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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

very good
480 Reviews
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Big Eddy Russian Imperial StoutBig Eddy Russian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jj21 on 10-27-2007

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Reviews: 480 | Ratings: 1,258
Photo of Roguer
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Beautiful stout: pours dark nut brown, almost perfectly black, and topped by a very dark brown head. Retention is good, leaving long lines of lacing.

Creamy, boozy RIS aroma, dominated by roasted barley with a bit of cacao and a hint of syrup.

Chocolate and earthy up front on the tongue, followed by a hint of booze and a ton of roasted barley. Slightly metallic on the mid-palate, and washed over by an incredibly strong dose of blackstrap molasses; by far the most I've ever noticed in a beer. Fascinating, and certainly not unpleasant.

Thick, chewy mouthfeel; an excellent representation of a full-bodied stout. Long, sticky finish; medium alcohol presence.

This is really an excellent stout across the board. The huge molasses note on the back-end, carrying with it a subtle metallic twinge, might put some people off, but overall this is a barley-forward, sweet, thick stout.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +4.2%

2013 vintage:

Pours pitch black with a lasting brown head. Great retention for the style.

The smell is of rich chocolate, roasted espresso and anise.

The taste follows the nose - robust chocolate sweetness balanced by sour-ish dried dark fruit and earthy/anise-like notes and roasted espresso. Complex and delicious.

Dangerously smooth, this is a rich, enjoyable RIS!

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Photo of kkleu357
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%

From notes on 3/5/14

Solid Imperial Stout. Drank on tap at a bowling alley in Green Bay. Was easily there best beer on tap. Had huge notes of chocolate, malt, leather, maybe even a little tobacco flavor. I enjoyed way too many glasses of this stuff.

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Photo of jellikit
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%

A: pitch black. Tan, creamy, thick, foamy head. Sticky lacing.

S: roasted barley. Molasses. Black licorice.

T: same as the aroma. Plus, grainy maltiness. Fig. A bit of hop bitterness? Maybe bitterness is from the malt. Sweet. Alcohol.

M: medium-low carbonation. Big body. Syrup.

O: pretty decent imperial stout. A bit on the bitter side for me. Not quite sure if it belongs in this beer. Decent beer though. A sipper. Strong.

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Photo of kfh227
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I hope I am not biased. A local beer store had 4 packs of this for $3.29. I think I'll be buying a case tommorrow. They probably had 12-18 cases on the floor. I'm guessing a distributer had a bunch sitting around that they wanted to unload.

Appearance - Very dark and the head formed very thickly when poured into a glass, even when care was taken. Nice caramel color to the head. the head went down after a minute and it maintained a 1/16" head.

smell - Nothing special. Not sure if my nose is acting up but I can't smell much. Bacially smells like a generic stout to me.

taste - At 83 cents a bottle for a 9.5% aABV beer ... surprisingly good. Not bitter at all. A Slightly sweet stout. The alcohol is not noticeable.

mouthfeel - Not something I know how to rate properly. I think it is as thick as any other stout.

Overall - worth every penny of the 83 cents I paid. I will be buying more. I actually like this enough that I'd happily pay $8 for a 4 pack.

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Photo of ahommell
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: DARK DARK DARK. Pours with the viscosity of a bad 5 w 30. A beautiful caramel colored head finds its way to the top of my glass. Many small bubbles... but the few big bubbles show and stick around with the rest of the head.

S: Wood... OAK? Sweet dark fruit. Candi sugar almost? It is that sweet. Chocolate malt? Cannot fully tell as the alcohol overtakes much of it.

T: Sweet. Dark Fruits. Oak. Cherries. Light raisin. Heavy alcohol.

M: The feeling won't quit. I'm not sure if I am sipping bourbon or a beer. It is light at first... but now my mouth feels heavy... may be a numbing effect of the alcohol.

O: It is leines camouflaged in a pretty package. You know what you are getting. When I was in college... they were the best 73 man operation to get beer.... But this? It reeks of big business filling a niche. Poorly done on some levels... but fantastic at times as well. Going to drink the four pack over a few days at different temperatures. Tonight's was at what I assumed was a lovely 46 degrees. That should be fantastic for the type of beer. Maybe even on the low side. Hoping that my next attempt at 55-60 degrees is a little better. Unfortunately, unimpressed.

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Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a Big Eddy snifter. Three cheers for proper glassware! A nice, thick pour. About a finger of mocha head, tinged slightly red. A pretty dark body to boot.

