High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout | Lagunitas Brewing Company

268 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: 268 | Ratings: 1,583
Photo of Celtics17
4.93/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites of the year. Nothing bad to say, and just wanted more and more. You get all of the aromas and tastes you would expect from a big barrel-aged stout in a 12oz bottle. This is on par with Bourbon County.

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Photo of Trevor11
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had it on draft in Chicago in December 2016. This stout is massive. Pitch black, super boozy and chocolately in aroma. Much smoother in the taste than the smell would have suggested. Very well balanced between the sweetness of the chocolate / whiskey and the bitterness of added coffee. Goes down easy for being over 10% abv. Try it out if you find some.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow. Super tasty. Just enough sweetness to offset the bitter coffee. The Rye Whiskey really comes through in nose and flavors. Some spiciness in taste detected. Just a tad thin. But that doesn't matter. Delicious.

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Photo of zonker17
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very dark brown with a light brown head, 2 fingers takes its time to settle, Nose of cocoa nib, coffee, seems to be missing the booze. Taste is coffee and sweet malts, bitter coffee finish. Alcohol hidden extremely well with just the slightest hint of rye whiskey in the taste. Heavier body and average carbonation.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

HotD snifter from a howler. Opaque black body with minimal head and lacing.

Aromas of vanilla and the barrel hit the nose first, followed by fresh espresso coffee and pepper skins. Big chocolate and mocha from the barrel mixing with the base beer.

Flavors really follow the nose nicely, the whiskey barrel shines with notes of toasted coconut, vanilla, and maple syrup. Coffee bitterness is present and chocolate and mocha abound on the palate. Finishes with a slight dryness and bitterness. No alcohol presence at all, to me, other than a slight drying sensation.

Full bodied and silky, undercarbed (from the howler fill) but still manageable with this style in particular.

Overall this is good stuff, wish I had some bottles to stash away. For the price point you can't beat it, though I would love a bit more coffee character.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - The beer was generally dark in color with a mocha colored head.

Smell - The nose remind me of dark coffee with a hint of booze.

Taste - The coffee and chocolate start off dry, but gets progressively more syrupy and boozy. The thing that stands out to me that's how will masked the alcohol is. There is no burn it all.

Mouthfeel - This has a body like a Russian Imperial Stout. There's some viscosity here.

Overall - This is a great beer. But for all the hype, I was a little let down.

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Photo of THSdrummer
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a finger of fizzy caramel head. Head forms quick, and actually retains fairly well for being so fizzy. No lacing left behind. Aroma has notes of coffee, rye, barrel, and roasted malts. Strong and potent aroma, but very well balanced. Flavor profile is extremely well balanced, with notes of coffee, rye, barrel, caramel, toffee, and roasted malts. The flavor profile has a sweet flavor, but still remains very well balanced and approachable. Mouth feel is medium-thin and smooth. Overall, a fantastic beer. It features coffee with great notes in the aroma and flavor, and also features a complex, yet balanced, aroma and flavor profile caulk full of rye whiskey, coffee, and stout. Dangerously good and smooth.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of keithmurray
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Dark brown nearly black body with mocha colored head

Smell - whiskey, chocolate, fudge

Taste - whiskey, chocolate, coffee, fudge, coconut, vanilla

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, lower end of medium carbonation, fudge and whiskey upfront, fudge and coffee linger on the back end

Overall - very nice beer here, the barrel works in harmony with the coffee and chocolate. Not quite as heavy as some other BA beers, but this is Great bargain of a beer! Recommended

Price Point - $13.99/6 pack 12 oz bottles

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coffee is distinct here. Molasses and bitter roasted notes that get mired in sweetness just right. Sticky and moderately carbonated. The barrel works this well, with the rye hint just right and the burn subtle enough to enjoy the notes of coffee, molasses and dark fruit. Very nice imperial stout.

