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Big Eddy Imperial IPA - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Eddy Imperial IPABig Eddy Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

466 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 466
Reviews: 123
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 15.36%
Wants: 19
Gots: 32 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.20% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBelcher on 03-12-2007

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (46) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 466 | Reviews: 123
Photo of Lemke10
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2012 vintage, this pours a semi-cloudy, dark amber color with a slight head. The aroma is fairly sweet which might have happened with the aging. The taste starts fairly sweet and ends with a pine, bitter finish. Very easy drinking.

Photo of SurferEric
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

At 8.5% abv and $8 a 4 pack I certainly can't complain. At the price point this Imperial IPA was on the mark.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.47/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A- Body is a beautiful amber hue. Pours with a 2 finger or so off-white color head. Plenty of lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Nose is decent. Lots of caramel malt, a hint of floral hops, a hint of spicy hops, and some alcohol astringency.

T- a hint of caramel, floral hop overtones, hints of tropical fruits. The finish has a lot of alcohol astringency to it with a lingering mild hop bitterness.

M- low to medium carbonation, medium weight body that is more astringent than oily or syrupy.

O- Overall this is a pretty astringent IPA with more fruity and malt notes than hop notes. Its decent but I'm not impressed.

Photo of Mikus
3.11/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was my own damn fault for not checking dates... turned out it was bottled on 7/7 and I would prefer to have it somewhat fresher. With that in mind, I eagerly popped this after my pleasant experience with the Wee Heavy. Poured into my snifter from a 12oz bottle, deep amber with a ruby glow in the light, about 2mm of khaki head. Very light citrus and floral hoppy notes, clean aromas. Slightly astringent on the tounge, some alcohol noticeable, bit malty, could use some more bitterness. Nice mouthfeel, clean. Good and strong IIPA. Will definitely re-review if I find a fresher bottle!

Photo of brewskifan55
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass. Thanks, Alan.

A: A beautiful copper hue, opaque with an off-white one finger head that dissipates fast. Curtainy lacing.

S: Caramel malts, light grapefruit, citrus-y.

T: Citrus and malts abound. A terrific, smooth blend of caramel malts and citrusy hops. Easy drinking, low bitterness.

M: Medium with medium carbonation.

O: A solid entry from Big Eddy. Very sessionable, despite the high ABV.

Photo of kkleu357
3/5  rDev -19.1%

From notes on 9/29/13

I had higher hopes for this one. Nice powerful aroma. A lighter color orange than other IIPAs I’ve had. Odd taste. Hoppy like it should be, but there is a strong flavor that I don’t quite care for, but it isn't bad. Also, this beer is around $12 for a 4 pack. Pretty pricey. There are much better and cheaper options out there.

Photo of zac16125
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%

12oz bottle into a pint glass
bottled: 7/14/14

A: Pours a very hazy dark copper with just under 1 fingers width of light tan colored head, which dissipates down fairly quickly and leaves a fair amount of lacing. 3.5

S: Grapefruit, tons of sweetness-almost a candied sugar like sweetness, subtle pine but this is most definitely very malt forward. 3.25

T: More hops than the aroma implied, with a significant amount of piney bitterness and some citrus rind. Pretty big bitterness. Sweet malts are present to balance. Not the best hop profile, but not bad. 3.5

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation on the heavier side but appropriate, ABV well restrained, drinkability is average. 3.75

O: Overall, meh. Not a bad beer, but no reason for me to have this one again. 3.5

Side note: this new rating system is complete dog shit, please change back ASAP.

Photo of woodychandler
3.26/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

2012 vintage reviewed 26 July 2014.

The Great Bottle Eradication of 2014 continues unabated this evening. I purchased this one as a single at Country Garden Six Pack from their close-out cooler since it was already beyond its prime. It originally retailed for $15./4-pack, so unless it is skunked or otherwise flawed, I got a bargain since at 8.2% ABV, it can't be too bad.

From the bottle: "Our Berwery was born on the Big Eddy Spring in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin"; "Its waters guiding us through five generations of genuine brewing heritage."; "Five distinctive hops are added at every stage of the brewing process for our take on an Imperial IPA".

