High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout | Lagunitas Brewing Company

318 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 318 | Ratings: 1,825
Photo of rrock44
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a growler. Chocolate, coffee, and sweet boozy flavor. Not sure if I could tell you the difference between this and GI bourbon county. Price point definelty better. Winner in my book. Cross fingers they brew it again.

 226 characters

Photo of Impfan
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Splendidly nutty example of a coffee Imperial Stout, thanks to the Metropolis Spice Island blend added to the brew. There is a wonderful dry character to this stout which is mitigated by a very fruity and spicy rye character, and a vanilla underpinning contributed by the bourbon barrels. A subtle marshmallow ester is also present, as well as a graham cracker element which further enhances this chocolate-y stout's deliciousness. This is, by a stretch, the best offering from Lagunitas, ever.

 494 characters

Photo of RacerX5k
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Edit 2/517 Super Bowl Saturday ... this is not nearly as good as last years perfect 5. Not even close, missing the coffee and the rye is not nearly as strong. At least Lagunitas did the right thing and cut the price in half.
2016 scores A:4 S:4.5 T:4.25 M:4 Overall 4

By far the best beer of 2015. Really reminds me of (but not quite as complex) my favorite beer Alewerks Bourbon Barrel Porter. Perfect appearance. Aroma opens with big blast of delicious coffee quickly followed by rye, chocolate and vanilla. Taste follows, chocolate rye bomb with coffee, vanilla, bourbon, coconut and toasted marshmallow. Mouthfeel is perfect, off the charts smooth. The barrel compliments, does not overpower. This is a perfectly balanced beer. Finally a Lagunitas makes my best of (top 5) list. Wow.

 789 characters

Photo of CraftFan5
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Not sure what to expect here. More barrel and less coffee or vice versa. I hope it's the former. Let's find out. 22 oz. bomber into a teku glass.

A - Dark into the glass as expected, with a nice finger of khaki head. Black even in the light. So far so good.

N - Hmmm, seems pretty balanced so far. Definitely get both coffee and rye barrels in a fairly even ratio. Lots of chocolate-y roasty malt as well. Color me impressed so far.

T - Oh wow, this is really excellent. Extremely similar to KBS just a way better price ;). I get coffee, but not too much. I get barrel, but not too much. I get roasted malt, and just enough. A really well-made beer.

M - Full and frothy, exactly the way I want my stouts to be. It's like spraying whipped cream into my mouth, except the whipped cream is chocolate and coffee flavored.

O - Wow, I'm blown away. Granted, if I didn't only use whole number ratings this would definitely NOT get a 5, but everything is closer to a 5 than a 4. I should really pick up a few more of these as they're just sitting there on the shelves of my local store for $9.99 a pop.

 1,116 characters

Photo of Gambyt20
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy spaceballs this beer is amazing. On draft. Nose is intense rye barrel and taste upfront is a sweet rye barrel and finish ever so balance with the coffee notes. Thick and great mouthfeel. Very solid BA stout.

 212 characters

Photo of Meow49
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is, perhaps, the best beer deal in the known Universe, at about $2 a bottle. Huge (but smooth) flavors of nutty (walnut and almond) coffee, bitter chocolate, dried brown fruit, and big rye barrel with more subtle bourbon underpinnings. Lovely dry finish of very long duration. I only wish this was available year round.

 324 characters

Photo of Pazzy30
4.96/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Very comparable to BCBS in the taste category. Great value at only 8.99 a bomber. Lagunitas has done it again. My favorite brew from them so far. Only thing is I would have like more coffee notes.

 196 characters

Photo of threeviews
4.96/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

22oz bottle (BOD: 044 5 1 Julian: February 9,2015 - Location: Petaluma)

A - Pitch black color with some brown hues at the edges of the glass and ~1-finger of a tan head (like that of coffee ice cream) with minimal retention. It does not pour as viscous as some, but it is close enough...typical Imperial Stout entrance. (4.75)

S - The aroma is absolutely mouth-watering...Rye & Bourbon Whiskey, Chocolate, Coffee, Coconut, Vanilla, Molasses and hint of Charred Oak are all present. The aroma alone makes this worthy of purchase. (5.0)

T - The coffee and roasted malts from the base beer hit first but are quickly countered with a slap from the Rye Whiskey barrel. A lingering, Whiskey/Oak Tannin comes int at the end and hits the palate with enough force to rise above the flavors from the base beer. However, it does so with tact, only adding to the complexity and achieving a harmonious blend of beer and barrel. (5.0)

M- Medium-Plus with delicate carbonation. It is certainly has a palate-coating feel, but is far from heavy, chewy or cloying. It feels like 12% ABV, but at the same time doesn't feel like 12% ABV. In other words, well executed. (4.75)

O - Lagunitas releases another winner with HWICS...their first commerically available barrel-aged beer. It not only fires on all cylinders, the value is impossible to beat (22oz bottle ~$9) at $.40/oz when other barrel aged beers cost upwards of $1/oz (even more!). (5.0)

 1,434 characters

Photo of justintcoons
4.95/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Black with 1 finger of tan head that dissipates quickly.

