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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 Double / 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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 315 |  Reviews: 265
Photo of Donsmitty
5/5  rDev +35.5%

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 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 jammapamma
4.71/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really enjoyed this. Before I looked it upI guessed that this was a Russian imperial stout.

Smell-kind of sweet caramel, with some roastyness mixed with figs, strange as that may sound. It sounds weird but I love it.

Taste/mouthfeel-Super smooth, no perception of alcohol at all. There were notes of light roastyness blended with some very, very subtle malt sweetness. The aftertaste has residual flavors, previously mentioned, with a previously hidden, subtle coffee taste that emerges and disappears within a few seconds. Over all it seemed pretty dry, moderately carbonated and just (I repeat myself), just really smooth.

Drinkability-I wish everything that carries a 8 plus ABV could be half this drinkable. This one is dangerous. I'm glad it doesn't come in six packs, because I could keep going.

Appearance- it looks an awful lot like beer in the right light. no lacing, but it's an imperial stout, you shouldn't be surprised by this.

I'm a big fan of Lagunitas, anything of theirs in a 22 format I will try. I'm almost always impressed. I wish this were part of their regular line up.

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Photo of Beerman3000
4.58/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very dark, red-black color, with a slow, but boistrous head (it overtopped my glass) - dark tan to brown in color. Mild but full, deeply-roasted malty nose. Faintly reminiscent of a Belgian Dubbel. Huge, full body. Full, slightly tart, fruity (cherry) flavor. Deeply roasted, with deep tootsie roll and chocolate tones. Very pleasant and Christmas-ey. Leaves a broad sheet of clingy lace in the glass. The label says it's a hefty 8.6% abv. Brewed in honor of the 40th anniversary of the album of the same name by Frank Zappa. Delicious and very soothing. Savory. Deeply roasted, but not harshly so. Malt predominates but there is a slight counterpoint of spicy, aromatic hops. At just $3.99 for a 22 fl. oz. bottle, this is a superb value!

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.55/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is strong, hoppy and yeasty with an earthy undertone of molasses. It pours a rich, opaque sable with a fairly thick but not too persistent pale tan head. Flavor is mouth-filling, earthy, sweet but not cloying, with coffee and molasses tones and just a whisper of hoppy bitterness. Texture is silky-smooth and nicely tingly, leaving a coffee-ish, slightly sweet aftertaste.

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

Put it in a large pint Shaped schooner & set it back in the fridge to (rest) aka off gas.
Blew me away. Love it. Best of the FZ series. I love the IPAs but this is so much more suited for a ZAP-Ale. Yes I just coined that term. No haters or wordsmiths need comment.

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Photo of Turbodog666
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of Gehrig
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Since I hadn't stopped at my favorite local beer joint in some time, I figured I'd drop in to the Neil St. Piccadilly for some HopSlam and peruse the rest of their extensive wares. I was pleased to see their small display of Lagunitas that included Ruben and The Jets. Easily intrigued, this was a gimme grab, and a very good one. A sparse finger of tan foam tops a muddy mahogany body, beautiful but somewhat lighter than many Imperial Stout beers I've tried. It's really more the dearth of lacing and head duration than the color (which I liked) that produced the good but not stellar score.

Lush, malty nose especially rich in caramel, toffee, vanilla, and chocolate; a slice of heaven. The taste confirms this, providing an impressive melange of dense, flavorful malt. I like the subtle bite of sweet molasses and dark chocolate with the sweet caramel and vanilla. This is robust, complex, and steeped in flavor. Outstanding.

Mostly malty, enough hops emerge to balance Ruben and The Jets in taste and texture. Smooth and very enjoyable, this would go great with a fine cigar. A distinct, accessible Imperial Stout, Ruben is one of the best Lagunitas has to offer, and one of the very best from the Zappa series.


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Photo of Pencible
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a very dark ruby with a bit of tan head. It smelled like roasted coffee and milk chocolate, with some molasses and a bit of alcohol. It tasted mostly like sweet milk chocolate and roasted coffee, with some molasses and a bit of bitter copper hops. It was fairly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this had a very nice clean flavor, though nothing exciting. It had great body too, and hid the alcohol decently. This was nice and sweet, which made it quite easy to drink for a double stout. Not sure how well it would age, but it's great fresh, so why bother waiting?

