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Lagunitas Imperial Stout - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Imperial StoutLagunitas Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

643 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 643
Hads: 1,894
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 21.83%
Wants: 77
Gots: 361 | 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
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Reviews: 643 | Hads: 1,894
Photo of tekstr1der
4.31/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pretty dark pour with minimal brown top. Aroma is expected bounty of roast, but not much more. Wow, this is tasty for one of my favorite styles! Sweet, dark chocolate flavors with some roast and chocolate make for a very pleasant sip all the way through. Finish is slightly dry, and happy to have more.

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Photo of Buschyfor3
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber served in a standard pint glass

A: Dark and viscous pour produces an opaque body lurking beneath a mocha-colored dollop of froth; head recedes to a small collar, and sticky notches of lacing ensue.

S: Top notes of dark, bakers chocolate, roast coffee, toffee and dark fruit; as the nose warms, a leathery aroma peak through the sweeter chocolate/fruit combination - quite inviting.

T: Initial flavors shuffle between bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate and roast coffee beans; perhaps a touch of vanilla rounds out the mocha-like qualities at the start that nicely balances sweetness against the bite from the roast; through the middle, the presence of dark fruit takes prominence, with a flash of booze-soaked/rum-raisin sweetness; that leathery presence on the nose appears late on, with a touch of earthiness/char that transitions into a finish showcasing a powdery cocoa which lingers after each sip.

M: Velvety smooth, good creamy quality; not approaching the same levels of thickness/chewiness as some other imperial stouts, but the body here feels appropriate for the flavor profile.

O: Lagunitas has crafted a quality imperial stout - and their handiwork is even more praiseworthy when you consider just how good of a stout this is for the value ($5.99/22oz). The alcohol is kept well in check, and the result is an imperial stout that drinks much more smoothly than its 9% ABV would suggest. Ticks all of the boxes for what you would expect from an imperial stout. Well worth it for any stout lover.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the bottle, it pours very dark, almost black with a medium brown head. A roasty smell permeates the nose. Taste is similar, with a bit of licorice and roasted malts. Enjoyable!

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Photo of JebBeerFish
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this alongside with Big Bad Baptist.

Pours jet black with 1/2 head on slow pour.

Nose - somewhat bitter coffee.

Taste - much the same as nose; mildly bitter coffee, somewhat one

Overall - solid, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of NiallMac44
4.36/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was offered a glass of this by a friend and I did not want to take it. I do not like sweet beers and imperial stouts tend to sweetness. OK, I have to amend that. I USUALLY do not like sweet beers. This one yes though if I were the brewmaster I would try and tone it down. I wish I was good at describing taste so all I can say is that I like it though I would take Old Rasputin over it - just less sweet.

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Photo of dar482
3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a black color.

The beer offers tons of bitter licorice, anise, umami, roasted malts. The mouthfeel is medium with alcohol coming through. Bitterness lingers on the finish of earthiness. There is a fruity background, hints of overripe banana.

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Photo of Nehal
4.67/5  rDev +25.9%
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 +15.9%
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 +10.5%
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 +23.5%
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 +10.2%
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 +16.2%
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 +15.6%
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 +3.8%
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 +2.2%
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 +5.1%
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 -0.5%
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 -2.4%
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 +21.3%
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 +13.5%
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 +34.8%
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 +0.5%
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 +31.5%
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 +3.5%
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 -19.4%
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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Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 643 ratings.