High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout | Lagunitas Brewing Company

296 Reviews
High West-ified Imperial Coffee StoutHigh West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!

Added by jhartley on 12-24-2014

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Reviews: 296 | Ratings: 1,719
Photo of atr2605
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-pours black with a tan head about 2 fingers width, with great retention and lacing
S-tons of roasted coffee, unsweetened cocoa, milk chocolate, toasted marshmallow, coconut
T-more coffee, rich milk chocolate, vanilla, toasted coconut
M-medium-full bodied, rich and creamy
O-outstanding stout that has tons of flavor, and it great to sip on.

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Probably the best bargain in beer. For the money, it cannot be beat. I have had this fresh and with a year of age on it and it is much better fresh. This beer has great barrel notes but is still super smooth

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Photo of Treyliff
4.09/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a snifter
2015 Batch 1

A- pours a deep black with just a bit of light creeping through, one-finger creamy khaki colored head has good retention before settling into a ring around the edge

S- aroma opens with a mix of espresso and chocolate, quickly followed by peppery rye & bourbon barrel, oak & vanilla. Earthy/herbal notes, light char, green pepper skin & booze

T- opens with plenty of bourbon; spicy & peppery rye, wet oak & barrel juice. Notes of vanilla, caramel & ash hit the mid-palate. The finish brings out notes of espresso and chocolate, with lingers of more spicy rye

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into a silky finish, light abv warmth

O- bourbon/rye forward for sure, which loses some balance with the base beer, but as a bourbon drinker I really enjoyed it

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Photo of stakem
3.83/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a tulip appears black in color with a brown head that fades leaving a full wall of lace.

It smells of chocolate, coffee, citrus, booze and earth. Taste brings forth coffee, chocolate, oak, booze, caramel, vanilla, slight herbal almost green character with lingering earthy bitterness and char.

This is medium in body with modest carbonation. Its nice but didplays some roughness around the edges that are green.

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Photo of BeerGuy8315
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours jet black in color with a 1/2 inch, frothy, khaki to cola colored head with short retention. Thin, khaki colored lacing throughout.

S: Aromas of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, caramel, raisins, cherries, dark fruits, and slight hints of bourbon.

T: Starts off with coffee and dark chocolate followed by vanilla, caramel, and cream. Finishes with hints of raisins, dark fruits, and nice bourbon barrel character. Mild lingering bitterness as the coffee comes back around on the finish.

F: Full bodied, thick, smooth, and super creamy.

O: Overall, this is a great BA stout. Nice and creamy with a fair amount of coffee and some nice barrel character. For the price point it's pretty unbeatable. Wish I could have somehow snagged a sixer!

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Photo of Jayhump
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

What a remarkable beer, finally had a chance to enjoy one of the six.

The smell was very pleasant, you could smell all the flavors, coffee, vanilla and of course the bourbon.

Taste, wow the taste was incredible love the way it went down. No coating or ill after taste left behind.

Look, as dark as night, poured it and really enjoyed it. I'm not a true beer snob yet but this beer was awesome it was recommended to me by La Rivera Market and Spirits and it didn't let me down. They recommend drinking a few and ageing the rest and that's what I plan on doing.


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Photo of hiphops
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

poured into a nosing glass. looks black with touches of brown. grey brown head. smells like nipples with fresh milk and band aids. and medicinal herbness and sweet roasty booze. feels perfect not like motor oil and not cloying. nice and thin. tastes bitter with some sweetness on the swallow.i don't like high abv. stouts but i lud dis. i could drink a 100 of these thankfully i ain't gotta cuz its 12%. i'm putting out tonight.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Thick viscose exit from the bottle is black coffee in color producing a dark, creamy hickory toned head. Nicely lasting topping, clean window dressing.

S: Freshly roasty coffee and spicy rum alcohol. Smooth freshly burnt barrel notes, toasted almonds of moderate strength and lasting appeal. Some mocha, esspresso-dark fruit.

T: Flavor was rich, creamy, warm chocolate and marshmellow backed by silky coffee and spicy rum highlights. Woody barrel notes, dark juicy fruit of plums, with some whiskey that lingers long on the tongue after the swallow. Some sweet figs as well.

M: Viscose, silky smooth mouthful, creamy soft, almost no carbonation texture, just a heavy layering of rich dark malts on the tongue. easy 4.75 here, hard to argue against.

O: Overall a very rich, creamy dark malt imperial stout where the flavor and mouthful are the highlights and standouts here. Must try, easy 94+.

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Photo of AmeriCanadian
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Remarkable beer in general , but especially so for the price point. Absolutely phenomenal BA stout for the money. Look is jet black with minimal carbonation but a huge, foamy, mocha head that grew slowly, dissipated leisurely, and left just a little bit of sticky lacing down the glass.

