Imperial Red Ale
Lagunitas Brewing Company

Imperial Red AleImperial Red Ale
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Red Ale - Imperial
4.13 | pDev: 9.69%
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Imperial Red AleImperial Red Ale
Notes: 54.2 IBU
Reviews: 778 | Ratings: 2,300 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mothmanscott
mothmanscott from Georgia

4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes 2/29/12: Pours a clear deep amber with nice 2 finger, beige, somewhat lasting head that leaves a pasty coating of lace. Nose is citrus, resinous hops and is biscuit, toasted malt heavy. Taste is hop forward but nicely balanced with toast and caramel malt imparting a subordinate sweetness it finishes with full pine, citrus and zippy spice hoppiness. A pleasant bitter finish and aftertaste. Overall malt malt and hops have a high degree of balance. Quite possibly the best Amber/Red Ale that I've tasted to date. Too bad it is limited release.

Dec 19, 2018
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Great clarity and redness to the beer, 1" head, off white. Aroma imparted a lot of that red malt woodsiness, hops were behind that.

Now the hopes hit you in the taste, they definitely ramp up the bitterness of this one. Minor malt residual sweetness. I dunno if they just changed the name for Lucky 13 or these are discernably different beers. Its a pretty standard high IBU imperial red for Lagunitas, you know what you're getting into if you've already had a few dozen Lagunitas beers. Hides the alcohol well.

Sep 09, 2016
Photo of L0ne
L0ne from Texas

3.82/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From backlog. 22oz bottle, November 2014.

Have only had a few beers styling themselves as "imperial reds", but if I had to choose a favorite, this would probably be it.

Pours a dark amber, almost mahogany, with a fluffy, off-white head. Sweet bready/caramel malts are highlighted here, with just enough earthy/spicy/piney hops to keep the malts in check. Ultra smooth and drinkable.

Sep 07, 2015
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twage04 from North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Not as red as expected, cloyingly sweet even by style and laguinitas standards. Hop presence not quite there. A mostly enjoyable beer but it tasted more like an under attenutated amber ale than anything. I'll stick with the other lagunitas offerings.

Aug 23, 2015
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Raime from Greenland

4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Lagunitas Imperial Red.

One of my favorite styles from one of my favorite easy to find breweries. Fingers crossed on a big hit with this one.

Look - Pours a very dark, nearly impenetrable amber/ruby color with a three finger off-white head that has exceptional retention. Carbonation appears to be on low with this one. Looks quite spot on for the style. Leaves some great lacing. 4.75

Smell - Very toasty on the forefront. Like toasted bread with a dash of raspberry jelly. Smells a touch soapy, and the hops come out to play once the beer warms up a bit. 4.

Taste - Before I get into flavors I'm going to first comment on how smooth this beer is. It's as smooth as a 1970's deep voiced smooth talking black pimp trying to pick up your momma. Usually I'm not a huge fan of malt forward beers, but this one is tasty. Malts everywhere with a balanced hop presence and a dash of sweet candies on the back edge. The well retained ultra creamy head makes this one too much fun and too easy to drink. Gulp after glorious gulp goes down smooth as silk. 4.25

Feel - The mody is heavily creamy as I stated and because of that I have a hard time getting a read on the general body of the beer itself. Carbonation feels light. 5

Overall - All smoothness and creaminess aside, it could have done with a more robust in your face flavor profile. Aside from that short coming, this is one of tge best red ales I have ever had the pleasure of consuming. And at $5.99 a bomber, you will not go wrong picking this guy up. 4.5.

Jul 23, 2015
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4thFloyd from Indiana

4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From notes. Clear copper color with a tan head which begins breaking down quickly. Mild aroma with subtle pine, sweetness, and some earthiness. Taste is similar with a heavy malt presence and a little hop bitterness and spiciness. Alcohol is hidden very well and it finishes clean. Pretty smooth with just enough hops to help prevent the malt from being overpowering.

