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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

1,504 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,504
Reviews: 574
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 12.77%
Wants: 51
Gots: 180 | 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: 1,504 | Reviews: 574 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of michaeljasmin
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I first tried this imperial stout earlier this summer. The beer that we had at that time was 8.2%. After a long dry spell, the beer is finally back in Alberta. Now clocking in at 10.14% I can't even remember what the 8.2% version tasted like. Considering the strength of the beer I was expecting something a little thicker and a little darker. The beer has a thin head and is a very dark brown color opposed to athe jet black color of other stouts I've tasted along the same lines. This beer dose however have a very pleasent smell and taste. The bitter aftertaste dosn't stay on my palate very long. Somewhat of a disapointment. I would have prefered something a little less dry with a stronger, longer lasting bitter aftertaste. The beer is very thin, goes down fairly easy. This one has a beautiful taste, not the best. But certainly not the worst. A worthy purchase and a great beer

michaeljasmin, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of ADZA
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My bottle looks exactly the same as this one except mine says its 10.14%ABV anyway it pours a rich dark non see through cola hue with beautiful carbonation that leaves behind a thick two finger creamy head and nice lacing its abit thin looking for a RIS but netherless it looks nice,the aroma is abit of a let down considering how nice it looks with hints of milky mocha and bourbon and cola,it has a medium bodied mouthfeel which isnt as thick as i usually like my RIS's and exudes flavours of milky coffee,milky chocolate,caramel malts and finishes with a nice toasty hop bitterness,overall its not bad without being great and i can think of alot other beers from this brewery that id rather revisit.

ADZA, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of david18
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lagunitas is one of the more interesting breweries in my opinion that offers a lot of variations on a single theme. For example they have a ton of double ipas. I wasn't sure, therefore, if I'd tried the Imperial Stout, much less reviewed it. This one is a pretty classic take on the style. A little less hoppy and lower in alcohol than an American Imperial.

Color is very dark, almost black, with significant carbonation. Flavor and aroma was a combination of roast, toast, hops and a little bit of fruitiness. Overall, very well balanced in all areas and very easy to drink...maybe too easy. I will get this again and would recommend it to anyone who likes Imperial Stouts.

david18, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of ne0m00re
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

09/21/10- Had a 22 oz bottle of this at Cafe Apropos.
A: Black with a thin collar.
S: Roasted/burnt, espresso, fruity red wine, pine, fresh, and overall mild.
T: Creamy, chocolate, espresso, sour/tart/burnt at end. Pretty good.
M: Creamy/frothy.
D: OK. 22 oz was good.

ne0m00re, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of homebrew311
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm not really sure what vintage this is. I picked it up at Woodman's in Madison and notice that the label states that it is 10.4% abv. BA states that the 2010 version is 8.2%. Poured in to NB globe.

A: out of the bottle, this imperial stout looks like cola..kind of thin for an imperial stout. As it collects in the glass, it appears black and opaque. A thin beige collar of head forms and sticks around. The lacing is minimal.

S: the nose features notes of molasses, dark fruit, and mild roasty character. The smell suggests that this is going to be on the sweeter end of the spectrum. The nose is not all that complex as the sweet character dominates.

T: the front of the palate has a quick sharp sweetness with some roasty depth in the midpalate. Lots of dark fruit in there (think Darkness, Dark Lord, Bells Batch 9K style) and a very sweet finish. Pretty one note, but that one note happens to be quite tastey.

MF: the body of this brew doesn't quite match the rich flavors. Perhaps this is the missing factor from making this a stand out imperial stout. The carbonation is low and the texture is almost sticky.

D: this beer is big and rich while being an incredible value (3.99 per bomber). I would recommend this to anyone looking for an affordable sweet imperial stout.

homebrew311, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of bgildea
4.28/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown/black color. Little tan head that fades quickly and leaves little lacing.

S: Nice sweet smell, that fades to an oaky like finish.

T: Tastes like it smells. The beer starts off with a sweet chocolate taste, then moves to a bitter roasted malts flavor and finishes with a smokey like oak flavor. Overall, I enjoyed the "movement" so to speak of the flavor.

M: Nice thick almost chocolate milk like texture. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of chew to it.

D: The beer is definitly drinkable. The flavor definitly caries the beer. But I doubt I could put more than 2 of these down before I get anchored to my chair.

Overall: Overall I enjoyed the beer. I thought flavor was great with a nice balance of sweet to bitter. I would definitly recommend this to dark beer drinkers. It might be too heavy for some IPA lovers out there.

bgildea, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of bigfnjoe
2.93/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours jet black with a paper thin brown head that instantly fades. What the hell is with the pathetic head on this? Not off to a great start...

S- slight hints of chocolate. Very weak. Again, the bad start continues...

T- alright, now we're getting somewhere. At least there's some flavor...tastes like chocolate flavored cola. Getting some roasted malts in there as well...but mostly chocolate. A little too unbalanced...no bitterness or coffee notes coming through at all

M- carbonation isn't an issue. Its got a nice thickness to it. Would be rated higher if the beer was more balanced, and the thickness would seem to matter more.

D- not my first choice for a RIS, but its not really undrinkable...just a little boring. Not very complex

bigfnjoe, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of crossovert
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle, mine says 10.2% alc.

It pours a dark brown, bordering black with a foamy, but short lived tan head that leaves no lacing.

It has a great smell, lots of caramel and toffee, also: coffee, chocolate, and some dark fruits. There even is a hint of vanilla. Thick and rich scents.

The flavor has a ton of chocolate and dark fruit. It has a hint of roastiness and coffee. The caramel is there but subdued in comparison to the flavor. There is a bit of bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is a bit over carbonated but it does still hold a firm medium body. Let it oxidize a bit and it turns out pretty nicely.

This one is pretty impressive.

crossovert, Nov 05, 2010
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
Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,504 ratings.