Lagunitas Brewing Company

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American Black Ale
Ranked #21
Ranked #2,863
4.12 | pDev: 9.71%
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
Notes: Kinda like Daytime's big, dark and scary sidekick, this ale is packed full of highly roasted malts then bitterly balanced with fistfuls of the dankest hops. Not for the lunch crowd or the faint of heart.
Reviews: 376 | Ratings: 2,661 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
2/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Unknown vintage; drank 4/4/15 @ the Yarchives.

Dark brown appearance with khaki flotsam.

HUGE dark tan head (careful pouring!); frothy, tree-rung lace.

Pickle, smoke & orange citrus nose; odd & unappealing.

Medium mouthfeel.

Pickle, acrid smoke & creamed coffee flavors up front; faint orange juice finish.

Simply terrible.

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GuyFawkes from Illinois, May 29, 2019
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. No dating information found.
Dark brown colored body, with reddish back lit highlights. Two fingers of light tan head, settles down to a pillowy cap. Leaves behind some small webs of lacing.
Aroma of roasted malts and flowery hops.
Taste of roasted malts (coffee and chocolate), with floral hops and a touch of citrus.
Medium plus mouthfeel. Initially smooth and then turns to drying bitterness. Very good carbonation.
Reminds me of a hopped up cola with a drying finish.

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Photo of puck1225
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love hoppy black ales and this is a favorite. Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass. Rich dark brown color with a nice beige head and good lacing. Citrus smell with a bit of smokiness. Pleasant roasted malt taste over a fruity citrus and chocolate base. Nice smooth, rich feel, great beer!

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Photo of BrodyGaston
3.79/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I felt this one growing on me as I drank it. I noticed others commenting on how there is both coffee/chocolate, but also citrus. I agree - I taste both, and it somehow works. I've noticed that high ABV often goes unnoticed with darker beers like this. The ABV here seems perfect. Very worth the price of under $3 for a pint&6oz. bottle. I've tended towards lighter beers lately, but this one has me wanting to try more porters or stouts.

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BrodyGaston from California, Apr 29, 2018
Photo of TheBrewsky
3.66/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Error 404: Bottling date not found.

Look: Dark brown near black in color. Prominent tan head formed from vigorous pour, with generous amounts of lacing.

Smell: Not much going on smell wise. I get a little roasted malts, and a citrus aroma, like grapefruit and orange. Again, really muted smell wise.

Taste: Really strange, but it somehow works. Orange and grapefruit are present flavorwise, but so is coffee and chocolate. Citrus fruit is upfront, but the finish is completely different with a a sweet chocolate/coffee finish. Can't say that I've had anything like this.

Feel: Light to medium in body, flirting towards the light side. Somewhat watery in texture, with moderate carbonation. Still a relatively easy drinking brew.

Overall: Never thought I would have a beer that encompasses chocolate, citrus fruits, and some coffee all in one. Although it does work and blend well, this isn't something I would want to frequently have. I am thankful to have tried it, and I would recommend to those interested. Cheers!

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TheBrewsky from California, Apr 06, 2018
Photo of wejohnsn
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

yummy dark grapefruit, IPA and stout! i love it!!very dark with tan foam and brown swirls. this is a very uniqe brew like none I have tasted before. This is highly recomended

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Photo of Tone
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, alcohol, yeast, slight roasted malt, dark citrus, esters, slight citrus hops, and a hint of wood. Fits the style of an American Black Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level and elevated dryness. Tastes of sweet malt, alcohol, yeast, strong esters, wood, dark citrus, and a hint of roasted malt. Overall, great appearance, complexity, and feel, but body is dominate by esters and overly sweet.

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Tone from Missouri, Feb 23, 2018
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A dark, perfect shade of coffee with a sliver of almond head.

On the nose I get a lot of caramel and chocolate, with some fresh oranges and coffee beans.

