Cruising With Ruben & The Jets | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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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.

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Ratings: 315 |  Reviews: 265
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 chrispoint
2/5  rDev -45.8%

Photo of beveritt
2.05/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into a shaker pint glass. Label is pretty busy, with a band of large nosed members (am I supposed to get this) and plenty of writing here and there. No freshness date. I picked this up a while ago,maybe several months.

Appearance: Pours with very little head, maybe 1/4 inch. This dissipates almost instantaneously, leaving a ring around the glass and s few islands here and there. The pour is exactly like pouring a glass if Coke, thin brown liquid and big, artificial-looking bubbles. The beer itself is cola colored.

Smell: Semi sweet caramel malt with hints of dark fruits. Smells like a brown ale, not at all like any type of stout.

Taste: Unbelievably sweet caramel flavor upfront, with no counterbalancing hops.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy carbonation, like one would find in a glass of soda. Body is okay, not thin, but not great either.

Drinkability: I have no idea what the hell the deal is with this beer. I am looking around for the hidden cameras. This isn't a stout, and certainly not a double or imperial stout. This is borderline un-fermented wort, it is so sweet and cloying. Drain pour.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.09/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Another beer I put aside puchasing when it was initially released, this bottle was purchased just two weeks ago at Walnut Liquorette. On to the beer:

Good news, the appearance is likeable. Black like ink with a finger's worth of head on top which slowly tumbles to a bubbly lace. There's quite a bit of oxidation in the nose, lots of sherry simmering around with a kiss of chocolate malt and cardboard. As it warms, soy sauce comes into play. Not having tasted this at the release, I have no idea how a two year old bottle would stack against a fresh version.

At least there's some resemblance of a stout in here. Regardless, there's a generous dose of oxidation making up a majority of the flavor. The stout part is chocolate in the way chocolate mint Girl Stout cookies are. Rings of bitterness and chocolate malt stay around on the palate and into the aftertaste. As mouthfeel goes, it's medium-heavy with lightish amount of carbonation.

At two years old, I'm not digging this. The beer just doesn't come together; flavors are all over the place in a bad way. It looks like the remaining 18 ounces of the 22 ounce bottle will be used as a marinade for something in the future.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
2.34/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5


porterish appearance, mega-lacing. smells like fortified coffee grounds and tap water. skinny body, what they call chocolate flavor comes off as a metallic, dirt-laden burnt-malt presence. no signs of peppercorns anywhere, disappointing. warmth brings an uneven sweetness, like maple syrup sweetened sanka. aftertaste on every other sip is super metallic.. iron shavings floating listlessly in a sea of decaf douwe egberts. this is the worst zappa beer that lagunitas has put out, hands down. the only thing this beer has going for it is an unnoticeable 8.6%, which i would be inclined to question. for $4, you've got to expect a stinker now and then.

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Photo of Blybloke
2.43/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Purchased this bomber at Princeton's Liquors in Maple Grove, MN.

Firstly, I was quite surprised to see that this is categorized as an Double/Imperial Stout.

I had no idea of what kind of beer this was when I purchased it. The bottle doesn't say - there's just a note that it commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the Frank Zappa album (apparently entitled Ruben and the Jets).

It goes on to say it's a 'BoppaDooAyDoo Style Ale'

It poured a very dark, rich red with about a half inch of light tan head. I thought it was a bit odd to see such a color combo - tan head with a dark ruby body. The head stood for perhaps a minute and fell almost completely. Little to no lace.

Aroma was not very assertive. What I could smell was dominated by sweet, bready malts with a little nudge of coffee. Maybe some caramel too, but nothing too strong.

Taste was sweet, too sweet - not enough bitterness to balance. I found the first couple sips to be flavorful with molasses and raisins, but sweetness got pretty old, pretty fast. It was distracting.

Mouthfeel was decent - smooth from relatively low carbonation. Drinkability was low.

This seems like it wants to be an Imperial Red Ale more than an Imperial Stout. To me an Imperial Stout should be black and thick, with tons going on - this one was too red and one-dimensional imo.

