Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We Have a Winner! Lagunita Wilco Tango Foxtrot Review by Paul Nelson

We've been blathering about this T-Shirt contest for the last couple months. The time has finally come to reveal the winner! Without any further ado, here's a review from Paul Nelson!

Lagunita Wilco Tango Foxtrot

A Malty, Robust , Jobless Recovery Ale

I've written back on my home blog (Yeastbound and Downabout how I inexplicably avoid certain breweries when I'm at my local bottle shop. Lagunitas was one of these breweries. The only explanation I can possibly come up is that I unconsciously associated it with Mexican beer, of which I'm not a huge fan.
Anyway, on an unseasonably warm day, I walked into my local bottle shop looking for an IPA. After a winter of Barley Wines and Stouts, I was really looking forward to something hoppy and bright. I ended up picking up a six pack of Lagunitas Maximus. I was hooked. Later I picked up a six pack of Little Sumpin' Sumpin' ale, which is an amazing, highly hopped wheat beer. Perfect for a warm, sunny day.
Well, as I was checking out bombers to pick out for this review, I lingered in the Lagunitas area and say the Wilco Tango Foxtrot (if you know your military letter call signs, you know this translates to WTF). So, clever name: check. The subtitle is making a joke about the economy and economic policy; the part of me that remembers that I have political science degree swooned. I was sold.
Lagunitas' description?
This Beer was Supposed to Follow Up the 2009 Correction Ale with the Name ‘2010 Recovery Ale’, And Here in 2011 it STILL Doesn’t Look Like We’ll Be There Anytime Soon. Wonderin & wonderin’..... WTF?

ABV: 7.83%
Tell me again why it took me so long to try Lagunitas?

Tasting Notes

Appearance: The beer pours a dark but remarkably clear, coppery red with a one finger, off white head that dissipated quickly to a thin layer on top that laces gently down the glass.
Aroma: The aroma is very hop forward. This stupid cold is sort of hampering my ability to get subtleties (thanks Chicago!), but it seems more piney and floral rather than the citrus and grapefruit I find in many heavily hopped, West coast ales. There's just a hint of the roastiness underneath hops, but very faint.
Taste: The taste starts out with an intense resiny and piney hop bitterness. Amazingly, the roasted malt that peaked out in the aroma manages to come through after that bitterness and provide a respite. After the malt there's a coating feeling from the alcohol that leaves a bit of bitterness and some heat. It's more obviously sequential than what I'm used to. The waves of flavor are amazingly discrete.
Mouthfeel: There isn't a lot of carbonation, but it is just perfect for this beer. I think the best way to describe it is smooth. The beer has a medium body, but it's so silky.  This goes down a bit easy for a beer that's almost 8%.
Overall: A lot of times, I get a little turned off by "Hopped Up [style that is generally not hoppy]*." A lot of times it seems like the balance is off or the essential character of the original style is lost. Brown ales seem sort of malleable enough that this works, and they kept that caramel, roastiness that I look for in browns. This is a good beer. Pick it up before the economy gets too good.
*The current trend seems to be to take an APA or IPA and fermenting it with a belgian yeast.

Thanks again Paul! Leave him a comment below and definitely check out his blog (Yeastbound and Down.) If you were inspired by this review, feel free to send one of your own in to If it's up to snuff we just might have a Newcastle T-Shirt to throw your way!

1 comment:

  1. Love, love, LOVE this blog! You say everything that I’m thinking and more. You’ve definitely shed light on a subject that not many people can argue with. You’re so good at getting what you want to say out there in a way that intelligent and entertaining. I’m really impressed, man. REALLY impressed.