Lagunitas Imperial Stout - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Imperial StoutLagunitas Imperial Stout

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very good

1,793 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,793
Reviews: 639
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 71
Gots: 314 | FT: 4
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,793 | Reviews: 639
Reviews by godless1one:
Photo of godless1one
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - deep dark brown nearing black with a latte colored head that dissipated rapidly
s - coffee, chocolate, malts a touch of licorice
t - a dark coffee and chocolate taste a bit of molasses and vanilla, and a bitter finish
m - thinner than expected for an r.i.s. but not thin by any means, fairly creamy, decent carbonation, very pleasant

not the darkest of the dark or most complex imperial stout but tasty and enjoyable nonetheless

More User Reviews:
Photo of LovingCup
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Pours a little bit like motor oil with a decadent mahogany head. Got that big roasty and toasty smell. Smells more cocoa than espresso. You know its got all the signs going for it. Tastes rich and dark. bittersweet chocolate. caramel. maybe a touch of espresso. clean and creamy mouthfeel. touch of booze in a good way. Nothing crazy out of the box, just a well done imperial stout.
9.9% abv, $4 all day for a bomber? Sold! Perhaps I'm bumping my score up a bit because of this, but it's hard not to take into consideration.

Photo of TheItalianStallion
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a tulip

A: Pour is a very dark brown/light black with a huge 3 finger head of off white colored foam. Lots of lacing and a faint amount of light penetrating the edges of the beer.

S: Aromas of sweet chocolate with subtle roastiness. Surprisingly some floral hops coming through as well. The nose isn't as big as I would expect for a beer of this style.

T: Subdued flavors of roastiness and sweet chocolate. Finish is dry with some lingering bitterness. Just like the nose, the flavor isn't as big as I would expect for an imperial stout.

M: Medium bodied with a somewhat creamy mouthfeel and medium-high amount of carbonation. Alcohol slightly detectable on the finish.

O: Overall this wasn't bad, but it wasn't as rich and robust as I'm used to for beers of this style. It seemed more like a stout then an imperial stout to me. In my opinion the aromas and flavors were a bit too subtle.

Photo of utopiajane
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours luscious d a bit thick. Perfectly black with a good head of khaki colored foam that lasts and leaves lace. Eventually the head falls to a thick ring and the bubbles seem to want to hug the glass as I swirl the beer around. Nose is deep and rich and a bit sweet. Roast and chocolate, a sweet caramel and weak coffee. This has a mellow quality to the nose that I really like. It smells soft and like it does not have any rough edges. A bit of earthiness and a faint and elusive nuttiness comes forward as it warms. I am not getting any smoky qualities form the nose. Taste is smooth and well blended. There is a bit of smoke on the palate and a touch of earthy bitterness form the roast. The coffee stays weak in the drink and the chocolate is also a bit fainter on the palate than on the nose. The sweet underpinnings of caramel carry through smoothly to a dry and bitter finish with a nice drying effect on the tongue from the alcohol. That's all you see of the alcohol though. You do not taste it and it's not in the nose . Only a ticklish bit of warmth as you swallow and it's faint at that. Lovely! It does come across with a bit of a cereal taste in the middle but I think I would say that is richness of roast without a lot of heavy or sugary sweetness. Mouthfeel is full and creamy, but not too thick or too heavy. It is not terribly complex. There is no fruit character and the malt says supple and soft throughout the drink as the sweetness of the chocolate creeps shyly onto the palate more and more as you drink.

This is very easy to drink and well done.

Photo of jsed14
5/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Anybody that gives this anything other than a 5/5 is a fucking idiot. They might try and defend their decision, but rest assured, they are fucking idiots.

Example: TheItalianStallion is a fucking idiot.

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a near black but with some crimsone hue showing thru near the bottem of my glass with a big fluffy almond colored head,aromas of rum and butter are dominant with some light nuttiness in there as well.Like others who have reviewed this I also think the body is real watery for an imperial stout,it has good flavors for the style lots of rum and butter with a nice big earthy finish but the mouthfeel keeps the flavors from really kickin ass.Iam glad I tried this and its not all bad but man that is a thin beer for an impy stout for sure.

Photo of RoyalT
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Appearance – Nice, dark (almost black) body with a decent head that laced the glass well.

