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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.
very good

1,396 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,396
Reviews: 561
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 12.8%
Wants: 46
Gots: 149 | 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: 1,396 | Reviews: 561 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jmdrpi
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, no date.

black in color, with 1/2" khaki head. not much head retention. big aroma of roasted malt, a little booze. taste is on the bitter side, a little acidic. fairly thick body, coats the mouth. lower carbonation.

overall, fairly average for the style. improves as it warms

jmdrpi, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of alk3kenny
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Great appearance pitch oily black color nice thick tan, cinnamon colored head... great overall smell roasty, coffee, chocolate... alcohol is def present in the back of the mouth burnt coffee flavor slightly sweet... not as easy to drink as some Imperial Stouts I've had because of the heavier coffee and alcohol flavors... I'll spend a lil more time drinking this then most which isn't a bad thing since I'll be able to let it warm as I go... Mouthfeel leaves a slight alcohol burn and aftertaste... Over for the price probably buy this again but won't rush back to it if something else catches my eye...

alk3kenny, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of PicoPapa
3.13/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Pours a dark, dark brown color with a thin layer or light brown head. Some lacing. Smells boozey and sweet with aromas of raisins, chocolate, caramel and some earthiness. Taste is a really boozey sweet chocolatey flavor. Some raisin and earthy flavor as well some burnt coffee. This is a pretty boozey and sweet RIS. Odd aftertaste. Not a huge fan of this one. Not much carbonation. Lagunitas rarely disappoints me but this one is lacking. Overall, there are a ton of better Imperial Stouts out there. Won't be in a rush to buy this one again.

PicoPapa, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of SawDog505
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my 13oz tulip. Pours more clear then most imp stouts. Not much lacing, with a half inch light tan head. Smell is coffee, toffee, chocolate, & some black liquorice. Taste is same, wanted it to be bolder & thicker. It isn't bad, just very mild & lacking the greats body. Plenty of carbonation and easy drinking for the style. Wanted it to be so much more, then what it is.

SawDog505, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of GilGarp
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber served cool into a pint glass.

Cola brown color with good clarity seen on the pour. Short head forms and settles quickly.

Aroma is nice with good roasted malt character. It also seems to have some hoppy aroma too. Unusual for the style but common for Lagunitas.

Flavor is pretty much classic imperial stout. Roasty, bitter, and strong. Dark chocolate and coffee flavors dominate with some subtle cherry notes.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus in body and well carbonated. Alcohol is noticble but not too strong considering it's almost 10%.

Overall a solid imperial stout. Not a stand-out but a good one at a good price.

GilGarp, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of maximum12
2.48/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Well, Lagunitas, here we are again. This relationship hasn't really developed like I'd hoped. You, relatively cheap bombers. Me, beer lover. An intersection of interests. But you haven't flashed enough cleavage at me yet. Is this the night?

Pour looks just like a stout into two goblets from the 22 oz. bottle. No goop on the bottom of the bottle, which I appreciate. Your perfume is standard-issue, available at any department store: sweet malt, hints of chocolate, couple beans of roast. Thin.

Lagunitas Imperial Stout, you leave me cold. I'm not interested in the first note from an imperial stout to be the strong, dark fruit notes that emerge, toss a couple plates around, & assume center stage. Intentional? The dripping fruit is mildly unpleasant. Sweet malts, weak, non-authentic chocolate drift in & out of the orchard. Roast is the one good thing going for it, & raises its head just before a fruit tree falls on it. Heavy beer. The fruit plate limits how much of it I want to drink to a few ounces...but have another eight or nine to get through. Sigh.

Well, another blah beer. There are a couple breweries that just don't agree with me, whether its water, yeast strains, or whatever. Unfortunately Lagunitas seems to be one I'm going to be avoiding in the future. This is a sub-average beer for me (& my wife agrees).

maximum12, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of liamt07
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Jason, he suggests he's had this bottle since 2007, so well call this a 2007 vintage. 22oz into some snifters.

Poured a dark brown/burgundy, with a light tan head and light lace. Some chunky sediment and precipitated protein are evident. Nose has big licorice notes, hints of chocolate and molasses. Generally pretty sweet. More licorice, hints of smoke, some nuttieness and some cuprous notes. Lots of caramel as well. Moderate to full feel, with a sweet and roasty finish. Drinkable, but I would've like to have had this side by side with a fresh glass to compare.

liamt07, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of garymuchow
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In the mood for something big, rich and alcohol laden as I enjoy the first cool night signaling the winding down of another MN summer.
22oz bomber poured into my old Old Style large pint like glass I got in the 70's or early 80's. It states "I've got style", I don't know about that, but it's nice some object feels that way.
Nice full aroma of roast with coffee, toffee a little caramel and some hops. Nothing atypical or unique, but solid and meets expectations.
Pours reasonable heavy with very dark body holding a very dark red highlights and capped with a creamyish tan head.
Just like aroma the flavor hits all the major highlights. Immediately feel the alcohol warmth, and a long combined roasty/hops dry bitter finish. Fully rich drink. Seems relatively fresh as there is a little bite to it. The flavors are less distinct than in the aroma. Nice sweet flavor that most closely resembles tofee, but not quite. Typical with this brewery, finely hopped, which seems to be the highlight of the drink.
Moderately heavy drink, yet still smooth and reasonably easly to drink. Very nicely carbonated.
This is a perfectly reasonable drink. Nothing distinct or unique, but it goes down well and holds fine flavors. No complaints, just doesn't meet the higher standeards of many of their other beers.

