High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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High West-ified Imperial Coffee StoutHigh West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout
2,017 Ratings
High West-ified Imperial Coffee StoutHigh West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American 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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,017 |  Reviews: 370
Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
1.59/5  rDev -63.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

Pretty bad, as much as it pains me to say it.
But I can't even be mad, I paid 12$ for an entire 6 pack.
They must have known they messed up with this one.

Look: Starts off innocently enough... pours a dark brown, almost pitch black coca-cola color with a one finger beige head.

Aroma: Tons of alcohol... lots of sweet chocolate and vanilla.

Taste: Disgusting. I don't drain pour but god damn it's time like these I wish I did.
Alcohol is right up in your face with an unpleasant burning sensation. Flavor is like Hersey's syrup and vanilla extract mixed with soy sauce complemented by a nasty, buttery aftertaste. Has an acrid, sour taste on the tail end. I thought this was a coffee stout? Where's the coffee? Tastes like someone dumped two shots of rye and half a finger of chocolate syrup into my stout.

Feel: Hot and unpalatable, incredibly sweet with absolutely no hops to balance out the sweetness. Slimy and sickly sweet with low carbonation.

Overall: Lagunitas has incredible skill at crafting IPAs and that's what I know them for. Coming from a big fan of the brewery and someone with a bottle of High West Campfire sitting right next to me on my desk, this is abhorrent. What the hell were they thinking when they bottled this?

Edit: I've heard rumors some batches of this were infected. Hoping this was the case with my experience. I wouldn't mind trying it again, so I'll keep my eyes open for this in the hopes the next six pack I buy is untainted.

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Photo of mmars010
2.55/5  rDev -41.8%
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 AuntBea
2.76/5  rDev -37%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Photo of QuentinCall
2.76/5  rDev -37%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Did Dante Alighieri work with Lagunitas on this?
Cause drinking it kinda feels like a descent into chaos.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter, the appearance was a black color with a tired white foamy head that dies off to leave some tired concave lace. The aroma had some fresh/green coffee bean, bold and up front. Thick dark luscious chocolatey malts. Big woody dryness. Some milk chocolate and a touch of vanilla. The flavor mostly blends between the sweet and the roast with that "fresh/green" bitter hoppiness really pummeling thoroughly. Sly rugged roastiness hits the "fresh/green" bitter hoppy portion in the aftertaste, and it gets kind of sticky in the finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a fair sipping quality about it. Carbonation seems a bit lower than expected. Subtle stickiness. Overall, well, I didn’t get the "whiskey" in this. The coffee bean seem extremely fresh as if it wasn’t fully roasted before being used in the beer. Did I just drink at the wrong time? Still, I’m not sure if even aging this beer would do it any good. I feel like I got a bad bottle judging by other reviews.

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Photo of DragonsMilk
3.04/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This one did not live up to the hype.

As usual with Lagunitas the price was nice, especially for the AVB, paid 2.99 for a 12oz bottle

Good stout flavors but the body was so thin the whole thing fell flat.

Decent stout for the money but I didn't enjoy this one, I found it watery. Stone RIS is a great Imperial Stout benchmark and can be found for 6.99 22oz, richer body, its distributed widely and doesn't have a "craze" surrounding it that keeps it near unobtainable , Id pass over the HighWestifed Lagunitas for a Stone RIS every time.

EDIT* I originally gave this a 2.5 overall with a 3.34% Total but looking back at how I poured it down the drain because it was so unenjoyable and seeing how Ive rated some other beers lower and would happliy have them again I cant leave this one where it is.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.32/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Interesting aroma of raspberries and dark cherries. Not much of the coffee I got with the non barrel version. Goes down fairly smooth. Flavors combine sweet and bitter notes, but the coffee simply doesn't stand up to the barrel. Dark fruits again. Some heat from the rye whiskey. Overall, I expected more and I'm a little sad:(

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Photo of facesnorth
3.32/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Currently #231 in the Top 250 list. I nabbed a sixer at a Whole Paycheck in Manhattan for $15.00. Initial impressions below:

"2016 OneHitter Series High West-Ified Imperial Coffee Stout." "Aged in High West(TM) Rye Barrels."

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz. Brown glass. Standard Lagunitas label design. Iconic branded green pry-off crown cap.

12.20% ABV.

APPEARANCE: Head is ~5-6cm in height and of khaki/pale tan colour. Head could be richer, more robust, and better coloured (a gilded rich tan with a shining complexion would be a step up). Somewhat creamy, somewhat soft. There's room for improvement there. Uneven lacing coats the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body is predictably an opaque black.

True to style, but not unique or special. The head retention (~5 minutes) is pretty good considering the high ABV.

AROMA: Bourbon isn't shy in this aroma. Vanilla (vanillin) jumps out along with oak. No toasted coconut or rich white oak, but the bourbon is present - and that's sadly more than I can say about many bourbon barrel aged beers. On the other hand, rye whiskey has a signature spiciness to it, but frankly that doesn't come through aromatically.

