1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Lagunitas Imperial Red AleLagunitas Imperial Red Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,260 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1260
Reviews: 685
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%

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
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,260 | Reviews: 685 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of johnmichaelsen


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

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a solid copper amber color with good head retention and considerable sticky lacing. The nose is impressive, showcasing considerable dry citrus and light sweet malt. On the palate, this is pretty impressive, as I get considerable hoppy bitterness that overwhelms the malty sweetness almost completely. There's also something of a biscuit flavor in the finish that is interesting. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a crisp and bitter, hint of sweetness finish. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, but you can tell it's in the 7% or 8% range.

Typical well crafted beer from Lagunitas, and another absolute treat for hop heads.

Serving type: on-tap

05-12-2012 18:07:25 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of BilbosNuts


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

Enjoyed on tap at the brewery.

A: Pours a clear copper color with a lively amount of carbonation. A thin white film sits on top and leaves some scattered lacing.

S: Very simple aroma that consists of a strong bitter and slightly tropical hop profile accompanied by a solid caramel malt backbone.

T: Similar to the aroma with a bigger input of tropical fruits, mainly pineapple-like tastes. The caramel malts again provide a good backbone to the taste. It finishes with a significant hoppy bitter bite.

M: It is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation that allows the flavors to travel across the palate. It finishes very wet and coats the palate with the bittering hops.

O: An above average amber ale. Definitely more hop forward than many others within the style, but very drinkable and enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2012 02:44:53 | More by BilbosNuts
Photo of mikechance


4.1/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2012 20:51:10 | More by mikechance
Photo of lovebeer777


3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just bottled and kegged a new batch last week. The smell is really hoppy and taste has a hoppy back end flavor with malty front end. Has a ruby red color to it, with great clarity. Its not as malty as the last batch has more hoppy flavor to it. Not as many IBUs and ABV is a little lower but in my opinion has a much better taste and feel then the last batch.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2012 01:32:31 | More by lovebeer777
Photo of Zekezilla


4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful amber-reddisih tint, served on draft. Smell: pine, citrus. Fresh refreshing aroma. Taste: citrus, grapefruit-like hops, pine comes through also. Medium carbonation that goes perfectly with the taste. I tried a few beers at a Hamilton Tavern in Baltimore--this was by far the best one of the bunch. Would absolutely seek this out again. Another surefire bet from Laguintas.

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2010 00:47:10 | More by Zekezilla
Photo of jbmorch


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was fortunate enough to grab a seat at the bar next to the Lagunitas rep and say out loud, "I wonder what I should have today?" She quickly offered to buy me an Imperial Red. I almost never order anything called "Red"... After years of carefully cultivating my lupulin taste buds to the exclusion of anything malty, reds (and a lot of other beers named after colors) often leave me smacking my tongue on the roof of my mouth to get the syrupy sweetness of the malt to go away.

Well, I took a whiff, which didn't hint at much, then a sip, and immediately noticed the up-front hops and a dryness that doesn't usually come with such a style. The malt flavor was there, but actually appreciated as a balance to the hops. Neither flavor sensation was dominant. The first glass went down really smooth, and even after the Lagunitas rep was gone I ordered a second one on my dime. And that's a compliment to a red I ever ever gave one.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2009 18:50:30 | More by jbmorch
Photo of glid02


4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Taco Mac in VA Highlands in Atlanta.

Pours a clear amber color with a one-finger off-white head. The head dissipates into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sweet malts with solid amounts of hop aromas, piney and floral.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lots of sweet malts up front with pine undertones. The sweet malt carries through until the mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good creamy thickness with soft carbonation that makes this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I could definitely have a few of these - very easy-drinking for 7.6%.

Overall this is another Lagunitas beer that impressed me. Keep up the good work in Petaluma.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2009 04:43:50 | More by glid02
Photo of plaid75

New York

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber hue with a one finger creamy white head. There was very good retention and excellent sticky lacing.

The smell featured a full caramel malt and a spicy hop.

The taste consisted of a moderately sweet full malt with a pronounced secondary herbal and spicy hop.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a very tasty and full bodied ale.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2009 17:08:02 | More by plaid75
Photo of mattp

New York

4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pint arrived with a rich, off white head floating on a gorgeous dark brownish red ale.

The hops were announced by the cirtrus aroma but were nicely balanced by the malt sweetness while I drank the pint. A decent full bodied mouth feel and nice finish. As the pint warmed a little bit the flavors became more pronounced which was a good thing.

