Cruising With Ruben & The Jets | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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Cruising With Ruben & The JetsCruising With Ruben & The Jets
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:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 265 | Ratings: 316
Reviews by Georgiabeer:
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like this beer, but it is not an Imperial Stout. To me it tastes more like some species of brown ale, albeit a strong one. Pours brown with very little head. Smells a little hot and quite malty, rounded, earthy notes. The taste is rich with more of that rounded malt. Nice sweetness, and some gentle earthiness as well as a trace of minerality. Gentle and unbelievably smooth for the abv, and very creamy. This is the spitting image of an English style brown- with lots more abv. Gentle, sweet, milk chocolate on the finish. Very easy to drink- just don't think Russian Imperial Stout.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of libationexpert
4.8/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought this beer in 22oz bottle at Whole Foods in Reston, VA. This beer is technically a Chocolate Pepper Stout.

Poured into a pint glass, rinsed with clean water. Pours a deep, dark brown color with a nice two-finger brown/copper head that dissipates after a few liberal sips.

Slight hop notes in the nose, but certainly a maltier beer. Nice chocolate malt taste with slight coffee undertones. Some "peppery" notes in the finish which give this beer the uniqueness associated with Lagunitas.

Overall a very, very good beer. Try it with a freshly made Smore for an outstanding treat.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep, dark brown color, with very little light shining through. The medium sized tan head bubbles up slowly, with a densely foamy and creamy texture. Retention is good, although lacing is a bit inconsistent.

S: Fruity, sweet, and leathery. Dark hints of preserved plums and apricots. A definite leathery note, along with molasses and a slight vinous character. Hints of toffee.

T: Some mild roasty malt up front, with some minor coffee flavor. Significantly fruity overtones: preserved plums and apricots again, perhaps some raisin as well. Leathery and spicy/peppery. Brown sugar and molasses are also present. A mild-mannered flash of hop bitterness accompanies a faint alcoholic bite into the finish.

M: Medium-full body. Carbonation is soft and supple. A bit of roastiness, before a well-masked but nevertheless warming alcoholic presence.

D: A very curious Imperial Stout - a bit roasty and certainly within the range of flavors, but decidedly on the outskirts of many of its brethren. Not in bad way either - this is a uniquely fruity stout that seems to have distant Belgian hints. A bit of a palate-challenger, and sneakily warming despite well-hidden alcohol, but this is pretty tasty, even though you're unlikely to find it anywhere.

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Photo of hdofu
4.83/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice surprise. Picked up a bomber of this for 5 dollars at the local liquor store having no idea what to expect from the "boppadooaydoo" style of Ale, but decided to pick it up seeing the Frank Zappa name showing up alot lately. The color is dark brown with a thin tan head. Smell is chocolaty. Taste is a bit like a chocolate covered coffee bean. Mouthfeel is smooth, just the right amount of carbonation going down. This beer is dangerously drinkable too. I think its a style, that fits Zappa, not sure about this particular album but at least the zappa I've experienced

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.89/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In a large goblet, Lagunitas' Ruben and the Jets is an ugly roasted chestnut in color and alarmingly murky with reddish-brown highlights trimmed in muddy gold. A fine-bubbled cap of light tan foam sits softly atop the drink, deflating slowly into a slim collar that leaves wisps of lacing on the glass.

The smell is fruity and sweet with an aromatic herbal bite. Notes of caramel-coated granola with Tootsie Rolls and plums drizzled in molasses meld with fermented apple and a twist of orange zest.

The taste is savory and mild with heavily-roasted notes of dark-kilned malt and black licorice. Bitter-chocolatey mocha lurks around, crushing notes of fruity caramel under grainy darkness and quietly declaring its backbone-ownership of the brew's flavor profile. Dusty, earthy hops and fruity notes of alcohol flash-dry the finish of an otherwise mildly-bittersweet drink.

Served cellar-cool the body of the drink is unacceptably light for an Imperial stout, but a mix of time and temperature firms things up a bit as the encounter continues. Ruben and the Jets sports a fine sizzle of carbonation that contributes to the lightness of the drink and enhances drinkability a good measure.

