For this installment of Tasting Notes, we push through the mid-week slump with a little inspiration from A Little Sumpin’ Extra Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, California).
Stepping in to fill the big sister role for Lagunitas’ Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale, A Little Sumpin’ Extra is a “Double-ish White IPA” sporting a grain bill comprised of “50% malted barley and 50% wheatly-esque-ish-ness.” Although it may be a bit lighter in color than lil’ sis, the “bigger, badder, and bolder” A Little Sumpin’ Extra Ale (8.7% ABV) proves to be “huge in flavor and satisfaction” while rockin’ a uniquely “curious malt complexity.”
A Little Sumpin’ Extra is nearing the end of its Limited Release run, but you can still find it available in 22 oz. bottles and on draft at select beer-friendly establishments located in Alabama, Florida, California, Illinois, Washington and throughout the rest of Lagunitas Brewing Company’s expansive distribution area.
That should just about cover the necessary background data, so let’s do what we all came here to do and get into these Tasting Notes!
Tasting Notes for A Little Sumpin’ Extra Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Appearance: A Little Sumpin’ Extra presents itself as a light gold in color and is adorned with over two fingers of frothy white foam. When held to direct light, the color softens and settles in as more of a light to straw yellow tone. Pristine in clarity (impressively so considering the wheat bill), the beer shows off a plentiful carbonation presence. Head retention is bordering on incredible as the foam barely falls at all and coats the glass with an all-encompassing sheet of lace.
Aroma: Citrus driven hops blast the nose with notes of tangerine, grapefruit and orange zest. Floral tones then develop and bring with them just a touch of pine. A soft wheat presence and a bit of honey-like sweetness rests underneath to support and showcase those hop notes.
Taste: The flavors nearly mirror the nose as citrus fruits move in first with a dynamic orange character that is less sweet and more reminiscent of Cara Cara and Seville varieties. Floral and grassy notes work their way in and interlace with the breadiness of the sweet wheat and pale malts that are mostly here to supply an exquisite, supporting balance. Occasionally, you can pick up on notes of banana, pineapple and honey. It all closes out with a memorable punch of bitter grapefruit meat and zest.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a bright carbonation, this beer has a hefty, viscous weight that somehow remains easy-drinking and gulp-worthy. Although this Double IPA does have a good amount of hop bite, the level of balance here is damn near perfect. The bitterness is on point, the sweetness is satisfying without being cloying, and it all just dries out beautifully. The ABV comes across as pretty tame for 8.7%. Aftertaste is just a little grapefruit drizzled with honey.
Final Thoughts: Beyond being ridiculously delicious, A Little Sumpin’ Extra is an incredibly unique offering and it all starts with the mouthfeel. You may not expect a real-deal full-bodied experience to function well in Double White IPA that still holds a good amount of bitterness, but it works. It does so because the hops have just enough sharpness to give you that lupulin fix, that 50/50 mix of barley and wheat malts slips through the sensory experience with a stealthy, sweetening balance, and everything dries out before you even realize what hit you. Despite being released every once in a while since 2009, this beer still feels new, playful, and just completely and utterly different from anything else out there on beer shelves and taps. To us, that is an indication of something truly special, and we will certainly take a pour of A Little Sumpin’ Extra anytime we have the opportunity. Be sure to check it out while you still have the chance. Prost!