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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

1,652 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,652
Reviews: 728
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.17%
Wants: 166
Gots: 124 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,652 | Reviews: 728 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a solid copper amber color with good head retention and considerable sticky lacing. The nose is impressive, showcasing considerable dry citrus and light sweet malt. On the palate, this is pretty impressive, as I get considerable hoppy bitterness that overwhelms the malty sweetness almost completely. There's also something of a biscuit flavor in the finish that is interesting. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a crisp and bitter, hint of sweetness finish. Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, but you can tell it's in the 7% or 8% range.

Typical well crafted beer from Lagunitas, and another absolute treat for hop heads.

John_M, May 12, 2012
Photo of tbizzle0
4.5/5  rDev +9%

tbizzle0, May 11, 2012
Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Zaphog, May 11, 2012
Photo of ehammond1
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cask

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Pretty amber and visibly creamy in texture with a thick, whipped-creamy light khaki colored head that leaves gobs of lacing down the glass. Gorgeous cask beer.

Aroma is a pleasant combination of sweet caramel malt along with some orange and grapefruit flesh and zest. Very nice.

The flavor follows the aroma, and this is most certainly a nicely hopped amber. There's enough bitterness and grapefruit presence to put a little excitement into an otherwise malty, somewhat boring style.

Medium bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Somewhat creamy.

Somewhat creamy, nicely hopped amber, though nothing particularly exciting or new here.

ehammond1, May 11, 2012
Photo of Maximusmaximus
4.68/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An inspired rejuvination of their first-ever brew, this bold American red ale from Lagunitias is a divine gift from the gods. Beer simply doesn't get much better than this. It is abusively strong in color, appearance, alcohol content, hops and attitude and will launch a full-on assault on your trembling senses. It is caramelly and spicey and smooth and tender and smacks of everything that is good about beer in general and life itself. It is obvious that the guys at Lagunitas hit a home run their first time up and we, the people, are blessed to be counted worthy to share in that first success.

Maximusmaximus, May 11, 2012
Photo of schnarr84
4/5  rDev -3.1%

schnarr84, May 11, 2012
Photo of Gatch
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful copper-amber in color with a short, off-white pillowy head that fades quickly and settles into little lace and retention.

S: Boozy, sweet malt. Some very subtle hops. Caramelized sugar once it warms. Not getting much else.

T: Lightly toasted malt with a bit of booze in the finish. Some fruity, bitter hops come through but it's faint. Malt becomes a bit cloying. You really gotta let this one warm towards room temperature for better flavors to come out.

M: Smooth, creamy, and easy drinking. While it's boozy, it adds character to the beer and complements the roasted malt. This is the best aspect of the beer.

O: I expected more from this brew. I'm convinced Lagunitas has a similar base characteristic of boozy hops to all of their beers. It's not a bad thing, just a strange theme.

Gatch, May 11, 2012
Photo of MrTopher
4.85/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Been through 3 packs of this stuff already, it is hands down my favorite beer that Lagunitas makes, Sucks comes in 2nd. Wife loves this stuff also.
A – Nice rich amber color, poured in such a way not to create a head. But nice carbonation that maintains bubbles throughout the drinking process.
S – Nice citrus and floral nose, the malt is sweet and robust, but not over the top. Exceptionally balanced.
T – This is a colored IPA, it just has IPA written all over it. The hops are HUGE with citrus and pine in the front. There is a nice rich malt character.
M – Perfectly balanced, not too chewy but exceptional.
O – This is hands down the best Imperial Red on the market, and Lagunitas should consider making this year round. Stone 13th (fresh) comes close, but not close enough. This red just trumps all others.

MrTopher, May 10, 2012
Photo of leeswagerty
4.75/5  rDev +15%

leeswagerty, May 10, 2012
Photo of obrike
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a sixer at Shertz/Selma Specs on my way outta San Antonio for about 10 bucks. I have not seen this in Austin so was quite happy to pick some up.

Nice looking reddish amber in my 512 IPA pint glass. Medium head and some pretty good lacing to boot.

Getting a decent amount of piney hops, some tangerine, spices, and a bit of caramel. What's not to like.

Taste follows. An initial piney hop blast...followed by sugary, caramel malty goodness. Some cinnamon on the backend too maybe? This one's chewy, resiny. I really dig the mouthfeel as the caronation is just perfect and the dryness makes me crave another sip.

