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: 1,859
Avg: 3.7
pDev: 21.89%
Wants: 76
Gots: 343 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 637 | Hads: 1,859
Photo of WAbeerfiend
5/5  rDev +35.1%

Poured from a bomber into a tulip on 05.18.14.

A: 3 finger tan head with a slow pour. Midnight black with some red at the bottom.

S: Lots of fig. Raisin and cocoa too. Sweet smelling.

T: Fig, raisin, milk chocolate dominate. Cocoa and a slight roastiness are subtle.

M: Creamy smooth.

O: This was perfectly balanced. It had a slight alcohol warmth on the back end. The roastiness was not overdone. This really was a fantastic stout and for $3.82 on sale ($4.49 regular), it was an absolute steal. It is amazing how Lagunitas keeps prices so low for their fantastic beers.

Rating: A+

 589 characters

Photo of jsed14
5/5  rDev +35.1%
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.

 203 characters

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.

 219 characters

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.

 1,055 characters

Photo of dpgoblejr
4.86/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

22oz bottle revealed a nice dark-brown, almost dark-black stout with small khaki-tan head. Smell is mostly of coffee with a hint of chocolate coming through as well as roasted malts, and a marshmallow sweetness. Taste pretty much matches the aromas with the roasted coffee being upfront and most noticeable on the palate. Slight sign of carbonation and pretty solid medium bodied brew with a smooth/slick mouthfeel. I found this Imperial Stout to be better than expected. Well done Lagunitas!

 492 characters

Photo of Movin
4.82/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours dark with a finger of Chocolate coloured head, decent retention with some real lacing.

S - Light milk chocolate off the top followed by fresh ground coffee beans.

T - The dark blended malts are the prominent flavour followed by a nice mellow espresso coffee finish. Dark, and nutty-malty, I absolutely love it! Alcohol goes almost unnoticed, which was very nice, and there's a bit of a clean sweet light smokey bitter flavour which lingers on the palette. A tasty dessert!

M - Nicely balanced carbonation, lighter than most other stouts A real sleeper.

D - This new brew is pretty much amazing. I absolutely loved it, and was quite impressed by this offering. Lagunitas is the new standard, and this one is the new standard to judge by! Highly recommended to any Russian imperial stout fan!!

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 08-05-2010 22:01

 858 characters

Photo of DaBrewski
4.75/5  rDev +28.4%

Excellent imperial stout.

Malts and roasts come through. So does the heat. However, not in any overpowering way.

Very smooth RIS. Nothing absolutely dominates the flavor. Almost perfect balance of flavors.

Like all Lagunitas offerings, fantastic value for the price!

 274 characters

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!!

 413 characters

Photo of CrazyMike
4.62/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black appearance with a thin amount of brown head that slowly settles down and leaves good lacing. Smell is very malty with a strong hint of hops, picked up some brown sugar and caramel as well.

Taste is very powerful and rich, picked up caramel, chocolate, coffee, cherries, roasted hops and malt; small hint of alcohol, but nothing significant. This is a very dark, but balanced beer so far, I find myself savoring it. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Aftertaste is lingering booze, caramel taste.

This beer is strong, but flavorful and good to drink. It’s fairly cheap for one bottle and one will probably do you for the night. If you come across it, don’t pass it up.

 691 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.6/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Imperial Stout has a thin, beige head, thin lacing left on the glass, and a dark brown (essentially black) appearance. Aroma is of dark-roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee, but the smells are rather faint. Taste is somewhat bolder, with added sourness, char, bitterness, and acidity. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and Lagunitas Imperial Stout finishes powdery and strong. Overall, this does not have the boldness or intensity of Narwhal or Old Rasputin, but it is still outstanding.


 499 characters

Photo of Phigg1102
4.6/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is highly underrated IMO. Incredible balance of bitter chocolate and coffee combine with a great medium bodied mouthfeel to make this highly drinkable.

 161 characters

Photo of andrenaline
4.59/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours pitch black with a finger of mocha coloured head, decent retention but no real lacing.

S - Sweet milk chocolate off the top followed by fresh ground espresso beans.

T - The chocolate malts are the prominent flavour followed by a nice mellow espresso coffee finish. So dark, and so malty, I absolutely love it! Alcohol goes almost unnoticed, which was very nice, and there's a bit of a cherry flavour which lingers on the palette. Talk about a tasty dessert!

M - Nicely balanced carbonation, lighter than most other stouts I've had the pleasure of trying, and the finish leaves your palette wet in anticipation of more.

D - This stuff is pretty much amazing. I absolutely loved it, and was quite impressed by this offering. Lagunitas has yet to disappoint me, and this one ranks up there with the rest of them! Highly recommended to any stout fan, and a wonderful digestif to any meal!

 898 characters

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....

 584 characters

Photo of EvoRich
4.57/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours black with a big fluffy head. Head retains for a shot period of time. Great looking beer.

Smell: Malty with hints of vanilla. Very faint coffee. The smell overall is very weak. The smell is good, just very hard to pick up.

Taste: Malty, hints of chocolate, with a slight, and I mean SLIGHT alcohol burn. A woody, barely, coffee like finish.

Feel: full bodied and creamy texture. The way a stout is supposed to be.

Overall: Pretty enjoyable. Not the best RIS I've had, but pretty damn good. Would certainly buy again.