Smells more like dried figs than anything to me, which is a little odd. But, hey, I like dried figs. Some notes of coffee and chocolate.

Taste is better than I expected from the brewery that bottles Summer Shandy, let's be honest. But there is a sweetness I can't quite put my finger on, a candy-like sweetness. Maybe some Summer Shandy fell into the barrel.

Smooth mouthfeel, but not the thickest or creamiest I've had in an Imperial Stout.

Overall, this beer is much better than I thought it would be. Leinenkugel doesn't scream "Excellence" in my opinion, but this beer is solid.

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

Meaty beefy big and bouncy! This 2012 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!

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.31/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle marked 31113, 2012 vintage
Bottle at 45 degrees into snifter
Aroma of roasted malt, dates, and figs
Head small (2 cm), light brown, creamy, rapidly diminishing to 2 mm ring and 1 mm layer with small bubble islands
Lacing good – complete rings of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor sweet, intense dates and figs with roasted malt; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate full, creamy, soft carbonation

This is worlds better than when it came out in 2012 – the rough edges have smoothed well.

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Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of cervezango
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Russian imperial stout From leinies "Craft Beer line" Big eddy . Good for them that there trying to show a little creativity with this IRS but it kind of annoying them pretending to be craft beer makers. This Is a IRS for people who don't normally venture outside of normal leines options like summer shandy or honey weiss. This IRS will not challenge your taste buds and ends up being pretty forgettable.

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Photo of far333
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of karengarys
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Leine? This has got to be crap. I like craft brews!

Pour it. Go ahead! Pour it!

Leine. Think twice.

Pours dark like an RIS. nice.

smells.... chocolate, licorace,.... ris, right?

Taste is the glorius RIS. Almost light, but a good light! Rich. Licorace. Coffee. Cocoa. Just what I want in an RIS.

Mouthfeel is awesome creamy, a bit... um... better than the "craft brews"?

Overall? Ignore "Leinenkugel". This ris is a force to be wreakoned with! Totally worth the price of the craft brew next to it.

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Photo of milljs
4.93/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance is a thick viscous black with a cappuccino-like foam crown.
Aroma is of molasses, coffee, leather, and wood with subtle spicy notes.
Taste is aligned to the aroma. Wonderful and full of complexity.
Mouthfeel and finish are full and lingering in a fantastic way. I love this beer.

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Photo of woemad
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes.
12oz bottle of the 2012 vintage purchased at the Total Wine on Spokane’s northside. Per the label (which is different than in the picture featured here on BA): “Dark and complex with 11 malts and grains balanced by three different and distinct hops.”

Poured an inky black color. The head was large and creamy, and left lots of lace on the sides of my glass.

The aroma was of dark fruits and molasses. There were also some piney hop notes deep in the background.

Prunes, milk chocolate, molasses, coffee, soy sauce – all are present in the flavor, with the soy sauce and molasses seeming stronger than the other flavor components. There was a mild dryness at the swallow. The high alcohol content did not come through in the taste.

Full bodied, with a thick and coating mouthfeel.

This was a pretty good Russian Imperial Stout, but wasn’t quite up there with the best I’ve had. Still, it would make for a pretty good dessert beer or nightcap.

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Photo of SHODriver
3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottle from 2012

A: poured into a snifter to a deep black with a half inch of deep tan head that fades to a small pool and collar
S: smells of molasses and that's about it
T: tastes of roasted malt, molasses and burnt sugar. swallow is more molasses and roasted malt
M: fairly full on the mouth with fairly prickly carbonation. ever so slightly drying but just a little bit
O: maybe it was a bit more complex from the start but it's pretty smooth. Not terrible but certainly not great.

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Photo of ksimons
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-a creamy almost black with a fingers worth of tan head

S-roasted malt, creamy chocolate, molasses, and light coffee

T-big roasted malt backbone with dark and milk chocolate, and finishes with a bit of a burnt taste

M-medium to full body, moderate carbonation, dry burnt aftertaste

Overall a very surprising beer, I had low expectations, but this is actually very enjoyable. Only major complaint is the burnt finish

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Photo of Scrapss
4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a sam adams turibnator

A: deep chocolate with a big two finger head that subsides into a thin disk of chocolate head, big roasted chocolate body never wavers. Huge body appearance and heavy malt bill. Has legs, and appears HUGE in ABV. Dark and just nearly perfect.

