In my trek to find the perfect IPA, I’ve decided to take on the Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, California. They’re a fairly big name in American Craft beer, carried pretty much across the nation. This India Pale Ale is their self-proclaimed flagship brew, and also is featured in the only photo on Lagunitas’ official website home page. So, even before I partake, I’m expecting this to be a good IPA.

From the label: This is our unique version of an ancient style. A style as old as the ocean trade routes of the last centuries of Great Ships. Not as old as the equator they had to cross twice enroute, nor as old as the 10,000 or so miles of Di-hydrogen Oxide and Sodium upon which they sailed, but older than the Circulithium-4 Lentloid that binds the Lupulin Quartnate onto your taste buds. Weird. think about it. Now stop. OK, go again, now stop. think again, and stop. But we digress. Made with 43 different hops and 65 various malts, this redolent ale will likely float your boat, whatever planet you’re on.

From the website: Thanks for choosing to spend the next few minutes with this special homicidally hoppy ale. Savor the moment as the raging hop character engages the imperial qualities of the Malt foundation in mortal combat on the battlefield of your palate!

Poured into the standard snifter, this IPA eked out a thin one-finger head, which faded fast. I want to call it copper, but really it strikes me as more of a dirty reddish brown (I know, semantics). I look at it with light, and it’s less murky than other IPAs I’ve tried, which (before I taste) makes me think that maybe it won’t be as potent as I hope. The smell is pleasant, but not strikingly so. It’s sweet and flowery, which is a characteristic of the hops. I didn’t pick up much citrus at all, which I actually enjoy. But I digress.

Taste. My earlier thoughts are confirmed. It tastes … good. But it’s not … exciting. Actually, it’s not at all as tasty as some other IPAs. I think it’s a little heavy on the flowery taste. Those 65 malts finish off the taste. Without a doubt, it is not “homicidally hoppy.” If 43 hops and 65 malts are used, I’m not quite sure where they went to. I figured with all those ingredients there must be some big thing to show for it. But I didn’t find it today. That isn’t to say that this beer doesn’t have value. It’s just that it isn’t the bestest. It’s a more drinkable IPA, and that gives it value. It works the floral, for the folks who dig that. Overall, not bad at all. It’s somewhere in the middle.

ABV: 5.7%

Grade: B