Lagunitas Imperial Stout - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Imperial StoutLagunitas Imperial Stout

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621 Reviews
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Reviews: 621
Hads: 1,816
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 73
Gots: 327 | 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
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Reviews: 621 | Hads: 1,816
Photo of mchegash
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
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. (873 characters)

Photo of Big78CJ
3.17/5  rDev -13.6%
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. (1,394 characters)

Photo of AndoBrew
3.17/5  rDev -13.6%
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. (1,249 characters)

Photo of ReebShorts
3.17/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Hmmm, Dark ruby appearance, not black as I would have expected from a Russian Imperial . Thin head.

Aroma of chocolate, maybe some orange....

No bite to this, kind of watery feeling really. Not bad flavor, just weaker and more watery than I was expecting. (261 characters)

Photo of ksullnh
3.17/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasted 1/4/09 with jnobler, in an oversized wine glass.

A: black, black, black. A bit of brown on the edges when held in bright light. Oily khaki-colored head.

S: Sweet like a liqueur. Lots of licorice. Some 'fake' fruit smell, like those brandy-filled cherry cordials.

T: Sweet and sort of grapey, brandy-ish. Late hops dryness with some Belgian-like dark fruit tastes - dark currants, plums. Some herbal notes. I thought this tasted more like a barleywine than a stout - couldn't pick out any coffee or chocolate notes that I typically associate with the style.

M: Smooth and thick, not creamy. Some alcohol warmth

D: It's imperial.

Tastes like it'd go well with a cigar. (681 characters)

Photo of petedog388
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have to agree with many of the reviews that I read. Lagunitas makes great beer and it is very good but nothing amazing. It looks good, smells good and tastes good but I expected a little more when drinking a lagunitas beer. They are usually extremely out of the ordinary and very special to drink. You can definitely smell and taste the roasted malt character and it is a bit sweet. I have to admit for an imperial stout it is very smooth and east to drink. I just think about there cappuccino stout and how you can really taste the cappuccino and felt as though i was drinking an iced coffee. With this beer I was unable to find that defining characteristic, other than the roasted malt, that would make this beer really special. Overall a good beer and I would recommend for a try. (785 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark Mahogany color, small head. Aroma is fruity and chocolaty. A lighter bodied imperial stout. Flavors are chocolate, coffee and fruit. VERY mild for an imperial stout, not very malty or very bitter. As an imperial stout this beer is lacking, for a "regular" stout its pretty good. The flavors intensify, as it gets closer to room temperature. It well balanced and tasty. Mouthfeel is a little thin. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. The 8.2% alcohol is not at all evident. (500 characters)

Photo of carln26
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a deep brown to black with definite ruby highlights. A light tan colored head gives way to virtually no lace as the beer settles. The aroma has a licorice character followed quickly by chocolate malt. No real hops to detect in the nose. More licorice, and chocolate malt when I taste the beer, a little alcohol heat, and something else. Man I almost swear it’s chicory or something of that nature. This beer is thinner than I expected. I’ve been recently turned on to some great Imperial Stouts, and one of the things I’ve begun to expect is a rich, velvety mouth feel. This beer isn’t close. It’s decent, and drinkable, but not a great representation of the style. (686 characters)

Photo of PicoPapa
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Pours a dark, dark brown color with a thin layer or light brown head. Some lacing. Smells boozey and sweet with aromas of raisins, chocolate, caramel and some earthiness. Taste is a really boozey sweet chocolatey flavor. Some raisin and earthy flavor as well some burnt coffee. This is a pretty boozey and sweet RIS. Odd aftertaste. Not a huge fan of this one. Not much carbonation. Lagunitas rarely disappoints me but this one is lacking. Overall, there are a ton of better Imperial Stouts out there. Won't be in a rush to buy this one again. (556 characters)

Photo of JMforman
3.14/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Jet black with a frothy tan head. Good lacing throughout.

S- Soy sauce, chocolate, coffee. Not real impressed with the smell. Maybe it was a bad batch (as the soy sauce smell would indicate).

T- The taste made up for the smell: Chocolate, Alcohol, Coffee, Dark fruit

M- Pretty full. Maybe a bit acidic.

D- Fairly drinkable. (331 characters)

Photo of biglite351
3.14/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

A - a bit of red around the edges. Creamy tan head leaving some lacing.

S - strong. Chocolate, burnt malts, ... prune maybe?

T - odd prune juice in a stout smell. Chocolate donuts taste in there. Strong malts.

M - heavy coating and lots of tingle all over mouth.

