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My first beer review of 2019!  Hoping to get things started off on the right foot, I turned to this offering from my old friends at Lagunitas Brewing Company.  The weather outside right now screams stout, so who was I to argue?

Beer Name: Imperial Stout Ale

Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, CA)

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 9.9%

Description: Billed on the website as imposing “dark, thick, and scary” brew, this beer is said to feature plenty of roasted malted barley to impart a rich, smoky depth.  The bottle additionally tells a rather tongue in cheek tale of a proletarian toiler who may have imbibed a bit too much for his own good. Despite having spent a pretty good amount of time studying the Russian Revolution, this is quite likely the first time I’ve seen the word “buxom” applied to it!

Appearance: Poured to a dark black body. Up top some off-white lacing formed around edges, but I couldn’t convince a head to form.

Smell: Mild sweet malts with some coffee in the background.

Taste: Moderately sweet upfront with creamy, with light notes of roasted picking up as the beer went on.  The finish was a touch hot with a mild lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied with low carbonation.

Hype: Despite the respect and recognition given to this brewery (by most) as an entrenched elder statesman of American “craft” beer, their regular releases don’t tend to generate a lot of hype.

Overall:  Although it might not pack the wow factor of some flashier brews or barrel aged offerings, this was a very solid beer.  As an excellent representation of the style it gave me exactly what I wanted/expected.