Beer Review 0082: Lagunitas A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale

Lagunitas (pronounced LAH-GOO-KNEE-TUSS) Brewing Company was founded in 1993 in Lagunitas, California. It quickly outgrew the initial location and moved only a year later to nearby Petaluma.

Lagunitas is one of the fastest growing craft breweries in the United States; they produced 27,000 barrels in 2004, and are on target to brew 600,000 barrels after an expansion project is completed this year. Their flagship beer, Lagunitas IPA, is hands down the best selling India Pale Ale in California.

A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale is an American Wheat Ale, produced with half wheat malts and rounded out with juicy hops — this brew features every variety of hop that starts with the letter ‘C’ you can imagine. (Anybody care to guess how many hops start with ‘C?’)

This beer pours a nice golden color that leans just a tad toward amber, with an average frothy head of lasting quality. I noticed there were tons of bubbles streaming to the top, and the body was just very slightly cloudy but there were no hints of particles or sediment. The lacing left behind was good. A very inviting appearance.

The aromas reveal a well balanced concoction — right off, there’s a heavy hop presence with grapefruit notes dominating, along with some orange and general citrus. The malts kick in, presenting some grain and caramel, and there’s an underlying grassy note that is pleasant and rounds things out nicely. On the whole, the aromatics were somewhat subdued, but kept the nose sniffing for more.

A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ on the palate… delightful! This one starts with the citrus notes, unleashing ripe fruit on the tongue, oranges and grapefruit. The malts knock on the door and show themselves with a smattering of caramel and general roasted notes. The wheat/grain comes out just before the swallow, which leads to some hop bitterness before ultimately finishing on a very sweet note, almost bread-like. Tasty!

Fellow beer drinkers, this one is liquid art. A great beer, all around — this Wheat Ale has an incredible amount of hoppiness to conclude on such a sweet finish. And although this one is a little higher on the alcohol (7.5% ABV, or alcohol by volume), it’s completely hidden and I could put away a few of these. In fact, I wrote on my review sheet that you might want to hide these, as I imagine a six pack would vanish on short order.

Better give this one a try.

Lagunitas A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale, 92 points. Price: $1.99 US for one twelve ounce bottle.

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