Willett Whiskey Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Style:
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #206
ABV:
11.7%
Score:
95
Ranked #1,015
Avg:
4.36 | pDev: 5.96%
Reviews:
31
Ratings:
150
From:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  10
Gots
  18
SCORE
95
World-Class
Notes:
Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 150 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Emagnus
Emagnus

5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Possibly the best value to quality ratio for any Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. An instant favorite in our house. Excellent color, smell, taste and experience. The quality and character changes as it warms in a tulip glass.

Apr 26, 2020
Photo of 57md
57md from Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a little over a finger of beige head. The whiskey appears in the nose but really comes out in the flavor profile. This offering is boozier than most top-tier barrel-aged stouts primarily because the body is thinner than average.

Dec 18, 2019
Photo of Arjen
Arjen from Netherlands

4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Beer Temple. Pours a black color and a frothy mocha-colored head with good lacing. Aroma's: roasted malts, dark chocolate, wood, umami, boozy. Retronasal: sweetish, roasted, boozy, woody, chocolate, rye. Flavor is above moderate sweet with bitter chocolate and roast. Medium bodied. More dark chocolate in the finish, light bitter.

Oct 25, 2019
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JamarcusMarinovich from California

4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep dark with shallow head. Oak and bourbon nose but not overpowering, and same can be said about the taste. At 12.9% (wow!), there is not an overwhelming alcohol to it. Smooth like a good bourbon, slight bubbles on the tongue and a good, roasty malt finish. Obvious oak aged and bourbon flavors with the toasted/roasted malt, and definite coffee tones. Very unlike most other Lagunitas offerings (their beers tend to have a very distinct flavor profile throughout their line, but not this one). The recent Lagunitas barrel aged bourbon stouts have been nothing short of spectacular.

Sep 28, 2019
Photo of REVZEB
REVZEB from Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Liked the coffee willetized more. This one still has a wonderfully thick and chewy body. Great vanilla, whiskey, leather, charred wood, fudge, booze, and sneaky amount of rye spice. The smell is flatter, with some good dark notes, but kind of dry overall. A good sipper

Mar 08, 2019
Photo of Lucular
Lucular from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A solid bourbon barrel aged imperial stout with coffee. Looks great, has a thick/sticky mouthfeel and the predominant aromas and flavors are coffee, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, dark roasted malts, and yes, some spicy rye notes which I noticed even though I forgot there was rye in the beer. Pretty much exactly what I expected and a very tasty beer.

Dec 19, 2018
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81 from Florida

4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2017 version w/ Rye - Poured a black body with one-finger khaki head that quickly died. Spicy rye smell mixes with coffee for a mildly harsh but pleasing aroma. Heavy body so it's a slow sipper but it's well-balances so it is easy to drink. Notes of coffee, chocolate, spice, roasted malts and a touch of booze that adds heat in the finish work well together and considering the price of this stout it is a must-try.

Dec 24, 2017
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dbell23 from Tennessee

4.88/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is an incredible stout. I drink a lot of Lagunitas beers because of availability and, quite frankly, price but this one is something special.

Poured into a tulip at a temperature of around 45 or 50. It came from the fridge and was out around 20 minutes. Nice fluffy creamy beige head that recedes to a thin line. Little or no lacing with this black as night beer.

Smell is whiskey malt sweetness. Maybe a little chocolate but mostly whiskey.

Taste is unreal. Roasted malt with incredible whiskey sweetness. Really really good. One of the best, if not the best, (Sorry KBS) barrel aged stouts I've enjoyed.

Mouthfeel is the best stout mouthfeel I've enjoyed. Silky smooth and thick. Perfect for this style.

Overall one of the best stouts I've had. I know price shouldn't be a factor but at 12.99 a sixer this is a steal. I've determined that lagunitas is one of my favorite breweries. Great beers at a great price and readily available in Hooterville where I live.

