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

773 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 773
Hads: 2,257
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 8.27%
Wants: 230
Gots: 309 | FT: 3
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: 773 | Hads: 2,257
Photo of psinderson
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Murky deep brown/red color. Thick off-white head, minot lacing.

Smell: Fruity - I detect orange and apple. Some caramel malt aromas in the background.

Taste: Nice roasty sweetness. Plum-like flavor with a lingering hoppy finish. Quite a complex brew.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a lot of carbonation.

Drinkability: The lasting bitter finish kind of builds up and hinders drinkability somewhat. (457 characters)

Photo of rallison
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Every time I have this beer I am surprised at the hoppiness this red delivers.

A: Nice dark red/amber color with a 1 finger off-white head that leaves a fair share of lacing.

S: Nice piny hops with a touch of sweet, caramel malt.

T: Excellent piny hops present themselves at the forefront. This is followed by a semi-sweet caramel malt that has a touch of woodiness to complement the hops. A bit of citrus character seems to be hiding back there too - along with a nice hit of hop juice. Very piny and earthy overall. The flavors all work together nicely, and make for what is truly not a standard red. Resiny. Nice.

M: Very good mouthfeel. Perfect carbonation level for this style with a good richness.

D: Extremely high - this beer is so tasty and so drinkable.

Highly recommended. Love to see these interesting reds - the Lucky 13 is great also. (866 characters)

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.82/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

had this style only once before so when i saw "imperial red" i had to get some. pours a deep, dark ruby red with an off-white head. big american hops in the nose, piney and citrusy, along with caramel, toffee, and dark, ripe fruit aromas. peaches? taste is started off by just a little malt sweetness but the big malts still make their presence felt. dryer profile than i expected but it still works. bitterness kicks in quickly. shitloads of hops for a "red" style beer. looong finish. mouthfeel is medium/big. drinkability suffers from the abv. will definitely revisit this one. (580 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, deep, glowing amber body. Thick and rocky stained white head. Lace is quite bountiful. Beautifully balanced nose of rich, thick caramel malts and resiny hop oils and tropical fruit sensations. The flavor of this beer is delicious as well. Across the board, this beer is in the "Very Good to Great" category. The caramel and toffee malt base is very sturdy and rich and thick. The hops add some tropical fruit qualities....especially sweet, ripe pineapple. The bitterness is held in check and the alcohol is barely perceptible. This beer is full bodied and full flavored and a bargain at $1.49 for a single. (612 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.53/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The ale is a brown-red color, maybe giving off some orange as well. The head was near 1 finger on pour but did not last very long.

S: The nose is malty, very grainy and thick, with a strengthened hop profile that is very citrusy with a hint of pine.

T: The malts are very strong here, thick and concentrated with a semi-sweet fruity nature. The fruitiness includes some raisins and figs, dry yet tangy. As the fruits fade away, some citrusy hops emerge to add a distinct bitterness to the malt depth. The finish, especially as the ale warms, is a citrusy sweetness that has a warm alcohol undertone.

M: The mouthfeel varies from figgy grape graininess to citrusy bitterness, keeping the tastebuds on their toes.

D: The abv is creeping upward but the big malts are nicely done. (791 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer about 2 weeks ago and wrote notes for this review...

Poured into a pint glass, amber color, small white head, little to no lacing.

Has a nice malty smell, toasty aroma, don't really smell the alcohol.

Yum, this is really good beer, very balance, good malty taste hop bite on the finish, very slight warming as the abv sinks in.

Good tasting beer = Good drinking beer...

Enjoy! (407 characters)

Photo of scottoale
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12oz. brown bottle with a red cap and no freshness date. It pours a nice orange-copper with a thick foamy ivory head of a finger. Good carbonation and lots of lace clinging everywhere.

Nice hearty malt aroma followed by some semi-serious hops and even some alcohol sneaks through as it warms...very nice. A sweet spicy floral brew that really pleases my sense of smell.

Some large malt flavors start sweet, yet earthy as they blend smoothly with an equal dose of hops...well balanced and rather tasty red here. Good medium-plus body with a smooth, fluffy kind of mouthfeel and the head can be re-kindled with a slight swirl of the glass.

Moderate ABV that is more than easy too drink...a great session beer in my opinion, cheers! (740 characters)

Photo of BeerTruth
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Imperial Red pours a rusty clear amber color with a thin head. Lace is consistant throughout. Smell is a good mix between mild citrus/piney scents with a soft carmel undertone. Hopiness is clear but not overwhelming. Taste overall I feel is well balanced. The hops slightly overpower the malt. At first the hops fill your palate, but the finish is more of a caramel malt. Taste seems to be quite fresh and crisp for a 7.6 abv. Very smooth for an "Imperial". I was quite suprised by this ale. A lot more drinkable than I had assumed. Surely give this one a try if you enjoy your Arrogant Bastard type brews. (656 characters)

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into my Samuel Adams shaker "pint" glass. Appears the color of cloudy iced tea with two fingers of cream colored foam. There is a moderate amount of lacing coating the glass. Smells of rich caramel malt, piney hops and raisins. Tastes of the same bitter, piney hops evident in the nose, as well as lemon, and sweet caramel. Finish is dry and bitter. Moderate in both body and carbonation. A nicely balanced ale. One I would seek out again on it's next release. (487 characters)

Photo of Jwaks
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving 22oz bottle

A deep, ruddy orange body, nearly the color of bright rust, rests below a pillowy dark beige head. Countable fine bubbles slowly trek the the surface, many to become thick and plentiful rings of lace that coat the glass after each sip. An ever present dense cap of froth refuses to budge from its perch atop this brew showing great head retention.

