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Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Imperial Red AleLagunitas Imperial Red Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,155 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,155
Reviews: 774
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 198
Gots: 256 | 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:
Beer added by: Reidrover on 03-05-2005

54.2 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,155 | Reviews: 774 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LightnerLiquorKS
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of SonictheBeerhog
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Appearance: deep blood red almost brownish. one and a half fingers of a whitish head that fades slowly and leaves a pretty strong lacing. has a brightness to it but still a little bit hazy. 4.25/5

Smell: super strong and sweet caramel, darker caramel malts that hint at dark fruits. lots of bitter hoppiness coming through with resin, pine and citrus. some additional candy sweetness. 3.75/5

Taste: opens with a mix of dark caramel malts and caramelized sugar. the initial sweetness is quickly muted by a good dash of hop bitterness. hops include resin, pine and some citrus. Not quite as good as the smell due to the lack of balance. 3.25/5

Mouthfeel: medium to full bodied. good bitterness but does not linger. almost not enough bitterness for all the sweet in this beer. 3.5/5

Overall: not quite the level I expect from Lagunitas and certainly not in the same ballpark as their other imperial red they release in bombers.

Photo of SawDog505
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stella Artois 16 oz glass, bottled on 25th day of 12. Pours a clear bright red, with a 2 inch fluffy white head, lots of lacing. Smell is tangerine, carmel, pine, and grass. Taste is all of those things, with grapefruit in the finish. Body is medium, plenty of life, easy drinking, and lush not dry. This is a very nice hoppy red ale.

Photo of MaddDogg84
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of Buebie
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle poured into my Sam Adams turbulator.

Pours a trasparent copperish red in color. A nice fluffy 2 finger off white head that slowly falls to t hin cap of retention.

Aroma is quite sweet with a malty hoppy union. Hops due sing out with pine and touches of orange peel.

Sweet and hoppy up front with a nice creamy dose of carbonation zing. A touch of cereal grains, but mostly a malty sweet flavor with sweet pungeant hops. Becooming more and more bitter as the hops take things off auto pilot and into hop warp speed.
Alcahol warming into and through the swallow, but hops push this outta the way and dominate after swallowing.

This is much beeter from the bottle. I must have gotten a wall pour at the bar when I had this on release night. There was hardly any head and it was served far too cold.
I like being able to control my own pour and serving temp.

Photo of elricorico
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, ruddy copper colour with a perfect creamy two finger head formed after a quick pour. Receding starts quickly, but lacing sticks all around.

Smell is dominated by citrus hops. Sharp grapefruit and lime aroma. Underneath is a little bit of sugary sweetness and baked bread. Keeps you coming back for another smell.

Some caramel is first to touch the tongue. Sweet cherries flash in the middle. Finish with a hoppy citrus burst and pine resin. Quite good. Only drawback is the sweetness seems a little artificial in some mouthfulls, but that is a minor complaint.

Slightly sticky mouthfeel, with a restrained carbonation. Does a good job of smoothly carrying the flavour.

Best I've had so far from Lagunitas. I like it much more than I expected.

Photo of geexploitation
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This one lives up to its name. Pours a deep red, rusty brown with a thick, two-fingered head that leaves lacing on the glass. The nose is quite fragrant, with piney hop aromas and earthy hop aromas intermingling. It's quite a big hop nose -- what you'd expect from an imperial red from Cali. Tastewise this one starts off with bitter hops. The hops are briefly interrupted by sweeter malt notes before the hops come back in the finish. The flavors and body of the beer are very full and well-rounded. This is a very well rounded beer; its only drawback is drinkability, which is diminished by its weight in the stomach, which is pretty substantial. That fact makes it a beer that wouldn't be "sessionable".

Photo of zac16125
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a fully translucent perfect amber color with 1 fingers width of light khaki colored head, which takes a fair amount of time to dissipate down to a thick film that remains throughout the drink. Leaves a small amount of spotty lacing 4.5

S: Citrusy hops in the form of grapefuit, orange and lemon zest, some caramel malts and piney hop bitterness.  Really nice.

T: A firm malt backbone balanced by piney hop bitterness, grassy floral notes, and a bit of spice, solid.

