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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.

1,532 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,532
Reviews: 716
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 9.69%
Wants: 158
Gots: 96 | 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:
54.2 IBU

(Beer added by: Reidrover on 03-05-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,532 | Reviews: 716 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of paulthebeerguru


4.05/5  rDev -1.9%

Lagunitas RED (bottle)
A: pours a wonderful crimson color with a nice off white head, that's close to tan. Outstanding head retention and decent lacing.

S: huge notes of caramel and amber malts. Very sweet aroma for the malts, almost sugary. Hops do make a great appearance in the nose, slightly earthy and a nice sweet blood orange aroma.

T: big flavors of caramel from the malts, big malt backbone in this brew. Some flavors of pine resin from the hops, light blood orange notes as well.

M: medium to full bodied, this beer really warms the mouth. Great holiday brew. A little muddy.

D: a very nice beer, but the 7.2% ABV lower the drinkability for me a little bit.

12-20-2008 20:45:53 | More by paulthebeerguru
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

4.72/5  rDev +14.3%

Wow, this is a beast of a beer! Ruby red body with a small tan head. Large hop aroma - citrus and pine, but paired up with some caramel malts. For the life of me this smells like an IPA, and the taste delivers on that assumption too. Lots of grapefruit and pine play off against a nice malty caramel background. 84 IBUs is obvious, but very pleasing. Medium body and carbonation. This is an absolute stunner and I'll be hunting it down again. Thanks Shawn for sharing!

12-13-2008 23:20:28 | More by bobsy
Photo of magictrokini


4/5  rDev -3.1%

A thick, heavy, barleywine-type strong ale. Mahogany pour with a negligible head. Kind of a ring of oily bubbles. Heavy leather, bread, and malt in the aroma. Typical Lagunitas sticky, sugary-sweet taste up front. More hops than their Hairy Eyeball offering, but very similar. Solid malt core.

12-10-2008 17:45:33 | More by magictrokini
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.3/5  rDev +4.1%

Clear and fully crimson colored, slimmed head...not much to see...
Sweet and hoppy nose, malt and hops really going at it. Big fat smack of citric hop over everything else. Me, I love it.

Taste: Huge hops, vast malt, fat bodied, rich mouthfeel...hard to complain about this one. Best of all worlds.

Big malt , big hops, big all around, and a delight to drink. And way too tasty.

Yum, yum...

12-08-2008 09:43:26 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of iceball585

New York

4.28/5  rDev +3.6%

A- Reddish brown color, semi-transparent, thin white head that faded quickly, some bubbles rising throughout

S- Caramel malts, pine, bitter hops, hint of citrus

T- Malty, earthy hops, citrus, fruity, sweet, creamy, slightly bitter, bite of alcohol

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, crisp, well balanced, dry finish

D- Worth buying again

I'm very suprised that this brew is that strong. Even though you taste the alcohol bite a little, it's still very easy to drink.

12-07-2008 23:11:24 | More by iceball585
Photo of BMoney575


3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Sampled on 12-3-08

Pours a slightly hazy amber/brown, with a foamy head that quickly settles.

Smell is very thick and a little malty, subtle with lots of grassy hops near the end.

Taste is very Strong Ale. Much like others, a decent malt and bitter hops. Nothing new.

Mouthfeel is good, thick and syrupy.

Drinkability is also good, the balance makes a good choice for a strong session beer.

Overall, I grow weary of this style. Stone has it tied up, it's going to take more creativity to do better.

12-04-2008 02:05:26 | More by BMoney575
Photo of SShelly


3.88/5  rDev -6.1%

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.

12-03-2008 17:57:54 | More by SShelly
Photo of Beerking721


4.72/5  rDev +14.3%

Finally... a red that I really like!

A= Brown/Red and slightly cloudy with a rich, creamy head exhibiting refined lace and fine effervesence. Head can be refreshed many times without "flattening" the beer.

S= A balance of sweet maltiness blended with well checked hopiness.

T= Toasted/sweet malt giving way to mild fresh "floral" hops that provide a smooth lingering finish - just right in duration. The 84.20 IBU rating is misleading due to the inherent smoothness.

M= Slight oiliness combined with the unmistakable richness of an "Imperial" style.

D= Easily qwaffed... this is a great stand-alone brew or excellent as an accompaniment with your favorite (semi spicy) chili. Should also pair well with grilled medium-rare ribeye. Due to a stout ABV (7.2% on the label), this will sneak up on you if too many are enjoyed! ;)

Great job Lagunitas!!!

