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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

1,631 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,631
Reviews: 595
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 56
Gots: 219 | 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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 08-31-2001

2010 8.2% abv
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,631 | Reviews: 595 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Murrhey
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured in a Pilsner glass.

A- Dark, thin tan head with thick bubbles. Can't see through the beer, this is wonderfully dark.

S- Roast malts, coffee and chocolate. Somewhat boozy in the nose.

T- Delicious and dark, booziness is kept in check by the dark roast flavors.

M- Thick, weaker carbonation, but finished full bodied.

O- Delicious. Full bodied with nice smells.

Photo of Halcyondays
2.18/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours black with a medium mocha coloured head. Good retention, light lace.

S: Molasses, sweet chocolate, dates.

T: Cloying brown sugar and booze. Really no chocolate flavour, tough to drink.

M: Medium-bodied, light for an Imperial Stout, boozy and cloying as I said. Not a good aftertaste.

O: Reminds me a bit of Ruben and the Jets which I was not a fan of. Just not a good IS at all. Amazing price for the style but not even worth it at that. I was scared when I saw the 1.092 OG this would be underattenuated and I was right.

Photo of wvsabbath
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Dark black, monster 3+ inch creamy tan head, tons of lacing.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits like plum, coffee, sugars, dark chocolate, licorice, molasses, cocoa and alcohol.

Taste - Sweet dark fruits, chocolate, malts and alcohol hits you at first sip. Lots of flavor and sweetness. Theres a decent amount of hop flavor also. Lots of coffee, sweet molasses and malts in every drink.

Mouthfeel - Thick, strong and sweet. Chocolate and malts coat whole mouth with sweetness, boldness and bitterness from the coffee. Palette is covered with mentioned flavors. Aftertaste is sweet with some slight burn from the alcohol.

Overall - Pretty good, plenty of coffee and sweetness, moreso then standard russian imperial stouts. Alcohol comes out a little too much as it warms but other then that, for the price and how tasty it is, its soild and worth a drink.

Photo of cwlodyka
2.16/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Everything about this beer excites me... until it hit my lips. The first thing I got was that burning flavor of a high alcohol beer. It was difficult to get passed that to further evaluate this beer. A good looking beer and a light roasted scent, big body but it wasn't pleasing to subsequently follow. I was actually a little disappointed I had a whole 22 ahead of me.

Photo of Hopfenpeter
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Stout poured black in color and produced a nice brown bubbly head about one and a half fingers high.
The smell is a nice coffee and dark chocolate. It reminds of expresso.
Tasting the beer the coffee is up front followed by nicely roasted malt. No burning taste like found so often. The end is a little sweet for an imperial, but the beer has nice balance.
It might not be the ideal specimen of an imperial stout, but it is certainly a great fusion version. I loved it.

Photo of StevenBilodeau
4.42/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber style bottle, poured a deep black, chocolate brown hue.

Nice head, great lacing... very good retention.

Extremely aromatic, sweet rich coffee, smooth... and earthy. Undertones of chocolate, dark chocolate bitterness.

An excellent beer, very aromatic, tasty and reminds me of just a full bodied beer perfect for those extremely cold days.

worth the purchase.

Photo of Thads324
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black color with a big tan head. Dissipates to just lace on the edges very quickly. Aromas of very sweet malts with undertones of sweet coffee. A bit of alcohol in the end. Starts out pretty nicely with a roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate flavor. The middle is dominated by a very sweet sugary taste. Finishes smooth with a nice blend of chocolate, booze and a hint of espresso. The beer is very heavy but finishes really smooth. Great balance.
Overall a pretty nice beer that might be a little better if aged longer (no date). Still a bit sweet, but otherwise very nice. This brewery keeps pumping out winners

Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The rise of the imperial stout has made the style a bit of a fall back for many craft brewer's "elite" output. The issue is that the bar has been set incredibly high, particularly in recent years with the rise of Deschutes' "The Abyss" and Firestone's "Parabola" among others. Here's how Lagunitas stacks up:

A - Pours a typical deep chocolate brown, although with a bit lighter than most when held to light. Thin lacing and a lighter head gives this beer a less intimidating pour.

S - Heavily malty aroma with bourbon and chocolate infused with a bit of a heavy brown ale style syrupy layer.

T & M - Flavors burst and linger, although without the intense chewiness of its more refined brethren. Bourbon and maple flavors give a strong, yet a bit too sweet of a flavor. A bit more hop bite might cut down the heavy sweetness, or in this beers case, some more carbonation.

O - Not quite to the excellent standard of the great imperial stouts, but it's good if you want a more affordable option and are craving something heavy- as this is 1/3 the price of Parabola.

Photo of BeerNutz324
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber poured into a pint glass

Ap- dark cocoa/black in color. cinnamon colored head that fades quickly.

Ar- smells like black licorice, molasses and alcohol.

T- just like the nose. sweet with roasted malts with a black licorice and molasses aftertaste. Feel like I get a little choc in the aftertaste as well. For being 9.9% the alcohol is pretty well hidden.

M- medium feel with perfect carbonation for this style. Leaves a wee bit of sting of alcohol on the mouth after sitting for a while.

O- Pretty good IS in IMO. I like it, especially for the price!

Photo of quirkzoo
2.83/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

reviewed from notes:

Pours a straight black body with minimal tan head, even after an aggressive pour. Lots of caramel on the nose and a weird earthy/vegetal scent I can't quite put my finger on. There is a little bit of roastiness and chocolate on the nose but it is very subtle. The taste is a heavy hit of caramel, syrupy with a soy sauce flavor that is unpleasant. The mouthfeel is not as big as one would expect from this style but was okay. Overall not my favorite RIS. The only things that were unique about it, were not unique in a good way.

Photo of jmdrpi
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
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

Photo of alk3kenny
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
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...

Photo of PicoPapa
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

Photo of SawDog505
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of GilGarp
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of maximum12
2.5/5  rDev -33.7%
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).

Photo of liamt07
3.67/5  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.

Photo of garymuchow
3.7/5  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.

Photo of peensteen
3.7/5  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.

Photo of claytong
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of emmasdad
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of coldriver
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of anglagard1
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of wo87810
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,631 ratings.