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: 690 | Ratings: 2,067
Photo of plaid75
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a black hue with a one finger tan hue. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a heavy cereal grain and some sweet chocolate.

The taste was upfront heavy barley with a touch of roasted malts.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style and creamy.

Overall a very malty and uninspiring stout.

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Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's.

The beer pours the expected darkish brown color with good head retetion and lacing. The nose is pretty exocitic, consisting milk chocolate, prunes, stewed plums and sweet licorice. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, except the plum and prune flavor really come on strong. The beer is a bit on the sweet side, with a soft, medium bodied mouthfeel. Drinkability is pretty good, though the sweetness and noticeable alcohol detract a bit. Still, this is a pretty nice, easy to appreciate stout from Lagunitas. While nothing spectacular, it's a nice enough beer.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber bottle into matching shaker glasses. Split with psycohops. The stout appears a dark brown color with about two fingers of fluffy, but quickly fading ecru foam. Smells and tastes of medium roasted grain, milk chocolate, mild coffee notes, a hint of caramel and vanilla, whopper candies. Barely medium in body with a decent amount of carbonation. Not bad, but it's just missing something.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black completely opaque. A frothy, bubbly one-finger head tops the beer. Smells of coffee, chocolate, and licorice. First sip is quite bitter with dark, dark chocolate and coffee leading he way. There is a ton of tobacco here and it is quite hoppy for the style. Lightly bodied too.

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Photo of Drew966
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lagunitas Imperial Stout pours black in color with very little head from a brown twenty two ounce bottle. There is a bit of roastiness in the aroma. The flavor has a bit of roastiness too, but more of a toffee or caramel like flavor. The alcohol is noticeable to me. Not bad, worth a try.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the Davis Co-Op. Ive tried so many RIS's now, why not just go for the rest? Pours a very dark brown, approaching black. Looks a bit thin for the style. Short light brown head retained well. Smells of chocolate, alcohol, nuts and plums. Flavor is of dark chocolate truffles, with hints of coffee, decadent chocolate covered black cherries, rich like pudding. Ethanol on finish. Medium to full bodied, velvety mouthfeel. Very tasty, grows on me as i drink more. Definitely on the fruiter end of the RIS spectrum, which wins points from me.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark mahogany with ruby highlights and some murky muddled inkiness. A tan two-finger head fades pretty quickly but leaves a fair bit of descent lacing.

aroma of dusty malts, molasses, caramel, cocoa, licorice. An interesting and formidable beast. buttered rum. funky.

taste follows suit. thick and murky with burnt raisins, molasses, licorice and cocoa. Not as "imperial" as anticipated, but a definite strength to it. a bit of rum, a bit of funky butter, a bit of dirt. Not sure I'm sold, but the richness isn't offsetting... just a bit different.

mouthfeel is a bit thin and a bit fizzy for an RIS, falling a bit short of expectations. not horrible, but a better, fuller and richer mouthfeel would have certainly helped this one.

all in all, a decent stout with a bit of funk, but a pretty mediocre RIS. It falls into the same category of other odd stouts (which Lagunitas seems to have a propensity for)... not quite what they set out for, but not necessarily horrible. I finished it and wasn't disappointed, but I certainly wasn't wowd. A decent cocoa licorice stout, but a weak RIS.

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Photo of ndekke39
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was given a bomber of this as a birthday gift. Decanted into a brandy snifter. Appearance is an oily black with brown edges. A small layer of brown foam that sticks around the whole time. Strong mocha aromas, with hints of bitter chocolate and burnt toast. Flavors are fairly mild for an Imperial Stout. Definite dark roasted coffee, with a coffee bitterness that blooms on the middle of the tongue. Light chocolatey aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a little too watery for an Imperial Stout. Overall, definitely drinkable, and not a bad beer by any stretch, but it's just not as big and bold as I like my stouts.

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Photo of Magpie14
2.61/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: the pour pushed forth reds and amber colors with a light khaki colored head. The head was a creamed foam paired with a ring, string, and blobs of lace. The overall color is dirty browns with thin shades of black. In some regards, it does not carry much for appeal

S: i am really having to pull these smells out: dark malts, roasted notes, buttery brown sugar. Kind of lacking in the nose as well, I was hoping for huge smells from a Lagunitas "Imperial Stout"

T: malts have a minimal presence and start to push through after the sip with black, dark, roasted tones. The overall flavor profile is kind of weak. The malts are nowhere to be found, has subtle java notes/wet coffee grounds, and has a indulgent lactose type of saccharine sweetness. I also can pull out some traditional dutch black licorice tastes sprinkled with vanilla.
Not any alcohol is showing up within the mawkish flavors. I am a bit baffled as to how to describe some of the flavors, all I know is that for an Imperial Stout this is timid

