Lagunitas Willettized Coffee Stout Returns for a Limited Time

Willetized-Stout_22oz_Photo-195x725Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, California) has officially announced that it is putting the finishing touches on 2018 with the “hiiiiighly limited” release of Willettized Coffee Stout.

Back to tackle the peak season of “fireside-swigging and sweater-sipping”, Willettized Coffee Stout is a “big and burly stout” brewed with coffee beans from Metropolis Coffee Company and then aged for “up to 24 months” in Rye Whiskey casks sourced from Willett Distillery.  100% barrel aged and blended, Willettized (12% ABV) is a “chocolatey, coffee-y, smoky, oak-y, rye-y beast” that is “meant to be shared and/or aged . . . or not . . . whatever.”

The 2018 batch of Willettized Coffee Stout officially started rolling out in late November/early December 2018 and will hang around as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this OneHitter Release available in 22 oz. bottles and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, California, Illinois, Washington and throughout the rest of Lagunitas Brewing Company’s nationwide distribution territory.  Prost!

Vital Information for Willettized Coffee Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company

Release – Limited/OneHitter Series, late November/early December 2018
Style – Imperial Stout
ABV – 12%
IBUs – 32
Added Ingredients – Coffee beans from Metropolis Coffee Company
Treatment – Aged for up to 24 months in Rye Whiskey casks sourced from Willett Distillery
Availability – 22 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://lagunitas.com/beer-finder

 

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Tasting Notes: Sparkling Swan Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company

LagunitasSparklingPourFor this installment of Tasting Notes, we settle in for Thanksgiving by raising a glass of Sparkling Swan Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, California).

Introduced earlier this month as the little sister to Lagunitas’ infrequently released Dark Swan Sour Ale, Sparkling Swan is a highly-carbonated beer-wine hybrid “brewed with red wine grapes” that offers a “super bubbly” champagne-like experience, “but with a gentle kiss of hops and a light malt backbone like a beer.”  Coming in at an easy-drinking 6.5% ABV and 28 IBUs, the purple-hued Sparkling Swan is “perfect for any celebration” headed your way this holiday season.

Sparkling Swan is available now and will be hanging around through February 2019.  You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 12-packs of 12 oz. bottles at select craft beer retailers located in Alabama, Florida, California, Illinois, Washington and throughout the rest of Lagunitas Brewing Company’s distribution area.

Now that we are all caught up on the technical data, let’s get into these Tasting Notes so that we can experience the true majesty of a Sparkling Swan!

Tasting Notes for Sparkling Swan Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company

Appearance: A cautious pour produces a beer that is a shimmering purple in color (similar to that of grape juice) and wearing over two fingers of pink to soft purple hued foam.  When held to direct light, the purple tones intensify and take on a ruby red radiance. Despite its dark appearance, the beer is clear and pulses with a highly active carbonation presence.  The brightly colored head quickly collapses down to a thin ring that occasionally notches the glass with a wisp of lace.

Aroma:  First Impression – Sparkling Swan basically smells like someone filled this glass halfway with a fine Cabernet Sauvignon and then topped it off with some Welch’s . . . and that’s pretty friggin’ awesome.  Red wine grapes and concord grape juice combine to produce a sweet, fruity character that offers added notes of raspberry, cherry and plum. Light, floral and fruity, the hops surface near the end of the profile in an attempt to balance that sweet fruitiness and also act as a pleasant fragrance that rounds off any trace of lactobacillus.

Taste: Very similar to the nose, the flavor profile opens with grape notes that range for red wine complexity to the incredibly approachable and sweet presence of concord grape juice.  The fruitiness open further to present distinct tones of tart cherry and black currant. The beer is nice and tart, but it has a very clean lactobacillus tartness that is completely devoid of funk or added earthiness.  Crackery malt and a touch of floral hops finally turn up near the finish to temper that sour/tart character a bit.

Mouthfeel:  Light side of medium in body with a bright carbonation, this beer is super easy-drinking and has a refreshing effervescence to it.  The tart and sweet characteristics do a good job balancing themselves out and result in a pretty dry experience overall.  The ABV is well hidden but does supply a slight warmth in the throat.  Concord grape juice and floral hops linger a bit in the aftertaste.

Final Thoughts:  In a nutshell, Sparkling Swan Ale is red wine and champagne sophistication meets childhood memories of grape juice boxes.  It has a certain level of complexity while still remaining playful, familiar and approachable.

