Lagunitas Imperial Stout - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Imperial StoutLagunitas Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

620 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 620
Hads: 1,815
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 73
Gots: 325 | 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: 1,815
Photo of BeerDocT
4.43/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance 4.25: Pours out a thick, viscous black. Gorgeous khaki head. Great lacing.

Smell 4.25: So nice. Treacly sweet malt bouquet with smoked grains and a load of dark chocolate. Also some currant hints and some deeper alpha hoppiness.

Taste 4.5: Front is smooth and sweet with a nice hit of smoke and some early hop bitterness. Middle is where a huge wave of darkest dark chocolate and sweet grains washes over your palate, but this is balanced by a very clean and refreshing hop bitterness (I'm thinking Northern Brewer hop). Finish is smokey, tangy, somewhat chocolatey and smooth...good lord is this smooth. No hint of any alcohol. Aftertaste is long, smokey and just delicious and -again-- no hint of booze at all.

Mouthfeel 4.5: Smooth as silk in the mouth, with absolutely no burning.

Overall 4.5: Fabulous Imperial Stout. Smooth, balanced and just about perfect, this is a dangerous beer as there is very little indication of its "9.9%" (probably more!) ABV until you feel it burning in your tummy after you drink it! So nice and the tangy/sour taste levels make it very refreshing. Highly recommended. (1,130 characters)

Photo of StevenBilodeau
4.42/5  rDev +20.4%
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. (368 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.4/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a dark brown color with 2 fingers of head that falls to coat over the beer. The nose is rather subdued, with some chocolate coming through, but not much else. The flavor is full chocolate with the slightest coffee finish, that may be in my head. Nice flavor. The feel is moderate, with a very slight creamyness. Drinkability is really nice. For a beer at 8.2%, the alcohol is not even on the radar. Damn. Nice beer, (431 characters)

Photo of clvand0
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark color with a moderate head that doesn't stick around long, but leaves some lacing on the sides of the glass. The aroma has a lot of chocolate malts in it, but that's about it - very enjoyable, but subdued. The flavor is all about the chocolate with just a hint of coffee/roasted flavor. Finish is slightly bitter and the body is thick and creamy. Extremely easy to drink for the alcohol level. (411 characters)

Photo of scones
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been a couple of days, but from what I remember:

A: Thick dark brown. Tan head. Looks goood.

S: A bit alcoholic, some malty chocolatey tones.

T: Awesome. Rich, flavorful, chocolate and coffee, but not imbalanced. Sweet and rich. You can taste a bit of alcohol, but in a good way; in the way you'd want from an RIS.

M: Thicker. Not too much, but not thin by any means.

O: I love it. Its flavorful, it's full, it's got all the right things and nothing that raises a red flag. I buy a new bomber every couple of days, but I've bought this one too every time the past week. I am happy with this purchase every time. (616 characters)

Photo of jondeelee
4.37/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Imperial Stout opens to a rich, malty aroma, yeasty rising whole wheat dough and fresh-baked brown breads dominating. Following closely behind is an assortment of darker notes, including tobacco, ash, toast crust, and coffee, these notes tempered by a heaping dose of caramel, toffee, and heavy cream, as well as bits of pure vanilla bean. Fig, date, plum, raisin, and black cherry fruit esters add further complexity and sugar, the sweetness large enough that the bottle’s mouth is sticky. The 9.9% ABV is not overly noticeable, but it does impart a very light bourbon/port aroma (though this is not barrel aged) that blends well with the dark fruits. As a whole, the nose is very nice, with a massive amount of dark sugars and a good ash underbelly. Surprisingly absent, given the beer’s 72.45 IBUs, is a strong hoppy presence, but that shouldn’t be held against it, given the strength of the sugars. The main fault here lies simply in strength, the nose needing a bit more oomph.

On the tongue, the beer starts off dark and ashy, the initial hit being one of tobacco and ash, with bits of coffee and toast crust thrown in. This is followed quickly by a massive wave of sugars, the majority of them being the dark fruit esters from the nose—fig, raisin, date, plum, black cherry—but with toffee, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, and heavy cream added for potency. Thick brown breads and yeasty whole wheat dough, as well as chocolate malt and threads of dark chocolate, add a nice base. The hops do bring in nice measures of pine and anise, complementing the fruit esters. The high ABV is mostly hidden, but bits of bourbon do come through. The aftertaste is a slightly ashier version of the main mouthful, the sugars dying off, but the ash and bitterness lingering for a good while. Mouthfeel is a viscous medium-heavy, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, Lagunitas has done a very nice job with this Imperial Stout, offering a massive and well-balanced flavor range that should please fans of the style. There’s not necessarily anything game-changing about the beer, but what it does, it does very well. (2,121 characters)

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into an oversized snifter. According to the label, this beer is 10.4% abv, not 8.2% abv as stated above.

Pours a dark brown, with a thinnish tan/creme head that congregates around the edge of the glass. Nice lacing as it is swirled.

Has a syrupy, alcohol smell, with a thick bready aroma laced with coffee, hops, and toffee.

