Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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Big Eddy Russian Imperial StoutBig Eddy Russian Imperial Stout

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BA SCORE
86
very good

1,192 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,192
Reviews: 472
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.12%
Wants: 46
Gots: 152 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jj21 on 10-27-2007

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,192 | Reviews: 472
Reviews by rsdaugherty:
Photo of rsdaugherty
3.57/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Bottle into pint glass
A – Black brew produced a large hot chocolate colored head which forced me to pour more gently, decent staying power, left scattered broken lacing 3.5
S – Dark chocolate, toffee, cashews, and vanilla… nice aroma 4
T – Bitter-sweet chocolate fades to something reminiscent of over-sugared bad coffee then towards the finish it shows a mildly herb bitterness with an interesting sweet sourness to it 3.5
M – Creamy “feel” from carbonation but not the needed viscosity, moderate body… not up to par for a RIS 3
O – Mixed emotions on this brew, not firing on all pistons. Sweeter than my personal preference and that is the primary reason I’ll skip it for a different RIS… an OK beer. 3.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My first of the "Big Eddy" line.Poures nearly jet black except for just one small ring of ruby at the bottom of the glass when held right up to the light,a half finger creamy mocha colored head atop.Dark fruit with a slight sour tinge in the nose,a roasted nut note wich comes along with alot of the beers of the same style is there as well,odd no roast playing a role.Like drinking a liquid raisin at the first couple sips,oddly the roast is subdued as well as the chocolate,it's all about dark fruit and alcohol.I like this beer but it's one sided in the dark fruit category,still this is top notch from this brewery.Actually this is not the the first "Big Eddy" beer I have tried.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.27/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer review from BA Mag Dec 2007.

Even large regional brewers have been swayed to brew limited-edition big beers as they see the popularity grow and the consumers calling for more flavor. This offering is brewed with 11 malts and grains and three different hops.

The pitch-black liquid pours out a little thick and viscous as the modest carbonation struggles to break from the solution. Decent head retention as the tan lace does stick to the glass here and there. Sweet aroma of dark berries, chocolate and molasses with a hint of acrid burnt malt in the back. Syrupy full body with a slick creamy mouthfeel, light carbonation. Starts off with a bite of burnt malt that makes way for the sweetness, which is substantial but not cloying. Suggestions of dark chocolate, blackberries--blackstrap molasses comes to mind. Hops are hard to find with the massive malt backbone though a quick kiss of herbal flavor hits in the middle. Sweet in the end with a long linger of charred malt flavor.

A good stab at the Russian Imperial Stout style, it's worth a try to compare against the many craft brewers that are coming close to mastering this style. A good 6 months to a year of cellaring may do this beer some good as it seemed a bit green around the edges with all of the sweetness.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very excited to try this R.I.S. from Leinenkugel's! Bottle says 9.5% abv. Pours into my glass a viscous, dark tar black with a solid half inch of creamy dark tan head on top. No light getting through at all! Aromas begin with deep roasted malts. Dark chocolate, coffee and a slight smokiness. Dark fruits mixed in with some vanilla. There's some hops in there as well. A great aroma overall.

First sip brings big roasty malts with a rich chocolate upfront. Rolls into a hint of molasses and a wonderful dark fruity aspect. A touch of smokiness and coffee as it flows down. Bitterness on the finish with some hops as well. I enjoy the fruity, cherry aspect here. This is a robust, tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is dense and creamy, with a big body. It goes down smooth overall. A big, hearty brew that is great for a cold night. I've never been a huge fan of Leine's regular offerings, but this one just blew me away. I hope they keep up with the Big Eddy series as this is one helluva a good R.I.S. from a brewery I wouldn't have expected to brew something like this. Seek it out. Thanks to nchrist13.

Photo of generallee
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. 9.5% abv and a very brief description of the beer. Appearance: Very dark used motor oil like pour. Looks Black in the glass and has a small dark tan head. It fades out quickly leaving a light ring. Some lacing on the glass. Smell: It has a slightly lighter nose than I was expecting but still full of dark roasted maltiness and earthy hops. Taste/Palate: It is full of deep roasted maltiness caramel like sweetness and a touch of prune. The finish bring some hop bitterness and and mild dry earthy tones. Overall it remains fairly sweet.