Full of personality, this beer makes the following claims as to why it is a solid choice for holiday gatherings:

  • Beautiful to look at, it has that wow factor that will definitely grab the attention of everyone in the room.
  • Hand it off to either the wine faithful or the traditional beer lovers at the table and it will most assuredly get a fair share of perplexed but intrigued “That’s a beer?” inquiries.
  • As far as the meal goes, it has the tartness to work alongside any plate that has cranberry sauce on it, the effervescence necessary to cut through fatty meats and rich gravy, and has the staying power to hang out for a cheese course or any desserts that are chocolate or fruit-focused.

That is certainly one hell of a case, but the best attribute of this beer just might be that it does not have to be limited to special occasions and holiday feasts.  Full of daily drinker potential, Sparkling Swan is just a fun, easy-drinking and tasty brew that is absolutely worthy of your attention at any point or time this holiday season.  Be sure to check out this Limited Release while you can.  Prost!

Lagunitas Brewing Company Sends Sparkling Swan Out for a Limited Release

Sparkling-Swan-Bottle-195x519-v2Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, California) has announced that Sparkling Swan, a Limited Release tart and bubbly grape ale, is hitting shelves now to serve as the brewery’s holiday-ish beer.

Inspired a bit by its much bigger sister, the infrequently released Dark Swan Sour Ale, Sparkling Swan is a highly-carbonated beer-wine hybrid “brewed with red wine grapes” that offers a “super bubbly” champagne-like experience, “but with a gentle kiss of hops and a light malt backbone like a beer.”  Coming in at an easy-drinking 6.5% ABV and 28 IBUs, the purple-hued Sparkling Swan is “perfect for any celebration” headed your way this holiday season.

Sparkling Swan Ale is rolling out now and scheduled to hang around through February 2019.  You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 12-packs of 12 oz. bottles at select craft beer retailers located in Alabama, Florida, California, Illinois, Washington and throughout the rest of Lagunitas Brewing Company’s distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Sparkling Swan Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company

Release – Limited, November 2018 – February 2019
Style – American Sour Ale
ABV – 6.5%
IBUs – 28
Added Ingredients – Red wine grapes
Availability – 12-packs of 12 oz. bottles
Beer Finder – https://lagunitas.com/beer-finder

Lagunitas Brewing Company Births a Fresh Batch of Born Yesterday Pale Ale

Lagunitas_BornYesterday12oz_2018_Web_195x519Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, California) has announced that the 2018 batch of Born Yesterday Pale Ale, the brewery’s “Un-Freakin-Filtered” Fresh Hop Ale, is officially hitting shelves and taps during the week of October 8.

Created as a liquid celebration of fresh hop season, Born Yesterday is an unfiltered, “newer” take on Lagunitas’ DogTown Pale Ale that features a fresh addition of “some wet, lupulin-drenched, un-kilned, whole-cone, fresh-picked-and-rushed-straight-from-Yakima hops.”  With this year’s batch boasting “11 lbs-per-barrel of Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic and Indigenous Catawampus” hops, Born Yesterday (7.2% ABV) promises to be “the freshest thing to come out this fall harvest.”

Born Yesterday is shipping now and will be available as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this “HIIIIIGHLY” Limited Release available in 6-packs of 12 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 nationwide distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Born Yesterday Fresh Hop Pale Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company

Release – Limited/One Hitter Series, October 2018
Style – Harvest Ale/American Pale Ale
ABV – 7.2%
IBUs – “HIGH”
Featured Fresh Hops –  Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic & Indigenous Catawampus
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://lagunitas.com/beer-finder

Tasting Notes – The Classics: Brown Shugga’ from Lagunitas Brewing Company

LagunitasBrownShuggaPourFor this week’s installment of Tasting Notes, we kick it old school with a classic by getting into a hearty pour of Brown Shugga’ from Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, California).

First created back in 1997, Brown Shugga’ is a Barleywine-style Ale that actually came into existence when the brewers at Lagunitas botched a batch of Olde GnarlyWine Ale and attempted to save it by adding “loads of brown sugar.” Although this quick fix made it so they were able to reach the same original gravity of GnarlyWine, they discovered that they ended up with something completely different in terms of flavor and aroma.  What they did get was the “dangerously slammable”, mighty tasty Brown Shugga’ (10% ABV) that has been a hit with the brewery’s fans ever since.

The 2018 batch of Brown Shugga’ is out now and will be available through December.  You can expect to find this Limited Release brew available in 6-packs of 12 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 nationwide distribution area.

