Cruising With Ruben & The Jets - Lagunitas Brewing Company
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Ratings: 302 | Reviews: 263 | Display Reviews Only:
3.95/5 rDev +7%
22oz bottle purchased (I assume) at Lonehill Liquor. Shared by azagthoth. I don't know who labeled this as a double stout but I really don't agree with that label.
Pours a dark red color, very murky, small head, low retention, some lacing.
Aroma is of roast, caramel, cherry, and pale malt.
Flavor definitely has some roast and some dark cherry elements to it. Medium bitterness. The best way to describe this beer is really American Strong Ale blended with Belgian Strong Dark Ale. I also detect some elements of a scotch ale in there.
Body is medium. CO2 is slightly low. Drinkable and enjoyable. Just don't expect this to taste like a "American Double / Imperial Stout".
02-07-2009 21:31:52 | More by t0rin0
3.55/5 rDev -3.8%
Pours an almost opaque dark brown with a small 1/2 inch tan head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Random splotches Smells of dark fruits and roasted malt. Slight caramel smell as well. Taste is of the dark fruits (prunes/raisins), roasted malt, and some caramel/toffee flavors. Slight roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. Good carbonation level makes for a medium body and smooth feel. Overall, an above average stout but nothing too great. I bet this was better back when it was fresh.
05-14-2011 04:24:13 | More by UCLABrewN84
3.9/5 rDev +5.7%
Black peppercorn brown (look again, they aren't black) with generous red-orange-copper highlights. Looks more like a brown ale or a doppelbock than a double stout. The golden ecru colored foam barely reaches two fingers, then hangs on admirably. Oddly enough, the appearance was more impressive once I tasted the beer.
The aroma is a bit underpowered. Even though cocoa nibs are present, the beer doesn't smell any more chocolate-like than any other stout. White peppercorns aren't especially appreciated. I have a sneaking suspicion that they'll make a contribution on the taste buds, for better or for worse. Let's see which one it is.
If Ruben & The Jets used Belgian yeast, it would taste like a BSDA. The first reason is that it's darker than a brown ale, but not as roasted or black malty as most stouts. The second reason is the white peppercorns. They deliver a spiciness that is similar to the warm clove spiciness of phenolic Belgian yeast. My palate was confused for the first few mouthfuls. Time and warming is allowing it to groove on what is turning out to be a unique flavor profile.
Lagunitas deserves credit for brewing outside the box. Not waaay the hell outside, but outside enough. Specifics include pumpernickel bread coated with fig jam, then sprinkled heavily with chocolate shavings and ground pepper (white versus black is impossible to discern). The heat level is just right. There's definitely a warm bite, so those who don't think that sounds appealing should probably stay away.
Forget the above-stated style. Ruben feels more like a big doppelbock and is some kind of enjoyable in that context. It's medium in heft (possibly even medium-full), with a polished glass smoothness born of perfect carbonation. Tempted... tempted... nope, the next highest score isn't quite earned.
In the same way that Furthermore Knot Stock proves that an APA and black pepper can result in delicious beer, Lagunitas Cruising With Ruben & The Jets proves that a double stout (cough, cough) and white pepper is a tasty, compelling fusion as well. While it's unlikely to be everyone's cup of tea, I'm enjoying the hell out of this sweet, spicy and sassy brew.
05-07-2009 14:57:44 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.33/5 rDev +17.3%
Appearance: Pours a chocolate brown color with a nice tan head that dots the glass with lace
Smell: Chocolate dominates the aroma, but there is also some dark fruit, some licorice and a hint of citrusy hops
Taste: Pumpernickel bread up front, but the milk chocolate, dark fruit and licorice all arrive to provide a fairly sweet profile on the front end, with a hint of peppery bitterness as well; after the swallow, the pepper becomes a bit more pronounced (particularly on the finish), but the flavors are basically about the intriguing blend of sweet malt elements
Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation
Drinkability: Forget about the style guidelines, as this doesn't fit the Double Stout profile, yet it is an interesting and flavorful beer that drinks nicely, if you don't mind the sweetness
07-03-2009 20:50:30 | More by brentk56
3.98/5 rDev +7.9%
Appearance: Pours out a dark brown body with a thin, wispy, off-white head.
Smell: Sweetish nose of roasty malts, bittersweet chocolate, a half teaspoon of prune preserves, star anise, and the half-hearted zip of stale spice.
Taste: Dark, roasted malts, perhaps a thin undertone of black malt, along with tastes of bittersweet chocolate and black licorice. Medium sweetness throughout. Splash of prune fruitiness. Earthy, lightly roasty bitterness midway mingled with the white pepper's extremely subtle powdered mustard character. Further flavors of chocolate and sweet malts on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.
