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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: 1,895
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: 1,895
Photo of wo87810
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 batch(?)
This beer was somewhat of a dissapointment to me. It had a weak head, and an OK aroma in a snifter. The color was a translucent brown, not the dark opaque color I was looking for.

Taste was again OK, but not enough rich dark tastes (burnt caramel, chocolate, toasty malt). The alcohol at 9.9% was a little too much for the lack of other tastes.

Mouthfeel was thin.

Overall, probably won't be going back to this one. But I wil stick with some others from lagunitas which are delicious.

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Photo of ADR
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle is very charged, took me a while to get a normal presentation in the glass. Very dark brown, not ruby, but not completely opaque. Darker head is impressively sturdy, holds shapes well at many heights. Musty smell, some impressions of smoke and acrid stuff. Somewhat coating. Not a lot of complexity, honestly some coffee and chocolate flavors and a touch of something evoked by the smell of flowers, like lilacs. Looked for fruits or alcohol notes but didn't find much of a changing impression. I don't hate this brew but it lacks an Imperial's promise of variety and complexity.

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Photo of rdilauro
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A very light Imperial Stout. Really no distinctive coffee or chocolate overtones in this one. There was some bitterness, that I have to conclude came from a dark chocolate that was use
Not a strong finish to this beer.. Weak to start, weak in the mouth and basically weak in the finish.
But you cant always find that gem

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Photo of goochpunch
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass pitch black with a one and a half finger tan head that doesn't last long. Tiny ammount of lacing. Smells of raisins/prunes, caramel and toffee. Overall pleasent taste of all things present in the nose along with a slight roasted malt aftertaste.

Here comes the big downfall of this beer: it's so thin in the mouth. Too much fizz on the tongue, to boot. I'm not surprised as to why this is a summer seasonal. Although the mouthfeel is lacking, it's thinness and flavor characters help make this a pretty drinkable brew. Not bad.

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Photo of dickieb
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat translucent black with some ruby undertones. A small tan head leaves minimal lacing. The smell is rather subdued with not much more then roasted malts to talk about. Much of the flavor is roasted malts, with hints of coffee, and fairly well balanced by some bittering hops and no alcohol to speak of. This is very thin for a RIS, but between the light mouth feel and well balanced flavor it becomes quite drinkable.

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Photo of texashammer
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off, this is a really good and enjoyable beer. I rated low because while it is a great beer as a porter, it doesn't have anything in common with an imperial stout except color.

Black color with only a little deep ruby red showing against the light, with almost nonexistent head. Smells like a porter with the roastiness and the coffee. Tastes of coffee, chocolate, bitter roasted (burnt?) malts, mocha, dark fruit. Mouthfeel is good and smooth but body should be thicker. Finishes dry. Very good beer, but again, wrong category.

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Photo of Copernicandream
3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours a deep black impenetrable to light. Pours to a rich creamy tan colored head that lasts several minutes evenutally leaving a thick ring around the edge of glass with moderate to significant lacing. It looks like the epitome of an imperial stout.

S: Gobs of roasted malt bordering on burnt, *sour/metallic* chocolate, a little alcohol as the beer warms.

T: Malty but characterless early palate with no sweetness, ends in a rich burnt chocolate with a moderate hop bite. Underwhelming. Alcohol in the aftertaste.

M: Highly carbonated for the style, some definite ethanol thinning, but in general a silky creamy texture more reminiscent of a milk stout.

O: Somewhat bland malt profile combines with a subtle off smell to leave me unimpressed. This is a solid OK when defining the style, but its definitely unrefined and a little "bold and boozy" resulting from a yeast with high attenuation. Leave some of those sugars alone!

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Photo of mntlover
3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark, dark brown looks black at a glance but can see thru when held up a small one finger brown chocolate head.

Aroma is big lots of caramel malts, big toasted toffee flavors. Not Impy Stout like character but enjoyed the smell of this one even though not to style.

