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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.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

775 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 775
Hads: 2,267
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 8.29%
Wants: 233
Gots: 314 | FT: 2
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 775 | Hads: 2,267
Photo of bbluemzbeer
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Order this at a restuarant in chicago. It was great !

Appearance : Read amber with a large long lasting thick foamy off white head on the pour, with good lacing throughout

Smell :lightly toasted caramel malt, piney earthy hops, grains, spicy rye and fruity esters

Taste: Awesome ! Mallts, pine and citrus. Some bitnerness at end but not over done ! Good balance to it. It is well done!Taste is toasted caramel malt, piney earthy hops, with a bit of spicy rye grains and fruity.

Mouthfeel : Palate is a medium to full body, with somegood carbonation and a crisp mouth feel. Finish is toasted caramel malt, some light yeast followed bypiney taste

Overall: Very nice beer! This beer is noty complex but has a big bold, taste bursting with aroma and flavor which is just the way I like my beer. The balnce is great, making for a greatt session ! (849 characters)

Photo of Hatzilla
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear blood red with a one inch head, leaving some nice lacing.

S: Lots of pink grapefruit and cotton candy; sweet.

T: Hoppy grapefruit with a medium to dry finish. The hops and malts mesh well, alcohol is well hidden.

M: Very smooth and drinkable, carbonation is perfect.

O: A great red ale, glad Lagunitas brought this one back. (337 characters)

Photo of Maximusmaximus
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An inspired rejuvination of their first-ever brew, this bold American red ale from Lagunitias is a divine gift from the gods. Beer simply doesn't get much better than this. It is abusively strong in color, appearance, alcohol content, hops and attitude and will launch a full-on assault on your trembling senses. It is caramelly and spicey and smooth and tender and smacks of everything that is good about beer in general and life itself. It is obvious that the guys at Lagunitas hit a home run their first time up and we, the people, are blessed to be counted worthy to share in that first success. (599 characters)

Photo of DKRowden
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Poured into a large snifter from a 22oz bomber. It has a light mahogany color with a small cream colored head. It has a sweet malty aroma with a light fruity note and a hoppy hint. It tastes great. Its very balanced with a sweet malty medium body and a light hoppy bite. It has creamy Mouthfeel. Overall it's a great red. Will definitely buy again. (348 characters)

Photo of natemort13
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Frothy light tan head that subsides quickly into a filmy thin cap. Nice clear bubbly deep ambery red color to it.

Nose is dank pungent ripe grapefruit. Thin bready malty sweetness underneath. Feel like there's some orange trying to come out too. Gets ever so slightly herbal after a bit. Grass is also apparent as it warms.

Taste is sweet at first, then fades into a slight metallicishness and then bitter grapefruit with a sweet red malty finish. The metallic quality of the taste fades as the beer warms, but it was quite off putting to begin.

Mouthfeel is medium and highly carbonated yet remains creamy. Helps balance the strength of the grapefruit taste.

Overall this is my last of the six pack I bought about two weeks ago or so. I did not notice the metallic taste in the other bottles so I'm guessing my palate is out of whack or those two weeks in the fridge produced some off flavors. Or I'm just perceiving the bitterness differently this evening. Had a six pack of holiday leftovers and the last bottle had some white flaky crystallization in it that threw some gross off flavors over what was otherwise one of my favorite beers of the winter. Anyways, metallic qualities fade as it warms, hope lagunitas isnt having any QC problems because theyre awesome, all in all very good beer, end rambling. (1,313 characters)

Photo of Ghrymm
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Very nice Red Ale ,poured a Rusty Dark Orange very fine bubbles nice small fine head with good lacing.
Pine forest nose with pine citrus taste, solid Ale close to there IPA's but on its own.
Worth picking up. (209 characters)

Photo of bstave
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into Dogfish Head tulip pint glass.

A- Big red body with nice one finger white head leaving big stick lacing. Another beautiful beer from these guys.

