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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.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

1,292 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,292
Reviews: 687
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.14%
Wants: 140
Gots: 32 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,292 | Reviews: 687 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.45/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard into EKU 28 snifter in LA. Live. Paired with a breakfast burrito. fridge cold. expectations pretty high/brewery

A: Pours a one finger nice cream lacing, good thick, and good retention for the abv. Colour is a clear amber with copper tinge. Appealing.

Sm: Quite hoppy, with both bitterness and floral notes coming forth. Some untoasted bright malts. Mild in strength.

T: Hoppy, with cherry ester notes and some amber hops. The hop bitterness is well concealed, and only comes through a biteen on the finish. It's hidden by sweetness on the climax, a nice touch. The malt foundation is clean, bright, and unobtrusive to support the cherry esters and hops. It's pleasant to drink and nicely balanced. No yeast comes through, nor does any alcohol - an achievement given the relatively high ABV. Quite enjoyable. Complex enough, but not unique or special.

Mf: Crisp, clean, smooth, wet, and a touch creamy (on the open). Carbonation is adequate. It's a bit too smooth on the finish. Neither too thick nor too thin. Suits the flavours well.

Dr/Ov: Very drinkable for the ABV, which is quite well concealed. I'd have it again on-draught. I don't know that aging would help it on account of its hoppy character; hop death wouldn't mellow the beer but rather might ruin its appeal. A well constructed imperial red that I quite enjoy. Its relative simplicity and lack of bold flavours hold it back, especially when coupled with the relatively flavour-empty finish, but it's certainly worth a try for any beer fanatic - certainly those that like the style.

Best judged as a red ale, not as this "American Strong Ale" nonsense. She drank just grand out of me snifter. A good snifter is probably ideal for this beer; a pint glass might bring the appearance score down. The aroma is worth trapping.

B-

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 23:23:09 | More by kojevergas
Photo of kaelingirl
kaelingirl

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

02-25-2012 21:00:44 | More by kaelingirl
Photo of FeelinSurley
FeelinSurley

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -3.4%

02-25-2012 20:50:09 | More by FeelinSurley
Photo of tirlzx
tirlzx

California

4/5  rDev -3.4%

02-25-2012 18:22:55 | More by tirlzx
Photo of shelby415
shelby415

Oregon

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

02-25-2012 08:01:07 | More by shelby415
Photo of Metal4Breakfast
Metal4Breakfast

Florida

4/5  rDev -3.4%

02-25-2012 04:31:04 | More by Metal4Breakfast
Photo of Hatzilla
Hatzilla

California

4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 04:20:48 | More by Hatzilla
Photo of InfernoBoss
InfernoBoss

California

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

02-25-2012 01:39:41 | More by InfernoBoss
Photo of spartanjd
spartanjd

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a standard pint glass. The intial smell is quite nice, very hoppy with some sweet fruit behind that. The taste is very surprising, much hoppier than I expected. There is a nice fruit background-tropical fruit tasting, mango maybe? Overall I am very impressed with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 01:33:44 | More by spartanjd
Photo of BigGameRick
BigGameRick

New York

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

02-24-2012 22:53:10 | More by BigGameRick
Photo of jsprain1
jsprain1

Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Clear red with a one and a half finger white head. Decent retention and a couple wisps of lacing.
S- The aromas are quite hoppy with a lightly sugary tropical fruit and citrus hops. Fairly sweet. Almost like canned fruit syrup.
T- Same here. A bit more malt than on the nose. A touch of toast but tropical fruit like hops and a bit of orange are the big flavors.
M- For a beer this big, it is fairly light and thin. I would like it to be a bit fuller.
O- Quite good. A bit more body would push this one up higher for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2012 22:27:54 | More by jsprain1
Photo of Lang44
Lang44

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.4%

02-24-2012 21:09:21 | More by Lang44
Photo of wvsabbath
wvsabbath

West Virginia

4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Copper tan/brown, red tint. !/4 head with some lacing.

Smell - Hops, malts, Grapefruit, Pine, Added sugars, a little rye and spice mixed in. Maybe some caramel, really smells like a ipa and not a strong ale.

Taste - Hops mixed in with sweet caramel malts and some spices make up the main flavor. I get a little rye and some sugars near the finsh. Alcohol is present slighty at the finish. Pretty floral, grapefruit and pine make up alot of the hop flavors. Added sugars work well with the sweet malts.

Mouthfeel - Sweet, yet strong and hoppy with some mild bitterness. Tounge gets hops, sweet malts and a little booze, were palette gets more remaining hops and malts, and a little floral/grassy resin coating. Aftertaste is dry, sweet and a little boozy.

Overall - Very tasty, this is a nice alternitive to brown sugga, maybe the little brother? Has a nice balance of hops and malts, and some sweetness thrown in to make it real pleasurable to drink. Another winner for sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 05:37:05 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a 1 inch foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, tropical fruit, and citrus zest. Taste is of tropical fruit, citrus zest, and herbal hops up front with a malt finish. A medium amount of bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but I think it smells better than it tastes.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 04:18:56 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of OleJohnnieAle
OleJohnnieAle

Minnesota

4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A brown amber with a hint of red. Minmal head and Lace sheets fall quickly into the beer.

