High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout
Lagunitas Brewing Company

High West-ified Imperial Coffee StoutHigh West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout
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Style:
American Imperial Stout
ABV:
12.2%
Score:
97
Avg:
4.39 | pDev: 6.38%
Reviews:
375
Ratings:
2,028
From:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  198
Gots
  476
SCORE
97
World-Class
High West-ified Imperial Coffee StoutHigh West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout
Notes: Formerly ScareCity #3: High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout

Up until this brew, none of Lagunitas’ barrel-aged adventures ever made it to shelves. They’ve been super-limited draft-only releases. This time we’ve made enough to actually bottle some … The 100% barrel-aged 2015 High West-ified Coffee Stout. Ale brewed with Coffee from our friends at Petaluma Coffee & Tea, then aged in Rye Whiskey barrels from our friends at High West Distillery in Park City, Utah … barrels that held High West’s Double Rye and American Prairie Bourbon, to be exact. Cheers!
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Reviews: 375 | Ratings: 2,028
Photo of AyatollahGold
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 12 oz. bottle from 2016 into a prairie Dino glass, it pours out very dark brown and forms a thinner crown that is khaki in color.

The nose comes as soon as the bottle is cracked. I got a huge whiff of raisins. Putting my nose into the glass brings more dark fruit, raisins, dates, a fig like presence mixing with barrel notes of leather, oak, slight bourbon. Chocolate is in there as well.

Before I note anything of the flavor, I want to note that I love the way there is a spicy rye note that tingles the tongue. The taste is somewhat faded coffee (I didn’t have this fresh, so I’m not using the word faded to describe what it’s done, that’s just the way the coffee is present to me). It shows some dark fruits, but not with as much pronunciation as the nose did, you have to search for them a little more. Comes in with more chocolate than before and still keeps that leather aspect. As it warms up a little, coffee has a very faint green pepper note to it. Not much at all, but detectable.

Tingly from the rye barrels, boozy but not overdone. It’s warm, but I wouldn’t say hot. But then again, it’s been 3 years now. I would call this on the thin side of what it is. It might not be for somebody who doesn’t frequent the style very often, but for a BA imperial stout, I don’t usually find them this thin. Very low carbonation.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable brew. The nose is the clear winner for me, those dark fruits are just shining. But I do love the way the rye tingles throughout the mouthfeel too, just wish for more body on that aspect. But I’m the end, this beer has a lot of nice, quality notes and mixes them together well.

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Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Black stout with shy finger tan head

S: Roasted malt, cocoa, barrel and a little bourbon

T: Coffee, leather, roasty char notes, could use more vanilla and bourbon character

F: Medium heavy with carbonation and a little boozy heat

O: Great for price point if I can ever manage to score some in time

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 8/18/17; drank 10/17/17 @ the Yarchives.

Black appearance.

A violent pour yielded a big tan head; strong lace.

Dark chocolate, bourbon, burnt caramel & faint smoke notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Cream, bourbon & mild dark chocolate flavors up front; mild burnt caramel notes on the finish.

The flavors clash a bit here; it's drinkable, but not my ideal stout experience.

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Photo of 5toutman75
4.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A 2016 bottle but I can’t find a bottling date. Love the look of this. Milkshake like with a heavy pour that leaves a lingering head and carbonation. The feel is think and creamy too. My next favorite part of the beer. Smell wise I can tell the coffee has fallen off a bit. I don’t remember how much coffee forward it was when fresh! I should go buy a new one now and drink it back to back to compare. Everyone talks about this being such a great deal, and it is. I try not to pass it up ever bc of that. It’s not my favorite coffee stout though that being said. I can taste the difference between a rye barrel and bourbon barrel here and I think I favor bourbon flavors a tad more. I think I favor Sump a bit more and I’ve never had the barrel aged Sump yet. I’ll need to open a coffee bourbon county now too to compare.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is from the 2017 edition, enjoyed in 2018.
This pours the color of used car oil with just the thinnest layer of foam. Big boozy bourbon aroma hits upfront, with a strong dose of coffee mixed in for good times.
Runs hot and heavy, with a sharp alcoholic sting.