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

more than a year old .

poured into a schnifter. black with a layer of creamy ultra rich brown head.

smell has gotten alot more intense. overpowering caramel malty goodness. big yeast presence also.

taste: no alchohol. huge caramel/toffee notes, a yeasty sikyness and all rounded off with some classic malt flavors.

mouthfeel: nothing in the best way. the beer goes down like hot chocolate and leaves nothing hanging around.

drinkability: tastes much better now that its older, but the beer was always very flavorful. very good.

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Photo of hoplover82
4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a deep pitch black with a thick, creamy tan head that has really good retention. The lacing is thick and sticky, nice latice work. Quite a beautiful sight for sore eyes indeed.

S-The nose is full of roasted barley, (coffee) and caramel with some noticable alcohol warmth, which could be more hidden. A good amount of chocolate and strong dark licorice and aromatic malt. Very malty indeed. No hops detected in the nose.

T-Lots of roasted barley and caramel up front with chocolate in the finish, with just a little soft bitterness to barely keep it from being cloying. Roasted barley is the forerunner indeed.

M-Full bodied, coats the mouth very well. The alcohol warmth could be a lot smoother. It's just a tad bit too hot for me, just a bit boozy. But a good thing is that it's very creamy. That's a plus.

D-It is a big beer that has to be carefully drunk. But it is not hard to drink.

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Photo of brewbucker
4.37/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

WOW! Did this one ever surprise me. Bomber which cost $4.69 and very well worth it. I bought it on a whim and didn't think much about it. I did not even know what style it was. Pours black with a large tan head. Big lacing as well. Aroma is rich dank fruits and malts. Nice fermented fruits, licorice, molasses, cocoa in the flavor. Mouthfeel is silky and rich. I sure hope I can find more of this.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.37/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nose is dark and malty - quite Porter-like - with good bit of chocolate and rich roast as well as sour/floral hops. Smells good.

Pours a very dark brown, almost opaque, mild head. Looks okay.

Richly roasted and very malty. Good spectrum of roast from deep toast to chocolate, espresso, and burnt wood. Malt character is well defined and prominent. Sweetness is soft, and is centered around clean malt and suggestions of roasted sugar - caramel/toffee/honey. Smooth and creamy malt profile. Mild hops provide a support and balance. Floral/fresh/earthy and mild-to-moderately bitter (I think); it's hard to distinguish hop from roasted malt bitterness, they are pretty much one-in-the-same. Also a nice tartness to help keep this malt-centered beer in check. Soft dark fruit, raisin-like. Carbonation foams up nicely in the mouth to provide a near-perfect luscious, creamy body. It's thick and full-bodied, but not über-viscous. Finishes with a French kiss of roasted malt. Tastes very good and feels wonderful. Impressive drinkability.

What a delightful surprise. A rare homerun for Lagunitas. This is by far one of the best Porters I've had (yes, I know, it says Stout, but this I say it is a solid Porter, or a perhaps a Double/Imperial-Porter if you must; It's not hoppy or roasted enough to be a Stout in my opinion and it fits BJCP's definition of Robust Porter almost perfectly, albeit amped up a little). If it became a permanent release (or just a seasonal, at least - please!) I'd have to keep it in my arsenal. Just to be safe, I think I'll pick up 3 or 4 spares while it's available.
Try This Beer. It's that good.
Arf! Indeed.

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Photo of Muchosnachos
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another admirable Lagunitas seasonal down the gullet. This beer is hard to categorize but it's delicious none the less. There is a lot going on with the flavor profiles. Dry-hopped flavor balanced with the sweets of caramel, currants and toasted grains. I always try Lagunitas seasonal brews at least once. This one has been savored on my walk home from work frequently as of late.

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Photo of ProfessorHomer
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

LOVED this beer! The closest tasting beer to my much beloved Old Peculiar. Wasn't really a big Lagunitas fan but a BIG Zappa fan, although this was not (by far) his best album. Overall, the best Lagunitas beer this professor has ever had. Have to admit though, taste is much more applicable to a dark English ale than an imperial stout.

A: Dark mahogany brown, but if held up to a strong light you notice the deep crimson flecks shot through the beer. Thin, tannish head leaving thin lacing on the glass.

S: Rich, sweet, wonderful smell of roasted chocolatety malty malts with a whiff of a fleeting coffee note.

T: Malty sweet, rich, smooth and even quite mellow. You can taste the rich chocolate and some fleeting coffee notes. Yum - tasty! Wonderfully balanced alcohol (8.6? really???)against the malts and the delicate dancing hops - these guys got the high abv balanced out perfectly. Very hard to believe it is an imperial stout. Bravo, Lagunitas!

M: Full & creamy. Clean and crisp finish. Very nice!