Jul 20, 2015
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Cannibalgasm from Minnesota

3.77/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22oz. bottle.

A: Pours a bronzish red with one finger of off-white head. Solid retention and lacing.

S: Pine, caramelized malts, cracker, and some fruit undertones.

T: Pine, earthy hops, rich malts, citrus, rye, barley, and some bitterness at the finish.

M: Medium bodied, moderately carbonated, finishes wet and slightly oily with a kick of bitterness.

O: A very solid and delicious red ale. The nose left a lot to be desired but the taste more then makes up for it. Definitely a re-visitable ale.

Jun 24, 2015
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drunkenmess from Michigan

3.61/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Nice brew offering from Lagunitas, again. Pours dark golden brown with ultimate off white frothy head, gorgeous lacing thru out. Smells of sweetness. Taste is expected from a Red Ale, yet with a Lagunitas twist. Very tasty... Up front with brown sugar sweetness followed by a slight bitterness after taste thats not too strong but accustomed to the brewery style. Light hops but enough to say HI!
After taste is short lived but tasty.
Delectable Drink if I say so. Cheers to Good Beers!

Jun 04, 2015
Photo of Gear54
Gear54 from Indiana

3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bomber into a snifter.

Pour is clear red with one finger of thin foam that fades quickly and no lace on the glass

Smell is some pine and fruit. All very faint. Leaves a bit to be desired.

Tastes is more pine and malts. Not overly bitter or sweet. Nice balance between malt and hops. Undertones of citrus sweetness and some rye.

Feel is light and easy to drink. A nice refreshing beer that's not too heavy to enjoy on a hot day. Exactly what a red should be.

Apr 08, 2015
Photo of Grizz_Dayly77

4.79/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I great beer. Smooth hoppy taste with a great amber red color. Had a good 1.5" head and was very crisp. Definitely adding this on to the top favorites list.

Feb 24, 2015
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vette2006c5r from Minnesota

3.34/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Imperial Red pours a reddish color with a nice large lacing head. There is a very earthy aroma, and very earthy taste, with some big hop flavors. Nice flavors, good body, but the earthy flavors are just too much.

Feb 22, 2015
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Extrajoker00 from Ohio

3.84/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed: 2/18/15

Imperial Red Ale by Lagunitas
poured from a 1pt 6oz. bottle into my Guinness pint glass

word heavy label with large Imperial Red, and the Lagunitas Dog (3.75)

dull amber, good retention of a medium tan head, some lacing (3.5)

mostly pine and faint sweetness (3.75)

pine hops with faint burnt sugar and earthy tones (3.75)

velvet like and smooth (4.25)

smooth and fulfilling (4.0)

very good offering by Lagunitas. wonder when I'll see this 'limited release' again (4.0)

wanted to try, like Lagunitas beer, hoping it was similar to Great Lakes Nosferatu
---- J

Feb 19, 2015
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elNopalero from California

4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This pours a warming amber-red with a sticky piney aroma. There’s a piney hop presence, with a touch of caramel stickiness on the finish.

It’s all right by me.

Feb 13, 2015
Photo of rangerred
rangerred from Tennessee

4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear red with a one finger thick off-white head. Very good lacing and head retention.

Very malty aroma with some spicy pine and earthy notes. Almost seems like there is a touch of rye in there.

They malty pine carries over into the flavor. Wonderful balance between malt and hops with touches if rye and roasted malt. Bitterness is on the high side but it works well here.

Overall, this is what a red ale should be. This beer hits all the marks.

Feb 08, 2015
Photo of drdiesel9483
drdiesel9483 from Ohio

4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - good head with a reddish brown color
Smell - piney sweet hop smell
Taste - taste like it smells but much stronger.
Feel - slightly creamy but also with a big bite and quite a bit carbonation.
Overall - fantastic strong imperial red!

