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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.

2,096 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,096
Reviews: 766
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 188
Gots: 214 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,096 | Reviews: 766 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ramrod666
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

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 zac16125
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
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 jk3
2.5/5  rDev -39.3%

Photo of HopsHopenstein
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of yelterdow
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to EPseja for the complementary bottle for this review. I'll serve this one a few degrees above fridge temperature in an Imperial pint glass.

Appearance- Big and red, that's for sure. The richness is evident right from the start, viscous and huge in its appearance. The bone white head, which carries with it a tint of red, billows to three fingers and stays put with its firm density. Streams of lacing line the inside of the glass.

Smell- Succulent, massive hops are shrouded in an oversize cloak of malt. There are only two adversaries, and they choose to join forces with determination and purpose.

Taste- The enormous malt backbone is balanced by a generous hop bitterness, creating a full tasting experience that leaves nothing to the imagination. The hop attack isn't as forward as Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale nor is it as magnificent, rather it's a maltier interpretation of the style.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The texture is absolutely sublime and couldn't be improved in my opinion. It begins soft and slick, then garners up some foam and disperses it across the tongue with total elegance. This is heavy handed and will make its presence felt, and it will certainly please fans of stronger ales from our West Coast.

Photo of OStrungT
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a brownish orange color, with a tfluffy, very light tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving a nice lacing.

This beer has a sweet caramel malty aroma. It is slightly nutty. It has a subtle citrus hop aroma.

This beer tastes quite sweet. It has a nice caramel malt flavor. It is mildly hoppy. A slight nutty flavor is also present.

This beer goes down smooth, leaving a mildly nutty aftertaste. The alcohol content is well hidden. It is carbonater to perfection.

This beer might make a good session beer. It tastes good, but it is mild enough to have a few. The only problem is the slightly high ABV.

Overall: This beer is good, just a little booring.

Photo of NODAK
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Right upon opening, the aroma was very noticeable...holy tropical fruit and grapefruit Batman! Very strong notes of that come through...all hops basically. It belies its 54 IBU's that's for sure.

Taste is strongly grapefruit with some tropical notes present...perhaps more so than I'd expect for the IBU count. There's a bready contingent underneath that shows that it's a red ale after all but the hops really do rule this one and give this the taste of a very citrusy IPA for the most part.

Very tasty here. Many times in "imperial red ales" I'd decry it slanting so heavily towards the hop side of things but I found this delicious and worth it.

Photo of ambruns1979
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of MattSharpless
3.76/5  rDev -8.7%

Photo of danthehopslamman
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

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

Pours a clear brilliant red color with 1 finger of frothy butter tan head. Good retention and some really nice sticky lacing lines down the glass. Smells of citrus, pine, and floral hops as well as caramel and sweet bready malt. Tastes of citrus up front along with some white grapes, then a solid toasted malt and caramel sweetness in the backbone. Finishes with nice dry bitter notes of grass and pine. Medium in body with pleasant carbonation, bitter yet very balanced, smooth with a nice dry finish. Very easy to drink, quite delicious.

Thanks to Kegatron for providing me with this bottle.

Photo of PatrickJR
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Clear, copper/red color with 3 fingers of beige head. Retention is decent with a thick cap remaining. Moderate to good lacing.

S - Decent, but a little boring. Grapefruit/pine/mint from the hops with a touch of vanilla-like malt sweetness in the background.

T - I'm not sure what I think here. It's good but there just isn't enough going on with me except a run-of-the-mill hop bomb. A huge grapefruit flavor kicks in at first backed by some floral and piney notes. Both die off mid palate with a wave of bitter grapefruit pith riding atop a weak and vague malt sweetness. Finish is marginally bitter with just a touch of heat from the alcohol.

M - This aspect of the beer is just short of amazing. Most hopped-up beers are high on the carbonation, but the medium body coupled with a soft, nearly non-existant carbonation is a very interesting vehicle for the hop flavors. The taste didn't totally win in the end, but this lowered carbonation allowed much more hop flavor and less bitterness to pull through.

D - For the price I probably wouldn't buy this again. A good beer, but nothing new or all that exciting. Worth a try.

Photo of Arithmeticus
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured slightly chilled in oversized glass (good thing too because of the huge head)

A: crazy huge head, clear copper red color; abundance of carb beads; beautiful lacing; couldn't be better
S: piney resinous; lovely, inviting aroma
T: all grapefruit; sweet, sour and hoppy; the copious hop profile makes this a very flavorful beer

What an exciting, rebellious beer.

Photo of OldhouseRecs
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Nerudamann
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - light brown/medium red in color, clear, with about a finger's worth of khaki-colored foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell - interesting fruity quality amidst the hop-filled aroma.

Taste - very much like the smell. It's indeed hoppy, but more in the feel than in the taste. The taste is mostly that fruity quality...maybe pomegranate? Stronger bitter aftertaste than when you feel it in the middle.

Mouthfeel - pretty well-balanced, but leans a little more on the watery side.

Overall - not a bad brew at all. Very interesting to think about, and good-tasting.

Photo of hayesjw
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of PGVG
4.12/5  rDev 0%

Photo of J-Bonestradamus
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of GennyCreamAle
5/5  rDev +21.4%

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.

Photo of sunofneurot
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of WritersBlock
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of Segelstrom
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,096 ratings.