S: roasted malts and a very faint estery yeast, HUGE sweetness. The smell is phenolic and huge malts. And that's it. Big malts.

T: Sweet malt could use some additional aging from a bottle yeast that eats some bottle sugars. very malt and sweet. Has that overtly malty richness and quality all well executed RIS have. Bready yeast peeking around the edges.

M: Smooth and huge malts. Big roasted and chocolate notes. The hops present barely any bitterness here.

O: Insane that this product is the output of the same people that bring us the standard Leinenkugel lineup. The other average brews are just, thin and meh. This is fantastic.

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Photo of a0lbudman
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-black with a large brown head that does not fade fast and leaves a good lacing
S-malasses, alcohol, nutty aroma and a burnt brown sugar
T-burnt brown sugar, malasses, coffee, a nutty taste with an alcohol taste to it, and the burnt sugar taste stays with you til the end
M-full body and low carbonation
O-this beer has a kick to it , and the only thing keeping this from being a great beer is the burnt taste

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Photo of TheDoctor
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an impenetrable ruby-hued black with a large frothy brown head that is quite active, very-slowly-settling to pretty fat film that only requires a quick shake to go back to being big. Good retention; a tiny bit of lacing.

Very sweet and warm. Oats, molasses, toasted nuts, licorice, dark fruits, smoked meat.

Extremely sweet, but not overly sticky. Burnt brown sugar, dark fruits and coffee grounds up front, with a gradually lighter middle. Coke, earth and the slightest tinge of medicinal hops at the finish.

A little thin, sticky, coating, full-bodied. The carbonation is fairly subdued and the head is quite creamy. The alcohol is well-concealed, but it is definitely pretty strong. Lingering finish, but it manages to stay pretty well in the background (doesn't get to be overwhelming).

Pretty decent RIS.
This is a fairly rich, relatively drinkable, almost cloyingly sweet stout. However, it is a fairly well-made beer in my opinion (although I am not a super well-versed in RISs). It is quite nice looking for something with its ABV. The rest of it is enjoyable if not life-altering. I enjoyed it, although it is definitely one of the less 'intense' Imperial stouts that you can find out there.
Might have again; not a bad option if you come across it.

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Photo of kojevergas
3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded black pry-off pressure cap and classy appealing label acquired for $3.49 USD at my local bottle shop and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I'm not big on the brewery but the label/marketing is sound and I'm in the mood for a good Russian Imperial Stout. 2012 vintage. 9.5% ABV confirmed.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of lovely khaki-tan colour; it's rich and decadent. Has a great shiny soft complexion and good smooth even consistency. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is average - about 2 minutes.

Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black. Appears adequately carbonated. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's pretty standard fare for a Russian Imperial Stout. While far from unique or special, it's a beer I'm looking forward to trying. I don't notice any overt flaws. It's absolutely to-style.

Sm: I'm pleasantly surprised given the brewery. It's got plenty of chocolate and chocolate malt, dark malts, caramel, hints of coffee, and even a bit of roasted barley (something I always look for in a stout). Cream. It's certainly sweet, but pleasantly so. Cocoa powder.

I don't find any yeast character or alcohol. The hop profile is really buried as well.

Overall, it's an inviting aroma of mild strength and I'm really looking forward to trying it. Could Leinenkugel's actually have an above average beer on their hands?

T: Hm. Not quite the breakout Leinenkugel's hit I was hoping for. It's a pretty generic build for a Russian Imperial Stout, with your standard notes of chocolate/chocolate malt/cocoa powder, caramel, dark malts, and a nice sweetness. Any coffee notes I convinced myself I was finding on the aroma are nowhere to be found here. I do get some raisin and (unfortunately for my personal tastes) some licorice/fennel. There's some unwelcome charred and burnt characteristics, but they're forgivable. The roast has also faded, much to the beer's detriment. That said, it's pretty balanced and certainly pretty cohesive - albeit not quite gestalt.

It's not a horribly complex or subtle beer (especially considering the style), but I rather like it. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. There's not really any nuance here.

No yeast character, hop profile, or alcohol come through.

Mf: Has a sickening stickiness to it. A bit syrupy. Too thick. Smooth and wet. Slick. Chewy. The mouthfeel is admittedly quite a trainwreck, but it could be worse. At least it's not astringent or boozy. Overcarbonated. Too full-bodied. Bad presence on the palate. The texture doesn't suit the taste all that well.