Photo of SAxDRC5
2.82/5  rDev -26%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A- Pours dark black. 2 finger dark tan head. when held up to a light there is sort of a cherry wood color around the edges of the glass. one of the prettiest beers I've seen.

S- chocolaty, malty and smokey. smells like soy sauce. both dark and light fruits (raisins and oranges maybe?). a touch of alcohol scent.

T- chocolate malts are the first taste I get, followed by smoke, soy sauce and fruit. finishes with alcohol and a tiny bit of hops. Flavors are not balanced, they conflict. To quote the guy at the beer store where I bought it "It tastes like someone poured about 1/3 of a bottle of sunset wheat into a decent imperial stout."

M- Pretty good. maybe a bit thin and too carbonated for me but I basically like drinking motor oil mixed with cement.

D- I've had beers higher than 9.5% ABV that were more drinkable. alcohol flavor is too pronounced and there is too much carbonation. Also if I want soy sauce I'll drink a bottle of soy sauce, not a beer.

Photo of jisom123
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Duvel tulip.
40 deg.
Appearance is standard RIS with slightly less carb and head.

Smells of rich malt caramel chocolate. Nice implications

"Taste" delivers initially, helped significantly by good mouthfeel. The carb lingers a bit long and pollutes the aftertaste, bringing out some slight booze and astringents.

Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: black in color, minimal head, opaque, minimal carbonation

Smell: roasted malt, dark chocolate, and nut

Taste: dark chocolate, roasted malt, wood--maybe cedar, light caramel, and vanilla at the end

Mouthfeel: heavy bodied, low carbonation,chewy, sweet with roasty bitterness

Overall: Very complex. Sweeter than most and way too drinkable for the abv. Almost drinks like a good Valentine's day cordial. If you typically like Leinie's you will like this. If you do not, I suspect you will not enjoy this as much.

Photo of badbeer
4.58/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pure black with probably the darkest colored head I've seen, brownish red almost. Head retention is amazing and has incredible lacing. Aroma has molasses, licorice, cherries, chocolate, and a little roastiness. Sweet malt and molasses greet my tongue first, yielding a cornucopia of sweet delicious flavors. Many of the things noted in the nose are also present in the taste, but just even more condensed and with some roastiness in the finish; it's so good! Mouthfeel is super thick, very full bodied with low carbonation; perfect for an imperial stout. Incredible beer, I really hope they continue to make this; Dark Lord, watch out!

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to djrn2 for sending me this bottle.

The beer pours a black color with a tan head. The aroma has a lot of dark fruit and heavily roasted malt notes, as well as a hint of soy sauce. The flavor is similar. I get a ton of heavily roasted malt and chocolate, as well as some dark fruit, raisins and soy. Medium to thick mouthfeel and low to medium carbonation.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to tayner for this brew as part of SS 2008. Cheers.

Pours as black as my heart. Thin head. Smells very sweet for a RIS. I taste mostly sweet fruit without as much malt as I would expect from a RIS. Mouthfeel is good but this is too sweet for my preference. Interesting beer nonetheless.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours bright coffee black under a 2” finely bubbled brown foam collar that grips the side of the glass.
S: Light roast, fruit, prune, dried fruit.
T: A creamy emulsion fills the palate with fruit, prune, dark dried fruit, and grain culminating in a bitter espresso finish.
F: Super creamy, chewy, medium carbonation.
O: A fruity sweetness throughout tempers the roast flavors.

Photo of MattyG85
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Happy Gnome in St. Paul, MN. Served in a 10 oz. tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark black with a slight amount of brown color. Solid three finger dark tan head with great retention and a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: Strong aroma of dark fruits including plums and figs with anise and molasses. A good amount of dark roasted malts. Hints of chocolate, coffee, and some smoke. The dark fruits and anise dominate giving a sweet and bitter liquorice like smell.

