometimes get lost in the list of great left coast breweries. Lagunitas is in the San Francisco Bay area, and is about to become the dominant force on the Bay area craft brewing scene, with a plan to expand by nearly 6x in the next year. I suspect we may be hearing a lot more from them here in the Northeast as well.

Censored is described on the label as a Rich Copper Ale. It pours a rich coppery red (no surprise there). There is almost no head, and only a subtle malty aroma. At this point I am not too excited for this beer, but I will reserve judgement until tasting.

Post taste reaction - I may have spoken too soon. Most good beers I have also smell and look good, but this one saves all of its goodness for the flavor. It has the distinctive malty and sweet backbone of a great red ale, but has a really crisp and sharp finish, perhaps caused by the nice balance of hops. There aren't too many hops here, and you don't need them. The flavor is astounding and supremely balanced. I almost want to call it "dry", even though I don't really know what that means, only that it is usually a good thing in wines.

This beer is very sessionable, but beware: it packs a surprisingly strong 6.75% ABV according to the label. You can certainly start to feel the effects of that about half way through, especially on an empty stomach. I highly recommend this, and you won't be dissapointed if you go for a 6 pack. I found it in the "Craft a Pack" selection at Wegmans, probably one of the better bets there.

I give it a solid if not spectacular 7/10.

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