Now that we have covered Brown Shugga’s history and release details, let’s crack open a few bottles and get all sweet on these Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Brown Shugga’ from Lagunitas Brewing Company

Appearance:  Brown Shugga’ pours up a deep, red-hued copper in color while wearing over two fingers of rocky, tan-tinged foam.  When held to direct light, the copper softens a bit as dark amber tones push their way through.  The beer is pristine in clarity and displays an extremely exuberant carbonation presence.  Head retention is good, eventually falling to just under a finger of pillowy foam that leaves behind some serious sheets of lace on the glass.  Absolutely stunning to look at.

Aroma: Surprisingly, the first thing to hit the nose is a substantial waft of orange zest and pine from the hops.  Caramel, toasted grain and toffee then work their way in and are followed by a smooth note of molasses.  Sugary booze meets a refined, balancing hoppiness? We’ll have a sip of that fo sho.

Taste: The beer sneaks onto the palate with an unassuming biscuity malt presence that steadily builds to sweeter notes of caramel, toffee, brown sugar and molasses.  Lightly floral and citrus hop notes link up beautifully with the caramel and toffee to strike a nice level of balance.  Resiny pine notes turn up late to close out the flavor profile with even more hoppy goodness.

Mouthfeel:  Medium to full-bodied with a medium carbonation, Brown Shugga’ is nice and creamy on the palate, exceptionally smooth, and incredibly easy-drinking.  After a playful bout of push and pull, the sugary sweet notes and the citrusy/piney hops amicably decide to sprawl out together in a relaxed state of balance (not at all cloying, but not overly bitter either). Despite being slightly pronounced in the nose, the 10% ABV is pretty tame overall.  The aftertaste is all caramel and pine.

Final Thoughts:  Now that our glasses are all empty and discussions have been had, the best way we can describe Brown Shugga’ is that it comes across as an American-style Barleywine that strives for balance while maintaining enough of a hoppy bite to keep it from being allowed in the arena of the English Barleywine.  What do we mean by that? Well, it is an experience that features enough sweetness to live up to its name while that big American hop presence dials in the right amount of bitterness to find an inexplicable, almost miraculous level of balance.

Just like in the beer’s origin story where the brewers at Lagunitas ended up with something completely different than they expected, the same could happen to anyone who orders a pour of Brown Shugga’ . . . but in the best possible way.  The name creates certain sugar-filled expectations. The enthusiastic hops then turn up to offer a bit of a surprise.  The initial shock wears off as it all then comes together to form a uniquely balanced beer that is ridiculously drinkable for its size.  That uniqueness leaves a lasting impression from sip to sip, glass to glass, and year to year.  It always keeps you coming back for more, and that is why it is a classic.  Get you some Brown Shugga’ while you can.  Prost!

LagunitasBrownShuggaFeature2

 

Lagunitas Brewing Company Releases 2018 Batch of Brown Shugga’

Lagunitas_Brown_Shugga_171212_041430Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, California) has announced that Brown Shugga’ will enjoy its annual “Sweet Release” from October to December 2018.

First created back in 1997, Brown Shugga’ is a Barleywine-style Ale that actually came into existence when the brewers at Lagunitas botched a batch of Olde GnarlyWine Ale and attempted to save it by adding “loads of brown sugar.” Although this quick fix made it so they were able to reach the same original gravity of GnarlyWine, they discovered that they ended up with something completely different in terms of flavor and aroma.  What they did get was the “dangerously slammable”, mighty tasty Brown Shugga’ (10% ABV) that has been a hit with the brewery’s fans ever since.

Brown Shugga’ officially returns this month and will hang around through December.  You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft at select beer-friendly retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Florida, California, Illinois, Washington and throughout the rest of Lagunitas Brewing Company’s nationwide distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Brown Shugga’ from Lagunitas Brewing Company

Release – Limited, October – December 2018
Style – American Barleywine
ABV – 10%
IBUs – 51.1
Special Ingredient – “Loads of brown sugar”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://lagunitas.com/beer-finder

Lagunitas Brewing Company Keeps Summer Alive with Release of Mozango

Lagunitas_Mozango_22oz_v1_currentLagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, California) has announced that it will introduce Mozango, a Mosaic-hopped Ale with mango juice, in September as its next Limited Release offering.

Offered as one last tribute from the folks at Lagunitas to the summer of 2018, Mozango is a Fruit Beer/IPA-ish “juicy concoction chock-full of earthy-floral Mosaic and a pinch of citrus-piney Simcoe hops, topped off with loads of fresh mango juice.” Once this magical marriage of Mosaic and mango does its thing, Mozango (7.7% ABV) rises to deliver “a smooth and aromatic tropicalian punch, right to the kisser.”