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Photo of BeerCon5
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, cloudy amber color with a very small amount of off-white head.

The scent was of dark fruits, and some roasted malts.

The taste is pretty sweet, some dark fruits, roasted malts, alcohol, decent hop presence.

Medium bodied, smooth, perfect carbonation.

This is a pretty good beer, there is very good flavor and it is actually pretty easy to drink.

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Photo of beer2day
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours brown with 1/2 finger head with faint retention. Moderate carbonation. Faint lacing.

Nose is sweet, with candy sugar, molasses, and raisins all coming through. I haven't tasted yet, but really doubt this is an impy stout.

Very sweet hit. Molasses and candy sugar predominate. Might have a belgian twang to it, but this tastes brown to me. Very, very faint hop presence. Faint milkiness to the finish (maybe that's where the stout interpretation comes from). Alcohol finally comes through on the finish, too.

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Photo of midaszero
2.48/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Very cloudy dark brown with red tint. Pretty much no head

S - Sweet, malty, and dark fruit

T - Caramel, chocolate, roasted malts which I would normally think as a pleasurable mixture but somehow this one is bad. Also leaves a lingering bad aftertaste.

M - Medium body with very little carbonation. Doesn't feel right.

D - No no no. I love Lagunitas but this just was not good in fact I drain poured most of the bomber. After looking over other peoples reviews I suppsect my bottle could have been bad but probably wasn't.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.42/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Very murky deep dark brown, verging on black. Held up to the light, dark caramel shades appear around the edge. Very thin light brown head quickly fades to a thin ring around the glass. Very little lacing left behind.

S - Interesting mix of coffee, chocolate, dark fruits, and alcohol. A very different nose for a big American stout. Hints of vanilla and bourbon.

T - Roasted malts, chocolate and vanilla up front. A more bitter sweet chocoalte mixed with coffee comes through quickly. Very boozy, especially for something under 9%.

M/D - Medium bodied, a little thin for a big stout. Booziness brings the drinkability down a notch.

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Photo of kbeals
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received this from mjmadden in a BIF a while back. Tonight's as good as any to crack it open.

A- Dark brown, nearly dark red in color with just a touch of tan, creamy head. Not much lacing with just the thinnest crown of head remaining around the brew for most of the session.

S- Strong notes of toffee and vanilla. Very sweet smelling, I figured this was a barleywine but the style says Double Imperial Stout? Hmm, not so sure unless this one has gone downhill. Anyways, there's even just the ever so slight touch of bitterness to this also, some remnants of hops perhaps?

T- Very similar to the aroma. Very sweet with notes of vanilla and toffee. Finishes off slightly bitter. I'm still not convinced this is a Stout.

M- Sort of thin with just a hint of carbonation. Could stand to be a little thicker.

D- It's not bad. It went down relatively easily. If this is a stout it's definitely on the way down, but still not bad.

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Photo of TasteTester
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of paco1029384756
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with one finger of off white head.

Scent of roasted malts, fruits, and sugars. Not much to it, and it just really isn't that good.

Taste of fruits, maple syrup and hints of roasted malts. One of the most average Imperial Stouts I have ever had, at least it was only $4.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and thin.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 12/22/08. Bottle. Pours black with a small tan head. Aroma of roasted malt and sweet dark fruits. Flavor of apple cider, bready malts, with a sweet (fruity sweet not sugary sweet) finish. Not as roasted as a typical stout, this sort of reminds me of a doppelbock. Pretty tasty though. I often find that Lagunitas beers are either a hit or a miss, and this one was a hit!
7/4/8/4/14 (3.7/5)

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Photo of ATPete
1.86/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

22oz bottle

Pours a dark chocolate brown color with a short lived thin tan head. Chocolate, more specifically tootsie roll chocolate, the same flavor and aroma my palate disagreed with while drinking ST Choklat. I got sweet fruit in decline, sweet steamed vegetable covered in extract malt, very odd. Big ashy/grainy toffe sweet malt profile with an extra long and lingering aftertaste of soapy, bitter, bile (i know that sounds harsh, but thats honestly what my beer tasted like). Im not completely sure this one fits the title "Imperial Stout". Too many off flavors happening that i would honestly classify it as a Vegetable beer, or something like that. Im sorry Lagunitas, your Frank Zappa series was truly top notch until this one. I hope i had an infected bottle.

