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Cruising With Ruben & The Jets - Lagunitas Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Cruising With Ruben & The JetsCruising With Ruben & The Jets

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

302 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 302
Reviews: 263
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.01%
Wants: 1
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BradLikesBrew on 12-05-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 302 | Reviews: 263 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Halcyondays


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
Photo of Taylor88


4.53/5  rDev +22.8%

I love the folks a Lagunitas. They are, for the lack of a better word, Nutjobs. C'mon, a series of beers named after Frank Zappa albums??? I thought I was weird!!...Now to the beer:

22oz BOMBER: In a pint glass

APPEARANCE: Poured heavy and dark...slightly ominous since the label tells you nothing about the beer you are about to drink aside from the fact that its ABV is 8.6%.

SMELL: Strong of coffee and chocolate but appealing.

TASTE: My first sip is more chocolate than coffee but both come through nicely...I like it.

MOUTHFEEL: This is my toughest category for any beer. I would say that it is not as creamy as some porters (it is a porter isn't it?) but I like that.

DRINKABILITY: Not my usual choice of beer. I'm a hop/red head (literally), but I really enjoyed this beer.

RAMBLING ON: It probably didn't hurt that I also bought Cursing with Ruben and the Jets on vinyl in 1969. With 30+ albums under his belt, God only know what Lagunitas will do with albums like like "Uncle Meat", "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" and "Burnt Weeny Sandwich"...Long Live Frank Zappa...Long Live Lagunitas

END of BOTTLE UPDATE: (20 minutes afer writing the review above)Seemed to get more chocolatly near the end as it warmed up. Not a bad thing but might affect my choice as to when I would consume during an evening of beers.

01-07-2009 03:43:56 | More by Taylor88
Photo of Pencible


4.47/5  rDev +21.1%

This poured a very dark ruby with a bit of tan head. It smelled like roasted coffee and milk chocolate, with some molasses and a bit of alcohol. It tasted mostly like sweet milk chocolate and roasted coffee, with some molasses and a bit of bitter copper hops. It was fairly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this had a very nice clean flavor, though nothing exciting. It had great body too, and hid the alcohol decently. This was nice and sweet, which made it quite easy to drink for a double stout. Not sure how well it would age, but it's great fresh, so why bother waiting?

01-05-2009 15:29:42 | More by Pencible
Photo of asabreed

New York

3.83/5  rDev +3.8%

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Less opaque than I expected, with a decent mocha-colored head and some thinner clumps of lacing.

Smell: Chocolate malts and toasted flavors, with a bit of roasted coffee and some diacetyl and buttery aromas.

Taste: What lacks mostly here is the finish, as the flavors seem like they're going to continue on and... they don't die, but they don't linger as long as they should. Still, as it warms the flavors seem to meld a bit more, with good roasted malt notes, mild coffee, and honey and molasses. A bit sweeter than many, which maybe takes away from some of the roasted and malty depth, but it's still pretty pleasant all around.

Mouthfeel: Could be a bit creamier with more carbonation, as it seems a bit slick and watery, though it's nothing that takes much away from everything else.

Drinkability: Another worthwhile brew from Lagunitas. I say it always and too much, but I love their love of experimentation, and I'll always buy their new stuff. Because of the sweetness, this would also be a good stout to let someone try who hasn't tried a lot. Keep the Zappa series rolling, ya'll.

01-04-2009 02:54:31 | More by asabreed
Photo of GClarkage


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
Photo of JoshuaCain


3.3/5  rDev -10.6%

pours a very dark brown, nearly black, only the faintest light shows through around the edges. thin brown head with fair retention, good lacing.
aroma is of malty sweet bread, a nice amount of hops to the nose as well.
tastes very malty, black coffee, caramel, pine. not amazing, but not bad either.
mouthfeel is quite nice. a medium body but very silky.
overall its drinkable, and definitely a good value, but I am not going to run out and stock up on this one. maybe I needed to know the album to fully enjoy it.

