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Lagunitas Imperial Stout - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Lagunitas Imperial StoutLagunitas Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,176 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1176
Reviews: 539
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.21%

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.90% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
2010 8.2% abv

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 08-31-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,176 | Reviews: 539 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of metter98

New York

3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cask at d.b.a., Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is near black in color (some traces of amber are visible near the bottom of the glass when it is held up to the light). It poured with a thin beige head.
S: There are moderate aromas of roasted malts and alcohol in the nose.
T: The overall taste has flavors of roasted malts and raisins.
M: It feels full-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a light amount of carbonation.
O: The beer isn’t that difficult to drink because for the most part the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Serving type: cask

04-26-2011 01:40:33 | More by metter98
Photo of freed


3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pulled this beauty off cask at the Rose & Raindrop. Poured a simple black with an off-white head. Nothing much to describe the body of the ale other than it was solid and elegant.

The aroma was fairly mellow. A little bit of smoke and peat, and a little of that nice cask yeast tartness.

The taste was fairly simple, and great. Smooth chocolate and coffee but not as bitter as you'd expect. It had a thinner body than the bottled variety, and was dangerously easy to drink. It was good on cask, but didn't really shine like I'd expected it to.

Serving type: cask

09-24-2004 18:02:12 | More by freed
Photo of beerbart


4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark dark dark. Midnight with no moon. Hoppy-bitter but not herbaceous. A drizzle of foreign oil. Thick and smooth. 18-ounce bottle: "it's a sufficiency, mother." I like it a lot. If you like a stout -- man or woman, you will like to try this. Then go dancing naked under that dark moonless sky.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2014 00:57:00 | More by beerbart
Photo of Copernicandream


3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours a deep black impenetrable to light. Pours to a rich creamy tan colored head that lasts several minutes evenutally leaving a thick ring around the edge of glass with moderate to significant lacing. It looks like the epitome of an imperial stout.

S: Gobs of roasted malt bordering on burnt, *sour/metallic* chocolate, a little alcohol as the beer warms.

T: Malty but characterless early palate with no sweetness, ends in a rich burnt chocolate with a moderate hop bite. Underwhelming. Alcohol in the aftertaste.

M: Highly carbonated for the style, some definite ethanol thinning, but in general a silky creamy texture more reminiscent of a milk stout.

O: Somewhat bland malt profile combines with a subtle off smell to leave me unimpressed. This is a solid OK when defining the style, but its definitely unrefined and a little "bold and boozy" resulting from a yeast with high attenuation. Leave some of those sugars alone!

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 19:21:29 | More by Copernicandream
Photo of martyl1000


4.31/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Had this from a firkin during Mad Craft Beer Week, at a great new Madison beer bar called Side Door Grill and Tap.
Surprisingly lackluster appearance, with even less luster in the aroma. Is that the real ale element?

Wonderful coffee and roasty flavors though. Molasses sweetness, maybe some bubblegum, and hard to identify yeasty funk that could be cork or some other pleasing wood.

Absolutely the creamiest feeling in the mouth of any Imperial Stout I've ever had.
A year later, I'm tasting a bunch of beers that I scored highly last time, but wanting to cull my collection and store them in the cellar.

This is the real deal: coffee and roastiness from the get go. Mojito-molasses flavor in the mouth. The nose is quite reserved. Almost no head, even with an agressive pour.

This brew is a step below Great Lakes Expedition Stout. But it's still very good.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2014 00:42:09 | More by martyl1000
Photo of Gryphon69


3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

1pint Bottle
no visable date, purchased 6/13

A- Near black, no light coming thru, finger high head that's a light tan. Some lacing but it doesn't stick to the sides, rather it slides back down to the drink

S- Lots of sweet dark fruits, rasins, plums, etc.., some cocoa but not much, some vinalla, no noticeable coffee or roasted malt.

T- Tons of dark fruit sweetness almost to the overpowering point. I cant pick out any chocolates,coffees or anything that makes me think stout. kinda blah

M- Decent mouth, medium to full and very slick and slippery. Carbonation fizzles all over the tongue.

