Yes, yes my beloved readers: another Henry Deltoid review of a Lagunitas brew. By now I shan’t make any attempts, valiant or cheap, to suppress your conclusion that at any opportunity I will gleefully drop to my knees and perform a sloppy, wet blowjob on Lagunitas… proverbially speaking, of course. A couple of months ago they opened up a satellite brewery in Chicago, and I hang my head in shame as I admit I have not yet visited the facility. That’s almost as inconceivable as balking at the opportunity to take Ted Turner’s MasterCard to the Bunny Ranch with a Pez dispenser full of Viagra, I know.
Since this beer overall only has “very good” reviews from the beer blogosphere I wasn’t in a huge hurry to try it. But at around $5USD per 22 oz. bomber bottle with the Lagunitas label on it, I sure wasn’t brain-dead enough to pass on the opportunity. And again, if I had the flexibility to kick myself in the balls I would be crying in a semi-fetal position on my floor right now, because, holy shit on my chest, this is a superb stout specimen.
Before you start wanking your beer boner in response to my fluffy introduction, be advised that there isn’t anything too special in terms of flavor profiles in this stout. However, they are so pronounced and easy to recognize that each one stands out boldly. I didn’t have to focus and scan the memories of my taste buds to find the flavor fingerprints here.
I poured two glasses into my favorite snifter. The first one was slow and gentle as I didn’t want it to erupt like a virgin hard-on at the first touch by the silky hands of the prom queen. Its head was nice, even, camel tan, not too thick, not too resilient, and decent. The second pour was so violent it teetered on the edge of Ray Rice spousal abuse territory. It created a thick 3-finger plume of foamy beer head which later on led to a very strong and impressive lacing. The liquid is dark chocolate and syrupy. Nothing extraordinary there. The aroma was faint, but sweet with a touch of sherry, red wine, and chocolate. Again, nice, but nothing special or memorable, and thus the overall presentation met all standards but exceeded none. And then the flavor changed all of that.
The upfront flavor is a blend of sherry and rye, with a heavy emphasis on the malt, and then it goes right to milk chocolate and whiskey. It probably contains the best tasting chocolate profile I’ve ever drawn from a stout.
The aftertaste begins with a booze flavor that fades away leaving smoke, milk chocolate, and bitterness to keep you company. I’d say the aftertaste is 40% smoke, 40% bitterness, and 20% chocolate. It’s noticeably bitter but not nearly as I expected it would be at 72.45 IBU. Malt tends to offset the tongue’s perceived level of hops in a beer, so I guess it’s safe to say this is a very malty stout. The texture is syrupy, thick, chewy, and substantially creamy with a high level of CO2. The lacing didn’t contain much to be remembered after my first glass. But after I finished the 2nd glass I noticed sandy, foamy, tenacious, goopy lacing.
This is one of the best stouts I’ve ever had. It’s almost (but not quite) right on par with Oskar Blues’s Ten Fidy. And for the price I’d say it is the best imperial stout you will find in any liquor store.
I acknowledge that I have reviewed a hefty amount of Lagunitas beers here on BaDoink, but this also gives me the opportunity to announce that Lagunitas is one of the few craft brewers that distributes to all 50 US states; at least that was their goal as of July according to a CNBC article. I cannot confirm if Lagunitas met that goal, but if they haven’t, and you live in a state that does not have it in stores or on tap, get the fuck out of that state ASAFP. I don’t care if you are tending to your mother who is bed-ridden and connected to a dialysis machine. Yank out all the cables until the lights and beeps come to a complete halted silence, and pull her across state lines like a fucking sled dog and get some Lagunitas! If she doesn’t survive…… DRINK SOME MORE! You’ve earned it! And a toast to your expired mother. She will have died for a good cause.
Lagunitas “Imperial Stout”