Go into any chain store and you will find “own brand” items; many add beers onto this list, but unless you do some research it is not always clear who is making the beer for these stores. Sam’s Wine and Spirits have an exclusive Stout made for them by Lagunitas Brewing Co. This is one of the first exclusive or own brand beers that I can remember looking at that actually displays the originating brewery on the label (together with the store’s own blurb). How close this is to Lagunitas’ own Stout (Imperial Stout) I will not know until I get round to trying it, but for now I’ll stick with the highly recommended version (I must point out that this was highly recommended by the people working in the store and no one else I have since spoken to seem to know much about it)
The Beer: 8.2%; very, very dark brown (as opposed to actually being black); has a wonderfully dark roasted malty aroma with fruity elements; smooth to taste, with the usual dark roasted mouth biting bitterness; some coffee elements and traces of fruitiness (think more dried fruits than fresh, citrus fruits), thick and full bodied; bitter aftertaste lingers
Certainly not something that would offend the dedicated Stout drinker, I would say this tends towards the Imperial Stout style simply because of it’s bitterness and strength, together with all the other Imperial Stout traits. Just how close it is to Lagunitas’ own remains to be seen (if I can find a bottle locally). Not something I would rave about, but also not a total waste of money.
Website: Lagunitas / Sam’s Wine thing