Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,059 | Reviews: 449 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by weizenbob:
3.08/5 rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
This 12 ounce 2011 vintage bottle was purchased at Siciliano's Market in Grand Rapids, MI, for the handsome sum of $2.99. The bottle has a pry off cap as opposed to Leinenkugel's standard twist-off cap, leaving me with suspicions as to whether or not this is actually a Leinenkugel product. The label looks as though it was printed on a repurposed grocery bag. The label also brags about some bullshit like 11 malts and three distinct hops as though more malts and hops equate to better beer. If it seems like I'm being a bit hard on this beer before I even open the bottle, check out my reviews of other Leinenkugel offerings to understand why I'm more than a bit skeptical going into this. I'll be sampling Big Eddy at a temperature of about 55 degrees.
I pried off the cap and poured into a tulip glass. A horizontal pour manifests two fingers of creamy looking mocha-tinted head. Retention is pretty good. Lacing clings delicately to the side of the glass, eventually sliding into the receding head. The beer is about as dark as they come. No light can be seen through any part of the glass. We're off to a good start.
The aroma robustly displays all 11 herbs and spices, err, malts. Seriously though, the aroma leans toward sweet and malty. A delicate kiss of chocolate malt can be detected. For the most part however, the aroma is intensely fruity, a la, dates and plums. Licorice is noted. Some solvent-like alcohol comes through in the nose, which should be expected for a brew of 9.5% ABV. As it warms however, the alcohol becomes increasingly apparent.
The taste follows the aroma fairly closely. Fruity sweetness charges out of the gate with impressions of green apple and sweet cherry. Overly roasted malts add a charcoal impression that combines with the fruity sweetness to arrive stunningly close to the flavor of burnt barbeque. More cherry juice flavor ensues. Though the finish is very sweet it is not what I would call cloying. However, marshmallow is noted in the aftertaste. I wouldn't call the flavor profile balanced, or well crafted, but I do not hate it either. The irony is in how authentic these fruity flavors appear while Leinenkugel's offerings containing "natural fruit flavors" end up tasting like children's breakfast cereal.
In the mouth this stout is medium bodied, with a decent boost from the spicy alcohol. The carbonation level is low. It feels thinner than I would expect from 11 malts. If oats are one of them, then you wouldn't know it in the mouth. The weight and texture wind up working okay because the flavor is so fruity. Per style however, I expected something much more heavy and viscous.
All in all, my feelings remain mixed about this supposed RIS. It looks great, but the aroma, taste, and feel are all unconventional and leave much to be desired. All could be forgiven if this were on the bargain end of imperial stouts as Leinenkugel's other offerings tend to be. However, at $3 a bottle, Big Eddy winds up costing more than much better beers in the genre, namely Old Rasputin and Brooklyn Black Chocolate. It's also about three times the cost of Leinenkugel's regular offerings. Instead of bragging about the number of malts in their stout, Leinenkugel should probably have spent more time formulating for better flavor, balance and feel. This is a perfect example of how more is not necessarily more.
On a positive note, I think this would make a fantastic marinade.
The Two-Schlitz Scale: (see my profile for an explanation)
I don't give a Schlitz for Leinenkugel's Big Eddy.
Serving type: bottle
11-05-2011 19:40:43 | More by weizenbob
More User Reviews:
4/5 rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Meaty beefy big and bouncy! This 2013 edition of Big Eddy is excellent. Pours a thick black with a nice thick tannish brown head. Notes of chocolate, coffee, figs, and sweet malts. Taste is a lot like the nose. Chocolate and deep roasted grains up front with a coffee bitterness and sweet chocolate and deep roasted grains in the background with hops coming through on the aftertaste. One of the better imperials I have had, even better on tap. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, improves with warmth. Very nice and to be appreciated. Cheers!
Serving type: bottle
07-21-2014 23:20:41 | More by Brutaltruth
Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,059 ratings.