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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

1,446 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,446
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: 1,446 | Reviews: 567 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StoutCream
2.93/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

$4 and 5 blocks later, poured a bomber into a quart mason jar. That's how i drink, fool.

Appearance: looked like motor oil till I held up to the light. Stout!?! really!?! I could see right through it. Substantial head that settles to a stable finger width after a few minutes. Not lacey, just stable.

Smell: had to pour some in a red wine glass to get anything. What I got was alcohol. After some finegaling got some coffee, mocha, and toast but just hints. Mostly alcohol. To be expected from this lackluster brewery and high gravity.

Taste: burnt chocolate, espresso, caramel, alcohol, with a touch of green herbals that I thought I caught in the nose, too, only briefly.

MF: can something be creamy and bitter? Yes. Smooth in the front, strong in the back. Not the best, not the worst, but not exciting. Almost flat, with the viscosity of burnt coffee. Total session. You don't have to think about this beer. In fact, it's better if you don't.

Drinkable: despite the gravity, this is my session stout when I am out of big city jamaican, as long as I have eaten well that day. Food really makes the bad points of this beer disappear. i recommend pairing with food. Drink at your own risk.

StoutCream, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of alpineclimber
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rigorous pour produced a huge tan head on a black brew, good head retention that slowly fades to leave tons of lacing on the glass.

Smell is of sweet sweet malt and some light mocha coffee. Not an intense nose but it's there.

Great balanced taste, nice sweet dark malty flavor. Nothing too complicated but not single dimensional either. I expected a hoppier brew with the 72 IBU's that were listed on the bottle, I am fine with the hidden hops, not a fan of hoppy stouts. The alcohol can be sensed but it's not in your face, something I would expect from a brew that is 10%.

Medium to thick mouthfeel with a slightly high carbonation.

Overall this is a good Russian Imperial Stout! I have probably passed this one by thirty times before I decided to pick it up. I would drink this again if I was in the mood for a simple RIS without all the bells and whistles.

This brew may also have improved. The current ABV is pegged at 10.14%, it's listed as 8.2% on this site. The recipe may have changed producing a better RIS.

alpineclimber, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of biglite351
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

A - a bit of red around the edges. Creamy tan head leaving some lacing.

S - strong. Chocolate, burnt malts, ... prune maybe?

T - odd prune juice in a stout smell. Chocolate donuts taste in there. Strong malts.

M - heavy coating and lots of tingle all over mouth.

D - the odd taste that I am calling prune would keep me from having it too often, but I would consider it any time that I see it.

biglite351, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of paigertx
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bomber from WF nyc Bowery location poured into tulip glass. Smell is misleading that the chocolate malt is going to pour through. Not the case, tastes like simple syrup is slightly smoked and maybe a hint of dark cocoa. Mouthfeel is chalky and sweet which with the abv makes for a low drinkability for an imperial stout. Lagunitas' weaker showing in my opinion, should stick to hoppy ales and the Tumbler, Torpedo, and IPA are great.

paigertx, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Go CAL!!! Pours a super-dark brown near to black, but still some clarity near the edges. Huge three-finger creamy tan head settles down to half-finger of persistent head, lots o' lacing. Nice so far. Some metallic notes in the nose, but mostly lots of roasty malt, some sour dark fruit like black cherry, a hint of sweetness, and some nice hop notes. Huge robust flavor. Lots of semisweet chocolate and the black cherry right upfront. Evolves into a luscious espresso, and finishes super-long and roasty. Delicious beer. Can't recall the price, but Lagunitas is always well-priced. I wanna say $3.99/bomber on this, so a tad medium-hi pricing.

What I like Most: The awesome upfront flavor characteristics.

What I like Least: The metallic notes in the nose.

Verdict: Fantastic robust stout. Worth tracking down.

SolomonGrundy, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of QuestionableScum
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a tan head, and quite a bit of carbonation streaming up the glass. Looks pretty good.

Smells of chocolate, molasses, roasted malts, alcohol and a little bit of dark fruit and licorice. Nice.

Alcohol is quite present in taste initially, but not unpleasant (sort of reminds me of a barleywine in a way). Very malty up front, both sweet molasses malts, and roasted malts, also some hints of coffee and dark chocolate. Also as I drink, I get the odd hint of dark fruits and milk chocolate. Very pleasant, and well balanced. Quite delicious, after I bought this brew and saw the B-rating on BA I was not sure how good it would be, but this is pretty damn tasty.

Mouthfeel is quite good as well. Quite sticky, and chewy, and coats the mouth nicely, but not overly so.

Booziness brings down drinkability, definitely one you take your time with, and would only want a couple of.

