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style
Serve in Snifter, Tulip

bottled
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RATINGS: 897   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.69   SEASONAL: Special   IBU: 84   EST. CALORIES: 234   ABV: 7.8%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
This Special Ale is, in reality, a reconstructed exhumation of the very first ale that we ever brewed way, way back, in 1993. Brewed with a big head, a muscular malty thorax, a silky texture & all strung together with a hoppy sweet nerve sack... yum.


3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
johnyvt (158) - West Hollywood, California, USA - MAY 19, 2005
UPDATED: MAY 26, 2005 Pours a nice transparent copper with a nice-sized, just off-white head. Smells big and appetizing, like a good amber ale with an amped-up body and flavor. Unfortunately, i was a bit let down by the taste. Body is thin. The only thing "imperial" about this brew feels like the extra alcohol content and an uninspired bitterness. I thought I would have loved a majorly hopped red, but there just seems to be something missing in the taste. The malt is simple and sweet and the hops have a real earth taste to them, but neither flavor seems extra special. Maybe thatís poor criteria for rating a brew, how "not special" it is. I did like this beer, itís nicely balanced and refreshing/drinkable. Seems like an average ESB with a higher alcohol kick.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BigBastard (668) - L.A., California, USA - MAY 18, 2005
Lagunitas is one of those breweries that canít disappoint me. This beer has a full hop flavor like an IPA, but it is toned down by the mild caramel sweetness. Another great one to kick off the barbecue season.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
elnadeau (786) - Laguna Niguel, California, USA - MAY 17, 2005
UPDATED: MAY 19, 2005 Pours a very attractive reddish orange with at decent off white head, aroma is caramel malty hoppy. I enjoy a good red, this one is up one notch on the aggressive scale, the balance is good and the finish is satisfying. Very good stuff, yep yep.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
whaleman (2178) - North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 17, 2005
Clear reddish-copper body with a foamy off-white head. Distinct crystal malts give the aroma cinnamon-spice and brown sugar qualities. Medium malty sweetness with some spicy/earthy hops and substantial bitterness. Seems a little dull around the edges. Suffers from a lack of freshness, especially for an "imperial" style.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JoeMcPhee (8302) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 17, 2005
Tap at the Blind Tiger. Rich copper colour and thin white head. Bright hoppy aroma, grapefruity citrus aroma. Flavour also shows massive resinous hop profile. Some sweet caramel and brown sugar malt flavours. As it warms the hop aroma become even more intense. Nice brew.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Terminus (3214) - Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA - MAY 16, 2005
bottle-pours a dark orange hue with a big off-white head. citris hop aroma that was very sweet and fruity. flavors were sweet, slightly hoppy and some malt base with notes of oxidization. Maybe this bottle was past its prime or something. I didnít really get any great characters out of this beer.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - MAY 15, 2005
I had this both from a 22 oz bottle and on tap @ Blind Tiger days apart and found them to be almost two different beers. The one thing I did find is that itís freakin hoppy as hell. The bottle version I found a bit more balanced. I combine the ratings to come up with this. I love Lagunitas.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - MAY 10, 2005
22oz Bomber Semi-witty teaser blurb on side label. Clear amber. Thick Lagunitas head lasts forever clinging to the glass. Sharp pine scent initially along with peaches and grapefruits and malts. Medium body and lusciously smooth. A tad chewy and slick in the finish. Nice and hoppy yet somewhat balanced Cali-IPA like brew with an extra kick. Fruity hop flavors and delicately bitter balanced by a heavy dose of malt. One of the premier breweries in the west to be sure. Thanks goes to Darkelf for the sample.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
notalush (4763) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAY 7, 2005
This beer is awesome! - deep amber with sticky, thick lace - huge pine/spruce/hop aroma with background malt presence, a hint of strawberry and blueberry - flavor starts out very herbal, grassy, hoppy - a bit of malty grain and a swelling hop bitterness is cut but a sudden surge of chewy sweet malt, bringing with it a wonderful finish of strawberries and cherries with a hint of caramel - this is a great beer, deserving of much higher ratings.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
JahNoth (1039) - Rochester, New York, USA - MAY 6, 2005
I rather like this one, thatís for sure. Pours a reddish amber, clear and filtered, with a nice, fluffy white head. Aroma of fresh hops - pine and floral with an undertone of strawberries. Abundant flavors greet you, strawberry sweetness, slight caramel, slight cherry (some reds really overpower you with this) and nice balance of hops to delight. Slight alcohol presence, but not too much for me. A delicious treat! Thanks to Ernie for the brew.


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