The Down Low
Lagunitas Brewing Company

The Down LowThe Down Low
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Pale Ale - American
Ranked #1,102
Ranked #26,206
3.83 | pDev: 9.14%
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
The Down LowThe Down Low
Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 200 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From December 2016. I'm always a little concerned when someone wants to make a malty ipa or pale ale. Are you into traditional English ipas? No? Then why?

Anyways, here comes a copper colored beer with 1/2" off white head. A little bit of chill haze, not the usual clarity you see from Lagunitas. The aroma was hoppy. More aromatic than expected, it dropped notes of peach, passion fruit and grapefruit up in the nose.

Taste was hoppy too. I thought it was just gonna be a crystal malt bread ship, but it manages to get some hop flavors through like it did in the nose. Yeah there is plenty of that toasted breadiness to it, but I was thinking it was gonna be the usual rolo/werthers descriptors all day. The bitterness is more than just a pine and grapefruit push, there is some stone fruit and tropical, but they prolly would hit harder with a lighter malt bill.

So there you have it, a review of a malty, session pale ale. Somehow the beer worked.

Jun 29, 2020
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huthuty from Utah

4.72/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great dark amber color, medium-small head.
Smell is hoppy and spicy with medium malt in the background.
Taste is a well rounded IPA with a bit of spice at the back of the mouth

At first I was scared of these big craft 4% abv ipas, they've actually all been excellent.

Dec 01, 2018
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UtahBeerPleb from Utah

3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

It looks really great, with excellent head retention for such low ABV. I've found that even low ABV beers that pour with a huge head initially don't keep it for long, but this is an exception. On the nose, I get a very overpowering grassy smell, and for the taste it's not too different. It's got a very strong up-front floral and grassy lemon flavor, with a somewhat bitter piney finish that lingers on the tongue. It's not a combination of flavors that I really enjoy. The body is thin, as is to be expected at 3.9%. It's not my favorite.

I'm just starting to think I'm not a huge fan of floral/grassy flavors in my pale ales. Too bad. This really doesn't seem like a bad beer, and I'm sure Lagunitas is a great brewery (haven't had anything else from them yet but I'm aware of their reputation). It's just not really my thing.

Mar 30, 2018
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bark from Sweden

3.13/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

3.5% ABV version brewed for the Swedish market.

The colour is gold, the liquid clear. The two finger head is white and compact; it sinks slowly down leaving some fine lacing on the glass.

The smell is fruity and sweet with distinct American hoppy flavours of orange, grapefruit and pine needles.

The taste got passing clean sweetness, growing citric bitterness and some herbal-piney flavours. The sweetness and body fades quickly, leaving a thin bitter-hoppy aftertaste with notes of grapefruit, tangerines and orange peels plus a hint of plastic. The finish got somewhat harsh notes of citric marmalade and pine needles.

The carbonation is medium to strong; the mid-sized bubbles short-lived. The liquid is light and harsh.

The hoppy and bitter notes are OK, but the malts way to thin. I guess that is what you get when you release a 3.5% version of a beer originally at 3.9%.

Oct 09, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a becher pint glass. The appearance was a hazy semi-burnt copper color. Sly transparency. Light carbonation is seen rising at a moderate pace. One finger white foamy head quickly dissipates. Moderately messy semi-foamy lacing. The smell started off with subtle sweet peach, dried melon flesh. Subtle brittle bitter citrus rind. White pepper. The flavor brings it all together decently. Semi-dry sweet to spicy aftertaste with a quick dry spicy finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light on the body with a nice sessionability about it. Carbonation rides fairly light. White pepper spice hits on the tongue nicely. Overall, it works, I can see it. Perhaps again.