S: Grape fruit, floral hops... is this an IPA??? Slight note of caramel roasted malts.

T: Toasted malt and grain up front, followed by a huge mouthful of grapefruit and floral hops! Seems almost IPAish. Great piney hops!

M: No alchhol taste at all. Nice medium body that is super easy smooth!

O: WOW!!! almost passed this up until my liquor store recommended this as he though it was what I would like.... AWESOME!!! Nice blend and balance but love the HOPS!!!!

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 02:13:11 | More by OleJohnnieAle
Photo of CaptDavyJones
CaptDavyJones

New York

4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a reddish amber color from a 12 oz bottle, with ABV and IBUs on the label (2012 limited release).
Thin film for a head that dissipates fairly quickly.
Aroma is extremely hop-assertive with lots of pine notes. As it warms up there is a slight caramel malt aroma coming through the pine.
Taste upfront is straight up hoppy, with a nice caramel backbone from the middle to finish. There is just the right amount of bitterness in the finish along with a nice subtle sweet aftertaste. Extremely well-balanced and tasty ale. The alcohol is very well masked, doesn't drink like a 7.8% ale at all. Feels more like a 6% ale. Nice lacing along the insides of the glass.
Overall, this is a really, really good ale from Lagunitas. Definitely worth a try and is highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 00:46:23 | More by CaptDavyJones
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

undated 12 oz bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear reddish amber with visible carbonation and a frothy off-white head. The head reduces rather soon to a partial cover, but leaves lacing on the glass.

As a prelude to evaluation, I gave the lid a sniff, finding an amazingly strong hop aroma; after a rinse, the aroma was subdued a bit, but still remarkable strong! Clearly, this is a very aromatic brew, as a whiff of the poured beer immediately confirmed. The smell is primarily of piney hops, but caramel, lightly baked bread, citrus and white pepper are also present.

Taste: Citrus-tinged piney hops with a generous malt base. The aggressive hop profile is tempered by the malts' sweetness, making this a strongly flavored and hoppy brew that is neither harsh nor overly bitter. Notes of tropical fruit and a profile that changes from start to finish give it some nice interest and complexity. The higher ABV affects the feel, but in no way impairs the flavor or aroma where the ABV seems lower and definitely not boozy. Long lasting finish and aftertaste with some malt, plenty of hops and a well-controlled level of bitterness.

M:Smooth. Medium-full body. Semi-dry finish. Some light alcohol burn.

O: This is an exceptional ale. It's nicely complex, aromatic and full flavored. The components have exemplary balance. With these traits and a delicious taste, it is a very drinkable brew that's easy to recommend. With the heavy hop load, it also can be readily recommended (if fresh) as an IPA variant for hop heads.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 00:08:01 | More by chinchill
Photo of Slikpitt
Slikpitt

Georgia

4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

02-21-2012 22:49:03 | More by Slikpitt
Photo of mikechance
mikechance

California

4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at brewery on February 19th

A --- clean, red and about 1/2 of foam

S --- excellent mixture of sweet malts and fruity hops

T --- sweet, malts, citrus

M --- full bodied with the right amount of carbonation

O --- this is an excellent beer. I will go back to it time and time again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2012 20:51:10 | More by mikechance
Photo of Cinderbike
Cinderbike

Nevada

3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

02-21-2012 18:55:45 | More by Cinderbike
Photo of gregy55902
gregy55902

Minnesota

3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 06:12:16 | More by gregy55902
Photo of williamjbauer
williamjbauer

West Virginia

4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled served in a pint glass

A - Clear rust with a one finger white head with moderate retention and good lacing.

S - Not very strong, a hint of toasted malts, caramel, citrus hops

T - This is one heck of a Red. The signature Lagunitas hops fest begins with a lot of flora and citrus hops with a perfectly balanced sweet malt caramel and a bit of booze.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O - This is one of the best I had from Lagunitas, it is a limited batch so be sure to get it if you can. It is awesome!

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 04:49:35 | More by williamjbauer
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Here's to hoppy sweet nerve sacks, all around!

This beer pours a clear, dark ruddy amber hue, witb one fat-ass finger of loosely foamy off-white head, which leaves a rugged band of sudsy lace around the glass as it slips away.

It smells of grapefruit rind, aged orange flesh, some musty earthiness, and straight-up caramel malt. The taste is strong muddled citrus hops, contentedly bitter, with a musty grassy addendum, and a sourdough-tinged caramel/toffee malt backbone. The elevated ABV is really well integrated - nary a wisp of warming to be told.

The carbonation is on the low side of average, the body a solid medium weight, a tad clammy, yet still agreeably smooth. It finishes off-dry, the indeterminate bitter citrus and weakening malt still going toe to toe.

Another decent hoppy ale from Lagunitas, as if I would expect it any other way. The red ale base adds a little more dissonance, but that's ok, variety being the spice of life, and all that.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 03:10:57 | More by biboergosum
Photo of BeerMaverick
BeerMaverick

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 02:05:05 | More by BeerMaverick
Photo of marine1975
marine1975

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

02-21-2012 00:56:24 | More by marine1975
Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,292 ratings.