M/D: Medium bodied, on the heavy side of moderate carbonation, with a decent drying finish.  ABV is hidden well.  Decent drinkability

O: Overall, very nice.  I grabbed this beer without huge expectations, but it was a really pleasant surprise. Seems like I find myself saying that about lagunitas offerings a lot.  Maybe I should stop being so surprised.  Certainly one of the better imperial reds I've had, I think I may even like it more than nugget nectar. Definitely worth a try.  

Photo of therica
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= red-mahogany, yellow-white modest foamy head, lots of lacing.

S= oh my gosh this stuff is heavenly. Nice florals, amazing toasted caramel and slightly grassy dry malts forever.

T= bountiful flavor, nicely balanced between hops bitters, carbonation, candy, roasted malts.

M= intricate blend of hops bitters, candy, toasted malts lingering for some time, quite enjoyable to savor.

D= amazing, possibly even a great "starter beer for the uninitiated," should go great with most red-meat meals especially a juicy burger and fries.

Photo of e30todamax
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Walkerjgt
3.25/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of udubdawg
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of JackieTH
4.77/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2012 bottling. Pours a clear ruby red with a cap of khaki foam that recedes quickly but leaves excellent lacing. Smell is handfuls of grapefruit and tropical paradise..mangos, papaya, pineapple. Taste is exactly pleasantly bitter, again, there are grapefruit citrus elements, also mango, papaya, maybe even a bit of star fruit, it's juicy, delicious. Well crafted body holds together well with ample carbonation. Finish is clean, refreshing, luscious, and dry - not cloying. Very, very good. More please. I will be seeking this one out by the case.

I don't get the category this is in. In my opinion this tastes like a world class IPA or DIPA.

Photo of cbl2
3.6/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

10/31/2006 $4.99 22 oz. 7.60% No best by date.


Pours a murky brown with a quarter inch of tight white head that settles slowly leaving behind a nice lace.


Mildly hoppy with a slight iced tea sweetness to the aroma.


40.63 IBU's according to the label, but this has a larger profile than indicated. Assertive bitter hop character dominates the palate to begin which is supplanted by a malty sweetness by midsip. Iced tea flavor which was present in the nose is here as well with the delicate balance of bitter and sweet. An interesting beer, not sure I would categorize it as a Strong Ale, but it is good nonetheless.

Photo of yamar68
3.61/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle to pokal glass:

Pours an amber gold with a small off-white head and not much for lacing. Not much going on in the beading department either. Smell is reminiscent of a west coast barleywine - huge on hops, huge on malt, nicely balanced. Pleasantly surprised by this. Hops take a back seat to the malts on the tongue. Some obvious metallic malts, like a good brown ale. The hops definitely follow suit though with a big citrus after burn. I don’t typically drink many red ales because I don’t especially enjoy a malt dominated beer, but this is very well balanced.

Photo of scottoale
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12oz. brown bottle with a red cap and no freshness date. It pours a nice orange-copper with a thick foamy ivory head of a finger. Good carbonation and lots of lace clinging everywhere.

Nice hearty malt aroma followed by some semi-serious hops and even some alcohol sneaks through as it warms...very nice. A sweet spicy floral brew that really pleases my sense of smell.

Some large malt flavors start sweet, yet earthy as they blend smoothly with an equal dose of hops...well balanced and rather tasty red here. Good medium-plus body with a smooth, fluffy kind of mouthfeel and the head can be re-kindled with a slight swirl of the glass.

Moderate ABV that is more than easy too drink...a great session beer in my opinion, cheers!

Photo of ramrod666
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of ScaryEd
3.52/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of HopsHopenstein
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of djre4orm
3/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of Giantspace
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of EuphonicHops
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of williamherbert
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The brew is a dark mahogany-cherry red. Not the typical amber color. Has a good half-finger of head. Thick and hazy, but also glassy.

First smell is grassy hops; dry and piney. Underneath is a toasted, nutty amber malt. Nice balance in the smell: woody meets roasted.

Toasted malt is the first taste; very bitter, roasted (almost burnt) flavor. Hops are also bitter, but act as an accent to the malt. Sharp bitter bite.

Feel is a bit thick, has a minor bite. It really smooths out as it warms. Overall it's a good, bitter red, and full of flavor. Good for a couple, too bitter for a bunch of them.

Photo of Beestin
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%

Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,155 ratings.