Lagunitas Imperial Stout | Lagunitas Brewing Company

Lagunitas Imperial StoutLagunitas Imperial Stout
2,123 Ratings
Lagunitas Imperial StoutLagunitas Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.90%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
2010 8.2% abv

Added by kbub6f on 08-31-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,123 |  Reviews: 702
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aged a bit, at Volo. Black with a moderate head and significant lacing. Malty medium roasty,a bit of burnt sugar, nutty. Coffee aftertaste. On the sweeter side with toffee and sugar offset by sure bitterness. Overcarbonated, a sipper. Complex and rewarding.

 257 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of acurtis
2.5/5  rDev -34.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
5/5  rDev +30.9%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

10.14% ABV per label on bottle.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 2 inch khaki head that fades to a thin cap. Nice distinct rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark roasted malt, dark fruits, and slight coffee beans. Taste is of dark roasted malt and dark fruits. There is a bit of an alcohol taste present too. Mild roast bitterness on the palate after each sip. A lower level of carbonation makes for a smooth and creamy mouthfeel but slightly flat. Overall, this is a pretty good RIS coming from Lagunitas, especially for the price.

 578 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cask at d.b.a., Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is near black in color (some traces of amber are visible near the bottom of the glass when it is held up to the light). It poured with a thin beige head.
S: There are moderate aromas of roasted malts and alcohol in the nose.
T: The overall taste has flavors of roasted malts and raisins.
M: It feels full-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a light amount of carbonation.
O: The beer isn’t that difficult to drink because for the most part the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%

No frills, no gimmicks, no games; the highly roasted taste of imperial stout stands tall with Lagunitas' massive dark ale.

Opaque and onyx-black, the ale would likely crawl out on its own if not poured so quickly. Inky and like motor oil, the ale settles into the snifter unleashing a plethora of roasted sweetness. Molasses, dark chocolate, espresso and roasted nuttiness envelops the nose while the first taste take the senses to roasted marshmallows with its creamy and roasted sweetness.

Sweetness in tow throughout the center, the deep toffee elements support the dark-roast of coffee and bittersweet chocolate while the ale journeys from lush milkshake, through campfire burnt embers to conclude rummy and warm with peps of licorice peaking through late.

Full from start to finish, its decadent richness is sliced through with alcohol spice and thinning warmth. Its final bitterness is woodsy and as much of burnt coffee and chicory root as it is of hops. Its long coffee-like linger links up with the next sip effortlessly.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle. Heavy on the historical Russian references, but funny all the same.

This beer pours a clear deep, dark brown hue, with pervasive cola highlights (it's actually the exact same colour as my girlfriend's glass of Coke, when not in the light), with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy beige head, which melts away at a fairly loping pace, leaving some decent layered cloud lace around the glass.

It smells of gritty medium dark powdered chocolate, besotted black fruit - prunes and raisins, mostly - molasses, roasted caramel malt, and a bit of day-old coffee. The taste is sweet, lightly toasted caramel malt, chocolate pudding, sour cherry, well sugared coffee, some mildly bitter earthy, leafy hops, and a slight warming alcohol astringency.

The carbonation is moderate, not too big, not too small, the body a decent medium-heavy weight, and generally smooth, but for a wee boozy interloper. It finishes pretty sweet, with the overall toasted, slightly smoky character saving the day.

I do quite enjoy Lagunitas' version of the style, as it is more laid back, and drinkable than many of its colleagues (but still nice and warming). I poured the last third of the bomber into my slowly simmering Irish stew, and expect that it will have a similar positive effect on tomorrow's holiday (in my mind, anyway) dinner party.

 1,338 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 5 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Guinness goblet in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Served refrigerator cold. This is the 2011 version, which is 10.14% ABV, 72.45 IBU, and with a 1.092 original gravity. No bottling date is listed. Purchased at Wally's Wine in Westwood, California. I'm excited to try this because of the style, and expectations are high.

A: Pours a half finger head of nice mild tan colour, okay cream (it's present at least), and pretty good thickness. Retention is maybe two minutes, about average for 10.14%. Colour is a solid black. Everything here is typical and as it should be for the style. There's nothing special or unique, but it doesn't alert me.

Sm: Leather, chocolate, vanilla, rich caramel, and toffee. Some cream. A mild strength aroma. It's appealing, and suits the style. Nothing stands out.