The nose, rife with piney hop and caramel malt aromas, reveals stunning complexity with hints of brown sugar, resins, lemon zest and a dash of alcohol.

Sweet brown sugar and caramel malt lead the charge, eventually giving way to a mad dash of piney hops and citrus zest on a full mid palate. Wood resins, gentle hop bitters and a dab of alcohol wrap up a delicious finish that leaves leafy hops flavors and loads of lemony citrus zest gripping the palate to create a bitter, demi-sec aftertaste lasting nearly a minute.

Full on the palate, this brew has an awesome finish and even better aftertaste. It's tough going down when cold yet improves with time and warmth to offer a good slick mouthfeel. Proper carbonation would give this beer a truly great mouthfeel.

Easy to drink for the style and not your normal quaffing ale. Yet another solid offering from Lagunitas.

Cheers! (1,262 characters)

Photo of rickcampie
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

well if its lagunitas if probally going to be good. this offering pour with a clear amber color hints of red when held to light. tops off with an inch or creamy had, thats settles down quit nice. as you drink youll notice a good stretch of lacing down the glass.

initial taste is light piney hops,not to overpowering mabey a little hint of malts,overall very light aroma.

taste provides a nice balance of hops, malts,and a little citrus, alcohol is masked very well, makes this very drinkable. (499 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours an reddish amber color with a nice 1/2" head that lingers a while. Some spots of lace develop.

Smell: caramel, over ripe fruits, and hints of alcohol are bold and up front.

Taste: this is a very malty beer. Loads of caramel and ripe fruit sweetness is balanced with a hefty pine bitterness an some alcohol.

Mouthfeel: smooth from start to finish. The aftertaste seems to glue the flavors to yuor tongue for a while. Medium-heavy in body.

Drinkability: alcohol kind of catches up to you in this beer. A hearty and full flavored beer is not a session beer at all, but enjoyable on a cold evening. (626 characters)

Photo of nase
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, no date?

Pretty good introduction to the american strong ale. Red w/ light brown/amber tones. Lacing preserved. Taste has that dominant sweetness to it typical of ASA's. Good mouthfeel typical of the style and quite drinkable for 7.6% ABV.

App - 3.5, Smell - 3.5, Taste - 3.5, Mouth - 4.0, Drink - 4.0 (322 characters)

Photo of EPseja
4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber. Served at just below cellar temperature in a pint glass.

A - Pours with great thickness. Hazy burnt apricot amber in color with a glow-stick-liquid orange vibrance when struck by light. Thick, creamy and very substantal head. Big bubbles beneath, micro bubbles on top. Great staying power -- the surface of the beer is never fully revealed! Lacing is sticky and erratic, but well developed. G

S - Fresh, sweet hoppiness atop a big basement of malty goodness. Again with the grilled, carmelized apricots. Fruitcake, even. Tantalizing.

T - The sweetness is rather tame, and the malts become very toasty on the tip of the tongue. As it pushes toward the throat, the hoppinesss brings a very nice counterbalance as well as a crisp, natural bitterness that hits just enough to push it into the medium-dry territory without sacrificing the sweetness. Fantastic!

M - Big and thick going in, with a microbubbled carbonation that turns it into a velvety smooth cream and delivers only the slightest tingle on the tongue. Round and throat coating. Excellent for this style!

D - This is a wonderfully balanced, supremely drinkable beer that's got all it's parts in place. A pleasure to drink. (1,209 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours reddish amber with a frothy off-white head that descends to a thin cover, leaving lacing on the glass.

The smell is of caramel, citrus and pine. Dough and some peppery alcohol also present. Very aromatic.

The taste is of citrus and pine with sweet caramel. Assertive hop profile with a sweet characteristic. An underlying fruitiness adds to the complexity. Restrained alcohol gives it some spiciness, but not in a boozy way. Finishes dry and sweet, with just a nod of an alcohol fruitiness.

It's creamy and full. Fairly dry with a lingering sweetness. Flavor hangs on. Nice texture.

This is one hell of an ale. A bit "over-the-top", being an "imperial red" - very complex with full aromas and a delicious taste. It's an American Strong Ale with characteristics of a red ale...a wonderful brew that's a good "sipping" beer that is very easy to drink for the abv. Well-done! (890 characters)

Photo of EStreet20
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stubby 12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

A - Pours out a deep reddish/brown translucent amber with a nice finger of thick off white foam. Nice staying power on the head and rings of lacing forming on the glass.

S - Citrusy hops present along with a faint sugary sweetness. Aroma overall is fairly subdued but nice smelling.