D - the odd taste that I am calling prune would keep me from having it too often, but I would consider it any time that I see it. (396 characters)

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served at cellar temperature, 45 degrees F. Poured from a 22-ounce brown bottle into a snifter glass.

Pours a deep, nearly opaque brown with a small half-finger of tan foam that falls away rather quickly to a thin crown. No lace left behind on the walls of the glass.

The nose is rather one-dimensional, with some mild caramel notes and a touch of dark roast, along with a big whiff of boozy alcohol.

Nice and full in body with a rich, chewy mouthfeel and just a touch of prickly carbonation. Dark chocolate, caramel and roast up front, with a strikingly huge alcoholic presence overtaking everything in the middle, with a big dosing of hop bitterness lying underneath; screeches into a finish that is bracingly boozy, warming and dry, with a lingering roastiness and a hotness in the chest that becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.

Overall, a pretty mediocre Imperial Stout. Fairly disappointing, as the Cappuccino Stout is much more pleasing. Too boozy and with little comparitive complexity to match, this is perhaps one of the biggest let-downs I've had from Lagunitas. But at a relatively low price of just over four dollars, this bomber is a decent deal as far as Imperial Stouts go. (1,200 characters)

Photo of cueball52
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours a dark ruby red with a thick porous head about 3 fingers high. It dissipates slowly leaving a heavy lace and settles to about 1/2" thick head and stops.
A very light chocolate malt aroma.
A light mouth feel and not what you expect from an "Imperial" stout.
The taste also is light, mild chocolate, coffee, raisin/molasses flavor. Not a whole lot here and especially not "Imperial" in any way.
This beer is really a little disappointing. I like a lot of Lagunitas brews but this one doesn't measure up. (510 characters)

Photo of Murph
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with a light brown head that leaves some nice lacing down the glass. Slightly alcoholic aroma with some vague roasted bitterness in an otherwise boring aroma. Nice chocolatey taste from beginning to end. There is also some too subtle roasted coffeeish bitterness but not nearly what is called for to balance the chocolate flaovrs. Very thin and simple flavor profile, especially for the style. Medium, WTF???, body to this brew but a nice creamy feel across the tongue. Not a bad beer but certainly not a good Imperial Stout. I'll be sure to pass this up on my next trip to the beer store. (608 characters)

Photo of oakbluff
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bomber- vintage unknown. Pours a ruby hue dark brown with a fizzy mocha head. Nose- light roast, some molasses and anise. Taste- stewed fruits followed by a chocolate powder dryness. Lacking depth, rather thin body. Minimal roast flavour. High carbonation for the style. Drinkability is decent given the relative simplicity of the brew. (343 characters)

Photo of Bung
3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. A basic very dark brown pour, nearly black. Some cream colored bubbly that recedes to a ring.
Aroma has a small amount of cocoa, caramel just a hint of roast. Not overly aromatic.

Taste is a bit chalky, with quite a bit of dry cocoa. Definetely not a whole lot of roast. Slightly "milky" even. More milk chocolate, some chocolate liqueor like qualities, but the alcohol is not overly present. Just a bit of that chalky cocoa lingering in the finish.

Some of the flavors may not be helped by the thinnish body of this. Not tough to drink by any means, but not begging you to take another sip either.

Outside of a few hop bombs, I just can't get into any Lagunitas brews, the hop bombs are even a stretch. (714 characters)

Photo of sethmeister
3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

22oz bomber with no expiration date. This has been in my cellar for several months.

Pours black but is translucent. Ruby colored when held to a light. Head is a light beige and leaves little to no lace.

Scent is primarily coffee and roasty notes.

I taste a sweet caramel flavor, coffee, a hint of chocolate, a hint of molasses.

Mouthfeel is unsatisfyingly thin and watery for the style.

Drinkability is high since there is very little alcohol presence.

Though I would hardly call this a Russian Imperial Stout it is a pleasant enough beer. Seems almost more like a porter to me. Enjoyed drinking this but expect much much more from an RIS. (645 characters)

Photo of ralree
3.09/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Very deep reddish brown with a 2-finger tan head that settles nicely to 1/2 a finger.

S: Very pungent fruity smell is immediately noticeable. I am not a big fan of this smell, so the beer loses points here. Otherwise there are some nice smoky undertones.

T: Pretty fruity, but bearable. Dark fruit is the main flavor, backed by a smoked malt. A little cloying. Bananas?

M: Thick and pretty creamy, medium-heavy bodied, good carbonation, slight astringency.