The flavor starts off with fresh oranges, followed by a hint of resin, and then a nice presence of chocolate and espresso. The latter notes are overshadowed by the former ones UNLESS you're paying attention, and only then does the chocolate start to creep up to a similar level.

Feel is extremely carbonated. Prickly pricklies all the way through. A roasty, resiny finish completes the profile. Also, side note certain beers give me instant headache, this is one of them.

Overall a pretty drinkable Black IPA even if Lagunitas overall is way overrated. Somehow I have a feeling that this odd balance was not on purpose as all Lagunitas can seem to do is stick to one IPA recipe and re-brand it for everything. It's noteworthy that I do find it kind of hard to finish as it warms. Many other better beers out there, but this one isn't a total nose dive.

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The-Adjunct-Hippie from South Dakota, Feb 16, 2018
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Das Biergarten. Black with a big creamy head. Smells of grapefruit and some roasty malt. Tastes of grapefruit, pine, chocolate, and roasted malt, in that order. Some sweet caramel and chocolate malts. Bitter back end. Lots of bitterness, really. Medium heavy. Good, but a little sweet.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$ 5.00 (Including tax)/22 oz bottle ($ 0.227/oz) at Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA.
Undated bomber. Stored in a 42 degree reefer and served at 45 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 4.25.
Body – Dark brown/black, opaque, effervescent.
Head – Average (Maximum 3.5 cm, aggressive pour), tan, low density, good retention time, diminishing to a frothy five to seven mm ring fed at multiple sites by effervescence. The layer is complete and rocky. Rings of thick lacing remain as the head retracts.
Lacing – Good. Narrow complete rings of tiny to small bubbles, connected to the previous rings by narrow columns.
Pour – Brown and clear.
Aroma – 4 - Light aroma of earthy hops with some spice. Weakens but lasts.
Flavor – 3.75 - Begins with a touch of malt sweetness and flavor instantly overtaken by a bitter grapefruit flavor. The bitterness remains as the aftertaste. No alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate – 4 - Medium, almost creamy, lively carbonation.
Impression and summation – 4 – A nice looking and smelling brew with a good mouthfeel. Unfortunately, the flavor is a slight let down with the bitterness too much to the forefront. Careful examination of the glass and label failed to reveal any dating. At least the price point is excellent.

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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania, Jan 13, 2018
Photo of KingTen144
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with a caramel-colored head. Pleasant hoppy smell. Taste is solid, but not spectacular. Good amount of bitterness, with some of the undertones becoming more apparent as the beer warms. Overall a very good IPA.

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KingTen144 from Illinois, Dec 30, 2017
Photo of mpyle
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very dark brown with garnet highlights. Big pale tan head, creamy and lingering

Bit of pine and pineapple/grapefruit hop aromas.

Hints of dark malt flavor, some chocolate but not much roast. Big hop flavor with grapefruit. Soft bitterness into the finish that continues the hop flavor

Med-full body, med carbonation. No astringency, just a bit of warming.

A pleasant big dark beer. Lots of hop aroma and flavor, but not overpoweringly bitter. Malt provides some sweetness and balance.

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mpyle from Maryland, Dec 24, 2017
Photo of HorseheadsHophead
3.79/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The appearance is pitch black with a small off white head. Moderate retention, and some spotty lacing.
The aroma is restrained but offers grapefruit, pine, earth, dankness, cacao and bitter dark chocolate, burnt toast, and some vanilla.
The taste follows with some grapefruit upfront, followed by pine, earth, and a big cacao, bitter dark chocolate presence. You get some roasted malts, burnt toast, and black coffee momentarily, followed by a touch more pine and then some lingering grapefruit peel bitterness.
The mouthfeel is medium and moderately carbonated, slightly bitter and just slightly dry on the finish, hiding the abv well.

Overall, a solid black IPA. Not as impressive as I remember, but still decent.

