Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Co.

City – State- Country: Petaluma, CA  US of A

Style: Imperial Red Ale

Alcohol by Volume:  7.8%

Release/Date:  Code: 04431409 = February 13th, 2012

Reviewed By: Dave

INFORMATION:  I try to review IPA and hoppy brews within 3 months of the bottle date just to give the brewery a fair shake.  In this case I’m cutting it a little close.  This Imperial Red Ale is a limited release from Lagunitas Brewing Co.  Available seasonally in 12oz. bottles starting in January.  This brew is a variation of the original Lagunitas RED from 1993.

APPEARANCE: Pours a deep red, a slightly dark ruby color.  One finger of lighter reddish-blonde head that leaves behind some impressive lacing.

AROMA: A deceptive blast of hops up front.  Judging by the style and color I was expecting more malt aroma.  I get some dark fruit smells…I want to say a hint of berries.  There is a slight malt background, but very faint.

TASTE:  Very nice hoppy punch is my first impression.  Very intense for only 54.2 IBU.  Fruits and flowers to complement the aroma.  There is a spicy bitterness as a side note, and a heady malt backbone present.  The alcohol flavor is almost non-existent.  Although not overly complex this brew has enough hops to satisfy my internal hop head.  I am a little let down overall since this is a seasonal & an imperial.  I guess I just expected more.  Don’t get me wrong it is a good beer, just nothing to write home about.

MOUTHFEEL:  Moderate feel and pretty full body for an ale.  Solid amount of carbonation accompanied by a hoppy bite.

DAVE’S BOTTOM LINE:  I’ll be honest, I had high hopes for this brew and feel a little disappointed.  I guess it just doesn’t stand out from the other Lagunitas hoppy brews (or other IRA’s) all that much.  Like I said, I like this beer and would not turn one down, but for a seasonal/imperial release it is nothing special.  Over all a great hoppy flavor balanced with some spice and malts.  I would drink this with a medium-rare steak and a baked potato topped with broccoli and sharp cheddar cheese.


Score:  3.5 out of 5

Written by Dave

Craft beer drinker & reviewer. Founding member of the Erie Better Beer Bureau.

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