Lumpy Gravy | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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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.

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Reviews: 244 | Ratings: 274
Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Brick Store Pub enjoyed with Dave. Smell is a strong good IPA. That overwhelms the brown, which is a tribute to dark malts, some roast, and an attempt at balance. There is some lemon. A lot of ideas that make it depend on the mood and what you are eating, and this is an American strong and not a brown.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-clear medium brown color with a nice 2 inch light beige head. Nice matted rings of lacing on the glass on the drink down. Smells of sweet malts, caramel, and iced tea with lemon. This almost smells like Lipton Brisk. Taste is of caramel malt, iced tea with lemon, and citrus zest. A slight metallic taste is present as well. There is a citrus like bitterness on the palate after each sip. Mouthfeel is above average with a decent level of carbonation. Overall, this is an above average brown ale. Interesting packaging with the Frank Zappa collaboration. This is a couple of years old by now and it is still drinking pretty well still.

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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 oberon
3.49/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Man those guys at Lagunitas love Frank Zappa thats cool I dont know much bout em but its cool they put out a few beers with his likeness on them.This poured into a standard pint glass a clear rich amber nice clarity to it with a tight formed clingy 1 1/2 finger slight off white head atop.Mild aromas for Lagunitas slight sweet caramel with a little alcohol not much hop presence maybe a hint of leaf but you have to look for it.Flavors are sweet nearly gummy with big fruit character mixed with caramel,hops take a backseat with a bit of a leafy backbone but it doesnt play a pivotal role in the overall scheme of things.All in all above average but not much more,I still love this brewery no matter what.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear, deep, ruby color with a 1+ fingers of light tan head. 1/4 finger of creamy retention that leaves a big cascade of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is not very assertive at first but does open up a bit more down the line, with notes of caramel, bread, spice, some underlying citrus character, and a slight waft of heat.

The taste has a rich tasting sweetness to it with caramel, tangy citrus, and tingling spices that are set against some hefty bread and a moderate hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a beefier type feel and moderate carbonation.

I initially liked what was going on with this but it really seemed like it could have used some hops to balance all that sweetness out. Maybe they faded out some, as I've been sitting on this bottle for a while. This was decent but all that beefy sweet character just wasn't up my alley.

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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 Rifugium
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: bottle from Joe Canal's, Bellmawr, NJ

"This ale is released in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the release of the second part of Frank Zappa's 3-phaze masterwork."

I bought a couple large bottles of this, drawn to the label as I was. One I still have around somewhere. The other I imbibed at a BBQ a few years back, and I don't think I was able to savor/appreciate it fully in that atmosphere, but I tried my best.

Drank from the bottle (sorry), so I didn't get a full grasp of the appearance, to be honest. Caramel malts and molasses aroma. Very earthy taste, with caramel malts, molasses, sugar, maybe a hint of raisins, and a hop bitterness coming through in the background. On the heavy-body side, thick and chewy; decent but not too least not the way I was doing it. Heh.

I have a bottle of this for trade, but I can't guess as to how it's aged.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, ruby-hued body with a large, foamy off-white head.

Smell: Aroma of caramel malts, peanuts, super-sweet cherry soda, dried herbs, and a heavy-handed pour of alcohol.

Taste: Caramel malts with a sticky, all-too-sugary sweetness. Cherry soda fruitiness. Hint of nuts. Rubbing alcohol overtone throughout. Herbal, tea-like bitterness. Just when you think that toothsome cane sugar sweetness eases up IT'S BACK for the warming finish.

Mouthfeel: This one just barely slides in being a medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: My thumbs are pointing down. I didn't care for this one at all. This is one of those beers that sent me scurrying for a glass of water.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"In a fight between you and the world, pick the world."

--Frank Zappa

Glassy burnt orange with bright Sunkist edges. Sometimes I think that brown ales ought to be called orange ales. The crown can only be described as fandamntastic. It's the color of honey ice cream and has loads of character. Abundant stickiness leads to a masterpiece in lace on the upper reaches of the glass.