Has a smooth, sweet start, with creamy, almost buttery coffee, chocolate, and biscuity malt, with much less alcohol taste than it smells. There is a slight astringency to it as you drink more, with the tongue slowly drying out from a pleasantly bitter finish.

Very full bodied, this is a sipper, especially when served at the proper temp.

Lagunitas always puts out a quality brew, and this is no different. I'm surprised by the "B" rating it has; one could do much worse than this RIS - especially when you consider this sells at $5 for the bottle. (905 characters)

Photo of zachary80
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

drank 1/10/11
bought 7/15/10

9.6% abv
neck coded 09957010 = Three-digit Julian date, the last three batch numbers, then the military hour (13 = 1pm)

L:
Super dark brown, near black. cm high tan head quickly fades

S:
The aroma is somewhat muted. Chocolate, lots of malt. I like it but would be great if it came stronger

T:
Taste is very good. Taste is long, and seems to change nicely over a few seconds after the sip. Very nice level of bitterness.

M:
Mouthfeel is a little thinner than expected but also seems to coat the mouth, so maybe it is due to a more vigilant carbonation. No trace of the alcohol

D:
Exceptional drinkability. This went away too fast

Overall very impressive and a great deal. No idea what age this bottle was (740 characters)

Photo of busterthecat
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz. into tulip.

A- Pours a velvety rich brown, sits a noble dark brown in glass. A light khaki head, with good lacing.

S- Lots of roasted sweet malt/ toffee. Bitter coffee notes, bittersweet chocolate.

T- Lots of sweet toffee, creamy caramel, mild coffee with gentle bitterness. Also notes of vanilla and hazelnut.

M- A big velvety feel. finishes dry, lingers well. Very pleasant on palate.

D- No alc. Easy to drink, well rounded, not filling. A great IRS at a awesome price. (494 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber at World of Beer at North Hills 11/18/11. Split it with jtd1969.

Poured into small snifters. Pours pitch black with a thin, brown lacing of head. The nose has notes of rich chocolate, deep roasted malts, and dark fruit. The taste is rich, deep chocolate and roasted malts with some anise and licorice up front with a nice bitter finish. The balance in the flavors is perfect and the alcohol is noticeable but adds warmth and depth and does nothing to detract from the overall flavor. The mouthfeel is full bodied, chewy, and warm.

This is fantastic. It's smooth, full bodied, rich, delicious. I would have another one in a heart beat. (648 characters)

Photo of founddrama
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice blend of flavors. Mildly boozy, mildly chocolaty, and a subtle touch of coffee. All about those roasted malts. Almost no hop profile at all. Also kinda sweet at times. Caramel and toffee? (192 characters)

Photo of IPAcraig
4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Championship. This beer was poured in celebration of Boston College's hockey national championship over the hated fighting french of Notre Dame.

This beer does not pour the typical oil black of imperial stouts. It has the faintest hit of ruby brown with a light mocha head.

This beer has an initial smell of unmashed malted barley that is really quite nice. There is a faint mix of the typical roasted flavor, with a bit of toffee in the finish.

A nice tasting stout that gives you a nice mix of flavors that stouts offer, toffee, coffee, chocolate. It is all in here, but this beer is a bit docile for an Imperial Stout.

Big head yet gentle carbonation makes this beer fell exceptional.

Drinkable, and flavorful; near perfect, just lacking a big punch. Another winner from Lagunitas. It didnt bring home the championship like my beloved Eagles, but it is a stellar beer nonetheless. (889 characters)

Photo of smpeterson327
4.31/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. Very smooth, yet strong chocolate notes mixed with a very high ABV. Initial taste is very strong stout taste with a great chocolate follow, almost some cherry notes mixed in.

Not a very high retention beer, but leaves a great mark. Probably the best bomber that I could buy for $4.95. I'll continue buying this beer because of the fantastic taste mixed with the unreal price. (395 characters)

Photo of mnredsoxfan69
4.31/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Just noticed this for the first time at the local store and figured that I'd give it a try.

A: Dark, dark mahogany with no light passing through. A one finger tall, light brown, fine head with moderately short retention, living only a slight ring around the top on the drink down.

S: Not much, but enticing nonetheless. Dark, malty aromas with a delectable sweetness just hidden behind it. A little chocolate and coffee as well.

T: Oh, my dear lord in (afterlife of your choice)! If more stouts tasted like this I'd never drink anything else. Deep and rich roasted malt with a bitterness that owes less to hops than the roasting. Very well balanced with sweet, dark caramel flavors. Not cloying, not "in your face" hoppy.

M: Viscous and full bodied with a definite tingle on the tongue from the carbonation. "Clean and crisp" be damned, this is what I want my mouth to feel like as I enjoy a post-prandial malt libation.

O: I LOVE this stout, almost as much as the 2011 Abyss I had a week or so ago. Plus at $5 per 22 oz. bottle I can actually afford it. I wonder if it cellars well?

