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
American Imperial Stout
4.38 | pDev: 6.39%
Jan 14, 2023
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 StonedTrippin
Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
this has always been wonderful, and some of the older vintages are still drinking really well. i think part of that is that there was never a ton of coffee in these, always more a barrel chemistry thing than a major flavor agent, and i think that helps these keep, less coffee to oxidize and turn into green peppers and acidity and bitterness. the base stout to me does seem a little different than what they use for the willettized now, this is drier to me, more cocoa forward, less middle malt heft and a little more roasted bitterness coming out. this lends itself well to the bourbon, which presents as high end and even unique in this, with a french vanilla and maple note to it and as much new oak to me as charred, lightly spicy on the finish, with big raisin, dark chocolate, and fudge characteristics. i get some light smoke, the whiskey warmth, and a really awesome linger on the palate without being sugary. great velvety texture and richness, a little more carbonation and froth than a lot of these have, regal and woody and mature, complex but unforced, beautifully dialed in base beer to showcase these barrels. i know when high west got bought out these barrels started going elsewhere which is where the willett thing came in, but these early barrel aged stouts were incredible too, still are. holding up better than just about any other coffee stouts i can think of. exceptionally impressive stuff here, gorgeous barrel character.
Jan 14, 2023
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Reviewed by RyanK252 from California

4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
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
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Reviewed by Roy_Hobbs from Connecticut

4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
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
Rated: 3.58 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Nov 27, 2021
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Reviewed by Pinz412 from Pennsylvania

4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
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
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Reviewed by rand from California

4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
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
Rated: 4.09 by peabody from Kentucky

Jul 15, 2019
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Reviewed by AyatollahGold from Indiana

4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
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.
Jul 05, 2019
Rated: 4.28 by Samact from Vermont

May 11, 2019
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Reviewed by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
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
May 07, 2019
Rated: 4.5 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

May 01, 2019
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Reviewed by GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -20.1%
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.
Apr 04, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by DKGreen from California

Feb 14, 2019
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Reviewed by 5toutman75 from Illinois

4.39/5  rDev +0.2%
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.
Feb 14, 2019
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Reviewed by elNopalero from California

4.38/5  rDev 0%
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.
Jan 04, 2019
Rated: 4.27 by bluehende from Delaware

Dec 25, 2018
Rated: 4.39 by dazedman from Virginia

Dec 14, 2018
Rated: 4.38 by KMcGrath from Massachusetts

Nov 28, 2018
Rated by WOLFGANG from South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Nov 18, 2018
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Reviewed by bl00 from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev -10.5%
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.
Nov 16, 2018
Rated: 4.34 by SaraMatt from California

Nov 04, 2018
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Reviewed by Jeffwildcat from Arizona

4.88/5  rDev +11.4%
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.
Oct 28, 2018
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Reviewed by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
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.
Oct 11, 2018
Rated: 4.41 by Knickfan3 from New York

Oct 07, 2018
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Reviewed by hoptheology from California

4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
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).
Oct 05, 2018
Photo of Danny862
Reviewed by Danny862 from Idaho

4.74/5  rDev +8.2%
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%
Oct 03, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by teamwiggum from Wisconsin

Sep 08, 2018
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Reviewed by AllOfTheCats from Wisconsin

4.98/5  rDev +13.7%
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.
Jul 24, 2018
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Reviewed by IvoryFoxhole from Virginia

4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
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.
Jul 15, 2018
Rated: 4.52 by Magery from Kentucky

May 27, 2018
Rated: 4.24 by yancot from Canada (ON)

May 24, 2018
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Reviewed by LloydDobler from Indiana

4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
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.
May 03, 2018
Rated: 4.5 by trygelski1 from Pennsylvania

Mar 30, 2018
Photo of joe1510
Reviewed by joe1510 from Illinois

4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
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.
Mar 24, 2018
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Reviewed by Tony210 from New Jersey

4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

12 oz bottle - thanks for the trade Bo!
4.25 rating.
Mar 02, 2018
Rated: 4.25 by dbauer from California

Feb 27, 2018
Rated: 4.64 by sunnovgoat from California

Feb 23, 2018
Rated: 4.23 by Duncian from Pennsylvania

Feb 07, 2018
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Reviewed by AlarmClock314 from Wisconsin

4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
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.
Feb 04, 2018
Rated: 4 by sweemzander from Illinois

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