Smell – The aroma is very faint, even after warming, but I’m picking up some nice cocoa notes and a bit of roasted malt.

Taste – This was pretty lightweight for an Imperial Stout. The chocolate flavor was there, but the biggest part of this one was the hoppy backbone. It was good, but very different from the other IS’s that I’ve tasted.

Mouthfeel – This was the stout’s weak point, IMHO. It was very thin, not even medium-bodied, and lacked any kind of alcohol sensation.

Drinkability – This went down well but the label is misleading.

Comments – I guess you have to wonder about an Imperial Stout with an Availability rating of, “Summer Seasonal.”

Photo of orbitalr0x
2.84/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The Lagunitas Imperial Stout pours from the bomber a deep charcoal/onyx black with a big foamy two finger tan head that nearly spills over the top of my glass. Very active carbonation...maybe a bit too much. Aromas of dry, chalky cocoa powder, mellow roasted malts, a hint of day old coffee and some citrusy hops peek out as well. Really toned down and quite honestly boring...not what I look for in an imperial stout.

First sip brings an upfront dry roasted maltiness that imparts a grainy chalkiness on the roof of my mouth. Sprinkled with cocoa powder and an underpinning of brewed coffee. Citrusy hops hit the back of the palate on the way down. Slight lactic twang. Nowhere near what I expect from an imperial stout...much more along the lines of a standard stout.

Mouthfeel is actually quite thin with bubbly carbonation. The big malty chewiness I've come to adore in a RIS is nowhere to be found. A middle of the road stout that doesn't really grab my attention. I think I'll be passing next time.

Current CD: Jake Mandell - Love Songs For Machines

Photo of blitz134
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brownish, red colored body. Not the pitch black that would be expected with the style. Initially about an inch of light tan head that reduced to a skim layer fairly quickly.

A bit of chocolate then a slathering of dark fruits, raisins and some plums. A bit alcoholic with some sugary sweetness coming through. Lacks the daker roasted notes I'd like to see.

More dark toasted notes in the flavor and lacks the sugary sweetness that the nose hinted at. Finish is actually a touch chocolaty. Simple flavor overall, just not nearly as complex as the others on the market. Not as much alcohol as the nose alluded to either.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. I'd like to have this be a bit thicker. Carbonation levels seem okay making this one a fairly smooth.

Overall a drinkable beer just simple overall. Good price for what you get I think.

Photo of Aaron420
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 10.14% abv 22 oz. bottle, into a snifter.

A: Deep black color with a extremely small creamy tan head, that dissipates quickly leaving a small foam residue in the center of the glass.

S: Smells or rich caramel and toffee, with hints of alcohol, coffee, and what I would call a oak like smell, even though this is not a barrel aged brew.

T: The taste is of caramel and molasses with a rich maltyness to it. With a bit of chocolate and a hint of fruity flavors coming through toward the end.

M: It is a little thinner that I would have expected from such a high gravity beer..

D: Not a bad beer but defiantly nowhere near the top of this list in its category.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 22oz bottle, no date. It was a dark brown, with a small head. A chocolate, coffee aroma. Mostly coffee taste, with a little chocolate detectable. I thought this beer was way too timid and thin for a Russian Imperial Stout: not one I'd want to try again.

Photo of Billolick
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$4.99 for a bomber, at Beverage World in Peekskill, NY. Read a bunch of older reviews, they are all over the place...pours darkest shades of mahogany, with ruby glimmers around the edges. dark tan, minor head, thick film, clinging collar and spots of globby lace. mild nose of some chocolate and dark malts. Mouth feel is a wee bit light IMHO for the style. Notes of more chocolate,, dusty dark malts, chalky dryness. Dry Impy, on the lighter side of the style all the way around. Flavorful, but lacking the real depth of flavors of the heavy hitters of the style.

Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%

22 Oz Bomber.Pours black color into a charmay glass.Smell is a light chocolate with a hint of coffee.Taste is fairly smooth.Light chocolate with coffee.I liked it.It wasn`t what I would say was great but pretty good and you can`t beat the price at 5.99 a bottle.Nice ABV at 9.9.Give it a try.Great Value.

