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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

1,714 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,714
Reviews: 734
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.41%
Wants: 169
Gots: 137 | 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: 1,714 | Reviews: 734 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by hiikeeba:
Photo of hiikeeba
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours up an slightly hazy amber with an off white head that disspates slowly, leaving nice Belgian lacing around the glass

S - Starts with some caramel malt notes, with a stong citrus hop background.

T - roast and caramel malt are on the back of the tongue, with citrus and pine hop notes, with some dark dried fruit flavors, like raisins, but very subtle.

M - Good mouthfeel, moderate carbonation

D - Extremely well-balanced beer, smooth despite the alcohol content. Very easy to drink

hiikeeba, Sep 23, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev -3.1%

A: ruby brown ale, faintly hazed, with a couple of fingers of pale foam that left some small lacing down the glass

S: warming bready malts under resinous pine and citric hop aromas

T: warm brown bread and biscuit, slightly sweet; muted fruitiness; grapefruit and orange citrus elements as well as piney wood

M: medium-weight, enough chew that you're not likely to down it, but not so much that you couldn't if you wanted to; moderate carbonation

O: a nice take on the red/amber ale, IPA-like hops, but the malts give it a heartier, rustic character. Solid.

Greywulfken, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of utopiajane
3.84/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours orange and clear with only a few bubbles wafting toward the top to meet a creamy head of off off white foam that fell slowly and left lace. The nose is pink grapefruit with it's sweet little backing, earthy pine, some fresh orange and a biscuit like malt that promises a bit of sugar. Taste is excellent. The mouthfeel is pristine. A touch of weight from that malt and then airy lightness but smooth. Good carbonation that goes largely unnoticed. The beer is a touch sticky and lip smackingly so with a bit of resin that coats the tongue and lets a bit of the grapefruit pith and the earthy pine come through just a bit more before the creamy smooth malt rolls through to the finish. Finishes with a slight bitter that is a lovely accent to all the fruitiness of this beer.

utopiajane, Aug 13, 2014
Photo of lordofstarside
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Bomber to an imperial pint glass

Pours amber in color, with a finger of slightly tan foam. High visibility, low carbonation, pretty good retention and lacing 4.5/5

Smell is upfront citrus- lots of pine and grapefruit that gets balanced out pretty evenly with a strong aroma of spicy caramel caramel. Finishes with some alcohol 3.75/5

Taste follows pretty close. Not as hoppy as the nose made me believe, but same pine and grapefruit flavor. Biggest difference is how much more balanced it is towards the malts, sweet spicy caramel with some doughy notes. Finishes with a spalsh of booze 3.75/5

Feel is moderate / heavy body, moderate bitterness. Alcohol is concealed alright, it's not hard to drink 4/5

Overall solid red, good for the price 4/5

lordofstarside, Sep 08, 2014
Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper/amber with a well established of white head that took quite awhile to subside leaving a sheet of lace behind.Grapefruit and and other citrus fruit dominate the aromas with a lighter pine notes and caramel,lightly roasted malt.The hop profile is nice on the palate but I dont think there is quite enough of malt base for a red there is a light roasted and sweet base but not qite enough to hold up to the hop attack.Saying that it is a nice beer and I like the hops,its close to being very top notch.

oberon, Apr 27, 2006
Photo of ddean
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a bunch of these into glasses from a 12 oz. bottle.

Appearance- Rusty red, dark and opaque but not hazy. Froth stays around and beads against the glass when you swirl, which is kind of a cool and (I think) unusual effect.

Smell- Black tea, mild lemon, some alcohol and even some smoke and cherries. Very pleasant.

Taste- Much more malt and less hops than you'd expect from the smell, but this seems to be typical of the West Coast Imperial Reds that I've tried, so I guess it's the style. The hops that is there is nice, just more subtle than the Cali IPAs I know and love. That smoke comes through a little later, along those cherries in the aftertaste. It is a really nice set of flavors. I'd just like a less malt and a little more in the hops and smoke department for my taste. I don't get pine like others are claiming.

Mouthfeel- Smooth with low carbonation. A little filmy for me, probably from the heavy malt. Not crisp.

Drinkability- The malt makes it a little heavy for beer after beer, but the taste is interesting enough for you to make an exception.

Overall, very unique taste, albeit more subtle than it's sister brew and my favorite, the Maximus. Nice for slow sipping and savoring late at night when you can take your time. Try listening to cool jazz in the process.

ddean, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of RoyalT
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This one poured a beautiful reddish-brown in color with a terrific head that showed good retention and left gobs of snot-like foam on the inside of my Wildcat glass.

Smell – This one is very balanced at the nose. The malts are big with lots of caramel and other gooey sticky sweets. There’s a good toffee smell in there along with maybe some powdered or refined table sugar. The hops are noticeable yet very smooth and unobtrusive.

Taste – The nice toffee and caramel pick things up a bit at the taste. The malts and hops work well together to keep things nice and even. All of the flavors follow along through the finish. This is a complex and very solid flavor profile.

Mouthfeel – This medium-bodied ale has some good herbal bitterness in the mouth, yet it’s not overly emphasized.