Vanilla, toasted coconut, chocolate fudge, roasted barley, caramel, bourbon, and espresso.

Chocolate fudge, cold brewed dark roast coffee, and dark chocolate. Tons of sweet roasted barley and caramel. Hints of espresso. Vanilla, toasted coconut, and slight charred oak. Well blended notes of Bourbon with an accent of spicy Rye Whiskey with a touch of cinnamon.

Medium bodied, silky, oily, and smooth.

Incredibly rich, balanced, and complex. Hides the 12% abv extremely well. Exceptional barrel aging and overall perfection for the style.

 676 characters

Photo of dertyd
4.94/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

one of the best Stouts i ever had, pours a nice dark almost black color, smell is of bourbon oke and coffee, the taste is thin with flavors of bourbon, chocolate, coffee, vanilla just so delicious

 196 characters

Photo of bgold86
4.94/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A 9.5 out of 10, a serious contender for best beer of 2015! Lots of bourbon, vanilla sweetness, great mouth-feel, amazing nose, amazingly similar to Founders CBS, and all for $9.99!

 181 characters

Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

L: Pours out dark brown, but is pitch black in the glass. The head is frothy, dark brown, and slightly creamy, with surprisingly long retention for the abv, but it eventually dies down into a thin tan ring. The lacing is also pretty solid.

S: Whiskey, charred oak, dark chocolate, chocolate syrup--the coffee is subtle, but there is a general sense of roastiness--burnt raisins, figs, and plums, and a bit of caramel and butterscotch.

T: Rich, gooey chocolate for days. Dark chocolate, bitter cacao, and chocolate syrup. Slight dark roasted coffee/espresso. Then the whiskey, oak, and booze cut through the chocolate. Toasted coconut, vanilla, butterscotch, caramel. The oak tannins and vanilla barrel character dry the beer out on the finish. The dark fruits are less present than on the aroma, but there is an undertone of burnt raisin and plum. It is warm going down and you can feel the warmth in the stomach, but the dry finish makes this drink dangerously easy.

F: Medium-bodied. A bit thin, but it drinks very easily. Dries out very nicely on the finish.

O: One of the best barrel aged beers I've ever had! Goes toe-to-toe with BCBS in my honest opinion.

 1,179 characters

Photo of NodakEric
4.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a remarkable blend of flavors... they just keep developing in the mouth. This is certainly one of my top 5 beers of all time. I had it on tap at the Butcher and the Boar in Minneapolis March 6.

 196 characters

Photo of Celtics17
4.93/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

 221 characters

Photo of kerry4porters
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is a fantastic beer to be having on a Sunday Morning brunch outing and so much chocolateyness coming out with out being a chocolate stout delicious beer no question. Went really well with a Tasty Breakfast Sandwich I was having. Coffee? Check. Bourbon/Whiskey? Check. Great Imperial stout? Double Check. Grab this up if you see this it's incredible.

 357 characters

Photo of Original_Gravity
4.91/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Amazing beer! Perfect balance between the coffee and booze. Better than BCBCS, IMO. I could drink this everyday, and at a price point of $9.99, I just might drink one everyday.

 176 characters

Photo of IPAGeorge
4.91/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a tulip

A. A dark brown almost black impenetrable by light viscous stout. 2 finger cappuccino head with great retention. Abstract lacing around the glass. Looks very nice.

S. A chocalate, coffee, caramel, toffee, oak and malt aroma very nicely blended. Hits you all at the same time. Smells absolutely delicious. Probably the best smelling stout i've ever smelled.

T. Wow. Deep coffee, chocolate, caramel, oak. Very slight bitterness that comes out if you rest the beer on your tongue. Aftertaste is coffee, caramel and toffee. Little boozy but just the right amount to me. A further aftertaste leaves a slight green leaf flavor. The coffee is very espresso like. I drink my coffee black and I love espresso so this beer is really hitting it for me.

M. Nice body. 7 out of 10 in a 1-10 scale. Not motor oil but it's thick enough to me. Some mild carbonation which I am enjoying. Slight booze burn on the way down but really just warming. Finishes nice and clean.

O. This beer is fantastic. I have one more and I hope I find more because I would get it everytime. I'm really loving every aspect of it. Do yourself a favor and get this. I need to get back to my beer now.

 1,227 characters

Photo of K-Dog
4.89/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Watch out kbs and bcbs there's a new player to the game of bourbon stouts. I over paid at 1199 and it's still worth it. Buy as many bottles as u can find at this price.

 168 characters

Photo of beerforme55
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Love High West whiskys especially there ryes! This bourbon barrel ale does not disappoint. Coffee notes are elegant and more noticeable as stout warms up. This bourbon barrel ale is very well balanced and my favorite from the one hitter series of Lagunitas! I found this gem driving through a small town of Quincy Il at a local wine shop being Wine On Broadway. This stout is delicious, and I can not wait to try it head to head against this years Goose Island Bourbon Barrel Coffee Stout because I defiantly think it can hang with the Goose if it is not better!