S- Smell is great. Reminds me a little of the hop profile from Sucks. Big malt backbone too.

T- Taste is awesome. Big sticky malt with big dank hops. Nice citrus hop profile here. Wonderful stuff.

M- Mouthfeel is spot on. Creamy, no heat, smooth. Wonderful to drink.

O- This brewery is just solid. Pretty much everything they do is spot on with their flavor profiles leaning on the hoppy end, which I enjoy. Seek this out now as it is a limited release. (628 characters)

Photo of Luchman
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Hazy, but clear, light amber color, with hues of orange and hues of yellow towards the bottom of the glass. A small, creamy, off white head comes off the pour.

S; Pretty subtle in the nose, but smells tasty. Sweet, almost candy like, caramel/toffee malts control the nose. Some slight citrus and pine hops can be found as well. Light breadiness, and even some light fruits.

T: Like Lagunitas's other beers, this is pretty sweet. Pure caramel/toffee malts dominate, like the smell, with some of the citrus and slight pine hops added to create a balance that works pretty solid; The malts are definably the heavy hand, but never is it one sided. Alcohol shows up juuuussst a tad when it warms, but hides well enough. Ends clean with a very slight hop bite.

M: Medium body with a nice carbonation to follow. Creamy and clean.

D: Another solid beer from Lagunitas. Sweet, but not overly sweet, with just enough hop balance to please anyone. Very drinkable and pretty yummy. (1,028 characters)

Photo of Knuckles
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a beer a friend bought for me a couple of weeks back that I finally got around to drinking. I'm a lover of reds (Cinder Cone - Deschutes, Agate Pass Amber - Hood Canal Brewing and Panama Red - Water Street Brewing being some favorites), and have only been disappointed by one beer from Lagunitas in my life, so I was very much looking forward to this. The in-laws blew into town last night, so I figured it was high time I cracked open this bomber (although, in their defense, they did bring me four bottles of Russian River - 3 Damnation, 1 Sanctification).

Appearance: Not quite as deep in color as I expected with the appellation of 'Imperial', but still a lovely, deep, golden brown.

Smell: Mmm...you can smell the malts getting chased around by some assertive aroma hops. Not super overpowering in either case, but very pleasant.

Taste: The body of this is much more robust than most reds I'm accustomed to, but that would be expected with the heavier malt bill on this one. The malts are sweet, but not overpowering. My concern with a higher ABV red was that it would result in a much too sweet beer, but this has been offset by their liberal hopping.

Mouthfeel: Again, the larger malt profile is really prominent in the mouthfeel. It adds quite a bit more body than I'm accustomed to in a red, but I like it a lot. That said, it's not going to help me come summertime.

Drinkability: This beer is definitely a winner. I'd like to see them make it a regular beer, and offer it in six packs. Great stuff, and very drinkable. (1,553 characters)

Photo of Jimbo87
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured clear red amber into pint glass with beautiful 1 inch off-white head. Left little lacing.

Smells hoppy. Slightly maltier than an IPA, but still very IPA-like.

Again, slightly maltier than most IPAs, but still quite bitter in the finish. A lot of hops, which are perhaps slightly citrusy/floral. Very strange, on some sips it seems very sweet, on other it seems bitter. But somehow the particular sweetness and bitterness in the beer don't seem like they mesh quite perfectly. Still tasty.

No complaints with the mouthfeel, nice carbonation.

Drinkability is good, but I don't think I'd want to drink more than one at a time. A solid ale, but there's a specific sweet element in it that I'm not sure if I like, but which I can't put my finger on. My dad loves this beer though. This beer stands out to me as "different." Definitely worth a try. (853 characters)

Photo of marc956
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the best beers I have ever had. A lot of flavour + complexity like everything else I've had from Lagunitas (except their Pils - for that one should stick to Pilsner Urquell) .. back to this one. Highly recommended, but tough to find outside California, please enjoy responsibly. (285 characters)

Photo of RJUGA03
3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
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. (352 characters)

Photo of gustogasmic
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5/23/12 Lagunitas for the hop fix, once again. I felt like the Kool-Aid guy saying, OH YEAH when found this, promptly popped it and gave the bottle a little sniff as usual, before pouring it into a nice round flute glass.