O- Pours and looks decent, this bottles smell is very over the top dark fruit and sweet.
The taste was very close to the smell, very overpowering dark fruit and very sweet. No noticeable roasts, chocolates, coffees or anything that makes me think stout, very disappointed.
Maybe it was a off bottle, but I wont be rushing out to get another one that's for sure.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2014 02:03:42 | More by Gryphon69
Photo of deebo


4.23/5  rDev +14%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2014 01:30:07 | More by deebo
Photo of Stevedore


3.01/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, I think from fall of 2013. Thanks Shaun. Poured into a Toppling Goliath snifter today, 3/20/2014.

App- Dark black body, almost opaque, minimal half-finger head despite a vigorous pour, splotches of lacing that fall into the beer eventually over time. Nothing special.

Smell- A bit of chocolate and coffee, some roasted malts and that's about it. It's OK, nothing too strong or interesting.

Flavour- Same deal as the smell. Dark chocolate, drip black coffee and a bit of fudge and earth. Not mindblowing by any means, but there's nothing bad or offensive about this.

Mouthfeel- A bit thinner than I'd like my imperial stouts to be, almost watery. Medium bodied, decent carbonation, not much heat at all.

Overall- A pretty underwhelming beer especially given that its an imperial stout. It doesn't bring anything impressive to the table on its own merits. You'd do better to pick up Old Rasputin or Storm King which are better RIS's for a similar price point.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 05:24:58 | More by Stevedore
Photo of BrewThru_29


3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looks black in a snifter with a 2 finger tan head. Good lace.

Smell is a little disappointing. Chocolate, roasted malt, maybe a little dark fruit, but overall a little bland.

Taste is fairly bitter. I get dark chocolate, black licorice and a little coffee flavor. Almost no sweet.

Mouthfeel is about average for a stout. Fairly carbonated for the style and leaves a bite on the tongue.

Overall, not bad. I've had better and worse. Prob won't get it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 01:48:50 | More by BrewThru_29
Photo of hardy008


3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours black with brown edges and a 1/2 finger tan head, which has good retention and leaves decent lacing. The aroma is not very strong, and has roasted malt and some smokiness.

The taste is also not never strong, but is stronger than the aroma with dark roasted malt, smoke, black licorice, and a little dark chocolate. Tastes fairly bitter, with just a little sweetness to it on the back end. Not bad by any means, but not real good either.

On the light side of medium bodied, for the style. Has modest carbonation, and there is a dark roasted malt aftertaste which is somewhat bitter. The alcohol is well hidden for a 9.9 % abv beer. This is a fairly average beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2014 04:04:27 | More by hardy008
Photo of osant37

New York

3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter.
pours a drak brown out of the bottle turning a drak brownish/black in the glass. thin beige cappuchino colored head that doesnt last to long with some bubble floating up top. wierd smell. i get almost a hint of vinegar. makes me question how the beer store kept this bottle. i also get some dark fruit rasins & prunes. sharp coffee bitterness on the front of the tounge followed by a watered down cocoa note and boozyness. and a soy sauce type flavor??? strange. finishing with a roasty note and more soy sauce. the mouthfeel is thin for me given the style. overall this not the best imperial stout ive had.. for the price ($4.99 in NY) its not bad. but the only thing imperial about this stout is the boozyness thats very present after each sip. the soy sauce flavor just kills it for me. i usually like lagunitas offerings. but i wont be buying this again. old rasputin to me is the benchmark by which i judge imperial stouts. this just doesnt cut it!

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2014 23:49:17 | More by osant37
Photo of titty_mcbitty


3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Jet black, maybe a very slight brown to the edges, with a descent foamy head. Bigger bubbles.

S: Cocoa nibs, some booze, some funk.

T: This is actually pretty awesome for the buck put in. Very chocolaty- velvet, sweet chocolate. I get caramel, peanut butter, char, toast, cocoa powder, malt, and a tad bit of hops. This is very nice!

M: Not super thick, but a nice midway between medium and heavy. Velvety, buttery feel with a good syrup-like consistency.

O: This is awesome. I was afraid I'd bought a dud due to the reviews, but no. AND it's so cheap! I will definitely be picking another one up soon.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2014 04:05:10 | More by titty_mcbitty
Photo of rangerred


3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter out of a 22oz bomber.

Pours a deep, pitch black similar to used motor oil with a fairly thin dark tan head. A fairly thick ring of lacing is left around the edge of the beer but nothing else.

Aroma is heavily roasted along with some soy sauce notes and plums. Some dark chocolate notes in there as well but not a ton of depth.