I employed a very gentle pour which produced only a skim of tawny head. I then agitated it in the glass to work up a quick finger of tawny head that quickly reduced to wisps. Color was deep-amber/light-copper to copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was very sweet and malty, indicating that the hops had fallen away pretty significantly. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. Once again, the first thing that I noticed was a intense fusel alcohol burn! Man, this must have been really hot when it was fresh. I am realizing that DIPAs are not for me, fresh or no. Following the initial burn, it had a very sweet caramel malt flavor, which was not bad, but it was still coming across as very intense. Phew! It seems as though I had a bottle of this two years ago, but I have no notes on it, which is too bad. Finish was equally hot and sweet and if I had any regrets, it was that there were no hops in evidence at this point. This could have been a barleywine for that matter.

Photo of robear
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2014 bottle. 2 months before expiration. Billed as the April-June seasonal, so this was probably brewed in mid-late March making it 3.5 months old. ABV: 8.2. IBU:80.

Bottle poured into snifter.

Appearance: Dark copper/orange. Little head dissipates quickly, very fine bubbles. Inviting beer, doesn't appear to be too thin- great color.

Smell: Tons of Cascade and Amarillo, a touch of Simcoe on the nose. Really neat blend of hops. Not sure but probably a touch of Citra at the end of the boil and during dry-hopping to elevate the aroma. Reminds me of honey on those small, sweet oranges (mandarin?) maybe on a bed of greens.

Taste: Honey, melon, and a bit of spice. This is a strong mix of hops, nothing delicate about this beer. Not as much oomph as Simtra, but probably a smaller malt bill. Very sweet, balanced moreso by Citra and Amarillo hops than by the malt bill. Still a good example of Munich and caramel malts in a hoppy beer. Def warms you up.

Mouthfeel: Very dirnkable. Presence is spicy but doesn't stick to your mouth. Sweet but not cloying. Alcohol is just enough to warm- that extra point above IPA status is memorable.

Overall: A tough sell at 8.2% as an Imperial IPA- the caramel malts add a nice color and a depth of sweetness that could probably be fermented out to get this up to 9%. ABV aside- IBU's are actually very high for an 8% beer, and a very, very good selection of hops that work together to build a delicious beer.

It's a shame that this beer is $12 a 4-pack. I found it on sale (the next seasonal, Ryewine, is already hitting shelves, so this was discounted to $5.99) and I think it would be a much more popular IIPA at $10. Will hold it's own as a memorable beer amongst Wisconsin IIPA's. Pick up a bottle and drink it before August- I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

(Anyone else wonder why Miller can't sell this beer for less????)

Photo of gabedivision
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a reddish orange, slight hop haze, & a 1 1/2 finger pillowy head

S- nice peach/ pineapple up front, mango, a bready caramel backbone followed by a light touch of lemon zest

T- sweet caramel, booze, grapefruit rind all swirling around with no rhyme or reason.

M- full bodied, tons of carbonation,. Drinks sweet & bitter, finishes very dry

O- smells good looks great, its just a mess on the tongue, unbalanced lots if booze and lots of bitter. Not my cup o' tea.

Photo of chinchill
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle served in a small tulip glass.
Clear dark amber with a decent head.

Quite mild for DIPA style, and even a bit mild for an IPA. For me it has excellent balance. Partially hidden higher ABV seems to be only about 5-6%. Fruity with some grapefruit in the finish and afyertaste but a touch sweet up front. Weak aftertaste for style.

Photo of SawDog505
4.24/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a 13 oz tulip, best by July 2014. Pours a dark orange with a half inch white head, that leaves behind a few webs of lace.

Smell is mango, papaya, passion fruit, watermelon hard candy, and some grapefruit.

Taste is follows the nose nicely, loads of mango and other tropical flavors, a bit sweet, and grapefruit hangs on the tongue awhile after.

Body is large, plenty of life, a little dry, and easy drinking.

Overall this is the 3rd one of the Eddy Series I have had and they are all really solid beers. I am very impressed with this brew.

Photo of AndyReuter
2.68/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was highly disappointed in this brew. I have had nice experiences with most "Leiny's", but this one was pretty bad.

