Equinox Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

very good
236 Reviews
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Equinox AleEquinox Ale

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A creamy, pale oat ale hopped up with a huge charge of Equinox and Simcoe hops for a piney, eucalyptusy, cedary, sprucey, foresty blast.

Added by kbub6f on 04-23-2002

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Reviews: 236 | Ratings: 1,098
Photo of bushbeer75
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 22 fl. oz. brown bottle - not dated

Lagunitas Equinox Ale pours a clear gold color body and atop sits a 2-finger foamy white head that held well leaving chunks of lacing on the walls of my tulip glass. The nose is full of fresh cut grass and flora hops. The taste is dominated by grassy, piney, and citrusy hops. The flavor of grapefruit and lemon is also noted. The finish is dry and clean with bitterness building as you consume it. The mouth feel is smooth and crisp with a medium body and carbonation.

Equinox is a good example of an American Pale Ale (APA).

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Photo of stlfatguy
3.4/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks great with big foamy white head and bright color. Smells great with floral and sweet scents. HOWEVER, it's just like most other Lagunitas beers out there. I appreciate when a brewery develops a signature recognizable taste, but when every one of their brews ends up tasting the same, it doesn't really matter anymore if you call it an oat ale, an ipa, or anything else. If you've had brown sugar, or sucks, or Sumpin, then you'll know what this beer is. Just expected a little something different. Their characteristic heavy hop and double heavy sweet, caramel malt is there. Maybe a little toned down from sucks, but still just too sweet for me when expecting a little different In a pale oat.

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Photo of MeanMotaScootah
4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a very unique beer -- it has a sweet, almost spicy bitter flavor on the front, thick creamy resin/pine finish. This beer is oddly sweet yet also very hoppy. Not sure how to classify it. It's an IPA for sure, but for some reason they just call it a pale ale. A great beer regardless of its non conforming flavor profile. Definitely try it if you see at your local craft beer supplier.

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Photo of Ahypercube
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had quite a few Lagunitas brews, favorites including the Little Somethin Extra, Brown Sugar Substitute, and Hairy Eyeball Ales, but I think this one's my favorite. There's nothing extremely sharp in this one. It's a very mellow cruise down good flavor creek, so if you necessarily need big hops in a beer, this one's not for you.

Bomber into a chalice:

L: Very well carbonated, almost as bubbly as champagne. Coppery orange with two-finger pale cream head, excellent retention, but probably mostly from the excessive carbonation, as lacing is slipery. There's a chill haze in this one, I suppose, as there are clouds of clumpy pulp-looking stuff in the bottle that disperses into an even haze when poured, then turns completely clear after warming a little. Never seen that before, very interesting.

S: Sour. A lot of orange, lemon, grapefruit, pine, with more than a hint of soft oat and the dark fruit (particularly blackberry) and caramely sweetness characteristic of malted barley.

T: It's crazy, because I haven't had a beer at this abv before whose flavor profile doesn't start straight off with hops. With this, the first thing is that smooth subtle oatyness, then apples, orange marmalade, grapefruit, a tiny bit of pine, a peak of oaty bread character that settles into a very fruity malt character. Plum and blackberry. The oat flavor carries throughout, like a canvas for the fruit. Overall, very much like, and almost as tasty as an oatmeal cookie.

F: Drinkability wise, it's pretty much as nice in the mouth as can be achieved at this ABV. Could maybe have more substance, but isn't too oily from hops or too sticky from the malt, and I can only assume the oat is what helps achieve this perfect balance, while maintaining thickness.

O: Fantastic. I only wonder why more oat ales are not produced. I haven't disliked any of the three I've tried. I feel like it's not right to rate such a subtle and unremarkable tasting beer this highly, but it's an excellent example of a rare style, and it just tastes so good. As I said earlier, nothing off-putting about this flavor profile. Mildly sweet, mildly tangy, mildly bitter, strongly comforting and super easy to drink.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pour clear and golden with a white head atop. Scattered lace is left behind from the thick film of head.
Smell is hops right up front followed by malt, some breadiness and grain notes. Balance could be better.
Taste is a blend of (too much) hops & malt with grain quite prevalent , adding a harshness similar to that found in rye beers. None of the smoothness expected from an oat brew. Still, very flavorful.
Warming from the sip, fairly full bodied. Light-medium effervescence. All around, a good beer as long as you remember the "West Coast" proclivity for more hops in every style regardless if they are needed.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice fresh happy tropical aroma. Not much for mold base. Pours a cloudy light Amber with a nice white head that stays solid throughout the drink. Some Leasing. Drink is more balanced with a strong malt character with a nice view from The Oaks. Hot presences very mild on bitterness and not as distinct as the aroma is. But a nice blending and balance. Semi-soft feel. Slightly sweet malt character that plays nicely on the tongue. A pretty easy Drinker for a beer of this size. Thanks Sparky.

