Monday, July 2, 2012

Lagunitas Hop Stoopid

It seems like lately I've been catching up on beers that I should've reviewed years ago. First Dogfish Head, then Southern Tier, now Lagunitas. This one has been requested very often and I don't know why I kept putting it off since I tend to be a fan of West Coast IPAs. So would this live up to the hype? Check out my review to see what I thought.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (686) - Albany, New York, USA - JUL 1, 2012
I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Bright orange color, mostly clear with just a few speckles of sediment. Forms a large, white, frothy head at first, but it dissipates rather quickly but does leave nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Very sweet scent of tropical fruit juice concentrate: orange, mango and tangerine especially. Slight candy-like aroma coupled with a florist shop fragrance.

Taste: There’s a weird description on the side of the bottle that seems to indicate this beer is or is not made with hop extract. I can’t quite decipher it, but upon tasting Lagunitas Hop Stoopid, I’m thinking it is. This is basically Stone Ruination but thicker and stickier. It’s a hop bomb to be sure - massive bitterness from beginning to end. So there’s no "hop bite" per se since it’s equally bitter throughout (which isn’t surprising as the label boasts 102 IBUs).

It’s also remarkably sweet. Much like the aroma, there’s a juice concentrate/almost syrup sweetness here. It’s not orange juice exactly, but more like frozen O.J. concentrate. Mango, tangerine, maybe peach or guava, and of course grapefruit are also noticeable flavors. It finishes as it begins - bitter as heck, leaving a sticky, dry aftertaste. This is what I consider a typical West Coast Double/Imperial IPA, but it’s a little less complex and refreshing than a Ruination or Pliny The Elder. Very tasty and delectable to be sure, but I think this is the kind of IPA that only hopheads can truly appreciate.

Drinkability: While this beer may a little cloying, it’s not quite as thick in the mouth as you’d expect. There’s a noticeable constant carbonation vibration throughout, so it definitely drinks like a slightly lighter beer than it actually is. Still, the sticky, bitter aftertaste takes some getting used to. I would not consider this refreshing, although the intense bitterness would make Lagunitas Hop Stoopid an ideal companion to spicy meals. It’s got a lot of chutzpah for "only" 8% ABV, although the average craft beer enthusiast should have no problem killing a bomber by themselves.

Grade: 8/10