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Photo of Buebie
2.44/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

As I learned this line is no more, I picked up one to cellar and one to drink. No freshness date on the bottle, picked this up around October 2008.

Poured from a 22oz bomber with no date's into an oversized snifter.
Off the pour I'm a little concerned, things look really thin for an imperial stout. Its pitch black though with no light penetration. Creating a tanish, very light brown 2 finger head. Leaving a nice cap of bubbly retention. Lace drapeage is somwhat thick with a webbing pattern down the glass.

The aroma is fairly mild and laid back, kind of odd for a stout not to be thick with roasty chocolate aromas.
It smells more of ginger root and fermented molasses. Some very mild roasty bitter sweet chocolate aroma and thats basically it.

Mouthfeel is slick with a decent coating on the toungue. Its borderline slimy in the slick texture. After the first few sips that slimey texture kinda goes away and it just seems really thin and heavily carbonated.
A bit too sweet with a cheapy overbearing liquid chocolate extract aftertaste. Really no chocolate/ coffee grainy flavors, it seems like there are to many additives to give it chocolate flavors and that slimey mouthfeel with awkward.
Just a little coffee roasty grain flavors come into the linger, followed by an aspirin minerally aftertaste and oxidized wet cardboard, that is not at all pleasant.

This could quit possibly be the worst imperial stout I've ever had. I cant even finsih the glass I poured....drainpour.

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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 pmccallum86
2.55/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown color with a trillion sediments floating around. Small sized head, not very attractive here.

Smell is a little stale. Lots of toffee and malts come through here.

The taste is very disappointing, it has a stale flavor coming through strongly. Some toffee, some caramel, and some roasted malts. This beer is pretty weak in terms of flavor for a beer in this category, I am thoroughly disappointed in this offering from Lagunitas.

Mouthfeel is a little thin for the category, lower carbonation as well. Weird flavors in the finish, tastes stale.

Not very drinkable, one of the worse double stouts I have encountered,

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Photo of PDXHops
2.58/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22 oz bomber, poured into a Duvel tulip.

I love how Lagunitas puts out so many special releases, and I usually buy and taste them without looking up what style they are first (the labels usually don't give it away). Fun test for the palate. In this case, I was totally stumped about what the style was and had to look it up after the fact so I could attempt to review appropriately.

Dark brown body with reddish highlights. The light tan head is substantial- 2 fingers- and long lasting. Not much lacing.

Smells of toffee, burnt sugar, raisins, general 'sweetness' and cocoa, with a bit of alcohol. None of the dark roasted aromas you'd normally associate with the style.

A very sweet and creamy brew, but almost completely absent of the bold, dark roasted flavors of the style. Fruity and sweet, raisins, booze, and bit of cocoa again. Caramel and toffee- everything's sweetness here.

The mouthfeel is quite creamy, almost like there's some lactose in the brew or something. Probably my favorite part of the experience. Pretty thick with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability's not so good for me. So much sweet creaminess without much to balance it out. Didn't enjoy it much.

Overall impression: Well, I was able to finish the bomber without coming close to correctly guessing what style it is, so that's not a good thing. Not a beer I would seek out if shopping for an "imperial stout. I still love ya, though, Lagunitas.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
2.6/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I really really really hate this ridiculous label. The only product-related info it contains is the name of the brewery, the government warning, and the ABV. I didn't know this was a stout until I cracked it open, a very poor pairing for the chicken dish I'm having for dinner (for some reason had thought it was a lighter ale). Bought it because it was Lagunitas and it was only $4. I don't give a crap about Frank Zappa, it has nothing to do with the beer. HOW ABOUT PUTTING SOME BASIC INFO ON THE LABEL?!

That being said.... 22oz bomber poured into a chilled pint glass. Surprised to find a twist-off cap. Paid $3.99 at some Package Store while visiting a friend in Connecticut.

A: Dark stout-like appearance, but light penetrates to reveal a mahogany-red hue when held to a light. Minimal tan head.

S: Smokey malts, molasses, tiny bit of hop bite.

