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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.

1,310 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,310
Reviews: 688
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 9.9%
Wants: 142
Gots: 39 | 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: 1,310 | Reviews: 688 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JCaweinstein


4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber colored and crystal clear. One finger white head that did not last. A small amount of carbonation.
This has a wonderful citrus aroma to it that is pouring out the glass. I did not have to work hard to pull the aroma out which is excellent.
I got a nice grapefruit citrus aroma from this beer. I also picked up a little bit of a pepper-like flavor and some toasted bread.
This is a very smooth beer, mouth coatingly smooth and medium bodied. It starts nice and easy then finishes with a nice big hop punch in the mouth. It's my favorite quality of this beer.
This is a very nice looking beer and tasty too. I am most fond of it's velvety smoothness yet it has a very nice complexity while keeping it all about the hops. I will look out for it again next year for sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2012 03:53:22 | More by JCaweinstein
Photo of stuttg4rt

3/5  rDev -27.5%

02-27-2012 03:31:48 | More by stuttg4rt
Photo of buckyp

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

02-27-2012 00:46:57 | More by buckyp
Photo of nh2032

New York

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

02-26-2012 23:44:00 | More by nh2032
Photo of mcphish22


4/5  rDev -3.4%

02-26-2012 23:35:49 | More by mcphish22
Photo of kayrex


3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

02-26-2012 23:23:20 | More by kayrex
Photo of weatherdog


3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass

It pours a crystal clear copper/ruby with a small off white head. Head retention is low and lacing is minimal.

Aroma of a little bready malt with accompanying medium level of grassy and pine hops.

The taste starts off pretty bitter. Like hop resins coating the mouth. A hint of caramel sweetness comes in to lessen the bitterness. Most grass hop flavors. Hops are the showcase it seems but the flavor just doesn't impress me terribly. The hop flavors are just too grassy for my taste.

The mouthfeel is mostly comprised of the mouth coating bitterness and lasting aftertaste. I'm not a huge fan of this harsh bitterness personally.

Overall it's a really nice and drinkable beer. My only complaint is the harsh lasting bitterness. Otherwise it's a fine and pretty drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 23:07:13 | More by weatherdog
Photo of Mdog


3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Red amber, ok head.

Smell: Pithy citrus, touch of bread.

Taste: Citrusy, nice mix of dryness and sweetness. A little sweet bread flavor comes through also.

Drinkability: Another good IPA-like beer from Lagunitas that hides how strong it is.

Picked up a single since I am wary of any "red" beer. This fits in with what Lagunitas does, plenty of hops, citrus instead of tea or metal. So I like it, but nothing really too special.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 22:50:46 | More by Mdog
Photo of billab914


4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Blue Mountain glass. It poured a reddish amber color with an inch thick of frothy white foam covering the top of the beer. Nice looking color to it.

The aroma has a pretty bold, juicy hoppiness to it. I get a decent amount of peach and pineapple coming through along with some resiny grapefruit and pine. A good amount of malt shows through in it as well with some sweet caramel and toasty flavors. Nice blend of hoppy and malty to it.

The taste also shows a very nice hoppiness to it. I get some more of the tropical fruit and peachy notes to it, especially in the finish. Some sweeter caramel malts mix with a little bit of a bready, pale malt flavor. Very nice hoppiness to it and the maltiness compliments it very well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall it was a very nice beer. Very flavorful with some very good hoppiness to it. Pretty easy drinking as well. Very solid beer all around.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 16:54:04 | More by billab914
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale, translucent amber color with a thin layer of off white head that's loose and bubbly. The nose is exceptionally floral. The flavor is lightly malty followed by a big hop finish. Up front the malt is caramelly and lightly sweet. The hops are big and flavorful offering a hug floral note. The mouthfeel is lighter than expected but medium bodied, smooth, but a little heavily carbonated.

This is a fine beer if you're looking for something robust and hoppy. It's not as malty as the red title would lead you to believe. Overall, it's a little one dimensional with floral hops taking the forefront. A little balance would make this incredible. Being a hop head though I really enjoyed this offering.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 03:55:23 | More by tdm168
Photo of oldvines


4/5  rDev -3.4%

02-26-2012 01:40:12 | More by oldvines
Photo of damndirtyape


3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a milkshake pilsner glass. Stamp on neck of bottle meaningless to me, but I believe this bottle to be from this year.

Appearance: Nice clear deep color color. Light tan head that is a very thin skin across the top. Nice persistent delicate lacing noted.

Smell: Good mango and pine.

Taste: Bitter, very hoppy. Strong pine, grapefruit, citrus. Malt takes a backseat to the hop flavors. A very hop forward beer and a bit unbalanced for me.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, nicely thick and smooh.

Overall / Drinkability: Bitterness becomes a bit of a chore by the end of the glass. Too hop forward for my taste. Nice appearance and smell, but too much of a hop bomb with not enough malt to balance it in the end. Probably won't get again.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 00:39:45 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of Morey


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

12oz bottle with "02529413" stamped on the neck of the bottle. From what I gather, this means that it was bottled on January 25th? Why not put the actual date on the bottle?

Pours a reddish-amber color with over one finger of cream colored head. If you hold it up to the light, it's pretty much all red with nice clarity. The foam has settled after several minutes, but the retention and stick are both more than adequate.

Sticky fruity hops fill the nose. There's a good amount of malt in the aroma too. Maybe not quite on the level of NN as far as the smell goes, but not too far off.

Taste: Nice crisp bitterness up front from the hops. Malty and fruity flavors help to round things out towards the middle. There's a bit of alcohol towards the finish, and the hops surface for a second time on the back end as well.

Medium bodied mouthfeel with a sticky hop presence and moderate carbonation.

An above average Red Ale overall.

Morey's Bottom Line: I had been hearing good things about this beer, and thankfully....they're true. A really nice Red without question. It's somewhere between Celebration and Nugget Nectar. Good Stuff.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 00:38:53 | More by Morey
Photo of kojevergas


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.


Serving type: bottle

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


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

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


4/5  rDev -3.4%

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


4/5  rDev -3.4%

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


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

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


4/5  rDev -3.4%

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


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


4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

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


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

New York

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

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


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


4/5  rDev -3.4%

02-24-2012 21:09:21 | More by Lang44
Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,310 ratings.