garymuchow, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of peensteen
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Jason's bottle

Deep brown colour, modest off white head, some lace left on the glass. Smell is of molasses, liquorice, fairly roasty with some lightly sweet notes. Taste is of liquorice, roasty malt, lightly sour lactic notes, some chocolate with raisin and dark fruits. Smooth feel, light carb, velvety texture. Pretty good stuff, not a top RIS but still a pleasant drink, wonder if this would be better really fresh.

peensteen, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of claytong
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - black and thick. oil, mmm i like it. tan head barely existed and turns into a somewhat respectable lacing.

smell - roasted dark bitter chocolate (not a fan), coffee, some malt and that bout sums it up.

taste - dark roasted coffee and chocolate, some bitter agencies which i give credit to the chocolate, coffee and some hops on this one.

mouthfeel - body is solid. pretty creamy, a bit too bitter. carbonation is low to medium.

but hey for 4.99 i might pick this up again.

claytong, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 1/4" mocha coloured head that dissipated quickly over black liquid.

S: Dark chocolate syrup, alcohol, and some coffee.

T: A very bitter dark chocolate taste up front, toasted malt in the middle, and a finish reminiscent of a strong dark roast black coffee.

M: Thick viscosity with a low level of medium carbonation.

O: A bitter Russian Imperial Stout that I consider to be a sipper. A decent representation of the style that doesn't particularly stand out.

DaftCaskBC, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of emmasdad
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to Ratman for this one. Bomber poured a translucent dark brown with a lasting brown head. Aromas of roasted malt, coffee, bakers cocoa, pepper and a hint of vanilla. Palate was medium to full bodied and smooth. Flavors of roasted malt,bitter chocolate, coffee and light vanilla with a smooth lingering chocolate finish.

emmasdad, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of coldriver
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into a Sam Adams glass. Moderate head dissapating quickly to ring but decent lacing. Lighter coloring than typical - with some translucence showing through. Aroma is subdued burnt caramel and coffee. Taste is a bit underwhelming for what I would expect from Lagunitas - some coffee and licorice but prune and molasses (not a good thing) as well. Alcohol well hidden. Mouthfeel rather dull - just doesn't have that tongue-coating-you'll-still-be-left-with-tomorrow-morning-when-you-wake-up that you come to expect with the better imperials stouts. Overall decent, but pretty bland for the style. I like Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout much better than this.

coldriver, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of anglagard1
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Little head, but I attribute that to the fact that it was poured into a brandy snifter. Doesn't get much darker than this. Decent lacing along with the viscous coating typical of this style. Many hints of flavor but nothing dominating: molasses, black licorice, coffee and chocolate, even a dried fruit flavor reminiscent of a dubbel style, but nothing is either overbearing or pronounced. Flavor remains consistent despite temperature change; warming does not reveal any nuances. A 22oz. bottle would have been good to share with someone, but was a little bit of work for a single person. All the elements are there, but nothing really stands out in a positive way.

anglagard1, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of wo87810
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 batch(?)
This beer was somewhat of a dissapointment to me. It had a weak head, and an OK aroma in a snifter. The color was a translucent brown, not the dark opaque color I was looking for.

Taste was again OK, but not enough rich dark tastes (burnt caramel, chocolate, toasty malt). The alcohol at 9.9% was a little too much for the lack of other tastes.

Mouthfeel was thin.

Overall, probably won't be going back to this one. But I wil stick with some others from lagunitas which are delicious.

wo87810, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of tripelhops
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 2oz bottle into atulip glass. a tan colored head builds up but drops quickly, with little lacing. Initial aroma is dark chocolate with a hint of black licorice and molassas. The taste is both sweet and bitter, just a tinge of alcohol heat. I think this is a very tasty imperial stout, and if it was available in my area I'd definately get it more, it's a terrific value.

tripelhops, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of alexhahn82
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Chocolate milky 2 finger head, pitch black with a hint of brown. Intense lacing.

S - Spicey heat in the nose, hints of the standard stout smell, nothing to write home about.

T/M - A very nice and expected thickness in mouth feel accompanied by, again, a very nice and expected chocolatyness. A little sweetness on the end almost like whipped cream on hot (or in this case cold) chocolate. Very pleasant, balance, nobody trying to get too big for their britches with this one which again, is very pleasant.

0 - Wow, I am definitely gonna call this one the "Yoo-Hoo" of Imperial Stouts, this being an "Unlimited Release" <-- Very cool play on the oh too often "Limited Release" that is everywhere, this is a grand slam flavor and style wise. Hard to figuire out where the 9.6% (in this batch) is hidden. Phenominal! Seek and Destroy!

