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Lagunitas Imperial Stout | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Lagunitas Imperial StoutLagunitas Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.90%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
2010 8.2% abv

Added by kbub6f on 08-31-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 668 | Ratings: 1,989
Photo of rorykanderson
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Solid imperial stout. Big roasted malt flavor with very light chocolate taste, earthy/smoky/burnt undertones and residual leather. I like a little more chocolate-sweetness whereas this has very little; nothing cloying but something to occupy the tastebuds. Not too bitter and the alcohol is very well hidden. Big malt body might make this a good candidate to age for a bit but the sweetness will still be missing. Price alone makes this worth a try.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque black with a tan head that leaves lot of spotty lacing.
The aroma is loaded with dark chocolate and hints of roast coffee.
The taste follows with dark chocolate and coffee notes, a bit of sweet vanilla and maybe a hint of milk chocolate. As it warms, a little bit of char and leather.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.
Pretty damn good, especially at the price. Underrated as it seems true to style.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque brown/black with a thin, creamy tan head that recedes quickly.

S: Aromas of dark chocolate, roasted grain, coffee, leather, vanilla bean, and herbal, pungent hops are present on the nose.

T: Notes of dark chocolate, roasted grain, coffee, leather, vanilla bean, caramel, molasses, tobacco, herbs, and lemon wash across the palate. The finish is gentle and long with a pleasant mixture of chocolate, coffee, tobacco, molasses, and lemon notes underpinned by a gentle alcoholic warmth.

M: Full-bodied and velvety in the mouth. Carbonation is firm. Alcohol is very restrained, especially when compared to many contemporary American takes on the style. All in all, this is a surprisingly drinkable Russian imperial stout.

O: I do not really have any complaints about this ale. It is a very drinkable and likable example of its style with just enough complexity to keep one coming back for more. I could see this imperial stout going over well with purists who feel that many American attempts at Russian imperial stouts lose sight of the style's classic and most appealing characteristics.

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Photo of THSdrummer
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a medium sized dark creme foam head. No lacing left behind. Fairly quickly disappearing head. Sweet biscuit and roasted malt aroma. The taste is a sweet malt flavor, with a hint of oak. Mouth feel is really nice. It feels bold, robust, and creamy. Overall, a very good imperial stout here. Especially for the price. I'll be sure to return to this in the future.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of PhillyB
4.24/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got a bottle of this because it was three dollars. Money well spent!

Look: Black beer, no color around the edges. Head was bubbly and dissipated almost immediately.

Smell: Malt forward, with a little hop and dark fruit.

Taste: Chocolate, heavy cream, dark fruit, hop. Very tasty.

Feel: Silky smooth with an oily sensation throughout.

Overall: I was very impressed by this brew. A very heavy and dark beer that will definitely be seen again in my home throughout the winter season.

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Photo of CHickman
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black/opaque color with a 1 finger creamy/foamy tan head that was full of tiny bubbles, the head faded slowly leaving excellent foamy lacing coating the sides and rings as it went down. The lacing coated the sides, sliding down only where the brew left the glass.

Smells of roasted malt, charred wood, dark chocolate, raisins, molasses, cocoa powder, vanilla, piney hops, espresso, brown sugar, milk chocolate, graham crackers and s'mores. Dark fruit and fresh dried hops come through in the second wave, mixing with a lot of smoky, char notes that show off the roasted malts and chocolate flavors.

Tastes like it smells with roasted malt, charred wood, raisins and other dark fruit like dates and figs, coffee beans, vanilla, dark chocolate, molasses, toffee, cocoa powder, light booze like rum or bourbon, piney hops, espresso, brown sugar, grapefruit, milk chocolate, graham crackers and red wine like a merlot. A lot more hoppy and fruity than I expected, the char, dark fruit and chocolate sweetness basically dominated the flavor and bring the most complexities to the table. Lacks some of that rich malt stout dominance, and while the fruit, sweetness and hops replace some of the roasted malt which I expected, it was still a tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is creamy and slick, with a smooth buttery feel across the tongue, a slight coffee or hoppy bitterness, a thin to watery body, and a finish that is full of char, dark fruit, chocolate, coffee grinds, milk chocolate and a boozy, molasses sweetness that trails off with wonderful dynamic complexities.

