Lumpy Gravy | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Lumpy GravyLumpy Gravy
274 Ratings
Lumpy GravyLumpy Gravy

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-15-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 274 |  Reviews: 244
Photo of Donsmitty
5/5  rDev +34.8%

Photo of westsidemiller
4.82/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, I musty start by saying that I did not get a chance to try this beer right away for comparison. I tried it after ageing it for 1 year and I was very, very impressed. It poured a dark mahogany with carbonation that stuck around. I served this beer at about 60 degrees for that is what I'm accustomed to with Belgians.

The aroma was amazing. Raisin and plum notes, with a spicy undertone. Very rich and complex, much like I would expect from a Belgian dark strong?

The flavor is fantastic, rich, sweet, and complex. Definitely a slow sipper. Finishes crisp with slight alcohol warming. Really a complex flavor, much like eating a rich chocolate cake. I must say that I've tried hundreds of varied beers throughout my years, and this was unique.

Mouth feel was thick and rich. Almost syrupy.

I wish I had another bottle of this one. If anyone reads this and has a bottle stored somewhere, pop it. It is well worth the wait. I'm going to go and put this on my wants list right now.

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Photo of oelergud
4.7/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tall brown glass bottle with a pry-off cap and a red and blue label showing Zappa in suspenders.
Deep ruby semi translucent body topped with a tan creamy buttes head that hold very well and leaves great lace.
Mild caramel malty hop scent with abit of spice. Very inviting.
Very well balanced. Peaty sweet and smoked malt mingled well with spiced semi harsh hops and mild nuts. The aftertaste is a smoked and peaty flavor rush.
Medium body with lots of residual sugars. Dry and smoked.
Excellent drinkability. Great brew.


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Photo of Turbodog666
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from flexabull, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of strong sweet notes of maple, caramel and nuts, along with touches of roasted malts and hops.

T: The taste malty and sweet up front with flavors of maple, caramel and nuts. There's a mild hops presence but it's enough to provide a good balance. A touch of alcohol pokes its way through, but the taste remains bready and sweet into the after-taste.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, nice kick, very good representation of style, this is very good beer to drink for a long time if you're in the mood for a good brown ale, but you want one with a little extra strength to it.

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Photo of mcintits
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pretty clean, light rusty brown with a very light tan head. Small head with little retention and good lace.

S - Sweet and malty

T - Good malty start with a hint of caramel, a nice hoppy finish

M - Smooth with a nice amount of carbonation and a tingly finish.

D - Very tasty, could drink a few of these before getting bored. Would not guess the 7.2%, could catch up with you fast.

Served from 22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

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Photo of IPAcraig
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From Liquor loft in tallahassee into a snifter.

Pours a very deep ruby brown with a fairly big light cream head.

Smells of toffee, dark fruit, with a bit of floral hop aroma. An interesting combination that really comes together nicely.

That same sweet toffee flavor comes through in the taste. Hops come through just a bit, leaving a lingering bitter finish. I was expecting a bit bigger flavor from this one. Dont get me wrong, this still taste very good, just not great.

I did enjoy this Zappa tribute. A very nice American Brown. If they took it up a notch it would have been excellent.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, served in a pint glass.

A - clear, brown, good sized tan head of foam which lasted more than ½ the glass and left a lot of lacing.

S - pumpernickel bread, roasted malt and faint citrus hop aromas.

T - a little bit of a hop bite upfront, getting sweet roasted malt flavors midway, finishing slightly bitter, then back to a sweet after taste, followed by hoppy burps.

M - light bodied with mild carbonation.

D - very easy drinking brew.

Final Note: IMO this is far from a 'typical' brown ale, I recommend grabing some while it's available.

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Photo of saintwarrick
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper amber, not brown, but has a thick billowy off-white head. Aroma is sweet, cocoa and caramel nougat with a little toffee. Taste is very sweet, light chocolate and caramel make this a very sweet example of the style. Alcohol doesn't even register as this sweet brew goes down smooth with just a brief showing from the hops to keep the beer from being too cloying.

A great brew, as the style would indicate, it is very drinkable even for the strength.

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Photo of shabbtastic
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a 22oz bomber for a respectable $3.29. Being a huge Zappa fan I had to pick it up.

A - Poured a dark orangeish amber into an imperial pint glass. Two finger kaki colored head with beautiful lacing through the session.

S - Fruity with tons of malt, with the perfect dash of citrus hops.

T - Toasted malt with brown sugar sweetness. Zesty hop finish made me realize how much I loves me a good brown ale!

M - Medium / full bodied with low carbonation made it incredibly smooth.

D - Very drinkable, I will plan on picking a few more up and putting them in the cellar for a little while, at 7.2% a few months should be fine. Highly recommended.

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Photo of bwolv
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a very enjoyable brown ale. Flavor is bitter hops with just the rite amount of caramelized malt to offset the bitterness. The head quickly dissipates leaving the beer just slightly carbonated. This is one beer I would not mind shelling out the $4.29 + 10c Michigan deposit for once and a while, would definitely recommend this one to a friend.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a crystal clear nutty-red body with a thin creamy head that fades to a collection of big bubbles and then is gone. There is a good carbonation of big bubbles that gild to the surface.