Dec 23, 2017
Photo of Beerswag
Beerswag from California

4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark but not thick or viscous. Head is showing lighter in tone than expected for the coffee. Coffee comes very light on the nose. Definately not a dark or roabustee coffee nose; more on the chocolate and malt forward approach. Malt speaks for itslelf- chocolate, and roasty medium mouthfeel which is surprising considering the abv.
Not much lacing on the glass or lingering flavors that are memorable.
As for someone who enjoys Willet , this does cary the dry notes well. I feel that the barrel is slightly influencial but not enough to applaude. Enjoyable for Holiday season. Pair with molasses ribs, dark roasts, and vanilla desserts.

Dec 08, 2017
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mothman from Minnesota

4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap. Thick tan head. Black in color.

Typical roastiness with lagunitas' stouts. Char. Heavy whiskey and a lot of chocolate notes. Vanilla and oak. Thick.

Jun 06, 2017
Photo of q33jeff
q33jeff from New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

**
06/02/2017
On tap at uno, california no ipa day.

Similar to High Westified, but the whiskey comes through stronger and a little harsher. Takes away from the coffee and chocolate notes that make the high Westified so tasty.

Still excellent though. Would probably benefit from some age.

**

Jun 02, 2017
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gatornation from Minnesota

4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark mohagany color with a thin mocha head. smell was chocolate and char with nice whiskey notes. Taste very nice with the Barrel hints of chocolate,coffee,vanilla oak and and fruit. Lower carbonation with a very nice barrel presence, another great stout from Lagunitas

Apr 08, 2017
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deadonhisfeet from Kentucky

4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Imperial stout aged in Willett barrels. Poured from a growler into a MadTree snifter. The pour is black, not too viscous, and sports a half finger of tan head that quickly dies down to a thin lace. On the nose is a fair amount of char and roastiness, dark chocolate, toasted oak, and a hint of espresso.

Full body with a rather thin feel, but a nice roasty flavor enhanced by the time in the barrel. Roasted malt, unsweetened chocolate, and espresso hit you first, followed by whiskey barrel, dark fruit, and a little coconut. I do detect a small amount of oxidation, but not enough to destroy the flavor. On the finish you get lingering flavors of dark chocolate, bourbon, and coconut.

Overall, a very good barrel-aged imperial stout. It lacks the richness and depth of flavor that the ``top shelf'' barrel aged beers provide, but is nevertheless an excellent beer with terrific flavor that is a pleasure to drink. Moreover, growler fills were very reasonably priced (a mere $12 for a half-gallon). Thanks to Lagunitas for bringing a keg of this to Party Town in Florence, KY for Friday Night Flights.

Feb 20, 2017
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a minigrowler into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque black in the glass with a thin, dark khaki head that dissipates to patches with light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, whiskey, chocolate, a hint of vanilla. Flavor is dark toasted malt with slight char, dark chocolate, oaky vanilla, whiskey. Medium bodied with moderate creaminess. This is quite whiskey forward, but the malt is fully up to balancing it, creating a very well integrated balance. The malt has really nice chocolate notes. This is a great tasting stout melded with high quality whiskey flavors. Really good.

Feb 03, 2017
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Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap. Great looking brew. Notes of dark chocolate, oak, char,vanilla, caramel, bourbon, espresso ... immensely roasty, very smooth on the finish. Thick chewy feel. Excellent beer.

Jan 29, 2017
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puffthestuff from Kentucky

4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pretty good lack of chocolately notes but very sweet and marchmallowy. Bourbon comes through on the nose and oddly mixes with the taste but not in a bad way unique and delicious Barrel Aged Imperial, yet not traditional.

Jan 23, 2017
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Craft whisky meets craft beer as Willet distillery of Louisville introduce their boozy, oaken, charred cocoons to Lagunitas' imperial stout for marriage made in Kentucky.