Photo of jkshield
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A: This beer had the appearance of a great stout. A deep dark brown that was complemented with a lighter froathy head of about a cm and a half. The head did dissolve quicker than I a had hoped and didn't allow for the creamy head mustache I like for at least the first few sips.

Smell: Roasted coffe beans, espresso, cherries, bittersweet chocolate,

Taste: Roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, Espresso, and then it ends with a bit of a sweet cherry undertone. It really itsn't that creamy for a stout, but it even lacks a little bit of complexity with the hops. Knowing laganitas brewing company. I was super excited to try their imperial stout becauase they are usually so good with their full bodied malt combinations, but I felt they could have better with this one.

M: it left me with a bit of a dry mouth. It did not quench my thirst but rather a alcholic after burn that made me want to drink more just to get that taste out of my mouth. I think they should have added more vanilla or toffee or something to make it smoother

O: I mean it was good, but I was expecting greatness from lagunitas because of their other beers having such a well balance hop and malt combination, which I thought would come through especially well in a imperial stout. Still it was a solid beer, but just a little expensive for the other options out there

Photo of Mora2000
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is from the most recent batch, now labeled unlimited release.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is very one dimensional and is very heavy on the chocolate. I don't get anything else, which is a little bit of a disappointment.

The flavor is more complex. I get a lot of chocolate and roasted malt, as well as some licorice and dark fruit. As the beer warms it gets a little bit ashy, but not really smokey. The alcohol is also present and is warming.

Thin to medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of Nolang84
5/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lagunitas is the shiznit PERIOD.

Photo of BigE90
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark with head that comes and goes quick. Very carbonated. I am assuming a 2011 bottling as the label reads 9.9% abv and ibu @ 72.45. Does not taste like a high abv stout. Just a good average stout that happens to have a high abv. Toasted notes, almost burnt, really come out in this. However the price point, $3.69 on sale for a 24, makes it very good buy that I would do again. Overall not bad but not at the point where I gotta buy a bunch to put into the fridge.

Photo of bsp77
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter. Bottled on 074 of the Julian calendar (March 15, 2011).

Appearance: Near black maroon with initial billowing tan head, leaving a fine lace.

Smell: Molasses, brown sugar, soy sauce and booze. Somewhat one dimensional.

Taste: Fairly sweet with molasses, soy sauce and very light roasted characteristics. Odd sticky and still sweet hoppy finish. Leaves a bad sugary aftertaste.

Feel: Somewhat thin body for an Imperial Stout. Moderate carbonation, quite boozy.

Overall: Simply too sweet, too thin, not much roasted character and a bad aftertaste. Obviously, I think this is a sub-par Imperial Stout.

Photo of deebo
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A bomber from this year.

A-Poured into a snifter, a couple of thick fingers of tan head top off a black ass brew. NIce lacing and some stickiness.

S-Rich roasted barley malt with definite notes of sweet chocolate with hints of vanilla and a touch of earthiness. Smells delicious.

T-Just like the aroma, not burnt-which is nice. Nice roasted malt character with mild chocolate flavor, vanilla and a bit of oak.

M-For such a strong beer, this shows no booziness. Nice mouthfeel, but not oily like some big stouts. Highly carbonated for the style.

O-A very good big stout. Easy drinking, smooth with good flavor. Not a ton of complexity and the least hoppy beer i've had from Lagunitas. My favorite beer from them. It's a good thing.

Photo of jondeelee
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Imperial Stout opens to a rich, malty aroma, yeasty rising whole wheat dough and fresh-baked brown breads dominating. Following closely behind is an assortment of darker notes, including tobacco, ash, toast crust, and coffee, these notes tempered by a heaping dose of caramel, toffee, and heavy cream, as well as bits of pure vanilla bean. Fig, date, plum, raisin, and black cherry fruit esters add further complexity and sugar, the sweetness large enough that the bottle’s mouth is sticky. The 9.9% ABV is not overly noticeable, but it does impart a very light bourbon/port aroma (though this is not barrel aged) that blends well with the dark fruits. As a whole, the nose is very nice, with a massive amount of dark sugars and a good ash underbelly. Surprisingly absent, given the beer’s 72.45 IBUs, is a strong hoppy presence, but that shouldn’t be held against it, given the strength of the sugars. The main fault here lies simply in strength, the nose needing a bit more oomph.

