Lagunitas is a Northern California brewery known for both its iconoclastic interpretations of traditional styles, as well as its irreverent attitude. It was founded in 1993 by Tony Magee in Lagunitas, California. The brewery quickly outgrew their original rural West Marin location and is currently based in nearby Petaluma. Lagunitas is one of the fastest-growing craft breweries in the United States. Their beers are widely distributed and are currently available in 32 states. One of their limited release beers, Imperial Red Ale, caught our attention and begged to be tasted.
The beer pours a rusty red/orange color with a foamy two finger off white head. The head shows decent retention and once dissipated leaves behind a light lacing both a top the beer and down the sides of the glass.
Aromas of piney hops as well as citrus hop notes of grapefruit pith and lemon zest flow freely through the bouquet. There is a bready note and a touch of caramel sweetness that mellow out and balance all the hop notes.
On the palate there is an initial wave of bready and biscuit notes with a kiss of caramel sweetness. The citrus notes dominated by grapefruit pith hit next but are rather subdued at first. As the citrus hop notes build toward the midpalate they are met with resiny pine notes that coat the mouth and carry through to the finish. A touch of sweetness washes out the hop notes and allows for a clean finish.
Lagunitas Imperial Red is exactly what you would expect from Lagunitas, a well hopped beer with impeccable balance. Try pairing this one with aged cheddar, salmon burgers with citrus aioli or ginger spice cake.
The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.0 Out of 5 Pints
Please check with your local Bottle King store for current inventory!