Well balanced, luscious and substantial. After finishing the first bottle, I went out and bought two more. (1,196 characters)

Photo of DonDirkA
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose of rich, heavy chocolate and roasted coffee. Roasted malts and chocolate syrup. It smells like my kind of stout. No booziness at all, which is nice for this high of an ABV. Taste is surprisingly heavy on the anise/black licorice. Coffee, dark roasted malts, anise and very slight chocolate. There is a warmth deep in my stomach but no hint of alcohol in the actual taste. The mouthfeel is much lighter than expected for an imperial stout. Its kind of bubbly. Still nice and heavy though. Overall its a nice stout (my first from Lagunitas) but I wish the taste reflected the nose more, I'm not always a huge fan of the anise-heavy stouts. Still delicious. (659 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber time! Pours a super dark brown color with a creamy tan head.

Chocolate, cocoa, honey, fried plantains...mostly scents from sweet dark malts.

Mmmm, whats this? A hoppy chocolate candy bar?! Very smooth. Very drinkable. Fresh tasting with hints of dark berries and hot cocoa with marshmallows. Alcohol is hidden well and the hops add a nice clean, dry finish.

A smooth, semi-sweet easy drinking Impy Stout. Does not exactly fit the "Russian IS" category, but it does taste very good. I will be buying this again. Another fine offering from Lah-Goo-Knee-Tuss. (566 characters)

Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

When pouring it looks dark brown and turns black as it settles into the glass while producing a dark tan head. The smell hits you with its roast qualities, dark bitter chocolate, smoke, bbq, and a slight sweetness. As you sip the beer the dark roast shows its face first; then coco, and sweetness with a cherry note, slightly bitterness, and a pleasant creamy finish. The beer has a satisfying medium to full fluffy - pillowy soft body that leaves an oily residue in your mouth.

The more I drink this beer the more I like it, it must be the warming to the right temperature that is doing it (make sure you let it warm up to around 50). Awesome stout and surprisingly drinkable at 9.9% abv with no hint of alcohol. If you like stouts this is a must have, Cheers! (768 characters)

Photo of Elimination
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
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 (524 characters)

Photo of tripelhops
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 2oz bottle into atulip glass. a tan colored head builds up but drops quickly, with little lacing. Initial aroma is dark chocolate with a hint of black licorice and molassas. The taste is both sweet and bitter, just a tinge of alcohol heat. I think this is a very tasty imperial stout, and if it was available in my area I'd definately get it more, it's a terrific value. (384 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$4.99 for a 22oz bottle @ Bevco.
72.45 IBU's, OG=1.092, 9.9% ABV
No ingredients per the website or bottle.

Pours out to a very clear near black with dark brown highlights, forming a soapy medium tan head with excellent retention and great lacing. Appears filtered. Moderate carbonation, ~2.5 carbs. Aroma opens with carob, light dark fruit, cola, leafy green hops in moderation. Mouthfeel is a little light bodied for an Imperial Stout..I wonder if they brewed this with sugar to get this OG, ABV, and FG because the mouthfeel is a tad thin for the style but not a disappointment as many reviewers quip. The taste is a recap of the aroma but in a different order...black currant, more dark fruit than the nose would have you guess with raisins and prunes, carob, a touch of black walnut, and a bit of cola in the finish. Bitterness is mild to moderate, a little on the sweeter side.

This is a good beer. I'm certainly not disappointed. It's unfortunate that people are trashing it, probably because today's uber imperial everything makes any traditional RIS pale in comparison. Not quite as thick or heavy as Founders, Siberian Night, or Expedition, but still quite tasty. I would buy it again, and am glad I bought 2 bottles before I read other peoples reviews. (1,265 characters)

Photo of KellyBroussard
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Very tasty. Beautiful color. Nice head About full finger. Taste is crisp and full, lingers on the palate with slightly bitter aftertaste.
Very good value. (157 characters)

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.29/5  rDev +16.9%
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! (631 characters)

Photo of Pegasus
4.29/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Massive, dense, and lingering fine beaded tan head surmounts an obsidian body. Fine-beaded lacing utterly coats the glass walls.

Aroma: Cold coffee, bitter cocoa, dark roasted malt, slightly sweet alcohol, hints of vanilla and wood, and prominent herbal hops, pleasantly free of pine or grapefruit notes.

Taste: The taste opens with a wave of dark roasted malt. Soon after, bitter cocoa and cold coffee present. There is an undercurrent of wood as well, and occasional hints of vanilla. The very high ABV (9.9%) is quite well concealed, being all but absent from the taste, its carte de visite being a gradual and gracious warming sensation. Late in the taste, the bitter cacao and hops dominate, with the charred malt offering a flourish at the close of the taste.

Mouth feel: Soft, full and creamy, with delicate carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Very pleasing on a cold winter's day, a day that beers like this were made for. Would serve as an elegant presentation with chocolate cheesecake.

Presentation: Packaged in a twenty-two ounce standard brown glass bomber with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice. (1,147 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant deep dark brown to black under a very thin tan film.
S: Dark dried fruit, caramel, malt, fruit.
T: Has a big malty attack – primarily caramel with light chocolate - balanced by fruit, dried fruit, alcohol and hops.
F: Chewy, below average carbonation.
O: I have had this fresh and aged up to 3 years. The fresh has more clean malt flavors and dried fruit while as it ages it develops more sherry notes. Both are very good. (447 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)

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