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Lagunitas Imperial Stout - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Imperial StoutLagunitas Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,675 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,675
Reviews: 605
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 57
Gots: 242 | FT: 4
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,675 | Reviews: 605 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tyrawlings
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Giovacchini
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of williamjbauer
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 22oz served in a pint glass

A - Dark brown with ruby tint with some light penetrating. Single finger ecru head with poor head retention and moderate lacing.

S - Faint smell of roasted barley and alcohol. Not very impressive.

T - Typically stout, mostly roasted coffee with some dark chocolate but nothing is very bold and the alcohol isn't as strong as I like in an imperial. Smooth but not very exciting.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O - Above average stout, prob won't get it again.

Photo of Fitzmke
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of gtermi
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: This pours a dark brown, almost black, and has a tiny amount of head. The head quickly fades to almost anything and only leaves a bit foam in a ring around the glass.

S: I love me a boozy smelling beer and this is one that for sure tingles the nose. There is a bit of roasted malt on the nose too.

T: The taste really isnt anything special. There is a bit of roasted malt, some dark fruit and then as the beer lingers, it has a nice sweet malt.

M: There is a lot of carbonation and burn on the back on the throat. It leaves a lot of carbonation in the throat and it just doesnt really do much for me.

O: This is a pretty good beer for the price. I got this beer for $3.21 and it was well worth it for a bomber. Not the best imperial stout, but not horrible.

Photo of StoutHunter
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Lagunitas Imperial Stout a couple weeks ago for $4.99 at The Lager Mill. I have been wanting to try this beer for a while now so I was happy to see that the store just got some in, lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I know it's fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label is plain and isn't that eye catching, the emphasis seems to be on the imperial side of things. It poured a very dark brown color that was close to being black and imparted a finger and a half worth of tan head that quickly died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end. This is an ok looking RIS, but I wish it had a little better head.

S- The aroma starts off with tons of dark roasted malts that have a low amount of medium sweetness and impart some nice dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and toffee flavors with a little bit of coffee and cream showing up towards the end. I didn't pick up any hops in the aroma but I did get a real slight alcohol aroma. This beer has a pretty nice aroma that is very true to style.

T- The taste seems to be very similar to the aroma. The first thing I pick up are loads of dark roasted malts that have a medium amount of roast and a low amount of medium sweetness, the malts impart some nice dark chocolate, caramel toffee, coffee, and cream flavors that come together pretty well. I couldn't taste any hops but I did get a light amount of warming alcohol on the finish with a roasty chocolate aftertaste and a low amount of medium bitterness. The flavor of this beer was nice and the alcohol was hidden pretty well for a 9.9% RIS.

M- Pretty smooth, a little creamy, on the full side of being medium bodied, and it had a high amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was ok but I thought that the carbonation could be toned down just a touch.

Overall I liked this beer and I thought that it was a good RIS, I have had many beers from Lagunitas but all them have been pretty hoppy so I didn't know what they could do with this style but they ended up making a pretty traditional RIS where the roasted malts are the highlight and the hops take a back seat. This beer had good drinkability, it went down fairly smooth, wasn't overly boozy and if I wasn't splitting this bottle with my brother I don't think I would have a hard time drinking it by myself. What I liked most about this beer was pretty much everything, there wasn't anything too off or out of style with this RIS. What I liked least about this beer was the slightly higher then normal carbonation and the fact that it wasn't as roasty and robust as some of the better RIS's. I'm pretty sure I will buy this beer again next time they release it and I recommend this to anyone who likes the style. I was pretty satisfied with this RIS, it's not up there with my favorites of the style but it is still a good and tasty RIS that hit the spot on a cold winter night, I was unsure how good a dark beer from Lagunitas would turn out but they proved to me that they just aren't a tasty hoppy beer brewery, they have more range then I thought and that only further cements my feeling that they are one of my favorite out of state brewery's, keep making tasty beers and I'll keep drinking them.

Photo of IlPostino
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of DavidST
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. This pours a dark almost pitch black with a small tan colored head. The smells are of dark roasted malts and alcohol. The feel is medium to thick. The taste is okay not anywhere the best irs I've had but at least its cheap, some dark toasted malts and alcohol.

Photo of redfacedshooter
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of zander4dawin
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Top-down forming head, dark mocha colored beer with a thin head. Smells like roasted malts and hops, nothing more than average. The taste is smooth and drinkable but nothing about it says IMPERIAL, not aggressive at all. Hop notes are present but not over barring.

Photo of Deadstar
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 22oz bottle into a tulip. Fine bubbles line the glass and float around on the surface of the beer. Not really black, just a very dark brown. Lacing slides down the side of my glass. The aroma is full of malt sweetness, a hint of chocolate, some roasted malts too. I mostly pick up crystal. Taste is much the same as the nose. Not a whole lot of hop bitterness up front, mostly malt sweetness, little bits of chocolate, some dark fruit flavors but they are all balanced by a lingering hop presence. The finish is slightly sweet.

This stout isn't incredibly thick, but it has a nice body. It is well attenuated. Carbonation is right on the mark; some brewers carb their stouts up so high that it detracts from the mouthfeel of the beer, making it livelier than it should be, but this one does not.

Overall, this is a good imperial stout. I'd make it a little less caramel sweet and more towards the chocolate end of things, but it's solid. Another good bomber from Lagunitas.

