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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.

2,159 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,159
Reviews: 774
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 199
Gots: 257 | 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
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: 2,159 | Reviews: 774 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdillon86
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of TheBigBoy
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of NODAK
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
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 drabmuh
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At the time of this review, this is #4 on the "Top Beers - American Amber / Red Ale" list on beeradvocate.com. Beer served in a Lagunitas mason jar. This is my life. Not horrible.

Beer is red and clear with a great white head of medium bubbles, some lacing, steady carbonation.

Aroma is sweet fruity and hoppy, hops are winning, this beer smells amazing.

Beer is medium in body and chewy on the palate, strong through with a nice finish. A little earthy with a good finish. I really enjoyed this beer. I've had 4 in as many days, I'll definitely have more of this. In general this brewery makes really nice beer.

Photo of TWStandley
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of PaBeerLover
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

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

A- red amber color with a nice white head and good lacing

S-grapefruit, pine and some bready aromas

T-citrus and tropical fruit with pine and a nice malt presence, nice hop flavor and good overall balance

F-medium body with moderate carbonation

O-a really nice imperial red with good flavor and balance

Photo of Skye1024
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of jrfehon33
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Joshgonzales79
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of hayesjw
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - I give this a good rating since I drank it out of the bottle. Lagunitas usually doesn't disappoint in the looks department.

S - Smells a nice level of citrus hops with equal balance of sweet caramel malts. Typical Lagunitas yeasts also noted.

T - Well it went down easy enough but didn't impress me as much as say "Nugget Nectar" but it was as good as most Lagunitas offerings. Not bad overall.

M - Light to medium dangerously drinkable.

Overall its definitely one of the better Amber ales I have had but nothing really sticks out to make me want to purchase it again.

Photo of Peyton5410
4/5  rDev -2.9%

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

Imperial Red opens with a nose that is mostly hoppy, though strong touches of sugars do shine through. The hops lend the beer an overwhelmingly grapefruit-based nose, with heavy pink grapefruits predominating, as well as touches of grapefruit zest; in fact, the beer bears more than a passing resemblance to a grapefruit spritzer because of the potency of these aromas. Some pine and a hint of mint do add a bit of nuance, but are deep in the background. The beer does also bear good droppings of sugar, with orange and orange zest, lemon, white grape, and apricot rounding out the fruit esters, and brown sugars and vanillas adding complexity. The faintest touch of rising wheat dough helps ground the brew slightly, but for the most part the nose is heavy on citrus and sugary aromas. As a whole, because of the high levels of these aromas, the beer does come across as well-made and appealing, but does seem slightly overly fruity, and reminiscent of wine coolers or spritzers.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a fraction-of-a-second grapefruit spritzer sweetness, then delves immediately into deeper, darker hop flavors, with heavy vinous, stem-like flavors rising and bringing dandelion stem, rose petal, and pine resin overtones, as well as peppery oils and touches of anise. Sugars once again largely take a backseat, but do offer apricot and orange notes, and the grains do come through more strongly in the mouthful, bringing toast crust and biscuit. The 54.2 IBUs tingle playfully on the tongue and soft palate, but do not get in the way of the beverage’s flavors. The aftertaste is largely hop-dominant, with the darker flavors from the main mouthful carrying through almost exactly, and lingering on the tongue for a good while. Mouthfeel is a slightly syrupy medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, I do like the hop flavors present in this beer, and am glad that the grapefruit spritzer aromas didn’t translate into flavors. I do, however, question an Imperial Red that has so many hop flavors that the sugars are somewhat lost; I would have been happier with this beer tasting it blind, rather than knowing its supposed style. As it is, the beer comes across to this drinker as overly-hopped and therefore out of balance, and needed a stronger sugary backbone to better showcase the Imperial Red flavors. Still, it is worth trying, for the hops are rather nice; think of it as a strong IPA, and you’ll be fine.

Photo of DreaminBeer
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of iskeptopotamus
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of Brushkanna
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of mettkea
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

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 oldp0rt
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of McBraniel
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of howard12
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of jbertsch
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mahogany in color. White is modest a ring cap sticks around. Fair lacing.

Malt profile is first noticeable on the aroma. Smells like a red normally does but a bit beefed up. Hop aroma isnt to be outdone. It's spicy and a little juicy with melon notes...but this isn't a huge hop bomb. Malt and hops are more in balance than not.

I taste a spicy malt profile with accents of cinnamon. Hops are also spicy and a little bitter. Grapefruit notes are noticeable though tucked underneath. Slightly bitter finish that's actually pleasant.

Mouthfeel is properly carbonated.

Overall I think this is as good as nugget nectar, or better. In fact, I think I'd take this over nugget nectar if I was given a choice. I still would like the hop profile to be a tad stronger but this is still damn good.

Photo of Starkk00
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of Hanzo
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 2,159 ratings.