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Lagunitas Imperial Stout - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Imperial StoutLagunitas Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

631 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 631
Hads: 1,837
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 74
Gots: 333 | 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: 631 | Hads: 1,837
Photo of beveragebattle
4.29/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Round 1-Value

Lagunitas @ 4.49 with 9.9% ABV

Round 2-Aroma

Lagunitas: Smoky and roasted malts

Round 3-Flavor

Lagunitas: Caramel and black coffee

Round 4-Finish

Lagunitas: 0:45 seconds-1:00 minute

Round 5-Packaging

Lagunitas: Standard bottle (22 ounces) with a simple and clean “wanted poster” style label


Lagunitas boasting a 9.9% ABV at under $5 is one of the best value dollar to ABV around. If you're looking for a solid Imperial Stout at an incredible price point look no further than Lagunitas Imperial Stout. (542 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)

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

Surprisingly this was a very good tasting beer.
I bought for under $5 and found it to be very good.
I'll hafta be on the lookout for it again. It's a keeper (157 characters)

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

App - Pours a warm dark brown with brown head which resolves to fine brown lacing and minimal effervescent.
Smell – A medley of roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate/carob and a good bit of leather.

Taste - A complex blend of sweet malt, bitter chocolate/cocoa, molasses a tad syrupy but not unpleasant. Definitely more sweet than other RIS, but quite enjoyable without being cloying or saccharine

Mouthfeel – Medium body (somewhere between 2% and whole milk), definitely better texture at slightly warmer temp.

Overall: Great beer for the style, sweeter than many but delicious. Make sure its not too cold otherwise you'll miss a lot of the flavors - I will definitely stock up on this beauty. Thanks Lagunitas for this 'Unlimited Release' ! (748 characters)

Photo of Carolvs
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great, hearty, thick stout that will spin your cranium at 9.9 abv. A bit on the sweet side, but I'm desperately searching for a flaw - awesome stout overall. (158 characters)

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 drabmuh
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
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. (531 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brownwith ruby red throughout, no light penetration. Smallish tan head, creamy looking. Good retention.
Smell notes of malt, coffee, peat, chocolate, light hops, wheat, smoke.
Taste is all that and oak, soy sauce and milk with a touch of sweetness. well balanced with a fruitcake note.
Smooth, creamy, very light effervescence, with the smooth, flowing character of a milk stout. Aftertaste is just a continuation of the taste. Nearly perfect.

A second bottle 5 months later came up nearly the same except for the mouthfeel. The body was weak and watery for an Imp. stout, more like a brown ale. I'm hoping this was an aberration but have knocked the mouthfeel score down from 5 to average the two scores. (724 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 bgildea
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown/black color. Little tan head that fades quickly and leaves little lacing.

S: Nice sweet smell, that fades to an oaky like finish.

T: Tastes like it smells. The beer starts off with a sweet chocolate taste, then moves to a bitter roasted malts flavor and finishes with a smokey like oak flavor. Overall, I enjoyed the "movement" so to speak of the flavor.

M: Nice thick almost chocolate milk like texture. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of chew to it.

D: The beer is definitly drinkable. The flavor definitly caries the beer. But I doubt I could put more than 2 of these down before I get anchored to my chair.

Overall: Overall I enjoyed the beer. I thought flavor was great with a nice balance of sweet to bitter. I would definitly recommend this to dark beer drinkers. It might be too heavy for some IPA lovers out there. (862 characters)

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.24/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured into a snifter. pours a rich deep brown with a fairly tan head, that dissipates rather quickly. Leads to spotty lacing, but it could be the glass.

S: deep hints of molasses and very sweet malts. Chocolate is all over this as well. aromas of hops are present. this beer has one hell of a nose.

T: very different flavors than I expected from the initial aromas. A lot of coffee in this mixed with a good chocolate flavor as well. hop are there, but masked which i enjoy, because it separates this from the majority of imperial stouts.

M: leaves the mouth feeling warm and places a ton of flavor on the sides and back of the palate. absolute delightful.

D: one a day would be an understatement from this beer. i manage a bar and i have drank at least four cases in the past 2-3 months(which lowered my paycheck, but it was well worth it). any beer, from lagunitas, is absolutely 100% phenomenal! (909 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Geez, with all the great names Lagunitas has come up with for some of their other beers (Little Sumpin' Sumpin', Brown Shugga, Hairy Eyeball) you'd think they could do better for their Imperial Stout than "Imperial Stout." But hey, what's in a name?

