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Beer of the Week: Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Extra Ale

Unrepentant beer drinkers, rejoice! Each week, Clean Plate Charlie will

select one craft or import beer and give you the lowdown on it: How

does it taste? What should you drink it with? Where can you find it?

But mostly, it's all about the love of the brew. If you have a beer

you'd like featured in Beer of the Week, let us know via a comment.

For my birthday in September, my fiancee gave me a little sumpin'. I hope to get sumpin' again in about a year. God, was it good.

You know what I'm talking about, folks. I'm talking, of course, about Lagunitas' seasonal brew Little Sumpin' Extra Ale. She got me a big ol' bottle of it that we split the other night, and damn was I an instant fan.

California-based Lagunitas does almost a dozen seasonal brews

throughout the year, and Little Sumpin' was its September to December

offering. Of course, there may still be a few bottles of this brew

hanging around ABC or Total Wine, and if so, you'll want to snatch them

up right away.

Do that, and you'll be rewarded by a very, very big beer, one that

hovers at 8.7% alcohol and 72 IBUs (that would be International

Bittering Units, the measurement for hoppy bitterness in a beer that

caps off at 100). But unlike other "double" style beers, this big ale

is hella-balanced. Don't get me wrong, you feel that alcohol warming

your throat as it goes down and those hops will tingle against your teeth. But you also taste ripe citrus, honey,

peaches, and vanilla. The balance between sweet malt and bitter hops is

almost flawless, and with a very high carbonation and lazy, foamy head,

it's a highly drinkable brew. I honestly loved this beer from the first

sip to the last; it looks like a bunch of Beer Advocates did as well. (That, by the way, is a lot of praise for a beer that's only been available for a few months.)

Perhaps best of all, any bottles of Little Sumpin' you do find on the

shelves won't set you back that much -- this one cost just under $5.

Shoot, I knew I was cheap. But I didn't know I was that cheap. Still, I

hope my fiancee gives me a Little Sumpin' Extra again this time next year.

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John Linn

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