Mozango will begin hitting shelves and taps in September and is expected to stick around through October 2018.  You can find this new Limited Release brew available in 22 oz. bottles and on draft at select beer-friendly retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Florida, California, Illinois, Washington and throughout the rest of Lagunitas Brewing Company’s distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Mozango from Lagunitas Brewing Company

Release – Limited, September – October 2018
Style – Fruit Beer
ABV – 7.7%
IBUs – 49
Featured Hops – Mosaic
Added Ingredients – Fresh mango juice
Availability – 22 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://lagunitas.com/beer-finder

Tasting Notes: Passion Grass from Lagunitas Brewing Company

LagunitasPassGrassPourFor this installment of Tasting Notes, we neglect some much needed yard work to instead focus our attention on Passion Grass, the new collaboration brew from Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, California) and Short’s Brewing Company (Bellaire, Michigan).

Released back at the start of August as a Joint Session brew that Lagunitas Brewing Company developed with their friends at Short’s Brewing Company, Passion Grass is a “smooth and slammable” West-by-Midwest Ale “with some passion fruit added for that pleasant summery tropical-ness, rounded off with a special zing of lemongrass.” Clocking in at an easy-drinking 4.6% ABV and 54 IBUs, Passion Grass is “best imbibed with your ‘buds … it’s good to have friends.”

Passion Grass is out now and available for a limited time in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft.  You can expect to find this “HIIIIGHLY limited brew” at select craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, California, Illinois, Washington and throughout the rest of Lagunitas Brewing Company’s distribution area.

Now that we know who did what and why, let’s pop these bottles, hit the lounge chairs and watch the grass continue to grow while we get into these Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Passion Grass from Lagunitas Brewing Company & Short’s Brewing Company

Appearance: Passion Grass pours a pale yellow in color and builds right at a finger of fluffy white foam.  When held to direct light, the color remains pale but does take on a more lemony yellow hue.  The beer has a nice clarity that displays an ample carbonation presence streaming up to feed the top cap.  Head retention is pretty fantastic, but it does eventually tighten up and condense down to a lasting, creamy half finger that casts a wide web of lace across the glass.

Aroma: Passion fruit is all over this aroma, bringing a big tropical presence that works beautifully with the juicier hop notes of citrus, pineapple and papaya.  The lemongrass then surfaces to create a tea-like character when combined with the more earthy/herbal/piney hop qualities.  Wonderfully complex here but in a way that is still incredibly inviting and alluring.

Taste: Not much unlike the nose, the flavor profile kicks off with a big, juicy burst of passion fruit and orange (both juice and zest).  A bevy of tropical hop notes then turn up in the form of guava, pineapple, papaya and grapefruit.  Pine, lemongrass and a slight herbal character combine with a coy malt presence to close out the profile by quietly tempering and taming all of that pronounced juicy sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Skirting on the lighter side of medium in body with a bright carbonation level, this beer is super refreshing and dries out lightning-quick.  Despite the fact that the malts do get a bit lost in the mix, the beer still finds a nice balance between its bitter, lightly tart, and fruity/sweet qualities.  At a wonderfully low 4.6%, the ABV’s only role here is to keep its head down and do whatever it can to ensure that the drinker enjoys a refreshing, easy-drinking experience.  Aftertaste is minimal, but pleasant notes of passion fruit and citrus do linger at times.

Final Thoughts: To put it simply, Passion Grass is a supremely easy-drinking beer that is everything you could possibly want in a summer-themed release.  Big tropical fruit notes supply a quenching and satisfying sweetness while the lemongrass and hops support with both complementary and contrasting notes that run the spectrum from added fruitiness to balancing earthiness and herbaceousness. Throw in that low ABV and this all results in a dynamic yet approachable experience completely focused on refreshment.  If you are in search of the perfect brew to enjoy at the beach, on the boat or after a hike, you really need to give the compact flavor bomb that is Passion Grass a shot.  Just make sure you snag a sixer before this beer’s limited-time run comes to an end.  Prost!

Passion Grass Debuts as New Collaboration From Lagunitas & Short’s Brewing Company

Lagunitas_Passion-Grass_12oz_v1_195x519Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, California) has officially announced the Limited Release of Passion Grass, a West By Midwest Ale brewed in collaboration with Short’s Brewing Company (Bellaire, Michigan).