12-31-2008 19:04:12 | More by JoshuaCain
Photo of magictrokini


3.23/5  rDev -12.5%

Pours dark brown, opaque, with ruby edges. No real head, more of an oily ring of tan bubbles on top. Decent, sticky lacing. Low-lying aroma of chocolate, stale coffee, and nuts; yet, not in a good or strong way like Chock Full O Nuts. Flat mouthfeel and taste. Thin for the style. A helping of nuts comes with an herbal/earthy pepper and fruit flavor. The fruit is old or overripe cherry or berries, and does not go well with the pepper and holiday spice. For some reason, the malt does not take control of this beer. I can taste the cocoa and caramel, as well as a roasted grain flavor, but it just lies there on your tongue.

Overall, this beer is a bunch of flavors that doesn't go well. And, in no way is this an Imperial Stout. Its thin, its nutty, its a mess.

12-31-2008 17:45:45 | More by magictrokini
Photo of meatyard


2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

A-Is a clear, dark, cola color with a light tan head. It's not totally black and you can see through it when held to a light. Leaves light lacing.
S-Is a light, roasted malt smell and a hint of coffee.
T-Is of overly roasted malt, some alcohol before it warms up and a little bit of spiciness. There's also some bitterness or something not quite right in the taste at the end.
M-Is medium to thin-not what I would expect from an Imperial Stout.
D-Is also not what I would expect, being not the most pleasant IS out there.

I was hoping to like this better than other reviewers but I have to agree with a lot of their comments. I do like many Lagunitas beers but this one, not so much, especially for what it should be. It's not bad, but not one of their better brews. There's too much "light" not enough "ooomph".

12-30-2008 19:48:22 | More by meatyard
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.73/5  rDev +1.1%

Reviewed on 12/22/08. Bottle. Pours black with a small tan head. Aroma of roasted malt and sweet dark fruits. Flavor of apple cider, bready malts, with a sweet (fruity sweet not sugary sweet) finish. Not as roasted as a typical stout, this sort of reminds me of a doppelbock. Pretty tasty though. I often find that Lagunitas beers are either a hit or a miss, and this one was a hit!
7/4/8/4/14 (3.7/5)

12-29-2008 18:21:53 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of BeerSox


3.3/5  rDev -10.6%

22oz bomber into 20oz stemless snifter. First twist-off 22oz bottle that I can recall seeing.

Pitch black, although the shape of the glass creates some interesting areas of glowing ruby red. One finger light tan head that settles to a thin rim along the glass.

Delicate burnt malt aromas. Very light.

The roasted malts are very subtle in the flavor as well, mixed with a little bit of dark fruit. In the background is a flavor I can't quite put my finger on - slightly acerbic and reminds me of the tart flavors of a plum. Possibly something from the hops, which are otherwise unnoticed. Full bodied.

I found this Imperial Stout somewhat average along with some odd flavors. While somewhat drinkable (no acerbic flavors, over-the-top hops, or fusel alcohol) it just doesn't have the complexity or deep malt flavors I would like.

12-29-2008 02:36:41 | More by BeerSox
Photo of kirok1999


3.3/5  rDev -10.6%

Pours a decent black with a bit of garnet around the edges. Slight head quickly fades to nothing.
Smell is a bit of coffee, just a hint of chocolate malt.
Taste is very mild, just a hint of coffee and chocolate to support the smell. Slight hop presence but not enough to really identify. There's a slight metallic twang in the finish.
Very thin feel, slightly carbonated.
Lacks in anything outstanding. Not that stouts have to be outstanding in any area but being listed as a double stout, I expected a lot more.

12-28-2008 00:22:33 | More by kirok1999
Photo of xhcadamx


3.63/5  rDev -1.6%

A - Light black with ruby edges. Big tan head with decent lacing

S - a small dose of coffee with a background of hops. very interesting.

