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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.

2,032 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,032
Reviews: 761
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 184
Gots: 203 | FT: 1
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,032 | Reviews: 761 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mikexw
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Mikexw, Oct 12, 2014
Photo of GennyCreamAle
5/5  rDev +21.4%

GennyCreamAle, Feb 29, 2012
Photo of damndirtyape
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a milkshake pilsner glass. Stamp on neck of bottle meaningless to me, but I believe this bottle to be from this year.

Appearance: Nice clear deep color color. Light tan head that is a very thin skin across the top. Nice persistent delicate lacing noted.

Smell: Good mango and pine.

Taste: Bitter, very hoppy. Strong pine, grapefruit, citrus. Malt takes a backseat to the hop flavors. A very hop forward beer and a bit unbalanced for me.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, nicely thick and smooh.

Overall / Drinkability: Bitterness becomes a bit of a chore by the end of the glass. Too hop forward for my taste. Nice appearance and smell, but too much of a hop bomb with not enough malt to balance it in the end. Probably won't get again.

damndirtyape, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of WritersBlock
5/5  rDev +21.4%

WritersBlock, May 06, 2012
Photo of hayesjw
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

hayesjw, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of CarolinaKev
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

CarolinaKev, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of Minkybut
2.53/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I poured this overly hopped beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was a nice red color. The head poured was also pretty nice. The beer had a heck of a hoppy smell and indeed had a heck of a hoppy taste. Tasted like eating a blended Christmas tree. Had a decent malty after taste that would have been nice if the spruce flavor would not have annihilated it. I will not buy again.

Minkybut, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of LightnerLiquorKS
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

LightnerLiquorKS, Sep 16, 2014
Photo of Ri0
4.64/5  rDev +12.6%

poured 22oz bottle into snifter.

A - Very dark amber, with a 2 finger sandy head. Very nice retention, but minimal lacing.

S - Juicy, sweet malts and bitter hops. Really great aroma.

T - This is the perfect tasting beer for me; my palate goes crazy when it hits. The tropical, bitter hops compliment the sweet amber malts to perfection. It's hard not to drink quickly.

M - Medium bodied with excellent carbonation. It is refreshing, malty and bitter all at once.

O - This is like the west coast version of Nugget Nectar and I will be purchasing more bottles.

Ri0, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of JohnnyMc
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

JohnnyMc, Aug 04, 2014
Photo of jriggins6
4/5  rDev -2.9%

jriggins6, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of chilidog
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoy a good Red ale, thisone a new favorite treat indeed.

It pours a really nice full bodied red, even in color. The off-white head is full, pillow like that fades only to lace the glass well.

The aroma of citric, grapefruit with sugar and a hint of roasty malts.

Taste is of those toasted malts for alittle sweetness with a tart citric hop with hints of grapefruit and orange zest.

The mouth has a malty coat with a crisp hop bite of dryness.

It drinks really well and the 7.5% really makes it worthwhile. I too can drink these over and over but the limited availability for me in my area is tough. And a note, this is a premium beer at a price to match. Treat mode indeed, enjoy!

chilidog, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of PatandDavid
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Sunset. Dark amber when served, but I still found some cloudiness to observe. Aroma is of low rich malt topped with some candied hop accents...that's a killer combination. Mouthfeel is medium. It's another 1,2 as tastewise, there's good malt upfront, with the hops along for the finish. Enjoyable and easy to drink, even at that abv.

PatandDavid, May 07, 2005
Photo of dsauter
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

dsauter, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of kaseydad
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Was excited to try this as the lable states Lagintas is brewing this in almost the same style as their original. Cool.

Pint glass pour with a cola, amber appearance.
A small but creamy head of off-white foam is present throughout most of the session.

I am getting a major candy aroma. Molasses, malty, woody and a lot of bubble gum is evident. A hearty malt backbone gives this a major flavor kick.

A major competition of malt and hops on the initial drink. A mild bitterness on the tastebuds but overall not disturbing. A chewiness is also there.

Drinkability is good as I was able to consume a few in one seating, but the alcohol can creep up.

Another well done, quality beer from one of my favorite breweries.

kaseydad, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of jondeelee
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imperial Red opens with a nose that is mostly hoppy, though strong touches of sugars do shine through. The hops lend the beer an overwhelmingly grapefruit-based nose, with heavy pink grapefruits predominating, as well as touches of grapefruit zest; in fact, the beer bears more than a passing resemblance to a grapefruit spritzer because of the potency of these aromas. Some pine and a hint of mint do add a bit of nuance, but are deep in the background. The beer does also bear good droppings of sugar, with orange and orange zest, lemon, white grape, and apricot rounding out the fruit esters, and brown sugars and vanillas adding complexity. The faintest touch of rising wheat dough helps ground the brew slightly, but for the most part the nose is heavy on citrus and sugary aromas. As a whole, because of the high levels of these aromas, the beer does come across as well-made and appealing, but does seem slightly overly fruity, and reminiscent of wine coolers or spritzers.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a fraction-of-a-second grapefruit spritzer sweetness, then delves immediately into deeper, darker hop flavors, with heavy vinous, stem-like flavors rising and bringing dandelion stem, rose petal, and pine resin overtones, as well as peppery oils and touches of anise. Sugars once again largely take a backseat, but do offer apricot and orange notes, and the grains do come through more strongly in the mouthful, bringing toast crust and biscuit. The 54.2 IBUs tingle playfully on the tongue and soft palate, but do not get in the way of the beverage’s flavors. The aftertaste is largely hop-dominant, with the darker flavors from the main mouthful carrying through almost exactly, and lingering on the tongue for a good while. Mouthfeel is a slightly syrupy medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, I do like the hop flavors present in this beer, and am glad that the grapefruit spritzer aromas didn’t translate into flavors. I do, however, question an Imperial Red that has so many hop flavors that the sugars are somewhat lost; I would have been happier with this beer tasting it blind, rather than knowing its supposed style. As it is, the beer comes across to this drinker as overly-hopped and therefore out of balance, and needed a stronger sugary backbone to better showcase the Imperial Red flavors. Still, it is worth trying, for the hops are rather nice; think of it as a strong IPA, and you’ll be fine.

jondeelee, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of MiScusi
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

MiScusi, Oct 25, 2008
Photo of sunofneurot
4/5  rDev -2.9%

sunofneurot, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of benloho
4/5  rDev -2.9%

benloho, Nov 18, 2014
Photo of scxcrunner
3.75/5  rDev -9%

scxcrunner, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of RoamingGnome
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Lagunitas Imperial Red

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a shaker pint. Served chilled...

A) Nice looking red ale with a big rocky off white head. Nice retention and a shit ton of sticky lacing.

S) Bready with a little caramel sweetness. Some nice pine and floral hop aroma there too.

T) Yeah.... Um... Follows the nose, which in this case is a good thing.

M) Nice easy drinking medium bodied brew with ample carbonation. Piney, grassy aftertaste is enjoyable.

O) Enjoyed this one quite a bit. Like the hop profile in their Lucky 13 or whatever number it was, just a little more. Glad to recommend this mofo.

RoamingGnome, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass, copper colored with a large off white head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: fruity hops, citrus, grapefruit, oranges

T: very sweet up front, heavy citrus fruit flavors, mango, orange

M: full, thick, sticky

O: sweet and hop forward

M_C_Hampton, Nov 07, 2014
Photo of jrfehon33
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

jrfehon33, Apr 30, 2012
Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,032 ratings.