Lagunitas “12th of Never” Ale: Never Again?

Posted in Eat & Drink
Wed, Aug 10 - 3:55 pm EDT | 1 week ago by
Comments: 0
Be Sociable, Share!
    • Tweet
    Use Arrow Keys (← →) to Browse

    The Beer in Review - Lagunitas 12th of Never

    So it’s happened. It has finally happened. The final inch of hell is frozen over and Lagunitas has finally canned.

    To their credit, the stated reason they avoided canning was largely for ecological reasons, citing the use of bauxite and silica, which are both minerals used in the production of aluminum and the environmental and social impacts that the mining of said mineral had on the planet and the peoples who inhabited the areas it was mined in. From the diesel used and carbon emissions emitted in the process of extracting such, as well as the fact that such is so often mined in already impoverished and at risk areas of the world who desperately need clean drinking water and air, there are no shortage of earnest arguments against canning. In this, I admire Lagunitas and owner Tony McGee for taking such ardent and honest stances.

    However for some reason now, the time has apparently come to where the Petaluma based brewery has bowed to market demands and decided to offer a canned beer, this being the “12th of Never.” Branded a “hop forward” ale, the beer pours with the pale golden color expected of so many a pale ale and retains just enough head for you to know it’s there. However from my own perspective at least, this is where the appreciable nature of the thing more or less ends.

    At a smell, the nose is not entirely pleasant. Though presenting a hoppy demeanor to it, it offers up the sort of unpleasant off notes and bitterness usually associated with more catty or dirty brews from less skilled or experienced breweries. This unnatural sort of scent is then mirrored rather directly in the flavor profiles presented in the sip.

    In our sip, we find that while drinkable and flavorful, possessing some notes of grassy and citrusy hops, there remains an almost metallic and undesirable flavor lying beneath it all. Unsure if this is meant to be an intentional criticism of canning itself, I find myself pondering if something perhaps went outright wrong with this beer in its travels from brewery to glass, or if it simply just isn’t that good. This in and of itself sort of distresses me to be honest.

    Lagunitas is a brewery I both respect and want to respect. Having proven thoroughly that they know how to make a fantastic beer, the last few releases from them, with the exception of the Lucky 13, have let me down significantly. Though tempted to blame this on their partnership with Heineken, known for making what at best can be described as a “typically cold beverage,” I find in this brew, as with the Aunt Sally that either there is simply too much interest in trying daring yet failing things with their releases, or alternately maybe just don’t care as much.

    Perhaps I’m being harsh and perhaps this is a brew which may appeal to palates different than my own. But even in the finish and well after such, a lingering metallic unpleasantness remains. At 5.5% ABV, it even lacks the booziness required to give it the fringe benefit of aggressive intoxication. I love you Lagunitas, I really do. But in this beer, not even the description of “pale, bitter and alcoholic,” though mirroring myself well, is enough to really make it something I find all that noteworthy.

    So for this, it is to Tony, to Lagunitas, to the hopes of seeing a return to big bold and dynamic beers and of course to you, that I say as always…

    Cheers.

    While the brand may have provided the product mentioned above for free, I was not required to write a positive review, I did not receive any monetary compensation, and the honest opinions I have expressed are my own.

    Nicholas Goroff is an actor, writer and craft beer reviewer at EveryJoe.com. Certified as a Cicerone beer server, he is working towards obtaining certification as a beer judge while employed at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, NH. When not reviewing beer, wine and spirits, he is typically writing political essays, screenplays and short fiction. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.

    Read more beer reviews from Goroff by clicking through the gallery below.


    Innis & Gunn Original

    The general impression of this oak-aged brew is one of curious contradiction.

    A Big Bottle of WTF

    Why would someone create a lemon donut-flavored beer?

    Samuel Smith Tadcaster Oatmeal Stout

    You might be surprised how much you like this oatmeal stout.

    Braggot Rights

    The beer offers a pleasant sort of strangeness.

    Samuel Adams Double Bock

    In malt, we find a profound form of flavor. In gravity, naturally we find a pleasure. In the Samuel Adams Double Bock we find both these characteristics in fine balance.

    Shipyard Imperial Pilsner

    This brew is a surprising summer sipper that you should enjoy this season.

    Brooklyn Black Ops

    Inky and opaque, the Brooklyn Black Ops is a brew of profound and exotic luxury.

    Oh What A Pig’s Ear This Is

    This dark brown beer has an unusual name, but how does it taste?

    It's No Sweat, Right?

    The jalapeno flavor in Throwback Spicy Bohemian is more intense than you might expect.

    Living Up to Its Rep

    Stoneface IPA stands out from the pack.

    It's All About Gravity

    Check out Parabola -- an annual imperial stout from Firestone.

    Founders Centennial IPA

    If you are looking for an honest, flavorful beer, give Founders Centennial IPA a try.

    Three-Eyed Raven

    This dark saison is the latest offering from Ommergang's Game of Thrones series.

    Milly's Oatmeal Stout

    Though likely a difficult brew to obtain for those outside of New Hampshire or New England, Milly’s Oatmeal Stout is certainly a beer worth seeking out.

    Sixpoint Abigale Abbey Style Ale

    The packaging is unique, but how does the Sixpoint Abigale taste?

    Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout

    A great beer occasionally does come from a can. Read the review of Ten Fidy Imperial Stout.

    Devastatingly Dank

    No, you don't have to be stoned to enjoy Stone's Enjoy By 04.20.15 IPA.

    Old Stock Ale Cellar Reserve (2013)

    Find out if the bourbon barrel aged Old Stock Ale is worth the $25-a-bottle price tag.
    Use Arrow Keys (← →) to Browse

    Be Sociable, Share!
      • Tweet

      Related Posts