On the tongue, the beer starts off dark and ashy, the initial hit being one of tobacco and ash, with bits of coffee and toast crust thrown in. This is followed quickly by a massive wave of sugars, the majority of them being the dark fruit esters from the nose—fig, raisin, date, plum, black cherry—but with toffee, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, and heavy cream added for potency. Thick brown breads and yeasty whole wheat dough, as well as chocolate malt and threads of dark chocolate, add a nice base. The hops do bring in nice measures of pine and anise, complementing the fruit esters. The high ABV is mostly hidden, but bits of bourbon do come through. The aftertaste is a slightly ashier version of the main mouthful, the sugars dying off, but the ash and bitterness lingering for a good while. Mouthfeel is a viscous medium-heavy, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, Lagunitas has done a very nice job with this Imperial Stout, offering a massive and well-balanced flavor range that should please fans of the style. There’s not necessarily anything game-changing about the beer, but what it does, it does very well.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant deep dark brown to black under a very thin tan film.
S: Dark dried fruit, caramel, malt, fruit.
T: Has a big malty attack – primarily caramel with light chocolate - balanced by fruit, dried fruit, alcohol and hops.
F: Chewy, below average carbonation.
O: I have had this fresh and aged up to 3 years. The fresh has more clean malt flavors and dried fruit while as it ages it develops more sherry notes. Both are very good.

Photo of ehammond1
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Texas Liquor
Carlsbad, CA

Deep dark mahogany brown bordering on black with a thick, persistent brown head. Leaves spots of lacing down the glass, but I expected more mess from this one.

The aroma is a lovely combination of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and some faint, stinging licorice. This is very nice, and quite unexpected.

Roasted malt, sweet and tangy licorice, some mild chocolate, and a moderate level of bitterness combine for a very drinkable, tasty big stout.

Medium bodied with a moderate to low amount of carbonation. I really wish this was far thicker, though it's not at all distracting from the beer.

A very tasty big stout from Lagunitas, and it actually took me by surprise at how much I enjoyed it. This is a great, inexpensive stout.

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a fair amount of rising bubbles. About one finger of tan head that quickly fades into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Dark, roasty, and fairly burnt stout aroma. Dark roasted barley malts with big hints of dark chocolate, burnt toast, caramel, biscuit, toffee, smoked malt, and some coffee. Hints of sweet molasses and a little anise spice. Subtle hints of dark cherry, plum, raisin, and fig. Fairly earthy with a subtle presence of hops in the background. A very roasty and rich aroma. Pretty solid.

Taste: Rich, roasty, and smoky like the smell previews. Big taste of dark roasted barley malts with notes of dark chocolate, burnt toast, coffee, biscuit, caramel, toffee, and a fair amount of smoke. Some sweet molasses and licorice anise spice. Undertones of dark fruit with notes of plum, raisin, fig, and dark cherry. Some bitter earthy hops come through towards the finish to provide some balance. A good roasty stout taste.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the heavier side with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and somewhat syrupy. Sweet but has a fairly drying finish. Alcohol heat is masked fairly well.

Overall: A pretty solid Imperial Stout. Good burnt roasty flavors and a well balanced sweetness.

Photo of mj001jk
3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, coffee like color with a hazel-colored foam. The nose surprises me with a lighter profile, dried figs and raisins, toffee and hints of coffee. There is not as much dark-roasted character as I would have expected and there is also a slightly metallic aspect that is not entirely agreeable.

On the palate I like the soft, rich and silky mouthfeel that unloads a whallop of coffee, cream caramel flavors with a nice astringent, dry bite towards the end. Hops are barely noticeable and so is the high alcohol level. All-in-all a nice beer, but the nose is a little subpar and not as complex as I would have liked it.

Photo of StevenBilodeau
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber style bottle, poured a deep black, chocolate brown hue.

Nice head, great lacing... very good retention.

Extremely aromatic, sweet rich coffee, smooth... and earthy. Undertones of chocolate, dark chocolate bitterness.

An excellent beer, very aromatic, tasty and reminds me of just a full bodied beer perfect for those extremely cold days.

worth the purchase.

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Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,793 ratings.