Lagunitas Imperial Stout - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Imperial StoutLagunitas Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

620 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 620
Hads: 1,813
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 73
Gots: 324 | FT: 5
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 620 | Hads: 1,813
Photo of ClavisAurea
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Bomber in a oversized wine glass. 2014 Bottling.

Appearance: Black as midnight, poured about right for a RIS (thick and chewy), light tan head of microscopic bubbles cling to the glass.

Nose: Coffee, chocolate, toasty, slightly burnt sugar, not fruity at all, slight hop notes in the end

Taste: Roasted malts, rich espresso, bakers chocolate, not milky like some RISs but it does have a creamy and chewy texture, mildly hoppy for for a West coast beer, alcohol that matched the big and bold flavors presented.

The price is the true selling point here: $5 for a bomber. I have another one in the cellar but I'm going to pick up more to age and enjoy. Great RIS. (664 characters)

Photo of Phigg1102
4.6/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is highly underrated IMO. Incredible balance of bitter chocolate and coffee combine with a great medium bodied mouthfeel to make this highly drinkable. (161 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%

A - Dark black pour with a thick toffee, creamy, sticky layer of foam.

S - Dark roasted chocolate and coffee beans with a hint of caramel and light smokiness.

T - Dark roasted chocolate bitterness and Espresso throughout with a lingering dark chocolate bitterness, dark roastiness with little to no alcohol warming on the way down which is impressive for a borderline 10% beer.

M - Thick medium body, gentle carbonation.

O - A solid stout at a bargain price. (464 characters)

Photo of JamesBondGA
4/5  rDev +9%

Pours a beautiful black color with a tan head. Smell hints of Chocolate, Caramel and some coffee. Alcohol is not overly present despite the 9.90 ABV. Actually a very easy drink... (181 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours luscious d a bit thick. Perfectly black with a good head of khaki colored foam that lasts and leaves lace. Eventually the head falls to a thick ring and the bubbles seem to want to hug the glass as I swirl the beer around. Nose is deep and rich and a bit sweet. Roast and chocolate, a sweet caramel and weak coffee. This has a mellow quality to the nose that I really like. It smells soft and like it does not have any rough edges. A bit of earthiness and a faint and elusive nuttiness comes forward as it warms. I am not getting any smoky qualities form the nose. Taste is smooth and well blended. There is a bit of smoke on the palate and a touch of earthy bitterness form the roast. The coffee stays weak in the drink and the chocolate is also a bit fainter on the palate than on the nose. The sweet underpinnings of caramel carry through smoothly to a dry and bitter finish with a nice drying effect on the tongue from the alcohol. That's all you see of the alcohol though. You do not taste it and it's not in the nose . Only a ticklish bit of warmth as you swallow and it's faint at that. Lovely! It does come across with a bit of a cereal taste in the middle but I think I would say that is richness of roast without a lot of heavy or sugary sweetness. Mouthfeel is full and creamy, but not too thick or too heavy. It is not terribly complex. There is no fruit character and the malt says supple and soft throughout the drink as the sweetness of the chocolate creeps shyly onto the palate more and more as you drink.

This is very easy to drink and well done. (1,588 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bomber at 40 degrees into tulip
Aroma weak, some roasted malt
Head large (6 cm), light brown, frothy, diminishing to 3 mm ring and layer
Lacing fair – partial rings of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor very sweet, heavy roasted malt presence with some dark fruit flavors; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate full, syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 3.25, Flavor 4, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.75 (422 characters)

Photo of Stoutastic
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Great punch in the mouth of flavor. Has strong chocolate hints. Love the thickness of this Stout. Perfect winter drink with its filling capabilities. Great beer for the price as well. Definitely drinking this on a regular basis. (228 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.11/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Well it's a beautiful looking beer. The head resembles a light-colored, frothy chocolate shake. The body is pitch-black and the contrast of these two colors is quite exceptional. I've poured the beer into an oversize wine glass and it's a sight to see.

A creamy, chocolate aroma emerges on the nose, again reminding me of a chocolate shake but with a bit of hop bite. There's some caramel and toffee adding more dessert suggestions. It's very pleasant. Something in there suggests oak.

Dark chocolate, caramel, oak and hops all swirl around on my palate. Faint notes of coffee roast and bitterness sneak in as well. I like this flavor. Good stuff.

There may be a bit more bitterness than one would expect from an imperial stout, which isn't a surprise coming from Lagunitas. Otherwise this beer is rich, full-bodied and of medium-carbonation.

