Lagunitas Imperial Stout | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 692 | Ratings: 2,084
Photo of McBraniel
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours as dark as you're expecting with a good head. Smells like you're expecting as well, but tastes much (much) better than its current average score on BA would lead you to believe. This is a great Russian Imperial Stout, and is wonderfully easy to drink.

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Photo of beerbellydaddy
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stout pours dark like a fine coffee and provides a big bold head that leaves considerable lacing as it subsides. It has a full, smooth, creamy texture, and a taste that is a subtle mix of cocoa and coffee with velvety malts and a little pop of hops at the back end of each mouthful. The 9.9 ABV is entirely masked by the smooth easy flavor so its a real creeper. I'm a fan of this one.

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Photo of latercol
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this in a 22 oz bottle at the local grocery store.

I poured this into a snifter. It is super dark brown and had to watch my pour to keep the head under control. The head rose quickly but also fell quickly. I need a bigger snifter as well, I filled it to the brim. Overall a nice appearance, could be more lacing.

Smell is wonderful with caramel and some fruity tones. There were no unpleasant qualities with the smell. The waft of alcohol was nice too. The smell gets better and stronger as the brew warms up. Could be stronger. I would have given a 5 if it was a little more "in your face".

Great taste. Caramel and fruits again. Not too sweet though. It was just right. The alcohol content is just right too. Nice warming effect.

Mouth feel is also excellent. Super smooth, super creamy and the carbonation feels nice. This has a medium heavy feel to it. Just what I was in the mood for.

I could drink several of these. They taste great and go down really easily.

Overall I really like this beer. It is near perfect other than the head problems I had. It may have been my own fault for trying to pour all 22 ounces into a snifter that was not meant for that. Other than that, this beer is on my A list.

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Photo of longbongsilver
4.46/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

After a long time of the nearest decent package store being an hour away, I found this not too far from here. The magic words "Stout" & "8.20%" prompted me to grab a bottle.

Appearance: dark brown with a lot of head when poured, gradually turns pretty much black. Exactly what I expected.

Smell: hints of chocolate-like scent, some coffee-ish tones too. I kinda like ANY smell to good beer, so take w/ a grain of salt.

Taste: slightly hoppy at the beginning, overall creamy & surprisingly smooth. Doesn't taste like 8.20% at all. The malt hits the back of your tongue.

Mouthfeel: very little carbonation, light but w/ character.

Drinkability: A strong stout being this smooth is just nuts. I'd put it as "you can chug it, but you wouldn't want to". I savored it just because.

I will be stocking up, oh yes...

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Photo of Crackblind
4.46/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22 ouncer poured into a chalice (that's what you get when watching GOT while drinking this). Phenomenally balanced imperial stout! The bitterness is just the right amount to work with the roastiness (not a word but can't think of another way to describe it) and sweetness. Really a great example of the style. And you can't complain about the price point. Once again, Lagunitas hits one out of the ballpark.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.44/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black pour with tan foam. Copious lace from top of SAPP to bottom. Chocolate malt and a whiff of hops; more raisin/hop aroma as it warms. Dark chocolate with a little hop interplay at first; stone fruits (cherry and plum) follow. Rich, velvety mouthfeel. Excellent big stout - alcohol is completely hidden. Very tasty.

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Photo of zac16125
4.44/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a wine glass
Vintage 2015

A: Opaque jet black, juge 3+ fingers width of mocha colored head which dissipates very slowly and leaves lots of lacing. 4.75

S: Very roast, dark fruits, leather/tobacco, cocoa. Great balance of sweet and roasty. Wonderful nose. 4.5

T: Bittersweet cocoa, roasted malt, char. Pretty significant sweetness with a sugary/syrup-type character. Like the aroma its a great balance of sweet and toasty-char. 4.25

M/D: Very smooth, full bodied but not thick, carbonation appropriately low, ABV is very well masked and drinkability is great. 4.75

O: Honest to god, don’t think I’ve ever had a beer from Lagunitas that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy. This is no different. An excellent non-BA, non-adjunct stout. I will definitely drink this one again. This beer is killer, no clue why the ratings aren't higher. 4.5

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Photo of Lemke10
4.44/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a very dark brown color with an average chocolate brown colored head. There are lots of robust scents in the aroma mixed with caramel, vanilla, and coffee. The taste is silky smooth and robust. It is not overpowering by any means yet delivers a full flavor taste. There is a very complex taste of malts, grains, and extracts. Not the best stout on the market but pretty damn good for the price.

