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Lagunitas Imperial Stout - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Imperial StoutLagunitas Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

637 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 637
Hads: 1,858
Avg: 3.7
pDev: 21.89%
Wants: 75
Gots: 344 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.90% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 08-31-2001

2010 8.2% abv
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 637 | Hads: 1,858
Photo of Nehal
4.67/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Looks: no plaque and pours a good 1 inch head. It is beaded at the top
Smells of roasted peppers and smoky
Taste good malty coffee and chocolate taste and toasty. What a great beer!! This would go very well with Gouda cheese or steak or root vegetables . Good beer in fall or winter.
And it has some sweetness not bitterness. More like strong coffee with some sugar and hint chocolate

Very good imperial stout!!

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Photo of BethanyB
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Nearly opaque ebony, with a hit of mahogany highlights. The 1/2 finger head is a beautiful golden color, tightly beaded, with a smooth, flat top.

Smell: Peppery roasted malt brings a chic, new age element to the baseline bouquet of coffee and cream, cocoa powder, dark cherries and plums. A slight metallic tanginess somehow doesn't feel out of place.

Taste: There is an almost salty quality to this beer, but it's not weird at all, as calls to mind chocolate covered pretzels. White pepper and roasted malt balance out the fruity background, which is made up of prune juice, pomegranate, and wild blackberries.

Mouthfeel: Appropriately viscous, with medium carbonation and a tart finish which sticks to the sides of the tongue.

Overall: True to the Lagunitas style, this beer takes a lively, over the top approach without deviating from the style's trademark qualities. I'd call this a stout for IPA lovers, as the spice, carbonation, and dash of salt bring a familiar peppy kick to an otherwise dark and smooth set. Interesting, tasty, and fun to drink.

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Photo of lakemarkham
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Pretty huge head. Looks fine through clear glass: damn near pitch-black, but has some ruby tinges around the edges when held up to the light.

S: Lot of malt on the smell. Some coffee and dark fruits really round it out, with a bit of chocolate floating around in there on the fringes. Nothing special, but not bad. What you'd expect.

T: Very big flavor. Big malt on first taste, followed by the sweetness of the dark fruits and the chocolate. Coffee has a sort of subdued character throughout until the end, giving it a dry finish when the fruits and chocolate fade out. Can taste the bite of the alcohol quite well on the tail of the experience.

F: Smooth, rich, and creamy. Not as thick as an oatmeal.

O: Good, strong stout. Not my favorite, but worth seeking out if you're into this sort of thing.

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Photo of katybee
4.58/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very dark, but with some semi-translucence against the light, pours rich and creamy with a 1" lt brown head...
Rich and creamy, med-full-bodied, with a surprising amount of malty sweetness compared to the espresso-type stouts... This was more like the Black Boss Baltic Porter I just sampled... strong, dark and with molassess undertones. Some bitters but not the super-hoppiness of the IPAs.

Disappointed with recent tastes of oatmeal and espresso stouts, I was really surprised that this was full-bodied and flavored a little on the sweet side. I definitely enjoyed sipping it....

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Photo of DaveBar
4.09/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Purchased at Champagne's in Warren MI for $4.99 for a 22oz bomber. Served at 10deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pours a 2" high whitish brown colour that films out in around 4-5mins or so. Very dark almost black colour. Head looks a bit airy instead of creamy

S- Good malt and chocolate here. Nice coffee. Nothing overpowering but a nice overall blend.

T- Good malt and coffee/chocolate base. Nothing overpower this one. Very likeable coffee base that stays with you as it goes down. Not hot at all even though it's nearly 10%.

M- A bit thin for the style. Expecting a much more creamier base

O- Very nice brew. I like it a lot. Glad I have a few more in the cellar for later. Don't know why such a low score from others on this brew. Yes it is not a Founder's Imperial Stout but it is very good

Food Pairing

This nice little brew went well with......... Roast chicken with stuffing and root vegetables on the side. Nice little thyme and sprinkle with poultry seasoning. Dice some onion and celery and cook in butter until soft. Combine and voila!


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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.31/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black, with a tan foam head. Smell is complex and rich, roasted malts, chocolate and coffe, the works. Taste is very good, balanced and strong. Overall a ver nice Imperial Stout.

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Photo of beveragebattle
4.29/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Round 1-Value

Lagunitas @ 4.49 with 9.9% ABV

Round 2-Aroma

Lagunitas: Smoky and roasted malts

Round 3-Flavor

Lagunitas: Caramel and black coffee

Round 4-Finish

Lagunitas: 0:45 seconds-1:00 minute

Round 5-Packaging

Lagunitas: Standard bottle (22 ounces) with a simple and clean “wanted poster” style label


Lagunitas boasting a 9.9% ABV at under $5 is one of the best value dollar to ABV around. If you're looking for a solid Imperial Stout at an incredible price point look no further than Lagunitas Imperial Stout.