Overall a good imperial stout, I like the hoppy notes, general sweetness, chocolate and dark fruits in the mix. Additionally, the ABV is very well hidden and this is available year round at a very reasonable price point. Not the greatest imperial stout, but one I could drink often and always be satisfied.

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Photo of wumpshire
3.39/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz. pour into a Duvel glass. A departure from Lagunita's typical hop profile, very malt forward. Reminds me of home-brewed stouts I've had and made, doesn't taste like a mass produced beer. Alcohol is hidden by a smooth, lightly roasted flavor. Not too sweet, a very balanced beer. This would be a good candidate to be barrel aged, brewed with coffee or vanilla to give it some distinction.

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Photo of pianoguy
4.43/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Was checking out beer at T.W. today and ran into a fellow beer advocate. Of course the conversation turned to our favorite subject ( beer! ) And he recommended this one...

22 oz bottle . No bottling date info

Pours a thick pitch black body with a huge tan head that bubbles up from the bottom with flashes of gold like a Guinness on tap. Retention lasts a long time. Lots of thick lacing.. A really attractive beer, They don't look any better then this !

Smell is malt forward . mainly cocoa and coffee. Nice, but a little understated.

Taste is a pleasant malt forward cocoa that hides the alcohol nicely until the boozy finish

Velvety smooth feel that gets better as it warms.

Overall. Really nice beer ! Gotta love the 9.9 ABV. If economy was a rating category I would give this beer a 5 in that category...This beer is a great value that I will drink again soon ! Thanks for the recommendation stranger ... I never got your name

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Photo of Gajo74
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a semi viscous, dark brown and nearly black. A nice foamy tan head tops things off. As the lacing dissipates, the color begins to show more hints of ruby, making it look wine like towards the end.
The aroma is typically stout like with its roasted malts and coffee. There is also a hint of dark fruits and alcohol.
This is a creamy, smooth and silky feeling brew. The taste has an interesting balance; there is some milky sweetness on the tongue followed by roasted malts, bitter coffee and a strong hops presence. The finish is dry. The body is medium to high but very drinkable.
I really liked this one. It is a tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of Umdrunner
3.89/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured black with large tan head. Smells sweet chocolate, coffee, dried fruits. The flavor doesn't completely match the scent. It's much less sweet, almost harsh with burnt chocolate flavors. I enjoyed the scent over the taste, but still worth buying again, especially at it's very reasonable price point.

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Photo of Beerdanza
4.66/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 24 ounce bottle.

Pours opaque brown, with a milk chocolate colored head. Perfect for a stout.

Smells sweet and chocolately, with just a touch of biterness.

Tastes is dominated by sweet, smooth milk chocolate. It's a little one-dimensional in its chocolateness, but I really like it. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous, as a stout should be.

Overall, this is the most chocolate beer I've ever had, and I like it a lot. It doesn't go with dessert, it is dessert. I'm glad I stumbled upon this in a convenience store I don't frequent. It was a wonderful diversion.

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Photo of atr2605
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours black with a thick tan head with nice retention and lacing
S-roasted coffee, cocoa, hint of sweetness
T-lots of roasted coffee, cocoa, sweet caramel milk chocolate flavors in the finish
M-medium-full bodied and creamy
O-really solid RIS for the price. well worth it

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Photo of Rawwie
4.14/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: black into glass with a finger of tannish head. Nice looking beer. S: figs, raisins, black licorice, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla. Here we go, T: very similar to smell, dark fruit, dark choclate. Very smooth. O: great stout. $4.99 for a bomber it's hard to say anything negative about this brew. Cheers

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Photo of enjambed
4.37/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving: poured into glass at a cool temperature
Look: Jet black. Initial pour produced quite a head that soon settled down to lace, which is expected for an imperial. Nice, sticky lacing

Smell: sweet and roasty. Coffee, dark chocolate, and a bit of dark fruit. Also some faint alcohol. Aroma overall is pretty faint.