The nose is much less flashy. It's low on power and delivers a musky, earthy, nutty brown maltiness that makes me think Munich and crystal in combination. This bottle isn't that old... so where are the hops?

American brown ale is appropriate, though red ale would work just as well. LG is also sort of bockish, in an ale kind of way. We might as well throw the 'Imperial' moniker in front of whatever we choose to call it, because the 7.2% ABV is definitely noticeable, giving the beer a power and a presence that the standard browns lack.

Even though I'm not a huge fan of any of the above styles, Lumpy Gravy is beginning to grow on me as the ounces pass. Probably not enough to earn a 4.0 for taste, but it isn't far off. The flavor stops just short of cocoa-like... warming inches it much farther in that direction... and eventually gets it there.

Flavors include steely caramel, roasted pecans, black tea leaves, grapefruit zest and even a little cinnamon and black pepper (although I'm pretty sure that no spices were added to the kettles). It isn't aggressively hoppy, but it's more hoppy than most browns. Or reds. Or whatever. In the end, the flavor score is deserving of the increase that I'm about to give it.

The mouthfeel has no serious flaws. Nor any minor ones. It isn't the least bit lumpy (just the opposite, in fact) and allows the beer to be consumed in rapid fashion or sipped and savored. Quality all the way.

Lumpy Gravy is good, solid beer from a good, solid craft brewery. Most importantly, it has enough chutzpah to impress big beer lovers and is more than approachable for everyone else. I can't wait to see what Lagunitas comes up with next in the Zappa series of ales.

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Photo of russpowell
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber pours a slightly effervescent copper/caramel with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Average lacing & below average head retention

S: Caramel & some musty malt

T: Caramel, grainyness & a bit of nuttyness up front. I get dryness as this warms, hazelnut, caramel. acorns, & brown sugar. Finishes dry, somewhat bready, with a whisper of citric hops, brown sugar, a nice touch of vanilla, plus a bit of leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied with good chewyness & low carbonation, plus great balance, plus some warmth.

Drank very easy for the ABV, a nice brown ale, shows off it's American chops without going too far. A nice one to drink if you don't want to get anal about about looking for the perfect brown, some times, damn good is nice too!

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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 smcolw
3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great head for the style and it leaves chunky lace on the glass. Light brown color and crystal clear.

Mild dark malt aromas; Crystal and some toasted biscuit. Low hop.

Starts off like a British mild, then the darker malts kick in--toasted biscuit (again). Dry but there are notes of brown sugar. The hop shows up in the swallow. Thin body as would be the style.

An absolutely beautiful pour. A nice flavorful beer.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark amber beer with a bit of off-white head on top. There is a nice caramel and toffee sweetness with a touch of cocoa and dark fruit. Definitely a bit of oxidation, but not really the cardboard variety. Just a touch of citrus peel on the flavor to go with some other sweeter fruits like raisins. A bit of chocolate/cocoa, toffee, and caramel. Some subtle oxidation, but like the nose, nothing that really detracts from the beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off poured into my Corsendonk Abbey Brown ale chalice, appears a great bright ruby brown tone with a large light beige head thick bubbles adorn the sides of my glass as it slowly dwindles. Btw I'm listening to Lumpy Gravy with the pouring of this brew. Aromatics are typical of the style in the roasted nuttiness with sweet caramel and toffee malt notes layered in with a balancing dose of medicinal herbal hops. Flavor roasted malts balance of tobacco leaf, chocolate, and toffee candy notes, earthy bittering herbal hops really adorn their presence in the finish, hop burps ensue. Well balanced or at least more so than alot of the Lagunitas more aggressive offerings. Mouthfeel is medium bodied texture is even with mellow moderate carbonation level, leafy earthiness toned hops really stick around after the sweetness resides. Drinkability is solid although not huge on brown ales this is one I could enjoy in number and the 7.2 abv is definitely deceiving hard to detect and well orchestrated just like Zappa's Lumpy Gravy.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nicely. Good amber color with a tannish head that falls but leaves a lot of lacing. Leafy and sweet fragrance is there, but there just isn't that much. Flavor is nice and leafy. there isn't really anything complex or mind blowing at all. I mean it's nice and all. Sure there are the smooth characteristics. But there is nothing really showy at all. Feel is smooth and the carbonation is nice, if not a little bit low. Like I said, this is a nice brown ale. Nothing crazy, but it is good. I would be interested to try this on cask.

