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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,166 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,166
Reviews: 467
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.12%
Wants: 46
Gots: 135 | 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: 1,166 | Reviews: 467 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hardy008
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark black with a 2 finger dark cocoa head with good retention and lacing. The aroma has cocoa, espresso, and dark chocolate.

The taste also has cocoa, espresso, and dark chocolate. This is a nice combination of flavors. Somewhat sweet, and there is a nice roasted flavor also.

Medium to full bodied, proper carbonation, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. This is a nice effort from Leinenkugel's, and is worthy of trying again.

Photo of beergod1
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Eddy is a well above average imperial stout, Somewhat Surprising coming from Leinies, And I like Leinies. Pours like motor oil, thick and black, and almost no carbonation, Dark tan Head. Aroma has roast and sweet Malt and Chocolate aroma. Lots of smoke and wood in the flavor. Several Layers of taste, Chocolate, Esspresso, Vanilla, Dark Fruit, and a Hop bite in the middle of all that, a med/Heavy body, Very impressive. It does have a light alcohol Fade. I would like to let this for a year.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.54/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance -- Pours a dark brown with slim cherry wood highlights and one finger of creamy beige head. Retention is so-so.

Smell -- Ruh Roh. Liquid smoke, soy sauce, chocolate, roast malt, gas station coffee with mini creamer. Alcohol is very evident. Sweet, smoky, and a bit weird.

Taste -- Slightly better than the nose. Sticky sweet with dark chocolate and molasses, along with liquid smoke, burnt bread crust, and some spice character reminiscent of a pre-packaged steak rub.

Mouthfeel -- Actually not too bad. Slightly fuller than medium-bodied and chewy with mild foamy carbonation. Alcohol is quite evident.

Drinkability -- This beer is better than the regular Leine lineup, but not by much. The flavor profile is a strained marriage of sticky sweet malt and burnt/smokey bitterness that clash more than balance. And there's this w. Also, the alcohol presence is quite pronounced for the abv.

For the money, there are *much* better RIS choices.

Photo of Frosty80
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: pours very dark brown, almost black. sits midnight with a very small dark brown rim. big, rich, creamy mocha head with great retention

Smell: over-ripened bananas upon approach. wierd. transitions to roasted malt and a little bit of chocolate and alcohol.

Taste: initially pretty smooth with, again, some over-ripened bananas then decent balance of roast, chocolate and malt sweetness and very light smoke. alcohol pops through quite a bit mid-palate and through the finish, which has a low-medium bitterness and a light roast and smoke flavor.

Mouthfeel: low-full body with medium carbonation

Notes: very interesting. impressed with the layering of aromas and flavor but not sure i like them.

Photo of homebrew311
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of stakem
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Photo of TCgoalie
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is quite nice with a thin caramel head-after the pour-resting on top of a black liquid. The head regenerates throughout accumulating along the sides.

With a strong aroma of apple and orange fruit, this is unusual for a RIS. Chocolate, toffee, and some nostril stinging heat round out the smell profile.

The most predominant taste throughout is dark chocolate-coffee-hop flavor. This provides a good deal of bitterness offset with tastes of dark fruits and toffee bourbon. I would say this tastes a bit better when cold, turning weirder as it warms.

A large amount of acidity creates a very dry finish amidst a medium body.

This is not the best RIS I've ever had, nor is it the worst. I wasn't sure what to think when I bought this Leinenkugel offering.

Photo of toetag39
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My 1st Review.

- A rich and dark stout, poured into a Mug.
- Agitated and smelled delicious. Hints of coffee, chocolate malts, and fruit, I knew this was gonna be a treat.
- Taste was killer. Lips and tongue tingled as I sipped, and a rush of flavor overcame my mouth.
- Its a very smooth beer and is extremely drinkable as it becomes room temp. Can't have too many in a sitting though...

Big fan of my first stout of the winter season...

Photo of bigfurrynutz
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Long anticipated for me to try this beer. Met John Leinenkugel at a "cooking with Leine's" event about 6 months ago and I confronted him about brewing a HG beer. He told me this was on the way as well as an IPA in early 2011.

I, like other BAs was leary about the twist off cap.

Overall, not a bad representation of the RIS style. One thing it is lacking is the mouthfeel most RIS beers carry as well as lacing on my glass.

Smell and taste of molassas, coffee, fusels.

Good job to Leinis for joining us out here in craft beer land.

Photo of Lenny1203
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with twist off cap into a goblet. Pours dark and dense with no light coming through. Small mocha colored head that hung around briefly before fading away with minimal lacing. Smells of roasted malts and chocolate. Tastes of roasted malts, bitter chocolate and molasses. It has a smooth mouth feel with nice bite of bitterness that sits on the tip of your tongue. Drinkability is good.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Half Acre shaker pint glass.

