Lucky 13.alt | Lagunitas Brewing Company

very good
268 Reviews
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Lucky 13.altLucky 13.alt

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Blonde Ale

O.G. 1.085
76.92 IBU

Added by MADhombrewer on 06-23-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 268 | Ratings: 873
Photo of colforbin73
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a very intense beer.... i am not sure what to make of the category, AMERICAN STRONG ALE, but i guess it is an appropriate designation. (set this up next to a drake's denogginizer though... they are not too far apart.)

pours a lovely copper with a nice bit of foam -- plenty of juicy hops and deep malt aroma -- shoe leather combined with spiky lemony hops.

the taste is very malty and deep, there is a faint touch of flat cola in the background. no roastyness from the malts -- but the caramel is heavy with this ale. no real yeast presence, but it is a lively beer... thinking rye bread or better PUMPERNICKEL. the bitterness from the hops is spot on.

lagunutas crafts a wide array of ales and this one is most unlike their other efforts. not an everyday beer, but this is perfect for the pale/ipa drinker that wants to mix it up a little. get this in the mix instead of that IIPA.

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Photo of Brenden
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I'm not sure about the brewery's claim that this is any sort of "blonde" or whether it's a variation on the original. Why call it "Lucky 13" anything if it's not based on Lucky 13, which is not at all a blonde? That aside, I will say it's a similar color, but it may actually lean a little lighter, sort of an amber-copper. The creamy, frothy and dense head reaches nearly two fingers and fades very slowly. Retention really is excellent, as is the chunky lacing that's left on the glass.
The aroma is strong, quite boozy with some cereal grains before some bready malts kick in. Caramel and a sort of maple-like sweetness give way to citrus zest and resin. The sweetness and bitterness kind of fight each other a little rather than balancing at first, but they get it together.
The flavor, while a bit jumbled, comes together a little better. Citrus and caramel malts play well together, while the ethanolic hit sits just at a tolerable level. Toffee and some dark fruits come into the finish, while some zest and pith are brought in from the hops.
The body is medium with a certain thickness and it's a tad clunky, maybe a little slick and somewhat lacking finesse. I think Lagunitas was looking for the "beer is good because it's strong" people. Overall, though, it's better than a lot out there.

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Photo of retry4z
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served chilled in a bottle - the last one found at the store.

Appears amber-orange, with a large beautiful head.

Smells of honey, pine, and citrus.

Taste of honey, caramel, strong hops contributing to the high bitterness that fades and blends with a tad of sweetness at the end.

Mouthfeel is creamy, low to medium carbonation.

Overall, a very respectable American Stron Ale, very unique in its color and taste compared to the traditional bunch (e.g., Arrogant Bastard). Would be interested to try a double ASA version of this. My favorite is still Double Bastard.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. Had on-tap at Mr. Dunderbak's. Served in a pint glass.

A: Nice amber color, nearly clear with some chill haze. A finger's worth of off-white head and medium visible carbonation.

S: Fruity hops up front - citrus, tropical fruits, and grassy, with some toasted cracker malt.

T: Follows the nose - big citrus flavor (orange and grapefruit rind), tropical fruit, a bit of pineapple, all over a noticeable malt backbone. Mild fruity bitterness in the hang.

M: Medium body, alcohol well-hidden given the ABV, average carbonation sensation.

O: This is quite enjoyable. It doesn't look or taste much like a blonde ale, but it disappeared pretty quickly. Recommended.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Pleasant orange with lots of carbonation and a lingering one-finger head
S: Layered with florals, pine hops, rye-smelling grains and a hint of citrus zest
T: Fruit esters, pine sap, molasses
M: Thick, almost cloying, a hint of alcohol
O: Overall a good beer, but if this one has had the malt turned down versus the Lucky 13 I'm almost worried to try that, although the original's alcohol is a bit lower. Given the nose, the palate/mouthfeel are just a bit too much and I think the hops could be bumped up a bit to add a bit of crispness to the thickness

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Photo of TruePerception
3.4/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

Lagunitas Lucky 13 .alt Anniversary Release: 8.8% ABV, medium head; Appearance: medium-light amber; Smell: piney, light hops; Taste/Mouthfeel: piney, moderately bitter, faint lemon, fair malt; pretty good.