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Photo of DallasK
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pitch black with no head or lacing. Smell is aggressive bourbon followed by bakers chocolate/toffee and vanilla. Taste is bourbon followed by fudge, vanilla, and coffee. A pleasant blend of flavor lingers on the palate. Carbonation is about that of an old Rasputin, more than most barrel aged but overly so. Solid offering if you like bba beer, especially at 11.99 a sixer.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on draught in a pub. It was served in a tulip glass at a cooler temperature than I'd prefer. It pours pitch black with walnut hues when held to the light, and one finger of foamy, mocha-colored head and lacing with great retention. It's a sight to behold. The first smell I notice was the bourbon but there is also delightful aromas of roasted coffee, chocolate, caramel, and dark fruit. The taste is wonderful! It follows the nose and the bourbon is strong. There is no discernible hop presence. It is rich and creamy, particularly as the glass warms, with little carbonation. There is, however, a strong alcohol presence. Overall, this is an absolute gem: rich and creamy, with great flavors and a warming alcohol burn. Now I understand why this Stout is so highly rated.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a really solid BA stout that you'd never be sad to find yourself with, but the obvious attraction here is that it was $12.99 a sixer. That's just insanity, making you question whether this is a Heineken-backed loss-leader or a testament to the fact that barrel-aged beer can be made and sold for a helluva lot cheaper than 95% of breweries currently do. All questions aside, again, this is just a solid BA stout, which deliberately checks all the boxes you'd want in the style, noticeable barrel influence (whiskey and perhaps a touch of marshmallow on the nose), light but present coffee, ample roasty stout goodness, and a body thick enough to stand up to the intensity of the flavor/aroma. Is this the greatest BA stout ever? Probably not. But, bottom line, you bet your sweet bippy it's gonna scratch that BA itch and leave you with enough scratch in your pocket to fill out the cellar with these puppies. Kudos, Lagunitas.

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Photo of mmars010
2.55/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: looks like a cola in the glass. A vigorous swirl produces a thin film of head that dissipates quickly.

S: very little to speak of. Some vanilla and alcohol. There is an off smell here-subtle but present.

M: medium bodied. A dry, astringent feel washes over on the mid palate and finish.

T: my suspicions from the smell are are confirmed-this beer is infected. Dark, sour cherries and unripe blackberries dominate. There is an interplay with the sour fruits and a harsh metal flavor that tastes like galvanized steel...there is also a rust-like component. There is some vanilla and faint coffee in the background. Dark malt is almost absent.

O: worse than bad. $14.99 down the drain, but the real loss is that I don't get to drink this beer this year...at least as it was intended to be consumed. This is my third beer in the six pack-and the last one that I will drink. Each drinking experience has regressed with each beer, which makes me think this batch is total loss This six pack was purchased at the total wine in Virginia Beach, Virginia about two weeks ago. there are no discernible batch or date markings on the bottles or the six pack. I had last year's version in a bomber and it was spectacular.

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Photo of matcris
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled less than two months ago. Black as night with 2 fingers of tan creamy head that slowly recedes to a thin layer. Fair lacing follows the brew down the glass. Nice looking carbonation when I tilt the glass. Forget about coffee, guys, take that shit off the label. I get a big dose of molasses right off the bat in the aroma, bourbon, sweet tobacco, leather, dark chocolate, coconut, vanilla, and I'm surprised that the coffee is non-existent in the smell. Big and bold in the flavor with lots of molasses/brown sugar, chocolate, bourbon lingers, sweet tobacco, mild coconut, vanilla, and again, maybe it's me, but, nada of a coffee flavor, here. Feel is creamy, full bodied, slightly below average carbonation, which is perfect for a brew like this. Nice that the bourbon and all the other flavors really linger and give a nice warming sensation. Very good stuff here Laggy's! Take coffee off the label!!

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Photo of MikeyMcD86
4.74/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a tulip. Pitch black with a good finger of dark mocha head. Not as huge of a coffee aroma as I was expecting. The barrel imparts a nice dark fruit aroma of dates and figs. Taste follows the nose. A little more coffee but again it's not as coffee forward as I was hoping. Perfect full mouthfeel, not inky at all. A lot of hype around this beer and I can see why. 94 points

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Photo of donspublic
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into tulip, pretty aggressive yields 2 finger creamy tan head, nice retention fades to 1/4 finger after 5 minutes and still sticks around, epic lacing. Jet black in the glass, no light getting thru. Smells of rye, bourbon, roasted malt, very little coffee coming thru on the nose. Taste is whiskey on the front, leads into roasted malt and finishes with a nice smooth non bitter coffee. Lingering aftertaste is smooth coffee with a little of the whiskey hanging around on the roof of my mouth. Have a feeling none of this is going to hang around in the cellar. There is no noticeable heat, the alcohol is present, but just so damned well hidden. I fear that if this was cellared, that smooth coffee backend would disappear. I have been looking around Houston for this beer for a whole month, man I am glad I found it.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Lamb's Garden Home. Finally, finally, finally, we meet.