I'm not sure why, but I'm kinda wary of a beastly imperial stout with a twist-off cap. Wariness aside, it pours a deep motor oil topped by a substantial amount of brown foam. The nose comprises molasses, caramelized brown sugar, dark roasted malts, light fusel, and light burnt coffee beans. The taste runs similarly, though everything is darker, more roasted. I never thought I'd say this, but it all seems too dark and roasted for its own good. I'm not getting too much of the heat that others are, though it is in no way mild. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and an only slightly chewy feel. Overall, while not necessarily hot, I feel this is indeed an overly young stout. Perhaps with age it could achieve something (or, at least, get it's lazy ass off its mother's couch and get a goddamn job), but until then it's too much roast with too little mass.

Photo of Vdubb86
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle with a "pull date" of April 16, 2011. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head. Head retention is low, but there's a good amount of lacing left on the glass. The brew smells like roasted malt, dark fruit, molasses, chocolate and coffee. It tastes like roasted malt, molasses, milk chocolate and coffee. There's also a nice slightly bitter roasty finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and has high carbonation. Drinkability is decent, I think if the carbonation was a bit lower it would be better. For the most part, the alcohol is well hidden. Overall I think it's a good enough brew. I'll have to age a couple bottles and see how they hold up in the future.

Photo of AleWatcher
3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an inky black and has a dark tan 3 finger head... Subpar lacing, but the retention is quite strong. The nose is malty-- black malt, chocolate malt, and more. Very roasty. A molases and anise note blend with a slight boozy and coffee flavor.

The nose is weaker than I think it should be. The smells are good, just muted.

Some dark fruit notes really stand out and set this beer apart.

The flavor is quite good. This really does match the style. The body is about what it should be... Good low carbonation, crey big feel. It isn't as full or velvety as I'd like, but it isn't bad.

Overall, this is a respectable beer from Leine's. It isn't the best RIS out there, but it isn't the worst. It will certainly impress the target market more so than us Ba's, but it is a beer that's drinkable... Especially for the price.

Photo of Franz4
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- pours black with a tan/brown head that settles after a couple minutes to a thin layer. Healthy lacing as well.

S- There's a slight medicinal scent here, along with cocoa and more of a mocha/cappucino as opposed to a coffee. Had to mark it down a bit b/c of the medicinal quality.

T- medicine taste comes through in the taste with the taste of burnt cocoa beans. Tastes like they were going for some nice chocolate covered coffee beans, but just missed the mark.

M- seems slightly oily, but finished rather dry carbonation seemed misplaced and overrepresented

D- sure, it's drinkable but there are much better examples out there

Photo of herman77
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

10 vintage.

A: Hard, straight pour produced a large, foamy light brown head. Black as it should be. Brown at the edges. Good lacing.

S: Sweet roasted malt. A little bit of raisins and dates. Chocolate and molasses. Some booziness too. Nothing crazy.

T: Sweet roasted malt. Molasses, bittersweet chocolate and dark fruits. A touch of hops come in near the finish. Some alcohol to it too. Not as complex as other RIS I've had before, but still good flavors overall.

M: Pretty thick, but I would think it would have more body for a 9.5% RIS. A bit high on carbonation for the style. Smooth and a little silky.

D: Its okay at best. A little hot, flavors are okay. Some age would probably do this one a lot of good.

A decent attempt at a RIS. Not bad at all. Good to see Leines get out of their comfort zone a bit.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Perfectly black. There really isn't any light coming through. Big creamy, 3 finger of head. Initially, it's looking to be a bit over carbonated... Still looks great though.

Roasted malts, a hint of sweetness and cocoa. Not bad, but not too pronounced.

Lots of malts, and roastiness. Lots of cocoa and bitter chocolate too. Hops are noticeable, and I do like that point. Finish is lingering milk chocolate. Alcohol is well hidden.

Feel is upper medium to full in body. Slightly creamy, a bit of carbonation.

This is a great drinker!

I was absolutely enthralled wit the novelty of this brew, coming from Leinenkugel...but it was enjoyable for sure....almost impressive. It's not the greatest, and far from it, but it is a solid, enjoyable example of the style.

Photo of jjanega08
4.82/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A= Pours a nice black color that looked a little light at the begining of the pour but now doesn't let any light through the edges and has a nice finger high brown head on it that holds some pretty steady retention and solid lacing... Not bad for a Linie's.

S= First thing I notice is maple syrup. Does this beer have any maple in it??? No hops to it really just tons of maple. I guess I can break that down a little more for those who don't know what real maple syrup smells like... A little roast to it. Tons of sweetness with a touch of vanilla. A swirl gives me a little alcohol in the nose but not much. This is the most mapley beer I've ever smelled. Even more mapley than those made with maple syrup.