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Photo of farrago
4.44/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finger plus of very dark brown foam, somewhat loose with more than a few islands of larger bubbles frothing up and popping away under the surface, lacing much slicker than expected, barely registers on the way down the glass sides. The liquid isn't really black, more like the darkest possible brown this side of black, razor thin aura of orange at the glass bottom. The nose is all about rich, milky chocolate, cocoa, vanilla fudge and caramel with a candied orange infusion, no substantial roast nor toast, just sweetness which also infects/infuses any hoppy pine, herb nuances, blindfolded you would think you were in a Hershey's factory. Full-bodied, softly contoured and expansive in the mouth, close to sloppy bear hug status. Cola, licorice and a lighter orange reduction swirled into the milk chocolate and caramel foundation. Carbonation is average to slightly below. Follows the nose with a good punch of pine and green matter, the hops sinewy and active under all the malts. That said, this is definitely a stout built for visceral pleasure above striving for either complexity or sheer brute power. Earns its place at that table, simplicity is not always an insult.

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Photo of gandres
4.44/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber to wine glass, with meal
Appearance: dark brown minimal head and lacing
Smell: Aroma of toasted grains
Fell:Creamy mouth feel
Overall: Very good beer

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Photo of BeerDocT
4.43/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance 4.25: Pours out a thick, viscous black. Gorgeous khaki head. Great lacing.

Smell 4.25: So nice. Treacly sweet malt bouquet with smoked grains and a load of dark chocolate. Also some currant hints and some deeper alpha hoppiness.

Taste 4.5: Front is smooth and sweet with a nice hit of smoke and some early hop bitterness. Middle is where a huge wave of darkest dark chocolate and sweet grains washes over your palate, but this is balanced by a very clean and refreshing hop bitterness (I'm thinking Northern Brewer hop). Finish is smokey, tangy, somewhat chocolatey and smooth...good lord is this smooth. No hint of any alcohol. Aftertaste is long, smokey and just delicious and -again-- no hint of booze at all.

Mouthfeel 4.5: Smooth as silk in the mouth, with absolutely no burning.

Overall 4.5: Fabulous Imperial Stout. Smooth, balanced and just about perfect, this is a dangerous beer as there is very little indication of its "9.9%" (probably more!) ABV until you feel it burning in your tummy after you drink it! So nice and the tangy/sour taste levels make it very refreshing. Highly recommended.

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Photo of pianoguy
4.43/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Was checking out beer at T.W. today and ran into a fellow beer advocate. Of course the conversation turned to our favorite subject ( beer! ) And he recommended this one...

22 oz bottle . No bottling date info

Pours a thick pitch black body with a huge tan head that bubbles up from the bottom with flashes of gold like a Guinness on tap. Retention lasts a long time. Lots of thick lacing.. A really attractive beer, They don't look any better then this !

Smell is malt forward . mainly cocoa and coffee. Nice, but a little understated.

Taste is a pleasant malt forward cocoa that hides the alcohol nicely until the boozy finish

Velvety smooth feel that gets better as it warms.

Overall. Really nice beer ! Gotta love the 9.9 ABV. If economy was a rating category I would give this beer a 5 in that category...This beer is a great value that I will drink again soon ! Thanks for the recommendation stranger ... I never got your name

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Photo of StevenBilodeau
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber style bottle, poured a deep black, chocolate brown hue.

