High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout
Lagunitas Brewing Company

High West-ified Imperial Coffee StoutHigh West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout
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Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
Stout - American Imperial
4.38 | pDev: 6.39%
Jan 23, 2022
Dec 24, 2014
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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Photo of RyanK252
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by RyanK252 from California

2016 Bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours nearly black with a creamy cocoa brown head that settles to a light layer and laces beautifully.

S: Roasted malt, chocolate, a touch of coffee, followed by plenty of brown sugar, bourbon candy, toasted coconut, vanilla, a touch of peppery spice, slightly earthy, and a hint of oak.

T: Big brown sugar, almost maple, smooth bourbon, toasted coconut, vanilla, roasty toasty malt, milk chocolate, coffee, earthy faintly herbal undertones, peppery spice, and a touch of oak.

M: Full body, moderate carbonation, creamy smooth with a touch of alcohol warmth.

O: Was hoping to do a cellar revisit and see how this has changed, but somehow I never logged this one back in the day (despite drinking my share of it). Oops! Glad I saved some. As far as how it's drinking now; pretty damn fantastic. The barrel aged part has definitely jumped to the forefront with the base beer and coffee stepping back a bit, but you can still pick up just about everything. Not the same experience as it was fresh from the brewery, but I'm more than happy with what it's turned into.

Jan 23, 2022
Photo of Roy_Hobbs
4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Roy_Hobbs from Connecticut

Pours the darkest of browns. Plenty of mocha colored head, especially given the age of the beer. After a few minutes it receded to a thin ring with high viscosity & great legs. Aroma is not once it once was, but still nice. Some chocolate notes accompany the barrel aromas. It smells rich, but the coffee is no longer detectable on the nose.

Taste has also held up really nicely. There are still some coffee notes there, but I get more chocolate & light roast. It's rich and smooth with a nice, full feel. Still a really good beer.

Dec 30, 2021
3.58 by TMoney2591 from Illinois on Nov 27, 2021
Photo of Pinz412
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Pinz412 from Pennsylvania

This 2016 bottle, poured roughly four years after bottling, poured jet black in color with only a brief one centimeter head. The liquid appeared slick as it filled the 12oz. snulip I was using. The aroma heavily leaned into the oak rye barrel and vanilla. There were notes of the underlying roast, but they were only subtle. The flavor was much more delicate than I anticipated. The rye wasn't nearly as prominent on my palate as it was in the aroma. This is not to say that it was missing, it just didn't overwhelm in the way that I expected. The first big flavor I noticed was chocolate, followed by vanilla, brown sugar, oak, and the faintest hint of toasted coconut. The coffee was very mellow and mostly faded, but contributed to a pleasant bitterness to balance the sweetness of the also mellowed rye. The feel was a touch thin and slick with very little carbonation. Overall, this bottle held up well and was a pleasure to drink.

Nov 08, 2020
Photo of rand
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by rand from California

12 oz bottle into a snifter

Jet-black in appearance, viscous brew with little carb or head. Lots of toasty bourbon notes in the nose, boozy as coffee notes abound. Surprisingly smooth and balanced in the palate...like the bitter coffee and astringent oak are offset by the bourbon’s vanilla sweetness. Some subtle notes of carob and burnt sugar toward the finish, which is short and clean.

One of the best coffee beers I’ve had, wow.

Jul 11, 2020
4.09 by peabody from Kentucky on Jul 15, 2019
Photo of AyatollahGold
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by AyatollahGold from Indiana

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.

Jul 05, 2019
4.28 by Samact from Vermont on May 11, 2019
Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

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

May 07, 2019
4.5 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania on May 01, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
3.5/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by GuyFawkes from Illinois

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.

Apr 04, 2019
4.25 by DKGreen from California on Feb 14, 2019
Photo of 5toutman75
4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
by 5toutman75 from Illinois

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.

Feb 14, 2019
Photo of elNopalero
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by elNopalero from California

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.

Jan 04, 2019
4.27 by bluehende from Delaware on Dec 25, 2018
4.39 by dazedman from Virginia on Dec 14, 2018
4.25 by RaulMondesi from California on Dec 03, 2018
4.38 by KMcGrath from Massachusetts on Nov 28, 2018
4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by WOLFGANG from South Carolina


Nov 18, 2018
Photo of bl00
3.92/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by bl00 from Pennsylvania

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.

Nov 16, 2018
4.34 by SaraMatt from California on Nov 04, 2018
Photo of Jeffwildcat
4.88/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
by Jeffwildcat from Arizona

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.

Oct 28, 2018
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

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.

Oct 11, 2018
4.41 by Knickfan3 from New York on Oct 07, 2018
Photo of hoptheology
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by hoptheology from South Dakota

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).

Oct 05, 2018
Photo of Danny862
4.74/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
by Danny862 from Idaho

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%

Oct 03, 2018
4.25 by teamwiggum from Wisconsin on Sep 08, 2018
Photo of AllOfTheCats
4.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
by AllOfTheCats from Wisconsin

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.

Jul 24, 2018
Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

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.

Jul 15, 2018
4.52 by Magery from Kentucky on May 27, 2018
4.24 by yancot from Canada (ON) on May 24, 2018
Photo of LloydDobler
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by LloydDobler from Indiana

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.

May 03, 2018
4.5 by trygelski1 from Pennsylvania on Mar 30, 2018
Photo of joe1510
4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by joe1510 from Illinois

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.

Mar 24, 2018
Photo of Tony210
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Tony210 from New Jersey

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.

12 oz bottle - thanks for the trade Bo!
4.25 rating.

Mar 02, 2018
4.25 by dbauer from California on Feb 27, 2018
4.64 by sunnovgoat from California on Feb 23, 2018
4.23 by Duncian from Pennsylvania on Feb 07, 2018
Photo of AlarmClock314
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by AlarmClock314 from Wisconsin

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.

Feb 04, 2018
4 by sweemzander from Illinois on Feb 02, 2018
High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 2031 ratings