Solstice Lagunator Ale | Lagunitas Brewing Company

Solstice Lagunator AleSolstice Lagunator Ale
19 Ratings
Solstice Lagunator AleSolstice Lagunator Ale

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 04-01-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 19 |  Reviews: 18
Reviews by Jordan:
Photo of Jordan
3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Mmm.. The delicious Bock. A solid example of the style from Lagunitas. It runs borderline being too overly hopped. A refined milky mouthfeel, bittered molasses and raw cane sugars on the palate. Soft aromas of molasses and brown sugar on the nose.

Worth a taste.

 266 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lagunitas makes the red bock style? Kinda different color, threw me off. Aroma is of a slight chocolate whiff, is this a doppelbock or a red ale (as I realize it says bock)?

Taste, a little more substantial the its appearance, possibly the lightest hopped Lagunitas beer I've had. More chocolate with caramel and toffee or maybe tea leaf (singular). Another different beer from Lagunitas, but there are better bocks made in CA, but you never really can beat the price with these guys.

 486 characters

Photo of ADR
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear dark orange color with a typical massive Lagunitas head of easily 3/4 of an inch and slightly lacy on the glass. Medium toast aroma, some sense of cinnamon and maybe too much of a hop impression (well, it IS Lagunitas)...nice malt, senses of a note of caramel flavor, but not quite as rich as I anticipated. More than adequate hop, some balsam flavors. This is certainly a different approach to a normally sweet and mild style, nice flavor but needing more mouthfeel and maybe a little too "jazzed" with hops.

 515 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Cloudy deep ruby brown tone with a nice tan creamy textured head lacing is a full collar even sticking uniformly to my pint. Aroma: Over ripened fruit tones stream throughout the aromatics of this ale, with an undercurrent of chocolate malt and biscuit tones to boot. 36.4 IBUs the hops are detectable but I have a feeling this bottle maybe a bit aged. Taste: Mellow fruit filled creamy tone dark roasts have huge malt profiles a bit of hops for the balancing factor but this one is going for the malt. An edge of chocolate is evident in the finish not a bad brew at all pretty massive. Mouthfeel: Chewy full bodied brew, very filling. Drinkability: Appetising just a tad filling to be classified a session beer.

 724 characters

Photo of Elemental
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is a over carbonating, even for a lager, leading to a strong pour even when done correctly. Once the large amount of head settles down the beer is quite good. It nice and dark in apperance but light and crisp in taste for a bock. The hoppiness is noticable in the smell but the taste is not overly bitter for the style. It has a bit of a spiciness to it which is nice. Overall a pretty good dark lager that hits the spot when you are in the mood for something dark.

 474 characters

Photo of StevieW
4.7/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Who's the big winner tonight ? The Lagunator is, that's who" 22 oz big bottle, what the hell is the little story on the side of the label ? Anyway, the first I have had from this brewery, and I am impressed. Big deep amber to burgundy color, super foamy head, that exploded, light tan in color. Big hoppy smell along with some nice roasted malt sweetness. Very solid hop taste to start then a well balanced sweet malt, then hop finish. A certain spice smell and taste as well. Is it cinnamon ? piney ? whatever it is, it works. Perfect, medium body, just right feel. Loved the malty sweetness and hoppy start. All around excellent beer. Another long distance commute beer, from California, and well worth the effort. I will search for the others in their line.

 762 characters

Photo of Gusler
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour a clear deep ruby red with hints of brown and the head is exorbitant in size with the texture frothy, color is a nice light tan after its demise the lace forms a thick sheet that clings mightily to the glass. Nose is malt, caramel, sweet, fresh ground barley. Front is sweet, the top light, the finish is lightly carbonated, sparingly dry, potently hopped. There is also alcohol bitterness in the aftertaste, another winner in my opinion from a magnificent brewery.

 474 characters

Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Muddy chestnut brown in color with a large pillowy off-white head, which retains very well. The carbonation is modest. There was an abundance of sediment present.

Aroma: Tangy hops, spices, brown sugar, and caramel dominate the aroma.