Aromas of vanilla, chocolate, date and plum, caramel, roasted malt, dark fudge, and espresso. The coffee is there but not a dominant player. Instead it's the whiskey and toffee and chocolate cake that make this deliciously decadent.

Taste absolutely follows suit, boozy and chocolaty with a ton of vanilla and brownie and caramel. Incredibly delicious. There are notes of fig and sweet spice, bitter espresso balancing out some of the sugary sweetness. Again, decadent.

Feel is medium-thick and a little syrupy, which I like. But the feel isn't as heavy as the look, smell, and taste might suggest.

Lagunitas nails it again with another fantastic one-hitter.

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Photo of daledeee
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

You can see some brown as it pours but afterward it is black. Small head went away.
Nose is boozy, vanilla, coffee
Taste is coffee, cocoa granules, sweetness, slight bitterness, malt and some whiskey. A very balanced flavor overall.
Mouthfeel is a little thin for such a big beer but the taste makes up for it. It's always fun to try a different big stout. Americans are good at these!

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Photo of Just-the-sip
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

First off.... how do they charge so little for such a BIG beer?! Lagunitas, looking out fir the little guy.

L-Black. Bit of a tan head after pour but soon dissipates. Looks a bit carbonated but not much.

S-Ahhhhh. Like oaky, maplely, Espresso. Molasses.

T- Super chocolate espresso at the front end. Little vanilla and the finish had a bit of a bitter bite st the end. Might have been my taste buds on the fritz but I don't remember it the first time I had it. No booze taste at all. Dangerous.

F- Sticky and full bodied. Like a stout should be. Thick.

O-This beer is solid. I'll look for it next year if it's bottled again or just go to the brewery. Great as a vanilla float too!!!

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.69/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Doesn't matter what I paid got a single at House of 1,000 beers (you know I paid too much!)
Can't knock the look so thick so creamy so dark with a 1/2 inch of frothy mocha tinted goodness even with a slow pour. Awesome! Smell is a nice blend of coffee whiskey rye malt and some sweet chocolate cuz I know its there with the octane smelling so smooth! Taste is much more balanced cocoa and coffee than I had even more so than Big Bad Barista but almost half the price! Body is creamy velvety and damn near perfect as one would want in a BBA beer.

Overall some pay 12 dollars a six pack others 18 but if I could get one at even 20 that would still be an amazing deal for what I just witnessed. May have to look for a case tomorrow!

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Photo of BWood
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer from start to finish. Up front there is a nice khaki head. Then the nose has slight coffee, malt, whiskey. Through my sense of smell never seems to be the best. This is pretty nice. After that, BAM. Blended coffee, chocolate, rye. They all mesh together so nicely. The after taste lingers and leaves no foul residue. What can I say. This is a great beer at a amazing price. $18 a 6 pack and better than most bombers that are $18.

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Photo of Buck89
4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a wine glass. An opaque dark brown color with a modest tan head. Rich aromas of freshly brewed coffee, cocoa, roasted malt and a slight alcohol note. The taste followed closely, and the flavors melded nicely. There was also a dark cherry flavor with a chocolatey finish. A bit warming on the back but not too boozy. Delicious.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bad MF.... Bad MF.... Bad MF... Is that 150 characters? Cause thats what this is... Bad MF...

Bourbon, coffee, dark chocolate, oak barrel... What's not to love? Delicious... Boozy... Warming... Amazing...

If you like big boozy stouts, this is right up your alley... If not, move your ass along...

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Photo of Ahypercube
4.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I normally don't bother with this, but I'm going to have to disclose a pretty strong bias here. I can hardly even believe this beer exists. One of my favorite brewers is brewing a BA stout (my favorite variety of beer) in barrels from my absolute favorite distiller in America--High West. No less, in barrels that held Double Rye!, the whiskey through which I discovered them. Plus the six pack was $11.99. I don't even understand how this is possible. I would have expected to pay at least $15 for this, even from Lagunitas, especially when these 12-oz bottles have more alcohol in each than a bomber of any beer under 6.7% (ABV is 12.2%). Happily pouring my second one into a goblet.

L: Full disclosure, I've already had one of these, so I expected the minimal carbonation. I've had two stouts that compete with this one in color. Narwhal by Sierra Nevada, and 2014 BCBS by Goose Island. Narwhal was slightly better (despite not being BA) but it was significantly more expensive (+30-40%) and we all know BCBS is damn overpriced. The body of this is incredibly dark and thick: it is impossible to detect light through more than a few millimeters of this liquid. However, only half a finger of frappuccino colored head rose from the pour and it dissipated quickly, leaving sparse and peppery lacing.

S: Really nice malty aroma. I get a strong sweet aroma, like brown rice syrup, which feeds into strong maple and coffee notes, with a sweet dried fruit finish, comprised of dates, prunes, raisins and molasses.

