Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
87
very good

472 Reviews
THE BROS
75
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 472
Hads: 1,213
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 7.51%
Wants: 46
Gots: 154 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 472 | Hads: 1,213
Photo of superspak
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into snifter, best by 4/25/2011(bottled Dec 2010). Pours pitch black with a nice 1-2 finger very dense tan head with fantastic retention that reduces to a thick cap that lasts. Some nice lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, dark fruits, apple, wood, light smoke, molasses, and caramel. Some nice and fairly complex aromas. Taste of rich chocolate, caramel, toffee, molasses, light fruit, coffee, roasted malt, herbal hops, and light smoke. Not much bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, caramel, herbal spiciness, coffee, and toffee for a good bit. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very nice creamy and lush mouthfeel. Very easy and smooth to drink at 9.5%. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with only a slight warming noticed well after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice imperial stout. Easy drinking; with rich flavor, and nice balance. (950 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +3.6%

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! (375 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Edition

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has an extremely thin dark mocha head that dissipates to an extremely thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong aromas of dark roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate and licorice. Some light hints of dark cherry.

T: Very similar in taste to the smell, there is a solid dark roasted malts with lighter hints of bittersweet chocolate, dark cherry, and licorice.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of alcohol heat and dryness in the finish.

O: Alcohol is extremely well hidden and this beer is pretty easy to drink. Definitely a sipping beer but one to enjoy. (755 characters)

Photo of mothman
2.8/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into snifter.

Pours 1/4 finger of tan head. Good retention with some lace. Color is a deep brown/black.

Aroma: Roasted malts , coffee, chocolate, chocolate milk, creamy, and some earthy hops.

Taste: Bitter chocolate, creamy milk flavors, roasted malts, coffee. Pretty hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Very bitter and roasted. Dry. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and roasted.

Overall, not a top notch RIS. Too roasted for me. Has an odd milky flavor to it.

EDIT (1-6-11) I just opened a bottle of this from the first batch and didn't realize it. I forgot about the old label. Anyway, when I was drinking it, I knew something was different because it tasted so much better. This beer reminds me of darkness 08 or 11. This stuff is great. RICH and creamy. Very smooth. A nice coffee roast, a lot of chocolate, and a nice mix of dark dried fruits. Leines should have kept this beer a small batch series and made more like this. At the price point that this once was, you can't beat it. I wish I had more of these. Oh and the best by date was: 03-09-08. Only 4 years past its prime haha (1,116 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (364 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to SamuelJackson45 for sharing this at Corey's tasting on 11/13/10.

Poured into a mini snifter, this brew appears black in color with some lighter brown around the edges. A creamy dark brown head appears and does not retain all that well. Some spotty lace clings to the glass.

The smell of this brew is quite dark and fruity akin to plums. Some yeasty notes run rampant throughout suggesting this is a fairly young offering. The taste of this brew continues with the yeast character, slight fruit suggesting plums, raisins and coffee in the aftertaste. The alcohol is fairly evident accenting the dark grain roastiness of this brew.

The perceived bitterness seems to come more from the char of the grain instead of hops in this brew. This is a medium bodied offering with a creamy smooth feel with a light level of carbonation. Overall it wasn't a bad brew but the sheer amount of yeast character evident in both the aroma and taste just didn't do it for me. (968 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is dark brown, near black, with a half inch of beige head that coats the snifter in lacing. Very presentable.

The aroma offers dark roast, chocolate. Hints of coffee, but the aroma is dominated by dark chocolate and charred roasted malt.

The flavor follows suit. Straightforward for the style. Simple and well executed. Lingering chocolate and roast flavors with a slight bitterness in the finish. A bit dry in the back as well. Surprisingly good, I'll admit this is much better than I anticipated. Recommended. (523 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
2.7/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Another of my frequent trade partners, optimator13, sent this to me to help me keep my bottle numbers aligned with my CANs.
Yay!

From the bottle: " ... was ... the Big Eddy Spring in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Its waters guiding us through five generations of genuine brewing heritage."; "Dark and complex with 11 malts and grains balanced by three different and distinct hops."

