Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lagunitas Censored Rich Copper Ale

So, five posts in, I think this is going to be a monthly thing.  It seems that's the amount of time in between experiments that best fits my schedule.  That's not to say that I've been drinking only one night a month.  Oh no, in fact, over the past several weeks I think I've sampled more flavors and varieties of beer than I have in a long time.  From Vanilla Bean Porters on cask to Belgium Triple Hop IPA's, I've gone far and wide in sampling some delicious brews.  For this installment, I went with one of my favorite breweries and one of their unlimited releases - "The Censored Rich Copper Ale".
The Beer:
Now, I've had Lagunitas beers before.  One of my all-time favorites is their Brown Shugga Sweet Release Ale.  Man, is that one tasty beverage.  This one though, was equally (if not more) tasteful than even that favorite of mine.  The Censored Rich Ale might have been the best overall tasting beer I've had ever.  It fit perfectly to my tastes: a touch of hops but not bitter, rich but not thick, malty but without aftertaste.  It has no copper in it, but the name fits perfectly due to the beautiful color of the beer.  I seriously LOVED this beer.  Since the parameters of my experiment call for 36-48oz of consumption, I often have the choice when dealing with six-packs of drinking 3 or 4 beers for this project.  In this case, the choice was easy.  And in fact, had my wife not given away two of them to a friend earlier in the week, I likely would have had to void the test altogether because I would've drank the entire sixer.  There was a sweetness to it that I had never really noticed in other ales before.  I think this was due to the caramel malt added with some sort of roasting touches to the finish.  Whatever technical magic they worked up for this one, I appreciated the efforts.
The Buzz:
In the past, I've paired these experiments with evenings of video games, MMA fights, AFL Retrospectives, & the Winter Olympics.  All things that go well with drinking in my opinion.  The content of the entertainment doesn't necessarily need the focus of sobriety (perhaps video games do, but I've been playing those drunk since I was 17).  This time however, I found myself participating in this test while in the middle of a Dexter mini-marathon.  Season 4, episodes 5-9 to be exact.  Intense shit!  Certainly the best season so far in my opinion and one I can't imagine them topping.  Anyway...a show like Dexter with all it's plotting devices and character mysteries isn't exactly one to watch as you're consuming 48oz of alcohol at a 5.9% abv.  You see, while episodes 5 & 6 were easy to follow, early on in episode 7 things began to get fuzzy.  Literally fuzzy.  I was on the last half of the last beer when I started the show.  Somehow, once the drink was all done, I couldn't recall anything that had happened in those first 15 minutes.  ANYTHING.  And it wasn't because of blacking out or falling asleep.  It was because I just didn't care about the show anymore.  Part of me was heavily contemplating further drinking for the night (other beers in house...again, voiding the project) and another part of me was looking at the DirecTV guide for something more passive to watch.  So, while I don't exactly know what that means in measured terms of drunkenness, I can however say that Dexter and beer aren't the best of friends.

The Hangover:
Here is the moment you've all been waiting for:  THIS BEER DESTROYED ME!  That's right, DESTROYED!  How is that for irony?  By far, the best tasting and most satisfying alcohol I've drank during this whole procedure is the first one that truly delivered on those horrific symptoms I've experienced in the past.  I woke up, popped some Advil, took an antacid, drank some water and went back to bed.  Surely, I'd be fine.  I mean...I've been fine every other time, right?  Wrong!  I woke up feeling like death.  Angry death too.  Death that wanted to punish me for any amount of enjoyment I took in watching a serial killer raise a family in Miami.  So, once up and around, I figured I just needed some fresh air and food and all would be well.  Nope!  We hit the farmer's market and got some breakfast and still I was shaky, nauseous, and fatigued. By 2pm, the nausea went away but the fatigue and headache set in like an old man trying to send soup back at a deli.  It was bad.  And what made it worse was that I was so upset by how much I loved the beer.  How I had planned on making it "my beer" anytime we went to a party or BBQ or whatever.  People would see me show up and be like: "Hey Rob, I see you brought ol' faithful: Lagunitas Censored Rich Copper Ale".  And I'd be like: "Oh, you know me".  And then we'd both laugh and high-five.  It would've been perfect.  But alas, it's not to be.

The Verdict:
Fucking Pissed Off! That's the verdict for ya! For now, until I find out more regarding Lagunitas brewing procedures and ingredients, I'm going to have to stay away.  Because I am indeed ALLERGIC to this fucking beautiful, gorgeous, delectably fantastic Censored Rich Copper Ale.
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