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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Big Eddy Russian Imperial StoutBig Eddy Russian Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,103 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,103
Reviews: 457
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.12%
Wants: 45
Gots: 120 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jj21 on 10-27-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,103 | Reviews: 457 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a magnificent obsidian, with a huge head that settles slowly and coats the glass with lace

Smell: Syrupy aroma with burnt coffee, molasses and dried dark fruit predominating

Taste: Opens with a mouthful of viscous molasses and espresso that just builds and adds black raspberry and fudge as it sweetens by mid-palate; after the swallow, some licorice and tobacco flavors emerge, but the sweetness continues to build, too eagerly, to the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and sticky with smoothly moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Six months of age have yet to cut the sweetness factor; a very nice attempt at the style but ultimately, the sweetness becomes cloying

Thanks, tangfoot, for the opportunity

brentk56, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of alpinebryant
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tumpster as an add

Pours a thick tan head with a viscous black body.

Smell of sweet malt, figs, plums

Taste of sweetness, delicious fresh plum with some toffee, and sweet cocoa presence. A bit of licorice with the darker malts flavors.

Mouthfeel falls a bit flat. A lot of this beer is running off of the sweetness and as such I really enjoyed it. Im a sucker for sweet beers.

I was happy to have tried this, I think I passed by a review of it at some point but had never seeked it out. Would definitely drink again. Nice job by a big brewery

alpinebryant, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of canucklehead
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ThankS to Phyl21ca for this sample

black as coal tar and a head that is as tan as it is big

nose is kinda a cool dark fruit Belgian deal that screams RIS mixed with aged Belgian Doubles.

The taste is subdued yet the right roasted coffee/chocolate esters comeup in the next 30 seconds. This is a pretty good RIS that will not miss your stroke off RIS of the moment. Drink it when you can find and enjoy

canucklehead, Jun 27, 2008
Photo of yourefragile
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz 2011 bottle poured into a snifter.

Dark near black with a couple finger thick mocha head. Minimal lacing. Roast heavy aroma, chocolate and licorice. Fairly sweet flavor, with background of roast and smoke malt, dark chocolate, ash, and mild bitterness in the finish. Soft, medium body with a slightly thin finish. Better than expected, but something I need to have again.

yourefragile, Nov 11, 2011
Photo of Vdubb86
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint Glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for sharing this 2010 bottle.

I'm not used to RISs coming in a screwtop bottle, or from Leine's but let's see how this one goes. The darkness was poured but the tan head didn't last. The smell is a little hot and could use some time to mellow out. There is the aroma of some vodka, strawberry and banana, some smoke and a bit of oak woodsiness. The taste is mainly smokey with a clove flavor in the background. There is a a real need for this to mellow out the booze harshness. It's not too bad, it's drinkable but could seriously use some time.

Vdubb86, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of siradmiralnelson
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Tulip.

A. Poured a massive almost 4 finger dark tan colored head into my tall tulip. Very good retention. Thick Lacing. Color is jet black.

S. Smell is roasted dark malt, some bitter coffee smell. Has some other kind of strange smell going on that I can't quite put my finger on. Chocolate.

T. Good. Coffee, roasted malt, chocolate. Somewhat bittr with a bit of sweetness. Has somewhat of an boozey astringent quality to it.

M. Medium/full bodied. Full carbonation.

D. Drinkable. Has some kind of odd smell/flavor that puts me off some. Its almost like an astringent alcohol smell/flavor that I really havent experienced before. Its too bad because it has all the makings to be a pretty solid Imperial Stout. I will check the remaining 2 I have to see if I pick up the strange quality that I got in this one.

siradmiralnelson, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of azdback
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Great Divide pint glass. About as dark as you can go. The highlights are just a smidge off of complete light sucking black. At the initial pour the carbonation rose up to leave a small one finger, tan colored head but it quickly dissipated into nothing. The lace is looking pretty weak now too.

Smell is quite dark and smokey. Roasted malts give an arrange of smells from charred wood to chocolate to dark roasted coffee. I can even smell some vanilla and bourbon. Quite nice!!

Taste is really nice but as I feared it couldn't hold up to the smell. There are dark roasted flavors like Sumatra coffee and dark chocolate but all of the greatness breaks down almost as soon as it hits the tongue and turns into tart flavored fruit. I know that cherries and figs or raisins are often tasted in RIS's but this is different. It isn't just tasted it is overpowering the dark roasted malts that made up the smell and the early taste. Too bad.

Mouth is silky or velvety, carbonation is creamy and smooth. Body is full with an average to full, wet finish.