Love the bronze/gold hybrid color of the head, and it leaves a nice loopy trail of lace as it settles. Color is an opaque dark brown, as brown as it gets before going totally lights-out black.

Aroma is pleasing enough. Nothing too bold, but then the ABV is on the low end of the scale, for the style. There's a nice balance between roasted grain, dark fruit, coffee nuttiness and fresh cream. Even if the alcohol creeps in, with warming, I still wouldn't guess "RIS" when sniffing this, but it's nice.

No worries that this Imperial Stout won't deliver the flavor though. It's big and bold and full of much wonder. Dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, fig, plum, graham cracker, sweet cream, even a trace of marshmallow. Together with a great texture that balances gooey thickness with tingly effervescence--and having a buoyancy most stouts don't--I'd say this is not only flat-out delicious, but also: 1) a steal at $4.99 and 2) underrated.

Nope, despite the almost sensible ABV for an imperial stout, this is no impish stout. I should have never doubted Lagunitas, as they seem to excel when it comes to the big stuff. (1,372 characters)

Photo of Belize2000
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Imperial Stout
Very good stout one of my every day favorites in the 22 once bottle pours very dark brown with a thick heavy head lightly carbonated I love the dark Chocolate along with the light Carmel malt swell Not as sweet as some with the same Alcohol volume some people say it has a biter after taste not with me I get no bitter from this stout, A great price under $5.00 for a good tasting malty imperial stout as the Lagunitas Imperial Stout sets and worms just a bit 15 to 20 minuets it loses some harshness and taste even better to me Thank You Lagunitas!

I have visited Lagunitas Brewing Co. 3 times and highly recommend it thy have a great tour and are kid and dog friendly. (696 characters)

Photo of templar316
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Khaki head quickly disolves to subtle reminders around the edge of my tulip. It light's up a deep rich chocolate but not the true black of an RIS. Vanilla and toffee notes hide the alcohol on the nose and smoothly roll into a bittersweet chocolate finish across the tongue. It's smooth, and very easy drinking, with a soft foam finish. An impressive beer. (355 characters)

Photo of jsulko
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a snifter glass

Pours a dark black with a decent off chocolate colored head.

Smell is chocolate and roasty malt.

Chocolate comes through in the taste. Slight hints of a coffee and roasted malt flavor.

Finish is smooth with little aftertaste.

A great RIS that I will be looking for again. (312 characters)

Photo of deebo
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A bomber from this year.

A-Poured into a snifter, a couple of thick fingers of tan head top off a black ass brew. NIce lacing and some stickiness.

S-Rich roasted barley malt with definite notes of sweet chocolate with hints of vanilla and a touch of earthiness. Smells delicious.

T-Just like the aroma, not burnt-which is nice. Nice roasted malt character with mild chocolate flavor, vanilla and a bit of oak.

M-For such a strong beer, this shows no booziness. Nice mouthfeel, but not oily like some big stouts. Highly carbonated for the style.

O-A very good big stout. Easy drinking, smooth with good flavor. Not a ton of complexity and the least hoppy beer i've had from Lagunitas. My favorite beer from them. It's a good thing. (736 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a jet black color with a small, caramel-colored head that left a little lacing.

S - It smelled of caramel and strong roasted malt. Also, some hops and chocolate aromas.

T - It had a bold roasted malt taste. Slightly bitter. The chocolate flavor increased in intensity as the beer warmed up.

M - It was soft and creamy with a warm alcohol presence.

D -This is a flavorful RIS and very affordable. (414 characters)

Photo of aforbes10
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the Davis Co-Op. Ive tried so many RIS's now, why not just go for the rest? Pours a very dark brown, approaching black. Looks a bit thin for the style. Short light brown head retained well. Smells of chocolate, alcohol, nuts and plums. Flavor is of dark chocolate truffles, with hints of coffee, decadent chocolate covered black cherries, rich like pudding. Ethanol on finish. Medium to full bodied, velvety mouthfeel. Very tasty, grows on me as i drink more. Definitely on the fruiter end of the RIS spectrum, which wins points from me. (549 characters)

Photo of argock
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear glass snifter. No freshness date. Purchased at Market Street Wineshop (Charlottesville, VA) for $4.49.

