Big Eddy Imperial IPA - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Eddy Imperial IPABig Eddy Imperial IPA

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BA SCORE
86
very good

123 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 123
Hads: 469
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 6.54%
Wants: 19
Gots: 33 | 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.
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Reviews: 123 | Hads: 469
Photo of Sammy
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Limited handbottle sent from Murrayswine, quickly and fresh. One of the smoothest DIPAs I have tried. Just great bitterness, and tasted and looked as if off the tap. Creamy mouthfeel and soft carbonation was purrfect. C-hop aroma. Orange and grapefruit. I could have drank this all night. (288 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage.

8.2% ABV per the label.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, citrus zest, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with candied citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some solid aromas and flavors. (563 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

And with its deep amber hue and a charged hazy appearance, the beer simply appears as honey. Even a turbulent pour amounts to a medium stature of foam which retains moderately and laces even so. The love of color is tempered by lackluster head character.

Fruit, caramelized sweetness, and herbs are all present in the nose. While starting sweet with caramel, the beer's aroma develops toward woodish pine, fragrant citrus, and an earthy counterpart that reminds me of fresh field-torn tobacco.

Citrus laden caramels hit the early palate, and does so with the balanced brunt of oranges pith, grapefruit, wet grass, and straight-up caramel. As the beer extends onto the middle palate, the sweetness waivers and starts to favor the pithy resinous of pine sap, and fragrant tree bark. Still, the sweet taste lingers and balances the beer ever so slightly in finish.

Full to medium-full, it's easy to read both IPA because of its early creamy dryness; yet the residual sweetness questions barleywine. But its the transition that the beer makes midstream that decides on dry malty textures that's favored over residual malt. A conclussion semi-clean hop bitterness closes the beer with clumsy malty-sweet texture.

There's a lot of the malt sweetness that causes me to read English IPA. But the level of hops and the proportion of supportive character speaks to American versions, the beer promotes strong strength for those who are undecided between malt and hops but prefer stronger taste. (1,488 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.41/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a clear copper color with a white head on top. The head was white, it had a decent retention and it left a good lacing too. The smell of the beer is more malty than hoppy I think... The taste is moderately hoppy, it's got a bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is oily, it's thick and had a decent carbonation. Overall this beer is decent, it's not quite lively enough for an Imperial IPA. It's drinkable but not the best example of the style out there. (480 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $3.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

"NOV1912" on the bottle neck. I assume I haven't a second to waste!

Appearance: Pours an amber body with noted clarity underneath a foam layer, slightly yellowed.

Smell: Sugar encrusted toasted bread with floral, orangy notes from the hops (a slight candied, dried apricot fruitiness, too) and a slight whiff of alcohol.

Taste: Toasted, bready malts with a heavy pour of golden syrup and caramel. Large sweetness. Touch of dried apricot. Drizzle of orange oil with some comparatively easy-going resinous, floral qualities. Medium-plus bitterness, some heat from the alcohol. Sweetness slackens some, as does the body past the midway point, taking one an alcoholic sweet tea laced with citrus juice taste until the warming finish. There is a lingering bitterness, but, again, it's comparatively light when set against many IPA's, imperial or otherwise.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Some apparent stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Overall: While not exactly cloying, it's not what many people are looking for from a Double/Imperial India Pale Ale. Sorry, it just isn't. (1,155 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

While waiting for my anniversary growler at Lucky Monk this afternoon, a Leinie's rep offered to buy me a glass of this to enjoy to pass the time. I declined, but it was great to be offered. Good people sometimes... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear sunset amber topped by a finger of off-cream-foam. The nose comprises sharp pine needles, sweet caramel, grapefruit rind, and a hint of alcohol. The taste brings in more of the same, though the grapefruit is a tad brighter. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a lightly sticky finish. Overall, a pretty nice DIPA, nothing truly outstanding, but a definite win for Leinenkugel's. (699 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (877 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber/orange with 2 fingers of cream colored head. Below average head retention & lacing

S: Pineyness, pineapple, passion fruit, & ruby red grapefruit; stellar nose!

T: Grapefruit, pineyness, pineapple, dryness & a touch of breadyness up front. Big pineyness, grapefruit, a kiss of booze warmth as this beer warms. Finishes grapefruitty, piney, with a bit of pineapple & woody dryness

MF: Medium/heavy bodied, firm carbonation, very good balance

Super DIPA, this blows away every other Leine beer I've ever had by leaps & bounds, well done! (551 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
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! (1,238 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Leinenkugel's Big Eddy Imperial IPA, 2012. Five distinctive hops are added to every stage of the brewing process for our take on an Imperial IPA. 9% ALC./VOL.