S- This beer has a nice sweetness to the dark roasted caramel flavor and a soft green hop finish.

T- The taste of toasted malt has a light roasted malt note and some soft smoky peat notes that come through when it warms. There is a soft sweetness and a light tangy note that fade into a soft green pine hop finish.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a tight little fizz at the finish. There is no alcohol heat noted.

D- This beer has a good roasted malt flavor and a nice little support accent from the hops. The smoke hints were really nice and enhanced the malt without dominating, or becoming offensive.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This light brown ale looks thick despite it's lighter hue, and the head is small but pretty. This one is murky and cloudy, and deposits a little bit of tan lace on the glass. Head retention is not all that great, but the finely bubbled lace and small head give an indication of the quality of the ingredients. This one isn't bad looking, but slightly above average.

S - This one is slightly cocoa dusted, with a chewy nougat note that smells really nice. This is like the goo inside a Mars Bar. Hints of peanuts and toffee.

T - This one is toasty, nutty, slightly sweet, and balanced beyond belief. The alcohol (7.2! holy shit!) is extremely well hidden, and this tastes thicker, but not more boozy than a lower ABV brown. Again, this is very much like the center of some nutty and caramel/toffee goo candy bar. That's not to say that it's overly sweet or gooey, 'cause it ain't. It just has those flavors. A nice hop leaf note elegantly makes an appearance in the midpalate and begins to steal the show from the peanut/toffee malt notes. As it warms, some sausage and smoke notes come out, but there are only backing notes... like smelling a campfire from a mile off. Later, I began to notice an almost minty finish. Damn! This is really complex stuff!

M - Full bodied, weighty but not flabby, this is a muscular brew that starts brutishly big bodies and then leans out (with the midpalate presentation of the hops) like a bodybuilder preparing for a show.

D - Despite the ABV, this is one helluva drinker and I wouldn't hesitate to pick this up again. I think that this would do extremely well with some smoked sausage or brats. It's got enough punch to hold its own with some wings too. This is high in alcohol, but much more easygoing and unassuming than you would guess. Good beer!

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Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange amber with a nice head that fades to a thin ring. Aromas of dry malt, bitter orange, and perhaps sweet cherry. Rounded flavors of bright citrus fruit, cherry, earthy bitterness, and caramel. Mouthfeel is smooth and nicely balanced. Very drinkable, and a bit hoppier than most. The fruit overtones make it.

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Photo of Pointman
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had it draft on Thursday, bottle yesterday. Review is for the draft.

Nice pour into a 20 pint glass. Wish it would have been a tulip. Not much head, but at a bar they don't pour for a head. Nice legs still. Reddish brown pour. Toasty smell. Not much chocolate. Nice toasted malt flavor. Some mild hops.

Good mouth feel and real nice finish. I like Kill Ugly Radio better. More IPA like.

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Photo of BucBasil
4.24/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer." - Frank Zappa

Pretaste Notes: The bottle states that "this ale is released in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the release of Frank Zappa's Lumpy Gravy, a curiously inconsistent piece which started out to be a ballet, but probably didn't make it." I listened to the album throughout this tasting, which made for a pretty interesting experience to say the least.

Appearance: Poured from the 22oz bottle into an imperial pint. The beer is is pretty clear with a strange brownish color with some red highlights. Head was only one finger thick, but stuck around for a while... it was light tan and somewhat creamy.

Smell: Fantastic. Nutty introduction with a smooth caramelly backbone. There is a subtle balancing hop in there, but it's well balanced. Overall a simple but very well done aroma.

Taste: As strangely good and eclectic as the music it serves to commemorate. Starts out with a nice nutty characteristic, as evidenced in the aroma. After this the beer takes a sharp left turn, with a crazy unexpected strong hop character. This gets balanced out with a smooth malty character - perhaps toffee as well as a toasted flavor. Finishes nutty... an appropriate last impression that compliments the crazy characteristics of Zappa's piece.

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated and medium bodied... not at all watery. Finishes smooth and easy.

Drinkability: Deceptive. It seems like it could be a good session, if it weren't 7.2%... A pretty easy drink, but if you dig deep, it reveals itself to be surprisingly complex.

Like Zappa's Lumpy Gravy itself, this beer seems to be a study in contrasts. Simple yet complex, drinkable yet strong, expected characteristics that lead to unexpected changes in flavor... The perfect complement to Zappa's own masterwork.

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Photo of Baileyuk
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good beer, not sure if it is a brown though.

Head poured nicelyand retained well. Lacing was excellent. Dark amber color.

Smells sweet, with a definate malt dominance.

Tastes of caramel malts. Alcohol is strong but is balanced beautifully with the malts. Hops come on after and are excellently used. Top notch.

A little bubbly on the tongue although not that over carbonated. A solid mouthfeel.

Alcohol flavor and content rules it out as a session beer. Still is very drinkable. Proabably an occasional drink but excellent none the less.

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Photo of everetends
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle I got from Showcase in Carrollton, GA. Poured into my DFH shaped pint. Little apprehensive with a beer named Lumpy Gravy, even if it is named after a Zappa album. Lets see.

