I am of the opinion that Lagunitas is one of the best micro breweries around. Their beer is diverse and consistently good. To me, Lagunitas is like the west coast equivalent of my beloved east coast Dogfish Head.
It's pretty much a no brainer for me to snag a Lagunitas brew when I'm in the mood for beer - when am I not? - especially something with a hoppy bite.
Lucky 13 .alt (8.9% ABV) is a big beer. And so it should be for an anniversary release brew.
Don't be confused by the '.alt' in the name, this isn't a reference to the beer style Lucky 13 .alt is not an altbier; it is actually an American strong blonde ale. Hence the blonde hotty on the label. The 'alt' in the name is to differentiate it from Lucky 13 (sans alt) which is a American Strong Red Ale; i.e. it's an alternate version.
The Lucky 13.alt pours a crystal clear amber with a wildly bubbly head that hangs around for a while leaving behind some glass grabbing lace.
The aroma is all hoppy goodness - citrus and pine. Oh wait! There's some breadiness in there, too. Drooool.
The taste is initially of juicy grapefruit with the vague presence of pine. There some tropical fruitiness and a touch sweet caramel malt to balance out the bitterness a bit. But this brew leans far to the bitter side of bittersweet. Lucky 13.alt finishes crisp and bitter. A hint of malt lingers.
There's a decent amount of carbonation. It's not hugely effervescent but there enough bubbles to tickle the tongue.The mouthfeel is medium with nice smooth drinkability. Be careful, this blonde bombshell will kick your butt with her 8.9% ABV.
This beer gave me some warm, fuzzy Lagunitas love.
Overall - very good.
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