Red Ale – 8.65% ABV – 77 IBU
Lagunitas hits another home run with this superb red ale. These motherfuckers and their beer remind me of Schwarzenegger in “Commando”. Do you remember how he went into that tool shed and used every garden and power tool that can be found in a Lowe’s catalog to dispatch his enemies? Lagunitas just keeps churning out beer after beer of every different kind that just flat out stomps ass. And Lucky 13 is as relentless in its ability to satisfy its drinker as Schwarzenegger as John Matrix is in his pursuit to rescue his daughter, played by Alyssa Milano, who is relentless in just being SO FUCKING SEXY (from puberty on, of course).
Lucky 13 is a red ale, which is a universal style (meaning it’s good for anyone that likes to drink beer). Translucent, malty, creamy, hoppy, and fruity; if you don’t like a good red ale, then you don’t like beer. And if you don’t like beer, then as Dr. Evazan said to Luke Skywalker at the Mos Eilsey cantina in Episode IV, “I DON’T LIKE YOU, EITHER!”
This brew pours crystal clear, and resembles the deep brown/red/dark gold color of a blood orange. The head is white oak in color, thick, foamy, and resilient. The head is what impressed me the most about this beer. It’s as thick and as soft as the freshly fallen snow. This beer gives a better head than what I imagine to be what I would receive from the puffy, moist lips of Angelina Jolie. It gently massages the top lip until the very end. Lacing spackles the inside of the glass and leaves thick, gooey rings around the glass from top to bottom.
The odor is quite fresh, cool, hoppy, and malty, with a touch of ginger. It adequately prepares you for the flavor, which is heavy on the malts. It also has a slightly sweet and tart berry flavor to it, and is quite hoppy which makes sense due to its IBU rating of 77 which is in the IPA category (pale ales tend to hit the limit at 60 IBU’s). It also has what I can only describe as a Mediterranean couscous flavor to it; or a peppery cracker. The after-taste is mild-medium in strength with a noticeable bitter, piney, hoppy finish on the sides of the tongue. There is a lot going on here with these flavor profiles that seem to be a bit of an unhinged mess when you consider they exist together, but it works. And it works marvelously. The feel is syrupy to creamy. The carbonation is perfect here. As an added bonus, it is higher than the high end of the ABV range for this style. Red ales tend to be from 4 – 7%, and this one packs a nice jab at 8.65% that you will feel after polishing off a bomber bottle. It also warms the mouth, throat and chest nicely.
“Let off some steam, Bennett.” If only Arnold had given him a Lagunitas 13 instead of throwing a pipe through his chest he would have been able to release his tensions in a much more peaceful way.