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Photo of Mikus
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

What a damn deal. Lagunitas killing it across the board on styles. If you like viscous, roasty stouts with a nice coffee-note for about 1/2 price of many others in the style, then try a bomber of LIS. Absolute deal that can't be beat.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Consumed 8/28/15

A: Dark, dark brown, black from a distance - pours with a medium sized, light tan head, fades to a few wisps, leaves some nice spots and streaks of lacing

S: Dark, roasty, burnt - an abundance of chocolate malts, roasty, burnt, toasted, charred - this is a straight-up, no-frills imperial stout - cooked, caramelized malts - dark chocolate and some baker's chocolate - hints of dark fruits - minimal sweetness, dry

T: Chocolate malts, chocolate malts everywhere - burnt, charred, chocolate malts - charcoal and smoke - dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, burnt cocoa - some dark fruits - minimal sweetness, lightly earthy, very dry, alcohol is well-hidden

M: On the heavy side of medium, nicely carbonated, smooth, dry finish

O: Wait, Lagunitas brews beers that aren't pale ale ales?

When I think Lagunitas, I usually think "hops." Hops are absent here, or if they were here, they have been burnt away. The roasty, burnt, dark chocolate flavors here are the focus here. It fits the style. It's not the most complex, but it's good.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark dark brown that hits black as you fill the glass. Head is a thick and creamy dark khaki with solid but not amazing retention. A small chunky cap persists with a solid creamy collar. Sheets of lacing give way a sporadic notches and splotches. Minimal carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Chocolate pudding jumps out almost immediately. Loaded with chocolate. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, baker's chocolate, it's all there. Pushes of nibs on the back. Sweet as if it carries some lactose. Solidly roasted malt offers a complimenting sweetness. A touch of chocolate cake and fudge. Ghost of alcohol through the back. Some char and burnt malt. A touch of umami and soy sauce. Hints of spent coffee in the back. Some dark cherry and dark berry (blackberry). Vague notion of smoke as well.

Taste: Slightly oxidized. Loaded with baker's chocolate. Bitter dark cocoa. Fudgy. Borders on chocolate cake. Sweet without being sugary. Touches of milk chocolate and lactose sweetness. Solid dark fruity component of dark cherry and general dark berry. A mild earthiness runs through the back with some slight grassy elements. Just loaded with chocolate. A touch of citrus as well. Malts are deeply roasted and carry a moderate burnt character. Hints of smoke and char as it warms. Each sip builds on the dark fruity character and the smoky char. Did I mention it's chocolaty? Alcohol in the back adds a soft grainy spice. The bitter cocoa elements are balanced by the sweet malt base.

Mouthfeel: Almost silky medium leaning to full body. Moderate carbonation. A touch chewy. Smooth and creamy.

Overall: Roasted chocolate.

A solid take. A bit of age has helped drop the hoppiness to a tolerable level. So much chocolate and roast it's a bit unsettling overall, but damn if it's not one of the best value stouts I've encountered.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This is a tough stout....in a way. The taste is definitely pushed by abv. The mouthfeel is full in body with smooth carbonation. The beer poured opaque black with virtually no head or lace. Overall its ok....

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Photo of Ice_cube47
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

My grandfather passed away recently and I was blessed to receive a copy of a small pamphlet containing some of his reminiscences as well as those of his mother. The booklet included the receipt for a party she threw in 1969. I was puzzled to find among the items, "ice for beer." This intrigued me and I couldn't stop thinking about a single ice cube floating in a dark beer. How pleased I was when I dropped one into a glass of this Stout and it livened the brew up most nicely.

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Photo of McBraniel
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours as dark as you're expecting with a good head. Smells like you're expecting as well, but tastes much (much) better than its current average score on BA would lead you to believe. This is a great Russian Imperial Stout, and is wonderfully easy to drink.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.21/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look is a jet black body with a long lasting light brown head. Smell is roasted malts, but also a pretty big whiff of dank hops for a stout. Taste is also roasted with coffee and a hint of chocolate. A bit boozy with a medium to full body and slick mouthfeel. Overall a very good RIS and at $4.99 a bomber a hell of a deal too.

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Photo of DuffDaddy
5/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a taster of this delicious stout a the Beer Den in Lowes Food in Winston Salem, NC. Excellent imperial taste without the booziness you normal find in imperials. You could have more than one and feel good about it.

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Photo of breadwinner
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

There were moments when I really liked this beer's ashy, bitter coffee notes and wisps of smokiness, but its harshness also made it tough to drink as the glass wore on. Body is light, perhaps a touch slick, similar to the palate sometimes aiding drinkability but sometimes holding it back. An interesting RIS, indeed.

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Photo of Dryhavich
4.88/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

L: Extremely dark brown with a hint of ruby tinge. Absolutely no light penetrates the beer - it is truly a sinister one. Pours 2.5 fingers of head in a semi-hard initial pour.

