Lagunitas Brewing Company

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
Ranked #20
Ranked #3,268
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
Reviews by jlindros:
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Had this since spring but couldn't find a good time to crack it. Finally a cold rainy nasty day... well night.

Porus a darker colored creamy frothy 1 finger head that fades pretty slowly, decent lined lacing, nice frothy head and lacing, super dark beer with a bit of murky brown light sneaking through.

Nose is very strong, aromates the room, yes that's a new word... big hops, not as spicy piney as I expected though, more floral and fruity, some orange peel citrus, little tangerine even, mild earthy piney notes that are more background, and touches of a tropical fruit note. Then into dark malts, a little roast and cocoa, fluffy nougat, little caramel, some nice candy bar notes, and a little chocolate covered orange. The aromas clash a bit but blend better than I expected for this style. Just a touch of booze.

Taste starts with creamy malts, rich dark malts that quickly flash into booze, strong alcoholic and slight phenolic booze, much stronger than I expected. getting through that I get into hops again, lots of floral grassy hops out front, but then into a big bitter pithy rindy, a little citrus note but big spicy bitterness like I bit into orange rind covered in spicy hop pellets. Super bitterness cuts in, astringent and mouth numbing bitterness, I guess which is why I should fear the dark? The smooth creamy malts come back with a creamy and fluffy nougat, a little cocoa and roast, bitter acrid roast with the super bitter astringent hops bring this no-mans-land feel in my mouth. Finish brings more orange, big orange peel and zest, with some phenolic booze again, quite bitter but doesn't smash the mouth with bitterness as I expected, it's actually a bit less bitter than the back end of the taste, and a little sticky dark malt lingering.

Mouth is a bit thin feeling despite a bit creamy and fluffy, it's weird, although quite a bit of carbonation, perhaps too much it's a bit distracting, and phenolic warming booze.

Overall mixed bag and kinda meh, hard to drink this for sure, between the huge bitterness of the astringent rindy hops and the acrid roasted malt (which isn't very strong but it's there), and the phenolic booze kick in the pants, and the thin feel, those unhappy flavors way outnumber the decent ones. Nose was pretty nice though.

Aug 14, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of Bisco42
Bisco42 from Ohio

4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is delicious. I'm not incredibly familiar with black ales, but if this is any testament to what they can bring taste wise, than I will have to begin going on the hunt for more of them. Poured into a snifter that had been chilled. Bottled on 2015/01/21

L - Dark, jet black. A solid 2.5 finger head that is to color of milk chocolate, subsides gradually and the lacing is covering the entire glass. The big bubbles that reside on the middle-outside collect while tiny foam compiles towars the center. Interesting

S - The smell is so fresh, so clean. Almost like a smokey IPA with bits of bacon and firewood. This is basically the smell that would blend in with clothes that you have worn after a camping trip, mixed with fresh hops. Delicious.

T - Wow. Not what I expected at all. With this kind of color paired with the smell, it's like a smokey IPA that has a burnt taste. The burnt is good though, delicious in it's own unique way. Very unique.

F - Carbonated, but collects on the back of the tongue desiring more to wash it down. I enjoyed it.

O - I will absolutely pick up another 6er for $10.99 and look forward to the next time this is released!

Feb 11, 2015
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton from Indiana

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!

Nov 08, 2017
Photo of El_Farto_Magico
El_Farto_Magico from Kentucky

4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nice smokey flavor. Would sleep with this beer if I could. Instead I drink it, like the dirty whore it is.

Mar 25, 2015
Photo of TheBrewsky
TheBrewsky from California

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!

Apr 06, 2018
Photo of rdoggg
rdoggg from Pennsylvania

4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a goblet.

Pours jet black/"nighttime". Good head retention and lacing.

Very strong piney, hoppy aroma. Also, hints of smoke.

Hop flavors pronounced up front followed by roasted malt and subtle smoke. Slight bitterness on finish. The flavors really pop as is it warms!

Overall a great representation of style. Hops and roasted malt that get better with each sip. The smokiness sets it apart from other black IPAs, but I think it gets in the way of the great hops and roasted malt. Still a great beer and worth enjoying!

Mar 16, 2015
Photo of damndirtyape
damndirtyape from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, looks like from this year. Served in a milkshake pilsner glass.

Appearance: Mostly black, with some very dark ruby red tints when held up to the light. Nicely persistent 1/16" tan head with fine strands and big sheets of lacing noted. Nice looking beer.

