Monday, July 7, 2008

Lagunitas Lucky #13

The Beer:
Lucky #13
The Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Company of Petaluma, California
The Style: Imperial Amber Ale
ABV: 8.3%

Brewer's Description: From the first day of the first mash of the first recipe in the first space to this oasis 13 years on the road; We have worked hard to walk in the footsteps of our hero brewers. The Esteemed brewer of California's best Pale Ale, the Noble Brewer of the planet's only legal Steam Beer, and Oregon's Rebel Brewer from Newport. Thirteen years down the road, we have found our own voice as brewers but our admiration for the Great Ones has not dimmed one bit. If we walked well down the hero's path ourselves, perhaps we too have been an inspiration for others. Beer is a Bronze Age business and we feel honored to have left our footprints on its path into history, at the same time leaving our flavors on your buds. Thanks for your trust over the years and we hope you enjoy this specially brewed Hi-Gravity Auburn offering. Beer Speaks. People Mumble! O.G. 1.085 76.92 IBU

Color: Poured into whiskey glass (best I could do at the hotel). Bright polished amber with very thin white head that leaves lace.
Aroma: Sweet malt, caramel, tangy hops
Taste/mouthfeel: medium full, caramel malts up front with some very faint toffee. Soft carbonation gives way to pleasant hoppy bitterness in the finish, assertive but not at all harsh.
Finish: malts and hops are in very good balance although the gregarious additions of citrusy hops win out in the end.

Notes: Purchased at ABC Liquor near Anna Maria Island, FL. The American amber ale can usually be thought of as a slightly darker, maltier APA. The APA has always had stronger versions in the form of IPAs and double or "imperial" IPAs. Recently a new style has emerged among craft brewers, the "Imperial Amber Ale". Lucky #13 is one such example. This beer has a great balance of malts and hops, the caramel maltiness plays nicely with the punchy Pacific NW hops. That said, this is not a perfectly balanced beer (nor should it be) such as an ESB. This is a strong beer with assertive maltiness and even more assertive hoppiness. A very well-crafted ale.

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