Jan 30, 2015
Photo of Mlkluther
Mlkluther from Canada (AB)

4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a copper red colour with a white head that mostly dissipates and leaves a little lacing but not much.

Nose has piney hops and malt and a hint of brown sugar.

Taste follows nose. Bitter hops at the front with a sweet finish.

Excellent beer!

Jan 22, 2015
Photo of REVZEB
REVZEB from Illinois

4.49/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A really well made red, verging on red ipa with the west coast influences. Has plenty of malting for red ale style, classic biscuit like base, but then has some hops, orange zest, wood chops, and a lingering hop resin that really pairs well with the base. Big and full, yet not burdensome. Packs flavors while hiding decently high booze

Jan 14, 2015
Photo of CJNAPS
CJNAPS from California

4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The color is beautiful kind of a dark copper and I love the roasted malt not a lot of hops which was fine . Not as good as there old lucky 13 and if you had lucky 13 then you know what I mean lol

Jan 13, 2015
Photo of fps_dean
fps_dean from Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish-orange color with moderate head that never fully dissipates.

The smell is rather mild, but pleasant. Some hops and sweeter malts are noticeable.

Tastes very much like it smells, but with a feint touch of alcohol. Definitely tastes like a red ale.

The body and carbonation on this is on the lighter side and it certainly goes down the smoothest I've had from Lagunitas. Very pleasant mouthfeel.

Overall, a very solid red ale overall, and something I will definitely pick up again.

Dec 28, 2014
Photo of mdcrouser
mdcrouser from Missouri

4.46/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Though I'm drinking it from the only glass available - a hotel room highball - I'll do my best.

Amber orange, with a hearty, pocked, white-tan head.

Bright, fresh tangerines are most apparent, giving a lively hops aroma.

Big citrus, some pine, very light malts and low bitterness.

Low carbonation, so it doesn't heighten the profile of the hops much.

A really nice red - big hops, but relatively subdued because of the carbonation level.

Dec 21, 2014
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MattSweatshirt from Texas

4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small bottle pour

Clear reddish orange body and a big fluffy off white head.

Hoppy aroma. Pine and citrus fruit.

Nice bitter bite and pine overlaying some grapefruit.

Dec 18, 2014
Photo of CTHomer
CTHomer from Connecticut

4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: crystal clear; amber colored; 2 finger tan head that receded slowly to a thick cap; nice lacing;

S: hoppy - pine, floral, a little tropical fruit;

T: well balanced; earthy, piney hops, toffee, fruit cake, malt sweetness; low bitterness;

M: medium bodied; coats your mouth; moderate carbonation;

O: smooth;

Dec 14, 2014
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale has a thin, off-white head, a semi-clear, rust-red appearance, bubble streams, lots of white, cottony sediment, and some lace curtain left behind. The aroma is of pink grapefruit, medium-roasted malts, and bread crust. Taste is of those elements, with sweetness and a touch of yeast. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale finishes semi-dry and quite refreshing. No alcohol pick-up in the flavor.


Dec 07, 2014
Photo of HoppyBastard
HoppyBastard from Nebraska

3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass, there was no date I could find on the bottle.

APPEARANCE: pours a deep and clear amber color with 1 finger off-white head that dissipated to a thin broken layer of bubbles that lasted throughout, there is significant lacing on the glass.

SMELL: the smell of pepper dominates, some pine.

TASTE: the taste follows the nose, liquid pepper and some pine, the taste really lingered, the 7.8% alcohol is perceptible.

PALATE: this is a full bodied beer with slightly below average carbonation.

OVERALL: this is a good but not terribly complex beer, a little too boozy for my liking, I would probably not seek this one out again.

Nov 27, 2014
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GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois

4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Not as malty as expected in a red, but that is why the imperial comes in. I was actually hoping for more maltiness, but enjoyed this beer. The color and head are wonderful with a wonderful IPA smell. The finish is smoother than most imp IPAs.

Nov 16, 2014
Imperial Red Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 2300 ratings