Jun 28, 2017
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BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Taste: smooth semi sweet malts mix with floral hops. clean finish. Same with the nose. Gold, slight haze, smaller head,some lace. Medium/lite body. Easy drinking non bitter ale. 42 IBUs

Jun 17, 2017
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BucannonXC5 from California

3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Type: 16-oz. draft (I think)
Glass: Wasatch Brewery slightly curved shaker glass
From: Gordon Biersch in the Salt Lake City, Utah airport
Price: $6.50
Purchased: April 30, 2017
Consumed: April 30, 2017
Reviewed as: American IPA (session IPA for my purposes)
Misc.: N/A

Grabbed this while on a layover in the Salt Lake City, Utah airport. Went for here because most of the underage people I was traveling with were at different concourses. Was excited to not see Gordon Biersch brews on tap, even if it was the mandatory 4 pct. ABV and lower Utah law. Had been wanting to try this for some time and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Poured a gold-to-light amber clear color with 1-to-2 fingers of khaki white frothy head when I got it. Just a few bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Very good uneven lacing. Very good retention. (Sight - 4.00)

Could tell right away that it was a Lagunitas beer. Lots of flavors for such a small beer. Got floral, red grapefruit, papaya, bitter tropical rind, spoiled peach peel, pine, herbal and hints of onions and garlics. Not sure of hops. Would guess Cascade and hints of Mosaic. Smell got worse as it went along. (Smell - 3.75)

Taste followed the nose for the most part. Obviously not a lot of pop. Mix of citrus and tropical. Also floral, papaya, guava, passion fruit, pine, herbal, grass, pine needles, onions, garlic and light grapefruit. (Taste - 3.50)

Light body. Thin texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt rather bitter finish. (Feel - 3.25)

Glad I got to try this at a Utah airport and not from a 6-pack. Nowhere as good as Daytime. (Overall - 3.75)

3.62 | 82 | B

May 22, 2017
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handmuffin from Wisconsin

3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Just bought locally today, so must be recently re-released for summer. Served from 22 oz. bottle into glass. Pours medium amber in color, high clarity, with large fluffy white head. Immediate strong hop aroma, a medley of tropical fruit, citrus and pine resin, with non of the three being overly dominant. No significant malt aroma. Flavor is significantly weaker than the aroma, still almost entirely hops, but more pine and earthy flavors rather than fruitiness. A small amount of clean, simple malt flavor. A medium high hop bitterness at the end. Body is low, almost watery with medium carbonation. Overall I think this beer is a great example of a session IPA. The aroma is complex and enticing, but the comparatively simple flavor is super easy on the palate. A relatively bitter ending and light body increases the drinkability. This is a perfect beer for summer and stoooopidly slammable (if only it came in twelve packs of cans).

Apr 06, 2017
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EMV from Pennsylvania

3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

L: Pours a clear light golden orange color. 2 good fingers of foamy white head. Falls quickly with sticky lacing.

S: Pine and citrus... very hoppy nose. Smells quite good.

T/F: The malt backbone is lacking... thin in body and somewhat watery. The hop kick is actually great for the low ABV. Good pine and citrus... a nice sharp bitter bite and then almost citrusy tart at the finish. Well carbonated.

O: For what it is... a VERY low ABV session IPA the flavor is way better than you'd expect. Good hop character, but the thin body isn't quite satisfying. If you want a session IPA you can drink all day that has some actual flavor... this is your beer. If you're going for a beer or two to savor... go for something with more oomph.

Nov 06, 2016
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ilikebeer03 from Texas

3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours light copper with good head. Decent retention. Nose is a ton of. Items with a touch of dank hops. Taste follows suit citrusy orange, grapefruit. Lightly present malt backbone. Crisp, clean finish. Great beer and impressively flavorful considering the low abv.

Oct 21, 2016
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stevoj from Idaho

3.31/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from Albertsons. Light amber, light haze, small skin of head. Funky aroma, citrus, cheese, yeast, pine. Taste is light, but has short, sharp bitter bite at the front. Finishes with a tingle and light dry bitterness. At only 3.9% it's a lightweight, but tastes a bit bigger.