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Photo of bl00
3.92/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2016 bottle. Pours black with half finger tan head. Mostly fine bubbles, some large. Nose is coffee, cocoa, smoke. Taste is chocolate, some coffee, vanilla, oak. Strong whiskey finish. Full mouthfeel, slight prickle from carb. Coffee seems to have dropped of, along with softening of barrel character. Not a bad sipper regardless, though I wouldn't sit on this much longer.

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Photo of Jeffwildcat
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Aged very well. Coffee is still present with the figgy taste of an aged beer. Nice head and lacing with that coffee bite in the aftertaste. Think it can just go down fron here so need to drink the rest of them.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. From 2016 OneHitter Series.
Inky black body. Thin tan head sticks around. Leaves behind rings of lacing.
Wonderful aroma of dark roasted malts, chocolate fudge, coffee, and rye barrel.
Very solid taste of dark roasted malts, milk chocolate, coffee, and rye barrel. Some tongue burn and aromatics in the nose from the barrel. Floral hops add in. There is a sense of molasses and dried dark fruit from the influences of the barrel on the base stout. Overall the coffee is still there but subtle, being overbalanced by the spicy rye barrel.
This beer has a mouth feel that calls for each sip to lay in the mouth in order to fully enjoy the nuances of the flavors and aromatics. Medium mouth feel, and somewhat mouth coating. Good carbonation. My tongue is getting a little numbed by the end of the session.
I have cellared this for at least a year after purchasing the bottle during a Cellar Sale at Elevated BW&S in Minneapolis. All flavors are still vivid, even the coffee. I am grateful this beer has aged so well.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.11/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sent over from Hinda65. 12 oz bottle poured into Crane snifter.

Inky, slick, huge black pour with a thin beige ring of head.

Aroma is just intoxicating. Tons of fantastic barrel notes up front, hot slippery caramel - hot fudge - slight antiseptic bourbon heat. Some really interesting floral notes pop up from the glass as well.

Feel brings lots of hot booze, followed by hard caramel and melted fudge topping, slight (green) peppery coffee, roasted barley, dark toast, and a finish of acetone.

Feel is a bit thin for me, firmly medium bodied, quite hot, and roasty. Hot and roasty finish.

Overall, a pretty decent barrel aged imperial coffee stout. I did let this age 2 years, but the booze and coffee is still super hot. I would age this probably 3 or more years for ideal results (personal choice).

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Photo of Danny862
4.74/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer was an all time favorite, it didn't blow your hair back all at once, but rather kept you coming back for a BB stout that just never felt like it was too much for any night. Descriptors include fudge, bakers cocoa, roasted malts, earthy coffee, toffee, vanilla, and bourbon. Mouthfeel medium minus, but damn if it isn't drinkable for 12%

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Photo of AllOfTheCats
4.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Possibly an unpopular opinion but this is the best beer for your money. Probably my favorite beer and somehow the cheapest BA beer I've ever seen at approximately $1.75-$2.25/12oz. That's about $4 a bomber where most breweries are charging $20+. Insane... I love this beer to death and glad I stocked up on it. It's an all time favorite, easy to store, not too hard to find in CA, and just an amazing value. Buy this beer if you see it.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottling, properly stored. Poured into a Belgian ale glass and allowed to warm to room temperature.

L: 1F brown head with poor retention, leaves a tiny ring and nothing else. Beer is jet black.

S: Coffee, oaky rye barrel, and roasted malts. It's basic, yet deep and complex.

T: Hoooooleeee crap, this is amazing. So much more to it than the nose. Coffee, but also caramel, fudge, chocolate, vanilla, and floral, just hugely complex up front, moves through the oak, rye, and rye spice from the barrel, and then to a solid roasty long finish. Very little alcohol heat, but there is a bit. At 12%, that is perfectly OK.

F: Surprisingly more medium than full, with a small bit of carbonation - it definitely isn't still. Construction and balance are superstrong after 3 years of storage. Enough drying to prevent serious ABV burn, but great taste lingers on the palate.

