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Lagunitas Imperial Stout - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Imperial StoutLagunitas Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

643 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 643
Hads: 1,894
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 21.83%
Wants: 77
Gots: 361 | 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: 643 | Hads: 1,894
Photo of Elimination
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
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

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Photo of tripelhops
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

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Photo of BethanyB
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Nearly opaque ebony, with a hit of mahogany highlights. The 1/2 finger head is a beautiful golden color, tightly beaded, with a smooth, flat top.

Smell: Peppery roasted malt brings a chic, new age element to the baseline bouquet of coffee and cream, cocoa powder, dark cherries and plums. A slight metallic tanginess somehow doesn't feel out of place.

Taste: There is an almost salty quality to this beer, but it's not weird at all, as calls to mind chocolate covered pretzels. White pepper and roasted malt balance out the fruity background, which is made up of prune juice, pomegranate, and wild blackberries.

Mouthfeel: Appropriately viscous, with medium carbonation and a tart finish which sticks to the sides of the tongue.

Overall: True to the Lagunitas style, this beer takes a lively, over the top approach without deviating from the style's trademark qualities. I'd call this a stout for IPA lovers, as the spice, carbonation, and dash of salt bring a familiar peppy kick to an otherwise dark and smooth set. Interesting, tasty, and fun to drink.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

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Photo of KellyBroussard
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.29/5  rDev +15.6%
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!

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Photo of Pegasus
4.29/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

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Photo of beveragebattle
4.29/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

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Photo of Buschyfor3
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber served in a standard pint glass

A: Dark and viscous pour produces an opaque body lurking beneath a mocha-colored dollop of froth; head recedes to a small collar, and sticky notches of lacing ensue.

S: Top notes of dark, bakers chocolate, roast coffee, toffee and dark fruit; as the nose warms, a leathery aroma peak through the sweeter chocolate/fruit combination - quite inviting.

T: Initial flavors shuffle between bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate and roast coffee beans; perhaps a touch of vanilla rounds out the mocha-like qualities at the start that nicely balances sweetness against the bite from the roast; through the middle, the presence of dark fruit takes prominence, with a flash of booze-soaked/rum-raisin sweetness; that leathery presence on the nose appears late on, with a touch of earthiness/char that transitions into a finish showcasing a powdery cocoa which lingers after each sip.

M: Velvety smooth, good creamy quality; not approaching the same levels of thickness/chewiness as some other imperial stouts, but the body here feels appropriate for the flavor profile.

O: Lagunitas has crafted a quality imperial stout - and their handiwork is even more praiseworthy when you consider just how good of a stout this is for the value ($5.99/22oz). The alcohol is kept well in check, and the result is an imperial stout that drinks much more smoothly than its 9% ABV would suggest. Ticks all of the boxes for what you would expect from an imperial stout. Well worth it for any stout lover.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of Stoutastic
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

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.

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Photo of tt_andy
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
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

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Photo of ThaneMcC
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
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' !

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Photo of Carolvs
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of LovingCup
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

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.

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Photo of bgildea
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.24/5  rDev +14.3%
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!

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.23/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of Belize2000
4.23/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of templar316
4.23/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of jsulko
4.23/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of deebo
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

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Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 643 ratings.