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.
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.