QuestionableScum, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of Stunner97
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - very lively and impressive look dark pitch black with very nice thick bellowing tan head off the pour with small bubbles streaming along the side of the goblet, no light coming thru at all

smell- roasted malts, espresso, chocolate, slight coffee, overall good nose

Taste- sharp burnt malts, rather malty with the tones of espresso and chocolate clearly there, firm bitterness and alcohol right there at the finish keep everything in check, a little weak and soft up front then back end very strong equals it all out,

Mouthfeel- medium bodied and smooth not quite as heavy as it actually looks

Drinkablity- very easy to drink and enjoyable, nothing super super complex but still really great solid example of the style which has nothing be ashamed of and i believe overall a bit underated on here, great value too, def worth a shot and one ill try again

Stunner97, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of DovaliHops
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Version. 10.14% ABV. Pours an extremely dark brown. When held up to light it has a red hue to it. Medium tan head. Scent is roasted malt with lots of chocolate. I get a bit of nuttiness and dark fruit scents as well. Also candy sugar and alcohol. Taste to me is like a more boozy Peche Mortel. Although the coffee is not as stand-out as Peche Mortel (the alcohol takes up the lack of coffee flavor), there are a lot of similar features (mouthfeel as well). The chocolate and nuttiness along with the coffee make this a very tasty brew. As it warms, the alcohol makes itself more noticeable. The mouthfeel is not as thick as I was expecting, or hoping for... but still good. The drinkability is as high fairly high for an American Imperial Stout.

DovaliHops, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of jdense
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle from Whole Foods PDX. Note the label indicates 10.13% ABV, not the 8.2% listed in description. Shared with a buddy, poured into Chimay chalices.

One finger light tan head, quick dissipation, with minimal lacing on top of dark brown body with some garnet highlights. Nose is quite sweet, licorice, molasses. Taste features a good chocolate dose but not a lot of hop presence. Mouthfeel is medium full, oggd effervescence, not sticky despite overt sweetness. Not real drinkable at this point, may benefit from some cellaring.

jdense, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of TheStove
3.33/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a standard pint glass.

Pours nice and dark black with a good few fingers of foam which reduce down to a small foam line across the top. Nose to the glass reveals strong notes of toasted malt.

First few sips reveal that this is a good thick stout. Nice and heavy mouth feel, almost as if my mouth has to get through the texture before it can enjoy the flavor and I like that. Despite this the sips finish with a welcome ease, like the stout has gone from heavy to runny in a matter of a second.

Great toasted malt flavor with a prominent coffee and cocoa midsection. These flavors remain in a good way and despite being an "imperial" stout there is a noted booze character without noticeable bitterness or hop influence. Of course this changes and the hops begin to come out near the end with light fruit flavors almost like that of an IPA. It all melds together into a good beverage.

I don't know if I'd rate this a top tier stout but it is definitely an easy drinker. I almost want to call it stout training wheels as it is smooth and flavorful yet it doesn't favor any one flavor profile to make it more appealing to a certain palate. Lots for everyone in this one.

TheStove, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of froghop
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a jet black with a small brown head that goes away quickly, and good lacing.

smell is faint, malt, cocoa, and coffee.

taste is thick, coffee, some licorice, and milk chocolate, ends dry and a little bitter.

overall a very nicely made imperial stout.

froghop, Aug 23, 2010
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 Elimination
4.28/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle into a pint glass

Look is dark as night very little head at all.

Smell strong coffee, chocolate, whiskey, very good.

Taste a high amount of initial alcohol , coffee, chocolate but those taste taper off leaving a subtle sweetness of a milk chocolate. All is great but still remains very hot.

Mouthfeel has a light but smooth carbonation, he small amount of bubbles tingle leaving a thin lacing.

The drink is very high and is actually a fav imperial stout of mine, lagunitas remains a stellar brewery always

Elimination, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not bottle date. Poured into a bruery tulip. Beer is black and dark. Forms a thin monolayer of tiny brown bubbles that leaves lacing on the glass.

Beer smells roasty and sweet with a hint of roast and other coffeeness to it. Nice.

Beer is medium in body and leads off with a strong sweetness that is followed by a growing and dark roast bitterness at the back of the mouth. Its coffee and mildly milk chocolate like. Its smooth in the palate and overall pretty good. Not sure what makes this an RIS but its a good imperial stout.

drabmuh, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of Daktyls
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark black, very viscous during the pour producing very little head which dissipates very quickly leaving a clean surface.

S: Surprisingly does not have any cocoa or coffee scents that I was able to detect. There was a fruity smell similar to figs or raisins. Faintly smells of alcohol as would be expected from a RIS.