A: Poured a really nice dark brown, when held to light has a beautiful copper color with nice ruby highlights. Got a small but good looking head with some retention. What head is there sticks to the glass and created an amazing lace ring that rests at the mouth of the glass. Pretty impressive.

S: Smell is of nicely roasted malt, caramel, brown sugar, and some nice spicy notes.

T: Taste is a nice malty sweet, a very nice sweet. The taste is of lightly roasted malt, caramel, nougat, brown sugar, hazelnut, notes of spice (pepper), and there is some hops on the back end. This is a really tasty beer. If it had more of a balance to the sweet, it would have gotten a 5 from me. Zero hint of alcohol.

M: Very creamy brew that really coats the mouth. Medium to full bodied brew that has just enough carbonation to make this a balanced mouthfeel. Goes down pretty clean, leaving only some brown sugar sweetness in the mouth.

D: This brew is really good. I really like it a lot. It is a little on the sweet side, but I like that in my brown ales. I need to stock up on it while I can still find it. Damn good beer.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber that has been aging about 2 years. Pours a crystal clear, dark copper color with amazing retention and lacing. Foam is tan hued.

At this point in the beers life, the nose is laden with sweet, oxidized malts (in a good way) and a nice dose of light fruitiness. There is also some chocolate and caramel upon further inspection.

Still quite a noticeable piney hop presence left in the beer and it mingles with the malted milk oxidized flavors well. Robust flavor, yet smooth as silk...never thought I would say that about a Lagunitas beer. This beer seems to be more representative of an Olde Ale than a Brown. Alcohol is well hidden but still provides a bit of belly-warming. This is a nice beer, I am glad I was able to try an aged one.

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Photo of Vancer
4.21/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great Zappa label – but no dating or alcohol info, bummer.

Gorgeous pour of crystal clear mahogany brown, which turns ruby red when held up to the light. Thick and creamy tan head, sticking like gorilla glue to the snifter sides.

Malty chocolate in the aroma, along with a sturdy push of hoppy goodness. Thick and rich brown ale with notes of toffee and coffee, it’s balanced out well with a load of hops. Drinks smooth and easy, like it was a 5% brew – but I’m guessing this one may pack a 8% punch.

Grab a bomber when the opportunity arises, at $4ish, it’s a steal!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle which I got to catch the end of with Ding at the Brick Store

A - Poured a very nice dark russet brown color with a smallish tan head the graced the top for just a few moments before settling down to rest. A small amount of side glass lace and some nice reddish tones coming through around the edges.

S - Aroma was full of bready malts. Nice deep smell with a hint of some earthy sugary notes buried within. A slight touch of grass like smells way in the back, but overall lots of grain in this one, very strong brown ale.

T - The flavor was very rich, much bigger then I thought it would be from a brown ale, but then again look where it is coming from. Large bready taste right up front is smoothed over with a bit of a touch of alcohol. Nothing distracting, but it was there and let you know this was a bit bigger then a normal session ale. A nice light caramel sugar then popped its head up and swirled around before releasing into a very nice and slightly hopped finish. More grass like tones again here and very nice and drawn out.

M - Very full and smooth. Not you classic american brown again, much bigger with a much fuller and creamier feel. Very nice again here with a good touch of carbonation still left.

D - This was a very fine sipper here. Very big flavors and a really nice feel led to a very enjoyable expierence. I could see myself easily having a whole bottle to myself to enjoy.

Overall I was shocked when he pulled up with this one as I had never heard of it before, but was more then pleasantly suprised. This is another fine offering from them and a great continuation in the series. I would take this as a brown ale anyday, very well done!

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Photo of athensbeermaster
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this beer drinks more like a Indian brown ale.The head pours at least three inches. The dark reddish brown color has good depth. The rich roasted malts provide a big backbone for the big hop sting that comes across next that has even a extra bite of white pepper! This quickly get's refreshed with a brown sugar wash that fades into a well balanced finish.

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Photo of brentk56
4.16/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear russet color with a nice beige head that maintains its presence and deposits lace all over the place

Smell: A little weak in the aroma, but there is caramel and a hint of milk chocolate

Taste: A lot more flavor than I would have expected given the aroma; starts out with a sweet caramel and chocolate flavor (almost like a doppelbock) that moves, after a long pause, into a hoppy direction, with plenty of grapefruit; tea and pecan flavors, too; after the swallow, the chocolate powder returns to balance out the bitter flavors to produce a very nice blend

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A really nice angle on the brown ale style; I like the fruity bitterness as well as some of the other elements; just a bit too sweet to be top notch, however

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Photo of Dewey0603
4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear brownish amber with a large off white head that lasts a long time leaving great lacing. The smell is very pungent with bread yeast and a certain "nuttiness" that's very appealing. The taste is full of coffee,"nuttiness",toffee,and an aftertaste of slightly bitter citrus hops. The m/f is light and crisp with the higher alcohol,brown ale flavors,and hops mix very well. I have to admit I was skeptical about this beer,but this is damn good and a real treat. Enjoy.

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Lumpy Gravy from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 274 ratings