Taste: Begins with a sweet mellow note, reminiscent of brown sugar, soon followed by sweet dark fruit notes, which linger throughout the taste. The hops begin to assert themselves midway through the taste, but the malt characteristics are rather subdued throughout. The finish is slightly bitter with lingering hops notes, bitter chocolate, sweet alcohol and a slight note of earthiness.

Mouth feel: Very smooth and full with just a hint of tingling from the carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: An interesting and atypical beer, well suited to the colder months.

 818 characters

Photo of marc77
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby in hue, topped by a well - reatined beige head that leaves sparse lace. Sweet, dark caramel & slightly tart fruity esters in aroma are accompanied by a light citrus hop nose that is perhaps a 4 C / Willamette mix. Honey notes become discernible as the brew warms. Malt profile dominates overall, and is comprised of deeply caramelized sugar & biscuit malt, while a hint of sharp roasted barley bitterness is perceptible as well. Hop bitterness asserts itself quite well, and manages to balance the residual and crystal malt sweetness. Fruitiness from the yeast strain used, although nearly overpowered by the strong malt flavors, is quite tropical - like (Lychees?!) and provides additional complexity. The hop flavor is slightly piney & when coupled with the fruitiness and mildly roasty malt profile lends this brew true uniqueness. Finishes clean w/ hop bitterness on the back of the tongue & bittersweet burnt malt flavors on the lips. A unique & perplexing brew. It's not a bock, but is damn tasty. It's reminescent of Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale albeit w/ less malt character.

 1,103 characters

Photo of sinistersteve
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep rich brown color. Nice thick creamy head that evaporated shortly thereafter. Great taste. Full flavored ale that rocks our world. Lagunator is definately one of my top 5 brewers that refuse to give it's consumers a bad beer.

 229 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lagunitas, Solstice Lagunator Ale, described as a Seasonal Release and labelled with an IBU of 36.4, an OG of 1.072, and an ABV of 6.8% (higher than that listed above I noted). There is a short story on the right-hand side of the label that refers to time-travel and all sorts of weird shit – what the heck it has to do with the beer is anyone’s guess?!!

The beer pours a lovely deep chestnut brown color with a slight red hue. Not exactly totally clear, for it has some haziness, but not too much to de concerned about. Forms a massively expanding brown head as it pours but settles to a steady and conservative ¼” covering for the duration. Laces the glass in a very sparse random manner.

Aromas are very malty and definitely Bock-like, as indeed the label hints at. Sweet, dairy toffee and caramel are all evident in the nose, and this leads you through nicely to the tastes. They are introduced by a sweet, strong malty entrance, which then leads you through to a caramel middle and a lovely bitter, but dry finish. In fact the bitter finish has quite a hop kick to it. Quite the beer and a bit of a roller-coaster ride. Yet it never goes off of the rails, it is just too well-balanced for that. Decent mouthfeel

This is very drinkable and it is growing on me as it is quaffed.

My third Lagunitas beer, and even after the excellent Pils, I’m very impressed yet again.
I will continue to check out some more offerings from this Brewery.

 1,457 characters

Photo of TXHops
3.09/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

-Original Gravity: 1.072
-Final Gravity: 1.021
-ABV: 6.8%
-ABW: 5.26%
-Attenuation: 69.6%
-Real Extract: 7.53 P
-Calories/12 oz: 239
-IBU’s: 36.4

Lagunator is one of Lagunitas’ never-ending seasonal/one-off beers, though this one is released annually in October. Lagunator pours a clear, rugged, russet color with an amazing beige head of the tiniest bubbles. The head laces and lasts and laces some more. Beautiful beer…

The part of the nose that can escape through the blanket of foam is malty and slightly doughy, with an alcohol overtone almost suggesting wine, but not really. Perhaps it’s more like briary berries beginning to ferment… (Since the sample I’m rating is at least six months old at the time of drinking, and probably a month or two beyond that age, I’ll be kinder to its faults than I otherwise would be. The lack of a good, solid, fresh malt backbone might well be due to un-intended bottle aging and not to lack of brewer’s skill. I’ll re-examine next year…) The fruity, vinous, almost edgy maltiness is welcome, though not as rounded as it is in most bocks. Actually, in most bocks, the malt is more toasty and “Viennese” in flavor than fruity. Lagunator is quite fruity, all told, with a considerable amount of raisin/prune character shining through. Unfortunately, the alcohol, low hopping rate and slightly thin body (for the style: where are the melanoidins?) combine to allow a mellow sourness to dominate the aftertaste, making me think of spiced, sweetened, baked Granny Smith apples.

