TechMyst (167) - Fox River Grove, Illinois, USA - SEP 5, 2007
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
This is the "SNEAK RELEASE" not the "12th Anniversary" edition. Wouldn’t put this in the IPA or IIPA genera; I’d like it in the Strong Ale category. Yes it is a hoppy beer, but the spice profile in the malts give this a big big boost. Not as good as Mendicino’s Eye of the Hawk, but better than Stone’s Arrogant Bastard. A bit chalky on the palate. Nice buzz though. Good, but I wouldn’t rave about it...
marcbé (86) - Trois-Rivières, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 3, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
dark red color, white head that fade almost immediatly. Strong nose of hop, caramel, lemon and some alcohol. First you taste the caramel then the strong bitterness bites with some wonderful grapefruit and finally, the swetteness wins (hints of mapple sirup). Very enjoyable.
MarkBarnes (407) - Waterville, New York, USA - SEP 2, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sept. 2, 2007; bomber. I’ve yet to have even a "ho-hum" beer from Lagunitas. The story behind this beer is available on the ’net, and the recipe certainly matches the sentiment that inspired it. As for the beer, it reminds me of Arrogant Bastard (another Calif. ASA), but LUISA is a bit more slick & oily, and perhaps more bitter. Very well balanced, and incredibly drinkable for a 9+% ABV ale. Fun to sample and read about this one. Highly recommended.
Zinister (1423) - Houston, Texas, USA - SEP 2, 2007
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22oz. bomber I lugged to Paso Robles. Nice clear copper color with a thin, thick head. Aroma is woodsy, with some malts and citrus backbone. Great full bodied creamy, mouth feel that shows grapefruit rinds, lime and hops....wonderfully bitterfinish that leaves me wanting more...which I don’t have.
petermadsen (390) - Vesterbronxxx, DENMARK - SEP 2, 2007
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Copper coloured beer with a nice dense head. Aroma is hoppy, mostly pines, grapefruit and citrus. There’s some sweetness in the aroma too.
The flavour is moderately hopped in a nice and parfumed way. There is some caramel sweetness backing the hops up. The end is nice and bitter but leaves your lips a bit glued together.
A nice one, but not outstanding.
mcbackus (758) - Merritt Island, Florida, USA - SEP 1, 2007
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
bottle: pours a clear clean cooper colour with a large fluffy white head with some lacing. aroma of grapefruit and pine hops a caramel malt and very small amount of tropical fruit. flavour is bittering grapefruit hops, some floral notes. finishes with bitter pine hops not much if any malt presences.
elgiacomo (745) - Ringgold/Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, USA - SEP 1, 2007
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: MAY 20, 2010 Re-review May 20, 2010
12oz bottle, recent batch. 9.75% ABV. Pours amber/copper with a small off-white head, doesn’t maintain much of a cap and leaves just a few spots of lacing. Aroma is strong citrus and pine, some bread and caramel malts to balance things out. Flavor is some resinous & pine hops, caramel malt, rye bread, some medicinal qualities that detract from overall flavor enjoyment, a bit of alcohol is apparent in the taste. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, a bit sticky, medium carbonation. Very good, but not my absolute favorite from Lagunitas (ie Maximus, Hop Stoopid, Lucky 13...).
Original review Sep 1, 2007:
22oz. Sneak Release bottle poured into a pint glass. Another solid brew by Lagunitas. I’m a big fan of their Maximus IPA, and enjoyed the Lucky 13 as well. Pours a dark amber, almost copper with a small head that retains well throughout with some nice lacing. Aroma and flavor is a nice blend of citrus/pine hops and caramel malt. Well balanced. Sweet and syrupy with mild carbonation. Nice mouthfeel. Goes down smooth and easy, and you hardly notice the 9+% ABV...well at least in the taste...you will feel it. You do taste the alcohol more as it warms. A great bang for the buck. Kudos, Lagunitas, you’ve done it again.
Aroma 6/10, Appearance 4/5, Taste 8/10, Palate 4/5, Overall 17/20: 3.9 avg
kp (10883) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - SEP 1, 2007
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Name: Undercover Shut-Down Ale
Source: Tasting, Noog II
clear amber, whispy white head, big sweet piney aroma, sweet malt balanced by lots of bitternes leading to a long bitter finish, hop flavor shows up mid way through,
Aroma: 7/10; Appearance: 6/10; Flavor: 7/10; Palate: 6/10; Overall: 14/20
jarspag (601) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 29, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Fits the style quite well. Arrogant Bastard-esque with some Red Rocket on the side. It has the whole copper malt meets resiny hops with a touch of caramel and toffee on the side thing going on. Pretty solid. Nothing to really complain about, other than it is nothing outstanding. Standard Lagunitas - ya know?
blklab2007 (2118) - Connecticut, USA - AUG 28, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
(sneak release not 12’th anniversary) bottle poured an amber in color with a nice two finger head that quickly settled down to a ring of foam. smell is hops, pines, slight citrus, and malts. taste is full of hops but not too bitter, has a good dose of malt to give it a nice consistency. somewhat thick in a creamy way with a little alcohol burn in the finish (but hey it is 9.28abv.) nothing i can say bad about the beer and it does seem to fit the style well.