Photo of kojevergas
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 5 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Served refrigerator cold. This is the 2011 version, which is 10.14% ABV, 72.45 IBU, and with a 1.092 original gravity. No bottling date is listed. Purchased at Wally's Wine in Westwood, California. I'm excited to try this because of the style, and expectations are high.

A: Pours a half finger head of nice mild tan colour, okay cream (it's present at least), and pretty good thickness. Retention is maybe two minutes, about average for 10.14%. Colour is a solid black. Everything here is typical and as it should be for the style. There's nothing special or unique, but it doesn't alert me.

Sm: Leather, chocolate, vanilla, rich caramel, and toffee. Some cream. A mild strength aroma. It's appealing, and suits the style. Nothing stands out.

T: The rich leather/chocolate notes are nicely tamed by the subtly handled caramel on the climax, a pleasant effect. The cream is buried but helpful. I'm quite pleased with how balanced the chocolate is. It never feels too rich or too heavy. It's layered and fairly complex without compromising its balance. That said, there's nothing bold or experimental to separate this from the slew of other imperial stouts. I wish it were unique in some way, but I do find it enjoyable.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with enough coarseness to coax out the flavours initially but not enough to sustain them. Fortunately, it's not too heavy on the palate but it still is able to support the flavours. I'd like more cream and dryness; I'm tired of imperial stouts drinking like they're porters. I don't suspect oats were used for smoothness as it isn't silky. All in all, it gets the job done.

Dr: An enjoyable, drinkable imperial stout that hides its 10.14% ABV very well, this will satisfy fans of the style but won't impress. Worth trying for Lagunitas lovers and those who can't get enough imperial stouts. It's a nice little beer and I'd try it on nitro-draught/draught if I found it, but I'll be passing it over on store shelves for something with a bit more flavour. I look forward to trying more beers from this brewery, and while this is a good beer to try once, I wouldn't go out of my way recommend it to friends - especially with so many superior Imperial Stouts on the market. I will say the availability of this one is a plus, but such factors don't affect my ratings.

Would pair well with chocolate.

I found no issues serving it straight from the refrigerator, and didn't notice that it got better when warming up. It drank just fine from my Guinness goblet.


Photo of atone315
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of corzocl
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of petedog388
3.16/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have to agree with many of the reviews that I read. Lagunitas makes great beer and it is very good but nothing amazing. It looks good, smells good and tastes good but I expected a little more when drinking a lagunitas beer. They are usually extremely out of the ordinary and very special to drink. You can definitely smell and taste the roasted malt character and it is a bit sweet. I have to admit for an imperial stout it is very smooth and east to drink. I just think about there cappuccino stout and how you can really taste the cappuccino and felt as though i was drinking an iced coffee. With this beer I was unable to find that defining characteristic, other than the roasted malt, that would make this beer really special. Overall a good beer and I would recommend for a try.

Photo of obrike
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

What an odd beer.

I love Lagunitas...easily one of my favorite breweries...but this one is a bit odd. I still like it, but it's odd.

Certainly not the typical look of an imp stout...a very dark brown, almost chestnut color. Through me off for a second thinking this was not a stout. Decent head and spotty lacing.

Scent was pretty buried...very odd for a Lagunitas brew...got stome chocolate, vanilla, maybe even a bit of cinammon in this, but not very pronounced. However, it got a bit more aromatic as it warmed...so I ticked up the smell to 3.5.

Well, with all that, I liked the taste of this one...though it certainly is not typical of any recent RIS offering i've had. Pretty darn sweet...almost syrupy. Was almost like a combo stout/doppelbock...dark fruit, roasted malt, some sweet chocolate on the backend...odd, but like I say, I thought it was good.

Overall, a pretty decent beer, but as far as Russian Imp Stouts go...very run of the mill.

Photo of Swim424
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bomber into palm glass

A-very dark black. can see light on the sides barely. not through the thick part of the glass. Small layer of dirty brown head on top.

S-smells of a bit of chocolate mixed with a bit of coffee and definitely some oatmeal. A bit of alcohol as well.

T-A bit of coffee mixed with oatmeal. A bit of a roasted flavor to it. Slight hops and alcohol at the end.

MF-pretty thick. definitely had thicker but pretty thick body. decent carbonation. Good balance between the two.

O-Pretty good. I have am hit or miss with russian imperials but this one is pretty freakin good. Not the best but pretty good.

Photo of jskennedy
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of datphoo
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of ely2000k
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decent overall. The look was not really what I was expecting... looks more like a Belgian dark ale or something in that vein. Not much lacing or head. I poured this into a snifter glass, however the aroma is not over the top. Some burnt coffee notes, dark toffee, and burnt malt. Taste has a bit of a smoky feel to it, with the dryness balancing out any sweetness in the malt. Like bitterness and acidity on the end of the taste. No real cream aspects to speak of, and nothing that screams stout to me per say. Mouthfeel is actually quite watery for the style. High alcohol percentage that is present in the taste, and I kind of enjoy for the smokey aspect of it. Overall I like this beer, but style wise I would probably go for some better representations of this style. Overall I generally love Lagunitas, and I find this beer to be good, but not quite what I was expecting.

Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of djaeon
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of splendidsplinter
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of kew
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of cdwil
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,675 ratings.