D: Thoroughly enjoyed this fine quality and expertly balanced long drinking beer.

Professor Homer HIGHLY recommends that you go "Cruisin' with Ruben & the Jets"!

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Photo of neenerzig
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review being written from notes as I drank this one quite awhile ago now. Split a bomber of this with Passow (iamaguitargod). Poured into my snifter, this beer is a dark brown color with some amber highlights. White head is about an inch thick when poured and eventually settles to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass and a decent surface coating. Aromas of sweet caramel, maple syrup and brown sugar. The taste was pretty much the same, some caramel malt along with maple and brown sugar, rounded out with a slight touch of hops on the back end. Has a somewhat crisp, smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink. Very unique beer for a stout. I'd have never guessed it was a stout as it certainly reminded me more of some sort of brown ale.


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Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a chocolate brown color with a nice tan head that dots the glass with lace

Smell: Chocolate dominates the aroma, but there is also some dark fruit, some licorice and a hint of citrusy hops

Taste: Pumpernickel bread up front, but the milk chocolate, dark fruit and licorice all arrive to provide a fairly sweet profile on the front end, with a hint of peppery bitterness as well; after the swallow, the pepper becomes a bit more pronounced (particularly on the finish), but the flavors are basically about the intriguing blend of sweet malt elements

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Forget about the style guidelines, as this doesn't fit the Double Stout profile, yet it is an interesting and flavorful beer that drinks nicely, if you don't mind the sweetness

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Photo of argock
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into an oversized wine glass. Purchased from Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $4.49.

A: Nearly black with 2-finger beige head with good retention and a couple of lace rings at the top of the glass.

S: Strong cocoa accents a thick dark and black malt base. Hops are floral and leafy.

T: The flavor is very distinctive with big dark malt roasted character, carob, licorice, vanilla, and pepper.

M: Excellent body -- not syrupy and overly thick but substantial. Aftertaste is peppery and strong on carob.

D: A unique stout which is a little novelty because of the peppery character, but, like other Lagunitas offerings, the price is awfully hard to beat for the high level of quality and care in the brew.

7/6/10: Sampled a 12-15 month aged bottle and it tasted reasonably similar, but had bigger cocoa and coffee notes, less pepper, and that licorice zing in the finish. The feel was still like the richest chocolate milk you'll ever drink. Wish I had more...

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Photo of atsprings
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into a Duvel snifter pours a not quite opaque black with a thin light tan head that diminishes to a thin layer and leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is an intriguing blend of chocolate and brown malts with a touch of cinnamon and coffee. The taste is a quite complex blend of chocolate, hops, coffee and brown sugar, very interesting blend. The beer is medium bodied with slight warming alcohol. This is a very different brew, I can see why there was a recent forum thread discussing just what style this is, I certainly would hesitate to call it an Imperial Stout, it's just a good unique Craft Beer!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow! I was surprised at the dark color as I poured this guy. Is this the first porter in the Zappa series, or did I miss one? It's a clear (until you disturb the lees) black-caramel brown beneath a short but creamy darkish tan head. Head retention is good, lacing is good. The aroma expresses dark chocolate and a hint of roast. There are also some yeasty notes and very mild hops, but the bittersweet chocolate and soft roastiness dominate. In the mouth it's quite supple with a medium-full body and moderate, creamy carbonation. The flavor is a hint spicier and fruitier than the aroma suggests, but for the most part it follows the same formula - rich, just lightly-sweet dark chocolate with a roasty edge. Some minty/spruce-like/ floral hops appear as well, and I'm guessing that they're also contributing the spiciness, although I wouldn't rule out at least a little bit of help from the alcohol on that point. Hmmmm. It's much more rounded and supple than the other Zappa beers, and yet, somehow it's got kind of a zing. Could it be that perhaps there's some chili pepper added in with this coco-flavored concoction? Ahhh, a quick internet search yields this: ... "Chocolate pepper stout brewed to 8.6% ABV, with a healthy amount of chocolate nibs and a subtle zing of white peppercorns." Interesting. That's not on my bottle... and a statement of process would be required by the government, which would then necessitate an addition to the labeling but whatever... that's what it tastes like! And I love the way that the pepper slowly builds. Very interesting and engaging. Quite enjoyable. Without doubt, well worth seeking out!!!

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Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of zac16125
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2008 vintage
4oz pour from the bottle
at brevival 2015

Thought this beer was excellent. Surprised to come here and see it so lowly rated. 6 years in the bottle did wonders for this, IMO.

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