12-03-2008 01:34:38 | More by Beerking721
Photo of AgingWarrior


4.33/5  rDev +4.8%

Pours a dark reddish brown color into my tulip glass. There was very little head and very little retention.

Smells like caramel malts, sweet fruit and just a bit of hops.

Tastes great! The first hit on the tongue is sweet and crisp, then you get the balance of the hops on the backside. Very tasty finish.

Excellent mouth feel. Creamy and smooth, no alcohol burn at all.

Easy to drink for an Imperial and 7.2% abv.

11-29-2008 20:33:29 | More by AgingWarrior
Photo of Kadonny


4/5  rDev -3.1%

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.

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

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +4.8%

2 12z bottles into a Duvel snifter. Pours a murky but crisp dark ruby red with a thin off-white head that diminishes to a thin layer and leaves decent lacing. Aroma is crisp caramel malts and pine hops. The taste is a nice balance of sweet caramel malts and lingering bitter pine hops, very well balanced in the initial with the IBUs showing through in the finish. The beer is medium bodied with slight carbonation. This is a very enjoyable beer, one I look forward to having again.

11-27-2008 04:07:25 | More by atsprings


4.65/5  rDev +12.6%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: pours a deep, grand reddish amber with a finger of slightly fragile head. Not very much lacing left on glass.

S: Peaches and biscuits with a pleasant hop kick.

T: I was truly blown away by this beer's delicious character. Up front, I get grilled peaches and brown sugar, followed by spicy, bitter hops and a refreshing citrus twang. In my opinion, this beer gets as close to the perfect balance of flavors as I've ever tasted.

M: Medium body with just enough carbonation to ass a refreshing feel that cuts through the richness.

D: I could see myself drinking enough of these to regret it the next day. I'll be keeping this one in steady supply.

11-22-2008 04:11:24 | More by FACEMEAT
Photo of KarlHungus


4.47/5  rDev +8.2%

This beer pours a shimmering bright red color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes very, very slowly into a nice cap of lacing. The aroma is of grapefruit, pine, with a firm bedrock of caramel malt. The aroma is a bit maltier than the aroma, but there are still tons of hops. There is a strong caramel presence, with grapefruit, and pine in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a velvety texture, and lively carbonation. Overall, this is one fine beer. I have always been a fan of Imperial Amber/Red ales. I live them even more than DIPAs, and this is one that I will certainly drink again, and often..

11-22-2008 03:36:39 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of xhcadamx


4.75/5  rDev +15%

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

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

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

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


4.55/5  rDev +10.2%

Pours an amber red color with an off-white head that fades quickly leaving some nice lacing. Nice hoppy aroma with maybe a bit of rye? Delicious hop-bomb flavor. Piney, grapfruit rind, citrus rind, some orange. Veyr sturdy malt backbone on this one consisting of caramel and biscuit malt. This is more of a DIPA than ASA. Very good beer and will be drinking more of these int he future now that they're available in MN.

11-14-2008 06:15:47 | More by KeefD
Photo of lhaqq


4.13/5  rDev 0%

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.

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


4.03/5  rDev -2.4%

Beautiful copper red color to this beer. The aromas are full of piney and resiny hops. So much so that the menacing font of "red" on the bottle racks my nerves a little. This one could hurt.

Wow, the hops are so floral on the front and mid-palate that the actual bitters don't show up until the finish. There is some residual sugar that sits around, but there is a vision that has definitely been met here. We're looking at a lush full-bodied imperial red that is as concise as it is flamboyant. As dangerous as it is comforting.

Really delicious beer here

11-12-2008 05:10:24 | More by weezyfart
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

4.33/5  rDev +4.8%

Delicious beer. Lots of strong malt and hop flavors flying all over the place, with a nice spiciness in there as well. This one's named perfectly - a strong, amber beer which is basically exactly as it should be, in terms of taste and aromas. I'd definitely pick this one up again, no questions asked. One of the better Lagunitas beers I've tried (and, quite honestly, they've all been solid so far).

6 pack/$10/De Vinos

11-11-2008 22:51:52 | More by soupyman10
Photo of Spikester


4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Dark amber-red with a small off-white head and fair lacings.
Aroma is fruity hops.
Taste is bold sweet malts supported with a fine amount of bitter resinous hops. Alcohol was apparent but not intrusive.
Mouthfeel is very smooth and full bodied.
Drinkabilty is better than average but at 7.2% not for long. This brew was very close to a barleywine on my palate. Keep in mind I had this at 6:00 am following a 12 hour night shift. Viva Lagunitas!