Taste: Like the smell, lots of sweetness from dark cherries, plums, and figs with a strong kick of anise liquorice flavor. Solid base of dark roasted malts. Hints of coffee, chocolate, and molasses. Has a smoked character throughout. A little bit of alcohol heat. Kind of tastes like a stout spiked with some absinthe.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Fairly smooth and creamy. Heat from the booze is fairly light.

Overall: A pretty good attempt at a bigger beer from Leinenkugel's. It could of been a little stronger in the body and chocolate and coffee flavor, but the dark fruits and anise is appealing.

Photo of far333
3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black and opaque with a reddish brown low head that kicks up minimally and then settles out quickly. Low, but rich aroma of molasses and brown sugar.

Rich and intense flavors of molasses, espresso, burnt caramel, ashie and acrid, woody, peppery bites in the finish, accented with subtle hops that add delicate but flavorful character to the flavor.

Moderate mouthfeel, even carbonation. Good beer, but just a bit too ashen for me.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I didn't even know that Leinenkugel made a Russian Imperial Stout, so I was pretty surprised to see this at the local Kroger. There was no price tag so the cashier sold it for 6 bucks for a four pack. I'm guessing that was a good price, appears pitch black in body. Large tan head forms thick velvet texture, I like the cascading effect as this one dwindles. Fine speckled lacing is even around the entire glass. Aroma has some dark ripened fruit notes hints of cherry/raisin notes. Roasted malts with a touch of soy sauce/anise like notes. Dark roasted malt brings in hints of chocolate and coffee but these noted don't stand out as much as other features I mentioned. Alcohol plays a pretty big factor in the nose here, I can really smell the booze in this one. Flavor has a tart cherry/raisin sweetness wrapped in dark chocolate dry alcoholic finish with dark nearly burnt roasted malts. Body is somewhat thin for the style alcohol is a bit too prominent on the palate, it hits with dark roasted malt and ripened fruit notes finishes a bit boozey. Drinkability overall is one and done type of pseudo craft, this is a good representation of the style I just think it would do better with some age I have three left, I'll update my reviews accordingly.

Photo of rudylaw
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Stub's and now in the bottle. This review is for the beer in front of me... poured into my Darkness goblet.

Pours a dark brown with light that peaks through on the edge. A one finger head which diminishes to a thin rim a few minutes later.

Tons of roasted malts in the nose. Bakers chocolate, anise and booze.

Those roasted malts are all up in your grill. Dark fruits come out at the outset and coffee grounds on the back end.

A thinner than average mouthfeel but it does have terrific, medium carbonation.

Once again, I will echo the previous bottle reviews. This beer is green and needs a few months to coagulate. Look forward to seeing how this progresses over the next few months.

Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Dark motor oil with a great caramel head and beautiful lacing

Smell - Rich oaky malts up front followed by a train of booze

Taste - Smooth and sweet up front and then bring on the booze

Mouthfeel - very crisp to begin with, but this one leaves quite the after taste

Overall - this one does not hide the 9.5% alcohol at all.

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

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a jet black body with a dark tan head that last as a thick film for a good part of the beer. A bit too dense to see any carbonation.

S- The smell of dark chocolate has a light chalk quality to it. There are strong smells of black malt with a slight hint of cardboard or wet wood in the background. The initial finish smell reminded me of a soy sauce hint and after that I couldn't get that thought out of my mind.

T- This beer has a dark chocolaty flavor supported by some roasted black malt followed by a smooth sweetness and a light molasses tang to it. The bitterness of black malt lingered after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture and a light alcohol note increases as the beer warms.

D- This beer has full dark malt flavors with some creamy qualities that are nice. It was served a bit colder than I like so I will re-review at a cellar temp. Nice easy drinking RIS overall.

Photo of richkrull
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark dark black color with dark beige/brown head on it.

Smell is full of roasted malts with some alcohol coming through as well.

Taste is sweet up front with some bitter chocolate coming through. Some alcohol taste on the finish.

Mouthfeel is very full. This is a pretty thick syrupy beer. Definitely took my time with this one.

Overall a good quality beer. Not over the top and I enjoyed it. Not sure if I'll buy it again, but I'd drink it if somebody else bought it.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2012 on the label.