Appearance is a very slightly clouded copper. A little white head comes up and dissipates to a ring. Medium carbonation runs throughout the drink.

The odor is a honey-hop balance, suggesting malt presence but still ensuring some California Love. I'm getting pine and grass, some cherry blow-pop in the background, and a faint citrusyness.

A taste follows suit nicely, with the hops playing a little bittering role as the maltiness comes up sweet and medium/large. Sure, it's a red. Its a Red IPA, there ya go.

Mouthfeel is medium- it's got gusto and a nice creaminess but still goes down easy. Lots of linger, and a good hop dryness afterwards.
3/25/ 2012: A really nice, translucent red copper, a big foamy 2" tan paper head that slowly fades leaving great, even ribbons of lacing. Lively carbonation, which persists through the whole drink.

Smells flowery, but with a dark orange kick that makes it anything but light and dainty. Some faint caramel notes come across as sweetness.

This beer goes down so wonderfully- a big malty body that carries "imperial-level" loads of hop character and bitterness. Less fruity than the aroma led me to believe, but, wow. Big smack in the face that nonetheless stays impeccably balanced. A lingering hop bitterness in the aftertaste, love it or hate it. Not too sweet, but the maltiness makes it a filling one. Another bad boy from Lagunitas. (1,615 characters)

Photo of HeartofMiami
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

On tap at local Brass Tap. Usually like hoppy red ales. Disappointed overall especially compared with other Lagunitas brews. Nothing stood out except for bitterness not well balanced with caramel malt. Not sure if there may have been an issue with their lines. (264 characters)

Photo of RoBotGod
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good rich beer. I’m glad to see that they released it in a 6pak instead of just the bomber. It has a big hop smell to it and pours a dark copper tone to it. The alcohol is noticeable at 7.6 but is just about right for easy drinking. There is a big hop taste. I would almost call it a red IPA. (303 characters)

Photo of BeerMaverick
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber, fire-like appearance with about a half-inch of off-white head that lasts throughout the session. Completely translucent with no sediment.

S - Floral/fruity aromas consisting of blood orange, pear, and apple. Tons of citrusy hop presence as well that meshes nicely with the malt character.

T - Fantastic hop profile that compliments the sweetness provided by the fruit and conceals any alcohol burn.

M - Very flavorful beer with a surprisingly light body and a hoppy aftertaste.

O - This beer is dangerously drinkable and is almost an exact replica of Nugget Nectar. This beer would be Nugget Nectar if it had slightly less alcohol and more drinkability. (669 characters)

Photo of cerveza5150
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

AP: Dark, beautiful, ruby red color. Small bubbles of carbonation give way to a nice, creamy head with nice retention.

S: Sweet honey/vanilla malt with a touch of spice from the hops.

T: Starts out sweet from the malt and dries out nicely due to the hops and the slightly high alcohol. Definately better tasting than some of the other Lagunitas brews. I could take 2 more of these!!

M: A little more carbonation would be nice, but overall - great mouthfeel.

D: I could kick back and drink a few of these. Someone call my work! I'm calling in sick!!!! (562 characters)

Photo of BeaBeerWife
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this is the best "red" i've had in general thus far. Sadly I have only had a half glass tasting of this on draught. I need to get some more of this. Strong but not overwhelming, smooth and beautiful color. A very unique red if it is allowed to classified as such. A must find! (281 characters)

Photo of beerfairy
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Red/gold and cloudy with a roiling fluffy white head that leaves a TON of lace on the pint glass.

S - Big time hoppy flavor. This smells like a red ale and an IPA combined.

T - Tastes much like it smells, this is really, really hoppy and freshly hoppy. Good stuff!