As one would expect even though the bottled variety I have had in the past was pretty darn good, on tap it was truly spectacular.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2009 20:01:14 | More by mattp
Photo of supercolter


4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ok so this is a difficult style to rate for me. Appearance is great with a medium amber color and a great deal of head and lacing. Smell is a bit weak, but a decent amount of hops. Taste is some sweet malt with a healty portion of floral hops. Mouth feel is pretty good, a medium in body and a lot of carbonation. Drinkability is fantastic.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2009 01:23:40 | More by supercolter
Photo of SShelly


3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at callahans in S.D.

A medium reddish/brownish color with crystal clarity and a fluffy off-white head.

Excellent citrusy and piny hops in the nose, I could smell this beer from the instant it hit the table.

Flavor is big and malty with some of the same hops in it, a little dissapointed that most of the hops are in the aroma and more of them didnt make it into the flavor side, more sweet than bitter, this is a fairly well balanced beer for how big it is.

I will definetly order this when I see it on tap, another great lagunitas beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2008 17:57:54 | More by SShelly
Photo of Kadonny


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

Poured from a tap into an IPA stemmed glass.

A: A dark reddish color with a light red/off white one finger head. Nice lacing.

S: Sweet fruit malt smells with floral earthy hops.

T: Sweetness of the red ale hits first with caramel, sweet fruit and some breadiness. The earthy floral piney hops pick right up after the malt sweetness and carry the beer to completion. Underlying sweetness stays there and provides a very balanced beer. Nice and hoppy.

M: Medium to maybe a little thing. Very crisp and clean and no alcohol for the 7.xx abv.

D: High, very drinkable.

Overall a very good red although I don't know that I would classify it as an imperial. Still another solid beer from Lagunitas.

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2008 18:18:30 | More by Kadonny
Photo of xhcadamx


4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served On Draft at my house out of my kegerator

A - Imperial Red lives up to its name - a beautiful copper red sits before me with a thick creamy head that stays for almost the entire beer

S - HOPS!!! Very citrusy, heavy on pineapple.

T - Citrusy pineapple hops with a nice bitter kick in the end. This beer isnt just about the hops. Very well balanced.

M - medium body with a carbonated bite

D - I want to drink this all day long

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2008 04:18:40 | More by xhcadamx
Photo of thor638

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Perfect amount of head w/ a body that was clear. Body color was amber, a shade dark.

S - Great smell of hops, I note the fruit hints but not as much as other reviewers. I marked this down a shade b/c the smell was not too strong, and did not get much out of it.

T - Wonderful Taste; strong hops but not over-bearing. I taste a caramel malt flavor, a hint of "fruity" flavors.

M - Smooth, carbonation perfect.

D - One of the few I can easily say I could have many of. I enjoy this beer a tremendous amount and it can be enjoyed in good amounts.

In the end, overall a great beer. Will have again.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2008 12:18:27 | More by thor638
Photo of lhaqq


4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Translucent ruby/copper with a compact, long-lasting off-white head with good lacing.
S: Passion fruit and sweet malts.
T: Some of the citrus bitterness of passion fruit, hops, and some caramelized malts.
M: Smooth but with a good dose of carbonation.
D: Hides the abv well for an imperial red ale. Remains surprisingly refreshing even with the higher alcohol.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2008 05:25:41 | More by lhaqq
Photo of StrangeBrewer76


4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Garnett color and headless but for a ring. On the nose I got faint cherry but I got strange looks for saying so. Perhaps my nose is smelling what my eyes see in the color.

The taste was a three step from what I smelled (mild cherry) to malt to bitter grassy hop that lingers. The malt and hops balance well. The mouth feel was somewhat syrupy while also being crispy on the palate. After mid-glass it warms to a nice smooth foam feel.

Overall this is a 2 beer session for me.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2008 21:56:25 | More by StrangeBrewer76
Photo of MiScusi


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

Overall I just feel this was a "good" beer, as reflected in my ratings. It's got a nice fresh hoppiness to it with a good toasted background. Pretty much what you would expect overall. I still think Winter Yulesmith is a better beer in this category but this is a formidable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-25-2008 05:24:21 | More by MiScusi
Photo of CHSLBrew


4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: Attractive copper to deep copper red color, clear. White head dissipated quickly.

Smell: Malt aromas of sweet and caramel, some almost fruity aroma. No hop aroma.

Taste: Sweetness of the malt comes through to begin, with hearty maltiness to follow. A balanced bitterness emerges in the middle of this, keeping the sweet and malt under control. A pleasantly balanced aftertaste is complemented by evident alcoholic strength.