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Photo of jwc215
4.01/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours reddish/orangish-amber with a rich, creamy tan head that leaves plenty of frothy lacing down the glass.

The smell is of roasty caramel, butty with a hint of earthy pine.

The taste is of caramel sweetness and nuts - malty with some piney/earthy hop bitterness. Dryish finish.

Nice carbonation with a near full-body. It has a certain creamy quality to it.

The alcohol is very well-covered on this one. An interesting brew - malty with enough hops to keep it from being to sweet and to add to complexity and balance. Smooth, smooth - certainly disappears quickly. I would think it "sessionable" if I didn't know abv. Another unique, tasty Lagunitas invention!

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Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber, w/o freshness info, these guys must be huge Zappa fans, what is this their third FZ themed brew? This one on the darker side of typical for an ABA. Rich mahogany actually. Typical if short lived tan head, leaves all sorts of nice looking lacing upon the typical swirl. Bready, malty nose. Nice stronger brown ale. Malty brw, perhaps a little thin on the tongue, but that likely add to the session ability of this one. Easy drinking, quality offering and pleasant enough. Well worth a try or more

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lumpy Gravy

Muddy, clouded brown, no head to speak of...

Aromatics, all sweet brown sugar and molasses...liquor, dark rum, bourbon...brandy, too....getting hot along with the treacly sweet. I like it a lot.

In the taste, more sweetness, but not too much, nice and balanced.
Sugary malt ...tasty, mmm....wish I had more about the beer in front of me, only information on the Frank Zappa album. Doesn't help.I'll put it on and see if that helps....I feel like I'm in a parade, on a time warp....while inside the pages of a comic book, ...while a gnome plays Duke Ellington on the kazoo right inside my ear...suddenly a shot rings out, and on the wharf, a ship comes in, it's Pirate Jenny and her crew, and they're hungry. Hungry for love. It can't happen here. It can't Moustache ahoy, says Jenny as she jumps on board the pier, grabbing every stray follicle. Yoo hoo, hoo, and a bottle of clearasil. Groovy, man. Surfin' safari, comes the drum majorette of avant garde crud. He's throwing treble clefs in the wind, and tossing sharps and flats into the stratosphere. Somewhere a mother screams, and a platypus cries out ... Dr.Kiljoy wonders where the wonder went, and the astrological wizard has to answer for his sins. Louie louie...oh, baby, we gotta go.... yeah, yeah, yeah, ...groovy.Got the mojo workin', baby, got three engines going and chicks on the side. Pigs and ponies,'s like a technicolor rainbow mumbo jumbo...don't mess with it, man. It's a thing. It's a scene.It's a groove. Baby. That's what doing your thing is....get your motor running, baby. Who'sthat?What'sthat?Where's it coming from,where'sit going to? Pick up, baby, the piccolo picks on...and on...

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Photo of GClarkage
3.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

01/23/08- Purchased at Whole Foods in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with the cool Zappa label. Not sure of the bottling date, but I know it hasn't been on the shelf anymore than a month or so. Poured into my new Gulden Draak tulip.

Appearance- Very lovely vibrant ruby red colored pour. Head is light, somewhat creamy and about a 1/4 inch. Leaves very light lace markings. Color alone makes this beer quite a sight.

Smell- Sweetness and a fairly deep malt nose. Do I smell coffee? Maybe a touch of hops in the nose as well. Definite sweetness though.

