Cruising With Ruben & The Jets | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Cruising With Ruben & The JetsCruising With Ruben & The Jets
315 Ratings
Cruising With Ruben & The JetsCruising With Ruben & The Jets

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BradLikesBrew on 12-05-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 315 |  Reviews: 265
Reviews by Derranged:
Photo of Derranged
3.06/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found this at a store. Only after I bought it did I realize it was a one time release in 2008. Had I known this, I probably wouldn't have bought it. I'm trying this today 3/3/12.

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a Samuel Smith Pint.

A- Black cola like in color. Huge fluffy tan head that lingers for a bit. Lots of retention on the glass. So far so good.

S- Slightly sour, coffee cocoa powder, chocolate, raisins, roasted malts.

T- It isn't bad considering its age. I'm getting a lot of malt, with some raisins and chocolate. Its also a bit sour with a lingering coffee like bitter aftertaste.

M- Thick and oily, very little carbonation.

O- Memories of what once was a solid stout is what I got from this. Not bad considering its age, but definitely not something I'd try again. Definitely past its prime. I'll finish the glass but not so sure I want to finish the bottle.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.64/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I found this offering from one of my favorite breweries to be a little odd I have to say.Poured into an imperial nonic a murky deep chocolate brown with big chunks and floaties swirling,a thinner tannish colored head atop.Good complexity in the nose with a hefty dose of black licorice and dark roast coffee sthanding out,a tinge of vanilla wich is more pronouced in the flavors shows thru as well.A mix of vanilla and molasses sweetness sticks out up front flavor wise,a decent roasted and earthy finish keeps things in balance quite well but somethin seemed a bit off.Its a decent brew but Iam not sure what the style is here,to me it doesnt come close to a Imperial stout or Double stout,its in its own category,its ok.

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Photo of Aaron420
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Have had this one before almost 2 years ago or more, but found a couple on sale a while back, so I sent some to the back of the cabinet for a rainy day.

A: Pours what I would call a deep black with hints of cherry when held to the light. I didn't get much head but the little I got was a light tan.

S: Rich malty aroma with a mix of sweet notes and alcohol.

T: The initial flavor came off with what I would say was a little like a burnt flavor along with a touch of a sweet toffee and vanilla flavor. It finishes up with more of the sweet notes and a hint of alcohol flavor.

D: This a definitely a sipping beer. It was no where near undrinkable but could never sit down to more than a glass or two.

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Photo of merlin48
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Twenty-two ounce bottle pours a dark brown body, not completely opaque when held to light. Small head is thin and khaki hued, leaving wispy lace.

Aroma is chocolate and roast, with pronounced fruity notes.

Thin mouthfeel for a stout. Smooth carbonation.

Taste has soft chocolate and mild roasty notes. Anise and herbal hints are present but a fruitiness seems to dominate. Don't know if the fruitiness is from esters or hopes, but it's pleasant. Finishes with a milk chocolate and pepper note.

A strange stout, appropriate for a Zappa themed brew, I suppose. Nicely drinkable, just odd.

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Photo of Billolick
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$3.99 for a bomber at Whole Foods/Bowery/NYC. Looks like a porter, dark tan head leaves light ringed lacing. Roasted malt, vanilla and light coffee in the nose. Tasty stout, kinda light flavor wise and body wise for the Double stout designation. Notes of cafe au lait, chocolate milk shake, light milk chocolate. Easy drinking, pleasand enough stuff. Sort of a beginner stout/Double stout with training wheels.

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Photo of Skye1024
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of mattster
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened 22 fl oz bomber bottle, poured into Nonic glass.

Pours a frothy brown nice head of 1" that very slowly dies down. Brew is an opaque brown/black brew.

Smell is of dark malts and slight coffee notes - sort of muted. Taste is of dark chocolates and malt. A bit sweeter than I normally enjoy in this style, but all in all, a decent brew. Is pretty mouth-filling, and the bubbles finish pretty well.