Mouthfeel: Chewey, but medium-light to medium feel in the mouth. Carbonation levels were good, medium low.

Drinkability: A strong brew, but very drinkable. I could probably drink several of these, as this is beer goes down very easily. Of course, then the high ABV would hit me :D

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2008 20:25:47 | More by CHSLBrew
Photo of RJUGA03


3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer at Brixie's Bar in Brookfield,IL.

The beer had a deep amber color with a minimal head that was frothy to the mouth. The beginning of the beer was sweet and ale-typical with a smooth hoppy finish. I gave the beer an overall A and not an A+ because the beer has to take me to stellar level and this beer did not, it's just a good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-21-2008 08:21:59 | More by RJUGA03
Photo of cvstrickland

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A draught offering served in a shaker pint glass sports a clear, deep garnet body with glossy light ecru foam atop. The cap is thin, but leaves fine bands of lacing on the glass.

The smell has a bit of a fruity perfume, with multiple layers of savory, juicy malts.

The taste is also fruity, but toastier than the nose indicated, with the same woody, juicy character and a note of perfumey alcohol. The finish is mildly bitter and somewhat dry.

Vinous and silky, the drink is lightly-carbonated and fullish in body. Good drinkability.

Serving type: on-tap

10-07-2008 09:55:19 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of opwog


4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now listening to: Stevie Wonder - Living for the City

Thanks to Beechwood for bringing this in!

A- Dark, ruby red color with a fluffy white head
S- berries, orange, pine and sweet malt
T- great balance of hops and malts that seems to switch back and forth in each sip and fromt start to finish
M- This is booming in the mouth, as the malt and hops fight for dominance.
D- This is very similar to the 13 and in most wasy, its equal. This is something that I would like to see Lagunitas keep in regular rotation.

Serving type: on-tap

10-06-2008 02:18:36 | More by opwog
Photo of Slynger


4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This laguni pours a deep, clear, rubied amber beneath a cap of finely creamy light tan.

Sweet darkish fruit aromas from malts and yeast accompany grapefruity, orange, pineapple, and piney hops.

Great flavor. Slightly sweet, bready, toasted, bittersweet toffee malts with lots of grapefruit, and pineapple fruitiness and fresh piney hops. Medium-full bodied and slinky, lightly melted buttery, smooth with a lightly full and creamy carbonation.

Really tasty stuff here. One of my favorites from Lagunitas.

Serving type: on-tap

10-04-2008 03:13:05 | More by Slynger
Photo of DeepSix


4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured with some minor head that disappeared quick quickly. Deep red. Lacing was minor if at all.

Floral hoppy smell abounds, with some malt thrown in there.

More well balanced then it smells like, neither the hops or the malt overwhelms you, the alcohol isn't in the taste so much, but that might be a bad thing sometimes given the ABV lol. A medium body. Both a bitter and alcoholic aftertaste, neither were pronounced, but neither were in the initial taste either, odd, but true.

A pretty good choice here, this might even be my first taste of this exact style, not sure. Could drink it all day, but probably shouldn't.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2008 21:00:39 | More by DeepSix
Photo of Offa


4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my favourite Lagunitas beers, with lots of flavour, and good complexity and balance.

It is dark red, slightly brownish, with a medium, creamy,light tan head with a hint of orange that slowly shrinks and leaves a little decent lacing.

The aroma is rich, caramelly and very fruity, like caramelized fruit, a little toasted bread crust, sugar, citrus (especially grapefruit), pine. It is very aromatic.

The taste is similar, with all the elements noted in the aroma. It has a strong, full malty sweetness of caramelized plums, a hint of burnt sugar, more fruit, hint of pine, and quite a bit of cirtus, primarily grapefruit. The piney-citrus bitterness balances the strong sweetness and there is a light, but smooth, alcoholic warmth. It is creamy and full-bodied a bit pungent and heavy to drink a lot of, yet astill very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2008 22:58:43 | More by Offa
Photo of OWSLEY069


3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clean deep amber color, with a small white to light tan head. In the aroma, grapefruity/ citrus hops, and a small sweet maltiness. In the taste, just as it smells, grapefruity hops, and a sweet malt backing it up. A hoppy and medium bodied mouthfeel and a small grapefruity hop aftertaste. A very nice hopy presence, smooth, easy, and good!

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2008 15:42:58 | More by OWSLEY069
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,260 ratings.