Overall I think this was pretty good beer. I don't think this stands up to the "big boys" in this category though. I think this would be a great transition beer for someone that is thinking about leaving the dark side. ie BMC. I could see this leading to beers like the Abyss and Stone IRS. Thanks to SMason for this bottle.

azdback, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of rkarimi
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%

rkarimi, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of deadbody
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle, picked up a 4 pack for $5.99. Thought it was a good deal to try something I hadn't had before. Pours a good dark black with a caramel head. Good head, receeds quickly but leaves good lacing. Smell is kinda boozy, with no real maltyness. Tastes pretty good, kinda weak not a heavy malt presence, but not bad. Kinda like a RIS light. Mouthfeel is decent, thick but still a bit thinner than style.

Overall not a bad beer, glad I got it on sale, probably won't buy again, even at that price.

deadbody, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of franksnbeans
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out jet black with a huge cocoa head that dies slow and laces big. Smells of chocolate covered fruit, dried plums, coffee and cocoa. Taste is big chocolate, some dark fruit and coffee but all out of sorts. These flavors usually are perfect together but they all seem off. Turned off by the chalky finish. Full in the mouth and the ABV is well hidden. A victim of hype.

franksnbeans, Dec 01, 2007
Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After not liking "The Czar" I have better hopes for this one. Paid $4.75 a bottle for it in Philadelphia.

A - Wow a nice hefty inch of dark mocha head on this one slight sticky lace. Color is a very dark black and fairly viscous with some mild bubbles on the base of the glass.

S - Anise, molasses (mild though), chocolate, and cheap coffee's

T - Starts off with a pretty smooth coffee, then a touch of molasses, then hops with a slightly smooth finish. Repeated sips break out a touch of chocolate but the bittering hops seem to increase the molasses a tad.

M - Medium bodied it is an assault of flavors but comes in kid of watery.

Overall this seems a lot like "The Czar" because of the bittering hops increasing molasses flavors which really isn't my thing. Will not have this again and truthfully can't even find it around my town...

DrDemento456, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of bamadog
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Heh, why not? An RIS with a twist top bottle? OK. Review is from notes taken on 11/12/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is darkest/deepest brown nearly black; starts with no head, just a thin wisp; bod is entirely opaque and looks a little viscous on the pour (pleasantly surprised by seeing this!); only a couple spots of lacing and one lone strand are left hanging on to the sides of the glass. Looks right, we're off to a good start.

Smell: Not especially robust, but there is a fair amount of deep roasted and burnt malts; some bittersweet chocolate that is slightly syrupy in nature; slight and mild cherry. Not too bad, bit of a dip as I like something a little bigger in the nose for this particular style, but I'm not disappointed.

Taste: Comes across stronger in the mouth than the nose lets on -- plenty of roasty and burnt espresso-like flavors that are complimented by the syrupy bittersweet chocoalte; there's a bit of an underlying creamy/lactic sweetness to it; bit of an earthy bitterness remains behind; for 9.5% ABV, the alcohol is virtually undetectable. I've definitely had better examples of the RIS, but you know, for the price point, this is fair. Certainly not as complex as some others, but hey...

Mouthfeel: Body is of medium weight (yes!), and smooth with fairly soft carbonation; a thin semi-dry sticky coating is left specifically on the roof of the mouth; the belly is definitely left a little warm as the ABV, while masked in the flavors, can't hide from the tummy.

Drinkability: Not bad, and like mentioned above, there are definitely better offerings out there. Overall though, if you're in the mood for an RIS but don't feel like dropping the heavier bones for a more renowned version, this one would do. It also sits a little heavy with the thicker body and the ABV would certainly catch up after a while, and that will always lower the drinkability by a touch.

bamadog, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of birchstick
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a viscous black with a small head. Smells very sweet with notes of dark fruits and super sweet chocolates. The taste is similar. Very sweet with lots of chocolate. Some figs and sweet leather are in the palate too. Ends with roasted a little bit of dark chocolates. Silky, smoothly body with a medium body. Pretty solid RIs. Sweeter than most but that gives it some uniqueness. Recommended!

birchstick, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A special thanks to nflmvp for including this in a recent trade. Thanks Steve!

12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours an inky black with a 1/2 finger of burnt dark mocha colored head that leaves a ring of retention around edges with some thin wisps in the middle. Lacing was minimal. The aroma initially is deep notes of chocolate sweetness, coffee, roasted malts, a quite prominent dark fruit element, and heat. As it warms, the fruits and alcohol become more and more pungent creating a hazy smelling mixed fume of each.