T - sweet coffee but not overwhelming. I heard this had a pepper taste but I do not detect that at all. Like a muted Cappuccino Stout.

M - Thin just like Cappuccino Stout. I like my Double/Imperial Stouts to have a bit more body

D - I would have a few more.

12-26-2008 21:08:48 | More by xhcadamx
Photo of cadenwhitaker


2.8/5  rDev -24.1%

Everyone will eventually find a decent beer that just isn't for them. This is it for me. I don't like giving this beer a bad review - but I need to so I can remember what I thought of it :P.

Hops comes through the smell, as well as dark nutty chocolate coffee. Drink is spicy, with coffee nuttyness.

Taste is, erhm, nutty, spicy, the smell comes through in the taste and there's just something in the smell I'm not digging. I think that's really what is killing the taste for me.

The ABV is fairly well hidden, 8.6%, it tastes more like 6%.

I can see why people would enjoy this beer, and I respect that, but it is just not for me.

12-24-2008 21:39:37 | More by cadenwhitaker
Photo of hopdog


3.93/5  rDev +6.5%

22oz bottle.

Poured a deeper reddish-brown color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of chocolate, toasted grains, and some white pepperiness. Tastes of chocolate, lighter coffee, some dark fruits the same lighter pepperiness, and some caramel. A littler different and interesting. Some lacing left on the glass.

12-23-2008 23:59:19 | More by hopdog
Photo of optiontwo


3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

22 oz. poured into Darkness goblet

Appearance: Pours a dark brown/red. Pretty light in color as far as imperial stouts go. In the glass it's dark brown but semi-translucent.

Smell: Lots of nut aroma (hazelnut mostly) then chocolate, brown sugar, and slight coffee.

Taste: Way more roast flavor than the smell. Bitter chocolate/coffee right off the bat with a very subtle citrus hop background but unfortunately finishes with a metallic twang.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied for the style but not bad.

Drinkability: It somehow is a bit cloying even though it's not very sweet or thick. Sipped this one but didn't feel like I had to.

Overall: To me this brew seems more like an imperial brown ale or something of the sort. In comparison to all the other imperial stouts I've tried this is definitely the lightest in body/color/flavor. It wasn't bad but I was hoping to have more of a crazy imperial stout experience from Lagunitas.

12-21-2008 20:28:09 | More by optiontwo
Photo of Murchmac


4/5  rDev +8.4%

This beer pours a nice tan head giving way to ring around the collar. Cloudy, almost murky dark brown with red highlights. Sticky icky sugars slide down the glass.

Complex deep smell of roasted coffee, chocolate, like the sweet sounds of the drifters waffing in on a cool breeze.

Sweet chocolatey taste with some brown sugar thrown in. Like a cross between a double brown ale and a full bodied porter. Unlike Cheech thought, this beer was not bigger than Ruben and the Jets.

Little thin for a double, but better than lumpy gravy. Three gold teeth and one glass eye, leave your cheap thrills on the car seat.

12-21-2008 16:05:11 | More by Murchmac
Photo of Beerman3000


4.65/5  rDev +26%

Very dark, red-black color, with a slow, but boistrous head (it overtopped my glass) - dark tan to brown in color. Mild but full, deeply-roasted malty nose. Faintly reminiscent of a Belgian Dubbel. Huge, full body. Full, slightly tart, fruity (cherry) flavor. Deeply roasted, with deep tootsie roll and chocolate tones. Very pleasant and Christmas-ey. Leaves a broad sheet of clingy lace in the glass. The label says it's a hefty 8.6% abv. Brewed in honor of the 40th anniversary of the album of the same name by Frank Zappa. Delicious and very soothing. Savory. Deeply roasted, but not harshly so. Malt predominates but there is a slight counterpoint of spicy, aromatic hops. At just $3.99 for a 22 fl. oz. bottle, this is a superb value!