 562 characters

Photo of KarmicSkrambl8
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

one of my faves...smooth, creamy mouth

amazingly balanced---roasty, coffee, chocolatey a bit...ABV% supremely masked

one of the best tasting beers---overall---I have ever had

 176 characters

Photo of FL-NJ-Gator
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

They had this on tap at my local bar, and I really enjoyed this one! It's a smooth sipper with bourbon and coffee. This is definitely one of the better BA beers I've had recently.

 179 characters

Photo of CHickman
4.83/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours motor oil black color with zero light coming through and puts on a Guinness-like cascading show that produces a thick 2 finger creamy tan head that faded very slowly and left very good spotty lacing and rings as it went down. The layer stays on top and this looks like a nice mean imperial stout.

Smells of burnt coffee grinds, molasses, vanilla, oak, cocoa powder, burnt grains, charred wood, booze that lets barrel aging add a sweetness, dark chocolate and burnt marshmallow. Not as much coffee in the nose as I expected, perhaps the barrel aging tamed it, but damn this smells nice with a ton of complexities that bring out more caramel and a hint of black licorice as it warms up.

Sniff, sip, smile. The flavor was more robust with the coffee and bourbon sweetness coming through first which mixed very well with the caramel, molasses, vanilla, oak, cocoa powder, charred wood, dark chocolate or candy like Milk Duds, biscotti and burnt brownies. The coffee bitterness is strong with Kona coffee notes or espresso that was roasted way too long washing over everything in a good way. The grains are very roasted, there seems to be some piney hops adding stability, and the oak and barrel aging bring out nice earthy complexities that keep the 12% ABV well hidden. The alcohol warms you up, but is not a harsh shot-like distraction. Not too sweet, not too bitter, this strikes a great balance of showcasing the coffee and the booze together and in some sips separately.

Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, like a milkshake with a shot of bourbon in it; chewy yet smooth, bitter yet boozy, the body is dense with very mellow carbonation and a bitter finish that is so enjoyably complex that I tried to drink a slow sipper even slower.

Any fan of coffee stouts and barrel aged stouts needs to try this, it is the beer you envision when you think of combining those types of stouts. This beer lived up to the hype and delivered everything I was hoping for and was very reasonably priced, which pushes up the overall score. I’m a big fan of the Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout, and this was like that beer on steroids with all the smooth drink-ability you could ask for in a 12% imperial stout. Very well done, near perfect. Very glad I have another bottle to age as this was excellent overall.

2/18/2016: Cracked open another bottle and the age made it even smoother and more flavorful. Traces of rye come through along with vanilla, oak, peat moss, bourbon, cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate, charred wood, espresso, burnt coffee beans, caramel and woody/earthy notes which accent the barrel aging. Mouthfeel is smooth and wonderful, and the nose has everything the last bottle had from my first review except it seemed a little more muted and blended together. Aroma is different as it's softer, but the barrel influence brings out more bourbon, molasses and chocolate which was very enjoyable again. Tasted a little better aged, so I notched up the "Overall" review to 5 and enjoyed every last sip.

 3,007 characters

Photo of dpgoblejr
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown in color. Decent mocha/tan head with spotty globs of lacing. Aroma is, well, coffee. Taste is of coffee, some hidden chocolate, barrel, and some bitterness. Medium bodied, almost full, and has a dry finish. Quite a delicious coffee stout, but I'm a chocolate lover, so it was great but not amazing.

 320 characters

Photo of SawDog505
4.81/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into my favorite Lost Abbey long stim tulip glass bottled looks like early February 2017? Pours a beautiful slick black, with a two finger tan head that leaves some very attractive streaks of lace behind and settles into a thick layer of khaki bubbles.

Smell is roasty coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, pipe tobacco, and oaky bourbon.

Taste follows expresso, deep dark chocolate, vanilla, molasses, pipe tobacco, and bourbon.

Mouthfeel is a little bigger than medium, moderate amount of life, a little dry as you would expect, and for 12.2% ABV extremely approachable.

Overall I had this one other time at EBF and it didn't wow me like this. Price and quality this stuff is absolutely the best. Incredible stuff.

 727 characters

Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ok, I'll admit I'm elevating a little bit because of the price, but this beer really is killer.
It pours thick and black with a small beige head that dissipated quicker than I'd like. The aroma is very rye whiskey forward with some vanilla, coffee, dark fruit, and a little cocoa.
The flavor is absolutely insane, you get coffee first and foremost followed by a very nice rich sweetness that is between dark fruit, molasses and chocolate. The rye whiskey comes through with a very nice spiciness and booziness on the finish.
Very rich mouthfeel with light carbonation that doesn't really play much.
Overall, this is an incredible BA stout that comes out to $2 a bottle, buy as much as you can get your hands on. I only bought 2 6 packs and I'm regretting not buying a full case.

 778 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.39 out of 5 based on 1,825 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.