M: not to bad in this category. First and foremost it is rather thin for any stout and gets foamy at the back of the tongue. I find that it does go down alright and it is getting hot (alcohol), just a bit

D: I never thought that I would say "Lagunitas" and "no thanks" in the same sentence

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of cvfish
3.46/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer poured a dark brown color that had red highlights and produced a fluffy tan head that had decent retention and some lacing

S - The aromas produced by this beer were subtle smokey notes and chocolate

T - The taste of this beer had some bitter chocolate, smokey malts, and a little bit heat on the end of the palate

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body and a moderate amount of carbonation

D - This did not live up to my expectations as a RIS, but it was a good beer, and a good example. But, since it is not available here, I won't be looking for it again

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque dark brown with a surprisingly light tan head.

Great nose on this one, but I'm shocked this is a Russian Imperial. The nose, in fact, reminds me of the nose on Firestone Walker 11! Lactose sweetness, vanilla, nuttiness and heavily roasted malts. Not burnt essence to be found.

Taste is much like nose with vanilla, caramel and semi-sweet malts.

This is a nice stout, but not a good example of a Russian Imperial Stout.

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Photo of MunchkinDrinker
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - A deep mahogany red when held up to light. Has a dark tan foamy head. Disappates fairly quickly though. Some lacing going down the glass.

S - Smells like one of those cherry jelly filled chocolates. Sweet.

T/M - Chocolate. Lots of chocolate with some cherry. Very malty. Not as bitter as the 70 IBU's on the bottle say it is, but some bitterness gets through to the aftertaste, which is immediately crushed by more chocolate. Very very smooth though, if a little syrupy.

D - Not stellar, but good. Moderately drinkable, but hard to get through alot of.

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Photo of ksullnh
3.17/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasted 1/4/09 with jnobler, in an oversized wine glass.

A: black, black, black. A bit of brown on the edges when held in bright light. Oily khaki-colored head.

S: Sweet like a liqueur. Lots of licorice. Some 'fake' fruit smell, like those brandy-filled cherry cordials.

T: Sweet and sort of grapey, brandy-ish. Late hops dryness with some Belgian-like dark fruit tastes - dark currants, plums. Some herbal notes. I thought this tasted more like a barleywine than a stout - couldn't pick out any coffee or chocolate notes that I typically associate with the style.

M: Smooth and thick, not creamy. Some alcohol warmth

D: It's imperial.

Tastes like it'd go well with a cigar.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle $5. Not black surprisingly, dark brown and transparent red when held to the light. Smells like dark grains and tootsie rolls, sweet. The flavor is more tootsie rolls (I get this from imperial stouts sometimes) and a creamy graininess. The mouthfeel is a little thin for my liking but this beer was worth the money I spent on it.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby brown and settles deeply glowing dark brown with darker ruby-like hints to its low umbering glow. A slim capping of light tan foam skims the top well with a bunch of bubbles hanging around at the edge. Super thin sheets of lace graze the glass with some holes and breaks.

Aroma is deep and ample with a nice airy sweet roastyness mixed with alot of deep maple notes, vanilla, chocolate, cherry, and molasses.

Flavors are nicely put together, but not very RIS-like really. More like a beefy brown ale with a tender amount of brown sugar and maple cookie dough sweetness. Underscoring the main sweetness is a delighful touch of roast, cocoa, vanilla, and burnt graham cracker. Very light coffee ascents to its finish help its complexity a bit. It just doesn't hold much length in its flavors and does kind of come up weakended. Its definately tame by the standards of a solid RIS, but its well crafted and tasty enough to drink either way you put it.

The body is again short of most RIS's and seems more like a beefy brown closing in on a strong ale
maltyness with its light sided mediumness and tender grainy fluff and texture of roasty notes.

OK, so its not with par to what your typical super RIS would be. If you remove the labeling of Imperial stout and take a stab at what ya's like their Brown Shugga with a nudge of extra roasty stuff throw in.

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Photo of Pencible
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured an opaque mahogany with a bit of light tan head. It smelled like lots of bitter chocolate with roasted coffee and a bit of licorice and alcohol. It tasted very dry and earthy like burnt coffee and bitter chocolate with some soy and molasses. It was slightly thick with no carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this was good but not great. The flavor wasn't as delicious as I hoped, and the body wasn't as big. It was still clean and pretty easy to drink, but it just needed more sweetness. Oatmeal could have really helped balance the flavor; I'm not sure if age could.

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Photo of madtowndmb1
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Very dark brown with a tan head that doesn't stick around at all.

S: The best part of this beer! There's molasses, chocolate, a touch of hops and some malty notes

T: Chocolate right away!Then moves into a bitter hop flavor. I like it.