D: Not drinkable for me - too rich. I'm going to have the fiance make it into bread. (548 characters)

Photo of Kevin-Wieken
3.09/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Lagunitas Imperial Stout
Lagunitas Brewing Company
---from bomber to wine glass---

Absolutely black with a thin khaki colored cap, very little lacing.

Dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, not much else here.

Sweet roasted malt, hints of coffee and bitter dark chocolate.

Astringent, medicinal tang. Over carbonated. Medium body with a dry whiskey like finish.

Weak at the nose. Minimal flavor. Bad mouthfeel. One glass and the rest down the drain. I've had better (most of em from Lagunitas) (535 characters)

Photo of bsp77
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter. Bottled on 074 of the Julian calendar (March 15, 2011).

Appearance: Near black maroon with initial billowing tan head, leaving a fine lace.

Smell: Molasses, brown sugar, soy sauce and booze. Somewhat one dimensional.

Taste: Fairly sweet with molasses, soy sauce and very light roasted characteristics. Odd sticky and still sweet hoppy finish. Leaves a bad sugary aftertaste.

Feel: Somewhat thin body for an Imperial Stout. Moderate carbonation, quite boozy.

Overall: Simply too sweet, too thin, not much roasted character and a bad aftertaste. Obviously, I think this is a sub-par Imperial Stout. (649 characters)

Photo of kimcgolf
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Not much to this one, especially for an Impy Stout. Poured to a dark brown with ruby tint, medium light-tan head that dissipated quickly and okaty lacing. Aroma showed hints of chocolatey caramel, but even as it warmed, the aroma was not real evident. Likewise, the flavor tried to taste like an Impy, but never quite made it. Mouthfell was very thin bodied, and the 8.2% alcohol never was noticewable, in either the taste or aroma. Aftertaste was mostly watery.

All and all, a disappointing Impy. (500 characters)

Photo of omnigrits
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a perfect pint glass.

A. Looks black at first but holding it up to a light shows that it's a deep ruby colour, like Elton John's original LPs. A decent light tan head and some lace.

S. Quite a lot of grain in the nose, and less dark roasted notes than I'd expect from an imperial stout. Some raisins and prunes.

T. Bittersweet, with the emphasis on sweet. Kind of muddled and confused. Some liquorice I think, and an astringency that's not welcome.

M. Would be good for stout, but not an imperial stout.

O. Not one that I'd buy again. On a purely personal level this one's a bit too sweet for me - I prefer a drier stout although I know sweetness is the norm for a RIS. On a style level I find this one lacking in several areas. I can't find any definition to it. It's missing all those roasted malt notes of coffee and chocolate and there's too much fruitiness. It's almost like an alcoholic Vimto. (916 characters)

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.07/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Near black but light certainly comes through. Solid tan head that quickly dissipates. Not much lacing to speak of.

S- Nice roasted malts and coffee. Some toffee and caramel. Slight roasted grain and pine hops. Not mind blowing, but i like where we are headed.

T- Follows nose well. Quite smooth. Not quite as complex as others of the style. Straight forward with intense roasted nuts. I enjoy coffee and espresso profile of this, but I am still left wanting more. Flavors are a bit subdued for a brewery that usually pushes the envelope.

M- A bit thin for the style. Mid body, fair drinkability. The saving grace is the hidden alcohol.

O- Wont be purchasing again. The price point is sexy, but the overall character of this beer is nothing more than average.

$3.49 for a bomber bottle (792 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle (purchased by Able the Great) and shared among friends. Snifter.

A: Pours a very dark coffee brown with a fizzy short-lived light brown head.
S: Not much to the nose but I get a bit of chocolate and roast. Light nose, really.
T: Flavors are full of creamy chocolate with hints of vanilla and dark fruit with a bitter finish. There is a good roastedness to this brew as well. I get a bit of citrus in the aftertaste from what tastes like a pretty ample amount of bitter hops.
M: Very soft carbonation but the body is a bit thin and the mouthfeel isn’t anything special. This beer is pretty bitter for a stout.
O: Pretty one dimensional in my opinion and just an ok stout compared to many of those on the market. Decent for the price, and I love almost everything Lagunitas puts out, but this just wasn’t very memorable. (840 characters)

Photo of BeerBuilder
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours deep brown, almost black, with a thick, creamy light brown head. The aroma is roasty and chocolatey with hints of coffee. There is a bit of astringency. It is full in body and somewhat warming. A definite winter brew. It was an okay Imperial Stout, but I wouldn’t search it out again. (291 characters)

Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 621 ratings.