The flavor carries on the heavily roasted malt with some char and caramel. Less soy sauce notes thankfully but still not a ton of complexity. Some alcohol becomes apparent towards the finish along with a good bit of stickyness.

Overall, a decent imperial stout but far from the best I have had. There is just not a ton of depth here and i would expect more with this style and a beer of this strength. Probably won't pick this one up again.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2014 01:41:52 | More by rangerred
Photo of Qbdoo


4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great Imperial Stout for the $$. Not as bold and distinct as some of the classics, but a solid beer.The scent is unremarkable, but the look is an appetizing dark, oily black. The mouthfeel is a bit lighter than you might expect but nice and creamy. The taste is roasted malt and coffee, with a touch of chocolate. I know this doesn't live up to the greats but it really matches my palate well. It's a great everyday Imperial Stout. The low rating here made me reluctant to try it. Big mistake. Way underrated and a steal at $4.99 a bomber.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 23:34:20 | More by Qbdoo
Photo of Emnmarko


3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black with a hint of an amber-orange hue at the sides of the glass. A creamy one finger dark khaki to colored head develops with a heavy pour. The head has great retention and it leaves considerable lacing on the glass.

S- Dark roasted malts, Chocolate, caramel, coffee, cocoa. a little smoke. Bitter hops behind.

T- Sweet in the front, as the malts have the reigns here. Similar to the nose but more intense. There is a transition in the middle from sweet to bitter as the hops make a fashionably late appearance toward the end. Better late than never. Or perhaps bitter late than never. A smoke-charcoal flavor joins the now dominate hop presence in the tail. A light alcohol taste and feel as this one warms up.

M- This imperial stout is heavy bodied and creamy. A somewhat chewy and leaves a waxy feel.

O- This is an impressive imperial stout, that only improves with temp. I let this one sit for 20 minutes or so to warm from the fridge. Even so, it gained character and strength during my evaluation as the temperature rose. Bold, impressive and at 9.9%, "it gets you drunk!" Check it out if you are into the style. Another fine brew from Lagunitas .

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 21:29:01 | More by Emnmarko
Photo of watermelon

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass and finished in a snifter.

A: Very dark brown almost black body with a mocha colored head, decent retention and above average lacing.

S: Big chocolate scents. Roasted and caramel malts. Little bit of booze but a lot less then expected.

T: CHocolate malt as well as some hop bitterness, well balanced. BIt of alcohol warmth as this warmed up.

M: A little bit thin but not to bad, fairly low on the alcohol warmth even after this warmed up.

O: THis is a damn good imperial stout for a three and change bomber.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2014 02:49:51 | More by watermelon
Photo of ktblue22


4.04/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I have to admit, I was a little disappointed when I first poured the beer. Not as heavy and black on black as I love in imperial stouts, and the nose felt overly sweet. But the taste is pretty solid, Black currant is the most dominant flavor followed by chicory and cloves. Not my favorite stout, but still a pretty good beer

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 04:22:48 | More by ktblue22
Photo of Copernicus


4.55/5  rDev +22.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 16:27:43 | More by Copernicus
Photo of Vixie


3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very deep brown, not a lot of light passing through it. Forms a decent light brown head that lingers.

Smell is a bit light for the style. Mainly coffee and chocolate. little bit of dried fruit, mainly raisin.

Very strong coffee flavor up front. Once you get past that, there are hints of chocolate and dried fruit. Leaves a lingering bitterness that reminds me more of coffee than hops.

Pretty nice smooth feel, just a touch on the thin side for the style.

This comes across as more of a coffee stout to me. It is a flavorful beer, but I think throttling the coffee back a bit and letting the other flavors come through. The lack of complexity keeps this from being a truly great beer, but still worth checking out.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 03:01:07 | More by Vixie
Photo of Celtics17


3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black, slight tan, but looks like a cola.

Dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, or chocolate, not coffee at all.

Sweet roasted malt, hints of coffee and bitter dark chocolate, turns into milk chocolate. Sweet candy on the taste. Like butterscotch.

Nice feel in the mouth.

