Excitement that never disappoints
A Review of a Little Sumpin’ Wild Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Posted on 9/21/2012 by Chops
As beer fans sample their way through the craft beer world, they start to assign labels to breweries. Some breweries are adored, some are respected, some are mysterious, rewarding, exciting, you name it. 'Exciting'' is the adjective I often use to describe the Lagunitas Brewing Company out of Petaluma, CA. I get all giddy like a school girl whenever I come across a new Lagunitas brew. They have continuously challenged my craft beer palate with complex high quality brews. And as an added bonus, sometimes they have entertaining back stories (their Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale is particularly amusing). I recently got my hands on Lagunitas' A Little Sumpin' Wild Ale. I mean c'mon, how can you not smile with a name like that?

In the glass, this beer has a beautiful warm honey golden coloration. It comes with a rocky eggshell white head that likes to stick around for a really long time. The aroma is where things start to get really interesting. A potent effervescent concoction pours out of the glass and attacks your nostrils. It takes a few moments to start picking out all the different characters. The aroma quite floral with lots of sweet malty bubblegum notes and plenty of warm citrus. There is also a spicy bread-like base resting underneath that really softens the profile. To be honest, it smells like a sweet imperial IPA, but without any sting. It's a very complex aroma that has you eagerly anticipating that first sip.

The flavor profile ended up being just as challenging to grasp. You get a burst of flavors right off the bat and it takes several sips before you start honing in on specifics. The sweet malt retains its candied bubblegum vibe and rests atop a bready Belgian base. Both are perfectly balanced with the hop profile, which takes the form of a tangy pine resin. I also found caramel notes along with sweet mango and a dusting of spices. The mouthfeel is sticky to start, but transitions into an oily middle ground and eventually exits surprisingly dry. The aftertaste is a smorgasbord of all the various flavor notes and lingers for a very long time. But trust me, that's a really good thing. This beer never loses an ounce of its complexity.

Overall, A Little Sumpin' Wild Ale from Lagunitas is a fantastic beer that is a lot of fun to study. If I had to summarize it, just imagine a rich, complex, mildly aggressive Belgian IPA. Seasoned drinkers will find this beer to be an irresistible delight. I would even say that novices could appreciate and benefit from this beer. Due to its relatively approachable nature, novices can get a good sampling of what richness and complexity can bring to the craft beer table. Once again, I have to tip my drinking hat to Lagunitas for yet another delicious creation. My excitement over your brews never disappoints.

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A Little Sumpin Wild Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Co.
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