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Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Imperial Red AleLagunitas Imperial Red Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,318 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,318
Reviews: 690
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 141
Gots: 40 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
54.2 IBU

(Beer added by: Reidrover on 03-05-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,318 | Reviews: 690 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Tupperwolf:
Photo of Tupperwolf
Tupperwolf

Washington

4.9/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had a couple of Lagunitas bombers, both of which were forgettable. However, this one caught my eye recently, looking like a standard Lagunitas 'dog's head over a very large capitalized block letter name' - except that the block letter name was splashed over with hasty graffiti-like writing, Imperial Red.

I think it was the words "muscular malty thorax" on the bottle that really perked my interest, and I started laughing aloud as I read Lagunitas' usual sneering rant in tiny letters on the side. I had to buy it.

All the pint glasses were warm after coming out of the dishwasher, so I opted for a bulbousy Gulden Draak tulip to savor this "Imperial Red". It pours a deep, rich ruby brown which is clear in color and alight with rising bubbles. A thin, liquidy head clings to the surface for a little while, then fades, leaving behind soapy lacing from the ring that remains.

The scent is all hops, baby - Burly, beefy, grapefruity hops! Da-yum! I haven't had this much grapefruit in the nose since Ruination a few months ago. Serious, serious grapefruit. it stings the eyes!

The flavor hits with a rumbling, metallic alcohol blended into a roaring yank of hops, a bitter, bitter, grassy, floral jerk on the tongue. Hops dominate the beginning of each mouthful, sending your tongue shrivelling from the bitterness as though it were a salted slug - then, suddenly, a wonderful thing happens. Rosy, caramelly malts come out to play! From behind, the formerly no-show malts rise to the fore upon swallowing, sending the hop bitters on their way, and the tongue is coated with a sticky, sweet, almost rye-like layer of malt.

The mouthfeel begins as what I - and this is a word I've never even thought of to describe a mouthfeel - would consider 'bright'. It's not zippy - it's not oily. It's bright. it's light. The carbonation is of such quantity and bubble size that it draws out all of the flavors and contributes a tingling sensation without being obnoxious. Alcohol is present; bitterness and some saltiness assault the tongue's regious. Swallowing leaves a sticky, mucousy (mmmm) layer of malty goodness on the tongue and throat.

Final thoughts - Lagunitas' other beers may have been forgettable - this is a smack outta' the freakin' ballpark for any self-respecting, hop-adoring American. It takes a seriously good beer to get me to write reviews like this one these days! :)

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2006 04:13:07 | More by Tupperwolf
More User Reviews:
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
BlurryVisi0n

New York

3.86/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: The body itself is a pure red-amber color with medium bubbles to the body. White head that rose to maybe 1/2" off the body with the initial pour.

Smell: Light hops, honestly it best it smells your an above average pilsener. Not bad, but no where near greatness.

Taste: A little bitter but still smooth, has a slight sour feel to it that resembles citrus with a gulp-full of hops. Malts galore, but like I said...smooth.

Mouth: Medium bodied and slightly sticky. Has like a toasted feel to it, bit chewy.

Overall: Pretty good brew, honestly I have to put Lagunita's in my top three overall breweries. First time I have had this and not the last. Craving something to cool you off this summer, this might have been the best 5 bucks I spent. Salud!

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2014 05:04:41 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of tykechandler
tykechandler

Indiana

4/5  rDev -3.4%

07-31-2014 04:43:20 | More by tykechandler
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton

Indiana

4/5  rDev -3.4%

07-31-2014 04:23:22 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a dark red color with a fluffy off white head.

The aroma has a similar character to Sumpin Extra, with that slight dank and pine in the back. Then there’s fruity hop notes of tart berries, some citrus, caramel sweetness and earthy pine.

The beer in the front is very earthy. Big piney and rich dark earthy flavor, almost like an American barleywine with huge spicy drying on the back. This is a very clean drinking beer, but it has some alcohol on the back. Hints of sweetness to counteract that bitterness, but not much body in the middle to interfere with the hops.

The finish is heavy bitterness with a bit of bready towards the end. This is for those who like American barleywines and oily resinous hops. And as the beer warms up, that sweetness comes through more to balance the beer out.

Not my favorite hop profile, but still constructed.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2014 03:50:18 | More by dar482
Photo of Qbdoo
Qbdoo

Illinois

4/5  rDev -3.4%

07-31-2014 02:45:27 | More by Qbdoo
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
TheBeerAlmanac

Kentucky

4/5  rDev -3.4%

07-30-2014 21:39:30 | More by TheBeerAlmanac
Photo of JonathanAnkney
JonathanAnkney


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

07-30-2014 20:18:21 | More by JonathanAnkney
Photo of Matthew1788
Matthew1788

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

07-30-2014 15:19:04 | More by Matthew1788
Photo of Hallertau
Hallertau

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -3.4%

07-30-2014 03:12:11 | More by Hallertau
Photo of JimmyFlatRock
JimmyFlatRock

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

07-30-2014 00:52:21 | More by JimmyFlatRock
Photo of fleurdelou
fleurdelou

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

07-29-2014 21:22:47 | More by fleurdelou
Photo of mfnmbvp
mfnmbvp

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. Another new bomber to me from Lagunitas, my first encounter with one of their imperial red ales. Expectations are nice, since Lagunitas usually does great beers for a great price.

Poured into a Lagunitas mason jar.

A - It pours a nice dark coppery bronze colored body with about two fingers of creamy off-white froth.

S - The nose is comprised of smooth creamy sweet caramel / red malts. Some light trademark piney / resinous hop notes noticeable in the background. Herbal & earthy.

T - Remarkably well-balanced. Spicy bitter piney hop presence, grapefruit, stone fruits, and lots of bready red / caramel maltiness. Again, herbal and earthy. The hops are nice, but I think the malts are what makes this one a winner.

M - The feel is smooth & creamy. Sticky, bitter, resinous, and dry on the finish.

Overall, another quality bomber from Lagunitas. Very rarely have these guys let me down, especially when it comes to the bombers. Definitely recommended.

Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale ---4/5.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2014 03:38:05 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of Whyt4243
Whyt4243


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

07-28-2014 22:52:42 | More by Whyt4243
Photo of Syraquse
Syraquse

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

07-28-2014 22:52:20 | More by Syraquse
Photo of MistyMountainHops
MistyMountainHops

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

07-28-2014 03:32:59 | More by MistyMountainHops
Photo of Nachos4two
Nachos4two

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

07-28-2014 00:19:40 | More by Nachos4two
Photo of Petegrieco
Petegrieco

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -3.4%

07-27-2014 21:37:07 | More by Petegrieco
Photo of SBoeckman72
SBoeckman72

Illinois

4/5  rDev -3.4%

07-27-2014 03:04:33 | More by SBoeckman72
Photo of thetimhortonsman
thetimhortonsman

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

07-26-2014 22:28:54 | More by thetimhortonsman
Photo of J-Bonestradamus
J-Bonestradamus

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -3.4%

07-26-2014 16:57:46 | More by J-Bonestradamus
Photo of jman005
jman005

Kentucky

4/5  rDev -3.4%

07-26-2014 06:57:54 | More by jman005
Photo of paulish
paulish

New York

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

07-26-2014 04:49:06 | More by paulish
Photo of Aaron_Kerkvliet
Aaron_Kerkvliet

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

07-26-2014 03:34:00 | More by Aaron_Kerkvliet
Photo of mletten
mletten

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -3.4%

07-26-2014 03:04:54 | More by mletten
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Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,318 ratings.