Drinkability: Not bad! For me, it doesn't seem too far removed from the Imperial Stout in their regular line-up, except with the additions of chocolate and white peppercorns.
02-11-2009 04:31:23 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.63/5 rDev -1.6%
I found this offering from one of my favorite breweries to be a little odd I have to say.Poured into an imperial nonic a murky deep chocolate brown with big chunks and floaties swirling,a thinner tannish colored head atop.Good complexity in the nose with a hefty dose of black licorice and dark roast coffee sthanding out,a tinge of vanilla wich is more pronouced in the flavors shows thru as well.A mix of vanilla and molasses sweetness sticks out up front flavor wise,a decent roasted and earthy finish keeps things in balance quite well but somethin seemed a bit off.Its a decent brew but Iam not sure what the style is here,to me it doesnt come close to a Imperial stout or Double stout,its in its own category,its ok.
04-01-2009 20:42:50 | More by oberon
3.83/5 rDev +3.8%
A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, tan head of foam. It left a little soapy lace on the glass.
S - It smelled of candy sugar and sweet caramel malt.
T - This had quite a bit of dark chocolate flavor with a sweet roasted malt backbone. A slightly bitter grassiness emerged to add a little extra kick.
M - It was soft and smooth with a dry finish. A medium bodied ale.
D - This is an interesting stout. Good chocolate flavors and caramel maltiness.
06-10-2009 00:52:47 | More by zeff80
3.65/5 rDev -1.1%
22 oz bomber, another psychedelic 1960s ode to Frank Zappa... way before my time and tastes, music-wise. Good thing there's beer inside to try...
This beer pours a deep, dark brown colour, with reddish edges, and some heavy floaty sediment swirling around the bottom. There is a few fingers of puffy, creamy beige head, which settles in due time, leaving fairly dense curtain-like lace around the glass. It smells of chocolate, toffee, and earthy pine hops. The taste is hoppy up front - citrus and pine essence both cutting through, and then lots of bitter chocolate, sweet caramel malt and brown sugar, followed by a subtle alcohol burn. The carbonation is average, the body thick and smooth, and it finishes sweet, chocolaty, and a bit more boozy.
There a lot going on it this beer, and it feels a tad all over the place. Big flavours, but not a lot of blend or balance happening 'round here...
10-15-2009 22:29:06 | More by biboergosum
4.28/5 rDev +16%
Wow! I was surprised at the dark color as I poured this guy. Is this the first porter in the Zappa series, or did I miss one? It's a clear (until you disturb the lees) black-caramel brown beneath a short but creamy darkish tan head. Head retention is good, lacing is good. The aroma expresses dark chocolate and a hint of roast. There are also some yeasty notes and very mild hops, but the bittersweet chocolate and soft roastiness dominate. In the mouth it's quite supple with a medium-full body and moderate, creamy carbonation. The flavor is a hint spicier and fruitier than the aroma suggests, but for the most part it follows the same formula - rich, just lightly-sweet dark chocolate with a roasty edge. Some minty/spruce-like/ floral hops appear as well, and I'm guessing that they're also contributing the spiciness, although I wouldn't rule out at least a little bit of help from the alcohol on that point. Hmmmm. It's much more rounded and supple than the other Zappa beers, and yet, somehow it's got kind of a zing. Could it be that perhaps there's some chili pepper added in with this coco-flavored concoction? Ahhh, a quick internet search yields this: ... "Chocolate pepper stout brewed to 8.6% ABV, with a healthy amount of chocolate nibs and a subtle zing of white peppercorns." Interesting. That's not on my bottle... and a statement of process would be required by the government, which would then necessitate an addition to the labeling but whatever... that's what it tastes like! And I love the way that the pepper slowly builds. Very interesting and engaging. Quite enjoyable. Without doubt, well worth seeking out!!!
03-06-2009 00:34:08 | More by NeroFiddled
3.85/5 rDev +4.3%
A - Two fingers of light brown head, topping an opaque, brownish-black body. The head settles quite slowly and leaves thick lace clinging to the walls of the glass.
S - Malty with some biscuit aromas and some light caramel. Weak, spicy hops in the background.
T - Lots of malt with caramel, toasted malt and a bit of chocolate. Toasted grain flavors come out in the middle. The finish is darker with more chocolate, some coffee and a bit of herbal hops and moderate bitterness.
M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.