12-21-2008 06:18:42 | More by Beerman3000
Photo of WesWes

New York

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
Photo of Billolick

New York

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
Photo of goodbyeohio


2.33/5  rDev -36.9%


porterish appearance, mega-lacing. smells like fortified coffee grounds and tap water. skinny body, what they call chocolate flavor comes off as a metallic, dirt-laden burnt-malt presence. no signs of peppercorns anywhere, disappointing. warmth brings an uneven sweetness, like maple syrup sweetened sanka. aftertaste on every other sip is super metallic.. iron shavings floating listlessly in a sea of decaf douwe egberts. this is the worst zappa beer that lagunitas has put out, hands down. the only thing this beer has going for it is an unnoticeable 8.6%, which i would be inclined to question. for $4, you've got to expect a stinker now and then.

12-16-2008 02:52:03 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of feloniousmonk


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...?"

End. Scene.

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
Photo of mentor


3/5  rDev -18.7%

Pours a solid finger of light brown head over a very dark mahogeny liquid. Smells mild overall. Minimal roast, sugared chocolate, and powdered milk.

Tastes roast and chocolate with anise to support and lotsa dark fruit. Piney and citrus hop with minimal rough cohumulone edge. Blackberry, as if they used Northern Brewer hops to bitter. Too sweet in the mouth, but thick fig and salt dries the finish.

Some protein thick and appropriate carbonation. Syrupy, like slightly diluted cheap chocolate ice cream syrup. A thick hangs on the tongue and upper palate in a way I'm not fond of.

12-14-2008 05:10:36 | More by mentor
Photo of Blybloke


2.4/5  rDev -35%

Purchased this bomber at Princeton's Liquors in Maple Grove, MN.

Firstly, I was quite surprised to see that this is categorized as an Double/Imperial Stout.

I had no idea of what kind of beer this was when I purchased it. The bottle doesn't say - there's just a note that it commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the Frank Zappa album (apparently entitled Ruben and the Jets).

It goes on to say it's a 'BoppaDooAyDoo Style Ale'

It poured a very dark, rich red with about a half inch of light tan head. I thought it was a bit odd to see such a color combo - tan head with a dark ruby body. The head stood for perhaps a minute and fell almost completely. Little to no lace.

Aroma was not very assertive. What I could smell was dominated by sweet, bready malts with a little nudge of coffee. Maybe some caramel too, but nothing too strong.

Taste was sweet, too sweet - not enough bitterness to balance. I found the first couple sips to be flavorful with molasses and raisins, but sweetness got pretty old, pretty fast. It was distracting.

Mouthfeel was decent - smooth from relatively low carbonation. Drinkability was low.

This seems like it wants to be an Imperial Red Ale more than an Imperial Stout. To me an Imperial Stout should be black and thick, with tons going on - this one was too red and one-dimensional imo.

12-13-2008 03:24:14 | More by Blybloke
Photo of Kegatron


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
Photo of TLove

District of Columbia

2.95/5  rDev -20.1%

This is a very fruity american double that celebrates the 40th year release of the Frank Zappa album. Picked it up at my local beer Mecca, Rodmans in DC and poured into a tall glass.

This beer had a darker, red-tinted appearance and was clearly going for a more aggressive taste and smell on the front end. It was very heavy in dark and red fruits, with a very strange balance of nut and chocolate. It was good to the smell and my roomates were huge fans of the taste, but the smell of the beer poured over to the first few gulps and the rest of the taste faded away. Further, if you held the beer in your mouth for a little, the beer was flavorless and unbalanced, which contributed to the finish and drinkability being very poor, despite its sweetness and nuttiness.

Despite the mixture of flavors with a slight bitterness and an almost unnoticeable 9% ABV, the beer was a lot like Zappa himself, exciting and aggressive on the front end, but ultimately flavorless and poorly balanced over the long run.

12-06-2008 14:20:25 | More by TLove
Cruising With Ruben & The Jets from Lagunitas Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 302 ratings.