Taste: Rich dark, cocoa with coffee. Bittersweet too.

Mouthfeel: moderately thick, little bit of warmth on the back end. Leaves some stickiness.

Overall. A solid, reasonably priced imperial stout that I would definitely drink again. The aroma is a little faint, but makes up for it with rich but not overpowering flavor.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.31/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pretty dark pour with minimal brown top. Aroma is expected bounty of roast, but not much more. Wow, this is tasty for one of my favorite styles! Sweet, dark chocolate flavors with some roast and chocolate make for a very pleasant sip all the way through. Finish is slightly dry, and happy to have more.

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Photo of Buschyfor3
4.28/5  rDev +15.1%
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 BeerAndGasMasks
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the bottle, it pours very dark, almost black with a medium brown head. A roasty smell permeates the nose. Taste is similar, with a bit of licorice and roasted malts. Enjoyable!

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Photo of JebBeerFish
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this alongside with Big Bad Baptist.

Pours jet black with 1/2 head on slow pour.

Nose - somewhat bitter coffee.

Taste - much the same as nose; mildly bitter coffee, somewhat one

Overall - solid, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of NiallMac44
4.36/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was offered a glass of this by a friend and I did not want to take it. I do not like sweet beers and imperial stouts tend to sweetness. OK, I have to amend that. I USUALLY do not like sweet beers. This one yes though if I were the brewmaster I would try and tone it down. I wish I was good at describing taste so all I can say is that I like it though I would take Old Rasputin over it - just less sweet.

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Photo of dar482
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a black color.

The beer offers tons of bitter licorice, anise, umami, roasted malts. The mouthfeel is medium with alcohol coming through. Bitterness lingers on the finish of earthiness. There is a fruity background, hints of overripe banana.

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Photo of gandres
4.44/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber to wine glass, with meal
Appearance: dark brown minimal head and lacing
Smell: Aroma of toasted grains
Fell:Creamy mouth feel
Overall: Very good beer

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Photo of Nehal
4.67/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Looks: no plaque and pours a good 1 inch head. It is beaded at the top
Smells of roasted peppers and smoky
Taste good malty coffee and chocolate taste and toasty. What a great beer!! This would go very well with Gouda cheese or steak or root vegetables . Good beer in fall or winter.
And it has some sweetness not bitterness. More like strong coffee with some sugar and hint chocolate

Very good imperial stout!!

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Photo of BethanyB
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
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 lakemarkham
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Pretty huge head. Looks fine through clear glass: damn near pitch-black, but has some ruby tinges around the edges when held up to the light.

S: Lot of malt on the smell. Some coffee and dark fruits really round it out, with a bit of chocolate floating around in there on the fringes. Nothing special, but not bad. What you'd expect.

T: Very big flavor. Big malt on first taste, followed by the sweetness of the dark fruits and the chocolate. Coffee has a sort of subdued character throughout until the end, giving it a dry finish when the fruits and chocolate fade out. Can taste the bite of the alcohol quite well on the tail of the experience.

F: Smooth, rich, and creamy. Not as thick as an oatmeal.

O: Good, strong stout. Not my favorite, but worth seeking out if you're into this sort of thing.

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Photo of katybee
4.58/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very dark, but with some semi-translucence against the light, pours rich and creamy with a 1" lt brown head...
Rich and creamy, med-full-bodied, with a surprising amount of malty sweetness compared to the espresso-type stouts... This was more like the Black Boss Baltic Porter I just sampled... strong, dark and with molassess undertones. Some bitters but not the super-hoppiness of the IPAs.

Disappointed with recent tastes of oatmeal and espresso stouts, I was really surprised that this was full-bodied and flavored a little on the sweet side. I definitely enjoyed sipping it....

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Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 668 ratings.