May 2017 Archives

Lagunitas - High West-ified

HighWest.jpgOver the course of the past year I have enjoyed a number of pretty amazing ales, from 110K + OT from Cigar City to Lumberjack Morning Break from three sons. Most of these I have not taken the time to write about. One ale however, I just felt impelled to write about - High West-ified from Lagunitas. Now when I bring up Lagunitas I am sure some craft beer drinkers will jump from their seats yelling that Lagunitas is no longer a craft brewery and that it has sold out etc. I have two things to say about this. One, I ran into a local Lagunitas person at the bottle shop the other day. They insisted that Lagunitas has not sold out and are completely maintaining creative control, and that any partnering was simply to expand distribution. Provided this is fact, I see no issue with it. Founders did the same thing. But, two, if they did sell out like Goose Island did, as long as they continue to make great beer, while I cannot agree with selling out - I can only complain so much. But I do hate sellouts. Wicked Weed made me a bit upset with their sellout.

So along to High West-ified. The first sampling of High West-ified I received from a trading partner from Chicago. It apparently did hit Savannah for a flash in the pan, but I never saw it. Then when I was down in Florida I picked some up, now knowing just how good it was. Given Lagunitas pension for mostly hoppy beers, and an occasional brown, High West-ified really seemed to be a step outside their box.

I should mention that High West-ified is an Imperial Coffee Stout. The bourbon character is at the level of Bourbon County or Plead the 5th. This is a full on Barrel Aged Stout not weak in any respect. Coffee, dark fruits, big bourbon punch, it's all there. It poured with a decent head that quickly dissipated, and.. that's all I remember. It was so good I finished my last one well over a month ago. This has not stopped me from carrying around my tattered tasting notes in my wallet and pocket until I finally found five minutes to publish my thoughts.  Sometimes I write a review, only to lose track of it and it never makes it to the light of day. But not this one. High Westified was my favorite ale of 2016. Yeah ok.. on to 2017..


The Brewmaster


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