High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout | Lagunitas Brewing Company

330 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: 330 | Ratings: 1,881
Photo of MattyG85
4.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Lagunitas Mason Jar.

Appearance: Pours nearly pitch black with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of tan head that settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A roasty and boozy dark malt and barrel driven aroma with big hints of rye whiskey and coffee. Upfront barrel presence with big hints of rye whiskey along with some wood, oak, and vanilla. Dark roasted barley malt with big hints of coffee beans, dark chocolate, toast, biscuit, toffee, caramel, smoke, and yeast. Hints of molasses and anise licorice. Light dark fruit hints. A really nice aroma.

Taste: Follows the nose, a roasty and nicely boozy dark malt and barrel forward taste with big notes of rye whiskey and coffee. Big barrel presence with upfront notes of rye whiskey, oak, wood, and vanilla. Dark roasted barley malt with notes of coffee beans, dark chocolate, burnt toast, biscuit, toffee, caramel, smoke, and yeast. Sweet notes of molasses and cream. Also some subtle black licorice and dark fruit. A really good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Rich, creamy, and slick. A little hot as expected but it’s still fairly smooth for 12%.

Overall: A really great Barrel Aged Coffee Stout. Big rich flavors of rye whiskey, coffee, and chocolate. It really delivers and it’s really nicely priced at $9.99. Most would charge at least $20 for something like this.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.65/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color, bordering on pitch-black. The head is three fingers high and mocha in shade. Retention is pretty solid for the gravity, but what's more impressive is the texture: creamy yet consistent, leaving behind plenty of lacing on the glass. (4)

Smell: This seems rather mild for 12%. Still, I do pick up both black coffee and rye barrel notes. There's nothing really wrong with the nose at all, but it's far too weak for a 12% barrel-aged monster. I expected more from this. (3.25)

Taste: It starts off with a combination of rye barrel and cream, with a subtle appearance of milk chocolate. Coffee flavors only appear on the finish and aftertaste, embellished by subtle nutty hints. Still, it really does drink like a good cappuccino that has a shot of rye whiskey. The general flavors are all balanced well, though it could use a bit more roasted malt for my personal taste. (3.75)

Mouthfeel: Wow, this is so damn easygoing for 12%. It doesn't have the fullest body for the style, but it's nice and creamy regardless. Carbonation is pretty low, so it can get a bit syrupy. Hey, it's 12%, who cares? (3.75)

Overall: I really like this beer a lot. It's reasonably well distributed, inexpensive for the standards of the style, and easy to drink. A 97, though? I'm not quite so sure - it lacks the 'pop' of the best examples of the style. Nonetheless, it's another solid Lagunitas offering, and I'm glad I got more than a single bottle. (3.75)

3.65/5: My first barrel-aged beer from Lagunitas, and it's a good'un

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Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Served @ 50deg F in snifter.

A very drinkable barrel aged imperial. Tastes like it's been aging in the cellar for a few years. Hope I am lucky enough to find another bottle. Another great & affordable beer from Lagunitas. Prost!

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Photo of GilGarp
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber served slightly chilled into a goblet.

High West-ified is a very dark brown color with good clarity seen on the pour. It has thin tan colored head that settles quickly to a skim layer.

Aroma has wonderful oak and bourbon character with vanilla, chocolate, and peat.

Flavor is intense but balanced. Milk chocolate and caramel sweetness come through at first. The vanilla and bourbon from the oak barrel come through next. And it finishes with roasted malts, bitterness, and a dryness.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and nicely carbonated for the style. It has good balance for a big bourbon stout. The alcohol is well hidden at first but begins to warm after a few sips.

Overall an excellent imperial stout and worth seeking out. I'll try to find a few more bottles before it's gone.

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Photo of floridadrift
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Top notch for $8.99, a fantasy, but thin mouthfeel, like base RIS. Whaddaya gonna do?
Lots of oak, caramel, coffeee and vanilla waves in the flavor profile, the lacing is evident throughout the entire length of drinking this. Really smooth and easy to drink.

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Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lag. bomber....reasonably priced at $10 and change

Pour is black, quality tiny bubble head, leaves super fine and nice looking spotty lace all over the glass

Chocolate and dark coffee all over the nose.

This is a flavor bomb of a beer with waves of dark malts, dark chocolate, coffee grounds, wood and whiskey bouncing off of each other. Dangerously drinkable and might I add...more then quite tasty....gotta get a few more bottles of this elixir

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Photo of drpimento
3.98/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a small, thick, long lasting head, little lace, and an opaque brown black. Aroma is a very mild coffee and malt. Flavor's sweet, malty, with some carbonic tang up front and some boozy bitter in the back. Some off notes in the finish and in the palate. I think this will get much better with age.

