Tasting Notes: Dry Hopped Censored Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company

LagunitasCensoredPour1000For this edition of Tasting Notes, we ease into the workweek with a little help from the “kroniky krunk” Dry Hopped Censored Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, California).

Born out of a happy accident, the aptly named Dry Hopped Censored Ale entered this world as a normal batch of the classic Censored Ale and was then given new dimension when it was unintentionally “brightened up with a generous dry-hopping of Centennial, Chinook, Simcoe, and Citra hops” meant for another tank.  Being the laid back, cool kids that they are, the folks at Lagunitas decided to roll with this “mistake” and ultimately discovered that the additional hops supplied a pleasant bite to the beer’s “malty, roasty, and deceptively smooth” character.  It was so good that they eventually brewed more and sent Dry Hopped Censored Ale out as a Limited Release.  This tasty little number is available now for a limited time in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles at select craft beer retailers located in Alabama, Florida, California, Illinois and throughout the rest of Lagunitas Brewing Company’s distribution network.

Now that we have cleared our way through the background information, let’s get an uncensored look at this brew with some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Dry Hopped Censored Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company

Appearance:  This brew pours a caramel laced amber in color and has over a finger of slightly off-white foam resting on top.  When held to a light source, deep orange tones push through to create a vibrant copper look.  The beer is completely clear and displays a bountiful carbonation presence streaming within.  The head has fantastic retention and coats the glass with some seriously chunky lace patterns.

Aroma: The dry-hopping has worked wonders here as the aromatics lead with incredibly inviting notes of citrus (aromas of orange peel and grapefruit) and floral hops. That hop presence does soften a bit to expose a lightly sweet malt character of caramel, honey, and toasted bread.

Taste:  The malts take point in this department and treat the taste buds to notes of lightly roasted grain, caramel, toffee and just a slight undercurrent of chocolate.  The hops advance at the perfect moment and balance the experience out with floral tones, resinous pine, grapefruit, passion fruit, and a touch of earthiness.

Mouthfeel:  On the lighter side of medium in body with a bright carbonation, this beer is just a touch creamy in texture but retains an incredibly easy drinking nature.  Sublimely balanced and clean, this experience teeters gracefully between sweet and hoppy/bitter on the palate.  The ABV is deceptive for 6.7%, and it drinks like a much smaller beer.  Aftertaste leaves behind some notes of pine and caramel.

Final Thoughts:  Dry Hopped Censored Ale is a happy accident indeed as its dry-hop addition is dialed in to perfectly interlace with the malty goodness that was lying in wait within the original Censored.  The piney and citrusy hops are definitely there, but the toffee and caramel-filled malt notes are still allowed to step forward and own an equal share of the overall experience.  This beer’s balance is a thing of beauty and it results in a dangerously drinkable brew that simply should not be missed.  Make sure you get your hands on some Dry Hopped Censored Ale before its Limited Release runs its course.  Prost!