Taste is lots of toasted caramel malts leading to toffee like flavors with hints of chocolate, that linger and blend into coffee hints. About the only hints of an impy stout in this one. The finish is dry and somewhat chaulky with hints of nuts. Doesn't taste like an Ipmy Stout more like an Imerial Brown crossed with a Porter.

Mouthfeel is light for a stout right about medium nice level of carbonation, just to light for the style.

Drinkability is ok for a beer not an Impy Stout again, who knows what they were thinking with this one.

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Photo of shleepy
3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into tulip glass.

A: Almost black. Medium-large, creamy tan head.

S: Not much. Just a slight chocolate milk kind of smell.

T: A bit on the plain side, with light chocolate milk flavor being the primary taste. Some bitterness in the finish and aftertaste. Alcohol content is pretty well hidden. Not much roastiness/toastiness.

M: Nice and creamy-smooth, for the most part. Medium body for an imperial stout, so heavier than most beers.

O: It's quite good for what it is - a "mass" produced, plain Imperial Stout. I wish the nose had something interesting going for it, but it's a solid entry from one of the bigger breweries in CA.

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Photo of GarrettMD
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My bottle says that the ABV is 9.6%, so I don't know if they changed it or if the ABV was never listed correctly here, but that's what my bottle was, not 8.2%.

A - Pours an opaque black with 1 finger tan head after a fairly aggressive pour. Head retention and lacing are good.

S - I can't place the smell, definitely alcohol, some slight coffee and chocolate aroma, but mostly alcohol and dark malts.

T - Taste is very similar to the smell, big alcohol burn, they didn't do a good job covering it up. Coffee/malt taste is pleasant, but is still overpowered by the alcohol.

M - Fairly thick for the ABV, goes down smooth despite the burn.

D - After drinking some of the beer, the alcohol starts to take effect and you don't feel the burn as much anymore, making this a very drinkable beer. Before that though, it was only moderately drinkable, the actual flavor masking the alcohol only slightly.

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Photo of WankelEngine
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours completely opaque black with a small, tan head that fades to some bubbles around the edge of the glass. Lacing is minimal.

S: Dark chocolate is the first thing I pick up. This is followed by an unusually potent alcohol scent, which is sharp and unpleasant. Mild dark fruits round out the aroma.

T: The chocolate flavor is still prominent, but now drier and not as dark. Alcohol is unfortunately still present, but thankfully tempered back a bit. Some caramel/toffee flavor melds with a mild dark fruit, cherry and fig.

M: Thick, but overall very dry. Almost reminds me of a Syrah the way it dries out my mouth. Alcohol heat seems to be covered by the thickness, though I can still taste it. Somewhat sticky as it goes down.

O: Probably the poorest effort I've ever had from Lagunitas. Alcohol flavor is potent and ruins most of the beer for me, even though it is lower than some of their other brews (Brown Shugga). Not what I've come to expect from a this brewery.

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Photo of paigertx
3.22/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bomber from WF nyc Bowery location poured into tulip glass. Smell is misleading that the chocolate malt is going to pour through. Not the case, tastes like simple syrup is slightly smoked and maybe a hint of dark cocoa. Mouthfeel is chalky and sweet which with the abv makes for a low drinkability for an imperial stout. Lagunitas' weaker showing in my opinion, should stick to hoppy ales and the Tumbler, Torpedo, and IPA are great.

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Photo of Mancer
3.22/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark brown/ jet black with a one finger high light brown head. The head dissipated slowly and lingered on the surface for the remainder of the beer's life. The lacing on this beer is thick and there is a low amount of carbonation. The initial smell of the beer is that of roasted chocolate and caramel malts. The initial taste of the beer is as the smell, roasted caramel and chocolate malts. It finished with a lingering mellow roastiness. The brew is full bodied and seems more like a milkshake, rather than a beer.

Conclusion: All in all, this is a good stout. The smell of the brew was fairly strong. There's not much going on in this brew.

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Photo of JerUrbans
3.22/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From bomber bottle to regular pint glass.

Aggressive poor leads to fizzy cream colored head. Nice black coffee color.