D - Quite drinakable, this beer carries its strong malt character well, and does not betray its relatively high alcohol content. It seems more like a double brown ale than an imperial stout to me, but I get the impression that the brewery wanted to defy style limitations with this beer. Overall, a nice beer but not as complex as it could be, the brown, malty flavors get a bit cloying towards the end of the bottle.
02-04-2009 05:14:35 | More by nickfl
3.63/5 rDev -1.6%
22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.
Pours black (but very borderline dark brown) with a finger of foamy light tan head. Good retention that stays fairly strong, flaring up well when swirled, and leaving a nice smattering of lacing behind. The aroma is a sticky smelling mix of chocolate, caramel, and tangy dark fruits. There is also an undercurrent of peppery spices present that mixes with some smoky notes (especially as it reaches room temp) that combines to give off a smell that is almost beef jerky like in nature.
The taste is slick with chocolate and roasted malts and some deep, sticky dark fruit character that seems to dominate the profile at times. Smoke and a tingle of pepper come out as well, being subtle at first, but then really emerging towards the backend. Finishes sweet and tangy on the lips. The mouthfeel is medium-fuller bodied with a fairly creamy carbonation that flattens out some as it warms. Maybe this could go just a bit deeper? There is a bit a warmth to the feel but for the most part this stayed quite drinkable for a nearly 10% beer.
Dark, sweet, and tangy (have I used that word enough in this review?) sum this quite unusual Stout up perfectly. I really enjoyed the use of the pepper in this as well, as it really played nicely against the back drop of the other flavors. An interesting brew at a good price.
12-10-2008 17:31:05 | More by Kegatron
3.45/5 rDev -6.5%
Shouldn't this really be listed as "Cruisin' with Ruben & the Jets"? Get it right, you guys!
I think this is the first Zappa brew released here in our market, hence, the first one I didn't have to get from a generous trading partner. End of pointless trivia. Now, let's drink.
Dark brown at first glance, showing deep crimson in the light, minimal head.
Dry, roasty aroma. Chocolate malt and minor espresso tones.
Tasting: Sweet at first, then smooth and mellow. Rich chocolate tones, middling molasses, bit o' brown sugar.
Tasty, but lighter bodied than I'd like.
A decent drink, but unimpressive. For flavor and body this meager, the abv should be reigned in for a reliable session brew. A stout above 8% abv should really be thicker, richer and more Imperial-y, if I can coin a regrettable phrase, than this is...
I guess I could say "I'm Not Satisfied". At $5 a bomber, there were no "Cheap Thrills". This beer was hardly the "Love of My Life." In fact, "How Could I Be Such A Fool?"
If only someone had warned me, but..."you didn't try to call me...why? didn't you know, didn't you know I was lonely...?"
Reading earlier reviews, one BA states this is technically a Chocolate Pepper Stout. Check on the chocolate, but then it happened, I tasted the pepper in the finish. Was it late, or am I just suggestive?
12-14-2008 07:52:20 | More by feloniousmonk
3.55/5 rDev -3.8%
I picked this up at Brass Rail Beverage in Campbelltown. Poured chilled into a Guinness tulip.
A - Pours a basic cola brown w/ a beige head that appears rocky on the surface. The clarity of this stout is good a w/ a garnet hue and the beading is very tight. The bear is not ugly in the glass, the lace sticks well
S - A basic roasted/caramel malt nose /w a hint of spice and mild hop notes w/ cocoa tinges
M - A feel that is pretty highly carbonated for the style and slightly thin, still roasty, but lacks in depth and roastiness IMO
T - Rich caramel malt like a really strong porter w/ creamy malty smooth taste + hints of bean(cocoa and vanilla) with a subtle hop and spices which are peppery. The malt is smooth aw/ mild nut flavor like cashews. The toasted and mild roast in the malt is a nice flavor combined w/ the sweetness of the crystal. The flavor is slightly warming w/ alcohol, but only slightly in the sweet finish
D - A very drinkable beer, tastes nothing like 8.6% - I could drink several since it has a smooth character, but the sweetness could use some balance.
03-15-2009 21:23:45 | More by Slatetank
4.22/5 rDev +14.4%
Another one of the strange Lagunitas beers I've been looking for, and finally found it in CT.
A: Pours a lighter 1 finger brown colored semi thick head that slowly pops downwards. Color is pretty dark, but light finds its way through all around, so its more of a very dark brown color than a black color.
N: Nose is actually pretty fruity. Dried fruits start the aromatic train. Next car following closely is some roasted malt and light chocolate malts. It has sort of a creamy chocolate aroma, but not chocolate milk. Perhaps a hot chocolate like aroma. Next car on the track brings some caramelized brown sugar that seems to bring some sweetness, and almost a molasses aroma with it. The final caboose is a very light alcohol aroma, very light. I really have to let the beer warm up to find this.