Nice head, great lacing... very good retention.

Extremely aromatic, sweet rich coffee, smooth... and earthy. Undertones of chocolate, dark chocolate bitterness.

An excellent beer, very aromatic, tasty and reminds me of just a full bodied beer perfect for those extremely cold days.

worth the purchase.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a dark brown color with 2 fingers of head that falls to coat over the beer. The nose is rather subdued, with some chocolate coming through, but not much else. The flavor is full chocolate with the slightest coffee finish, that may be in my head. Nice flavor. The feel is moderate, with a very slight creamyness. Drinkability is really nice. For a beer at 8.2%, the alcohol is not even on the radar. Damn. Nice beer,

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Photo of clvand0
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark color with a moderate head that doesn't stick around long, but leaves some lacing on the sides of the glass. The aroma has a lot of chocolate malts in it, but that's about it - very enjoyable, but subdued. The flavor is all about the chocolate with just a hint of coffee/roasted flavor. Finish is slightly bitter and the body is thick and creamy. Extremely easy to drink for the alcohol level.

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Photo of scones
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been a couple of days, but from what I remember:

A: Thick dark brown. Tan head. Looks goood.

S: A bit alcoholic, some malty chocolatey tones.

T: Awesome. Rich, flavorful, chocolate and coffee, but not imbalanced. Sweet and rich. You can taste a bit of alcohol, but in a good way; in the way you'd want from an RIS.

M: Thicker. Not too much, but not thin by any means.

O: I love it. Its flavorful, it's full, it's got all the right things and nothing that raises a red flag. I buy a new bomber every couple of days, but I've bought this one too every time the past week. I am happy with this purchase every time.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.37/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Imperial Stout opens to a rich, malty aroma, yeasty rising whole wheat dough and fresh-baked brown breads dominating. Following closely behind is an assortment of darker notes, including tobacco, ash, toast crust, and coffee, these notes tempered by a heaping dose of caramel, toffee, and heavy cream, as well as bits of pure vanilla bean. Fig, date, plum, raisin, and black cherry fruit esters add further complexity and sugar, the sweetness large enough that the bottle’s mouth is sticky. The 9.9% ABV is not overly noticeable, but it does impart a very light bourbon/port aroma (though this is not barrel aged) that blends well with the dark fruits. As a whole, the nose is very nice, with a massive amount of dark sugars and a good ash underbelly. Surprisingly absent, given the beer’s 72.45 IBUs, is a strong hoppy presence, but that shouldn’t be held against it, given the strength of the sugars. The main fault here lies simply in strength, the nose needing a bit more oomph.

On the tongue, the beer starts off dark and ashy, the initial hit being one of tobacco and ash, with bits of coffee and toast crust thrown in. This is followed quickly by a massive wave of sugars, the majority of them being the dark fruit esters from the nose—fig, raisin, date, plum, black cherry—but with toffee, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, and heavy cream added for potency. Thick brown breads and yeasty whole wheat dough, as well as chocolate malt and threads of dark chocolate, add a nice base. The hops do bring in nice measures of pine and anise, complementing the fruit esters. The high ABV is mostly hidden, but bits of bourbon do come through. The aftertaste is a slightly ashier version of the main mouthful, the sugars dying off, but the ash and bitterness lingering for a good while. Mouthfeel is a viscous medium-heavy, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, Lagunitas has done a very nice job with this Imperial Stout, offering a massive and well-balanced flavor range that should please fans of the style. There’s not necessarily anything game-changing about the beer, but what it does, it does very well.

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Photo of enjambed
4.37/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving: poured into glass at a cool temperature
Look: Jet black. Initial pour produced quite a head that soon settled down to lace, which is expected for an imperial. Nice, sticky lacing

Smell: sweet and roasty. Coffee, dark chocolate, and a bit of dark fruit. Also some faint alcohol. Aroma overall is pretty faint.

Taste: Rich dark, cocoa with coffee. Bittersweet too.