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Photo of Coldstorage
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours with a light brown head that quickly disappear. Nose is fantastic with cocoa, raspberries and caramel notes. Taste has the cocoa and caramel with a bit of a coffee burst but the rye and booze seem high in the mix. Mouthfeel is absolutely perfect... managing to be thick and chewy without crossing into that common cloying nightmare. Overall I have to knock it down a touch (from my independent category ratings) for the unbalanced booze but its a great beer now and will probably be a slightly different but still great (or better?) beer in a year or two. Going to put a few away and find out.

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Photo of RyBrew54
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Chicago brewery. Pours a nice midnight black. Little to light head with subtle lacing. Smells a deep caramel malt with sweet bakery breadiness. Taste is a deep cocoa with bourbon caramel malt. Leaves a beautiful caramel/coffee aftertaste. Very balanced and easy drinking stout considering the the 12%+abv. Awesome bourbon stout that I wish was made seasonally.

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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

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage. 12% ABV per the label.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, fudge, earth, char, wood, and slight rye whiskey aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, brownie batter, char, earth, and slight rye whiskey and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a fantastic mix of chocolate and rye whiskey characteristics all around that only get better as the beer warms up.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of The_Dude_710
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stunning beer. Reminds me of a '15 BA surly darkness. The flavors are premium dark roast with a nice hint of dark chocolate. And than bam high-west bourbon in you face. I highly recommend seeking two of theses bottles, at $10 each, I felt like I was stealing them. Well done lagunitas!

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Hop_God
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 release. This is absolute heaven.. I will say this is the BEST bang for your buck BA stout i've ever had. I can't see there being a better one for the price point.

A: Deep black, tan head
S: booze, spicy rye, chocolate, candied plums, cold press coffee
T: spicy rye, oak, coffee..however more subtle then expected.. Chocolate and brown sugar
F: creamy, syrupy coating. low carbonation
O: This beer is amazing. Worth twice it's price but i love Lagunitas for not doing so

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Photo of Thirsty_In_Chicago
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional barrel-aged coffee stout from Lagunitas. A great surprise beer, purchased from Jewel of all places for $8.99. A fantastic buy. Imbibed at 55 degrees, you will get a consistent coffee aroma and taste throughout. This is better than KBS. Lacking the brightness of a fresh BCBCS, and slightly thinner with more carbonated. But this is a delicious beer and I can't wait to drink another.

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Photo of Ri0
4.54/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

poured 22oz bomber into chalice.

A - Jet black as night with 2.5 finger cappuccino head. Teriffic retention that fades into a collar and leaves behind spotty lacing.

S - Wow, big espresso and coffee notes with french vanilla, cream and caramel. Roasted malts with dark chocolate make it very inviting to sniff.

T - Follows the nose with coffee and espresso up front along with sweet french vanilla and cream. Caramel and chocolate with bourbon notes are also on the palate. This is delicious!

M - Carbonation is spot on and it has a full feel. Very cream, rich and smooth to make it sublime.

O - This just made my year since I didn't get and BCBCS, Peruvian Morning, and won't get any KBS. This is right up there with all of those.

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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.

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Photo of mjpolzin
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow. This beer was really, really good. The fact that it was only $9 for a bomber makes it a phenomenal buy!

Initially I got a solid bourbon taste but also a very bitter, strong coffee flavor. As I drank it though, the coffee wasn't as noticeable and this beer reminded me a lot of Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout. Believe me, that is a good thing. The taste was a combination of bourbon, coffee, vanilla and chocolate. It was an absolute joy to drink. I have another bottle of this coming in a few days from my local bottle shop. I may sit on this for awhile to see how it develops with age.

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Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black as night with a frothy cappuccino head. Very good distribution, excellent retention, very good lacing. 4.75 paws.

Smell - Smells of hazelnuts, vanilla, peanut brittle, chocolate, whipped cream, port and macchiato. All the aromas are muted, but extremely well-balanced and inviting. 4.75 paws.

Taste - Lots of coffee up front, very decadent and no bitter coffee flavors. Bourbon vanilla flavors bend well, slightly bitter finish. A touch of chewy dark fruit and caramel with just a bit of smoke. Alcohol is well hidden but there is a lingering alcohol burn. 4 paws.

Feel - Full bodied, slightly creamy, not a lot of tingle, mostly on the tongue. Lingering, dusty finish. 4.25 paws.