I liked this imperial stout overall. Nothing to complain about.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 08:14:23 | More by Celtics17
Photo of Piotr63


4.59/5  rDev +23.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 23:04:04 | More by Piotr63
Photo of Sark


3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber

Appearance- had a little fun with this and gave it a heavy handed pour, the result was a huge 3 fingers of the most luscious caramel colored head, magnificent lacing down the glass, the beer itself had an abyss as black as a moonless night

Smell- huge roasted grain notes, even some dark red fruits were noticeable like cherry and plum, the hops hung around the end of the whiff

Taste- after letting the head subside and crater down for a few good minutes I gave my first sip, the front holds a quick sweetness that's followed by a bite of bitters, the tongue wraps around the complex toasted grains but the bitterness still is a bit too overpowering and finishes with a good hint of booze

Mouthfeel- albeit a heavy beer, it's not one-ton heavy, in fact this is more reminiscent of a regular stout than imperial, it has more water-thin qualities than it does a whole-milk character

Overall- when I see "Imperial" I expect to see boldness akin to the likes of an angry old Khrushchev, this didn't quite meet those impressions in the taste and mouthfeel categories. Even though Lagunitas tells me it weighs in heavy at an OG of 1.092, it feels much much lighter. This would have scored higher as a regular stout, but as imperial... the oomph just isn't there.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 04:26:48 | More by Sark
Photo of CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

3.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a big ol' 1-pint bottle into the equivalent sized glass ... The only beer of the evening, needless to say. This deep, dark, and dense brew is opaque brown grading into black territory with a copious quantity of tan head. A rather fizzy stout and it smells absolutely astonishing. Quite smoky initially, then gets uber-sweet, redolent with burnt toffee, dates, dark chocolate sauce, vanilla, and a hint of citrus hop. Surprisingly almost no alcohol on the nose for such a big beer.... that shows up in spades on the palate though. Taste is a mosaic of aggressive dark malts, earthy tobacco-like hops, coffee grinds, a herbal note like licorice, and dry ash ... There is an initial warm sweetness like chocolate sauce and pecan pie but this does not persist as long as expected, at which point things evolve into a semi-dry oak wood ashy bitterness along with a large blast of aromatic alcohol that after a while starts to recall cinnamon extract (think those little red candies from Valentine's Day). My eyes started to water about half way though a pint, perhaps I should have shared this with somebody. Buttery, thick mouthfeel prolongs the experience. Rather whiskey-like in some ways. Tinges of hop resin put in an appearance. A sweet booze bomb. Solid Russian imperial stout if a tad coarse, astringent and aggressive.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2014 04:03:37 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of JerUrbans


3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From bomber bottle to regular pint glass.

Aggressive poor leads to fizzy cream colored head. Nice black coffee color.

Strong bitter, strong coffee smell, not a strong alcohol smell, in fact no alcohol smell. This is a 9.9 % thought I would get a big alcohol smell.

Smooth taste that finishes with a bitter chocolate and somewhat acidy finish.

Creamy feeling and some what fizzy mouth feel.

Good beer would not be my first choice for an Imperial stout, but for the price I definitely don't feel like I got bad about drinking one. I like aging beer and I may pick one up to store for a year and see what happens.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 02:40:25 | More by JerUrbans
Photo of pgammad83


3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a- aggressively poured from a 22oz bottle into a standard pint glass, at first this beer developed a one finger head that quickly dissipated. However, it left some nice lacing. The second pour gave a very different result... a two finger head gave way to a quick (5 second) Guinness-like cascade, followed by a lacy, fluffy one finger head with a mix of small, medium, and large bubbles. This head stuck around a long time.

s- coffee, vanilla, burnt toffee,fig/raisin, and chocolate on the nose. Pleasant but somewhat subdued. Something I can't place that is almost like pancakes cooking on a buttered skillet.

t- at first, sweet in the mouth with some alcohol burn, followed by caramel and hop bitterness. Malty creaminess. Pumpkin. Coffee (grounds unfortunately), dark chocolate, and some herbals (thyme and coriander?) come to play.

m- IMO, thicker and more satisfying than some other reviewers have indicated. Could be this year's batch, or maybe I am just in a good mood... come on, let's face it tasting beer is art not science.

o- Very pleasant, ABV is high, and not unusually it is more present in the palate than the nose. I'm not in love, but I did enjoy the tryst. Overall a pleasant, sweet and complex, malty and earthy stout that I plan on revisiting... especially for the price (paid $4.20 at Spec's in Dallas for a 22).

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 03:04:21 | More by pgammad83
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Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,176 ratings.