Nothing out of this world, but I'm glad I gave this one a spin.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, opaque, with ruby edges. No real head, more of an oily ring of tan bubbles on top. Decent, sticky lacing. Low-lying aroma of chocolate, stale coffee, and nuts; yet, not in a good or strong way like Chock Full O Nuts. Flat mouthfeel and taste. Thin for the style. A helping of nuts comes with an herbal/earthy pepper and fruit flavor. The fruit is old or overripe cherry or berries, and does not go well with the pepper and holiday spice. For some reason, the malt does not take control of this beer. I can taste the cocoa and caramel, as well as a roasted grain flavor, but it just lies there on your tongue.

Overall, this beer is a bunch of flavors that doesn't go well. And, in no way is this an Imperial Stout. Its thin, its nutty, its a mess.

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Photo of ironlung
3.27/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours thin and very dark brownish. Not the "classic" IRS look. Tiny off-white head that barely leaves a ring around the outside of the glass. Smells of roasted malts and alcohol. Taste is very thin for an IRS. Even thinner than most porters IMO. The only positive thing I can say about taste is the alcohol is not coming through at all, so they do a good job hiding the 8.6%. Lagunitas has once again done their "own thing" to a style of beer. Sometimes it works out, most of the time it doesn't. This time it diden't. I'll stick to bombers of Moylan's IRS for .10 cents cheaper... Another odd beer form a very odd brewery.

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Photo of Taylor88
4.52/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love the folks a Lagunitas. They are, for the lack of a better word, Nutjobs. C'mon, a series of beers named after Frank Zappa albums??? I thought I was weird!!...Now to the beer:

22oz BOMBER: In a pint glass

APPEARANCE: Poured heavy and dark...slightly ominous since the label tells you nothing about the beer you are about to drink aside from the fact that its ABV is 8.6%.

SMELL: Strong of coffee and chocolate but appealing.

TASTE: My first sip is more chocolate than coffee but both come through nicely...I like it.

MOUTHFEEL: This is my toughest category for any beer. I would say that it is not as creamy as some porters (it is a porter isn't it?) but I like that.

DRINKABILITY: Not my usual choice of beer. I'm a hop/red head (literally), but I really enjoyed this beer.

RAMBLING ON: It probably didn't hurt that I also bought Cursing with Ruben and the Jets on vinyl in 1969. With 30+ albums under his belt, God only know what Lagunitas will do with albums like like "Uncle Meat", "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" and "Burnt Weeny Sandwich"...Long Live Frank Zappa...Long Live Lagunitas

END of BOTTLE UPDATE: (20 minutes afer writing the review above)Seemed to get more chocolatly near the end as it warmed up. Not a bad thing but might affect my choice as to when I would consume during an evening of beers.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

got a bomber of this from my local brew shop poured into a pint glass. i was pretty excitied as i heard this a chocolate pepper stout, something ive never had before. pours pretty much black with a biege tan looking head that faded almost instantly to a ring of foam around the glass. when held up to the light it shows a very dark ruby brown color. in the aroma there is some chocolate, molasses, dried fruit, black licorice, and even a little roasted malts. the taste is very nice. you get flavors of licorice, raisons, dates, perhaps just a touch of spice from the pepper, roasted malts, and a nice dark chocolate finish. very nice and complex. the mouthfeel is amazing, pretty heavy, with minimal carbonation, just perfect. it is fairly drinkable, but the 8.6% will definately catch up to you. one bomber will prolly be good enough for me, but i hope they have this one around for awhile because i definately would love to have it again, go out and get it.

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Photo of far333
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mahogany copper colored with a low light brown head that settles out low.

Aroma of raisins and dark malt, some currant and cherry tang.

Rich flavor, sharp upfront, deep cherry, some burnt espresso, cocoa, blackberry brandy, fig, molasses, deeply roasted malt and assertive bitterness. No hop flavors. A sharp almost acrid roasted malt and prune brandy flavor finishes.

Even mouthfeel, but not too rich or creamy, slightly tannic and slick at the same time. Average drinkability, the acrid flavor becomes too much at times.