Poured into a pint glass.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

$4.95 for the 22oz bottle. Bottled the 187th day of 2013 which is July 6th.

A- it pours a clear copper with a 2 finger head of foam.(served cool not cold) It looks to have some good lacing.

S- I get loads of bread and caramel malt in the nose. The label says this clocks in at 76.92 IBUs. I don't get any hop aroma but it's not unusual for the style and the DIPA style to have the hops kind of hidden.

T- before I get to the taste, I have to mention how thickish and syrupy the beer is upon first taste.
This is very sweet with notes of bread but there's a hop presence that I'd say was oily/resiny that adds a bit of light bitterness, maybe not enough or...this is an Old Ale style so I'm not turned off by the lack of bitterness.

M- thick, creamy bordering on syrup like, there's not a lot of carbonation going on for being this fresh. Cellaring would cut down the carbo even more so I guess I'll drink them when they are fresh.

O- A pretty tasty example of the style and I'll have another, please. A good price helps. ;^)

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Photo of NiceTaps
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap in a pint glass. I asked the bartender for a Green Flash west coast IPA. His reply: "That keg kicked, Lags 13 came in today and I tapped it." That was a few days ago, here's the review.

A- Dark amber color, clean looking. Off-white head, 2-finger, thick and creamy. Heavy drapes of thick lacing.

S- Citrus hops dominate. Some pine. Not much sign of the sweetness to come.

T-A big mix of toasty malt flavors with citrus and pine hops. The sweets are evident and help a near perfect balance of the flavors and alcohols.

M- Full creamy smooth body. Maybe too full, the sweetness is clingy, sticky and resinous. There are enough hops for a long bitter finish. Maybe it needs a bit more carbonation.

O- A great looking beer with drinkability at 8.8% abv.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, unsurprisingly, given this is an American Strong ale, the ratings are already pretty high. I find this annoying, being able to predict ratings based on style. This means that

1. the ratings are less reliable, because they are skewed towards big beers, heavily hopped beers, or barrel aged/imperal stout type beers.
2. people do not actually rate to style. How could they? If they did, you wouldn't have such a big discrepancy between the top rated imperial stout/strong ale/IIPA and the top pilsner, adjunct lager, or malt liquor.

Anyway, yes, I'm annoyed. I could have practically told you this beer would rate at or near 4 before I even looked it up.

I however, rate things to style, or at least make a concerted attempt to do so, everry time, and without bias. So here goes....

Orange to auburn in color, clear, with a nice, dense, two finger light tan head that had some good staying power and laced the glass with sticky globs.

Aroma is primarily hoppy at first, with a blast of sweet caramel malts to follow. Kind of like a hoppy amber ale on steroids. Flavor follows right along, but the malts come to the front, leaving a lingering hop bitterness. Caramel malts are plentiful, probably mixed SRMs, but more of the darker stuff (this is an impression based on the taste, I haven't looked up the recipe so I could be wrong about which grains they used). There's bread, toast, fruits, a little dark fruits, and some sweet brown sugar. Despite the considerable hops bite and notable bitterness, this beer retains plenty of sweetness.

Body is pretty thick and alcohol warming as you drink it. Not a beer I'd have more than one bomber of in a day.

Overall it's thick, flavorful, and interesting. I would consider it more of a novelty beer to be enjoyed occasionally than an everyday drinker. You've kinda gotta commit to this one when you pop the cap.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance- Pours a clear golden amber color with a two finger white head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a nice level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma of the beer is a mix of sweet and hoppy. The sweet is a blend of tropical fruits and a large dose of caramel with the hoppy being of a predominant grapefruit and citrus aroma.