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Photo of ToasterChef
3.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a cellared bottle I've had since August, 2009. I've poured it into my Lion's Pride tulip.

The beer is opaque and colored dark brown. Small spots of ruby are visible where the light makes its way through the liquid. A thin head of tan foam formed as I poured the beer, but now it has settled to a mere skim. Swirling the glass leaves plenty of film and patchy foam on the sides, but the head itself doesn't reform. Streams of carbonation can be seen rising to the top, but only near the top and right at the sides of the glass.

The beer still has plenty of big chocolate notes in the aroma. There is still some alcohol discernible. Also present is a scent that recalls dark fruits, like plum. It is still an enticing aroma 2+ years after bottling.

The flavor is still good as well, although no longer too complex or robust. Chocolate, raisin, coffee bitterness and alcohol are all present. There isn't too much sweetness, although you can still tell this is a malt forward beer. There is also still a roasted aspect, but it is minor. I can taste it as the beer first hits my tongue, but it doesn't last long.

The beer is full-bodied and has medium carbonation levels. The bubbles still manage to tickle my tongue. A pretty good layer of stickiness is left on my lips, but the internal coat isn't too thick.

This stout is enjoyable, but it is probably past its peak at this point. I never drank it fresh, so I can't know for sure. If you have a bottle in your cellar, I'd recommend opening it soon. If you never were able to try it, don't go looking for a bottle now.

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Photo of mmcnaughton
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of angelmonster
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a 2 1/2 finger chocolate head. Body is black with ruby highlights towards the bottom. Head retention and lacing are good, a lot of yeast is in beer

Smell is of sweet chocolate malt and figs. Also present is some espresso beans and a faint alcohol smell.

Taste is pretty big on alcohol for just being 8.6 abv. Some hop bitterness is also there with a sweet coffee malt aftertaste.

Very nice balance of carbonation. Head is creamy and body isnt too heavy

Beer is pretty tasty. Good flavors and balance of carbonation. Creaminess adds to all of that making it pretty drinkable. If only alcohol was a little less apparent this stout would be truly great.

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

Pours a dark red/brown color with a nice big tan colored head that has very good retention. This is just too light of a color for an imperial stout. Lacing is there, and is good. I'm getting a very fruity aroma, lots of dark fruit to be exact, with light chocolate aroma and maybe a hint of roastiness. Again, this is not anywhere close to an imperial stout. 0 for 2 so far. The flavor starts to pick things up a bit. Some roastiness finally comes, coffee and chocolate flavors are present, but not in a big way. Fruitiness is there again, this time the rum-soaked variety, with some earthy spicy hops, and a burning alcohol can be felt. It's got a good, medium body feel to it, slightly creamy, goes down fairly smooth, but there's a bit of heat at the end. Not a bad tasting beer, but this really can't be a double stout, could it?? Tastes more like a bastardized strong ale with too much roasted barley.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.43/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- So much yeast, so beautiful. Brownie-colored with ruby tones on the edges. Pretty tan head with OK retention and lacing. Barely translucent.

S- Lots of good porter/stout flavors of roasted malts, brown sugar and dark caramel flavors. Also has good, fruity and tart, flavor esters from the yeast.

T- Fruity, spicy and tart all at once. I like the flow of this beer. Sweet on the tongue and tart in the aftertaste. Bitter all throughout. Roasted flavors of coffee and chocolate lead the tasting experience.

M- Well-carbonated with smooth bubbles and a sleek, creamy body. I'm surprised I couldn't feel the huge yeast chunks.

D- So easy to drink for dessert. Otherwise, not so much

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Photo of olmatty
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a thin, tan head with moderate retention and light lacing, beer is opaque dark brown to black.

Smell- Dark fruit and yeast, not much of either.

Taste- Molases, dark chocolate, raisins, spices, and bitter hops and a bit of yeast. Very pleasant.

Mouthfeel- Light, smooth carbomation and a very creamy bodied.

Drinkability- Heavy ABV and a big flavor, yet I just want to keep drinking.