Appearance - Nice orange color, almost no head.
Smell- Strong, sweet aroma with hints of diacetyl
Taste - Blah. This seems closer to a barleywine than a DIPA. The malt overpowers all with little to no help from the hops
Mouthfeel - The only thing Big Eddy got right was this; slightly thicker, rich mouthfeel, leaving the expected DIPA coating on the tongue
Opinion - Maybe they just labeled this beer incorrectly? I may have had a completely different opinion had I expected a Strong Ale or Barleywine

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.09/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle marked 00414 A21010741(I think, barely legible), 2013 vintage, at 45 degrees into goblet
Aroma of malt and faint alcohol and spice
Head small (1 cm), off white, creamy, quickly diminishing to 2 mm ring with small islands of foam
Lacing OK – incomplete rings and isolated small clumps of bubbles
Body orange, slight haze, few bubbles rising
Flavor not very good – hop flavors have degenerated and only malt and decomposition flavors are present with a little alcohol.
Palate medium, oily, soft carbonation.

I bought this by mistake, thinking it was a RIS, not a DIPA. Oh well. The flavors have not held up (I hope). A little diacetyl would have been nice, but no luck. Considering how poor this is at the end of life, I would hesitate trying a fresh one, since I have consumed year old DIPAs that were better tasting. Sorry Leinie, you missed the mark badly.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a deep caramel ruby hue with a tan khaki head forms nice fine speckled lacing. Aromatics offer up, citric rind...over ripened fruit deep down a bit of caramel malt explodes in the senses as well. Without tasting I can tell this DIPA is packed with malts, the first sip explodes with pine, citrus, a bit of pineapple and deep caramel malt backbone every bit as sweet tasting as the perceived sweetness on the nose. Rolling sweet malts, ripened fruit notes include juicy raisins this may be noted due to the heavy malts in the backbone and the 8.2% abv is definitely representing as a soothing alcohol burn finishes with each sip. Look this stuff is drinkable, but way too sweet for your typical DIPA it's weighing in on the palate for me is a tad cloying with all the sweetness. Really goes down as the DIPA that wants to edge into bordering as a barleywine or an American Strong Ale. I can't knock it for being what it is, but hopefully some of the under attenuated sweetness gets kicked back in the next varietal release of the Big Eddy DIPA. Overall a decent shot at a big beer style popular from coast to coast these days in the beer realm of America but the sweetness hit me way too hard to be able to full embrace this version!

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy orange/brownish color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell has some hops, citrus, a bit of malts as well. Taste is well balanced, mild alcohol, more malts than I expected, easy drinking for this abv. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 2/23/2014 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, some citrus, some hops and some alcohol.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel and citrus. Then a decent hops presence comes in along with a significant alcohol sting that you would normally get in a beer with a much higher ABV. The malt character is hearty and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid 2IPA but there are several other choices in the style that would pick first.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.62/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Imperial IPA 2013 has a very thick, yellowish-colored head, a semi-hazy, deep copper appearance, bubble streams, and some lacing left on the glass. Aroma is of rather intense and full barley malt and especially hop resins. Taste is of that, with caramel, sugar, hop resin, and some bitterness, but one would not guess at an 80 IBU. Mouthfeel is mostly heavy, and Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Imperial IPA 2013 finishes mostly dry, rich, and sip-able. Overall, this is delightful and so well made.

RJT

Photo of lochef81
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a deep cloudy amber color, almost brown, with a slight tan head that quickly resolves to a gentle cream colored film. Leaves nice lacing and a lot of alcoholy legs. The aroma is deep and malty. Nearly that of a porter. Lots of roasted notes including coffee and caramel. There is some hoppy citrus notes but not a lot considering this is an imperial. The flavor follows this profile with a lot of malt up front followed by a slight twinge of bitter. This is a smooth beer but truly I'd like more hoppy bitterness from this style. The end notes are deep with a slight chocolate and coffee flavor. If I closed my eyes I'd guess this was a light porter or a black ipa not an imperial. Solid beer but not what I'd expect from the label.