A: Semi-opaque dark brown with healthy 1-2 finger head with decent retention and spare spots of lace.

S: Delicious aromas of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, berries and leafy hops

T: There must be a reformulation, as this is great stuff. Even fresh, it is bursting with non-boozy stout flavors including coffee, sweet and dark chocolate, roasted malt with light char finished with leafy, tobacco hops. Delicious sweet chocolate aftertaste. Alcohol is not at all detectable.

M: Thin for the style but still pretty substantial with medium-full body and very low carbonation leaving a smooth, milky feel.

D: A fine stout with a sweet body but a nice leafy bite in the end. Drinkable now for certain. I am a little worried that this won't hold up with time, but that won't stop me trying. Another excellent brew at an exceptional price from Lagunitas. (999 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a fair amount of rising bubbles. About one finger of tan head that quickly fades into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Dark, roasty, and fairly burnt stout aroma. Dark roasted barley malts with big hints of dark chocolate, burnt toast, caramel, biscuit, toffee, smoked malt, and some coffee. Hints of sweet molasses and a little anise spice. Subtle hints of dark cherry, plum, raisin, and fig. Fairly earthy with a subtle presence of hops in the background. A very roasty and rich aroma. Pretty solid.

Taste: Rich, roasty, and smoky like the smell previews. Big taste of dark roasted barley malts with notes of dark chocolate, burnt toast, coffee, biscuit, caramel, toffee, and a fair amount of smoke. Some sweet molasses and licorice anise spice. Undertones of dark fruit with notes of plum, raisin, fig, and dark cherry. Some bitter earthy hops come through towards the finish to provide some balance. A good roasty stout taste.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the heavier side with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and somewhat syrupy. Sweet but has a fairly drying finish. Alcohol heat is masked fairly well.

Overall: A pretty solid Imperial Stout. Good burnt roasty flavors and a well balanced sweetness. (1,363 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle split with a friend and poured into a pint glass.

3.5 A: Near black color and from what I can tell, clear. One finger of creamy yellow tan head with average retention and plenty of lacing.

5.0 S: Awesome aroma. Smells like a chocolate milkshake. Lots of roasted barley and the slightest tinge of alcohol.

4.0 T: This is almost like a ST Choklat only less chocolately and more drinkable. Big semi-sweet chocolate taste. Alcohol is more prominent. Pretty good, but didn't live up to the aroma.

4.0 M: Heavy-Medium body. Good carbonation. Creamy, but could be more so.

4.0 D: I like it and I'm not a stout guy. (624 characters)

Photo of vikinggary28
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black colour, I mean really black colour, with light brown lacing that lasts. Aroma is roasted malt with definite cocoa and coffee smells. The taste is much like I discribe in the aroma but with a vanilla twist. Aftertaste is when the hops sneak through but is balances well with the sweet malts. Mouthfeel is light for a stout. Overall a quite enjoyable beer. I think I'll have another. (387 characters)

Photo of martyl1000
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Had this from a firkin during Mad Craft Beer Week, at a great new Madison beer bar called Side Door Grill and Tap.
Surprisingly lackluster appearance, with even less luster in the aroma. Is that the real ale element?

Wonderful coffee and roasty flavors though. Molasses sweetness, maybe some bubblegum, and hard to identify yeasty funk that could be cork or some other pleasing wood.

Absolutely the creamiest feeling in the mouth of any Imperial Stout I've ever had.
A year later, I'm tasting a bunch of beers that I scored highly last time, but wanting to cull my collection and store them in the cellar.

This is the real deal: coffee and roastiness from the get go. Mojito-molasses flavor in the mouth. The nose is quite reserved. Almost no head, even with an agressive pour.

This brew is a step below Great Lakes Expedition Stout. But it's still very good. (888 characters)

Photo of CNoj012
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look is a jet black body with a long lasting light brown head. Smell is roasted malts, but also a pretty big whiff of dank hops for a stout. Taste is also roasted with coffee and a hint of chocolate. A bit boozy with a medium to full body and slick mouthfeel. Overall a very good RIS and at $4.99 a bomber a hell of a deal too. (327 characters)

Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 631 ratings.