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Photo of jgap
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I agree with whoever said this is a brown, not an imperial stout. That said it pours a very dark brown with little but 'lively' head that fades to a lace. Smell is dark fruits and a hint of... Is that my mother's cooking? It just might be- I haven't smelled that since jr hight! Burnt toast and rice or something like that. I dunno- it's legunitas so it's weird. Alright, on to taste, it's a thick bread up front. Not so much yeast, just Wonder bread -ish... If they made a rye bread. That faded into a dark toffee and ripe plumbs, prunes, or other fruit that starts with a 'p' and causes gas. Aftertaste is subtle but I can't seem to draw it out. It's very smooth and drinkable and I can def immagine handing a bottle of this to any friend that swears by newcastle. Would def buy another... But only to give to a friend in need. Cheers!

"Is this the mothers of invention recording under a different name in a last ditch attempt to get their cruddy music on the radio?"

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Photo of Blitzstyle
3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sniffer glass. Pours a nice dark brown. Nice tan head bout two fingers. Some lace on the glass when swriled a bit.

Smelled molasses, and caramell some really sweet smells. Got some chocolate in there as well bit not very dominate. Some what sugary!

Taste brown sugar and molasses right off the bat. WOW sweet for this style I think. Some chocolate notes and caramell on the backside. Very sweet and different me like it!

Full body thought it might be a barleywine in my initial taste. But I really enjoyed this I like what they did with it.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Lots of transparency during the pour - looks pretty thin for an imperial stout. Once settled, the body is a very cloudy Tootsie Roll brown. Looks very chocolaty, but not very imperial stouty. A small, foamy, tan head forms on top but quickly dissipates to a mere halo. Huge, sticky, foamy head resulted from vicious second pour.

Smell: Cocoa, peanut brittle, butter toffee, and those sweet, funky, juicy hops that make their way into every Lagunitas brew. I think their hops taste like sweet & sour red berry pie-filling; you may think they taste like something else. As the beer warms, the red berry aroma (I guess there's moist pine in there too) becomes more assertive.

Taste: Red berry pie filling, some sourness, rich caramel, piney resinous hops, mocha, more coffee (but now it's just black), and tons of roasted malt to cap it off. Lots of burnt roastiness in aftertaste. Doesn't really taste stout-like until after the beer is swallowed. Weird, but good.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, sticky, and even a little prickly. With that said, it goes down very smooth. Dry prickliness controls the aftertaste. Not really chewy. Generously carbonated. On the lighter side for an imperial stout, but still quite filling.

Drinkability: This is an odd concoction. Upon first taste, I was thrilled - most unique imperial stout ever! After a little while, however, it's just... good. Glad I tried it, but nothing I'll buy again.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.27/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pour a murky brownish black. Much lighter than most imperial/double stouts. Small white head that quickly disappears. Body appears thin.

S: sweet roasted malts, some alcohol present. Not a whole lot in the way of coffee or chocolate.

T: the sweet malts instantly hit the tongue and are followed by heat from the alcohol. Very sweet and not as balanced as I would hope for. The malt back bone does not hold up to the alcohol presence in this beer.

M: Sticky, thin, and watery on the tail end.

D: This is not my favorite imperial stout, in fact it is one of my least favorite. I still like it since I am so partial to stouts, but compared to others...this one is very run of the mill. The drinkability is limited as the 8.6 ABV is very present in the taste. Would not seek this out again.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- vigorous pour into my snifter yields a black body with a large tan colored head. the head slowly recedes to a crown and leaves a ring of lace on the sides of my glass.

S- lots of sweetness coming from this one, on top of roasted malts. milk chocolate and something fruity as well. hard to put my nose on it. finishes with coffee and hops.

T- very sweet. almost too sweet. roasted malts too. the fruit that i noticed in the smell comes out in the taste. cherries id say. milk chocolate and coffee finish this one off. the alcohol is very well hidden.

M- full bodied and rather thick. almost syrupy.

D- the bomber went down, but not as fast as most. glad i checked it out, but a little too sweet for my likes. nice low priced bargain beer.

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Cruising With Ruben & The Jets from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 316 ratings