Mouthfeel: moderately thick, little bit of warmth on the back end. Leaves some stickiness.

Overall. A solid, reasonably priced imperial stout that I would definitely drink again. The aroma is a little faint, but makes up for it with rich but not overpowering flavor.

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Photo of NiallMac44
4.36/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was offered a glass of this by a friend and I did not want to take it. I do not like sweet beers and imperial stouts tend to sweetness. OK, I have to amend that. I USUALLY do not like sweet beers. This one yes though if I were the brewmaster I would try and tone it down. I wish I was good at describing taste so all I can say is that I like it though I would take Old Rasputin over it - just less sweet.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into an oversized snifter. According to the label, this beer is 10.4% abv, not 8.2% abv as stated above.

Pours a dark brown, with a thinnish tan/creme head that congregates around the edge of the glass. Nice lacing as it is swirled.

Has a syrupy, alcohol smell, with a thick bready aroma laced with coffee, hops, and toffee.

Has a smooth, sweet start, with creamy, almost buttery coffee, chocolate, and biscuity malt, with much less alcohol taste than it smells. There is a slight astringency to it as you drink more, with the tongue slowly drying out from a pleasantly bitter finish.

Very full bodied, this is a sipper, especially when served at the proper temp.

Lagunitas always puts out a quality brew, and this is no different. I'm surprised by the "B" rating it has; one could do much worse than this RIS - especially when you consider this sells at $5 for the bottle.

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Photo of flaskman
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a bomber into a tulip glass. Color is where it should be. Dark brown head that looks great. Wonderful lacing. Mouthfeel spot on. Not too bitter. Not too sweet. I feel that they nailed it. Plus the price point was great. 2 bucks less than most. I love it. And I will point out that I love my stouts. Great job. Now we need a barrel aged version that cost under ten bucks.

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Photo of zachary80
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

drank 1/10/11
bought 7/15/10

9.6% abv
neck coded 09957010 = Three-digit Julian date, the last three batch numbers, then the military hour (13 = 1pm)

Super dark brown, near black. cm high tan head quickly fades

The aroma is somewhat muted. Chocolate, lots of malt. I like it but would be great if it came stronger

Taste is very good. Taste is long, and seems to change nicely over a few seconds after the sip. Very nice level of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is a little thinner than expected but also seems to coat the mouth, so maybe it is due to a more vigilant carbonation. No trace of the alcohol

Exceptional drinkability. This went away too fast

Overall very impressive and a great deal. No idea what age this bottle was

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Photo of busterthecat
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz. into tulip.

A- Pours a velvety rich brown, sits a noble dark brown in glass. A light khaki head, with good lacing.

S- Lots of roasted sweet malt/ toffee. Bitter coffee notes, bittersweet chocolate.

T- Lots of sweet toffee, creamy caramel, mild coffee with gentle bitterness. Also notes of vanilla and hazelnut.

M- A big velvety feel. finishes dry, lingers well. Very pleasant on palate.

D- No alc. Easy to drink, well rounded, not filling. A great IRS at a awesome price.

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Photo of tdm168
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber at World of Beer at North Hills 11/18/11. Split it with jtd1969.

Poured into small snifters. Pours pitch black with a thin, brown lacing of head. The nose has notes of rich chocolate, deep roasted malts, and dark fruit. The taste is rich, deep chocolate and roasted malts with some anise and licorice up front with a nice bitter finish. The balance in the flavors is perfect and the alcohol is noticeable but adds warmth and depth and does nothing to detract from the overall flavor. The mouthfeel is full bodied, chewy, and warm.

This is fantastic. It's smooth, full bodied, rich, delicious. I would have another one in a heart beat.

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Photo of founddrama
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice blend of flavors. Mildly boozy, mildly chocolaty, and a subtle touch of coffee. All about those roasted malts. Almost no hop profile at all. Also kinda sweet at times. Caramel and toffee?

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Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
3.73 out of 5 based on 2,084 ratings.
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