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Photo of glid02
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a dark brown color with lighter brown highlights and a one-finger tan head. The head dissipates quickly into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, milk chocolate, toffee, and caramel. As it warms the roasted malt aromas fade a bit and the caramel comes out more.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Roasted malt flavors are joined by toffee and caramel that carry through until a mildly bitter ending. Again, as it warms the roasted malt flavors subside a bit and chocolate flavors creep in.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing the bomber but I'm not sure about another.

Overall this is an interesting beer, though nothing really stands out as very good. Somewhere between a stout and a brown, worth a shot.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a jet black body with a light tan meniscus of foam that last for a few sips. This beer is a bit too dense to see any carbonation in exept for a few tiny bubbles that are stuck to the glass wall.

S- During the pour I thought this beer had a strong banana aroma but it more fruity with more sniffing. That quickly turned to some roasted dark malt notes and a cola aroma to it. There was a hint of cream and a soft grape note in the finish.

T- This beer has a smooth roasted black malt flavor with some chocolate malt supporting it with a semi-sweetness. The finish was a soft inky bitter malt note that balanced the flavors upfront.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a silky texture and no alcohol heat.

D- This beer has some nice flavors but they were a bit soft and there was not a lot of depth to them. This was a pretty light stout in terms of big dark roasted flavors and there wasn't any real hops character but that was fine cause the malt bitterness balance the sweetness.

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Photo of caddybuyer
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have always loved Ruben & The Jets, and not even knowing about the Zappa beers, took a double take when I saw this on the shelf.

I had no idea what this was when I bought it, and now that I am reviewing it I see it is classified as an Imperial Stout. Hmmmm....lets see....

A-Deep and dark. I probably would not say this is stout-like...a slightly lighter shade, but still opaque deep brown, with reddish hints, but no sign of daylight when held to light. when cold, a minimal tan head that settles to virtually nothing, but when warmed up, a thick creamy tan head with an agitated pour.

S-Chocolate, coffee, and some cherry, and some smokiness, but more like an ashtray smell, but only in the background and not detracting.

T-Very interesting. The chocolate, coffee and cherry present in the nose asserts itself along with a deep sweet licorice malt with an assertive alcohol note. Vanilla and molasses present as well as some dark fruit undertones. A peppery finish that lingers. I'm liking this a lot, and thinking it has more in common with a winter warmer style than a stout with a bit of Belgian thrown in for good measure. Totally defys a style. Kind of like mixing a Storm King with a Snowbound. Very unusual, but strangely enough, it really works.

M-Medium slick mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. A tad oily but not unpleasant.

D-This tastes like a pretty big beer, and I'm not sure I'd want to do another back to back, but I'd buy more if I could, but alas this is probably the last one I'll ever see around these parts. I understand that the Zappa connection is finished. No matter, these guys brew some truly interesting stuff...

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Photo of biboergosum
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber, another psychedelic 1960s ode to Frank Zappa... way before my time and tastes, music-wise. Good thing there's beer inside to try...

This beer pours a deep, dark brown colour, with reddish edges, and some heavy floaty sediment swirling around the bottom. There is a few fingers of puffy, creamy beige head, which settles in due time, leaving fairly dense curtain-like lace around the glass. It smells of chocolate, toffee, and earthy pine hops. The taste is hoppy up front - citrus and pine essence both cutting through, and then lots of bitter chocolate, sweet caramel malt and brown sugar, followed by a subtle alcohol burn. The carbonation is average, the body thick and smooth, and it finishes sweet, chocolaty, and a bit more boozy.

There a lot going on it this beer, and it feels a tad all over the place. Big flavours, but not a lot of blend or balance happening 'round here...

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes, 11/13/10

A: Pours brown with a small head that fades quickly, no lacing. There are very large chunks floating throughout.

S: Dark fruits, cherries and raisins, little bit of alcohol

T: Similar to the nose, lots of dark fruit and cherry. A little roasty malt and some toffee.

M/D: Relatively thin with low carbonation. It was ok, not really what I am hoping for in the style though.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Robust, thick coffee, chocolate and peat scents top oof this beautiful black body... thick brown head imposes, then settles nicely... a nice, subtle warming sensation packs the alcohol into a palatable presence with an effervescent end... thick chocolate and oatmeal hints craft a mellow, balanced stout definitely sweet... brother Jer and I found this on a beer run, laughed ourselves into its purchase, and he found it a surprisingly heavy offering... a syrupy sweetness pervades the glass--a bit too sweet may be the only argument... alcohol hides itself well, like much of Zappa's intentions...