I'm always a fan of Lagunitas and especially their prices and this is no exception. For $4, you won't find much else of similar quality and serving size. (1,004 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Imperial Stout pours a black color with a small lacing head. There is a nice malty aroma with some black licorice notes. The taste is the same, nice creamy malty aroma, some notes of black licorice. A little watery, but still nice creamy body. Overall its a pretty decent beer, very creamy. (294 characters)

Photo of WAbeerfiend
5/5  rDev +36.2%

Poured from a bomber into a tulip on 05.18.14.

A: 3 finger tan head with a slow pour. Midnight black with some red at the bottom.

S: Lots of fig. Raisin and cocoa too. Sweet smelling.

T: Fig, raisin, milk chocolate dominate. Cocoa and a slight roastiness are subtle.

M: Creamy smooth.

O: This was perfectly balanced. It had a slight alcohol warmth on the back end. The roastiness was not overdone. This really was a fantastic stout and for $3.82 on sale ($4.49 regular), it was an absolute steal. It is amazing how Lagunitas keeps prices so low for their fantastic beers.

Rating: A+ (589 characters)

Photo of DannyS
4.53/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a half-liter glass. the rest was poured into a snifter for tasting purposes.

Look - Black as the ace of spades. Light cannot escape this darkness. Perched on top of this beery abyss is a finger of mocha colored head and loose globs of lacing. Exactly what a stout should look like.

Smell - heady roasted malts, maple, and mocha all collaborate to dominate this extremely active aroma profile. Holy hell this smells good.

Taste - Lower on the bitterness than I expected, boasting a rich, slightly sweet malty and grainy taste to compliment the bitter chocolate and coffee here. Actually most of the bitterness is just in the aftertaste. Lagunitas got this nailed down.

Feel - Smooth as velvet with a carbonation that foams up just right on the palate, giving it a full yet not too weighty mouthfeel. Finishes just a tad dry.

Overall - You can barely tell this is 9.9% ABV. It drinks so easily and tastes so darned good, you'll put this one away and fall off your chair before you can say "He's had enough!" This could go down as one of my favorite Impy stouts, and since it's so easy to find, that's just icing on this dark, decadent beer cake. (1,174 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4/5  rDev +9%

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on September 5, 2014.

Mostly black pour with mahogany brown highlights around the edges of the glass. Big, long lasting tan head.

Aroma of roasted, sweet, dark malts, a dusty cellar, and moderate bitterness.

Medium but quite smooth body.

The taste begins like aged malts but then the bitterness is more pungent than my nose expected. Low to no booze. (388 characters)

Photo of brewskifan55
4/5  rDev +9%

On sale for $4.29 at Hop City, Atlanta. One of the best beer bargains around.

A: Black with a tan one finger head that dissipates fast. Some lacing.

S: Anise, leather, dark fruit (plums, dates).

T: Wow! Chocolate and licorice do a jig on my tongue. Dark fruit cuts in, too. Caramel and a bit of coffee round out the taste. Hearty as hell. Robust. Just a stellar brew.

M: Medium to heavy with medium carbonation. Thick. Dry. Full volume.

O: A surprisingly good RIS; one I would easily recommend. I'd pay twice as much for this terrific brew. Well done, Lagunitas. (584 characters)

Photo of Braz
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%

Good there's just a touch of alcohol bite in this that keeps it from being top shelf to me. Body and appearance are great. Mild sweetness and a bit heavier on coffee notes than others I've had. (193 characters)

Photo of LovingCup
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Pours a little bit like motor oil with a decadent mahogany head. Got that big roasty and toasty smell. Smells more cocoa than espresso. You know its got all the signs going for it. Tastes rich and dark. bittersweet chocolate. caramel. maybe a touch of espresso. clean and creamy mouthfeel. touch of booze in a good way. Nothing crazy out of the box, just a well done imperial stout.
9.9% abv, $4 all day for a bomber? Sold! Perhaps I'm bumping my score up a bit because of this, but it's hard not to take into consideration. (526 characters)

Photo of Roguer
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Impressively thick and solid dark brown head; retention is excellent, settling to a creamy residue and leaving behind tons of lacing. Brew is black. 4.25

Roasted barley and cacao on the aroma. A little dark fruit, but not the sour, overripe presence from many stouts. 3.75

Pretty straightforward stout, featuring a surprising amount of chocolate, lots of roasted barley, barely tart dark fruit, banana yeast profile, light tobacco leaf, and a little coffee and cream. 3.5

Creamy mouthfeel, with a little sting for the style, and mild alcohol burn. Long wet finish. Very impressive feel. 4.25

For the price, this is a great imperial stout. It doesn't really stand up against the big boys IMO, but at $5 a bomber, it may well be the best bargain in its class. 3.75 (771 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%

No frills, no gimmicks, no games; the highly roasted taste of imperial stout stands tall with Lagunitas' massive dark ale.