Taste- The flavor starts out rather sweet with a strong caramel and brown sugar flavor mixed with some tropical fruit flavors. A citrus hop flavor is present upfront which grows stronger as the flavor advances more toward the end. Along with the increase in the citrus hop comes an increase in the sweeter more sugary flavors of caramel and brown sugar all at the expanse of some of the fruit. In the end the still very sweet flavor is met by some more hop of a pine and a floral nature which in the end leave a rather sugary hopped but pleasant flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew was average in thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that was rather average as well. Both suited the mix of sweet and hoppy flavors rather nicely and made for a rather easy drinker even at 8.8 % abv.

Overall- A rather sweet but tasty, none the less, IPA with an easy drinking style. While not quite up to the traditional Lucky 13 it was an interesting take, and is well worth the try if you get a chance.

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Photo of rdilauro
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The pour out of the bottle was a darken light amber (if there is such a thing). Semi-dark head that was plentiful.
The nose was all malt and very little hops. Same applied to the initial taste. The malt was present from the start, made it almost a 'sweet' or 'fruity' tasting beer.. More of what I expected from a Red Amber or Barleywine But I guess it also does fit the American Strong Ale mold, which I do not have a lot of experience with.

The taste was very good, full, crisp, round with a nice a balance of malt and hoppiness. Just enough bitterness to offset the flavor of the malt.

Another nice beer from Lagunitas. This would probably be my end of summer, beginning of fall beer.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.53/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got firkin’ lucky with this one.

(That is, I got Lucky 13 on firkin. At the beer sanctuary.)

This poured a copper-caramel color with amazing foam retention. Seriously! The cap of foam held its shape even after 15 minutes. Impressive.

The aroma come across like a sweet malt smack with a slightly dank fist of resiny hops.

As I taste it I find there’s a pronounced bitterness which contrasts with the malty sweetness. Like a barleywine or scotch ale I get a long, lingering finish, some piney hops, a bitter peak, and lots of malt sweetness. I liked it.

Updated from the bottle:

This pours a deep hued amber with light foam.
I find aromas of orange and orange marmalade, orange peel, and a sweet caramel note rounding it out.
I taste a lot of orange and citrus hops, defined by a midpoint bitterness and held together by a pleasant caramel malt character. There’s a malty sweet finish. A beer big enough for the hop head in me, but malty enough for those who shy from the lupulin.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear copper to light amber in color with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some burnt orange highlights. The beer has a finger tall creamy dark beige head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of tropical/mango/pineapple hops over the top of lighter aromas of sweet brown sugar like malts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of malty sweetness with some notes of brown sugar and caramel. There is a light to moderate flavor of tropical/mango/pineapple and citrus/orange/grapefruit hops. Light to moderate amounts of hop bitterness that lingers.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Sticky. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Definitely an interesting beer that does not seem to fight into any style very well - I like the presence of the hops and the alcohol is fairly well hidden. This is a big beer and is much more of a sipper than an easy drinker.

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Photo of Lledd
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Golden straw color with very little head fading quickly leaving little-to-no lacing.

S: Beautiful hops dominate the aroma. Mostly bitter with pleasant notes of citrus. The malt aroma is hard to detect under the hops, but what is there smells sweet and brown-sugary.

T: Delicious. The hops and malt are balanced very nicely and both follow the nose, except the malt is more pronounced in the flavor than it was in the aroma. There is a sourness to the taste. Not a Brett sour however.

M: Thick. A little more carbonation would be nice to cut the sweetness of the malts. My lips are left sticky.

O: Great beer. It smells great and tastes better. I love the balance between the bitter citrus hops and bready sweet malts. I would have liked more carbonation.

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

Appearance is a wonderful amber color with large pale head that laces down the glass as it slowly recedes.

Aroma is quite hoppy, with hints of some light fresh fruits ( apples, cherries, and pineapple). With a little bit more time it develops a fresh baked bread aroma, almost sourdough-esque, as it is a touch funky.

The slightly funky but delicious character persists into the taste, nice hops, presenting a more floral and fruity character than bitter character. But yes definite fresh baked sourdough bread. Into this finish the sourdough presists, and this next part might sound weird but it reminds me of a rabbit/ hamster/ gerbil food in its intense vegetable character on the finish. I oddly really enjoy it though that association does not sound great.