Willet Barrel Imperial Stout pours an off black hues, bleached slightly by the barrels, taking on a darkest coffee brown hue without crossing that threshold of tar. As a dainty creamy froth swirls on top, images of espresso come to mind. The rugged scent of char and roast is rounded with the scent of caramel and cream with coconut, booze, vanilla and chocolate. Sweet to taste, the strong beer's coffee roast is bold but smooth, its chocolate is bittersweet and not harsh, its nuttiness is smooth like pecan instead of bitter like walnut.

And as the ale washes the middle palate, much of the same transpires- dark roast coffee, bittersweet chocolate, sweet caramel and cream all converge for a flavor that's understood in Kentucky as bourbon ball delectable candies. Bourbon spice decorates the finish while nuances of nutty oak, coconut, vanilla and cherry ebb and flow through the sweet char.

Full bodied and creamy, the signature flavor of Willet whisky certainly doesn't whimper to the stout. Its own smooth bourbon spice and bold woodiness calms the roast of barley and trails into a smooth, creamy spice of pulled candy and fresh baked brownies.

Jan 19, 2017
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Alieniloquium from Florida

4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

32 oz. growler. Black body with no head. Smells of bourbon, oak, nutty malts, and some chocolate. Tastes of chocolate and a very nice bourbon flavor. Oak. Vanilla. Light nutty malt flavor. No carbonation. A touch boozy. Very nice stout with an excellent barrel character.

Jan 03, 2017
Photo of goblue30
goblue30 from Michigan

4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Lagunitas's Chicago tap room back in November. Very chocolately, the Willett's barrels definitely add to this great beer. Would definitely drink again and would love to see this in bottles.

Jan 01, 2017
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Apellonious from North Carolina

4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Draft pour at Moe's. No Coors Light!!

Dark as night. No head. Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate on the nose. The taste is right in line.

Delicious. Somewhat drying, but the feel is smooth. Slow sipper. Willet barrels seem to be quality aging vessels.

Dec 28, 2016
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beer4colin from Massachusetts

4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bourbon....barrels....Imperial...stout...Union Brewhouse...must warn others!

This is such a nice warmer on a cold NE day. I'd prefer it a bit warmer than UNH tap temp. This opens up very nicely as it warms.

Big and rich and vanilla and cocoa and Willett Whiskey barrels make it a winner.

Dec 16, 2016
Photo of Flounder57
Flounder57 from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth.

Appearance: A one finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no vision of anything. Frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Vanilla, char, bourbon, oak, earthy, chocolate, roasted coffee, warm alcohol.

Taste: Nice mixture is above aromas. Very silky and creamy smooth deliciousness. Easy going booze and slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, creamy, medium carbonation, medium to full bodied, warm bourbon booze, slight bitterness, and delicious.

Overall: Not familiar with Willett whiskey, but it works well with this imperial stout aging in it.

Dec 15, 2016
Photo of barczar
barczar from Kentucky

4.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Decadent chocolate, caramel, and vanilla dominate the aroma.

Flavor is slightly sweet, with cocoa and caramel initially dominating, fading to dark chocolate, bourbon heat, and a lightly roasty bitter finish.

Dec 10, 2016
Photo of madbrewer9
madbrewer9 from Florida

4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Almost black, opaque.
Thin tight tan head.
Great aroma of whiskey, chocolate.
Taste follows aroma.
Overall, very tasty well crafted barrel aged stout at a fantastic price point!
Kudos to Lagunitas for proving you can make a great beer at a reasonable price!

Dec 05, 2016
Photo of Barnoloid
Barnoloid from Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A really well put together BA stout. Had a draft pour at Local Option in Chicago.

Deep brown to black in color, with a pleasing tan head that kicks in. Fudge and a hint of smoke on the nose.

As this warms the chocolate brownie notes come out, there with a touch of fruit cake and chocolate covered nuts. The whiskey comes out to the forefront but doesn't overwhelm the beer. Mouthfeel is full yet not overly sticky.

Terrific beer.

Dec 04, 2016
Willett Whiskey Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 150 ratings