A: Pours a dark brown black with a 1.5 finger khaki head that takes a few minutes to dissipate. Leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Sort of an off malt aroma, dark fruits with a bit of spicy or sourness.

T: Strong with dark fruits and a big molasses taste.

M: Thick bodied with sort of a sticky mouthfeel. Low carbonation.

Overall unhappy with this brew, did not realize the brewery upon purchase. Overly sweet and fake.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter from a twelve ounce bottle.

Light but frothy dark-khaki colored head. Settles into a quarter inch of froth that could be ladled. Pitch black body. Excellent looking beer. 4.5

Sweet caramel, floral, dark chocolate and vanilla on the nose. Something slightly spicy in there, as well as some smoke. 4

Pretty campfire and bacon-like. I always love those flavors. Dark chocolate and vanilla are there and a a heavily pronounced floral hop flavor. The flavor is a tad yeasty but otherwise great tasting. Toasted coconut makes a nice entrance as I delve deeper in the beer. 3.75

As I mentioned, it has a smoky feel, is a tad yeasty, and has a creamy, viscous and medium carbonated feel. The hops give a slight touch of hop bitterness. 3.5

$8 RIS 4-pack and it's damn good. A few noticeable flaws but again, a great beer and especially so for the price.

Photo of drewd
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A little thin for an imperial stout, but considering this is 9.5 ABV, rather drinkable. Not too boozy, just a bit of a warming feel after awhile. Finish is a bit charred, almost oaken, with caramel and toffee notes up-front. They say there are 3 types of hops, but I couldn't really discern any. Not usually into Leinenkugel, but a friend left this at my house, and it's a surprisingly decent & drinkable not-too-imperial Imperial Stout.

Photo of SMark
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this beer from a 12 ounce brown bottle at 55° into an imperial pint glass. A nice one finger tan head resulted from the pour with good lacing left during the settling period. The beer was a dark, dense chocolate brown. A date code was stenciled on the bottle.

A hint of what was to come was noticed with the pour. The aroma then presented a chocolate and coffee bouquet with a slight bitterness from the hops agitating the nostrils. Creaminess was anticipated with the first sip.

A rich, full, slightly bitter taste came about first. This evolved into coffee and dark chocolate with some of the creaminess I was anticipating at the onset. The taste smoothed out somewhat later on but still carried a little kick from the hops.

This beer was well received and could not overstay its welcome. The various components lingered in the mouth without any off flavors and only the slight bitterness prickling away at the cheeks and tongue.

Keep up the good work Leinenkugel. I wish now that I had sampled the IPA offered previously. I traveled over 600 miles round trip to secure some of this and am glad I did. It was a long day but I came back with some good Wisconsin beer. But then I do have a soft spot for Leinie’s & their friends.

Photo of BennyL1
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Haven't reviewed anything for a couple of months so why not get back in it with this one. 12oz bottle into a globe glass. Pull by date of 04/18/11. Little bit of age on this one, looking forward to it.

Body on this one is pretty consistent for the style. Big Eddy is a deep oil black with a nice mocha colored head. Good looking brew, dark and inviting.

Lots of dark roasted malts in the nose as one would expect. Nice bitter coffee and chocolate notes as well. Rich and assertive aromas. Much of the same in the taste. Complex taste with the roasted malts taking center stage. Espresso and notes of dark chocolate. Bit of a pleasing warming sensation at the end.

Full bodied with good carbonation. Big Eddy is a solid and enjoyable example of the style. Overall a bit on the sweeter side but that's fine by me, a very good brew.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to kryptic for this extra.

The eddy pours a thick viscous black with almost no head. The nose is chocolatey with spice. Meaty flavors with very rich flavor. Smokiness, smoky meats. There is a speck of JW lees flavor in here (wierd I know but i taste it just a bit) There also some chocolatey tones in here and a little bit of subtle hop bitterness all the way through. A little bit of coppery taste on the finish. very little coffee tones. The mouthfeel is very thick and viscous, soupy. Drinkability is ok for an imperial, but its so rich and thick it would be hard to have more than one in a row. Good brew, but a sipper, and nothing too fantastic. worth a try.

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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,192 ratings.