Mouthfeel is nice, it could be better though. Seems a touch watery, while it is very effervescent, it does not coat how I would like it too, it seems to just slide right off everything.

In short a very very good beer. Highly enjoyable!

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Photo of JMScowcroft
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Lagunitas Brewing Company - Lucky 13.alt - 1pt 6fl oz bottle

Look - Pours lighter amber with a foamy head. Good lacing. Hazy unfiltered with mostly standstill carbonation.

Smell - Sweet honey with a tinge of stinging malt.

Taste - Sweet carbonated tang (honey) with some slight hops at the end.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, sweetness fades just right. After that, malty alcohol rests on the tongue, but not overwhelming.

Overall - Great for its type I am sure. Not usually my preferred style but I'll try any Lagunitas. I suppose if you paired it with the right food it would be better suited, but I like a brew that is able to stand on its own, so that's how I judge them.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Type: 22-oz. bomber
Glass: Lagunitas mason jar
From: Clem’s Bottle House and Deli
Price: $5.99
Misc.: N/A

Poured a caramel orange clear color with two fingers of white head. Nice uneven, foamy lacing all the way down. Decent retention as well.

Smelled a refreshing surprise of hops up front. Got very sweet floral hops first. Also pine, citrus, sharp, but light grapefruit, lemon, light lime and orange peel. Basically smelled like a floral IPA.

Tasted similar to the smell, which is a good thing. Still reminded me or an IPA more than an American Strong Ale. Got those sweet, sugar floral hops. Nice bitterness on the tongue after. Citrus, lemon, lime, pine, sharp grapefruit. Very good.

Light body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, bitter finish.

Really liked this beer. I really didn’t even know what type it was when I bought it and found out home when I checked Beer Advocate (hiding the rating with my hand of course). Another good beer from Lagunitas.

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Photo of Gatch
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

There's no date on the bottle so I'm hoping it's still good. I bought it knowing there was no date but also knowing that it's an ASA near 9% ABV so it should hold up fine.

A: Clear, golden-yellow with a huge, soapy, frothy, bright white head that caves into craters of foam leaving behind tons of lace and really good retention. Very nice.

S: Has the qualities of an Am. BW or ASA that's been in the bottle for a while, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Plenty of older, sweet, resiny hops. Also plenty of sweet, sugary booze. Some lightly toasted, almost caramelized malt and molasses.

T: Boozy hops hit you first. Followed by residual sugars. Then some roasted malt. Great finish. This is definitely an Imperial Blonde. I think that describes it best. Delicious malt presence with a good hop profile to balance it out.

M: Smooth and boozy. Hops don't become cloying which is a surprise judging by age on this beer. None of the sweetness is cloying which is great. Enough hops to almost cleanse the palate with each sip, coercing you to have another mouthful. A pleasure to drink.

O: This beer held up really well. I'm surprised and happy with this bottle. A great beer by itself but as an Imperial Blonde, this was awesome.

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Photo of lordofstarside
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up, didn't realize until now it was the lucky 13.alt instead of the mondo red. Oh well, fuck it, it's here, it was cheap, let's drink it. Bomber to a pint glass, not seeing a bottled/enjoy by date

Pours a golden light copper with a little over a finger of foam. Not too bad of retention, equal lacing. Tiny suspended shards of yeast cloud the beer, interesting, gives an unfiltered look, doesn't detract the score much. Maybe the bottle's just old. Smells pretty good, spicy hops with a good citrus undertone. Caramel malts with a touch of alcohol all come together quire nicely. Taste translates well, spicy caramel hop resins having the most flavor, followed by the roasted malts. Not much of the citrus as in the smell, but is definitely detectable. Everything balances nicely, very enjoyable. Body is good too, crisp and dry with a medium body. Overall really good, not very familiar with the style but it seems pretty hop dominant for a strong/imperial blond ale, which is good news to someone who drink mostly ipas like me. Glad I picked this up

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Photo of KTCamm
2.93/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber bottle into a perfect pint glass.