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Photo of LampertLand
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Lagunitas Brewing 'Equinox Ale' @ 8.4% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $8.50
A-pour is gold from the bottle to glass with a small white head leaving a spotty lace along the pint
S-mild for a PNW beer
T-ok tasting , if you like pine & a certain oat smoothness
MF-mild carbonation , feels full bodied
Ov-surprisingly ok/good pale/oat ale
prost LampertLand

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Photo of Gajo74
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light copper and amber. A creamy foam head soon recedes but leaves a nice bubbly lace and retains well. Good looking brew overall.
The aroma is sweet; predominantly oats and caramel malts.
On the tongue it feels doughy, sweet, has an oily texture. It is smooth and nearly full bodied, even somewhat heavy and chewy. Very malt forward, particularly caramel and honey. Oats provide another element. The hops presence was felt more in the finish, however, the sweetness almost overwhelms.
Overall, I thought this one was a unique and tasty beer. However, I feel like I liked it and thus rated it slightly less than the BA average because I found the sweetness slightly cloying at times, hops presence a tad underwhelming, and body a bit thick for APA.

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Photo of avalon07
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a light amber color and a clear texture. There was a half inch of foamy head that lasted a fair amount of time. Excellent lacing.

S: A nice aroma of hops, pine, citrus, and a bit of pine.

T: Tasted of a little bit of pine, light malt notes, a moderate amount of hops, light fruit (mango), a good citrus presence (lemon, in particular), and an oaty, grainy quality. A fruity flavor with some hints of grain, but fairly complex. Gets sweeter as it goes along, and this is a good thing.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a solid beer that seems more like a West Coast IPA (or DIPA) than a standard APA. Very easy to drink and likable.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.49/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slight haze to the golden-amber liquid. Dense, off- white cap is low but steady.
The hop aroma is incredibly dense and complex. Mixed with caramel sweet malt, honey and oats, this is seriously aromatic ale. Back to the hops.....dense fruits, dry grass, wheat, pink leamonade. ....oh and a splash of alcohol heat. Yes, in the hops. Oh, wait, even banana.
Full, full, full feel....wicked thick and smooth. The Oats are huge in feel and flavor. Rich, and dry.
Taste, flavor,,,,,oh boy. Wicked complex. Big, sweet honey like malt, dense, dry oats hold it all dowm, and thats all before the huge, earthy,dry, semi-bitter, lingering hops. Wild strawberries, lemmon grass and assorted herbs pop out as the liquid warms. Impressive heat, dry and lingering bitter hops keeps it interesting throughout.
This is a beast with a nice arsenal of complex aspects.

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Photo of Jacob_Hargis
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass. Nice golden orange color with a nicely formed cream head with plenty of carbonation to-bit. From the initial nose, I get swaths of pine, citrus, and a bit of spice--plenty of hard hop notes though. Tastes of rich herbal pungent tropical fruit bitterness with an undertone of caramel and a sweetness from the malt base. I rarely use the work "dank" to describe a beer profile, but this may be pretty fitting. The highlight of this beer is definitely the usage of oats with the pale malts, a great combination and an absolutely joyus mouthfeel. To me, this beer would fit under an IPA in most accounts coming in at 8.4% ABV. I do enjoy the nice flavor and aromas from the Equinox hops. A nice earthy, pine, cedar touch which I like. Overall, a solid beer but certainly not anything spectacular or mind-blowing. An enjoyable and unique style brewed by Lagunitas.

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Photo of LittleMurphyDog
4.71/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nicely balanced pale ale. Fine, hazy golden color in LOB glass. Aroma is sweet hops with a fine blend of bread, pine, and citrus. One does not over power the others. Taste is sweet, with highlights of all the hops. Taste is good on the front and back of the mouth. A really nice ale!

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Photo of jrsqc7
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Too hoppy
Smoothness from oats is greatly appreciated
More of an ipa than anything
Mouthfeel is very solid
Hop bitterness followed by oat sweetness

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Photo of BrennenTallman
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

not a stand out by any means, but still a great beer. definitely bitter, hint of booze on the finish if your drinking it out of the bottle. i would not want to see this one go away but i also will not go out of my way to get it.

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Photo of Atlas1
4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas, in my opinion, rarely does a bad beer, so I'm always happy to try something I haven't seen before. Not a new beer (according to the label it says it was first brewed in 1995) but new to me.

Pours a sandy blond orange color with a one-finger head that dissipates quickly. No lace to mention. Nothing to see here, appearance wise, but the nose is where things come alive. Dense pine aroma with herbal, bready notes. Faint vanilla. A very earthy scent, to be honest, but really bold and up front. I love the way this beer smells. The taste is quite good as well with sort of a sweet yeasty taste at first that gives way to a strong hoppy pine and citrus flavor. Boozy, but not unwelcoming; assertive but not pompous. The moutfeel is smooth and solid.

