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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

1,637 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,637
Reviews: 596
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 56
Gots: 220 | 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: 1,637 | Reviews: 596 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheStove
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Photo of froghop
3.58/5  rDev -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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.92/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of Elimination
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
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

Photo of drabmuh
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Photo of Daktyls
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of Movin
4.82/5  rDev +27.9%
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

Photo of andrenaline
4.59/5  rDev +21.8%
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!

Photo of gregshead
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.29/5  rDev +13.8%
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!

Photo of deereless
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
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

Photo of Ghenna
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of industrialswill
3.21/5  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.

Photo of GarrettMD
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

Photo of Billolick
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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

A: Poured a nice jet black with good carbonation and nice brown head.

S: Chocolate, roasted malt and coffee with some booze

T: Easy drinking and tasty. Hints of fig with majority of roasted malt, chcolate, wood and booze

M: Nice and warming, roasted notes with a feel of chocolate on the end with a very, very slight sour feel

D: Not bad at all! I will get another.

Photo of velosuds
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness dating on bottle or label. Purchased from local grocery store for $3.99.

A-Pours a deep, dark brown almost black hue with a one finger +, tan head that dissipated quickly and left little lacing. A more vigorous pour with the remainder produced nearly a two finger head that lingered longer.

S-Coffee, caramel malts, and a hint of chocolate, all of which was too faint.

T-Some chocolate, coffee, and caramel malts that are pleasantly sweet with a smoky finish. Balanced nicely by grassy hops for sufficient bitterness. Taste is good, but not great.

M-Too thin for style. And a tad flat due to inadequate carbonation.

D-This is very drinkable for its 9.6% ABV (per label, but website indicates 8.2%). Value is good at $4.00 a bomber compared to other brewers' offerings. Alcohol content is masked nicely.

A decent Imperial Stout, though not quite on par with Lagunitas' Hop Stoopid and Lucky 13 Mondo Large Red Ale.

Photo of Mancer
3.22/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark brown/ jet black with a one finger high light brown head. The head dissipated slowly and lingered on the surface for the remainder of the beer's life. The lacing on this beer is thick and there is a low amount of carbonation. The initial smell of the beer is that of roasted chocolate and caramel malts. The initial taste of the beer is as the smell, roasted caramel and chocolate malts. It finished with a lingering mellow roastiness. The brew is full bodied and seems more like a milkshake, rather than a beer.

Conclusion: All in all, this is a good stout. The smell of the brew was fairly strong. There's not much going on in this brew.

Photo of DoktorZee
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a large (650ML) bottle into a pint glass. No obvious best-before or bottling date.

A - Black in color, but lightly brown around the edges. Non-lacing head disappears quickly. No obvious carbonation.

S - Fragrant coffee, caramel malts with a hint of grass

T - Smoky coffee and dark chocolate, less lingering bitterness than expected resolves quickly into a slight alcohol warmth

M - a carbonated bite over an oily texture - not quite as pleasing as expected

D - ok drinkability, the relatively high alcohol content is hidden initially but comes out with time

Decent Imperial Stout, but not one of the best.

Photo of Daniellobo
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice RIS, maybe not very close to style, a bit thin but balanced by a prominent boozy and carbonated sense.

Presentation: 22 oz brown capped bottle. Simple label with typographic design around the name of the brew, hammer and sickle logos, and Lagunitas mascot, tongue in cheek liners ("unlimited release") and a side narrative with a ramble about the Russian revolution and the legacy of this brew. Notes O.G. (1.082), IBUs (72.45), and Alc. by Vol. (8.2%) Served in a snifter.

A - Black pour with brown edges, short bubbly brown head, short retention, minimal surface memory and no lacing.

S - Roasted malt aroma, coffee and a bit of chocolate, and as it warms a climbing note of alcohol.

T - Rich range of roasted malts with a predominant coffee and chocolate complement. Bitter touch at the end adding a nice tone.

M - Medium body and generous carbonation, not overwhelming but certainly picking up what would be a bit thin otherwise.

D - Despite the touch of thinness the way they balance it out works pretty well and if one is not bothered by the role that the alcohol is playing this is fairly nice all in all.

Notes: Hmmm, it´s a nice Lagunitas offering, not a top tier bur still pretty fair. Funny how they seem to have done this trick around the mouthfeel being balanced by alcohol or extra carbonation in some other brews, it does not happen in their better brews but still works nicely.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22-ounce bomber into a Saranac pint glass.

A: Poured a deep, ruby-tinged brownish black color with a one-finger head of tan foam which left some decent lacing.

S: Smells pretty rich and smoky, with aromas of licorice, latte and some herbal, grassy hop notes to boot.

T: Flavor is mostly dark roasted malt and some herbal, juicy hops at first. There's little deviation from this, with hints of carob, licorice, dark chocolate and dark, red fruit juices. Some floal, hoppy grapefruit essence creeps in towards the mildly creamy and fairly astringent, boozy finish.

M: Mouthfeel is pretty full-bodied with a slightly astringent alcohol and bitter hop sting to it.

D: A somewhat unimpressive imperial stout which seems more constructed around its 8.2% ABV and clever story on the label than the complexity of the brew. Not a bad stout, but the spicy, floral fruitiness tarnished the semisweet after dinner sipper I was hoping for. i'll reach for the Cappuccino Stout next time.

Photo of drewba
3.76/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nearly opaque deep, almost blood red. Very small tan head which dissipates quickly, no lacing.

S - The predominate smells are booze and raisins. There are hints of other fruit.

T - Nice roasty and carmely malts, hints of molasses and vanilla. The biggest surprise to this beer was the amount of fruit I found in this beer - lots of raisin, cranberry, cherry.

M - fairly thin, light carbonation.

D - I could drink this all night, the crisp carbonation is quite refreshing and the fruityness of this one makes for a highly drinkable stout.

Photo of babaracas
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with dark brown edges, thin tan head, not much lace. Smell: dark brown sugar, mild roasted note, a little date, in the background green spicy and leafy hops with a touch of alcohol. Taste: dark brown sugar, medium roast, greenish earthy and spicy hops. A rather drinkable and laidback, but not particularly complex RIS.

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.13/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served at cellar temperature, 45 degrees F. Poured from a 22-ounce brown bottle into a snifter glass.

Pours a deep, nearly opaque brown with a small half-finger of tan foam that falls away rather quickly to a thin crown. No lace left behind on the walls of the glass.

The nose is rather one-dimensional, with some mild caramel notes and a touch of dark roast, along with a big whiff of boozy alcohol.

Nice and full in body with a rich, chewy mouthfeel and just a touch of prickly carbonation. Dark chocolate, caramel and roast up front, with a strikingly huge alcoholic presence overtaking everything in the middle, with a big dosing of hop bitterness lying underneath; screeches into a finish that is bracingly boozy, warming and dry, with a lingering roastiness and a hotness in the chest that becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.

Overall, a pretty mediocre Imperial Stout. Fairly disappointing, as the Cappuccino Stout is much more pleasing. Too boozy and with little comparitive complexity to match, this is perhaps one of the biggest let-downs I've had from Lagunitas. But at a relatively low price of just over four dollars, this bomber is a decent deal as far as Imperial Stouts go.

Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,637 ratings.