Dr: Ordinarily, the whole "we used x amount of malts" marketing approach is indicative of a gimmicky beer, but this Leinenkugel's offering stays pleasingly close to style conventions and doesn't feel as cheap/artificial as most of their core offerings. It's a bit too sweet and it won't blow your socks off, but for a macrobrewed Russian Imperial Stout from a usually unremarkable brewery, it's surprisingly quaffable. I wouldn't get it again at $3.49, but I'm sure I overpayed given the bottle shop I acquired this at. It's absolutely worth trying at a reasonable price and I'm not disappointed. I'll be giving Leinenkugel's a little more attention - at least insofar as their limited releases are concerned - going forward.

High C

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Photo of vkv822
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz : Teku
2013 vintage

Opaque black with a long lasting, foamy light brown head.

Boozy, dark fruits, roasty cocoa notes in both the aroma and taste.

Medium body, though I would have liked to see a bit more viscosity in such a big beer. Low foamy carbonation.

A fairly well done RIS, though I did feel like the flavored could have been a bit more robust in the taste, which carried into the mouthfeel and wanting that to be a bit "bigger" as well.

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Photo of socon67
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Black pour into snifter. some rings of lacing, and a thin mocha foam head.

S - Strong scents of chocolate and roasted malt. Slight boozy smell as this warmed.

T - Good amount of sweet chocolate flavor. Rich malt gives a flavor of toasted bread. Some flavors of English toffee in the finish.

M - Felt a little thin for a RIS. Easy to drink, but I like this style with a slick feel and I didn't get that here.

O - Surprised that Leinenkugel makes such a high end craft offering. Glad that a buddy picked this up for me. I'll keep an eye out for other Big Eddy series.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Great stillwater black with a thin half-pinky of mocha foam. Looks like an R.I.S. So far, so good.

Rich chocolatey cocoa nibs with some malty grain stew, hearty licorice, and black currant. Hint of pine needle hops. Big wallop of fudgy dark chocolate with a toffee/caramel undercurrent. Some booze. Faint malted milk ball.

Meaty roast with slight oxidation, sweet cocoa, tentative booziness, brulee'd creme, piney mint, currant, licorice root, and toffee notes. Age plays a little cruel, here. Flavors are smaller and more composite. Tanginess is somewhat unsuitable. The body is a wash; a hefty medium that detracts from the decadence. This new bitterness is a byproduct, and probably unintended or changed. Carbonation is medium-low with little play. There might have been a really good beer here a year or two ago. What I'm left with is still good, but not something I'd drink aged a second time.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance- Pours up a finger's worth of head which really doesn't have much retention at all. The head is dark beige with hints of purple while the body is almost a fully opaque, dark chocolate black. There is a slight hint of burgundy when this beer is held up to the light. Some lacing but rather minimal at the moment.

Nose- Very subdued- I really have to strain to get anything at all. Light caramel, light chocolate, light roasted notes. Perhaps a touch of raisins from the glass. Not a very good sign for an Imperial but it does happen from time to time. Swirling shows a light cocoa that hints at bubblegum. Some hints of alcohol as well.

Taste- Shows a lot more presence than the nose and is pretty sweet even for an RIS. Starts off with bittersweet chocolate, cocoa, and coffee that moves into a searing finish and linger of raisins mixed with noticeable alcohol. The raisins are definitely the dominant aspect of the flavor profile and they tend to an almost cherry cough syrup flavor. Some woody bitterness on the finish with slight spice (maybe cinnamon?). The alcohol isn't strong but the pairing with the cloying sweetness makes it seem like an off-note. Some hints of brownie. A good amount of bubblegum. It's not bad but it just doesn't really work as an RIS. Pretty much above average at this point. I wasn't expecting but this is a little too one-dimensional for my tastes. A tendency toward metallic notes. Earwax bitterness on the finish does not bolster this beer's case. Some indication of dark stone fruits but these flavors seem off and too sweet as well.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with light carbonation and some syrup to the texture.

Drinkability- The sweetness is a bit cloying and will make this beer a bit of a slog. I imagine this would be a drain pour for many. 3 bucks a bottle isn't a bad price but this beer certainly isn't worth it.

Overall- Pretty much just above average. Maybe age would improve it but I don't care to find out- I just want to be done with it. I would not recommend this to anyone unless you like cloying sweetness. Would probably be better cold.

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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.