The base beer seems standard judging by the aroma...some dark malt sweetness, some specialty chocolate malts, faint roasted barley maybe...I honestly wouldn't figure this for a coffee stout in a blind tasting (smelling?). There's just no coffee aroma whatsoever.

While both barrel and base leave much to be desired in terms of complexity and vividness aromatically, I'm hopeful the taste will deliver a bit more. Aromatic intensity is somewhat low for a bourbon barrel aged coffee stout, but there's nothing off (no off-notes, no booze, no overt hoppy or yeasty notes). Suggests a simple but balanced basic bourbon barrel stout that wants for the rye whiskey and coffee it's advertised as containing.

TASTE & TEXTURE: A bit silky, with a nice softness and almost perfect carbonation to it. Full-bodied yet smooth and wet, never feeling too heavy or overbearing on the palate. Not syrupy or sticky, to its credit, but also not gooey (which would play to the bourbon a bit more).

There's some acidity on the finish, which is - frankly - the only evidence I find of coffee at all. The power of suggestion is strong, but as much as I search for coffee - even generic shallow coffee flavour - I just don't find it. There's a bit of roasted barley and that aforementioned acidity, but I wouldn't conflate that and true coffee. In a beer purported to be amongst the best 250 in the world, I'd expect not only present coffee, but rich roasty java with identifiable richness and flavour; that just plain isn't the case here.

The base beer is pretty generic, to be honest. Dark malt sweetness, chocolate malts, a hint of vanilla (or maybe that's just the oak-derived vanillin from the bourbon barrel).

Speaking of the barrel character - it's well integrated. Almost seamlessly so. But it's also reticent, lacking the vivid expressive notes that make it impressive when a bourbon barrel flavour melts into a base beer. Lagunitas plays it close to the cuff, throwing out some oak and vanillin but not going for rich toasted coconut or toasted white oak or barrel char or the like. And as for the rye whiskey? This is bourbon through and through; I find none of rye whiskey's signature spiciness, and I'd be surprised if educated drinkers could find it consistently in a blind tasting.

Like the aroma, the flavour is wanting in terms of intricacy, subtlety, depth, and vividness. The base beer seems a bit basic, but it's well balanced, and the barrel character is reticent. I don't need huge bold flavours in an imperial stout, but one does expect a bit more than this offers. It lacks the complexity of even the best non-barrel aged imperial stouts and porters, and one wonders who would reach for this when it's on the same shelf as the likes of Ballast Point's Victory At Sea, Victory's Storm King, or even North Coast's Old Rasputin. Sure, this has balance to offer, but the limb can't snap if you don't go out on it.

OVERALL: A competent bourbon/whiskey barrel aged stout from Lagunitas, but I honestly hoped for better. Stouts have never been Lagunitas' strong suit, and this is no exception - though it is the best "dark beer" they've done, by my estimation. Well worth trying and I'll happily finish the 6 pack, but where's the coffee? Where's the whiskey? $15 a sixer is pretty good for a barrel aged stout, but I'd take many regular imperial stouts over this. Surprisingly simplistic.

The vanillin is the standout, shallow though it is. And hot damn is that ABV dangerously well-hidden.

High B- (3.45) / WORTHY

12.05.16 2nd impression:

The coffee is there, the bourbon/whiskey less so. Indeed, the barrel character is quite wanting. For the price, this is pretty good stuff, and I'm glad Lagunitas didn't go the 22oz cash-grab format route. But it's not dazzling.


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Photo of Desp59
3.43/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Korbynlehr
3.47/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Good stout, not as good as The Abyss

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Photo of ILikeGoodCider
3.47/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
3.48/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of nograz
3.5/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MidwestBA
3.5/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of alpenglocken
3.5/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TomCat11
3.52/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of RAlmeida77
3.54/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of chrishiker1409
3.55/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jroberts8811
3.59/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm so disappointed in this. Coffee is subtle, missing vanilla, caramel notes. Needed more time in the batrel and a more sturdy base.

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Photo of zshaft
3.61/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

so I usually hate barrel aged stuff but when you find a rare one you gotta get it. pour is nice black with good coffee head. nose is some coffee with hard booze prevelant. taste is coffee up front with a little bit of dryness. woody whiskey follows but not overpowering. toasted nuts seem to follow with little alcohol burn despite the high abv. while the hard booze is not overpowering as some offerings its still pretty evident with me. it's ok but the liquor flavor ruins it for me. better than kbs or goose island but not for me. ill give my other bottle away.

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Photo of Schlafly33
3.62/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Danny1217
3.62/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dsa7783
3.63/5  rDev -17.1%
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 beefsquatch
3.64/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.38 out of 5 with 2,017 ratings