T - Sugary sweet malts balance well with some nice hop bitterness creating a tea like flavor that is very pleasing. The aftertaste is a bit sugary with some alcohol kick.

M - Medium body.

D - That sweetness on the aftertaste gets a little annoying. Still, this is an interesting take on an American Strong Ale. (664 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish copper body, excellent clarity, no carbonation streams, topped by a level three finger slab of off-white micro bubbles. Very stretchy lacing.

Bready, yeast aroma. Bit of sweetness around the edge.

Taste kicks off with a huge hit of caramel, sweet, but with depth, dark chocolate more than a pixie stick. The sweetness slowly erodes in the face of a rising tide of earthy herbal hops, with eventually rise to the top and deliver a nice bite before the swallow. Mild tingle in the aftertaste, along with mildly reassertive caramel.

Fairly thick mouthfeel ventures toward stout territory, but works well.

Maintains good drinkability throughout. A lot could have gone wrong, but doesn't.

Imperial red, like imperial pilsner, is a style open to a wide variety of interpretations still. This is a whole different animal from say Troegs Nugget Nectar, but definitely an enjoyable beer. (901 characters)

Photo of jeffjfindley
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beauty from Lagunitas. As the name implies, we have a very red brew here. Great head with legs, and stamina. The nose is delighted with rich caramel malt and honey. Taste follows suit, with a surprisingly tight finish, with more than a little blast of hops.

The mouthfeel is good, but a tad syrupy, and the drinkability suffers just a little bit. Nitpicking aside, an outstanding beer. (396 characters)

Photo of ReDave
3.81/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another fine Lagunitas product.

Pours a dark honeyed reddish amber. A thinnish head [cream colored] with very little lace.

Nose is limited .. some hops some malt.. not very prominent.

Taste, now we are talking. Nice strong bitter up front. some maltiness, great hoppy malt aftertaste.
Over all seems pretty balanced.... if you like hops! (349 characters)

Photo of Luchman
4.07/5  rDev -1%
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 stephendr
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle- color of light mahogany , with a light off white head - nose of piney hopps , earthy , malty , tar / resin , and light citrus – taste of grapefruit , malts , tar , hopps and resin - body medium carbonation , and earthy– aftertaste of resin , hopps and light citrus (281 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to derrickt007 for the bottle.

Poured a deep red amber with little head, and what was there faded quickly. But the nice cloudy amber looked good. Smelled of deep malts with a hint of dark fruit and a bit of a sweetness and alcohol. The taste was rather fruity. Dark fruit commanded the flavor with a subtle sugary behind it almost grape like, very enjoyable. Rather intresting and not what I would expect. No hint of the alcohol whatsoever and that makes this very drinkable. My first offering from Lagunitas and it definatly has me intrested. (553 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear red/copper, thick white head forms, some lace and good retention, settles to a good layer. Smell is sweet, lots of toffee, metallic, some pine and floral, nice. Taste is malty, caramel crystal malt grainy flavour, pine and floral, sugary finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with low carbonation. Not bad, didn't do much for me. (341 characters)

Photo of Phatz
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 4.0 Pours an attractive amber copper color. Translucent. And it has a creamy beige head and loads of lacing lining the glass.

Smell: 4.5 Caramel and a sweet poignant grapefruit aroma, hints of earthy woodyness, and creamy sweet browned butter, a toasty brown sugar and a gently ‘delightfully’ phenolic butterscotch aroma induce the salivation. This beer is a sniffer.

Taste: 4.5 This beer does a beautiful dance upon the palate. The sweet sensations from the candied caramelized malt to the orange pine hop biter that prance on my taste buds with a hint of mint, lightly toasted malt and butterscotch candy flavors followed by some alcohol showing through just enough to warm the palate and ease the mind, oh yeah!!! Mmm! It finishes with a strong green pine hop bitter kick that lets you know it was there, but the aftertaste is so pleasant it is worth savoring even after the beer is gone. Spectacular!

Mouthfeel: 4.0 It is a velvety smooth medium – full body beer that is spicy astringent and enjoyable.

Drinkabilty: 4.0 I really enjoy this beer but ‘golly me’ I am done with one. I is big in IBU and sweetness and alcohol is up there too. This is an enjoyable beer in moderation. Not a sessioner by any means.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (1,276 characters)

Photo of beerphan
3.76/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle -> imperial pint
no date, but the bottle is coded

Pours clear orange amber with a nice 2inch tan head, that leaves rings of lace that sticks around and some oily froth. Carbonation appears slow but robust.

Nose: Some citrus hops, a big punch of malt, a little alcohol.

Taste: Lots of caramel malt lets the mouth water before the bitter hop bite sucks out the sweetness. Its a great combo. The hops linger on the palate and leaves the mouth looking for some water, or just another sips. Not a typical red bitterness. (84.20 IBU!!)

Mouth is full and creamy but is left dry and stinging.

I would love to session this on tap, although i doubt i'd be fortunate to find it. A drinkable red if you like them bitter, if not stay away. (758 characters)

Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 773 ratings.