T: Starts pretty sweet with some more roasted malt flavor. More dark fruits as well and some chewy malt flavors, almost like raw malts... some more chocolate, rich hot chocolate like flavors with some creamy flavors. It starts to really get a chocolate milk feel at this point. A slight alcohol warmth starts to build. More dark fruit flavors make another appearance towards the end of the taste. Perhaps a slight toffee flavor as well. A very slight spicy hop bitterness comes out as well.
M: Pretty smooth and rich, creamy, and mouth coating. A little heavier body, very low carbonation. Really feels like chocolate milk in your mouth.
F: Finishes slightly sweet, but still pretty creamy. Coats the mouth a little, but doesn't stick very long. A slight bitterness, earthy spicy bitterness comes out a bit on the finish. Very drinkable and creamy delicious. Doesn't overwhelm on any of the flavors. A little on the sweet end, but rich and creamy nonetheless. I'm surprised this rated so low. Perhaps people aren't interested in a lighter but still rich and creamy Imperial Stout. Or perhaps this has mellowed a lot with age, as I can only guess it's been on the shelf for a while as it was brewed in 2008 only. Either way I am enjoying this beer, and the drinkability. It's actually pretty dangerous for being 8.6%!!!
11-27-2009 00:31:55 | More by jlindros
3.78/5 rDev +2.4%
The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a 1/4" tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a warm chocolate and roasted malt scent that's not overly aromatic, but more subtle. The taste is good. It has a rich, malty flavor that boasts of pale and chocolate malts. It has a mild black malt bitterness with a warm finish. The malt bill doesn't seem to be very complex, but it's still a tastey beer. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an above average beer. I was expecting more, but it's still quite enjoyable. Cheers!
12-21-2008 00:05:14 | More by WesWes
4.25/5 rDev +15.2%
This was one heck of a beer. I had several bottles of it over the years. I still had one left ($3.39 markdown at my favorite place, Grapevine Wine & Liquors, Denver). The previous two bottles were full of floaters and gone downhill, but this last one is great.
In its prime, a fine example of gloriously rich, malty Lagunitas style. The licorice is the noticeable flavor. Huge, warm rather than hot with alcohol, dark malt roasted to a beautiful sweet mellowness.
A trip down memory lane for both the beer and the record. A great album cover, though my favorite Frank Zappa/Ruben song "Charlena" is on the first album, "For Real!"
06-05-2011 04:45:42 | More by mactrail
3.15/5 rDev -14.6%
Pours almost black with a creamy tan head that lasts surprisingly long for the style. Some trailing lace sticks.
The smell is of molasses, toffee, licorice, roast and chocolate. Not quite as robust as I would expect/like, but the aroma is pleasant and complex enough to give it the higher of two scores I was between.
The taste is of molasses and chocolate - initially sweet with alcohol and some roast (that eventually becomes lost). Alcohol is evident, though not overshadowing. There is a tartness that comes in as it progresses that throws it off, and makes the taste less enjoyable than the aroma. Green apple tartness grows and lingers. Vanilla comes through that would have added nicely to the initial complexities if it weren't for the sour notes that come to interfere. It has a something of a soapy-ish aftertaste.
The body is sticky, yet something thin about it for the style.
This is a strange brew. But, then, it claims to be a "Boppy Doo Ay Doo" style, whatever that is. I could almost "appreciate" it, as it is different and has a fair amount of (initial) complexity, but the tartness, aftertaste and noticeable alcohol (seemingly a bit more than it even is), slow it down, making it "forever" to get through. Certainly worth trying, despite shortcomings/detractors, but one of those I wish I had shared. I wouldn't get it again, though it is reasonable priced.
04-25-2009 12:46:18 | More by jwc215
3.75/5 rDev +1.6%
A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a fat-two-finger thick, lightly browned, tan colored head. The beer is quite dark, but shows some clear, deep red notes to it even as it sits on my desk. When held up to the light it shows a brilliantly clear, dark cherry red color. The aroma is quite fruity smelling with ample berry notes (blueberry, and blackberry are noticeable), but these are most definitely, at least partially, from the chocolate character as the finish has a rich, bright chocolate note to it. There is also a touch of tartness here that accentuates the berry notes, a touch of up front roast character as well as a touch of solvent like alcohol and some toasted bread crust character. This has a very interesting nose to it; it can be quite intriguing at times.