M: Smooth and coating. With a chocolate flavor that hangs around

D: Now I bought an Imperial Stout and this is more of a chocolate stout if you'd ask me. If it were called that it's be quite good!

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Photo of olmatty
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours a very thin tan head with poor retention, beer is a dark brown/black.

Smell- Surprisingly little aroma a bit of roasted malts is all I pick up.

Taste- A touch of bakers dark chocolate and espresso and a mouthload of licorice and dried fruits. Hop bitterness follows on all this, finish of overcooked coffee.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation, somewhat thick but less mouthcoating and flavorful than many imperial stouts

Drinkability- Heavy enough flavor and high ABV enough to slow you down. Unfortunately, not a great example of the style or a good representative of Lagunitas beers.

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Photo of Mdog
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black but a deep red when held to light, big head. I like this look better than solid opaque black.

Smell: Dark chocolate, some citrus hop.

Taste: Dark roast flavors, dark fruit, relatively mild bitterness.

Drinkability: Nicely priced, good for when you want a big stout but don't want to pay a lot.

The parade of stouts continues, Lagunitas' offering reminds me somewhat of Samuel Smith's, i.e. more of a drinkable stout than a sipper (even though it is quite strong). Pretty good and a good value beer.

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Photo of pvsob
3.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a dark brown color with ruby highlights. A very weak head (1/2 inch), that has no retention. No lacing.

S- Hugh molassas aroma with raisins, figs, and toffee as well. I'm really not getting any roasted malt, coffee, chocolate that I usually get with other RIS's. No hop aroma or alcohol for that matter.

T- Starts off with a sweet raisin flavor, but tiny hints of chocolate, coffee, and hops make themselves known. A hint of alcohol in the finish is present, but nothing outstanding.

M- Very thin with lots of carbonation.

D- This is a good beer, but I'm kind of confused with some to the characteristics. Barleywine? RIS? Wee Heavy? I just don't know. I'd drink this beer again, but I'm not going to be actively seeking it out. Cheers!

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Photo of Hoopster4hire
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Not what you would typically expect of an Imperial Stout.

Pours a cherry stained finish of a color is the best way to describe it. The head is a frothy light brown and quickly dissipates.

Smell is of roasted malts, slight coffee aroma with a small alcohol odor to it.

Definitely can pick up the roasted and caramelized notes. Coffee tastes lingers as you drink it, while faint amounts of cherry flavor tweak the palate. Molasses makes an appearance, however brief. There is another flavor in there, somewhat sour, but hard to describe beyond that.

Surprisingly carbonated. When I think of Imperial Stouts, I think creamy and thick. This one definitely has some bite to it still.

Highly drinkable, which can be dangerous or a lot of fun considering this bomber was 3.50.

Overall, a good beer, but definitely not a great beer. I wouldn't turn it down if I was offered another, but I probably wouldn't purchase another.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark ruby-cherry color with dirty tan head.

S: roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and some dry pine hopping.

T: The initial flavor was roasted malt and pretty smooth, with some dark chocolate and a lingering coffee bitterness. There was some sweet vanilla creamer notes to balance things out a bit. Spicy dried citrus hops blend nicely with flavor, with some dried cherries and roasted nuttiness as well. Some sweet molasses and coca hints are present as well adding to the complexity.

M: a little thin per style but big on hopping and flavor. A light carbonation but was still a tad lackluster.

D: good drinkability with wide range of flavor keeps things intersting til the end.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.3/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Been cellaring this 22 oz. bottle for about a year. Poured into a Duvel glass.

A: Doesn't seem to be any lack in carbonation. Nice fizz and a decent 3/4 finger cream-colored head. Color is not great- a dark reddish brown, not at all as dark as I expected. When I get to the point that there's 5 or 6 ounces left in the glass, I can clearly see through it.

S: The nose starts out interesting as I pick up raisins, burnt sugar, a little leather and tobacco? Not a lot of the expected roasty/chocolate type aromas, though. Kind of strange.

T: Once again, interesting, but somewhat unexpected. Only a hint of the usual stout roasted flavors. More fruity than roasty- figs and raisins. A bit of an unpleasant sourish and very sweet aftertaste.

M: Lighter in body than I expected, but it's velvety and smooth.

D: Not great for me due to the weird aftertaste and lack of dark roasted flavors I want in a stout.

Unexpected was definitely the theme of the day on this one. Sometimes unexpected is good; this time, not so much. By far my least favorite Lagunitas brew I've tried so far.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to tburkhart for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a very nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some nice notes of chocolate/toffee/coffee. The taste is sweet, malty, with some chocolate, toffee, coffee. Medium body, the alcohol is very well hidden. Drinkable, this is a very tasty RIS.

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Lagunitas Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
3.73 out of 5 based on 2,067 ratings.
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