This not quite like any other beer I've ever had, which is hard to say these days after 450 reviews and countless other unreviewed beers. But yeah, this is a new one for me. Maybe it's the "pale oat ale" style that really sways me here, but I love this one. At 8.4% ABV I wouldn't drink more than one (or two) of these bombers in a single sitting (unless I had to) but it wouldn't be hard to. Tasty and multi-layered. This beer is complex. Another fine outing from Lagunitas. Cheers.

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Photo of BillRoth
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap at Specific Gravity. Tasty but nothing special in today's world of taste forward APA's. Wouldn't turn it down but wouldn't seek it again.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Copper orange, clear, white head and lots of loose lacing.

S - Pine and lemons, resin and a sharp floral note.

T - Follows the nose, with an open full of pine and eucalyptus, a middle of sweet malt, and a close turning harshly bitter, aspirin and resin.

M - Pretty clean, with a nice slickness, and only mild drying.

O - If the turn didn't reach medicine in the close, this would be a pretty stellar APA. But it turns harsh. Decent but not spectacular.

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Photo of TrueOregonian
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L- Poured a inch of head that dissipates quickly. A brighter yellow color that is slightly hazy.

S- orange peel, pine, floral.. kind of has a smell of the big foot barley wine a little. Some fruity notes along with a slight boozyness also.

T- Wow is this the sculpin ipa? It literally tasted just like it.
A little bit less extreme flavors with a higher abv.. I dig it.

F- dry finish

Overall- I gotta rate this one above the sculpin ipa cause I like it better honestly. It's 1.4% higher abv that is smoother.

First beer I had that tasted so similar to another beer. Crazy

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Solid yellow in color with nice head. Smells of pine and some citrus. Taste is very smooth with tons of pine and citrus mix, dry grapefruit hitting in also. Has a lighter taste to it, fruity to me but with a distinct hops splash. A very easy beer to drink vs the ABV, I was not sure what to expect on this one and I really like it, well done.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This pale oat ale pours a somewhat light orange color with a medium foamy white head. The smell is complex and has a pretty nice balance of hop and malt scent. There are elements of oats, earthy grains, pine, citrus, and maybe an herbal hint. The taste likewise is pretty balanced in my opinion although maybe slightly tending towards malt character. There are flavors of sweet oat bread and pine resin dominating with more subtle flavors of citrus and alcohol. The body is medium, definitely a little heavier than I would have guessed based on the color. The finish is really interesting: kind of resinous and extremely velvety. This is a pretty unique beer, compared to anything that I’ve tried at least. I usually really love Lagunitas beers, so I can’t say that this is one of my favorites, but it is certainly interesting, very well-balanced, and worth a trying at least once.

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Photo of JeffBlue
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

7-4-16 (22oz, Long Beach, CA) Wasn't expecting much and was quiet surprised by this one. A great balance of malt/hop character. Hope this one stays around, 4.0

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Photo of keithmurray
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - deep golden color with white head

Smell - grapefruit, pine, mango

Taste- grapefruit, mango, pine, menthol/eucalyptus

Mouthfeel - medium plus body, medium carbonation, citrus upfront, menthol/eucalyptus in the middle and citrus and bitterness on the back end

Overall - very good IPA here, nice solid mouthfeel made fuller by the additions of the oats. Lagunitas continues to churn out the best bang for your buck type beers

Price Point - $ 3.99/22 oz bottle

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Photo of Tone
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, copper color. 2/3 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, citrus, strong hops, and a hint of alcohol. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, citrus, strong hops, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, good appearance, decent aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from growler a clear, Amber color with a foamy white head. The head persisted for a while and there was decent lacing on the glass. Aroma was pungent sprucey, dank, herbal blast with a caramel undertone. Taste was heavy pine, hop resin and light peppery notes with a semi sweet malt base that brought balance and made each mouthful a treat. Medium body and a smooth carbonation that was very appealing and easy going down. This was delicious but one of the strongest, heaviest American pale ales I have had.

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Photo of weeheavybutdieting
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: It looks pretty much the way it tastes. A little hazy, a little caramelly and a little light citrus.
S: To my Belgian beer loving nose all I get is total pine invasions, with the bare hint of raw sugar. I am sure there is more there but I get a fresh beer, piney IPA scent with a whole bunch of sweet.
T: A surprising up front sweet caramelly taste that has large overtones of bitter piney hops. Yeh, there is a little bit more there, maybe butterscotch, maybe grassy hints. But when I burp, I burp hops, 'enough said.
M: For a hoppy beer the feel definitely leans away from a crisp clean IPA and more towards its malty brethren. It's light enough to keep you on your toes but has enough sweet, caramel mid-level viscosity to keep you from knocking it back too quick.
O: This is a well-crafted beer, the kind you expect from Lagunitas. I, admittedly, am not a big hoppy beer fan but over and over again I am impressed by and interested in drinking Lagunitas more hoppy offering. I would like to think it is because they have a good feel on how to craft a balanced beer that just barely leans one way or the other so that us beer snobs can classify it. Equinox is another one of those beers. Just darn enjoyable.

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Equinox Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 1,098 ratings.
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