Lagunitas Imperial Stout - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Imperial StoutLagunitas Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
85
very good

1,794 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 1,794
Reviews: 639
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 71
Gots: 315 | FT: 4
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: 1,794 | Reviews: 639
Photo of godlessape
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black gold, California tea. Poured this into a 20 oz nonic. The body is a midnight, impenetrable, take no prisoners black with a creamy brown head.
Coco coffee nose gives way to roasted barley with maybe, just maybe a hint of licorice.
Everything the nose picks up is right there on the palate. There is a slight booziness to it and that's fine with me.
The mouthfeel is soft and smooth--medium bodied.
Overall a great Imperial Stout.

Photo of beerbellydaddy
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stout pours dark like a fine coffee and provides a big bold head that leaves considerable lacing as it subsides. It has a full, smooth, creamy texture, and a taste that is a subtle mix of cocoa and coffee with velvety malts and a little pop of hops at the back end of each mouthful. The 9.9 ABV is entirely masked by the smooth easy flavor so its a real creeper. I'm a fan of this one.

Photo of latercol
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this in a 22 oz bottle at the local grocery store.

I poured this into a snifter. It is super dark brown and had to watch my pour to keep the head under control. The head rose quickly but also fell quickly. I need a bigger snifter as well, I filled it to the brim. Overall a nice appearance, could be more lacing.

Smell is wonderful with caramel and some fruity tones. There were no unpleasant qualities with the smell. The waft of alcohol was nice too. The smell gets better and stronger as the brew warms up. Could be stronger. I would have given a 5 if it was a little more "in your face".

Great taste. Caramel and fruits again. Not too sweet though. It was just right. The alcohol content is just right too. Nice warming effect.

Mouth feel is also excellent. Super smooth, super creamy and the carbonation feels nice. This has a medium heavy feel to it. Just what I was in the mood for.

I could drink several of these. They taste great and go down really easily.

Overall I really like this beer. It is near perfect other than the head problems I had. It may have been my own fault for trying to pour all 22 ounces into a snifter that was not meant for that. Other than that, this beer is on my A list.

Photo of longbongsilver
4.46/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

After a long time of the nearest decent package store being an hour away, I found this not too far from here. The magic words "Stout" & "8.20%" prompted me to grab a bottle.

Appearance: dark brown with a lot of head when poured, gradually turns pretty much black. Exactly what I expected.

Smell: hints of chocolate-like scent, some coffee-ish tones too. I kinda like ANY smell to good beer, so take w/ a grain of salt.

Taste: slightly hoppy at the beginning, overall creamy & surprisingly smooth. Doesn't taste like 8.20% at all. The malt hits the back of your tongue.

Mouthfeel: very little carbonation, light but w/ character.

Drinkability: A strong stout being this smooth is just nuts. I'd put it as "you can chug it, but you wouldn't want to". I savored it just because.

I will be stocking up, oh yes...

Photo of Crackblind
4.46/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22 ouncer poured into a chalice (that's what you get when watching GOT while drinking this). Phenomenally balanced imperial stout! The bitterness is just the right amount to work with the roastiness (not a word but can't think of another way to describe it) and sweetness. Really a great example of the style. And you can't complain about the price point. Once again, Lagunitas hits one out of the ballpark.

Photo of DoctorZombies
4.44/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black pour with tan foam. Copious lace from top of SAPP to bottom. Chocolate malt and a whiff of hops; more raisin/hop aroma as it warms. Dark chocolate with a little hop interplay at first; stone fruits (cherry and plum) follow. Rich, velvety mouthfeel. Excellent big stout - alcohol is completely hidden. Very tasty.

Photo of Lemke10
4.44/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a very dark brown color with an average chocolate brown colored head. There are lots of robust scents in the aroma mixed with caramel, vanilla, and coffee. The taste is silky smooth and robust. It is not overpowering by any means yet delivers a full flavor taste. There is a very complex taste of malts, grains, and extracts. Not the best stout on the market but pretty damn good for the price.

Photo of farrago
4.44/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finger plus of very dark brown foam, somewhat loose with more than a few islands of larger bubbles frothing up and popping away under the surface, lacing much slicker than expected, barely registers on the way down the glass sides. The liquid isn't really black, more like the darkest possible brown this side of black, razor thin aura of orange at the glass bottom. The nose is all about rich, milky chocolate, cocoa, vanilla fudge and caramel with a candied orange infusion, no substantial roast nor toast, just sweetness which also infects/infuses any hoppy pine, herb nuances, blindfolded you would think you were in a Hershey's factory. Full-bodied, softly contoured and expansive in the mouth, close to sloppy bear hug status. Cola, licorice and a lighter orange reduction swirled into the milk chocolate and caramel foundation. Carbonation is average to slightly below. Follows the nose with a good punch of pine and green matter, the hops sinewy and active under all the malts. That said, this is definitely a stout built for visceral pleasure above striving for either complexity or sheer brute power. Earns its place at that table, simplicity is not always an insult.

Photo of StevenBilodeau
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
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 kmpitz2
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
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,

Photo of clvand0
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

Photo of scones
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

Photo of jondeelee
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Photo of zachary80
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
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

Photo of busterthecat
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Photo of tdm168
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Photo of founddrama
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
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?

Photo of IPAcraig
4.32/5  rDev +14%
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.

Photo of smpeterson327
4.31/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

Photo of Mooslerfitness
4.31/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great stout taste best if you let sit for about 10 min out of fridge

Photo of mnredsoxfan69
4.31/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

Photo of DonDirkA
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
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!

Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,794 ratings.