I may have been a little heavy-handed in my pour, given the massive two-plus fingers of deep-brown head that I created. The beer actually seemed to be cascading for a moment! It looked like the top of a chocolate milkshake. Nose was rich with a deep, dark chocolate roasty sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium with a very smoky, charcoal flavor initially, somewhat medicinal in its bitterness. I feel left out on this one, since I am not a big fan of the style to begin with and I just am not liking this particular iteration. It was bitter, but in a burnt, not hoppy way and I just could not get behind it. Finish left me feeling like I had been drinking charcoal water. Oof. (1,052 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (1,961 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up in Jersey poured into a pint glass, a nice looking bottle.

Big Eddy pours out really bold black dark night sky with a dark tan head mocha like foam that raises up and dies into a cap leaving nice patterns. smell is roasted malt up front, dark fruit some chocolate. The fruit comes out and I get hints of a certain Jamacian stout, meaning some rotting may be a coming, I'll be drinking quick. Taste is a nice roasty stout that has nice stout characteristics mentioned above and some too much, namely the dark fruit. The feel is very thin for the style and needs a boost to keep things in check. Above medium, but not chewy enough for style, carbed nice. Glad I tried this one, needs a bigger build. (715 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can't read the bottle date on the bottle but I know this has a year or two of age on it if not more. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured black in color with a thin, frothy, tan colored head barely covering the top of the beer.

The aroma is very rich with caramel, chocolates and dark fruits. The sweet maltiness and sugary dark fruits are bold in it, but also very good. Just a hint of roastiness is there. Really nice aroma, I was very surprised how good it was.

The taste also shows a lot of sweet, malty flavors to it throughout. I get a lot of dark fruits mixing with a sugary brown sugar flavor. Caramel and molasses come out as well as a little dark chocolate in the finish. It's pretty good, but felt a little more balance to offset the sugary sweetness would have gone a long way.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being below average. Overall it was a very flavorful and really good beer. I was really surprised by how rich and flavorful it was. It did feel a little overly sweet at times, but overall it was a very good beer. (1,079 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (378 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice beer from an average brewery...

Dark chocolate pour, some brown and reddish hues. Capped with a chocolate shake/malt head, somewhat dense. Lacing was quite nice.

Caramel, vanilla, and cocoa make up most of the nose. Some roasted malt and dark bread. Almond bark, somewhat sharp.

Slight coffee up front on the taste. Caramel and cocoa come and go, a bit boozy thins out the stickiness. The sharpness isn't quite managed as it becomes metallic and something like oily. The flavors are nice, but with the abv where it is I would like more robustness. Not sure if age would help on this. Vanilla and caramel linger and smooth out. (638 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass, vintage 2011.

A very thick creamy head, hot chocolate cocoa brown in appearance, thick to a finger off the pour in the head, some soda like pinhead bubbles on the sides of the glass not too bad, and the body color is a very dark brown walnut almost black, can't see through it too much.

Nose is very fruit forward. Hints of sharp sweet red fruits, red raspberries, missing the classic character of roast and malt (coffee/chocolate) but I don't seem to mind. It gives me the sense something bigger is coming.

Palate taste all seems to be in the finish. Hints of fruit from the nose come in the mid palate, but a real aftertaste of char and cheap tobacco and cigarettes. Roast malts come out after repeated sips, but doesn't linger. Strangely hop bitter, almost off putting almost astringent.

Overall it's a strange sensation that you get a big fruit rush, and then a charring char taste mostly in the finish. Feel could be a bit better on this but I could easily drink this again. (1,029 characters)

Photo of ejimhof
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Good looking pitch black. No head or lacing.

Smell - The only aroma I get is a slight burnt malt.

Taste - sweet malt like melted chocolate. I can't make out anything else.

Mouthfeel - Full and creamy.

Drinkability - Not something that I feel a need to drink again. Not unpleasant just kind of forgetable. (321 characters)

Photo of tempest
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Stub & Herb's for only $5 a pint. Get it while you can. Appears a pitch black with a short tan head, no lacing.

