This Lagunitas offering is entitled 'Lagunitas Censored Rich Copper Ale'. It might be one the most misleading of beer titles out on the market. First the six pack literature indicates that the Lagunitas marketing team named this beer after its copper color and nothing else. Apparently they invented the 'rich copper ale' tag. On further tasting, it's pretty clear the brew resembles an amber ale. In addition to the style confusion, the real name for this beer appears to be covered by the 'censored' label graphically stamped over the title. (see picture) After a quick scan on the Internet, there seems to be a consensus that the original name was "The Kronic" (and that could fit the outline of a couple letters that are visible behind the stamp). I'm not sure if this censoring was an intentional marketing technique or mandated by the Alcohol Beverage Commission. But either way that's the name of this brew.
As for the product itself, it does have a coppery hue with an orangey - yellowly lining. So I'll agree with them there. The smell is surprisingly more like a Belgian ale than an American ale but the taste is pretty standard for an American Amber. There are a lot of caramel malt flavors and a hint of a hop backbone. Hops come through more as the beer warms. The malt flavor lingers and provides a sweet aftertaste. The beer is also rather crisp and is quite drinkable despite the fact it is an ale. As I generally am a fan of ambers, I could easily put this in my regular rotation.
While the taste I can figure out, the name will leave you guessing. Since, I've heard that Lagunitas responds to emails I might just inquire into the reason for the strange name. If I do, I'll be sure to let you all know. Cheers.
Update on 5/22/09: I haven't emailed Lagunitas yet. But I do have proof. At my favorite beer bar in San Francisco (Toronado), I found an old Lagunitas tap bearing the true name. While I didn't have my camera on me, I wanted some evidence, and my cell has a decent photo option, so if you don't believe me click on the photo.