The beer is soft and creamy textured up front, but this is somewhat cut by a prickly carbonation, but then it finishes with a velvety texture again. There is a strong roast character here that provides a lot of burnt bitterness. The beer is sweet up front which accentuates a bright berry character, and there seems to be a fair amount of hop character here as well; some of the berry notes come from this, there is also a touch of pine, as well as some grapefruit like notes as well as a herbal bitterness to the finish. The sweet chocolate notes get mixed in with the roasted grain character; the chocolate flavors are actually somewhat hard to pick out and if I didn't know this contained chocolate then I would not guess it. Also the pepper is almost non-existent, I get no zing, subtle or otherwise.
Not a bad beer given that the bottle advertises nothing about the beer on it, so to say I am disappointed in the chocolate and white pepper character seems a bit disingenuous. This is actually a pretty good beer, it definitely has a hard time fitting in a style description (which is, I suppose, fitting) as it is not really roasted enough to be your typical strong American Stout. Certainly interesting and a beer that I can easily spend an evening sipping my way through a 22oz bottle of.
Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ
01-13-2009 04:01:47 | More by Gueuzedude
2.6/5 rDev -29.5%
22 oz. bomber,
A: Pours a dark murky brown with a light tan head, good lacing all around.
S: Smell is striking and good. Creamed coffee, molasses, sweet pine notes.
T: Cloyingly sweet, big old molasses note, and fermented prune (which I didn't particularly care for). No real bitterness from the malt or hops to balance, like malt syrup.
M: Mouthfeel isn't bad aside from the heavy sweetness. Light carbonation, relatively full feel.
D: While Kill Ugly Radio was outstanding, the last 2 Zappa inspired beers have been mis-steps from this pretty good brewery. Hopefully the next one will be better.
01-09-2009 03:47:55 | More by Halcyondays
3.45/5 rDev -6.5%
Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a 2" head that lingers. Nice lace paints the glass.
Smell: roasted malts, hints of alcohol, and bits of chocolate.
Taste: roasted malt base is hearty. Bitter chocolates, hints of earthiness, and a crack of peppercorn rounds it out. Alcohol is warming shows up late.
Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Aftertaste is long on the flavors. Lightly crisp to start, smoother and a tad dry in the finish.
Drinkability: this is a beer you will drink slowly in front of a fire. Alcohol is a bit too prevelent here knocking this down a notch in the category.
02-27-2009 23:47:46 | More by Gavage
3.88/5 rDev +5.1%
01/01/09- Purchased at Safeway in San Mateo, CA. $2.99 sale price tag.
Presentation- 22oz bottle, new late 2008 release poured into my Duvel tulip.
Appearance- Kind of a mix between deep brown and lighter black. About a 1/2 inch light brown head on the pour with some light lines and streaks of lace.
Smell- Roasted malts, some chocolate malt notes, maybe a hint of coffee. Note a huge nose, but nice.
Taste- Middle of the road roasted malt..not to deep, just about right. Hops are mild and lightly bitter. Nice lighter chocolate flavor mingling throughout.
Mouthfeel- Medium thickness and mouthfeel with a medium carbonation level. Light hoppy aftertaste.
Drinkability- I think a lot of people aren't looking at the 8% abv and aren't giving this beer it's true props. It's not supposed to be as heavy as Stone or Alesmith. For what it is, it's a very nice beer with good flavor and drinkability. One of the better lower abv Double Stouts I have had in a while. Good job Lagunitas.
01-02-2009 16:24:15 | More by GClarkage
4.2/5 rDev +13.8%
I like this beer, but it is not an Imperial Stout. To me it tastes more like some species of brown ale, albeit a strong one. Pours brown with very little head. Smells a little hot and quite malty, rounded, earthy notes. The taste is rich with more of that rounded malt. Nice sweetness, and some gentle earthiness as well as a trace of minerality. Gentle and unbelievably smooth for the abv, and very creamy. This is the spitting image of an English style brown- with lots more abv. Gentle, sweet, milk chocolate on the finish. Very easy to drink- just don't think Russian Imperial Stout.
01-19-2009 00:36:29 | More by Georgiabeer
3.85/5 rDev +4.3%
$3.99 for a bomber at Whole Foods/Bowery/NYC. Looks like a porter, dark tan head leaves light ringed lacing. Roasted malt, vanilla and light coffee in the nose. Tasty stout, kinda light flavor wise and body wise for the Double stout designation. Notes of cafe au lait, chocolate milk shake, light milk chocolate. Easy drinking, pleasand enough stuff. Sort of a beginner stout/Double stout with training wheels.
12-19-2008 01:45:50 | More by Billolick
Cruising With Ruben & The Jets from Lagunitas Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 302 ratings.