You may think that since this is the first review I’ve posted since coming back from San Diego, that I actually picked this bottle up out west. In actuality, I found this bottle in Chicago and have been sitting on it for a few months, and it just happens to be the first review posted since coming back from the hoppiest place on Earth.
And I have to admit that I was definitely disappointed by this beer. Very syrupy and boozy, not in a good way.
Beyond the Pour grade: C-
How grapefruity can an IPA get?
Okay, so BeerAdvocate calls this an American Strong Ale instead of an Imperial IPA, but that’s just pedantic at this point. I’d believe that the slightly darker “regular” Lucky 13 is an American Strong Ale, as it’s just a big hoppy imperial amber, one of a whole slew of big hoppy ambers made by Lagunitas. This one, lighter in color to the point of being bright orange, is clearly “just” an Imperial IPA.
So whatever. Let’s review it as such.
Pours very transparent, light orange, with a steady stream of carbonation from the bottom of the glass. Thick billowy white head. Smells very strongly of grapefruit. Lots of malt sweetness and a bit of alcohol on top of that.
Flavor is more alcoholic than expected, with a significant “burn” on the way down. Nice grapefruity hops give sweetness and a nice abrasive bitter “bite” on the tip of the tongue.
Here’s my thing with Lagunitas — their beers almost always taste really good, but they’re very samey and one note. Which was always my issue with the nineties alternapop band Offspring — once you’ve heard “Self Esteem” you’ve basically heard everything through “Pretty Fly For a White Guy” and beyond. (Which, yeah, shows how old and out of touch I am when I’m making Offspring references when reviewing beer.) Lagunitas’s beers are good, but ultimately I just can’t work myself up to any real passion for them. The price is right, though — this bomber cost me less than five bucks.
The alcohol is a bit overwhelming on this one, which knocks it down half a letter grade or so.
Beyond the Pour grade: B