I recently picked up a six-pack of Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale in cans—the outdoor-friendly version of this reliably-drinkable brew. (Just found out that Lagunitas has moved this to cans on a regular basis now.) Since I was in my own backyard, I went ahead and poured this into a tulip-shaped glass (not this Spiegelau Tulip Glass, but similarly-shaped). It pours a deep, golden-amber color, with a thick, foamy head. Has some hoppiness on the nose, which gets a bit maltier with some glass time. Lagunitas shows this at 64.2 IBUs (International Bittering Unit – a measurement indicating the perceived bitterness of a beer based on its chemical makeup, going from 5 to 120 units of measure. Typically, the higher the IBUs, the more bitter the beer tastes.) There is enough of that bitterness present to appeal to IPA drinkers (where the IBUs can often be quite high), but the beer is rounded and smooth enough to not be off-putting to those that prefer a less bitter taste profile.
Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ says it is “way smooth and silky” right on the label, and it is refreshing to see a little truth in advertising. Also on the label is the notation of a formidable 7.5 ABV; however, this is remarkably drinkable for a beer of this weight and level of alcohol. Can No.1 disappeared surprisingly quickly, so I popped the top on No.2, on which that 7.5% started making itself known a bit more. I slowed down a bit halfway through Can No.2 and, since I was consuming these on a warm June evening, the beer got a bit heavier and maltier as it sat in the glass. Carbonation drops off a bit, but kept its fizz pretty well throughout. Still very good, but that second twelve ounces left me wanting something a bit lighter by the bottom of the glass.
This would be a good beer with barbeque or some grilled chicken but in no way disappointing as a relaxing evening beverage. I’d not reach for one of these right after mowing the lawn, or while on the water in the middle of the day, but sitting on the patio or by a campfire in the evening, it would be just about perfect.
Help yourself to a little sumpin’ sumpin’ and let us know what you think.
– Scott Gargus (tasted 6/17/20)