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Judges Rating: 
20 / 24
6 / 6
34 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Now entering a third decade of brewing, Petaluma-based Lagunitas continues to produce some of the more idiosyncratic beers (and labeling) on the market today. “Censored” is no exception, having been renamed after a certain Federal agency censored the original label. The aroma is subtle, with light whiffs of caramel and warm oatmeal and just the merest suggestion of hops. The nose struck Pete as “utterly neutral with just a smidge of grainy malt,” as he searched for any trace of hops. He pronounced the overall effect “somewhat bland and lager-like.” Touted as a copper ale, this brew stays true to that title, filling the glass with a scintillating, brilliantly clear copper cloaked in a blanket of dense, satiny white foam. The grainy malt from the nose carries into the flavor, supported by a soupçon of peach and apricot esters and a very low hop bitterness. The judges all praised the clean, bready malt, with Tom going just a bit deeper to glean hints of orange marmalade and kettle corn. Lee liked the subdued bitterness and faint hop flavors of lemon and new mown hay. Both Tom and Lee found the brown sugar sweetness a touch cloying and wished for more bitterness for balance. Though not as assertively hopped as its California brethren, Censored is deceptively drinkable and deserves to grace the shelves of any beer fridge or cooler.