The taste is more of the same. Chocolate, coffee, and light roasted malt notes up front that gives way to a pervasive tangy dark fruit presence that mixes with heat to give off a sticky feel of sweetness. Finishes with some light bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is thick and oily with a sticky viscous feel. The heat element is quite beefy but never quite gets to be stinging, just opting to add a little more heft to the proceedings.

This was quite the interesting RIS, with a taste profile that really skewered towards the dark fruit side of things. A little too much at times I'm afraid. A little more roasted malt or hop character to balance all that sweetness would have really helped. Still, this was a decent enough sipper of a RIS and one that I'm most grateful for having had the chance to try.

Kegatron, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of mscudder
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 Edition. Poured into a New Belgium Globe.

A - An opaque black, that poured with a ruby hue. Dark tan head. What I expect in a great RIS. Leaves a pathetic attempt at lacing.

S - Damn unique nose on this RIS. It is quite the strange blend of aromas... Some sweet notes, cherries, roasted malts, vanilla and caramel all slurred into one. I think all the components are excellent, but together they just smell kind of weird.

T - Super sweet up front, one of the sweetest I have ever encountered, stout if anything else. It tastes of sugar infused with cherries ,but burnt. The sugar element is lurked over by chocolate and caramel, which is nice, but the beer just does not come together well imo.

M - Medium body, perhaps a bit heavier. Creamy with a bitter finish to give the brew some character. The only thing from really making me move this category is the taste. It certainly is not bad, but for the price and "top tier" category, I expect more.

O - I expected a lot more from this brew. The balance is simply off. There are a large number of things going for this beer, yet everything just is in improper proportions. If you like cherry stouts this is one to check out, but nothing extraordinary.

mscudder, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of SpdKilz
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to SparklePants for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours a utter dark jet black. About a finger of mocha colored head is achieved with a moderate pour.

Smell – Heavy roasted/charred malts, bittersweet cocoa, dark fruits, slight soy sauce.

Taste – Similar to the aroma. Heavy dark chocolate and cocoa, molasses, roasted malts, and slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, decent carbonation, creamy.

Overall – Sweet though not overly. Odd soy sauce and charred flavors. No alcohol flavor or warmpth to speak of.

SpdKilz, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of KickbacksSteve
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. Light tudor brown head, almost black body, low to moderate retention, mostly clear lacing. Aroma includes roasted malt, some malty sweetness, some coffee, touch of vanilla with a hint of alcohol. Taste has some hop bitterness, roasty with chocolate notes and toffee, slight alcohol note on tasting. Overall, a fairly decent imperial stout with no off flavors, just maybe not too memorable.

KickbacksSteve, Dec 23, 2012
Photo of happygnome
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pours a dark black obsidean color with about a half inch of head that disappears quickly leaving a ton of lace all over the glasa and top of the beer

s: sweet roasted molasis malts, a hint of chocolate. brown sugar

t: sweet roasted brown sugar. Sweet molasis malts, very similar to the aroma

m: full bodied beer with little carbonation

overall, this is a good beer

happygnome, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of gnemesis
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz was bottled on 03/09/10 and poured into a snifter on 04/12/11.
This ale pours black with a creamy mocha head. Good retention and good lacing. It smells of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and burnt sugar. The taste is pretty much what I expected. Not very robust but good and the nose matched the tongue. There is a slight booziness and the slight hoppiness isn't welcome. Full body with medium carbonation and a slightly dry finish. Good, not great. Best offering I've had from Leine.

gnemesis, May 16, 2011
Photo of zeff80
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, tan head of foam. It left some nice sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of chocolate, toffee, caramel and some molasses. There was a mild floral presence, too.

T - Much like the aroma with chocolate, caramel, molasses and toffee. Just enough bitterness to add some balance.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied stout with a dry finish.

D - This is a fine imperial stout but not a great one. Pretty good considering most of Leinie's other offering are average.

zeff80, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of HopHead84
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Thanks for sharing, Sage.

A: The beer is black with a light brown head.

S: Licorice and powerful blackstrap molasses. Smoke is light. Dark fruit is pronounced, with notes of plum and raisin. Dark chocolate accompanies roasted malt and a whisper of alcohol. This is surprisingly oxidized with notes of soy sauce and cardboard.

T: Cocoa and dark chocolate with prominent molasses and a touch of oxidation. Roasted malt is strong. Licorice is evident in the roasted chocolate finish.

M: Full in body with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Solid stuff, but pretty oxidized for a recent beer.

HopHead84, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of homebrew311
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter.

A: pours a deep dark black, no light passage, a nice layer of cocoa colored head. Some spotty lacing.

S: there are some big notes of dark fruits up front with notes of dark cherries and a hint of molasses. Some roasted character towards the middle and just a touch of bitterness. The sweet malts are dominating the nose.

