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Fusion III | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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15 Ratings

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Fusion III takes their Imperial Stout and fortifies it with extra hops and cocoa. Fusion IV is an Imperial Pilsner made with Belgian Westmalle yeast. Fusion V is a Triple Bock version of Brown Shugga’ brewed to an intimidating 14% ABV.

Added by dirtylou on 09-05-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 15 |  Reviews: 11
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of clegolfski
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of sideshowe
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of modernartblues
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap @ 1702, Tucson; November 2010
This beer arrives with a touch of an amber tinge to it, but is still opaque and is a mostly black beer. The head is a brown tinged, tan color that is long lasting despite not being all that thick. The nose is quite roasted smelling, especially in contrast with the Trout Hop I just had; rich, dark chocolate aromatics are backed by a backdrop of espresso as well as a decadent dark-malt sweetness and in the finish a touch of herbal hop character. A touch of bitter, burnt grain character is noticeable after a bit.

The beer feels smooth and creamy as it first hits my tongue. It picks up a prickly tingle of carbonation as it moves across my palate and the finish has a bitterness to it that is mostly hop derived, but is boosted by a burnt grain character. This is quite smooth, with deep chocolate flavors that are accentuated by the decadent dark-malt sweetness that is more complex than cloying. This beer is really lush and satiating and I like that it drinks quite a bit bigger than its strength would suggest. As the beer warms up a touch of alcoholic heat is noticeable towards the finish.

 1,144 characters

Photo of djbreezy
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Saraveza in Portland, OR.

appearance - dark and rich brown/black, rich and foamy tan head, sticky lacing, good retention

smell - chocolate, coffee, roasty

taste - sweet, bitterness dominates, chocolate and coffee notes

mouthfeel - smooth, medium body, slick, medium carbonation

drinkability - the imbalance in the bitterness knocks off quite a few drinkability points, the brew looks amazing in the glass but wears on the taste buds for an RIS/double

 465 characters

Photo of Phelps
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tap at Tops, poured into a snifter. I've read that this is a blend of bourbon barrel-aged Gnarleywine and the imperial stout aged on cocoa nibs and habaneros. Quite a lofty resume there.

A: completely ink-black, impenetrably dark, with a tiny head of light ginger that becomes a large-bubbled, soapy ring with a nice oil slick of film.

S: whiskey, coffee, dark chocolate, some sweet figs and a noticeable alcohol presence. A little light here, but interesting.

T: hefty roastiness, imparting flavors of espresso and charred bread amidst a backbone of sweet plums, chocolate milk and Lucky Charm marshmallows. The acrid roast rolls back in at the finish and lingers lightly, while a whiskey-like alcohol burn filters through the nose. The flavor actually strikes a great balance between sweet and bitter.

M: the fairly high carbonation causes the creamy medium body to fizz up a bit too much as I move it about the mouth. Considering the flavors and nice depth of body, it's a little off-putting. The alcohol, however, is lovely, and is at work getting me feeling all warm and fuzzy.

D: the description of the beer, sadly, is better than the beer itself. The roast is overpowering all else, leaving little room for the barleywine or bourbon to shine. This isn't to say it's a bad beer; it's a passable imperial stout. But as bourbon-aged blends go, it's mediocre.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.92/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Red highlights ringing this brown-black brew. Head is damn sticky, pretty nice look. Nose is quite sweet, with juicy fig and raisin all over, oozing into molasses. Faint notes of roasted barley and caramelization, possibly from the barrels.

Fairly sweet flavor profile, leaning towards the fruits to provide the punch. Coffee plays a strong role as well, with some very dark chocolate as well. Finishes full, with a long and sticky lingering bitterness.

Good beer, but a little too unbalanced in the sweet direction without enough bitter ballast for my taste in Imperial Stout. a

 583 characters

Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the recent Blue Dog Tavern event. This was not probably not the best setting to sample this beer, as I had already purchased glasses of CBS and KBS (both of which are completely out this beer's league).

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, if somewhat simple, showing brown sugar, chocolate and light coffee. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this moderately sweet stout, though to be honest, this beer came across as more of an imperial brown ale then an IRS. There is a touch of hoppy bitterness in the finish, that helps to balane the modest sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, with a fairly long finish. Drinkability isn't too bad, though the alcohol is a bit more noticeable than I like to see (even for an IRS).