Taste- Not sure what style this is upon the first taste, or even through the whole bottle. Thought of a bit of Schwartzbeir, Strong Ale, Brown Ale and even a touch of sour funk. I see it's listed as a Brown Ale...good enough...a pretty darn sweet sugary brown ale. Kinda like Brown Sugga minus the hops and abv. Very sweet, in fact a tiny bit too much so. Not really brown sugar, nor confectioniers sugar though. Like raw unprocessed sugar. Hops are not the key here, in fact they are almost null and void. A tiny bit of cherry like sour funk shows itself throughout the entire beer.

Mouthfeel- Really nice level of carbonation, fairly smooth and silky in texture and a bit creamy as well. Add a touch syrupy too.

Drinkability- A beer Zappa would have been proud of...weird and wacky. Lots of flavors going on. If the sweetness level was a touch lower it would be a damn masterpiece.

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Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear dark copper in color with a thick and fluffy two finger head that lasts quite a while. Some nice lacing coats the inside of the glass.

Smell: bread and sugar sweetness is most prevelant.

Taste: nice malt profile with some caramel, brown sugar, hints of fruit sweetness, and a decent but not overpowering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. Aftertaste is somewhat bready and sweet. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: this is a nice brown ale that has some meat to it. Easy to comsume the bottle and another one could have bneen had if I had one. Worth a try.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

Pours a nice very dark golden brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, which left some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, very slight bourbon/vanilla, and some caramel. The taste is very nice, smooth, malty, slightly dry/bitter, with a nice touch of caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, it's always a joy to try/have a Lagunitas brew. Thanks Joe.

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Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a translucent brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a mildy roasted scent along with a decent amount of hops. It's dry with just a bit of crystal malt sweetness. The taste is decent. It has a very bitter hop taste that is not well recieved with the malt bill. The roasted and crystal malts don't work with the citrus hops. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. I like the malt scent and flavor, but it's a little too hoppy to enjoy. I don't think I'll buy another one of these anytime soon.

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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 Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A vigorous pour produces a four-finger thick, tan colored head. The beer is a concentrated, reddish amber color and shows a brilliantly clear, cranberry red color when held up to the light. The aroma is not as hoppy as I was expecting; the hop character is certainly present, but it is not as screamingly omnipresent as I had thought. Instead the dominant hop character is well supported by a chewy malt backbone. Aromas of cinnamon dusted bergamot, a berry like fruit note, soft pine, woody malt, fresh bread crust and touches of caramelized malt sugars. Overall this has a subtle aroma for a beer of this strength, but what is here is really nicely balanced and interesting.

Chewy, but still light enough to be almost quaffable. Hop focused, but malty enough to be noticed. The beer starts out smooth and almost creamy, but picks up a bitterness in the middle that is amplified as it moves towards the finish. I like how the hop character contributes a mix of berry and orange flavors together as well as a hit of something that is a bit like cinnamon (interesting and I have noticed this hop induced flavor in Yulesmith at times). It does pick up a touch of sharper pine notes towards the end and also seems to have some darker malt, perhaps even a hint of roast character in the finish (though only just).

Don't misinterpret my ramblings here, this is certainly a hop dominated brew, it is just not nearly as one sided as I was expecting (why I was expecting that I don't quite know). This is quite the drinkable brew; almost downright quaffable for a brew of this strength. Not scathingly hoppy like I expected, instead it has a well balanced hoppiness that I am really digging right now.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz picked up at the Coop today for $5ish ... shared with Steven ... mine poured into my New Belgium tulip.

Rocky lite tan 1" head ... left nice rings of lace... deep brown beer .. with crystal clear dark ruby highlites.

Not much in the way of hops (suprising for Lagunitas) .. chocolate and caramel and mild yeasty fruitiness... nice toasty elements.

Flavor is all the malts ... brown malts ... more toasty than chocolate .. a little nuttiness. a little caramel... I wouldn't call this an American Brown .. more like an amped up English ... there isn't a whole lot in the way of hops going on... fairly thick for an American brown .. good carbonation.

Really pretty good ... I will buy the hell out of these until they are gone.. plus they are a great value.

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Lumpy Gravy from Lagunitas Brewing Company
3.71 out of 5 based on 274 ratings.
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