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Photo of smutty33
3.69/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Just purchased and opened. Didn't know it was 3 months old, bottled 9/11/17. I'm sure this brew is better fresh and hoppy. Right now, malts are flexing their muscles a bit too much for me. I need those hops pungent and upfront! Will update score when trying fresher bottle.

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smutty33 from Connecticut, Dec 14, 2017
Photo of GWalk612
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

excellent dark ale with a lot of beef jerky flavor/smell. really a cool beer. pours as black as your typical imperial stout but with totally different flavor profiles. really like this beer, very unique and impressive.

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GWalk612 from New York, Dec 12, 2017
Photo of dave_ackbar
3.74/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I have to agree with a previous rated, lagunitas all have the same flavor profile, with a little bit of nuance in each brew. While they all may taste similar, it’s a very good taste.
For this particular brew....
Look is darky almost reddish porter. Nice head that sticks to the side of the glass.
Smell is hoppy with hints of smoke.
Taste is light a nice hoppy ale, bitter but finishes smooth.
Feel is like a very good ale you would get in a daily lit pub.
Overall a decent beer, with that familiar lagunitas taste.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

One of the more interesting and complex beers I’ve had recently. Feels like a true hybrid between IPA and Stout/Porter.
It pours a pitch black color with a modest head that soon dissipates. It leaves a thin ring as well as some lacing.
In the nose it feels like a typical stout/ porter at first. Hints of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee and cream. Then, a wave of hop aromas that combine citrus with a big whiff of pine resin, grass and peppermint.
Likewise, the flavors consist of a unique interplay between roasted malt, raw cocoa and espresso beans with citrus rind, grass and pine needle. What is even more unique is a minty and menthol like flavor that refreshes the mouth and cleanses the palate.
Medium to full bodied with an
uktra smooth and soft mouthfeel. The carbonation is gentle, the texture creamy and the finish semi dry. Nice balance between sweet, roasty and hoppy. As mentioned earlier, an interesting hybrid of styles.

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Gajo74 from New York, Nov 12, 2017
Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Every beer from Lagunitas tastes the same. Well, at least in terms of hop profile - dank, grassy scent with an oily citrus rind flavor. Definitely not unpleasant, but it reminds me of the chewy "hop soup" taste of every New Belgium IPA ever. The malts on this beer, though, blend that profile with the taste of wheat cereal and burnt toast, which is an interesting mix. Drinkable for the ABV, this one finishes dry, lingering like a West Coast IPA with less annoyingly-sweet malts. In all, this is a black ale I don't think I would come back to, but it's a good representation of the style: great hop presence meets a tasty dark malt bill. The fact that I got a bomber of this for $5, though, is one of the main reasons I'm happy about Lagunitas pumping out the same beer over and over in slightly different forms. Plus, that "base formula," so to speak, is pretty damn good to start with. Cheers!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lagunitas Brewing Company "Night Time"
22 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, coded "270 7 2 2288 0753"
$4.99 @ Roger Wilco, Pennsauken, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: It says this is a limited release but I don't know exactly what that means, is this just a seasonal? And why is the dog on the label wearing sunglasses? ;) So, OK, it pours an almost completely opaque black-brown body beneath a finger-thick head of creamy tan foam. Only a thin strip of mahogany can be seen along the bottom of the glass. The aroma is a little bit chocolatey, nutty, apple-y, citrusy (mainly orange), lightly berryish, and perhaps slightly coffee-ish in the background. The flavor follows, and there is just a slight touch of black coffee to it. It's also slightly acidic, just slightly, like coffee, and probably from dark malts. It's kind of like a porter but not that chocolatey, and maybe more like a dark Belgian in the malt bill, but also because there's a lot of berry flavor going on, blackberry and raspberry. It's interesting, it's dark but it doesn't taste dark. However this is much smoother than most of the black IPAs I've had, or Cascadian dark ales, whatever you want to call them. And there's no pine! I've always felt the pine and dark acidity didn't mix well, but this has dark berry notes that fit right in. So what is this though? It doesn't say it's an IPA and it doesn't seem that bitter - whoah! It's listed at 74 IBUs, that's pretty strong and it doesn't seem like that to me. Nor does it seem like there's that much malt to balance that amount of bitterness. Interesting again!!! With this strength (8.2% abv) and bitterness I don't see any reason you wouldn't call it a dark or black IPA. So I've drank about 10 oz. now and I still have a solid creamy surface covering, and the lacing about the glass is much better than average with a lot of thin splashes and spots remaining over solid sheets of lace with rings in them from each sip I've recently taken. I'll score it a 4.25. In the mouth it's medium bodied and gently crisp, suggesting a lower carbonation level, and when I tilt my glass I can see very fine bubbles rising together to form that creamy head that it's got. It's a soft carbonation and that helps to display the malt while downplaying the bitterness. So what did I miss? I'm not sure. Look... smell... taste... feel... I guess that's it except for the overall which I kind of hit on. There's something special about the malt in that it's so dark but so soft, and so very rounded - there are no harsh edges. Then, the hops, and perhaps the fermentation, give it some light citrus but mainly the berry-like notes that liven it and complement the malt. And the alcohol never shows, although it does have some presence, almost like the wide-open sky over an open field of grain. And although it's very focused, there are also some other outside factors that sneak in, just like the alcohol. There's just a little bit of smoky roastiness to it after you've had some and it's built on the palate, and that gives it complexity. Overall it's very nice. It's one of - no, correction - it's THE most rounded and balanced black IPA/ale/Cascadian ale that I've ever had, and the hops are certainly the most unique that I've experienced as well. Once again - and I said this last time I reviewed a Lagunitas beer - Lagunitas has done it again. Absolutely worth trying.