 535 characters

Photo of Piotr63
4.57/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful brew.Full body.Black with brown head typical for stout.Hops are very present.
Aromas of carmel,coffee,vanila and chocolate.They only sell them in 22 oz bottles.After
I tasted it went back and got 2 cases.Superb.As far as brewery I recommend trying more of
Lagunitas.They make several different beers.Cheers.

 318 characters

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.

 509 characters

Photo of Copernicus
4.54/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I paired this bad boy with smoky roasted chicken and Harissa-spiced potatoes. Wow daddy! It's roasted malt and subtle dark fruit and licorice spice danced wonderfully with the earthy spices and subtle heat in the food, each bringing out and accenting the other. I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed this beer as much without the food pairing, but it was quite the experience. I will remember this beer for a long time.

 418 characters

Photo of bottomfisher
4.53/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great stout, one of my favorite beers, and it a 10%+ beer without a acidic taste. I always buy this beer, and really enjoy it. Nice creamy head and wonderful taste. I like some of the Oregon Dark Beers and Stouts but this one is much better, very smooth beer, even with the high alcohol content and stout, it is still very smooth.

 340 characters

Photo of DannyS
4.53/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a half-liter glass. the rest was poured into a snifter for tasting purposes.

Look - Black as the ace of spades. Light cannot escape this darkness. Perched on top of this beery abyss is a finger of mocha colored head and loose globs of lacing. Exactly what a stout should look like.

Smell - heady roasted malts, maple, and mocha all collaborate to dominate this extremely active aroma profile. Holy hell this smells good.

Taste - Lower on the bitterness than I expected, boasting a rich, slightly sweet malty and grainy taste to compliment the bitter chocolate and coffee here. Actually most of the bitterness is just in the aftertaste. Lagunitas got this nailed down.

Feel - Smooth as velvet with a carbonation that foams up just right on the palate, giving it a full yet not too weighty mouthfeel. Finishes just a tad dry.

Overall - You can barely tell this is 9.9% ABV. It drinks so easily and tastes so darned good, you'll put this one away and fall off your chair before you can say "He's had enough!" This could go down as one of my favorite Impy stouts, and since it's so easy to find, that's just icing on this dark, decadent beer cake.

 1,174 characters

Photo of MattBrooks
4.52/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Shared this 22oz bomber with some friends the other night, and I was totally impressed. Imperial Stouts are my thing, and I usually like them black as night with tons of chocolate overtones...but this one's a little bit different. It has a serious toffee, coffee, caramel nose and flavors to go with that as well. It pours brown with not too much head, and the finish is a little on the hoppy side, but that's what they're known for. Excellent version of an Imperial Stout. I was impressed!

 490 characters

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

11/18/2014: Bomber in a oversized wine glass. 2014 Bottling.

Appearance: Black as midnight, poured about right for a RIS (thick and chewy), light tan head of microscopic bubbles cling to the glass.

Nose: Coffee, chocolate, toasty, slightly burnt sugar, not fruity at all, slight hop notes in the end

Taste: Roasted malts, rich espresso, bakers chocolate, not milky like some RISs but it does have a creamy and chewy texture, mildly hoppy for for a West coast beer, alcohol that matched the big and bold flavors presented.

The price is the true selling point here: $5 for a bomber. I have another one in the cellar but I'm going to pick up more to age and enjoy. Great RIS.

Cellar review 10/1/2015

Age has brought out a ton of dried fruit character and some sweetness. There is less cocoa and almost no hop bitterness. I detected some graham cracker in the nose as well. Very pleasant and drank wonderfully. There was no alcohol heat at all. Could go further in the cellar.

 978 characters

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

Black gold, California tea. Poured this into a 20 oz nonic. The body is a midnight, impenetrable, take no prisoners black with a creamy brown head.
Coco coffee nose gives way to roasted barley with maybe, just maybe a hint of licorice.
Everything the nose picks up is right there on the palate. There is a slight booziness to it and that's fine with me.
The mouthfeel is soft and smooth--medium bodied.
Overall a great Imperial Stout.

 434 characters

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.

 259 characters

Photo of beerbellydaddy
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stout pours dark like a fine coffee and provides a big bold head that leaves considerable lacing as it subsides. It has a full, smooth, creamy texture, and a taste that is a subtle mix of cocoa and coffee with velvety malts and a little pop of hops at the back end of each mouthful. The 9.9 ABV is entirely masked by the smooth easy flavor so its a real creeper. I'm a fan of this one.

 393 characters

Photo of latercol
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this in a 22 oz bottle at the local grocery store.

I poured this into a snifter. It is super dark brown and had to watch my pour to keep the head under control. The head rose quickly but also fell quickly. I need a bigger snifter as well, I filled it to the brim. Overall a nice appearance, could be more lacing.

Smell is wonderful with caramel and some fruity tones. There were no unpleasant qualities with the smell. The waft of alcohol was nice too. The smell gets better and stronger as the brew warms up. Could be stronger. I would have given a 5 if it was a little more "in your face".

Great taste. Caramel and fruits again. Not too sweet though. It was just right. The alcohol content is just right too. Nice warming effect.

Mouth feel is also excellent. Super smooth, super creamy and the carbonation feels nice. This has a medium heavy feel to it. Just what I was in the mood for.

I could drink several of these. They taste great and go down really easily.

Overall I really like this beer. It is near perfect other than the head problems I had. It may have been my own fault for trying to pour all 22 ounces into a snifter that was not meant for that. Other than that, this beer is on my A list.

 1,221 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 637 ratings.