T: Thickly sweet, lots of burnt molasses, and pungent muddy hops. Not much malt character, mostly dark sweetness and undistinguishable hops.

M: Sugary slick. Thick.

D: Too sweet, too thick.

Loses points all around because the label seriously pisses me off and put me in a sour mood. Overall a poor example of the style. Way too sweet, horrible lack of depth and dynamics.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.7/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a dark murky brown with a light tan head, good lacing all around.

S: Smell is striking and good. Creamed coffee, molasses, sweet pine notes.

T: Cloyingly sweet, big old molasses note, and fermented prune (which I didn't particularly care for). No real bitterness from the malt or hops to balance, like malt syrup.

M: Mouthfeel isn't bad aside from the heavy sweetness. Light carbonation, relatively full feel.

D: While Kill Ugly Radio was outstanding, the last 2 Zappa inspired beers have been mis-steps from this pretty good brewery. Hopefully the next one will be better.

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Photo of Ricochet
2.74/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

It takes a Frank Zappa album on a beer to make me get to reviewing again. Has it really been three months? Eeeegads, I'm never gonna get a fez.

A: Dark orange to blacker ruby color. No head but a sticky lace that lasted. Standard look.

S: Dull, rusty water with only a slight alcohol remainder. Nothing to really tell what this beer was.

M: Slight bitter, smooth and coating as it went down. Sweet aftertaste. Harsh ending overall.

T: Well, I'm spoiled. I've had a couple really excellent imperial stouts in the past two months, and this seems like a step down. Licorice seems about it. It even falls into a "Yagermeister" feeling without the syrup sweetness. The alcohol is there. Lots of it. The harsh feel at the end rather than a nice warming effect just detracts. There is brown sugar and molasses in there too so it is a more complex flavor, but they don't differ enough from the other bigger flavors.

D: I can see this one likely needs a LOT of aging. Maybe if I visited this one in a year it may have mellowed out. Setting this aside to warm a bit and then drinking it again, it almost seemed like a licorice schnapps. It seems to raw in this form. Maybe worth a second bottle aged. As is though, cool bottle, miss beer.

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Photo of meatyard
2.78/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-Is a clear, dark, cola color with a light tan head. It's not totally black and you can see through it when held to a light. Leaves light lacing.
S-Is a light, roasted malt smell and a hint of coffee.
T-Is of overly roasted malt, some alcohol before it warms up and a little bit of spiciness. There's also some bitterness or something not quite right in the taste at the end.
M-Is medium to thin-not what I would expect from an Imperial Stout.
D-Is also not what I would expect, being not the most pleasant IS out there.

I was hoping to like this better than other reviewers but I have to agree with a lot of their comments. I do like many Lagunitas beers but this one, not so much, especially for what it should be. It's not bad, but not one of their better brews. There's too much "light" not enough "ooomph".

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Photo of cadenwhitaker
2.78/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Everyone will eventually find a decent beer that just isn't for them. This is it for me. I don't like giving this beer a bad review - but I need to so I can remember what I thought of it :P.

Hops comes through the smell, as well as dark nutty chocolate coffee. Drink is spicy, with coffee nuttyness.

Taste is, erhm, nutty, spicy, the smell comes through in the taste and there's just something in the smell I'm not digging. I think that's really what is killing the taste for me.

The ABV is fairly well hidden, 8.6%, it tastes more like 6%.

I can see why people would enjoy this beer, and I respect that, but it is just not for me.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.79/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown body with ruby highlights, toppedby a level thick finger of tan froth. Slight lace.

The deepest of sniffs finally reveal some chocolate notes, but its a struggle for any real aroma at all.

Mild coffee and chocolate flavors. Earthy hop buzz, but not major. Pepper note in the afterburn, along with some alcohol kicking up from the gut.

Sturdy mouthfeel is solid, not oily, syrupy, or sloppy.

So-so drinkability. Flavor not enticing enough, and finishing heats are off putting.

Not one of Lagunitas more interesting efforts.

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Photo of MrYoungblood
2.8/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Dark brown body, tan head, little carbonation (at least my bottle).