Clear and luminescent, cast in glowing amber, edging on crimson, under a tight, but firm and lasting creamy, off-white head. Looks great.

Bright and bountiful aromatics, ripe fruit, assertive bitterness, but not raw or unbridled. Orange and lime, under apple and caramel.

Taste: bitter spank of hops begins right at first sip, slaps the palate up, and slinks down the throat. Juicy malt profile, plenty of ballast and balance, while the hops shine through. Would be very interested to know which hops are involved in this, but I'm they indeed are distinctive. And delicious. And just bitter enough.

Big Eddy Imperial IPA is a class act. Not too anything, not overblown in any direction, with the high alcohol revealing itself at last, but remaining a minor fact in the enjoyment of this ale. The fierce hop action at the top relents some, mellows out a little, but never truly fades. A hint of sweetness is revealed in the middle, quickly overturned by more bitterness.

A continual treat. I'll be stocking up on this one. (1,185 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
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. (1,335 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.69/5  rDev -3.4%
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. (342 characters)

Photo of mothman
2.85/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Glad they re-made this so I could finally tick it.

Poured into Big Eddy Chalice.

Pours a white head that settles to a collar. Color is a clear vibrant copper.

Aroma: A lot of citrus and bright fruits. Pineapples, lemons, and grapefruit. Maybe a touch of mango. There is a bit of caramel and bready malts too.

Taste: A little too much sweetness and malts here. Lots of caramel and bready malts. Some alcohol burn. Hop resiny with a bit of dankness. Earthy and floral. Lots of citrus fruit.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and sticky. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, a decent IIPA, but nothing I would buy more of. It just misses some of the marks when it comes to being a staple. The nose is decent, but it loses it in the taste. It's not bad, but it is a bit below average. (801 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Best by Dec. 10, 2012. The beer pours a hazy brown color with a white head. The aroma has some floral notes, as well as some toffee and bread notes. I also get a hint of orange citrus from the hops. The flavor is better than the aroma. I get orange citrus and some pine, as well as a little bit of perfume notes. There is a little bit of bitterness, but the hops mainly come through in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. While the beer was drank within the period set by the best by date, it tastes a bit like it is old, with faded hops. (555 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again go to Kegatron for gifting me with a bottle of this. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip shaped pint glass. The brew appears amber to burnt copper with a finger of silky tap froth across the top that fades to a thin film. Some patches of lace stick to the glass and a swirl agitates less than a finger back to the surface.

The aroma has a strong malt backing smelling of toffee, caramel and some sticky sweet vanilla to almost candy inclusion. Playing off of that sweetness is a bit of fruity to floral hop component that meshes well with the alcohol. The fruity aspect here of the hops is borderline orange-like with a nice floral accent that somewhat flirts into the realm of being herbal but not quite. I am surprised by how much the aroma is focused on malt.

The flavor brings things back into the expected profile. Hops are a bit more present here with some rindy to herbal flavoring coupled with fruity hints that are primarily orange-like with a hint of pineapple and lemon. A bit of tangy alcohol is present which breaks things up and the finish has some hints of residual sweetness. Instead of being candy-like a full of burnt sugar quality like the aroma suggests, this instead is more toasty grain which is nice. As the brew warms up, it has a bit of resinous pine aspect that is a nice change of pace.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Pretty decent across the board but the nose was a bit much with the malt and the flavor had an interesting tangy fruity component that while not distracting did seem a bit out of place. I didn't bother to check bottled on dates, just fired this into the fridge and cracked her open when cold. I would possibly get this again if the opportunity presented itself but it isn't something I would go out of my way for. Thanks Heath! (1,826 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.26/5  rDev -14.7%
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. (1,646 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jtd1969 for hooking me up with this bottle.

