Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lagunitas DayTime, a follow-up

I originally reviewed DayTime by Lagunitas in September.

I was not overly impressed then. 

With continued sampling since, I have actually liked DayTime less and less.  

Graphic courtesy The Lagunitas Brewing Co. website

And not liking DayTime has hurt.  Lagunitas is one of my favorite craft breweries.  I am tempted to say it is my very favorite.  

It is for certain the brewery that introduced me to craft beer.  I stopped drinking mass-produced beer immediately after drinking my very first Little Sumpin' Sumpin'.  

So, to not be blown away by DayTime has been disappointing.  

Other "sessionable" IPAs, such as the All Day IPA by Founders, are more enjoyable for several reasons; better balance, for one.  DayTime, I originally thought, suffered from a huge aroma that was sadly followed by weak flavor.  

I described it to friends as a light lager heavily dry hopped.  

But I am coming back to DayTime.  Giving it another chance; probably its 50th or so with me.

A fellow craft beer enthusiast suggested trying it again, but drinking it, this time, from the bottle.  

Admittedly, I had not drank DayTime from the bottle during previous sessions.  

So, looking to love this beer, I am about to drink DayTime again.  From the bottle.  

And you are invited to join me.  

Here goes: 

Immediately, jammed my nose in the mouth of the bottle.  Quickly overwhelmed by lovely pine cone.  Such an excellent, strong aroma. 

First sip...


Certainly bitter...

So, at first taste (again...), it has a bitter character without distinct flavor.  What does that mean?  

Most west coast IPAs are very bold in the centennial, citra, and cascade hops that usually constitute them.  DayTime, at least at first, is just bitter.  But not a flavor from any distinct hop variety that I can initially identify. 

A little better as I continue to drink...

DayTime is "what it is."  

I am just disappointed that it is not what it could be.  Devil's Backbone offers a 4.9% ABV Vienna Lager that is certainly sessionable,  but also hoppy.  And, compared to DayTime, much more robust in flavor.  

DayTime's best quality continues to be its powerful scent.  It is also okay on the backend, where it offers some pleasant soda-like bubbling.  

But, I have to admit, with pain, I am still not sold.  

Lagunitas has entered a niche in the beer market.  It has tried to create a sessionable but yet flavorful, hoppy beer.  

Unfortunately, (and it pains me to say), Lagunitas has failed on meeting the flavor aspect. 

I would drink DayTime.  It is only "bad" relative to other beers offered in Lagunitas' outstanding collection.  

My original assessment remains.  I have not been convinced by DayTime. 

Two out of five star. 

But Lagunitas still wins... I drink DayTime with some disappointment  I remain thrilled as a fan of the brewer as I anticipate with great, great excitement: Soon, the arrival of Brown Shugga'!


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