Overall - Incredible value at $8.99/22oz. I implore Lagunitas to keep producing BA beers to drive prices down. Reminds me of a FiftyFifty Eclipse variant at nearly a fourth of the cost. Could definitely use some age though. 4.25 paws.

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Photo of CelticBelly1
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark chocolate color, nice even 1/2" head that drops fast. Soft lacing that drops fast
A soft nose of cocoa and fruity coffee
Great mouthfeel, not cloying. Tons of coffee and cocoa, a little bourbon tang,and a really subtle lick of wood.
Finishes a little sticky
Overall - WOW!!, I picked this up for less than 5 a bottle, Thx lagunitas for helping out the working folks, a world class beer that everyone can enjoy!!! Tony is the bomb!

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A really great BA coffee stout for the price point. A tad thin but well balanced overall. I can't stop drinking this one! The smell is out of this world for me.

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Photo of cokes
4.56/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark, dark brown. You'd probably call this black if it was a crayon because you generally don't try to tease gradients of color out of a crayon by holding it up to a light source. But here, it's less dark than black, and browner. The khaki head is low-slung, large-bubbled and shows impressive staying power, and it laces the glass up pretty well considering its potency.

The nose is a maple-coconut-black cherry-char quadrilateral of barrel notes, underpinned with treacle, plum, and a dash of soy sauce. Coffee enhances and augments the roast and char notes.

It should be noted that I am a rabid fan of High West's lineup of ryes. I'm also not so much of an asshole to tell you that I could detect the brand in the barrel aging, though the tamed spiciness of the rye shows through.

It lays a thick foundation of molten tootsie rolls across the tongue. Ensued by wetter, fudgier,chocolate notions. Fruits appear midway, brandy soaked raisins, dates, and plums. It migrates through carob,chicory,and toasted coconut. Woodier late as the barrel shows up. As does the rye whiskey it contained. Tempered, but still carrying a spicy, fiery,maple and brown sugar and black cherry and menthol and mint and clove and peppered char heat. The coffee is most apparent in an immediately post-swallow espresso astringent bitterness, bolstered by a bit of ethanol wrath, though congruent in the overall maelstrom. It's just a touch rough on the finish, but, honestly, that's kind of why I like rye. Lingering chocolate, pepper, and molasses, as the booze quotient ebbs.

Thickly palette coating, sparked by a trickling, yet ever-steady roil of carbonation. This veers well away from becoming super sticky or soupy, despite its girth and strength.

This deserves mention alongside most of its peers that attract crowds when they become available. It's also nice that it won't make a person skip a mortgage payment to secure a few bottles. I'm already wishing I had bought more.

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Photo of John_M
4.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has become my "go to" barrel aged imperial stout. At least here in Eugene, you see it around a lot, and it's priced well for the quality of beer you're buying.

The beer pours a blacksih brown color with very good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is great, as I pick up light bourbon/whiskey, coffee, vanilla and light licorice. The flavor profile replicates the nose, though I also get some light milk dud flavor as well (which I always like). Mouthfeel is pretty full, and the finish is long and drawn out in this moderately sweet stout. Alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile, though after driking a 10 ounce or 12 ounce glass, you know it's up there.

Excellent beer from the folks at Lagunitas.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark black with deep brown hues. Medium to little creamy head that is ecru color. Minimum retention leaving just a ring of lace.

S - Nice bourbon aroma with some molasses and oak aroma. Slight dark coffee aroma. Roasted aroma. Notes of vanilla and caramel but not too sweet.

T - Well balanced flavors with a nice mix of the bourbon, coffee, and malt flavors. Bourbon is fairly strong, but not as strong as other barrel-aged beers. Oak and bourbon with just hints of vanilla. Some coffee flavors with a touch of cream-like sweetness. Touches of caramel sweetness compliment the roasted malt. Hint of bittersweet chocolate.

M - Medium tending toward light body with light carbonation. Creamy body.

D - Alcohol is well hidden and the flavors are very balanced. Barrel is present but not overpowering. Nice sweet flavors that compliment the subtle coffee flavors. Easy to drink barrel-aged coffee stout and I keep wanting to sip more.

Notes: Great balance of all the flavors. Bourbon, barrel, coffee, and typical stout flavors are all present and work together wonderfully. Not a bash-you-over-the-head bourbon-barrel-aged coffee stout, but enjoyable. Also a great value for a bomber at $9.

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High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
4.39 out of 5 based on 1,881 ratings.
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