Jet black with a dark brown head with decent retention and lacing, this looks solid. The nose is a solid dose of medium roast coffee and vanilla and boozy bourbon to go with dark chocolate and a moderate roast note. The palate opens sweet with dark caramel, dark chocolate, sweet vanilla and coconut from the bourbon and a touch of creamy Vietnamese-like coffee before a blend of medium roast coffee with a light citrus note appears. The mid-palate has some of the alcohol, but nothing close to the 12.2%. A little rum-like in its blend of vanilla and brown sugar and booze, this beer is shockingly good. The coffee isn't as prominent as in KBS, but that's vaunted company.

When i got into craft beer 10 years back, this beer would have been considered well-priced, but now, it's a steal like no other.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Speiglau BA Glass.

Look is pitch black with a thin tan head.

Aroma is bourbon vanilla with a nice malty roast note on the finish.

Fills your mouth thick like chocolate milk. A little bit of burn from the bourbon and then opens up to a wonderful malty chocolate coffee taste.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.63/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Hat Tavern in the Grand Summit Hotel. Pours a jet-black, ebony hue with moderate frothing. Strong nuances of cocoa, espresso, and chocolate. Similar taste profile. Boozy.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Left this sit on the counter for 20 minutes prior to pouring into a tulip.

Appearance: The beer is black with ruby opaqueness to light. The head is an off brown color and resolves to a ring a foam. Nice lacing left behind on the glass.

Smell: Lots of darkly roasted coffee supported by vanilla and bourbon lots of deep roasted notes from the base beer chocolate and dark fruit tones noted.

Taste: Delivers a mouth full of coffee, dark toasted and roasted flavors a bit of cocoa riding a tide of bourbon and vanilla.

Feel: The body of the beer is on the plus side of medium. I get a bit of heat from the alcohol.

Overall: This is a dam fine beer and was a steal at $14 per six pack. Very well done.

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Photo of pants678
4.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black with a tan head.

Malt, wood and booze more than coffee.

The tail end has a sweet and heat, semi-vanilla, from the bourbon that I'd rather do without. Oak blends well with coffee that comes in as very earthy and has no real bite. Toward the top of coffee beers that I've had.

Tad thin but that's not much of a knock.

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Photo of Mongrel
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rich, creamy, smooth and well melded drinking experience. Coffee is prominent, bourbon is prominent. There's a nice, sweet malt backbone (caramel/toffee/chocolate) with just a touch of umami holding things together. Booze is well hidden. It's important not to drink this one too cold. Not incredibly deep and nuanced, but verrry enjoyable, especially at the price point.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours black with a tan creamy head, no head retention, looks thin for an imperial stout, low carbonation.

A: Bourbon, oak, wood, dark chocolate, hint of rye spice, slight aroma of alcohol, not overly pungent.

T: Very smooth and balanced, touch of bourbon and oak up front, hit of dark, chocolate/coffee with some coffee like bitterness, touch of rye, finish has some bourbon and dark chocolate notes, very dry finish.

M: Very thin for an imperial stout and very dry finish.

O: Positives, very smooth, balanced, and easy to drink for the ABV, nothing really stands out as far as taste, subtle flavors of bourbon, rye, coffee, and chocolate make it balanced and very drinkable. Also, can't beat the price $13.99 for a six pack! However, it does lack body for an imperial stout. Overall, a great tasting barrel aged coffee imperial stout lacking some body but with a great price.

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2016 vintage
~1 month from bottling date

Appearance- Pours a black color, opaque. Half finger thick, medium tan colored head, creamy and frothy thick. Tons of spotty head lacing on glass, moderate coating of alcohol legs.

Aroma- Coffee beans, spicy and rich espresso. Chocolates, sweet caramel, vanilla, nuttiness. Spicy roasty notes, oak, mild whiskey, barrel char.

Taste- Rich roastiness, spicy espresso beans, mocha type sweetness. Dark chocolates, chocolate syrup, caramel, lingering vanilla sweetness. Touches of oak, spice, and whiskey notes.

Feel- Medium bodied, creamy but not overly thick. Moderate carbonation, silky smooth texture.

Overall- Coffee flavors are right upfront with lots of richness and spiciness, and pairs well with the sweetness that follows. Barrel characteristics add a lot of vanilla, and a spicy whiskey type finish. Very well balanced beer and delivers on both the coffee and barrel aging.

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Photo of gatornation
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark cola color with a 1 finger tan head. smells of chocolate , coffee spice, wood and whiskey. Taste follows nose with muted flavors that are well balanced, it all there wood, bourbon,vanilla espresso, rye spice very good. mouth feel is a little thin , but make no mistake this is a well made BA Coffee Stout. IN 2016 Lagunitas has quickly become a favorite brewery for me, this brew is no exception, just wish i could have purchased more

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High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.37 out of 5 based on 1,583 ratings.
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