Drinkability – This was a terrific-drinking ale that’s as close to a “strong session ale” as you’ll find. The balance coupled with the smoothness of the flavors makes you want to gulp this puppy down. Or is it pulp that guppy down? See, I’m buzzed already. Great job, Lagunitas!

RoyalT, Mar 16, 2005
Photo of brownbeer
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has a really nice nose of citrusy hops and doughy malt with just a touch of alcohol. It's got west coast written all over it.

Bready malts carry throughout the taste with cherry and orangey hops fading in and out, leading to a balanced finish with the hops just taking the edge.

This is s rich, well-crafted beer that doesn't lack character, as most Lagunitas brews are.

brownbeer, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of cynicgiraffe
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep red, almost brown. Frothy white head. Resiny floral aroma. Has none of the malty backbone that a red should have. Tastes mostly like a typical west coast IPA think Sierra Nevada's Torpedo but dark red. Not bad for what it is, but there isn't much of a red ale here if that's what you're looking for.

----

The first time I had this beer I reported that it was more like a red colored Sierra Nevada Torpedo. I'm not really sure what I was thinking. The nose and taste of this dark red ale have some wood aromas/flavors, and the hop profile is lots and lots of pine. The hops flavor here is almost like a thick resiny hop syrup that coats the tongue. A fantastic beer that I could sit and have 2-3 of.

cynicgiraffe, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of weatherdog
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass

It pours a crystal clear copper/ruby with a small off white head. Head retention is low and lacing is minimal.

Aroma of a little bready malt with accompanying medium level of grassy and pine hops.

The taste starts off pretty bitter. Like hop resins coating the mouth. A hint of caramel sweetness comes in to lessen the bitterness. Most grass hop flavors. Hops are the showcase it seems but the flavor just doesn't impress me terribly. The hop flavors are just too grassy for my taste.

The mouthfeel is mostly comprised of the mouth coating bitterness and lasting aftertaste. I'm not a huge fan of this harsh bitterness personally.

Overall it's a really nice and drinkable beer. My only complaint is the harsh lasting bitterness. Otherwise it's a fine and pretty drinkable beer.

weatherdog, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of wrycon
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite transparent. Orangish-ruby with a pearl-white head. Really strong pine scent. Really strong. Thick at first. Malt up front that blunts the hop onslaught that's coming. The hops carry the middle through to the end. Finish is very clean and invites another sip. Very much enjoy these hoppy reds and this is near the top. Very good.

Like It? Quite

wrycon, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of steelerguy
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber, off white head, very low carbonation...too low.

S - Lots of citrus hops and sweet caramel malt.

T - Big flavors, the first was a load of hop bitterness, almost off balance until the huge malt backbone comes in just after. There is a good bit of sweetness left over that goes very well with the citrus flavors that then come on from the hops. This beer feels like it is going to just hit you over the head with hops, but comes across pretty balanced.

M - That sweetness of the flavor comes from a good bit of residual sugar. Coats the mouth, feels like an imperial beer, could use some more carbonation to clean the end up a bit.

O - Another solid beer from Lagunitas and a worthy limited release.

steelerguy, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of jose_alehouseSD
4/5  rDev -3.1%

jose_alehouseSD, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of sabitu
4/5  rDev -3.1%

sabitu, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of EastBay_Nick
5/5  rDev +21.1%

EastBay_Nick, Jul 13, 2013
Photo of danthehopslamman
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

danthehopslamman, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of DaftPatrick
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

DaftPatrick, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of BYAHHHHHH
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

BYAHHHHHH, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of chip26
3.64/5  rDev -11.9%

chip26, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of Beaver13
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a copper red with small floaties and a creamy off-white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet caramel malts and green grapefruity hops.

The flavor is sweet melon-ey malts followed by a big resiney grapefruit / pine hop burst that lingers. The mouthfeel is medium to full with decent carbonation.

Overall, a very nice brew. This reminds me a lot of their Lucky #13. A lot of their beers are similar in this vein (Undercover as well). Some are better than others, this one is up there - not quite as good as I remember Lucky #13, but it is available in 6 packs.

Beaver13, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of generallee
4.5/5  rDev +9%

generallee, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of Doomcifer
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%

Doomcifer, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of mikechance
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at brewery on February 19th

A --- clean, red and about 1/2 of foam

S --- excellent mixture of sweet malts and fruity hops

T --- sweet, malts, citrus

M --- full bodied with the right amount of carbonation

O --- this is an excellent beer. I will go back to it time and time again.

mikechance, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of JakerLou
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

JakerLou, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

A- Two fingered tan lace clings to the glass almost all the way down, nearly clear and bright reddish amber hue.

S- Piney citric softness of the hop aroma permeates with a mild fruity alcohol and lean caramel malt tone. All in all very aromatic.

T- Big malty palate with more than enough hop character to balance, bitterness is semi-clean with pungent citric finish. Light warming alcohol. Maltiness holds its own with a creamy caramel note. Long finish of malt and a citric hop bite.

M- Super smooth with a creamy full body.

D- As big as it is ... it goes down pretty quick due to the smoothness. Perhaps far from a session beer but it certainly was not a core to quaff this one down.

Very recommended IMO especially if you are into big and hoppy strong ales.

Jason, Jun 26, 2005
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Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,714 ratings.