S: Where do I begin? It's remarkably complex, with raw chocolate, incredibly dark barley, peat, dates, and even a dank floral character. Very interesting.

T: Lots of sweetness and chocolate upfront, balanced out by roastiness and wanton smokiness. After that is said and done, the hops cut through the brew to provide a bit of a piney bite, though certainly not in an overwhelming sense. Can't really tell that it's a 9.9 percenter - it's absurdly drinkable for its size.

M: Creamy, medium-bodied, and not very carbonated. Very nice to slowly sip away at.

O: Wow! What a brew. Nicely balanced out with a great variety of flavors without being overly complex. An exceptional imperial stout. After having downed two bottles of this in my lifetime, it has become one of my favorites. Definitely one of the best beers I've ever tried.

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from draft into a 12oz glass, this beer is black, pretty thick in body by appearance and has a thin khaki head that fades away but leaves some good lacing. The aroma is very much defined by the roasted malts, which mostly remind me of slightly burnt coffee. The taste is of roasted malts as well. The taste of coffee, toast, a little smoke and a little cocoa come through. Rich but balanced, yet not a beer that blows my mind. Mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat creamy.
overall this is a solid imperial stout.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
2.99/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


This one was far too dark-fruity for me. I didn't even get any coffee or mocha flavor out of it. Too sweet as well, and not in a milk stout way kinda sweetness. This one was weird. Usually lagunitas does a good job with beers but with this one I simply don't have much to say.

Their bomber beers always tend to let me down.

Anybody who doesn't share my exact same opinion on something subjective is a fucking idiot.

Example : jsed14 is a fucking idiot.

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Photo of BeerDocT
4.43/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance 4.25: Pours out a thick, viscous black. Gorgeous khaki head. Great lacing.

Smell 4.25: So nice. Treacly sweet malt bouquet with smoked grains and a load of dark chocolate. Also some currant hints and some deeper alpha hoppiness.

Taste 4.5: Front is smooth and sweet with a nice hit of smoke and some early hop bitterness. Middle is where a huge wave of darkest dark chocolate and sweet grains washes over your palate, but this is balanced by a very clean and refreshing hop bitterness (I'm thinking Northern Brewer hop). Finish is smokey, tangy, somewhat chocolatey and smooth...good lord is this smooth. No hint of any alcohol. Aftertaste is long, smokey and just delicious and -again-- no hint of booze at all.

Mouthfeel 4.5: Smooth as silk in the mouth, with absolutely no burning.

Overall 4.5: Fabulous Imperial Stout. Smooth, balanced and just about perfect, this is a dangerous beer as there is very little indication of its "9.9%" (probably more!) ABV until you feel it burning in your tummy after you drink it! So nice and the tangy/sour taste levels make it very refreshing. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22oz. bottle.

A: Pours a very deep dark brown with two fingers of creamy tan head. Excellent retention and lacing.

S: Chocolate, caramel, dark roasted malts, dark fruits, toffee, a slight smokiness, and earthy hops.

T: Chocolate, caramel, sweet malts, dark fruits, and earthy hop bitterness on the finish.

M: Full bodied, low carbonation, creamy.

O: A solid brew but nothing that sets it apart from many other RIS's I've had. But if you are looking for a good stout this is a solid buy.

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz brown bottle poured into a snifter

Lagunitas Imperial Stout has a very dark brown [almost black] with a slight red cast to its body. A 1-finger bubbly dark tan head sits atop. The aroma is of roasted dark malts, chocolate and a little toffee with some hops in the background. The nose also picks up a little smokiness as well. The taste is dominated as most Russian Imperial Stouts are, by roasted malt but not as full/heavy as some "big RIS's" [i.e., Old Rasputin] making it easy to drink. Chocolate, toffee, and coffee flavors are also present. There is a nice balancing hop presence. The mouth feel is smooth, a little chewy with a heavy-medium body.

This Imperial Stout is tasty and not too filling. The flavor becomes richer as the ale warms...so, don't drink it too cold.

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Photo of wguy14
4.56/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a pint glass revealing a 1 finger head that disappeared quickly. This beer is nearly opaque black. Smell is of dark chocolate and espresso. Molasses also breaks through but mostly coffee. This brew is a flavor explosion. Rich with coffee chocolate and fruit such as raisins or figs. I think the feel could be a little fuller. It left something to be desired based on the rich taste. Overall this brew was outstanding. Everything you want in an imperial stout minus a good chew with the mouth feel.

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Photo of tt_andy
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Surprisingly this was a very good tasting beer.
I bought for under $5 and found it to be very good.
I'll hafta be on the lookout for it again. It's a keeper

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Photo of Dave1999
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This bottle is 9.9% abv.

Pitch black with tan coloured head.

The smell is sweet malts.

The taste is sweet malts, some alcohol.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy, with with low carbonation.

Overall a decent imperial stout, sweet and sticky.

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Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 637 ratings.