T: The rich leather/chocolate notes are nicely tamed by the subtly handled caramel on the climax, a pleasant effect. The cream is buried but helpful. I'm quite pleased with how balanced the chocolate is. It never feels too rich or too heavy. It's layered and fairly complex without compromising its balance. That said, there's nothing bold or experimental to separate this from the slew of other imperial stouts. I wish it were unique in some way, but I do find it enjoyable.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with enough coarseness to coax out the flavours initially but not enough to sustain them. Fortunately, it's not too heavy on the palate but it still is able to support the flavours. I'd like more cream and dryness; I'm tired of imperial stouts drinking like they're porters. I don't suspect oats were used for smoothness as it isn't silky. All in all, it gets the job done.

Dr: An enjoyable, drinkable imperial stout that hides its 10.14% ABV very well, this will satisfy fans of the style but won't impress. Worth trying for Lagunitas lovers and those who can't get enough imperial stouts. It's a nice little beer and I'd try it on nitro-draught/draught if I found it, but I'll be passing it over on store shelves for something with a bit more flavour. I look forward to trying more beers from this brewery, and while this is a good beer to try once, I wouldn't go out of my way recommend it to friends - especially with so many superior Imperial Stouts on the market. I will say the availability of this one is a plus, but such factors don't affect my ratings.

Would pair well with chocolate.

I found no issues serving it straight from the refrigerator, and didn't notice that it got better when warming up. It drank just fine from my Guinness goblet.


07/17/17: I couldn't resist buying this again at a Brooklyn Bodega for $4.50 USD per bomber, an oddly good price by local standards.

9.90% ABV. OG 1.092. 72.45 IBU.

Pours a long-lasting khaki-tan head atop an opaque black body in my nonic pint. Creamy soft head consistency. Could be better, but I'm impressed by the 8+ minute retention and it appears to be well within style conventions.

Aroma suggests a creamy beer with a Whoppers-like malted milk balls flavour in addition to the usual dark malt and specialty chocolate malt induced sweetness. Hints of dark fruit (even grape) as well, but no sources of bitterness are detectable (e.g. roasted barley, coffee, charred/burnt sugars, etc.) to its detriment. Mild aromatic intensity.

Texture is chewy and syrupy and the malted milk balls emphasis isn't great. Generic dark malt sweetness helps lend some complexity, but it's still a dreadfully simple brew and tastes more like a Caribbean export stout (think Lion) than an imperial stout proper. Still, its ABV is surprisingly well concealed. Roasted barely is sorely absent.

Smooth, wet, thick, unrefreshing,

Overall, it's a subpar expression of an imperial stout, failing to measure up to other similarly widely distributed examples like Victory's Storm King, Great Divide's Yeti, or North Coast's Old Rasputin. Lagunitas' hoppy ales are consistently good, but it seems their stouts aren't quite on the same level. A no frills imperial stout without much to offer the discerning drinker. Would make a decent entry into the style for casual drinkers unfamiliar with it, and it's not a bad brew for $4.50 a bomber, but by and large it leaves a lot to be desired.


 4,349 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of brentk56
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a relatively dark brown color with a tan head that doesn't hang around very long nor provide much lacing

Smell: Dark chocolate covered raisins, with a touch of molasses

Taste: Starts out with a fairly distinct chocolate flavor that grows slightly more complex, mid-palate with some prune making an appearance; after the swallow, the fruity flavors stick around and develop a nutty aspect; somewhat vinous on the finish

Mouthfeel: Way too thin for a RIS; medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A reasonably tasty stout that falls short of the RIS category; a bit more like a Baltic Porter than a stout, frankly

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of zeff80
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a jet black color with a small, caramel-colored head that left a little lacing.

S - It smelled of caramel and strong roasted malt. Also, some hops and chocolate aromas.

T - It had a bold roasted malt taste. Slightly bitter. The chocolate flavor increased in intensity as the beer warmed up.

M - It was soft and creamy with a warm alcohol presence.

D -This is a flavorful RIS and very affordable.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a medium black color stout with a nice off-white foamy head with good retention. Aroma of coffee is dominating with some roasted malt also noticeable. Taste is a nice mix between some coffee and black chocolate from roasted malt with light vinous notes and dry raisin appearing as the beer warms. Body is a bit thin but has a creamy texture which I appreciate. Not bad overall and akin to a session imperial stout if such a thing can exist.

 455 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

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Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 2,123 ratings
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