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Lagunitas Imperial Stout - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Imperial StoutLagunitas Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

653 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 653
Hads: 1,938
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 21.83%
Wants: 76
Gots: 385 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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
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Reviews: 653 | Hads: 1,938
Photo of yourunclewalt
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a watery, Coca-Cola black with a likewise head. Deep red around the edges when light hits it.

S - Obviously a very malty aroma, little to no hop presence. Toffee, caramel, butterscotch.

M - Surprisingly watery initially, medium carbonation in the middle to a sticky finish.

T - Caramel malt with a smooth butterscotch finish. Very faint spiciness.

D - A pretty well balanced, standard stout...but for an Imperial, I was expecting something inkier, heavier, and more complex than just your standard caramel twang.

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Photo of Xadoor
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured the typical black colour with a tan head. Taste is a little too sweet and mouthfeel is a little too thin. Despite having an ABV of just over 8%, the alcohol is not really detectable. Its not necessarily a bad beer, but I've certainly had better tasting stouts.

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Photo of glid02
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this from Tower on Piedmont in Atlanta.

Pours a very dark brown color that lets just a bit of light through. There's almost no head, even after emptying the bomber with a vigorous pour. What little head there is settles to a thin ring around the glass with no lacing.

Smells very sweet. The sweetness is accompanied by slight dark fruit and coffee aromas. As the beer warms the sweetness is brought to the front even more.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Very sweet up front, with a dark fruit and coffee flavor following shortly. As the beer warms the dark fruit flavors subside and just the sweet malt is left, with a very small amount of coffee. Bitterness is decent throughout.

Mouthfeel is alright. The thickness is good, but the carbonation is a bit much for me.

Drinkability is alright. This is a decent Imp Stout, but I'm not excited about getting this again.

Overall this is a good deal (~$3.70), but if you're looking for a very good Imp Stout keep looking.

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Photo of Gryphon69
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

1pint Bottle
no visable date, purchased 6/13

A- Near black, no light coming thru, finger high head that's a light tan. Some lacing but it doesn't stick to the sides, rather it slides back down to the drink

S- Lots of sweet dark fruits, rasins, plums, etc.., some cocoa but not much, some vinalla, no noticeable coffee or roasted malt.

T- Tons of dark fruit sweetness almost to the overpowering point. I cant pick out any chocolates,coffees or anything that makes me think stout. kinda blah

M- Decent mouth, medium to full and very slick and slippery. Carbonation fizzles all over the tongue.

O- Pours and looks decent, this bottles smell is very over the top dark fruit and sweet.
The taste was very close to the smell, very overpowering dark fruit and very sweet. No noticeable roasts, chocolates, coffees or anything that makes me think stout, very disappointed.
Maybe it was a off bottle, but I wont be rushing out to get another one that's for sure.

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Photo of walleye
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

from the ottle poured deep mahogany with brown head. aroma, cocoa, chocolate, molasses, dark cherries, malts, honey, alcohol, floral, coffee. flavor bitter sweet chocolate, cherry juice, grapes, hints of honeyhints of alcohol. dry mouth feel. all flavors were on the weak side

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Photo of olmatty
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours a very thin tan head with poor retention, beer is a dark brown/black.

Smell- Surprisingly little aroma a bit of roasted malts is all I pick up.

Taste- A touch of bakers dark chocolate and espresso and a mouthload of licorice and dried fruits. Hop bitterness follows on all this, finish of overcooked coffee.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation, somewhat thick but less mouthcoating and flavorful than many imperial stouts

Drinkability- Heavy enough flavor and high ABV enough to slow you down. Unfortunately, not a great example of the style or a good representative of Lagunitas beers.

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Photo of rayjay
3.27/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Relatively thin dark brown body with a sweet smokey carmel nose. A decent beer, nothing to turn me away, but a bit tame for the RIS title. Loses all of its carbonation very quickly. Its got a tangy roasted kick from the malts, lots of carmel malts too. Noticable bite from the hops as well.

The body isn't big enough for a stout; it reminds me more of a prickly tasting porter. It is too sweet for my taste, and the mouthfeel is a bit boring. I expect more from a beer in this category. It wasn't exactly horrible, but I wouldn't go out of my way.

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Photo of Hoopster4hire
3.27/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Not what you would typically expect of an Imperial Stout.

Pours a cherry stained finish of a color is the best way to describe it. The head is a frothy light brown and quickly dissipates.

Smell is of roasted malts, slight coffee aroma with a small alcohol odor to it.

Definitely can pick up the roasted and caramelized notes. Coffee tastes lingers as you drink it, while faint amounts of cherry flavor tweak the palate. Molasses makes an appearance, however brief. There is another flavor in there, somewhat sour, but hard to describe beyond that.

Surprisingly carbonated. When I think of Imperial Stouts, I think creamy and thick. This one definitely has some bite to it still.

Highly drinkable, which can be dangerous or a lot of fun considering this bomber was 3.50.

Overall, a good beer, but definitely not a great beer. I wouldn't turn it down if I was offered another, but I probably wouldn't purchase another.

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Photo of nickhiller
3.26/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: coffee brown, light visible carbonation, barely any head to speak of, consistency is on the thick side.

S: soy sauce (I read that in the post below and now I can't get it out of my head; it's spot on), musty earthy funk, minerals and a weird sulfur smell that lingers in the nose.

T: stinky sulfur continues in the taste (it honestly tastes a little like halitosis), very sweet with dark candy followed by bitter coffee and charcoal on the finish.

M: medium bodied, medium carbonation

D: meh. Though I'm a big proponent of them, I think Lagunitas missed their mark with this one. It has a funky smell and taste that I just can't shake.

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Photo of cbutova
3.26/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pitch black with a two finger mocha tan head. Retention is alright. Not much in the way of lace but a few small suds here and there.

S- Not a very big aroma for an RIS. I basically get a decent mix of old caramel malt, cocoa, roast notes and some dark fruit.

T- Somehow has sort of a Barleywine feel, I get a ton of dark fruit and caramel malt with a fairly roast malt and cocoa overlay. Raisins in play as well.

MF- Silky creamy feel on a moderately thick body. Carbonation is on the high end for the style. Some cocoa bitterness and slight warmth.

DB- A light end Imperial Stout with probably the least roasty/rich profile I have experienced from a good brewery. Drinks pretty well but not what I expect out of the style.

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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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Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 653 ratings.