Monday, October 29, 2012

Lagunitas DayTime 'Fractional' IPA

Type: Session IPA
Origin: Petaluma, CA
Price: $1.79
ABV: 4.65%
NSP: 9.22

I dig how Lagunitas goes about its business.  We've covered them decently well here (click on the Lagunitas label at the bottom), and in my recollection it's one of the only breweries that has 100% positive reviews- and from four different reviewers, no less.  This one, just to let you know in advance, keeps the record unblemished.

I'm not sure why Lagunitas decided to call this a fractional IPA instead of a session IPA like everyone else, but nobody's ever accused these guys of walking the beaten path.  At the same time, it sort of makes sense when you smell it- it smells like part of an IPA. I'd say it's roughly 17/31 of an IPA.  It's got a similar caramel scent the one I loved so much in the Sucks, but scaled way down so it's just a light accent.  It's outweighed by a hefty wallop of hop citrus, plus a really appealing apricot aroma.

You can tell by the smell that this is going to be fighting somewhere around the bantamweight class, and the flavor confirms it.  I'd actually say the body's comparable to a pilsner, as is the somewhat elevated carb level- the latter's the only thing preventing this from being the most chuggable hoppy beer I've ever encountered.  There's virtually no weight from the malt, and just the lightest hint of malt flavor.  As intended, nearly all the flavor's from the hops- but those are surprisingly light as well, adding a nice citrusy tang and minimal bitterness.  If the smell is 17/31 of an IPA, the flavor's more like 12 or 13/31.

Everything about this is light, light, light- which is why they advertise it as a beer to drink when you've got stuff to do later.  Really, it's not going to do anything different from a glass of lemonade at lunch (unless you're in the light flyweight class yourself).  But even though it's light, it still tastes like a well-crafted beer, particularly in the complexity the hops bring even though they're scaled down.  Yet another good seasonal offering from Lagunitas.

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