Smell: An enticing blend of burnt sugars, dark fruits, bready malts, and citrus hops.

Taste: Very similar to the aroma - well blended sweetness and bitterness. I can taste caramel, toffee, burnt sugars, sweet bready pastry, bitter fruits, pine and citrus hops. The term hop fudge or a hop danish comes to mind.

Mouthfeel: Just right carbonation, smooth, nicely thick. Definitely sticky.

Overall / Drinkability: A very well done beer. Not a hop bomb, but very hoppy and perfectly balanced with an equal level of malt. The bitter and sweet flavors have their own presence and distinctive tastes, and I definitely get best of all those roasted malts and hops which is typical of a ABA. A pleasant slow sipper and I will finish off the whole bottle slowly over the course of an evening, and I know I'll be done. Well done Lagunitas - well done.

Jun 13, 2015
Photo of katybee
katybee from Oregon

3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A black IPA? Is that an oxymoron? Nope, this is one tasty beer. Straight to the flavor, without the yeasty maltyness of stout.

Pours darkest brown, with slight translucence. Quickly dissipating but creamy taupe head.
Aroma is perhaps slightly metallic, but mostly hoppy.
Pungent citrus/pine character, similar to HopCzar. A bitter, bitey, creamy blend, without the more biscuity character of stouts and porters. Perhaps slightly sweet, but with no real fruity or coffee notes at all. Mostly citrusy. Perhaps more flavor than would pair with certain food items.
Slightly smooth and chewy.

Highly palatable. Packs a punch.

Dec 01, 2016
Photo of KomodoDragon
KomodoDragon from Virginia

4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Black, but not pitch black, choppy tan head with plenty of lacing. Rich smells of earthy pines, nuts and dark fruits. Taste follows smells, flavors of raisin with a sweet lingering nutty finish. On the sweet bubbly side, some roastiness, but nothing dense, it stays light thoughout. Dangerously drinkable.with enough head stuck to the glass to have it for tomorrow's lunch.

I would consider it to be a black IPA, regardless very enjoyable

Apr 03, 2015
Photo of wejohnsn
wejohnsn from Texas

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

Feb 24, 2018
Photo of secondtooth
secondtooth from Indiana

4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Deep black with minimal ruby highlights. I get a thick, frothy head of tan bubbles, and gorgeous, detailed, frilly lacing. Superlative!

Aroma: Delicious hops — floral, pine and tropical fruit galore. A bouquet of hop manna!

Taste: Rich and decadent melding of roasty malts and twangy bittering hops. The pair duke it out on the palate, with neither coming out ahead. Operative word here is balanced. Tons of flavor from both sides, with chocolatey malt goodness mixing it up with lovely hoppiness. This heavy brew (at 7.9%) is so easy to drink, I could easily enjoy another right away. Delicious? You bet. A real winner here from Lagunitas.

Feb 28, 2015
Photo of Snaefridur
Snaefridur from Pennsylvania

2.75/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I just tried this for the first time tonight, and while I had high-hopes for this brew, I did not experience the complex taste that other reviewers mentioned; I even wondered if I got a bad bottle.
This tasted like straight-up grapefruit juice. I didn't note any of the toffee/espresso/earthy elements mentioned by others who have recommended this. If you gave this to a blind-folded person and told them it was a grapefruit soda, I think they'd believe you. This isn't what I had in mind for a dark brew. My mother could drink this.

That said, if you like fruity, hoppy brews, this is probably a good one. At 7.9% ABV, it's really strong compared to what it tastes like.

Feb 17, 2015
Photo of dudeman
dudeman from California

4.69/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Served in taster and later from growler into mug. 8.2% ABV; 62 IBU
It pours dark with tame head - not black as a stout or porter but not a brown ale either. Looks ah-ight.
The smell is incredible with burnt pineapple, over-ripe mango, and cotton candy.
I could inhale this all day er, night. Ends with a little biscuity whiff.

The taste is sweet then dry then bitter with lingering spiciness and tongue tingling.

You might not guess its a black IPA from the taste ifyou didn't see it first - but then at the end there is a bit of a nice cocoa malt flavor at the end.

Its very smooth with small bubbles mingling with the bitter malty spiciness.

As close to waldo as you'll get in a bottle.