Arriving as a special release, Joint Session brew that Lagunitas Brewing Company developed with their friends at Short’s Brewing Company, Passion Grass is a “smooth and slammable” West-by-Midwest Ale “with some passion fruit added for that pleasant summery tropical-ness, rounded off with a special zing of lemongrass.”  Clocking in at an easy-drinking 4.6% ABV and 54 IBUs, Passion Grass is “best imbibed with your ‘buds … it’s good to have friends.”

Passion Grass is rolling out now and will be available for a limited time.  You can expect to find this “HIIIIGHLY limited brew” available in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft at select beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, California, Illinois, Washington and throughout the rest of Lagunitas Brewing Company’s vast distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Passion Grass from Lagunitas Brewing Company & Short’s Brewing Company

Release – Limited/One Hitter Series, August 2018
Style – American Pale Ale
ABV – 4.6%
IBUs – 54
Added Ingredients – Lemongrass & Passion Fruit
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://lagunitas.com/beer-finder

 

Tasting Notes: Super Cluster from Lagunitas Brewing Company

LagunitasSuperClusterPour
Both photos above are the property of Mashing In/Guillermo Woolfolk

For this edition of Tasting Notes, we start the week with a Citra-saturated siesta made possible by a pour of Super Cluster from Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, California).

Described as a “galactic blast from the glass”, Super Cluster is an “out-of-this-world” Pale Ale brewed with “2-Row Malted Barley, a helluva lotta hops – Citra, Citra, Citra, and some more Citra, . . . and . . . dry-hopped . . . with 100% Citra.” Clocking in at 8% ABV and 60 IBUs, Super Cluster promises to be a “Citra supernova in the sky, jettisoning lupulin lusciousness through the cosmos and across the universe of your palate.”

Super Cluster is out now and will be available through September.  You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 12-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft at select beer-focused retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Florida, California, Illinois, Washington and throughout the rest of Lagunitas Brewing Company’s distribution area.

Now that we have gone over the necessary background information, let’s bear witness to the Super Cluster by giving it the Tasting Notes treatment!

Tasting Notes for Super Cluster from Lagunitas Brewing Company

Appearance:  Super Cluster presents itself as an orange-tinted, deep golden colored brew that has right at a finger of luscious, bright white foam sitting on top.  Held to direct light, the color holds while taking on a bit of a glow.  The beer is pristine in clarity and displays a highly active carbonation level coursing within.  Retention is good, but the lacing has a tough time taking hold due to how slick the beer is on the glass.

Aroma:  Sticky, tropical hop goodness just billows from the glass as big waves of grapefruit collide with passionfruit and musky lychee.  Lemon and lime add some brightness to the hops while a bit of mango imparts a rounding touch of sweetness that helps point out the modest malt presence.  The profile closes with a dank hop character that is both resiny and floral.

Taste:  As expected, this beauty is all Citra hops . . . but they kind of creep up on you by opening oh-so softly with sweet tones of melon, lychee and mango.  That reserved introduction proves to be short-lived as sharp notes of grapefruit zest, pith and juice lash out and grab hold of the taste buds.  The citrus presence builds from there with a twist of lime and what can only be described as the sensation of chewing on the peel of a clementine.  To properly put the Lagunitas stamp on the experience, it closes with a super green, uber dank hop quality.

Mouthfeel:  Medium in body with a medium carbonation level, Super Cluster is sticky on the palate, allowing its drinker to fully experience those Citra hop oils.  Mostly bitter with a finessed touch of sweetness for balance, this beer actually dries out pretty quickly – semi-dry overall – and entices you to take sip after sip.  That 8% ABV is stealthy, but a building warmth in the throat eventually forces you to throttle down from gulp to sip mode.  The aftertaste is all grapefruit.

Final Thoughts:  You want Citra hops in all their tropical, citrusy glory? Well, that is exactly what Super Cluster delivers.  If you could not already recognize the presence of Citra hops in other beers, spend a little time with this offering and you definitely will moving forward because it is so Citra-centric that it will ingrain that hop profile into your sensory memory.  Despite coming across as hoppy AF, this monster somehow steers clear of becoming overwhelming or a chore to drink.  Super Cluster remains incredibly enjoyable and easy-drinking . . . so much so there is no wondering why Lagunitas only packaged this Limited Release in 12-packs.   It is truly one of the most proper Citra fixes you can get right now, and those 12 bottles will be gone in no time.  If you have a love for hops, you need this beer in your fridge.  Go get you some. Prost!