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Lagunitas Imperial Stout - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Imperial StoutLagunitas Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

1,447 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,447
Reviews: 567
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 12.77%
Wants: 50
Gots: 164 | FT: 3
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: 1,447 | Reviews: 567 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aged a bit, at Volo. Black with a moderate head and significant lacing. Malty medium roasty,a bit of burnt sugar, nutty. Coffee aftertaste. On the sweeter side with toffee and sugar offset by sure bitterness. Overcarbonated, a sipper. Complex and rewarding.

Sammy, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

t0rin0, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

10.14% ABV per label on bottle.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 2 inch khaki head that fades to a thin cap. Nice distinct rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark roasted malt, dark fruits, and slight coffee beans. Taste is of dark roasted malt and dark fruits. There is a bit of an alcohol taste present too. Mild roast bitterness on the palate after each sip. A lower level of carbonation makes for a smooth and creamy mouthfeel but slightly flat. Overall, this is a pretty good RIS coming from Lagunitas, especially for the price.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -20.2%

djrn2, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

zestar, Jul 30, 2013
Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

spycow, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of acurtis
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%

acurtis, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

metter98, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
5/5  rDev +33%

Texasfan549, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of brentk56
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a relatively dark brown color with a tan head that doesn't hang around very long nor provide much lacing

Smell: Dark chocolate covered raisins, with a touch of molasses

Taste: Starts out with a fairly distinct chocolate flavor that grows slightly more complex, mid-palate with some prune making an appearance; after the swallow, the fruity flavors stick around and develop a nutty aspect; somewhat vinous on the finish

Mouthfeel: Way too thin for a RIS; medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A reasonably tasty stout that falls short of the RIS category; a bit more like a Baltic Porter than a stout, frankly

brentk56, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.45/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Transparent dark cranberry with slim tangerine edges. A Russian IS that isn't even close to opaque? What the hell are these guys thinking? The appearance score deserves to be marked down for that fact alone. I've seen darker brown ales. The golden beige head is incredibly light in color as well. This could be interesting.

Unfortunately, the aroma is just as lacking. It's way too weak, delivering no more than a passing whiff of dark malt. None of the usual stoutiness is present, because not much of anything is present. Big disappointment so far.

Even though Imperial Stout is no kind of RIS at all, at least it has some amount of flavor. Could the brewers have meant for this beer to look, smell and taste like this? It's hard to imagine, especially since it's obvious that they know their way around a mash tun and are capable of brewing some real humdingers. In fact, I think they do a bang-up job (present company excepted) and are underappreciated on the whole.

My first impression was that LIS is barely average, but it doesn't even reach that low bar. It's horribly thin, with almost no malt sugar sweetness, and tastes like burnt black bread, charred coffee beans and bits of bitter black licorice. Cappuccino Stout is damn good stuff, so this abomination is even harder to figure.

The body/mouthfeel is worse than pathetic (for the style). Thin, thinner, thinnest. The carbonation is okay in terms of quantity, but there's no creaminess whatsoever. With very few ingredients to run interference, it's no wonder the bubbles feel harsh.

Imperial Stout needs a bumper-to-bumper overhaul and needs it right now. It's tempting to assume that this bottle isn't representative, but it looks like this offering is near the bottom for Lagunitas when sorted by overall score. Yikes, this is bad.

BuckeyeNation, Oct 11, 2008
Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +9%

No frills, no gimmicks, no games; the highly roasted taste of imperial stout stands tall with Lagunitas' massive dark ale.

Opaque and onyx-black, the ale would likely crawl out on its own if not poured so quickly. Inky and like motor oil, the ale settles into the snifter unleashing a plethora of roasted sweetness. Molasses, dark chocolate, espresso and roasted nuttiness envelops the nose while the first taste take the senses to roasted marshmallows with its creamy and roasted sweetness.

Sweetness in tow throughout the center, the deep toffee elements support the dark-roast of coffee and bittersweet chocolate while the ale journeys from lush milkshake, through campfire burnt embers to conclude rummy and warm with peps of licorice peaking through late.

Full from start to finish, its decadent richness is sliced through with alcohol spice and thinning warmth. Its final bitterness is woodsy and as much of burnt coffee and chicory root as it is of hops. Its long coffee-like linger links up with the next sip effortlessly.

BEERchitect, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

kjkinsey, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a medium black color stout with a nice off-white foamy head with good retention. Aroma of coffee is dominating with some roasted malt also noticeable. Taste is a nice mix between some coffee and black chocolate from roasted malt with light vinous notes and dry raisin appearing as the beer warms. Body is a bit thin but has a creamy texture which I appreciate. Not bad overall and akin to a session imperial stout if such a thing can exist.