Opaque and onyx-black, the ale would likely crawl out on its own if not poured so quickly. Inky and like motor oil, the ale settles into the snifter unleashing a plethora of roasted sweetness. Molasses, dark chocolate, espresso and roasted nuttiness envelops the nose while the first taste take the senses to roasted marshmallows with its creamy and roasted sweetness.

Sweetness in tow throughout the center, the deep toffee elements support the dark-roast of coffee and bittersweet chocolate while the ale journeys from lush milkshake, through campfire burnt embers to conclude rummy and warm with peps of licorice peaking through late.

Full from start to finish, its decadent richness is sliced through with alcohol spice and thinning warmth. Its final bitterness is woodsy and as much of burnt coffee and chicory root as it is of hops. Its long coffee-like linger links up with the next sip effortlessly. (1,033 characters)

Photo of larryarms847
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium thickness, dark brown, off-white/caramel tinged one finger head that dissipates quickly.

Smells slightly like caramel corn, some chocolate, and roasted nuts.

Roasted malts are very upfront, slight caramel, and a bitter dark chocolate finish.

Mouthfeel is rather thin for my taste. Mainly roasted malt to the mouthfeel.

Overall this brew could use some thickness and could be more enjoyable in my opinion if the chocolate was more prevalent. (459 characters)

Photo of gutbuster
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- A solid jet black beer with a one inch off white head that dissipated quickly, leaving a decent amount of lacing.

S- Coffee and roasted malts on the nose with hints of caramel and biscuit somewhat but barely perceptible.

T- The nose carries over with roasted malts up front with a toasted bread taste mid palate, finishing with a malty sweetness and a noticeable burn of alcohol.

M- Dry, with a medium bordering on a heavy body with medium carbonation.

O- A decent Imperial Stout that is enjoyable and makes me love Lagunitas all the more for it! (553 characters)

Photo of morimech
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Did not try and break the date code on the bottle but I am assuming this beer is at least a year old as I pulled it off the clearance shelf. An imperial stout so a little age probably did it some good. Pours dark brown that is deep black in the glass. A massive head forms and then settles to a thick cap. Lacing does not seem to want to stick to the glass but some spotty lacing is left down the glass.

Aroma of roasted malt with hints of smoke, coffee, and tobacco. Some earthiness as well. Does not smell that deep or robust however.

Good big stout flavors from the malt but did not seem like the brewer got too creative. A touch of burnt bitterness to go along with a hint of smoke and tobacco. Also some subtle hint of chocolate and coffee to go along with a bit of earthiness.

Feels a bit thin for a big stout. Nice carbonation however.

A good affordable big stout that does not really do anything exciting by todays standards. Just wish for a fuller body as that was the big disappointment. (1,001 characters)

Photo of dpgoblejr
4.86/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

22oz bottle revealed a nice dark-brown, almost dark-black stout with small khaki-tan head. Smell is mostly of coffee with a hint of chocolate coming through as well as roasted malts, and a marshmallow sweetness. Taste pretty much matches the aromas with the roasted coffee being upfront and most noticeable on the palate. Slight sign of carbonation and pretty solid medium bodied brew with a smooth/slick mouthfeel. I found this Imperial Stout to be better than expected. Well done Lagunitas! (492 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour gave an illusion of thickness with a deeply black hue and a rich cream like head.

The nose was basic but very nice. Dry chocolate with marshmallow, light coffee, roast and caramel.

The front is a strong dry chocolate with a coffee finish. Throughout the taste I get roast, ember and toffee.

This is a 10 pct Beast with no booze or heat and it drinks rather easy.

This is a lighter Imperial Stout, that doesn't assert itself enough, but it's still delicious and $5 a bomber. (486 characters)

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice Imperial stout from Lagunitas. Pours pitch black with light tan head that dies down to lightly clinging lacing. Nose of fudge, coffee, and deeply roasted grains. Taste is excellent. Smooth chocolate fudge like flavor without being overly sweet, coffee and dark chocolate on the aftertaste with a light hop background. Alcohol warmth on the aftertaste gives this one a big boost without overtaking the other parts of the beer. VERY nice. Cheers. (449 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black as night, with a surprisingly light beige head that lingers. Aroma is roasty, with tar and dark cocoa chiming in. Flavor reveals a roast malt base, with hints of chocolate and a slightly metallic finish. It's a little light in malt complexity for an imperial stout. (271 characters)

Photo of MonkeyDunk
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle

Pours a creamy head, slightly lacing lingers on glass.

Smells like fudge.

Roasty, sweet, then a metallic bitterness. A bit of ash. Would go well with a campfire and a smore. Warming and boozy, but not out of balance.

Full bodied, creamy texture. High carbonation, especially for stout which was originally more flat.

I like it! Nothing spectacular, but a solid and enjoyable beer. (436 characters)

Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 620 ratings.