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A Laguna State of Mind

This is the time of year that I begin to think about spring and summer.  Jim just posted about the Long Cold Winter last week, and when I went outside this morning and it was 25 degrees out, I began to think about summer and as much as I complain about the heat, I love the idea of it about this time of year.  After four months of fires in the fireplace and frost on my windshield I’m ready for short sleeves and flip flops.  So put on some Jimmy Buffet and your Hawaiian shirt and cargo shorts and come with me for a virtual taste of summer in the depth of this winter season.

Lagunitas Brewery is located in Petaluma, California, just about a mile off the 101 coast highway.  They have all kinds of great brews, the one I had the other night was a December release, but there was a little taste of summer in the bottle…

The Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout has a little taste of summer in an otherwise dark and wintry brew.  This beer is not an Imperial Stout, but you could have fooled me with the great blend of hops that come through in the flavor.  Well lets start at the beginning with the pour.

This brew pours a dark brown with amber highlights coming through on the sides of the glass.  I has a one finger tan head that dissipated, but left a lot of great lacing on the glass as it went down.  The nose is all roasted malt and caramel coffee.  This particular brew is roasted with a lot of malt and Sebastopol’s Hardcore Coffee for even bigger roasty flavors.

When you taste it the coffee comes through right away and leaves no doubt of its influence in this brew.  The roasted malt has a caramel type flavor to it, but where the taste of sommer comes in is on the back side there is a very nice hop note that combines with the bitterness of the coffee to make a sweet yet bitter and kind of dry sensation on the palate.  The mouthfeel on this brew is big and creamy and is a very pleasing sensation for all your senses.  This is a big ABV brew too at 9.26% but it is well concealed and not boozy at all.

This may be their winter brew, but it has a warm yet summery sensation to it. This is a winter warmer with a summery soul.  I guess it just goes to show you can take the beer out of Laguna, but you can’t take Laguna out of the beer!

-Don

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6 Comments on “A Laguna State of Mind”

  1. @BeerPoet
    February 23, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    Haven’t had this one yet, Don. Your review has peaked my interest, though. I want to get in a few more stouts and porters in before things start warming up (even if this one did remind you of summer). Like the idea of the usual Lagunitas hop kick in a coffee stout. I’ll have to pick one up and try.

    And you’re taking poetic license here (I do it all the time), but in case you didn’t realize, Petaluma is in Central California and Laguna Beach (my old stomping grounds) is in Southern California—a good day’s drive apart. Regardless, working in the beach photo complete with bikini-clad ladies is making me a little homesick! Love it. 🙂

    • Don
      February 23, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

      Well the picture is Laguna Beach, but the brewery that is named after the beach is in Petaluma. Go figure that one! But I will confess Chad that I know absolutely nothing about the geography of California. Hell I think I have only visited the state a half a dozen times, and most of that was in the extreme north just over the Oregon Border. The Beer itself is great. If you can still find one pick it up. The cool thing is unlike the Rogue Mocha Porter where it was more black IPA than Mocha, this really blends the flavors together in a really nice and complex way.

  2. February 23, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    Sounds like an interesting beer, Don, even if you couldn’t find central California on a map (or a picture of it on the internet). I’m sick of winter, too. It’s doing a raining / icing / snowing thing here today. Enough shoveling already, I’m ready to mow the lawn.

    • Don
      February 23, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

      Fortunately beer flavor is not dependent on my understanding (or lack there of) on western state geography.

  3. February 23, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    Not normally a fan of these guys at all. Hop Stoopid was a notable exception and maybe this one will be too. I’ll look for it. It’s nice to hear some good stuff about them.

    • Don
      February 23, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

      Mike this was a good solid brew. Didn’t blow my mind, but was a good expression of the style. I mentioned previously that I didn’t really care for the Rogue version their mocha porter, because it was so hoppy it seemed like an imperial Stout or a black IPA. This was big and bold and complex and did a great job of blending the flavors into a tasty treat.

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