Pours light copper, clear, f;uffy white foam. Funky pine nose. Not sure how to describe this. Malty with a firm but not overpowering hop.But persistent in the aftertaste. Kind of a steam beer taste. Clean and bitter if that is possible.

Not great. Honestly, I think this beer made me a little sick.

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Photo of Bitter_Echo
3.6/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My first strong ale, a catch-all category as indicated on BA. I don't care how it IPA, I guess. Smells malt forward and sweet and maybe some floral hops... Taste is, whew!, sweet, and roasted nuts and ripe fruit...the malt backbone masking some middle hops. Interestingly, as the sweet wears off, the hops that were once hidden seem to come forward a bit. Mouthfeel is ok, and so is the carbonation, and the mouthfeel, is more on the DIPA side of syrupy, but not too much. Overall, too much malt for me...wishing that the hops were up in volume. Still fun to try.

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Photo of BeerDocT
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a chilled tulip glass.

-Appearance 4.5: I have to admit that I have never seen a beer this color. A shimmery, golden translucence, it reflects the light like it was plated gold. Largish head (3/4") quickly faded, which spells CO2 to me.

-Smell 4.0: Very nice bouquet here. Lots of big barley notes and high hop highlights. Just so appealing and very promising.

-Taste 4.5: Front is sweet and just in the front of the mouth. Middle is a huge, slightly sweet barley wave nicely balanced with alkaline hops. Finish is yummy malt and very, very smooth. Aftertaste is more malt and delicious hops and quickly ends. Very nice.

-Mouthfeel 4.0: Carbonation is complementary, but skirts the edge of "too darn much." Still, it is balanced for the flavor profiles found here.

-Overall 4.0: Falls slightly short of 4.5, but is an excellent brew. It really takes you on a swirling journey of all the things that make beer great: hops, malt and...magic. I would recommend this beer if you can find it. The 8.8% ABV is completely unnoticeable and as this baby is so sessionable...hope you have tomorrow morning off from your job as a brain surgeon. BUY IT!

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Photo of ckollias
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours an orange hue with a thin white head that very quickly dissipates leaving a hint of a trail and no lace.

S: Hoppy aroma at first whiff but then gets engulfed by a great malty scent.

T: Equal mix of hop bitterness and malt sweetness. Caramel malt in the background that is very smooth and finishes on the bitter hoppy side.

M: Smooth medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent brew. Great combo of the hops and malt, and enough alcohol to make it interesting. I’m a fan.

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Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Date on neck says day 153 which is June 2nd. Which makes this 5 months old! Yikes...

A - Pours out a clear copper orange with one finger white head that died off fast. Leaves lots of legs and leaves nice lacing.

S - This beer is sweet like a sucker, herbal, not really any hops hear. Pretty fruity not of the citrus kind but like a mango, or melon, pineapple, grapefruit. No alcohol.

T - Hops are more present here then on the nose with a citrus bitterness, lemon, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, and caramel bready malts. Not to bitter pretty balanced but alcohol flavor on this brew is rather strange. Hops do not seem really fresh on this one. Lingering bitter aftertaste present. A rather sweet beer.

M - Carbonation is nice and present on this medium bodied beer. This one is easy on the palate and goes down nice and easy. Not as sticky as the nose would have you believe.

O - A rather pleasant easy drinking Strong Ale. Lagunitas makes some good sweet beers and this one lives up to it. One worth picking up if you like a sweet imperial beer that is nice and citrusy. I did find this beer enjoyable but it had a weird alcohol flavor on it. Wish the alcohol presence was not so noticeable because it distracted from the other great flavors. Oh well, Cheers!

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Photo of TheFugitive
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a Belgian style goblet

A- Copper orange color with a nice 2 finger white head.

S- Very hoppy and fruity. Grapefruit rules this beer.

T- Possibly my favorite Ale. The balance of 13 is near perfect. Hops and citrus, what more could you want.

M- Medium body with adequate carbonation, very easy to sip during the summer months.

O- One of my favorite Ale's of 2012. I highly recommend this one. (May release).

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Lucky 13.alt from Lagunitas Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 873 ratings.
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