Oct 20, 2016
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IronLover from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Golden orange in color with a light haze. Poured with a moderate, dense, white foam with very good retention. Medium high citrus hop aromas, pineapple, papaya, orange rind. Medium light malt aroma. Medium light bodied with medium high, soft carbonation. Soft carbonation provides a very brief, light creaminess through the middle. Medium light citrus hop flavors, similar to aromas, up front followed by medium hop bitterness through the middle. Medium light malt flavors. Spicy and citrus hop character on the backend. Finished with a light lingering hop bitterness. Light bodied and easy drinking with a great look and nice aromas. Although, lack of malt character made this just another session ale for me. Carbonation was kicked up to provide a sense of body but you can't hide the lack of malt character. It's a good session ale nonetheless.

Oct 14, 2016
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M_C_Hampton from Georgia

3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass, amber colored with a large foamy white head that dissipates leaving some lacing, clear

S: sweet, pineapple, caramel

T: grassy hop flavors, slight bubblegum, biscuit malt, finish is bitter with slight pine

F: light

O: refreshing pale ale that departs from some of the fruitiness typical of the West Coast style

Oct 03, 2016
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Impetuous from Montana

3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

The citrus hop flavors are very delicate and helped along by a modest malt profile. The carbonation is appropriately dense for the style which is to say it's not overly so. Colour is a rather surprising light red. A quality brew.

Sep 30, 2016
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tekstr1der from New Hampshire

3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Light amber pour with thin cream-color head. Aroma is some citrus and pine. Flavor is similar, though watery and dry finishing. Impressive to get as much flavor as is contained for such low abv, but a strange effort, and my least favorite from a favorite brewer.

Sep 19, 2016
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Tsar_Riga from Indiana

4.31/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Straight orange, clear, pillowy head, off white, lots of lacing.

S - Large grapefruit, pine, zest.

T - The nose, but with a slight sweetness that turns to definite bitterness in the close.

M - Slightly sharp dryness.

O - Tremendously bright, lovely light, but highly hopped pale.

Sep 02, 2016
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Lactodachillest from California

3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up for 4.99$ at my neighborhood liquor store (they practice great beer handling techniques) her in Los Angeles. The color poured a beautiful rich caramel Amber color into my tulip glass. Initial aroma is of citrus hops and almost reminds me of a cool running river in the fall. Taste is refreshingly citrusy, carbonic, and floral. Reminds me of that classic Lagunitas dry hop taste (which is so nostalgic now.) To me the taste and aroma was almost similar to cold caramel bites of semi-sweet sugar cookies with lemon-zest. A great daytime ale and especially would want to pick one up after hiking around outside and spending some good time in the sun. Will by again when the time is right!

Sep 01, 2016
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Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought 22oz bottle from Times Fujiokas $4.89
Golden amber color
Light mouth feel
Medium-light carbonation
Slight malt and hops taste
Overall just ok. If compared to a light beer with similar alcohol like a Bud Light then this beer is better. Compared to other Lagunitas beer for the same price then this is not that great. Would not buy again.

Aug 25, 2016
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CNoj012 from New York

3.37/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

This beer pours a clear orange amber copper color with a one finger, fluffy off white head. Retention is moderate and there is a few spots of lacing.

Smell is sweet caramel malts, resinous pine, dank earthiness and some bready notes as well.

Taste is similar. Caramel and bready flavors to start, transitioning to a bit of citrus and earthiness, and finishing piney and moderately bitter.

Feel is light and very watery. Good carbonation, but not enough to cover up the watered down feel.

Overall not great. I have a feeling this may be a bit old since it is so malt forward, but since Lagunitas dating is impossible to find/read I really have no idea. Pales in comparison to 12th of Never. The watery feel is a major turnoff.

Aug 21, 2016
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RobertColianni from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

App.: Golden-orange hues with thin, white, sticky head.