Phyl21ca, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So I had actually had this one sitting around for quite a while but I never got around to trying it for one reason or another, but with the onset of the cold weather upon us, I figured now was the time to give it a shot. Poured a deep dark brown, essentially black with a large tan colored head. Nice slow retention left behind copious amounts of side lace. Smell was full of roasted coffee, chocolate, and an almost Brandy like aroma. Very thick with a bit of a sweet note to it. The taste followed along almost exactly. Very full bodied, rich and creamy feel let you really enjoy the bold dominating flavors of dark chocolate and coffee and the long finish helped you find some of the more subtle hints of a hoppy finish. Just the smallest touch of an alcohol warming, but nothing that really took you over. Overall this was an excellent sipper, really had the dessert, or late night feel to it. An excellent big stout, very complex and nice and full. I liked this one a lot and would say it was definitely worth a shot.

mikesgroove, Oct 29, 2007
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

jaydoc, Feb 22, 2014
Photo of womencantsail
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is very dark brown with some reddish notes to it and a thin ring of khaki colored foam around the glass.

S: Quite sweet with plenty of caramel and toffee malt notes. There's a fair amount of roasted malt character with a touch of ash and some minimal alcohol. Perhaps a hint of dark fruits are there.

T: This had a nice sweetness to it with brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and molasses. There's some minimal dark fruit notes and chocolate. Not quite the usual level of roast and coffee as other imperial stouts.

M: The body is medium, about average for an imperial stout, with a medium carbonation.

D: This was a bit on the sweet side for an imperial stout, but still pleasant and drinkable. A good effort from Lagunitas.

womencantsail, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, dark mahogany body with a thin, frothed milk-colored head.

Smell: A hopeful scent of roasted malts, chocolate-covered coffee beans, almonds, glazed prunes and a tiny smidgen of spicy hops and alcohol.

Taste: This is a circus of chocolate flavors! Armed with plenty of lactic smoothness to round out the roasted flavors. Hints of vanilla beans and nuttiness. Finish is a blend of semi-sweet chocolate and herbaceous hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a milky texture and low carbonation.

Drinkability: This is my take: Certainly drinkable and fairly tasty, but this isn't really what I'd consider an "Imperial" Stout. One thing did jump out at me right from the get-go - the well-hidden 8.2%.

ChainGangGuy, Sep 07, 2006
Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

oberon, May 18, 2005
Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

largadeer, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle. Heavy on the historical Russian references, but funny all the same.

This beer pours a clear deep, dark brown hue, with pervasive cola highlights (it's actually the exact same colour as my girlfriend's glass of Coke, when not in the light), with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy beige head, which melts away at a fairly loping pace, leaving some decent layered cloud lace around the glass.

It smells of gritty medium dark powdered chocolate, besotted black fruit - prunes and raisins, mostly - molasses, roasted caramel malt, and a bit of day-old coffee. The taste is sweet, lightly toasted caramel malt, chocolate pudding, sour cherry, well sugared coffee, some mildly bitter earthy, leafy hops, and a slight warming alcohol astringency.

The carbonation is moderate, not too big, not too small, the body a decent medium-heavy weight, and generally smooth, but for a wee boozy interloper. It finishes pretty sweet, with the overall toasted, slightly smoky character saving the day.

I do quite enjoy Lagunitas' version of the style, as it is more laid back, and drinkable than many of its colleagues (but still nice and warming). I poured the last third of the bomber into my slowly simmering Irish stew, and expect that it will have a similar positive effect on tomorrow's holiday (in my mind, anyway) dinner party.

biboergosum, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of zeff80
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a jet black color with a small, caramel-colored head that left a little lacing.

S - It smelled of caramel and strong roasted malt. Also, some hops and chocolate aromas.

T - It had a bold roasted malt taste. Slightly bitter. The chocolate flavor increased in intensity as the beer warmed up.

M - It was soft and creamy with a warm alcohol presence.

D -This is a flavorful RIS and very affordable.

zeff80, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of WVbeergeek
2.42/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark caramel brown thin tan head leaves specks of lacing. Aroma: Relatively bland lacks much of anything but mild chocolate tones from this one. Taste: Once again where's the imperialness this doesn't like a big stout of Russian decent that I have come to know and love. Dulled down chocolate, wood herbal finish weak flavors watery in a sense what the fuck. Mouthfeel: Medium to thin for an imperial stout pass on this one. Drinkability: I have tasted many Imperial Stouts this one is lacking in every department after falling in love with a couple Lagunitas brews I picked up this one, disappointment.

WVbeergeek, Apr 28, 2004
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted dark malts, chocolate, coffee and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty as you would expect but not as heavy as most big stouts with flavors of dark chocolate and roasted coffee. There's a decent hops presence that provides a nice balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, I wasn't expecting much from this beer but was surprised to find that it was a pretty good stout to drink for a while.

TheManiacalOne, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

RblWthACoz, Jan 17, 2013
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Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,447 ratings.