Apr 28, 2014
Photo of fscottkey
fscottkey from New York

3.61/5  rDev -12.4%

A: [3.00] Dark color (like Coke when poured). Also pours a head similar to Coke. Large bubbles in the 2+ finger head. The head is khaki colored. The head recedes slowly leaving patchy lacing. The bottle has a born on date (Julian date = May 14)

S: [3.75] Really nice smell. Has the smell of fruits. I want to say tropical fruits but my eyes say dark fruits and my nose says tropical fruits.

T: [3.75] Slightly bitter on the front. Moves through some tropical flavors and sweetness and finishes with a sweet coffee taste.

M: [3.25] Slightly dry and tight. There is no biting in the carbonation it is the right level.

O: [3.50] This is a 8.2% beer but there is no taste or sense of alcohol. The 65 IBUs gives a little bitter on the tip of the tongue - but doesn't make the beer harsh. The smell and taste are nice. This is not just a dark colored IPA. There are some stout-esque characters on the finish like the hint of sweet coffee.

Aug 18, 2014
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

only loosely a black ipa, this beer is awesome, and the abv to price ratio could not be more favorable! dark brown pour, a little haze, but not super dark or thick. thin tan head rests on top. the smell is intriguing here, the hops are very tropical, mosaic or something, new zealand style fruitiness to it, not a whole lot of bitter. the grain is interesting too, medium roast, chocolate, and a touch of smoke to it. the flavor is the opposite of the norm. instead of being in the finish, the hops are all in the front end. definitely a bright fruity galaxy type thing going on, zesty and super intense, but they fade into a grainy finish thats a mix of char and smoke, honestly tastes like good beef jerky that spent all kinds of time on the smoker. its meaty for sure, just very cool order of tastes to this beer. fuller bodied but the alcohol is well hidden, a bomber is a big dose of this. carbonation is a little soft for me, just a tad underdone and giving a little heaviness to this, but its well named, this will put you to bed. love the hint of smoke and the big juicy hops all up front, very unique.

May 26, 2014
Photo of Ob1wan
Ob1wan from Wisconsin

4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sorta Sucks, but dark. Need to find more.

Feb 20, 2015
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

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.

Nov 06, 2017
Photo of AtrumAnimus
AtrumAnimus from Texas

5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one pours a midnight black that is darker than the soul of Satan himself. The name is a perfect description as this one is nighttime in a bottle with a very tan head that is very thick, luxurious and settles to slowly to wait.

The nose is rich and smokey malt with earthy hoppy notes that bend nicely with the caramel, coffee, pine and wet grass.

The taste is matching the the look and nose perfectly. The palate is malty with strong caramel flavors that are perfectly blended with the strong bitter hops that pounce the palate immediately after the sweet dark chocolate dominated malt. The coffee notes are blended with earthy and caramel notes and the pine and grass of the hops.

The mouthfeel is super rich and works exceptionally well at delivering the hop experience to the palate.

Overall this is a damned fine beer and a massive experience of flavors, nose and mouthfeel that combine to be greater than the sum. I cannot recommend this one highly enough. It is a superb beer and one that everyone should experience. I will absolutely be drinking this one again.

Oct 25, 2014
Photo of Nigelzane

3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Holding a bottle in my hand right now. Abv clearly states 7.9%. Not the 8.2 as advertised. For the taste and body I was hoping for more alcohol. Alas, it will pass

May 29, 2015
Photo of showme-beer20
showme-beer20 from Missouri

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good dark ale. Complicated flavors yet smooth.

Feb 24, 2015
Photo of Metal_N_Brew
Metal_N_Brew from Utah

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

Black as night; Off White, creamy and toasted looking head.

Smells of orange and grapefruit, slight hint of chocolate.

Hop forward, aggressive, but not too aggressive. Orange and grapefruit bear the most flavor, with a hint of mint strangely at the end. Very slight hint of chocolate -maybe- after second drink.

Feels very creamy in the mouth, with the hops bitterly spraying your taste buds. It is literally Yin and Yang in beer form.

Great beer, but I feel that Dubhe takes the competition by storm, as I feel Dubhe has more complexities, character and flavor to it.

Mar 11, 2015
Photo of Soto
Soto from North Carolina

4/5  rDev -2.9%

Aug 22, 2014
Photo of BradMacMullin
BradMacMullin from Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Good stuff. Had at 5 Horses after EBF.

Mar 21, 2015
Photo of acurtis
acurtis from New Jersey

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

Apr 26, 2016
Photo of pheelingIt
pheelingIt from Tennessee

4/5  rDev -2.9%

Jul 11, 2014
NightTime from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 2661 ratings