Beer of the Weekend #48: Censored

The beer this weekend is Censored brewed by the Lagunitas Brewing Company of Petaluma, California.

Last week I was one beer short of delivering on my trio of brews plan. Why? The last beer I was going to sample was an old favorite, my mainstay, from college: a 40-ounce bottle of Mickey’s, the Cadillac of malt liquor. But I didn’t feel like doing it.

A friend emailed me a few weeks ago while drinking a 40 of Old English and it gave me a craving for malt liquor when I read it. I haven’t drank a 40 in about a year, and my last experience was awful. I could barely finish the whole bottle; it was foul as hell! I don’t know what the deal was — I can’t remember what brand I bought— but I hope to God I haven’t become a beer snob. When I replied to my friend’s email I wrote, “I love beer, love quality crafted brew, but don't want to lose touch with the cheaper, utilitarian varieties.”

Mickey’s, and OE to a lesser extent, was my beer of choice as an undergrad. I remember sitting in Brooks Landon’s Modern Fiction class on Wednesday’s, yearning for the weekend and craving the sweet nectar of the Killa Bee. Last Saturday I intended to buy a bottle and let it seduce me into a hypnotic, malty haze before finishing my Żywiec. But I wasn’t in the mood. Plus, I had just run six miles so I didn’t think a 40 was the best thing to tip back.

Anyway, my thirst for malt liquor won’t subside until I quench it, so I may make a Valentines date with Mickey’s. Who knows?

Back to this week’s BotW. Speaking of Valentines Day, I was originally planning to buy a French brew in homage of the world’s most romantic language, and possibly shake off the rust and write a few paragraphs en français. (Coincidentally, I quit taking French classes just after turning 21, the time I was beginning my love affair with Mickey’s.) Obviously, I changed my mind. The BA reviews for Kronenbourg 1664, the best selling beer in France, are all over the chart. Plus, it’s a pale European lager just like Żywiec, and I was craving something different. I wanted color and bite, and an amber ale sounded perfect.

You can’t miss Censored on the shelf. It’s the sixer with the giant CENSORED printed across the front.

I never looked at the carrying case closely, and never thought the black block covered anything. But, in fact, it obscures the word “Kronik” with the second “k” backwards. There is a “The” printed just above in smaller letters, so the beer is apparently called The Kronik. The BA profile name is Censored (aka The Kronic). So we have another weed themed brew. It doesn’t surprise me, really, since Petaluma is a little north of the Bay Area.

Serving type: Six 12-ounce bottles.

Appearance: Poured a light, clear copper. About a half finger of head developed and dissipated quickly, leaving a spotted lacing and ring around the outside.

Smell: Invigorating citrus — orange and grapefruit — and honey. I also got some hints of caramel.

Taste: Mmm — very nice. The citrus and caramel from the smell came through, and also a hint of floral malts and grassiness. It became progressively hoppy as the pint warmed, but it wasn’t as overpowering as I thought it would be.

Drinkability: Censored is very smooth and easy drinking. It’s a well-balanced amber ale.

Fun facts about Censored (aka The Kronic):

-Serving temperature: 45-50°F.

-Alcohol content: 5.9 percent.

-Food pairings: Sharp cheese (blue and cheddar) and meat (beef, poultry, and fish). You know, I’ve yet to try a beer that lists “vegetables” as a food pairing.

-Lagunitas is pronounced “lag-goo-knee-tuss.”

-Censored is classified by BA as an American Amber/Red Ale. However, “Rich Copper Ale” is printed on the carrier.

-Regarding the copper ale thing: BevMo! and the Lagunitas website both play off the copper-like appearance in their descriptions, but assure drinkers that Censored contains no copper. Printed on the carrying handle is “This ale contains no actual copper but we’re pretty literal…it looked coppery, so we lamely called it a copper ale. Lots’a nice carmel malt though…” The copper ale thing isn’t lame, but constantly mentioning it is.

-Also printed on the carrying handle, on the other side, is, “The original name of this original ale was derived form an origin so heinous that we can not reveal its aboriginal orogeny. Sorry.” The fuck? For those of you wondering, “orogeny” means “a process in which a section of the earth's crust is folded and deformed by lateral compression to form a mountain range.” I’m sure that’s not what it means in this case, though.

-Here’s an interesting thing I noticed about the Lagunitas website: it has “Copyright 2001” at the bottom of each page, so I can only assume it hasn’t been redesigned in eight years. To give you an idea of how outdated it is, installation of Quicktime 4.0 is required to view the video tour of the brewery. The most recent version of Quicktime is 7.6. ‘01 was a good year and all, but shit.

The Quiet Man’s grade: B.

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