Photo of RickS95
4.19/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Really attractive pour, consisting of a faded burnt orange beer sitting under a frothy offwhite head. The beer is just hazy enough that light barely shines through. The head is a couple fingers thick, foamy froth, that retains well. Each swirl or sip leaves faint lacing behind.

The smell is killer. There's lots of malt for the hops to hold onto. With five varieties of hops, plenty of citrus and other fruits fill the nose. Orange rind, pineapple, ripe apple, and earthy flowers are front and center.

Great taste, but a bit unusual. It's extremely fruity, like the nose. The malt backdrop is there, so it stays balanced, but the fruity flavors dominate.

For an Imperial IPA, it's the smoothest beer I can recall. However, there really should be more of a hoppy bite. It's very tangy and sweet, but not all that bitter. The finish is dry with only faint hits of hops, though it leaves your mouth watering. Unusual.

Overall it's terribly easy to drink. Other than the high ABV, it's hard to believe this is an IIPA. In smoothness, this rivals Pliny the Elder, though it's a bit lacking in the bite we all enjoy from an IIPA. I like this.

Photo of puboflyons
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle stamped 07814-B21011337. 2013 vintage.

It pours medium amber-copper with a small off-white head that becomes a long lasting ring.

The nose makes me think of a barleywine or an old ale with a dominating caramel maltiness, booze, sugar, and a subtle earthy hop note.

The body is full and bold.

Caramel malts are upfront in the flavor rather than hops that one might expect from an Imperial IPA. Sweetness. An alcohol bite. Low to moderate bitterness at the end.

Photo of Shluffy
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Nice clear amber color that pours a strong 2 finger head

Smell: Sweet, fruity aroma

Taste: Similar to the aroma, quite sweet, definite grapefruit quality. Not a lot of bitterness, but it does seem to intensify a bit as the beer warms up.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and light, super drinkable

Overall: This is a very drinkable and enjoyable IIPA. The 2014 version of this beer seems to have less bitterness than 2013, and I like this more overall than I remember enjoying the 2013 edition. In full disclosure, the guy who brewed this particular batch is a family friend, and I think he did an admirable job!

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 7/1/2014. Pours slightly hazy deep ruby copper color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of tangerine, orange zest, lemon zest, orange rind, pineapple, floral, caramel, bread, light pine, and floral earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good complexity of hop notes with a moderate malt balance; and solid strength. Taste of tangerine, orange peel, lemon zest, pineapple, caramel, toast, toffee, floral, grass, light pine, light nuttiness, and floral/toasted earthiness. Light earthy pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pineapple, caramel, toast, toffee, floral, light pine, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of malt and hop flavors; with very balanced sweetness/bitterness and no cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, moderately slick, and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a nice DIPA. Good balance and complexity of hop and malt flavors; and quite smooth to sip on. Definitely a unique take on the style, but it is nicely enjoyable.

Photo of CloudStrife
2.27/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2013 on the label.

A: Pours a hazy amber brown with a moderate off white head.

S: Bitter hop is the first thing I notice. As it warms a lot of cracker and bready character comes out. Dark fruits and booze.

T: Not really an IPA. A boat load of malt that makes it seem more like an old ale. Perhaps this is a bit old per the April-June release date on the website.

M: Full bodied with a somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol makes it a bit harsh on the tongue. Sticky finish.

Overall not one I'd recommend. No motivation to finish the bottle.

Photo of Mikecap
3.39/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a deep amber with a thin whitish head and nice off white lacing. Not much of a head considering an aggressive pour.

Smell: Not hoppy for a DIPA, more sweet with some caramel, maybe a bit of maple then some pine and citrus. Weirdly, I get a bit of coffee here.

Taste: Syrupy and sweet with some nice tangerine sweetness and a load of caramel and maltiness. A bit too sweet without enough hop balance for a DIPA. This has been mentioned in previous reviews, but it almost seems like they just threw in extra malt to boost the ABV, not what I'm looking for in a DIPA.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth, sweet and creamy. Low carbonation with little alcohol burn.

Overall: While not my typical Imperial IPA, this honestly is unique and not too bad. Maybe this bottle isn't fresh, but I could use a lot more hoppiness. Still, decent for something from Leinenkugel.

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Big Eddy Imperial IPA from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 466 ratings.