T= Well the taste isn't like maple syrup exactly but it's still pretty damn good. The first thing I notice is a bit of a hop presence to it. Not much but just enough to make me know they are there which is a lot more than most Impy Stouts can say. Then I get a decent amount of roast followed quickly by the nice maple syrup taste. The finish is just like syrup. I get a little smoke from it as well in the middle and end. Pretty impressive actually. This is a one of a kind tasting Impy Stout but it's also a delicious one at that.

M= A little high on the carbonation for an Impy stout but nothing out of the ordinary for anyone who drinks beer. This is prolly the biggest downfall of this beer actually.

D= Wow, where did this baby come from. I've disliked everything I've ever had from Linie's so far but this one is outstanding. Maybe one of the best RIS I've ever had. Complex as hell and easily drinkable. I was seriously debateing even buying one of these but now I'm for sure going to the store to buy many more. World Class beer.

Photo of JToad
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just picked this up, had it a few years ago courtesy of Chad(cpferris), but apparently they are distributing it outside of Wisconisn.

A four pack poured into a DFH pint glass.

Pours the color of Coca-cola. Nice tan lacing, with minimal head.

Smells of tobacco and coffee. Shoe leather notes, toffee and hints of chocolate.

Tastes of coffee and pipe tobacco. Reminiscent of a maduro cigar. Dark and thick, but sweet and fairly carbonated.

All in all, a great RIS, especially given the brewer. This proves that the big boys can make good beer. I wonder if the name was different then Lenies, if all the beer snobs would wait hours and spent exorbitant amounts of $ for it.

Glad I bought it, excited. Very good RIS. Well made and tasty.

Photo of jwinship83
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. picked up a single for $2.29. drank from my stone IRS snifter.

A- this one pours out a black colored body with only a little bit of red sneaking through when held up to a light source. there is a finger and a half of lasting beige colored head on top. small yet complete rings of lacing are left on the sides of my glass.

S- the first thing i pick up on are roasted malts. after that i get a whiff of dark chocolate and some caramel malt sweetness. theres a heavy dose of coffee at the end. this is a mean smelling beer compared to the rest of the stuff coming out of this brewery.

T- the taste starts out with roasted malts. definitely dark tasting, but very far from tasting burnt. theres also some notes of caramel which adds a little bit of sweetness to this one. theres some chocolate in here too. mostly milk chocolate, but a little bit of dark as well. theres a nice blast of strong coffee at the end. the alcohol is nicely hidden.

M- medium to full bodied. nicely bitter and not too sweet like i was expecting. a slight warming from the alcohol that is masked well.

D- hands down the best beer from this brewery. ill be picking up a four pack or two to lay down and see how this progresses. check this one out if you get the chance. the 12oz bottle size is a nice change from the typical RIS in a bomber.

Photo of bamadog
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of McDsB33rGuy
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New to Minnesota, Always love a new brew. Not too heavy, Delightful to drink warm (Most beers I try both warm and chilled) except this one I didn't bother to try chilled.

Nice nutty characteristic didn't receive the hoppiness as the story on the packaging for told, "Then the intricate and commanding hop presence emerges" mostly the malts.

But overall silky, complex, makes you cry for more after the four.


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

Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Some of the old batch. Opened at Dark Lord Day 2009.

Pours a very dark color bordering on black. There is a pretty good mocha head. The nose is really nice with a good dose of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and a bit of black licorice. The taste wasn't quite as complex, with the chocolate and roast going through a bit more. Feel is pretty nice and thick. Drinks well and very impressive that this came from Leinenkugel.

Photo of muskabeatz
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my snifter.

A- Pours nearly black, with hazelnut and amber hues around the edges. A rich, light brown head forms nicely above above the beer, and a thin coat remains until my glass is empty.

S- Nothing too wild. A lot of clean malt up front, followed by roasted malt, a slight vanilla presence, some cocoa nibs, and a surprising amount of nuttiness once the beer warms. Alcohol presence is negligible.

T- Here the beer comes alive a bit more. A modest roasted malt shows its face, followed by a pleasant swell of brownies and baker's chocolate on the finish. Really pretty tasty, but not as complex as I would typically expect from a good RIS. The alcohol is very well hidden.

M- Honestly, for coming from Leinenkugel's, this beer has pretty good mouthfeel. Not nearly as thick as some, but it does have a viscous feel that coats your mouth and lingers for a short while. Carbonation may be a tad high for my taste, but overall everything is pretty good here.

D- Very drinkable, especially when the alcohol content is taken into account. Overall, I was pleasantly by this beer. I would certainly buy it again, and recommend it to my friends as a solid, affordable RIS. I see this as the perfect gateway beer into the category, for people who aren't quite ready to go out and down a Dark Lord.

Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,166 ratings.