Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lagunitas Imperial Red AleLagunitas Imperial Red Ale

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2,111 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,111
Reviews: 767
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 187
Gots: 224 | 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: 2,111 | Reviews: 767 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Starkk00
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of Hanzo
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a haze-free amber color. Tight, off-white head is small but despite its minute stature, it leaves a good amount of lacing.

S-Smells like a premium Lagunitas brew (which means it is extravagantly hopped). Hops are firstly very tropical and fruity. Also the hops are piney and spicy. Very aromatic. The malts help to balance this Amber Ale out, but the hops dominate (and for that I am thankful).

T-The hops are not as assertive as in the nose but they are still cranked up to about a 8 out of 10. There is a pleasant, long grassy hop finish. The malt actually does a great job to make this brew quite balanced. The flavor overall is very, very tasty and pleasant.

M-Lighter than the ABV would lead you to initially believe. Plenty of bubbles. A bit resinous.

O/D-When has Lagunitas let me down... This is one of their better brews. I wouldn't put it in the Holiday Sucks/Sumpin Sumpin/New Dogtown class, but it is just a notch below. Those previously stated beers are some of the best you can get regardless. Just another great Lagunitas brew that falls just short of being superb.

Photo of ixodus
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a red oranges red in color with a slightly off-white head with poor retention and moderate lacing.

S: Citrus fruits, pine resin, mixed berries, caramel, bread, and a little grass.

T: A little bite upfront with a ton juicy grapefruit, bready malt, caramel, and grass. Bitterness lingers for awhile after the sip. Alcohol heat is slightly present.

M: Medium bodied, prickly carbonation, juicy upfront and finishes dry. Quite smooth.

O: A very enjoyable beer I really love the big grapefruit taste.

Photo of Gabany
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of TwinButte
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Love me some imperial reds. One of my favorite styles so lets see how this one stacks up.

A beautiful, almost cranberry red color with a smallish head that left nice lacing behind as it was drank. Not picking up much hop aroma. Maybe a little bit of sweetness?

Tastes amazing! A little sweet fruitiness. Has quite a bit of bitterness that lasts but is not off. I would expect it to have that. Surprising that I didn't get much hop presence on the first taste. At 7.8% I am surprised at how the alcohol is hidden. I don't pick up any at all.

Definitely a good red ale that everyone should try.

Photo of flayedandskinned
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of AJD1201
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of AdamBear
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-transparent amber with a cream head

S-a really hoppy scent with just a touch of caramel. the hops are very herbal. strong aroma.

T-doesn't come in with the same amount of hops that the nose suggests. in fact, the hops come in fairly faded. its a pretty bittter taste that is also fairly sweet. mostly herbal. the bitterness lasts in to the matching after-taste.

M-medium carbonation with a dry finish

O-really one of my least favorite red ales i've had. in fact, i enjoy the non hoppy red ales more than this. it just tasted aged or something.

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

Bottled 7 March 2012.

Pours a very clear coppery orange. One finger of cream-colored head, thanks to a relatively aggressive pour. Fades fast, but leaves gobs of lacing.

Smells like Lagunitas! Delicious resiny, piney hops. Sticky but light. Some citrus in the background. A robust malt base that provides little in specific aromas, but an excellent stage for the hops to dance on.

Taste is exactly what I expected, and oh so good. Strong malt backbone, which starts things out with some full grainy earthiness. Then the hops kick in big-time, first strong sticky pine, then bitter, which comes as a rush rather than a blast. I like this a lot. It's big, strong, and hoppy, but oh so well balanced.

Mouthfeel is spot-on. Medium-bodied, fairly sticky (I'm saying that a lot in this review), with a long-lasting finish. Carbonation is enough to keep things moving but not so much as to be distracting.

A delicious beer. I wish more hoppy reds were like this.

Photo of minnesotaryan
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle. Pours a nice amberish orange, lively carbonation presence, slight cream head, the head increases to about 1 finger as the drinking started, really nice sticky lacing.

Lots of pine, grapefruit, some orange peel, very hoppy! no malt at all in the nose.

Follows the nose, lots of piny resiny hops, nicely bitter, there is also hints of caramel, toffee and even subtle chocolate hiding in the back. Grapefruit, bitter orange peel and pineapple are also in the mix towards the finish.

Smooth and very easy to drink, good carbonation, starts out silky and ends with a rather sticky bitter finish.

This is a stand out beer, really, really hoppy, but not so hoppy that it detracts from the style. There is a wonderful wonderful complexity here, lots to decipher with every sip. There is an underlying sweetness and a really nice deep bitterness that work really well together. All with an absurdly drinkableness that makes it hard to stop drinking it to write these notes. This is a great beer. CHEERS!

Photo of Profchaos20
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of masshole
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of One2Remeber
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Copper color with a ruby red hue. Clear body with an off-white, intense bubbly head. One little swish and head comes back to form.

S: Beautiful blend of pine/citrus hops and sugary sweet malts.
Aroma is clean and crisp.

T/M: Hops to malts back to hops. Caramel sweet presence comes and goes quick with a potent, very fresh hop taste. Tingles the pallet like an IPA. Finishes like a true red ale with a lightly sweet lingering touch.

O: Excellent brew. I am most impressed with the clean, fresh, straight forward tastes. Put together well to really let all the flavors shine at different moments. Dangerously drinkable at its strength.

Photo of BeerForHokie
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Ted
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of meltroha
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of elec
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of notdriving
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of ALLISON01
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of cantexplainthat
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of KevieJames
4/5  rDev -2.9%

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

Appearance- Pours a nice blond amber and sits as a medium red with a pinkish hue at its fringes. Slight to no head with little to no lacing. Light carbonation.

Smell- Tart and hoppy, there’s a sweet tinge to the smell that suggests a fruitier taste. The malts definitely seem to be sweet, while the hops are tangy and sharp.

Taste- Sweet in its initial pull, almost like a sweet red wine or grape juice, the flavor pulls back into the more traditional bitter bite of a red with only a slight lingering dryness to the tongue and no trace of the sweet. The sweet tinge in the smell is leveled out by harsh bitters in the beer, leaving the hops as the only lingering taste. A solid red ale, its light for the imperial that its name claims but has a great red bite with its sweet malty front taste.

Mouthfeel- Bubbly on the tip and middle tongue, though harsher as it moves over the back of the tongue and down the throat. The dryness that it leaves upon the tongue seems ample for the beer’s type. It feels smooth and crisp in the mouth, as is expected of red ales, and the carbonation seemed fine.

Overall- Overall I’d say this beer was a success within its style. Personally, I love red ales, and this is a strong red ale with great characteristics, and a nice sweet twist in its smell and opening.

Photo of Brown120
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of uustal
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a one-finger off-white head. Light lacing. Nice malt and hop aroma. Caramel bready malt notes go along with grapefruit, citrus and pine notes. Hints of alcohol as well. Flavor follows. Big hops and malt. Flavor beings with grapefruit and citrus notes, even a hint tropical, on the bitter side... before a sweet bread, caramel malt precedes a bittering pine finish with a touch of booze. A good, flavorful brew, if not completely cohesive.

Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,111 ratings.