Nothing wrong with this beer, but it was simply over matched in this particular setting. Aside from the KBS and CBS, there were also two vintage of FBS at this event.... all of which were superior to this beer (IMHO).

 1,044 characters

Photo of TommyW
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Black body with a sticky, tan head.

S- Big roasted flavor on the nose with notes of dark chocolate and coffee.

T- Follows the nose pretty well, nice mix of roasted/toasted malts with notes of bitter chocolate; alcohol presence is very noticeable and perhaps just a tad too heavy.

M- Medium to full body with a nice creamy carbonation.

D- A pretty good stout, alcohol was a little too hot but the feel of the beer was really nice.

 436 characters

Photo of oglmcdgl
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at bluedog chalfont.

A- comes my way with a small cap of khaki head that settles slowly to a thin ring and a few spots of lace. Black as all get in color.

S- dark chocolate, bordering on burnt malts, some brown sugar and toffee. Hints of sweet and booze.

T- very interesting. It sure does taste like stout and a barleywine blended together. Loads of bittersweet chocolate and coffee with some burnt sugar and toffee. Nutty and roasty. Hints of fruits. Long roasty boozy finish.

M- full bodied but not thick. Mid level carb that is way needed to help light and liven things up. Kinda hot.

D- new and interesting. You definitely get both base beers but it is a monster to tackle. I'd like to get a bottle and see what some time does.

 748 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz draft at Jerrys.

Would have pegged this for a strong ale if the menu didn't say Imperial Stout. Tan foam rings the edge, sticky crown of lacing with light getting through at the edges. Reddish brown body.

Smells a little sweet with dark fruits, raisins, red grapes, and molasses. Taste is similar with some bitterness and traces of oak. Seems slightly oxidized in the malt character, slightly papery. Coffee and bitter bakers chocolate, seems more porter than stout, fairly minimal roastiness.

Feels nice and robust with a disguised abv and easy drinkability. Interesting, but not something i'd really seek out again.

 627 characters

Photo of Vdubb86
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter on tap at The Firkin in Libertyville, IL

This is actually my first Lagunitas brew and it's a pretty strong stout and it's on tap. I hope it works out well. There is a black body with garnet fringes. The head is tan and fades quickly. The smell is of chocolate, coffee, bourbon and brown sugar. The taste is of coffee and a little more coffee. There is also the taste of alcohol and chocolate. There is a nutmeg and orange flavor as well. The alcohol flavor has a sweetness to the beer that is similar to a sweeter bourbon. The mouthfeel is syrupy, which is nice and thick to the style. It's drinkable and pleasant, but you must take it very slowly because it's rather strong. Overall, it's a rather nice Imperial Stout.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this at the Fountainhead in Chicago- very cool spot for a drink and some food.

A: appears like a typical imperial stout, maybe a shade lighter than some of the "motor oil" stouts. Thin white head hangs around for a little white, some lacing.

S: There are some really nice sweet and mellow bourbon notes on the front. I don't know a whole lot about this beer, so I'm not sure if it has been aged with any kind of bourbon, but the nose certainly hint that it has at least been blended with a little. This vanilla/bourbon/mellow character is followed by a heavy hitting roasted profile with lots of chocolate and coffee.

T: like the nose, the sweet bourbony character comes through in a very gentle fashion, nothing over powering, it complements the roasted profile very nicely. This is a well crafted stout and is by far the best stout that I have had from Lagunitas. I'd like to see this one hit bottles some day!

MF: again, this body is typical for an imperial stout maybe leaning a shade to the lighter body side. The carbonation is smooth and mellow, everything works.

D: Wonderful imperial stout, I liked it so much that I ordered two in a row (a rarity for me at beer bars). This shows that Lagunitas does have the ability to make a heavy hitting stout with the rest of them.

 1,290 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on-tap at Hopleaf Chicago

cellphone notes

2-year old bourbon barrel-aged Gnarlywine - blended with an imperial stout (3 x stout, 1 x barleywine), aged on cacao nibs and habaneros.

I'm not too crazy about Lagunitas but the description on this one was pretty intense.

appearance: served in a snifter - dark ebony body with a creamy chocolate cap

smell: robust chocolate, light booze levels, deep roasted malt

taste: pretty complex billing here - rich chocolate, piney hops, roasted malt, booze, faint spice left from the peppers. I'm unfamiliar with the fusion line, but i'll be keepying my eyes peeled

mouthfeel: rich and creamy

drinkability: good

 670 characters

Fusion III from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 15 ratings
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