PP (Price Point) - $5.99 for a 22 oz bomber, this is a spectacular product, dont change a thing, even the price! Everything is 100% spot on for this one!!

alexhahn82, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of brewerburgundy
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, wine glass, 10.14% ABV, and there is no year I can see but this has to be the 2011 version.

Straight pours yield transient medium tan froth with only a ring of staying power. Like the Lagunitas coffee Stout I had a year or two ago, this doesn't even properly approach the black, tempest-like hues I expect of an Imperial Stout. It is dark cola with red rays visible all the way through if held to light.

Bittersweet chocolate, black licorice ropes, cola, and vanilla smell very enticing with roast playing second fiddle. Nothing is focused and intense as many this style are, but I really like the depth and variety here in the nose. There is a pleasant alcohol character melded with it all that seems likely to come out more strongly with warming.

Chocolate liqueur is a primary flavor, as is a sweet cola-like flavor. Anise extract reflects the fairly large presence of alcohol in this brew, though none of it unwelcome. There are nearly 75 IBUs here according to the label, and it shows in the finish as a big, bluntish bitterness that is a combination of alcohol and hops. I also get some black, lower end coffee.

I can deal with a lackluster appearance if need be, but this beer has a problem with texture. It is thin, with nothing for the very nice flavors to really get wrapped around.

I think that I hoped for a more traditional Imperial Stout from Lagunitas, but got something much more along the lines I should have expected from this brewery; high and fairly evident ABV and large bitterness. The fact that no one flavor is overpowering may not fit some people's idea of this brewery, but I think the flavor profile is well conceived.

brewerburgundy, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of Meerkey
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Thin head. Black, with just a little dark brown highlights when held up to the light.

S: Dark and sweet. Chocolate and coffee. Some alcohol. Faint hops.

T: Sweet and a little bit of a tang. More coffee and chocolate and also some ripe, dark fruit. Roasted malts.

M: Full, carbonated. Nice.

O: Not an outstanding imperial stout, but still a good one. I'd have another. Recommend.

Meerkey, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet. IBU: 72.45/OG: 1.092/ABV: 9.9%

A: A film of off-white head. The body of the beer is seemingly black, but slightly susceptible to light, in which it turns ruddy brown. Some nice lacing.

S: Smells nice. Vanilla beans and chocolate malt. Bitterer coffee hints. A bit dull (not boring, but...lackluster).

T: Nice beer, average RIS. All the expected flavours -- roasted malts, heavy-feeling alcohol, a smattering of hop bitterness, and even some fruit. The aftertaste is heavy then light, with only a mild bitterness and more lingering sweetness than anticipated.

M: Carbonated, full, substantial. Very good, without being anything outstanding.

O: I think this beer is underrated; it's well-made, tasty, and everything an imperial stout should be. Just because it's not as over-the-top and majestically grand as some others of the style is not an indictment of this particular beer. Recommended. Would drink again.

AgentMunky, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of Hershdawg
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into tulip

A: Jet black with a light tan head. It disperses in a few seconds. Leaves no lacing on the glass.

S: Light roast, toffee and chocolate. Not as big as many.

T: Chocolate, a hint of coffee, a little burnt toffee. Its good but not that impressive.

M: Good and thick.

O: Not bad imperial stout. Its just not that much of a stand out.

Hershdawg, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of CrazyMike
4.65/5  rDev +24%
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.

CrazyMike, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of scones
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been a couple of days, but from what I remember:

A: Thick dark brown. Tan head. Looks goood.

S: A bit alcoholic, some malty chocolatey tones.

T: Awesome. Rich, flavorful, chocolate and coffee, but not imbalanced. Sweet and rich. You can taste a bit of alcohol, but in a good way; in the way you'd want from an RIS.

M: Thicker. Not too much, but not thin by any means.

O: I love it. Its flavorful, it's full, it's got all the right things and nothing that raises a red flag. I buy a new bomber every couple of days, but I've bought this one too every time the past week. I am happy with this purchase every time.

scones, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

644th Review on BA
Bottle to Taster Glass- 6oz
22 oz

App- A darker brown with little head to it. A few bubbles and maybe a ring around the edges.

Smell- A big coffee/roaty forward stout. It smelled quite nice and reminded me of a nice fresh cup of coffee with a little malt behind it. Maybe a little chocolate as well.

Taste- Flavor centric to a roasted cup of espresso and some malts. It was a big stout but didnt over power your tastebuds.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Leaves a nice roasty and coffee flavor for quite a while.

Drink- I've had a lot of beers from Lagunitas lately and this continues the trend with good and tasty beers. I'd have this again on a cold day or for trying my own blend of stout/bourbon.

FosterJM, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of JayS2629
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a murky dark brown. Almost black. With a creamy tan head that faded too quickly and left small rings of lace.

The smell was of roasted malts, coffee, some dark fruit, bakers chocolate, and some earthy notes.

The taste was rich chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, cherries, dark fruit, and earthy elements. Balanced well.

Nice, smooth, and silky. A bit thin for the style. Overall an easy sippin, simple stout.

JayS2629, Jul 11, 2011
Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,396 ratings.