O: Wow, this is fantastic. Glad I had the foresight to put this one away. Hope they make it again sometime.

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Photo of LloydDobler
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into shaker pint -2016 one hitter series-

Black pour with a fluffy tan head. Coffee nose. Coffee is fairly muted in the taste, but the spice from the rye barrel shines through. Heat is present and nicely warming. Thick but not heavy.

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Photo of joe1510
4.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz Bomber

2015 Bottling

Huge thanks to Kevin for this surprise! Thanks, dude! It's a black beer, of course. It looks black, and aggressive, and bold. A couple glugs from the glass brings forth a fingers worth of silky mocha head. The head slowly fades to a skimming but it leaves behind some purty foam in its wake. This is a nice looking beverage.

Oh, man. The nose is what's up. Balanced caramel, oak, marshmallow, and pecan from the barrel gets it moving. Roast and coffee make up the malt base. There is still a whisper of floral hoppiness lingering about. Fudge and dark chocolate make up the rest. This stuff is mouthwatering. It gets the salivary glands working.

The flavor follows suit. It's roasty and coffee forward off the bat, perfectly in balance. The barrel is of the utmost complimentary. It's drizzled with caramel. There are hints of marshmallow, oak, a pecan nuttiness, and vanilla. That barrel presence hugs the base but never exceeds it, which is as it should be. Fudgey dark chocolate, gooey, has it's place. This is a well made beverage. It's bold yet balanced with a great amount of depth.

I dig the mouthfeel as well. It leans more toward full than moderate but it's not a mouthful. The body is soft and plush, very worthy of a Russian who's Czar-ish. It still has enough bubbles to keep the beer from being sluggish. There's a touch of booze heat but it's clean and appropriate. This beer is a sipper but it's easy to sip, comrade.

High West brews up some good whiskey. Lagunitas brews up some good beer. This is a Tinder match made to be. A very well made imperial stout gets put into very well made barrels that used to house very well made whiskey and it was overlooked by folks that understand that barrel shouldn't be the main component in a beer, but rather complimentary. This beer is fudgy and delicious. The coffee is still present but it's more chocolate and roast forward now. The, barrel, compliments an already delicious beer. This is some high quality.

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Photo of Tony210
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours very dark, light mocha head. Enormous aroma of coffee, mocha, milk chocolate, molasses. Taste is loaded with coffee, from beginning to end. In the middle you can find some sticky molasses, toffee, milk chocolate. Barrel makes its self known by a big wallop of sweet vanilla. Thick and syrupy, coats the tongue nicely. Overall this is a great beer, and it appears to have aged nicely. If this is a 2015 bottle, I am blown away by the resiliency of the coffee - usually it will fade after a few months. No bottle date.

3/1/18
12 oz bottle - thanks for the trade Bo!
4.25 rating.

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Photo of AlarmClock314
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Mikey’s in Plover, WI on 2/3/18. Review from notes. Appears black with a dark khaki head. Smells and tastes of rye whiskey, oak, coffee, roasted malt, cocoa, and molasses. Medium bitterness and some sharp notes from the rye. Some noticeable alcohol comes through. Average body and carbonation for the style. Overall, it’s a really solid BA IS with a strong rye whiskey profile.

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.37/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed my 6-pack of these over nearly a year (most fresh, one at 6 months, and one now). Honestly, it is a triumph of a beer in some ways. Well...in one way really...the price. A 6-pack of a high-end BA imperial stout (a huge one in fact at 12.2%) for less than some breweries are selling their so-so NE IPAs. No brainer that this is the world'd greatest BA beer at this price point. With that said, it isn't perfect. Frankly, the barrel influence isn't as pronounced as the top BA beers. However, it is solid across the board, and I'm giving it extra overall points for the pricing. Don't agree? Kiss my ass.

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Photo of RAFH
4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 12 ounce bottle from Crockers in Niles Michigan. Really enjoyed this beer but the aftertaste was just a tad lower than the 4.25 rating I gave it. Would definitely try it again.....very solid.

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Photo of arizcards
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a 16oz Mason Jar from the Craft Beer Quick Stop this past Sunday for $6.00. I have missed the bottle distribution the last two years so i had to resort to paying a bit more for draft which is not a bad thing!