Smell: Robust, malty, toffee, hint of chocolate.

Taste: Roasted malt flavor, chocolate aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thick, syrupy.

Drinkability: One and done. Very intense. Not a session beer.

Though Lagunitas is one of my favorite brewing companies, I was not impressed with this beer. I'm not a huge Imperial Stout fan, but I wanted to give their's a try.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
2.8/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-A murky, deep brown pour with no highlights. Very thin layer of head with tightly knit carbonation. Slight lacing in my delirium snifter.

S-I get some decent notes of caramelized sugar - almost creme bruleeish. Traces of smokiness. The flavors are all present, but not quite working for me.

T-I am really trying to understand this beer, but am having a tough time...especially with the taste. It is not quite a solid stout profile, but not really barleywine or strong ale. A bit of oxidation adds a wet cardboard profile. Although the roasted flavors are present, it is hard to figure out the balance. Hops are in the background, but not enough to put the lagunitas stamp on it.

M-A tad thin with moderately high carbonation. An alcohol burn is evident and finishes with an astringent taste on the tongue.

D-Clearly not my favorite stout, but definitely not a bad beer. It almost seems like a blended stout and old ale. Not perfectly made and far from a standout stout.

Creme Brule

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Photo of Bartrob6
2.82/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

very dark brown. doesn't look like a stout. has no head at all.

smells of rich caramel and roasted chocolate malts. kind of a weak aroma.

tastes like drinking syrup. needs more carbonation so its not so thick going down. could be an alright beer if the carbonation wasn't so low.

not a fan of this. i will probably pour the second glass down the drain.

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Photo of Tbn2
2.95/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber to a pint glass.

A pretty thick tan head rises to the top and slowly dissipates. Doen't live much by the way of lacing though. Pours jet black and just the slightest hues of red on the outside when backlite.

Smell is typical. Mostly malty in the noise. The smell of a sweet, bready aroma dominates with alcohol, burnt sugars, coffee, & raisins.

Taste is pretty much the same as smell. A chocolate flavor hits me now that I didn't smell and adds a little bit more to the beer, but nothing really special. The mouthfeel seems light to me for being an imperial stout. I expected it to be much thicker.

Not much exciting going on here. I think you buy this one because you are a Zappa fan and want the label. Still a good beer but nothing ground breaking.


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Photo of mentor
2.96/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a solid finger of light brown head over a very dark mahogeny liquid. Smells mild overall. Minimal roast, sugared chocolate, and powdered milk.

Tastes roast and chocolate with anise to support and lotsa dark fruit. Piney and citrus hop with minimal rough cohumulone edge. Blackberry, as if they used Northern Brewer hops to bitter. Too sweet in the mouth, but thick fig and salt dries the finish.

Some protein thick and appropriate carbonation. Syrupy, like slightly diluted cheap chocolate ice cream syrup. A thick hangs on the tongue and upper palate in a way I'm not fond of.

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Photo of TLove
2.97/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This is a very fruity american double that celebrates the 40th year release of the Frank Zappa album. Picked it up at my local beer Mecca, Rodmans in DC and poured into a tall glass.

This beer had a darker, red-tinted appearance and was clearly going for a more aggressive taste and smell on the front end. It was very heavy in dark and red fruits, with a very strange balance of nut and chocolate. It was good to the smell and my roomates were huge fans of the taste, but the smell of the beer poured over to the first few gulps and the rest of the taste faded away. Further, if you held the beer in your mouth for a little, the beer was flavorless and unbalanced, which contributed to the finish and drinkability being very poor, despite its sweetness and nuttiness.

Despite the mixture of flavors with a slight bitterness and an almost unnoticeable 9% ABV, the beer was a lot like Zappa himself, exciting and aggressive on the front end, but ultimately flavorless and poorly balanced over the long run.

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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 leprakhan
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of pperez38
3/5  rDev -18.7%

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Cruising With Ruben & The Jets from Lagunitas Brewing Company
3.69 out of 5 based on 315 ratings.
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