11-09-2008 04:24:14 | More by Spikester
Photo of rye726


4/5  rDev -3.1%

Pours a dark amber with a decent beige head. The nose has piney and citric hops over soem caramel malts. The taste is nice and malty yet well balanced by the bitter hops. Smooth medium body drinks well. Another nice beer from Lagunitas. I am never let down by these guys.

11-06-2008 17:41:02 | More by rye726
Photo of schellsbeer


4.6/5  rDev +11.4%

Quite excited to try this one because of all of the great reviews. Found it sitting on the shelf at a local store and had to pick it up. Here we go...

A - Beautiful dark red orange brown. Reminds me of my grandma's wild apple/plum jelly that she would make every summer. Crystal clear!

S - Upon opening, the hops bitter smell exploded out of the bottle. This is one of the first beers that I smelled it before actually was poured into my class. For this reason, a 5 is given. Very rare will I give a 5 but is was required tonight.

T - Bitter wonderful dry hops. Exceptional. Taste it going in, sitting, and going down. Fantastic. Another 5 may be warranted but I just can't...therefore a 4.5 will have to do. I will know when that first 5 comes my way. Surly?
Like Greggy, I do recommend this beer for those that love the Surly line. This beer is a cross between the Furious and the Bender which are both fantastic beers. Lagunitas has done a fantastic job with this beer. To me, this is not an American Strong Ale but leans very strong towards an IPA. If fact, I do question why it is labeled as so.

M - Very good. Clean. Refreshing. Crisp. Excellent. At 7.2%, no alcohol is ever noticed. Ever!!!

D - Since no alcohol is noticable, I just might have to have another and another and another.... well, you get the point.

Being a Stout and Porter snob, I am quickly adding to my list IPAs. I love the hop bitterness. It really gives a good beer that wonderful kick and flavor lacking in ALL the macro brews. In fact, do they even use hops???

Over and Out...

11-06-2008 03:55:35 | More by schellsbeer
Photo of snaotheus


4.75/5  rDev +15%


Deep red-gold in color, light head with little lacing, smokey caramel smell. Strong hops hit you first and hold all the way through with a nice balance of sweetness to finish it off. I could drink several of these in a session (and have done so before).

This is one of my all time favorite beers. It was the start of my path to hoppiness (believe it or not, that pun was unintended - I didn't get into hoppy beers until I tried this one).

200 4 1 7141 1926 is the bottle code. First time I've revisited this in a long time. Maybe since the last review. Bomber poured into a large mug.

I may not give a perfect 5 for appearance any more, but it's extremely pretty. Rich reddish with a big fluffy head that fades slowly into big fluffy piles. The smell was striking during the pour without even getting my nose close to it. Smell is fresh and hoppy -- definitely piney, slight caramel/roast. I might give it better than the 4.5 I gave it before.

The taste is honestly better than I expected -- I've experienced so many beers since 2008, I didn't think this would stack up very well any more. But, it does. Maybe not a 5 any more, but still excellent. Pine, caramel, slight toast.

Mouthfeel is just on the right side of too thick. Overall, I'm delighted to report that I still love this beer, and less delighted to report I only bought two bombers.

11-06-2008 01:08:57 | More by snaotheus
Photo of abfraser


4/5  rDev -3.1%

12oz bottle.

A: Pours a nice deep mahogany with a decent tan head. Good lacing.

S: Sugary sweet malt, pineapple. Don't get much hops at all.

T/M: Tropical fruit, pretty sweet. Good creamy mouthfeel, medium to full bodied. Some lingering citric hop bitterness but really subdued and well balanced with the rest

D: Surprisingly smooth and drinkable stuff.

Solid effort. A little on the sweet side, but I would be glad to drink a few of these.

11-04-2008 05:04:59 | More by abfraser
Photo of Greggy


4.15/5  rDev +0.5%

A- Pours a nice 2 finger fluffy white head. It has some nice clinging lace as the head recedes. It has a nice red body with no sediment.

S- Great fresh hoppy aroma with fresh grapefruit and heavy pine notes.

T- Starts out with a nice slap in the face of dry piney hops, then moves to a nice dry hopiness in the finish which is quite long.

M- Nice thicker mouthfeel and dryness. Carbonation is a touch higher than low.

D- I don't know that I'd call this an American Strong ale. I think it's more of an IPA. I encourage Surly Furious to give this one a shot. I'm pretty sure it's got a similar hop bill. Will probably drink again.

11-04-2008 04:35:22 | More by Greggy
Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,532 ratings.