This is a damn fine Red by a damn fine brewery.

obrike, May 10, 2012
Photo of Aschap
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Aschap, May 10, 2012
Photo of MacStinson
4.5/5  rDev +9%

MacStinson, May 09, 2012
Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +9%

crob3888, May 09, 2012
Photo of mmmmbeer
4.75/5  rDev +15%

mmmmbeer, May 08, 2012
Photo of Dcincotta
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Dcincotta, May 08, 2012
Photo of cosmicevan
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

picked up locally, enjoyed from a Hill Farmstead tulipy wine glass.

a - brew poured a semi transparent amber with a finger full of creamy off white head with some sticky lacing. the coloring has a deep core with lighter highlights along the edge of the glass.

s - hopped out amber. smells awesome.

t - hopped out amber. finishes pretty bitter. the amber qualities are there, but definitely in the backseat to the intense hopping.

m - medium to full bodied. nice feel, carbonation...good bitterness.

o - overall a great beer. lagunitas continues to impress. i had heard wonderful things about this beer and it did not disappoint. different from nugget nectar, but just as enjoyable.

cosmicevan, May 07, 2012
Photo of Tucquan
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-05-06 in Columbia, PA

A - Pretty clear, darkish-amber with a 1-finger white head and mild lacing.

S - Citrus, hop floral and dank hop bud aroma. Whiffable from a few feet away immediately upon opening the bottle.

T - Citrus up front then some sweet light-medium roasted malt. Citrus zest trails in to bring on the moderate bitterness. Well-balanced. Dries nicely and bitterness hangs in for a bit.

M - Light-medium body and medium carbonation. Smooth, a littly oily before finishing crisply.

O - Not overyly complex but quite tasty. Since so many have compared it to Nugget Nectar, I decided to have them side-by-side. The Lagunitas has the more dank hop bud fragrance. The Nugget Nectar taste is more orange citrus than the Lagunitas. They're significantly different but in the same family.

Tucquan, May 06, 2012
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A VERY well done Imperial Red, and possibly my favorite beer from Lagunitas. Not their most "complex" hoppy beer, but 100% a consistent winner for it's respective style no doubt!

Bottled the 100th day of 2012, making this a little over 3 weeks old.

A - Good appearance, a bit active in the glass, average head that you'd expect from a fresh hoppy beer and a light red, amber color.

S - Citrus hops, grapefruit and those "red" malts, and more hops. Yes, that typical "Lagunitas" profile smell...danky. I already know I'll be happy with this one.

T - Yep...crisp citrus, light on the malts, almost non-existent when compared to most other West Coast Imperial Reds but it's there. This one is all about the hops as you'd expect from Lagunitas. House Lagunitas finish here as usual with their hoppy beers. Very good Imperial Red...only complaint is that it could be more "juicy." Re-reviewed - Fresher bottle was extremely juicy!

M - Fantastic! Dry, crisp, clean, and drinks more of a 6% - 6.5%. Not as heavy and malty as most other imperial reds. Easily begs you for more sipping.

O - I'm sick of seeing this beer compared to Nugget Nectar. They are not really all that much alike. Both are fantastic for the record...but if you want a hop forward posterboy for the style...a fresh Lagunitas Imperial Red is the way to go. Great Job Lagunitas. (If you're dying to know my comparison to NN, send me a BM...if it's really that important to you...)

RBassSFHOPit2ME, May 06, 2012
Photo of kmoore149
4.5/5  rDev +9%

kmoore149, May 06, 2012
Photo of Dizbro21
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Dizbro21, May 06, 2012
Photo of C20Percent
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper, amber red with a HUGE egg shell colored head with amber hues. Noticeable pieces of sediment floating around the body. And, an actually pretty impressive lacing job, which makes the experience pretty good. Nice feature.

S: Very comparable to Nugget Nectar. Don't know if I could tell these two apart in a blind test. The same sweet caramel malt, spice, hop smell. Just MAYBE, a little less hop smell than NN. But, very, very nice.

T: Not the same hop punch that NN delivers. More of a malt focus here. The same sweet malt flavor up front, with hops sneaking through in the back. In NN, the reverse was true. A nice dry finish. A little bit boozier than NN, but a great tasting beer.

M: I think this beer eclipses NN in this category. A bigger carbonation than NN. Probably more of a thicker, chewier body that works very well. Oiling the mouth with a spicy, peppery, malt feel. Nice.

O: This is a great beer -- very torn between a 4 and 4.5. I think there are some noticeable differences from NN. Imperial RED is a bit less refreshing, is a little bit more boozier, and is less juicy. But a super-solid beer in it's own right. Would probably still take NN over this, based on the flavor alone, but wouldn't spill a tear if this was all there was.

C20Percent, May 06, 2012
Photo of deonreds
4.5/5  rDev +9%

deonreds, May 06, 2012
Photo of HumphreyLee
4/5  rDev -3.1%

HumphreyLee, May 06, 2012
Photo of WritersBlock
5/5  rDev +21.1%

WritersBlock, May 06, 2012
Photo of JKerfman
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

JKerfman, May 06, 2012
Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,652 ratings.