This is a great candidate for a re-rate, because I remember quite liking it late last year and this time it was only average…

 1,669 characters

Photo of yen157
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich burgundy body and slightly hazy. Very fine, pillowy head which was tinted slightly orange. Nice malty bock aroma accented by some hops. Some malted milk sweetness up front followed by mild coffee and roasted grains. Toffee comes to mind as the beer warms a bit. The hops only really are an issue in the bitterness which is a late kick on the back of the tongue. There was nice balance to this beer. The body was a little thinner then I would have expected from this type of beer, and this was made more noticeable by the prickly carbonation.

 546 characters

Photo of beerguy101
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, large white foamy head. Aroma is malty and sweet. Very rich roasted malts. Very full mouthfeel, nearly chewy. Slightly sweet, good hop taste. Nice balance. Very Smooth taste . Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is bitter and slightly malty

 261 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured deep amber brown with just a slight haze. The head was tan, tall, and everlasting.

The aroma after pouring was malty with a yeasty slant. Once the head died back, the aroma was malty with a grainy character. Also has an aroma of nonfat dry milk.

The flavor was slightly fruity with dark caramel malt flavors dominating and substantial bitterness to back it up.

The finish was dark caramelized malt and then dry. The body was medium light. The beer was way overcarbonated to the point of being fizzy. Alcohol is present in the finish with an alcoholic warming.

An interesting beer, but not much of a bock. The overcarbonation really detracts from the flavors.

22 ounce bottle. If you get one, be sure to read the side of the bottle. Who writes this stuff???

 788 characters

Photo of Bighuge
1.81/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Brown with a medium tan head. Slight caramel malt on the nose. Not a lot of substance here for a "Winter Warmer" (as their website calls it). Pretty thin and void of taste. The little taste I do get is caramel malt and slightly harsh bitterness. No warming effect. No alcohol notes. No significant malt load. No substantial hopping noticed. Below average beer here. If I were to rate all the winter brews I had this year (about 30 or so), this would be at or near the bottom.

 484 characters

Photo of mickeymac
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep amber, it has a head that foams up nicely when poured but fades quickly. It smell and taste a bit like "bock light" with a hop kick. Toffee and carmel kick in and become more noticeable after the beer nears room temperature. Finishing the bottle, a nice warmth spreads throughout my face and neck.

 304 characters

Photo of Bierman9
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bier pours a deep chestnut hue, and is fairly opaque. Head is a mocha-color, and is initially quite healthy and frothy. It shrinks down, yet still maintains about a 1/4" thickness. Fairly nice lacework, though. Nose is malty, a bit sweet, and even emits a hint of chocolate. Fairly nice, overall. I found the body to be a good, medium feel, and it was pleasantly smooth on the tongue, yet nowhere near as full or smooth as many bocks. Malt starts out the flavors as well, with a light caramel aspect to it. Yet it soon takes a rather bitter, hoppy direction. It is kind of a piney and rindy hoppiness (with help from other BA's to pinpoint the flavor I'm trying to describe!). That particular part of the flavor sticks long in the throat. This is a relatively decent bier. The -ator suffix on this bier suggests it wants to be a doppelbock. It doesn't quite have the mouthfeel and the rich, maltiness to qualify there, though. And it's a lot more hoppy than expected. Still, flavorful! Vielen Dank to SamuraiJack. Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.05
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 3.5


 1,122 characters

Photo of MurphDog14
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solstice Lagunator Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 19 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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