Aro.: Clementine, orange peel, yellow grapefruit, pine tips, lime zest.

Tas.: Fermented apple, orange peel, champagne.

Mou.: Resinous, snappy, spritzy, dry.

OVERALL: A wonderfully vibrant Pale Ale that drinks like a big, dry IPA. A great beer for somebody like myself that used to love IPAs, but really couldn't take the alcohol.
If I were to have one complaint it would be the high ratio of spritzy carbonation to resinous lupulin from dry-hopping that breaks this beer apart. Oats and wheat would round the recipe off.

Aug 15, 2016
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MattyG85 from Minnesota

4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Lagunitas mason jar.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About a finger of white head that settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A juicy and dank hop forward aroma with a scent of citrus fruit and pine. Tropical hop scent of grapefruit, orange peel, mango, pineapple, and tangerine. Earthy hop scent of pine resin, grass, and cannabis. Malt scent of grains and cracker with yeast. A very solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a juicy and earthy hop driven taste with notes of citrus and pine. Upfront tropical hop notes of orange peel, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, and tangerine. Earthy hop notes of pine resin, grass, and spice. Background malt notes of grains and cracker along with some yeast. A pretty nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very juicy and fairly oily with a drying finish.

Overall: A very good hoppy session brew. Nice citrus and pine flavor.

Aug 06, 2016
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I tried this from the bomber in a willybecker chilled.

The color is light amber with great clarity and thick white head with good retention and lace. The smell has a very herbal aroma with slight citrus and tropical fruit odor. The feel is good with light body yet moderate resinous texture moderate carbonation and medium bitterness with dry finish.

The taste is very good with a moderate amount of hop bitterness in the taste with a slight dank herb taste up front leads to fruity and lightly citrus with subtle astringency and low sweetness in the taste from malt without any alcohol flavor it finishes on the dry side. Ovrerall this is a pretty solid session beer for the price -5 bucks for a bomber is hard to pass up

Aug 06, 2016
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Deerin from California

4.64/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a standard golden, very large billowy head that's thick and leaves tons of lacing. The head stays put and doesn't quit.

Holy gophercakes batman this one jumps out at you. Massive, intense tropical fruit and resiny dank. Guava, passion fruit, all that good stuff, lots of hops. About perfect, if I've ever smelled it.

I get the same in the taste - fruity tropical, citrus, resin or maybe pine. Hoppy dank bitterness. Really exceptional. Reminds me of Aunt Sally (the beer, mind you) - seems like a similar base. The flavors in this do not quite explode as the aroma does but it is good.

Gone about as fast as it was poured. The carbonation seems perhaps on the higher side, which I like. Could be a bit more 'full', however it's probably unfair to demand that from 3.9.

Just about blown away. Perhaps the best session ale I've ever had, or at least my favorite. Exactly everything i'd want in a session ale. Will seek this one out.

Aug 03, 2016
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BeerDawgs from Georgia

4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A 22oz bottle

L - Bronze, with 1 full finger of head, and sticky lace left all over the glass. Impressive

S -Huge hop aroma, citrus and bitterness. Smells nice!

T - Nice citrus pale ale flavor. Very good. It's a session, but a damn good one

F - Light body, medium carbonation

O -

Jul 31, 2016
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barnzy78 from Illinois

3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle
A - deep golden colored ale capped with a fluffy ivory colored head that holds good retention
S - juicy, tropical aroma with passion fruit, pineapple, mango, mandarin orange, and light caramel malt
T - bitter, tropical notes of passion fruit, grapefruit & orange rind, mango, pine, caramel; refreshing but has a nice bitter kick
M - light bodied, higher carbonation, finishes bitter with mango, pine and citrus zest lingering
O - this packs a nice punch of flavor and the 3.9% is nice if you're looking for super low ABV. This is one of the better hop-forward session ales I've had.

Jul 31, 2016
The Down Low from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 200 ratings