T: Ahh, there's the cocoa and coffee. Among the raisin-y and fig tastes is a light coffee and chocolate taste. Also tastes slight of dark malts and a slightly nutty taste.

M: Very slick on the tongue with a medium amount of carbonation that is present but not overbearing. Very smooth.

D: Again, very smooth and enjoyable, I'll certainly be finishing the second half of this bottle.

Daktyls, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S- Some vinous characters, mostly raisins. Chocolate, roast and malts come stronger. A touch of alcohol makes it known that this is an RIS.

T- Pretty approachable for an RIS. Raisin and fig are light along with milk chocolate and weak coffee. A little bit of smoke as well. Mostly its all dark malts showing off.

MbpBugeye, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of Movin
4.83/5  rDev +28.5%
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

Movin, Aug 06, 2010
Photo of andrenaline
4.63/5  rDev +23.1%
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!

andrenaline, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of gregshead
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black or very dark brown. Medium amount of head.

S: Malt, chocolate smell

T: Starts with a nice malt taste, chocolate and nutty overtones. Finishes smooth

M: Nice thick feel. Just the right amount of carbonation.

D: Overall a tasty drink. Very well balanced for the alcohol content. Will definitely have this one again.

gregshead, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of joemcgrath27
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

50th review, hopefully I picked a good one!
A - a deep brown-black, short toffee head that didn't retain the best, but decent lacing
S - sweet chocolate, very nutty malt, hints of marshmallow and some smoke
T - roasty, nutty, and smokey up front, nice sweetness and mellow smooth chocolate, with the taste of roasted nuts, coffee beans, and just a little hops on the finish
M - a full mouth chewy smoothness, with just a little kick of hops and alcohol
D - very impressed, the flavour are so tasty, and the feel smooth enough that you wouldn't guess it is an imperial, although there is just a little kick to remind you. Well done!

joemcgrath27, Jul 30, 2010
Photo of deereless
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep brown to borderline black, some sticky spots of foam around the interior of the glass, thin layer of dense head over the surface of the glass, medium viscosity - 4.00, S: Dark roast, thick syrupy sweetness, molasses and golden raisins, slight alcohol burn present on the nose, rum infused chocolate cake, pretty hearty and intense nose - 3.50, T: Thick, semi-sweet chocolate, some prunes and raisins, espresso and quite a bit of charring, hop bite is noticeable but kind of lost in all the thick malts - 3.75, M: very smooth and velvety mouth feel - 4.50, D: A solid Imperial stout, quite drinkable - 3.50

deereless, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of Ghenna
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Very dark brown color with 1.5 fingers of latte colored head atop the beer. Very appetizing.

Nose is singularly of sweet malty molassesy goodness. Flavor backs up the nose with caramel-y and coffee undertones with a bit of a dry finish. Generally a thicker beer especially as it warms up.

Ghenna, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of industrialswill
3.2/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle I've got is listed at 10.14% ABV
An aggressive pour produces a thick, tan head.
I get whiffs of roasted malt and molasses, the taste that follows is what I smell with no surprises.
The alcohol is well disguised.
This is a nice beer to self indulge with on occasion.
At about $5 for a bomber, it is a good value.

industrialswill, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of GarrettMD
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My bottle says that the ABV is 9.6%, so I don't know if they changed it or if the ABV was never listed correctly here, but that's what my bottle was, not 8.2%.

A - Pours an opaque black with 1 finger tan head after a fairly aggressive pour. Head retention and lacing are good.

S - I can't place the smell, definitely alcohol, some slight coffee and chocolate aroma, but mostly alcohol and dark malts.

T - Taste is very similar to the smell, big alcohol burn, they didn't do a good job covering it up. Coffee/malt taste is pleasant, but is still overpowered by the alcohol.

M - Fairly thick for the ABV, goes down smooth despite the burn.

D - After drinking some of the beer, the alcohol starts to take effect and you don't feel the burn as much anymore, making this a very drinkable beer. Before that though, it was only moderately drinkable, the actual flavor masking the alcohol only slightly.

GarrettMD, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$4.99 for a bomber, at Beverage World in Peekskill, NY. Read a bunch of older reviews, they are all over the place...pours darkest shades of mahogany, with ruby glimmers around the edges. dark tan, minor head, thick film, clinging collar and spots of globby lace. mild nose of some chocolate and dark malts. Mouth feel is a wee bit light IMHO for the style. Notes of more chocolate,, dusty dark malts, chalky dryness. Dry Impy, on the lighter side of the style all the way around. Flavorful, but lacking the real depth of flavors of the heavy hitters of the style.

Billolick, Jul 03, 2010
Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,446 ratings.