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lagunitas- Ruben & the Jets

A- dark cola brown with a small filmy head.
S- Sweet fruit juice, chocolate, and mildy roasted malt.
T- Very sweet and fruity. Berry flavors with good hints of chocolate and roasted caramelized malt.
M- very sweet and cloying. Dry boozy finish.

Overall- Didn't care for it. Too fruity sweet.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogony with a huge chocolate foamy head. A real nice looking beer. The smell isn't too strong,but you can pick out some chocolate,dark fruit,and sweet malt. The taste is strong and flavorful with dark fruit,coffee,chocolate,and alcohol. It really is a typical double flavor. Nothing great,but not bad. The m/f is medium with all the flavors mixing well. A nice all round beer that's not special,but one that should be tried.

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Photo of asabreed
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: Less opaque than I expected, with a decent mocha-colored head and some thinner clumps of lacing.

Smell: Chocolate malts and toasted flavors, with a bit of roasted coffee and some diacetyl and buttery aromas.

Taste: What lacks mostly here is the finish, as the flavors seem like they're going to continue on and... they don't die, but they don't linger as long as they should. Still, as it warms the flavors seem to meld a bit more, with good roasted malt notes, mild coffee, and honey and molasses. A bit sweeter than many, which maybe takes away from some of the roasted and malty depth, but it's still pretty pleasant all around.

Mouthfeel: Could be a bit creamier with more carbonation, as it seems a bit slick and watery, though it's nothing that takes much away from everything else.

Drinkability: Another worthwhile brew from Lagunitas. I say it always and too much, but I love their love of experimentation, and I'll always buy their new stuff. Because of the sweetness, this would also be a good stout to let someone try who hasn't tried a lot. Keep the Zappa series rolling, ya'll.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.72/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: has a complexion that reminds of a "Barleywine" as it poured a fuzzy amber with oranges and reds. In the glass a swirling mix of dusty brown colors with bourbon edges at the bottom of the glass when held up to light. A yellow, with a dash of brown, colored cap that melted away fast with some sticky residue left behind on the walls of my tumbler

S: good dose of caramel, black licorice, fruits, with hints of roasted malts and delicate yeast/bread smells. Going by the smell, it has some different whiffs that hopefully play out on the tongue

T: licorice soaked berries and a few figs or prunes with dark malts that teeter blackened flavors. I feel that the malts have a soft smoky almost toasted element that are accentuated by burnt caramel and brown sugar sweet. Also, a rather clean alcohol flavor has a push into the mix, very subtle and provides a light pepper sort of snap and bite. Malts are minimal and get lost at times amongst the (sometimes sticky) sweet tastes within this brew

M: I like the feel this beer puts forth. It has a nice creamy feel and just the right zap of tingling carbonation. The overall body is a good chunk of medium plus and goes down easy.
Alcohol notes are waking up and the finish has a slight dry fruit astringency taste

D: nice beer, glad I bought it. I say try it if you get the chance...

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Photo of cokes
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark chocolate brown body with a thin collar of mocha tan suds, dwindling quickly to a patchy lacing.
Prune juice and dark cocoa nose, with subtler notions of caramel and raspberry, all spiked with a noticed brandy-esque booziness.
It rolls through the mouth and covers it throroughly with sweet. Blackberries, caramel, carob, prune, dates, and brown sugar. No roasted counterpart. In fact, really nothing besides the initial (and lingering) rush of dark fruits and sugary sweetness. Booze hits towards the swallow, but even that is hidden behind the mountain of sweetness.
Cloyingly grabby, sticky sweet, yet texturally somewhat thin. Carbonation is almost a nonfactor, and what presents itself intially fizzles out soon.
It began somewhat argeeably oversweet, and soon became more of a chore. The lack of any balancing factors dooms it.

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Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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Cruising With Ruben & The Jets from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 315 ratings