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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania, Nov 06, 2017
Photo of rarigney
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very dark brown with a creamy tan head that lingers a while and leaves excellent lacing. Aroma is floral hops and slightly sweet. The taste combines the floral notes with a taste of dark roasts, malt or coffee. Finish is slightly bitter with a dark roast aftertaste. Body is medium and smooth, not quite creamy. No hint of the high ABV.

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rarigney from Washington, Nov 04, 2017
Photo of Ob512316
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz poured into glass.
This beer is black with a thick tan head. The smell conists of floral and tropical notes.
The tastes conists of floral noters followed by coffee, and dark chocolate. This beer feels medium bodied. Overall this beer, is the best of both worlds. Perfect example of a black IPA.

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Ob512316 from Pennsylvania, Oct 29, 2017
Photo of VABA
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-A nice dark color with a slight tan head and nice lacing.
S-A scent of dank hops, roasted malts and coffee.
T-The taste follows the smell, with nice reminders of mocha.
M-A medium bodied black IPA that is very smooth and easy on the palate.
O-A very nice balanced beer, with good character.

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VABA from Virginia, Oct 08, 2017
Photo of andrewh995
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark black with a tan head. Smells of dank hops, roasted malts, and coffee. Tastes of coffee, slightly bitter hops, roasted malts, and light chocolate. Overall by far one of the most well balanced black IPAs I’ve had.

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andrewh995 from Arizona, Oct 08, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance had a nice jet black color with a fairly decent one finger off white to slight tan foamy head that lasted for about a minute before it dissipated. Once it did, there were some light spider web lacings all around. The smell had a really nice bitter citrus up front with a fairly decent bitter coffee doing the best it can to back it up. The taste was mainly sweet but carried a tad of bitterness to impart a slight invasive and inviting real coffee flavored black IPA. On the palate, this one sat right at a medium on the body. I say this was good for the style and actually it came across fairly smooth and not as sharp as expected. Overall, very good black IPA, willing to have again.

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Photo of scream
3.3/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Having this tonight and it is OK. It just has nothing going that excites me. Would I drink it again probably, but I doubt I would go out of my way to get it.

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scream from Wisconsin, Apr 22, 2017
NightTime from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 2661 ratings