Strong bitter, strong coffee smell, not a strong alcohol smell, in fact no alcohol smell. This is a 9.9 % thought I would get a big alcohol smell.

Smooth taste that finishes with a bitter chocolate and somewhat acidy finish.

Creamy feeling and some what fizzy mouth feel.

Good beer would not be my first choice for an Imperial stout, but for the price I definitely don't feel like I got bad about drinking one. I like aging beer and I may pick one up to store for a year and see what happens.

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Photo of RyanPB
3.21/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Freakishly offbeat for an Imperial. Incredibly effervescent, light enough to make it register as a porter in my mind. I’ve read a lot reviews saying rum, but to me this is more woody that the spiciness I associate with that alcohol. I actually like the mouthfeel, but doesn't fit in to my imperial stout preferences (neither chalky like Dragonslayer nor oily like Old Rasputin). Pleasantly odd.

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Photo of industrialswill
3.21/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle I've got is listed at 10.14% ABV
An aggressive pour produces a thick, tan head.
I get whiffs of roasted malt and molasses, the taste that follows is what I smell with no surprises.
The alcohol is well disguised.
This is a nice beer to self indulge with on occasion.
At about $5 for a bomber, it is a good value.

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Photo of bashiba
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a nice dark brownish black with a thin creamy tan head.

Had some sweet milky chocolate smell along with a hint of anise.

Taste was light and mildly sweet with hints of coffee and chocolate. Very light amount of hop bitterness in the finish. Drinks like a cream stout. No discernable alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel is creamy and slightly warming.

Overall it doesn't have the big bold flavors of most Imperial stouts, but easy to drink and decent.

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Photo of beerbully
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass

A-black little to no head some lacing that does not last long

S-Sweet chocolate

T-Some chocolate taste similar to its smell. Minor coffee and bit roasty has a lingering sweet / syrupy taste

M-Bit watery not as thick as one would expect for imp stout. very little carbonation

D- This is probably a bit sweet in the aftertaste to drink more than 2

I have had some good offering from Lagunitas and was hoping for more than this beer delivered. a bit dissapointed. This beer is a bit boring

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruddy brown...in the glass it has a hint of mahongony transparency, but otherwise mostly black-not imperial black . A minimal head formed, but disappeared quickly. Aromas were not too powerful...soft toasty malts. Tastes were also mild for an imperial..gentle malts, some chocolate and low bitterness .Good, but mild. Mouthfeel is thin for an imperial. It is quite drinkable..alcohol is well hidden. This is a good stout, but does not have any imperial qualities!

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2000

Pours opaque black with translucent, ruby edging. Light brown head of medium density and shortish retention. No lacework, but a light ring of foam stays on top all the way down.
Aromatics are a bit middle of the road for the style, with some nice added complexity from the six years on it's side.
Chocolate dusted caramel, with mild coffee notes and a hint of vanilla bean.
Some light toasted grainyness finish the nose.
Mouthfeel is on the full side of medium, with some porters being fuller. A bit coke-like on the tongue.
Pallet is mild for a RIS, but here again, drinkability is good for the mellow character that comes with age.
Dark chocolate bits with an underlying toffee note and thinned coffee.
Finishes thinnish and quickly.
No apparent oxidation, but the overall character of this beer is a bit meek for my tastes.

Vintage 2004, re-reviewed on 3/4/08
Identical in appearance from the 2000 reviewed above, but less head that quickly dissapears.
The character of this beer is quite meek and faded. Moreso than I remember the six year old vintage to be.
Maybe the plethora of top-notch RIS's I've had recently doesn't help.
Plenty of coffee and dusty cocoa, with some caramel.
A limpy four-year old.

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Photo of TheBungyo
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A bit lighter than I'd like to see in terms of body color. The first pour out of the bomber had no head at all. The second had a nice solid finger's worth. Reminds me more of cola than stout. Nose is mostly milky chocolate and alcohol. Taste is the same but with a tart sourness in the finish. Weird that Lagunitas makes so many good beers but can't get the style right here. I'm honestly surprised. Mouth is too thin for a stout. Won't be buying this again. Spend a lonely penny down a well and wish for a better beer.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.19/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Black body turns more than fifty percent red when held up to a light. Two-plus fingers of very light tan foam. Comes across a bit light on both fronts. A few scattered squiggles of lace.

