Saturday, August 10, 2013
Beer Review: Lagunitas Lucky 13 Red Ale
It carries one of the more informational labels I have seen. 8.65% ABV, 76.92 IBU's, and an Original Gravity of 1.085.
The color is a lovely dark amber with a hint of cherry, and tops with a creamy, three-finger khaki head. Very active carbonation, large bubbles, and clumpy lacing. On the nose this is very bready and yeasty; it reminded me of opening the door to a proofing box while the dough is rising before being baked. There are vegetal notes present too, moist, damp, pine forest smells, and a bit of malt sweetness that suggests caramelizing sugar.
On the palate, its West Coast pedigree shows. There is a significant hop bite that balances out the abundance of malts. In fact, it is far hoppier than its nose suggests. But the malts are the stars here. They dominate with a caramel sweetness that makes this perfect for a malt lover. In the finish, the hops are (barely) wrestled down by the sweet malts, giving this a pleasant, lingering aftertaste.
This beer is easy drinking enough to enjoy without having to over-intellectualize it, but substantial enough to keep from being a killer swiller. Mrs. Gilbert says that this would make a phenomenal Fall seasonal, and I have to agree with her. I could see drinking this in front of a roaring campfire, bundled up in an old sweater, watching the leaves fall.