Beer poured black as night with a very nice head that is leaving some lacing behind.

Nose is awesome, fresh coffee and rye whiskey with roasted malt notes.

Taste is coffee forward over a large roasted malt base. Rye whiskey melds its way in nicely with subsequent sips. The brew is a touch astringent but lots of good flavors going on.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall a very fun beer to finally get to try. Would buy again in the future!

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Photo of Wybest
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer.

On draft at Local Option. Great balance between the barrel, the coffee, and the base imperial stout. One of my favorites from Lagunitas.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
4.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 release.
22oz bomber poured into a snifter shows a dark chocolate brown, allowing no light through, supports no head and leaves only spotted lacing.

Aroma is still coffee forward joined by oak, leather, rye, booze, and dark stone fruit.

Flavor is more booze forward, however roast coffee beans are present along with the above and a hint of cocoa as the fluid passes the tongue and dries.

Mouthfeel is the winner for me. Mouth-coatingly fuller medium that cleans and dries the pallette. Aftertaste is merely a memory of bitter coffee and chocolate.

Overall, a very well crafted brew that holds up well after 2+ years bottling.
Fresher releases are more coffee forward(not my favorite) and they won't be using High West any more.
This was the first and I can't wait to see how it compares to the next.

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Photo of wanderingwheelz
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I just had a chance to have one of these on draft. I'd have to taste one side by side to be sure, but I'd say it might be better than KBS. It's that good.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.17/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from rutger. Cheers!

From a bottle into a snifter
Aged on High West rye barrels
2016 One Hitter Series

APPEARANCE: A clear black pour yields a 1+ finger, medium looking, creamy tan head with good retention. Clear black body with no carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full wisp and coats the glass with lacing. A ring remains but leaves no lacing on the glass as it empties.

SMELL: Whisky, sweet cream, vanilla, milk chocolate, toffee, and some oak on the nose. Roasted coffee with notes of molasses as well. Good stuff.

TASTE: Roasted coffee beans, whisky, oak, sweet cream and vanilla flavors up front. Very flavorful. Big, bold finish of roasted flavors, coffee beans, vanilla, caramel and butterscotch sweetness, whisky, oak, bitter chocolate and sweet molasses. Good stuff and lots going on.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Enough weight and semi-creamy on the palate, goes down smooth with a bit of a scratch and finishes a bit sticky. Some booze lingers.

OVERALL: This was great! Lots of aroma and flavor with great balance between coffee stout and whisky barrels. A quality feel here as well. One well worth checking out if you get the chance. Thanks again, rutger!

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Photo of DavidR_9
4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2017 one hitter series 12 oz poured into a snifter.

Dark dark brown-black body and a hefty tan-brown finely bubbly head. Sweet bourbon and oakiness on the nose, a bit of heat, molasses, brown sugar, plum, you get the picture. Not an intense spicy rye whiskey aroma on this one.

Big woodiness and spicy rye whiskey followed by some nice light-dark chocolate notes, molasses, toasted coconut, espresso beans. Nicely hidden heat elements of 12.4% abv. Super creamy and velvety mouth feel for a non-nitro imperial stout.

Overall a great straight up imperial stout with a slight spicy whiskey barrel aged character. An absolute steal for $12 six pack. Seriously! $11.99 for six of these. Amazing

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Photo of Antg8989
4.64/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2017 Release: The first thing I noticed was that at 12.4% ABV - the alcohol is masterfully hidden.
Pours dark brown, medium brown head' no lacing.
Aroma is firstly, that sexy rye whiskey baby. Wonderful. Coffee, chocolate caramel, butterscotch and molasses - rather sweet.
Taste is an Irish coffee, no doubt.
Feel is smooth, almost silky and lightly carbonated.
Overall, what a steal. Breweries will usually charge the same price for a 4 pack of these, and that will be my experience. Lagunitas does it right, and I will certainly be purchasing another sixer of these. (If it was a 4 pack, I would not grab another at the price.)

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High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 2028 ratings