Nice aroma of roasted coffee, chocolate, and alcohol-soaking dark fruits.

Taste starts off with coffee (au lait?) and a hint of chocolate, mild fruitiness follows, and an undercurrent of hops snaps up at the swallow. Slight sense of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is too thin for an imperial, needs to be chewy. Too drinkable, and not in a good way.

As a general stout, "eh". As a Russian Imperial, way too bureaucractic. I expected more.

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Photo of mchegash
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - 3.75/5
A small amount of dark beige head. Pours almost black, although reddish tinges can be seen around the edges of the glass.

Smell - 3.75/5
Hops, chocolate roastiness, a hint of smokiness and alcohol. The aroma is fairly sweet.

Taste - 2.75/5
Fairly smoky, some hops, and a strange slightly earthy taste. Not really digging the taste of this stout. The flavor is weird, I can't quite define it but not that good.

Mouthfeel - 3.5/5
A medium level of carbonation, fairly smooth and fairly crisp. Medium-bodied.

Overall - 3/5
This beer looked promising, though I didn't know what to expect. It turned out that the flavor was kinda strange, though not terrible. I would not get this beer again nor recommend it to anyone. There are some beers that you would not buy again, but are glad you tried it once. This is not one of those beers. I regret buying it.

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Photo of Big78CJ
3.17/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I am becoming fond of the Lagunitas Brewing Company. I was introduced to their Cappucino Stout awhile back and liked it a lot. This beer was not bad but it did disappoint somewhat,

Appearance: Very little head on this beer and what was there disappeared instantly. Bublles line the inside of the glass, warning of potential over-carbonation. The beer pours a dark brown but lighter tones are visible around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Some sweet fruit smell hits me as I pour it, maybe raisin or grape. Despite the Imperial label and the 8.25% ABV, I smell no alcohol.

Taste. Mild sweetness thar doesn't need to be any more powerful to mask high alcohol. Amazingly, I can't even tell it's higher than normal! For a stout beer it is suprisingly thin though.

Mouthfeel: As I alluded to above, the thin nature of this stout gives it avery ordinary mouthfeel but this actually allows you to taste the beer a little better I find; no texture or chewiness to get in the way. It is a bit carbonated, however, and that leaves a bitter washout.

Drinkability: It's always the thickness of a stout that limits me to one each night. This beer breaks that barrier and if it weren't for the 8.25% ABV and the large bottle, I would open another. The alcohol definitely becomes more apparent towards the end of the first glass.

Serving Type: 650 ml (1pt 6oz) bottle poured into Leffe glass.

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Photo of AndoBrew
3.17/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

*did not like would not buy*

app: looks like granny's tea. brown ruby copper tinges in a slightly see through mess. nice head cause I dumped it in my glass pretty hard. tanish kahki stout colored heady looks, kinda pillowy.

smell: I will say this.. looks and smells like a brown ale, but it smells good. sweet light happy malts, nothing big and toasty. the malts smell red. not black. they are almost fruity.. huh....HUH. lets gulp it and see whats going on.

taste: nice cocoa dry flavor then water then trash.

2nd gulp, I dont like this. It tastes like a bad brown ale. the first cocooa flavor was nice. then way to much water and an un classy rude finish.

there are some malt notes that play on and off through out the gulping that are nice, but overall?? it is just not up to par. to weak to sour to bad.

mf: do I care at this point?? lets find out. thin and a bit to spritzy. not good or bad.. but more so not good.

drinkable?: yep. it has to much carbonation to rule this score, but it is very drinkable.

I WILL SAY THIS: clean clear booze flavor, very classy and nice. leaves a pleasant aftertaste. the numbers I gave this beer, may seem low. but thats because I did not like it. I like it better than new castle.

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