This immediately reminds me of Surly Darkness. Not because they taste identical, but because its the most similar RIS I've had in terms of a smooth body and esters. It starts out with a mild dry cocoa note and then dives into a mix of chocolate-covered berries and hoppy citrus rind. It finishes with a big caramel-coated espresso bitterness (with some hops character mixed in) and medium-weight body that makes this all the more drinkable. It's a shame this beer will soon be extinct. Easily the best beer Leiny's ever made and one of the best RIS's I've had. Definitely a favorite. (706 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a nice surprise this beer was. I had heard that it was pretty good, but I was a little dubious. A well crafted, very tasty imperial stout. Pours pitch black with quite a nice head, dark beige and with some quite nice lacing. Smells vinous to start and then follows with bitter chocolate and some light cream. Nicely balanced with more bitter chocolate, asome dark roastiness, a touch of dark fruit without being overly acidic, and some cream. Nice bitterness throughout. A tiny bit chalky in the mouth, but clean and smooth otherwise. Very nice, (550 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to hopdog for this one...
Appears an opaque black with brown-red edges when held up to the light. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of raisins, prunes, cocoa, roasted nuts, and dark fruit.
Taste is of raisins, caramel, nuts, cocoa, fruit highlighted by huge amounts of dates.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sugary, chewy, with a hint of booze.
Wow...one of the better Russian's I've had this year. (427 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

03-18-2008
Pours a solid black with a good sized tan head that gets sticky on the glass as I get my drink on. Aroma is vinous with some dried fruit. Taste is chocolaty and fruity up front with some alcohol burn and bitterness in the finish. Creamy smooth mouthfeel with just enough carbonation. Great impy stout, I wish I had more than one I’d like to see this one age. Great job Lienenkugel!<BR>

12/07/2012
Pours a solid black color with a decent sized tan head that shows great retention and moderate lace. The aroma is a bit roasty and fruity with a strange almost plastic phenol in there that detracts from everything else. Light earthy hop and a hint of ethanol round out the nose. The flavor is roasty and chocolate with a fair amount of dark fruit along with some brown sugar and caramel. Thick body with a rich creamy mouthfeel and a light level of carbonation. This beer finally made it to my state, and since I enjoyed it so much the first time, I jumped at the first four pack I found. How's that Don Henley song go? "Don't look back, you can never look back" Either this beer has really changed, or my palette has. This is a decent stout, but really nothing special. (1,187 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

9/11/2011

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. (600 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured jet black with good carbonation leaving a big brown cap

S: Not much of anose to speak of but laint covoa and a little booze

T: Roasted malt anc cocoa upfront, hints at molasses and caramelized sugar

M: Sordove thinner than I was expecting but still big

O: Easy to drink and above average (301 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is likewise attractive, showcasing a text book RIS aroma profile of coffee, dark chocolate and vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this fairly sweet stout, though the finish is a bit odd. There's some good bitterness, along with something of a metalic flavor. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, though this beer certainly delivers plenty of flavor. The finish is fairly long, with considerable chocolate and coffee grounds. Alcohol is fairly well integrated into the flavor profile, though there's a touch of heat from the 9.5% alcohol.

While nothing extraorinary, this is pretty tasty beer from the folks at Leinenkugel. (734 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.27/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is a dark, slick, brown-to-black coloring with a thin, filmy ring of brown bubbling around the surface. Aromas of molasses, vanilla, a touch of earthiness, and an overbearing sugary sweetness. Flavors are muddled on a rich, creamy body. Fruity sweet overtones, with hints of banana blending along the dark molasses and earthy tones. Some bitter coffee and hints of booze create a slightly limp backbone. The body is great, but unfortunately the flavors don't match up to it. Slightly bitter, boozey finish, but not overpowering or cloying. (585 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (984 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three-finger khaki head that takes a while to fade to a ring leaving some lace. Totally black color, no highlights. Medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Molasses chocolate nose. Flavor is same molasses, chocolate and hints of dark fruit. $2.70 for a 12oz bottle from a Tully’s Beer & Wine Wells, ME. (309 characters)

Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 472 ratings.