A - orangish amber; no head

S - floral, faint citrus

T - bread, grapefruit, floral, sweet

M - medium bodied, good carbonation, smooth

I opened this with little expectations. This is a pretty solid IPA though. It has balance and good flavor. I've never been a fan of a Leinenkugel offering before. It makes me wonder why they're producing the rest of their lineup if they're capable of making a solid beer like this one. (478 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.69/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a crystal clear deep amber/copper color with a decent sized off white head that quickly dissipates to a cap. Aromas of earth citrus and pine with an almost buttery aroma as well as hints of light sweet fruits and plenty of bread and caramel to fill in the gaps. The flavor is kind of heavy on the malt side of things with sugary and sweet fruits up front. Resinous citrus comes up next, but gets drowned out pretty quickly by the presence of a bit of ethanol. Long sweet lingering finish with a firm earthy hop bitterness. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. Seems a bit sweet and thick for a double IPA. Tasty brew, but more like a barleywine honestly. (709 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Clear deeply red colored ale. Far from the expected IPA orange something. It is an agreeable shade. Small white colored head.

Smells malty and hoppy with a big menthol and mint scent. Woody and earthy with a bit of mushroom and abundant strong tea scent. Slight plum, fig and melon aromas.

Starts out sweet and a little savory with a strong melon flavor. Slight citrus flavor but this is quite woody. Melon, Citrus and wood, that sums this up.

Mouthfeel is full.

Overall sort of a weird one. Sort of half barleywine and half IIPA. Needs to decide what it wants to be. (571 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a vibrant, crystal clear, ruby-tinged copper coloring with a thin, low profile, bright white head that froths the surface. Slow, steady carbonation throughout the body. Aromas of resiny and piney hops, with a subtle citrus tang and a deep, roasted, caramel backbone. Smells balanced and rich. Flavors are resiny and slightly bitter on the forward tongue, with a tart citrus component hitting the outer edges of the taste buds. Rich, sweet caramel backbone holds true throughout, and there is a decent balance of flavors as you drink. Light lacing left on the glass, and the beer has a light to mid-body feel to it. The aftertaste is tangy sweet and slightly spiced, with a lot of the pine and resiny characteristics coming forth again. Clean, slick, slightly drying finish. (826 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draught at HopCat, served in a tulip.

Ruby red body with a light offwhite head. Mild retention and OK lacing. Nose has a whole bunch of fruit juice, resin and piney hop notes. Substantial malt component, but the hops are still quite bright. Tastes of sweet cranberry juice (no tartness that is), complemented by a mix of tropical and citrus notes. Moderate bitterness, but a good bit of malt sweetness. Medium heavy body, medium carbonation. A really interesting IIPA, something I'd love to have again. (506 characters)

Photo of aasher
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the first bottle I've seen of the new release for the summer of 2012. The label states that it is 9.0% abv.

This beer pours a light bodied bright amber in color with a soapy half finger head. The head quickly turned to a light lacing around the glass. The nose is big and pretty malt forward. There is a moderate amount of piney hops and a light bitterness. Cold, the alcohol isn't present in the nose. The flavors too are malt forward. It's piney with moderate bitterness. All in all, on the sweet side for a DIPA. There is a touch of alcohol as well. It drinks light in body and there is some residual sugar but I wouldn't say it's necessarily "sticky". Overall this is a decent beer but compared to all of the other DIPAs in the Midwest it can't really compete. (774 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012.

A: Pale apple skin coloring, sharp clarity with a very faint display of carbonation. 1/2inch frothy head barley yellow with a short span of retention. Light spacious speckled lacing.

S: Sweet caramelized pine on the nose. Lemony honeysuckle spicy flowers are fresh, and light in nature.

T: Boozy caramel is the first impression. Spicy floral, lemony scotch-pine. A strong malt character, the alcohol is a bit high perhaps overshadowing the hops character. A good warmth, some woodsy pine and cypress notes.

M: Nice malt fullness, quiet carbonation, good deal of alcohol warmth.

O: Overall decent flavor, though hoppiness suffers at the hands of higher alcohol. The hops dont appear bright, rather subdued and stands in the back of the room to the alcohol and malt. (780 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
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. (305 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by Oct 16, 2012 stamped in white on the bottle.

It pours a cloudy colour of rust/orange, with a tiny head of foam but it does leave some lacing behind.

Being close to the best by date, I'm getting a huge blast of caramel malt with light notes of read. No bitterness that reaches my nose buds.

The taste matches the smell. A huge malt presence with just a smallish hint of any hop bitterness. Even when I swish the beer in my mouth, I don't get the, now long faded I guess, hoppiness that's typical of a fresh Imperial IPA. And guess what? I'm DIGGING it! It reminds me of a well made Old Ale/Barleywine.

Close to full bodied, ample carbonation, smooth mouthfeel.

I would have loved to try and review a fresh sample but this, the way it is now, is very satisfying. (775 characters)

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Big Eddy Imperial IPA from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.