T: Overall impression: I always feel this way about imperial stouts, but it tastes like a whole lot of good stuff. Definitely some barleywine flavors. Coffee is immediately noticeable, but added to by brown sugar, nutmeg, vanilla, dark chocolate, toffee, caramel, maple syrup, coconut, rich and nutty wheat bread with raisins, and rich roasted coffee with a lovely measure of oaky rye whiskey, including gin-like flavors of menthol, licorice and anise, on top of a peppery bitter finish. Of the Imperial Stouts I have tasted, it is most like Bell's Expedition Stout. However, it is significantly sweeter and more complex and has less coffee.

F: One of the better mouthfeels I have found in a BA stout. Syrupy, and a little too sticky, bit with a nicely dry finish that allows one to enjoy it despite what is probably just an O.G. that is a little too high.

O: Delicious brew, clearly made from delicious ingredientes. I will be buying more, if for no other reason than the fact that it is by far the cheapest drinkable alcoholic beverage available (unless you can deal with cheap handles or 12-packs of PBR).

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is simply outstanding, and at the ~12.99/6 price point its an absolute steal.

Barrel is the leading player, but the coffee and base stout are very present. The coffee is smooth, not bitter, and the feel is creamy. I should have bought more, this is probably the best beer bargain around...

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Photo of SaxmanRick
4.63/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 Bomber poured 2/3/17. Appearance is fabulously inviting...dark/black liquid with dense, foamy tan head that recedes quickly a major ring. Nice Lacing. Aroma of bittersweet malt, chocolate and coffee. Flavor is the same with just a hint of whiskey (although the rye brings out the sharpness of other flavors). Almost a breakfast stout with a hint of rye heat. The mouthfeel is top caliber...smooth, kinda foamy without actual foam. Pours down my throat quickly and pleasantI

I waited to drink this because it was my only one. I don't know what it started as...but this is ridiculously good after 22 months. The coffee is so blended with the other flavors. I really thought I'd struggle through 22oz's by myself. But, this will be easy...will be smooth.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

as usual, Lagunitas making beer geeks feel the fool for the price point we pay for the beer we get. this barrel aged coffee stout would take down any hype monster in a blind tasting. think I might hit the stores tomorrow to snag a 6er despite not wanting to get more beer. yeah, THAT good

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Photo of waterski
4.17/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Got this 12 oz bottle in a beer trade. Poured nearly black with a brown head. More carbonation than I'm accustomed to seeing with an imperial barrel aged beer. To the nose is coffe, dark chocolate and dried fruit. More coffee than any of the other hints. Sampled at slightly cooler than room temp. Taste is a good balance. Not to much of any one flavor coming through although the finish is certainly coffee. Just the right amount of sweetness to absorb some of the coffee. Not too bitter as some coffee stouts overdue the roasted coffee bitterness. Lagunitas always seems to have a way of making really good affordable beers. Try this one if it's offered.

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Photo of cambabeer
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wowzers. Soggy bread and rye coming through the nose with a bunch of raisins and some coffee. This starts like a sweet high alcohol stout, then the coffee and hops come along and dry out your mouth. This is just fantastic, and I picked up a single for $2 in downtown Philadelphia. How is Lagunitas doing that? Is it magic? I won't even ask questions... this is fantastic.

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Photo of bound4er
4.48/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From a 12 oz single. Pours to a nearly black appearance with a dark tan head of two fingers. Smells of roasted malt, coffee, vanilla, cocoa and pitted fruit. Taste mirrors the nose with creamy vanilla, coffee, roasted malt. Finishes with a touch of whisky and hop bitterness to clean things up and limited any lingering sweetness. Thick and chewy mouthfeel. This is a damn good offering from Lagunitas. It's amazing that they can churn out such a great BA beer on a national scale. Wish I would have been able to find more than a single.

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Photo of goingbrokeonbeer
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What a bargain this beer is, thank you Lagunitas. Pour is dark brown with about a three finger head. Smell is the barreled rye, coffee, and roasted malts. The taste is the same but with a little chocolate. Mouthfeel is medium-full. Overall for the money this is a home run.

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Photo of yasky
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black pour, smaller tan head, no lacing. Balanced aroma of coffee and whiskey, dark malt, caramel. Taste again strikes a nice balance between coffee and bourbon, dark fruit, dark toffee, dark chocolate, very mild char notes. Thicker body with an oily finish

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Photo of JBowenGeorgia
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off I'm not a stout guy( I've tried several but just haven't quite gotten there yet), however this is a great beer. The coffee, chocolate, and rye meld perfectly. Not too sweet, not too boozy, thankful for this extra in a box full of top notch CA IPAs.

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High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.38 out of 5 based on 1,719 ratings.
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