T: the front features some initial roastiness up front but quickly gives way to a big sweet malt character. Like the nose, dark fruits a prevalent along with molasses and a hint of anise. The finish is long and sweet with a quick dash of bitterness in the end. The beer is interesting and unique, perhaps the sweetness is a touch out of balance.

MF: thick body, almost syrupy, smooth with low carbonation

D: by far the best thing out of Leinenkugel's thus far. Too bad they don't put more of their energy towards these types of brews. Not perfect by any means, but certainly interesting.

homebrew311, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle code of 04258 & 31710; Sampled October 2008
A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass creates a slightly cascading, tightly beaded froth that starts out three fingers in height and has a darkly browned, tan colored head. The beer is quite black in color thought it shows some dark chocolate brown notes around the edges. The aroma has rich notes of concentrated, sweet, dark malts as well as an ample roast character that produces aromas of dark cocoa, soft burnt grain, and a rich toasted whole grain character. There is something here that is a bit like burnt nuts, or even burnt play-doh. The aroma is actually fairly restrained, I was expecting this to be a bit more aromatic than it is, though I do like that it seems pretty well integrated and balanced (but that might just be because everything is so muted).

The flavor has a rich, complex, dark malt sweetness to it that accentuates sweet dark chocolate notes up front and a nice dark cocoa note towards the finish were the sweetness is not quite so prominent. A touch of dusty, roasted grain character adds some burnt bitterness to the finish. Reminds me of a rich, dark chocolate something or other that has a strong, black coffee infusion. As the beer warms up the sweetness softens a bit and starts to couple with concentrated, roasted fruit flavors of prune and perhaps a touch of fig. This does have a really complex, rich malt character to it, unfortunately a lot of this gets masked by the sweetness.

This is actually quite sweet tasting, though it is not as thick as the sweetness might suggest; it could actually use more roast malt character to balance things out and some more body, without more sweetness, would help to balance this a bit more too. I like that this is a fairly well integrated and smooth in its roast character. Not a bad example of an Imperial Stout & it is certainly quite enjoyable, and if it was not for the simplistic sweetness, this would be really damn good.

Gueuzedude, Oct 04, 2008
Photo of CASK1
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A raffle prize from our home-brew club's monthly meeting. Poured to a Sam Adams glass.

A - Jet black and opaque. Tan head fades a bit quickly, but leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S - Roast malt up front. Hints of bitter chocolate and coffee. Some sweetness and low alcohol aroma. Low teasing amounts of piney hops. As it warms, some dark fruit esters emerge - plums and raisins.

T - Dark chocolate and toffee sweetness. Hints of coffee. Medium hop bitterness, but low hop flavor. A bit of metallic character distracts from the flavor a bit. The alcohol is well hidden in this beer. I would like more complexity to the flavor of a RIS than what I find here.

M - Full-bodied, viscous, and smooth. Medium carbonation. Moderate alcohol warmth, but not "hot". Somewhat creamy.

O - I was not expecting much from this beer, but was pleasantly surprised. A decent take on the style from a brewery that doesn't get a lot of love on BA.

CASK1, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of soulgrowl
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clearly on par with any other world-class RIS out there. Rusty motor oil black with just a tiny sliver of Bing Cherry crimson where the light hits it. Head is sticky, solid, and hazelnut mocha in color.

Smell: Interesting... very roasty, even smoky, with a Canadian whisky edge - vanilla extract, coconut, cacaomass, chocolate-covered cherries, just a bit of molasses, dates, prunes, raisins, and ripe red grapes. Solid, a bit basic, but solid. Alcohol is almost totally hidden (which is remarkable), while hops add a lovely citric zip, redolent of Cointreau when combined with the booze as it warms.

Taste: Very, very sweet. Too sweet for the style, in my opinion. Loads of booze (brandy, vodka) and sugar (molasses, rum, sangria) up front, followed by a Malibu-chocolate flavor. Definitely a dessert beer. Hops add a touch of rindy bitterness, accompanied by aggressive cacaomass and espresso flavors for balance... but it all seems insufficient to counter the heavy sweetness. Finish lands somewhere between dry and syrupy, in a place I'll call "juicy," wit lingering flavors of apple juice, chocolate, and hops.

Mouthfeel: The upside of being poorly attenuated is the fact that this is incredibly thick and deliriously, satiny smooth. Amazing, everything an impy stout should be on the palate.

Drinkability: Too sweet, but good and not overly aggressive Like I said, have it for or with dessert - and split it with a friend, unless you've got a big sweet tooth.

soulgrowl, Nov 21, 2007
Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,103 ratings.