M - Full bodied, and think IPA.

D - Very nice beer...this isn't a Killians for sure. (358 characters)

Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%

22 oz Bomber.The Red Rocker has touched down in the Antelope Valley.After 3 weeks of looking for this in the `beer stores` a friend of mine came in to work and told me he just got two Imperial red ale`s at Stator Brothers grocery store.I asked him how many they had left and he said a whole row.By the time I got in there they had two left and I gladly bought both of them and i`m glad I did.Great.Very Hoppy with a touch of citrus.This is one of those once a year beers lagunitas puts out so if you see it grab it.I loved it.7.8 ABV which makes this a nice little package.Watching the last of summer burn off outside with this fine brew listening to some Doobie Brothers and it was indeed,a very good night. .And at 4.99 a bottle,great deal.Motley out. (753 characters)

Photo of bodybyadam
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hops On Equinox 06 is the time I enjoyed this one. I've always seen it in the local market but have always ignored the dog on the box, I'm not sure why, but not anymore.

Poured into a small 6oz pilsner sampler that appeared reddish-light brown in color. A mellow 1/4-inch head, with a nose that let you know it was hoppy. First taste was a strong sweetness, probably the alcohol. I enjoyed its very hoppy character, with a mix of fruity pears and grapefruit made for a great mouthfeel. The finish had a well-balanced bitterness that made this a very drinkable beer.

All in all, you should be able to enjoy IPAs to truly appreciate this yet not too bitter to prevent you from having another that night.


Elbows Up,
Adam (729 characters)

Photo of NolateM
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap on two different ocassions, at one of my favorite local restaurants (a place I pretty much go to because of the bar). Poured into a regular pint glass... very attractive and somewhat translucent red color, with a rich white head. The first thoughts I had were "this tastes like an IPA" and "this tastes like cranberries." And despite not being a huge cranberry fan, I was definitely a huge fan of this beer. Very hoppy, sort of piney flavor to it. Definitely tasted like a high-alcohol beer, but in a good way. If you like strong bitter ales and/or IPAs, give this a try! (589 characters)

Photo of animortician
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had to try this since Ive brewed a hopped up Red ale a couple of times.

A: Rich Copper color, Good 1 finger head when poured. Maintains a nice layer of foam throughout drinking.

S: Colorful, fruity, ripe, fresh

T: Sour Apple giving way to the sweet medium roasted malt. Fruity, hoppy, crisp. I dry hopped my red ale and was expecting that kind of flavor but got much more of a fresh hop flavor.

M: Good carbonation level, Very light feeling beer, very drinkable

O: I'm diggin it, Kind of like there IPA its super drinkable and non-demanding. It isn't often that I want a non-demanding beer but I think I'll come back to this one sometime. (643 characters)

Photo of fps_dean
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish-orange color with moderate head that never fully dissipates.

The smell is rather mild, but pleasant. Some hops and sweeter malts are noticeable.

Tastes very much like it smells, but with a feint touch of alcohol. Definitely tastes like a red ale.

The body and carbonation on this is on the lighter side and it certainly goes down the smoothest I've had from Lagunitas. Very pleasant mouthfeel.

Overall, a very solid red ale overall, and something I will definitely pick up again. (502 characters)

Photo of gregy55902
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured bottle to snifter a nice ruby-red color with a 1-finger tan head. The head quickly recedes into nothing except for a tiny ring around the glass.

S - Earthy hops, floral/citrus hops, slight bready malt, pale malt

T - Follows the nose. Not too complex, but nice IPA characteristics. Slight caramel after taste, but too slight.

M - On the low end of carbonation, but it hides the alcohol well.

O - I would hardly call this a 'strong ale' - instead I would go for imperial pale ale or something. No traditional strong ale characteristics, but quite good for what it is. I much prefer the Lagunitas offerings 'hairy eyeball' and 'undercover investigation' for the true strong ale types of beers. (707 characters)

Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 775 ratings.