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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

1,176 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,176
Reviews: 468
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.12%
Wants: 46
Gots: 143 | 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: 1,176 | Reviews: 468
Photo of ElGrecoVerde
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark dark purple/brown. Thick tan head with large bubbles.

Cocoa and dark fruits. Hint of roasted coffee.

Dark fruits, especially plum. Semi sweet chocolate. Creamy espresso and lightly roasted grains. Hints of grapefruit provide light bitterness. Not as intense as other RIS's but the flavors stand out more as it warms.

Silky smooth, good carbonation.

Seems they stayed inside the box on this one. Still very good, not quite great.

Photo of lester619
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep, jet-back syrupy pour. Three inch dark brown head that looks like it could be used for a hockey puck. Deep burnt roasted malts, dark chocolate and expresso smell. There is a little bit of alcohol in there, but is hidden pretty well for the most part. The smell is the taste at first. Gradually the roasted malt and coffee taste melds into some molases and slight spicy or herbal notes. Licorice/anice, maybe even some faint cinamon or nutmeg flavors. Hard to nail down. It finishes with more roasted malt/ burnt wood flavors, and a fair amount of bitter hoppy bite. The 10% alcohol is in there, but pretty far in the background. Very thick and chewy mouthfeel. It's like pudding it's so thick. I had no idea Leine's made beer like this. For the most part they make decent, drinkable, but mostly boring beers. This is way beyond anything I thought they would come out with.

Photo of Yesac
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours jet black in color, medium sized tan chocolate colored head.

S- roasted malt, molasses, hint of dark fuit.

T- Big roasted malt nose followed by a huge chocolate middle. Hints of molasses and sweet honey carry it through the finish which has hints of dark liquorish. Full flavors here, very dynamic and a real pleasure each sip. The ABV of 9.5% is very well hidden.

M- Not to dry or sticky. Excellent coating on the palate, a great medium/low level of carbonation.

D- An overall true pleasure of a RIS experience. Full body, full flavor, well hidden ABV, awesome mouthfeel. Great job on this one.

Photo of cdkrenz
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a 24 ounce snifter this beer is beautiful! Dark, dark brown body under a 3/8 inch medium to dark brown head with very nice stamina. Eddy has the look.

S - Tart woody and chocolate aromas with accents of plum and molasses.

T - Long roasted malt, subtle coffee i the middle and soft chocolate in the end. The finish is slightly smokey.

M - Slightly coarse on the tip of my tongue and roof of my mouth. It goes down slowly as it seems to stick to the interior of my mouth.

~ This is a quite a bit more than I expected from Leinenkugel's. This is a very good beer that has the ability to really make its mark in a world of stouts that have a strong following. I've always been a fan of the brewery from Chippewa Fall but never expected them to brew a beer with this kind of character. Cheers.

Photo of Lukafer
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Alleykatking

Pours black, with two fingers dark tan head.  Smells like roasted malts, slight coffee, slight alcohol.  Tastes are dark chocolate, slight dark fruits, bitter yet sweet finish.  Good, not great but good. I wasn't really expecting much so this was a nice surprise.

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

So, wow. I didn't expect to find this from Leinenkugel's. Saw it on the shelf, did a double take, and promptly wrote myself a note to try it next time I was at the store. In the meantime a friend picked up a 4 pack and insisted I try it too. Sold.

Despite my weariness at Leine's doing such a craft-specialty style, fearing a botched effort has turned out to be a misguided thought. This isn't the best RIS I've ever had (it's sort of my absolute favorite style) but it's a remarkably solid effort.

Looks like an RIS should: thick black pour, absolutely no light penetration, a solid but not-too-voluminous head, and lacing all down the glass as it's drank. Nothing above the call of duty, though.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, smokiness, and just the slightest whisper of fruity sweet/tartness. The only problem is it's not a strong, solid smell; it's nothing you can really grasp and point to as a strength when recommending the beer, but it doesn't mislead.

Tastes, honestly, like an entryway RIS. Not that it's "entry level" in any sort of quality heirarchy - far from it in fact - but that it's super easy to get a handle on, to take in and fully appreciate across the spectrum of flavor it affords. It's inviting, evoking the proper coffee and dark chocolate bitterness, an appealing never-harsh malt character, and even "balanced" (you could say) with a sweetness of apples or oranges, something you'd find in a summer ale maybe. It's odd for an RIS but to me works just fine.

Mouthfeel is fine. It's got virtually no edge despite the 9.5% abv and simple fact that it is an RIS. Like I said with taste, it's an inviting beer. It's a comforting, almost pillowy feel, not nearly as oil-heavy as some of the hard hitters of this type.

Again, this is a truly welcoming experience. I'm already quite a fan of this breed but I imagine it being a solid introduction for friends and family I may want to share in the RIS love. There is basically no indication of the abv other than suddenly realizing a buzz after a couple of these - it's rare to find something early 10% without much of an up-front alcohol sensation.

So basically if you're a fan of RIS's then try it out. If you're curious about the type, most definitely try this out. If you just want to be surprised at what Leinenkugal can apparently do, just grab a 4 pack. It's worth it.

Photo of SAxDRC5
2.82/5  rDev -26%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A- Pours dark black. 2 finger dark tan head. when held up to a light there is sort of a cherry wood color around the edges of the glass. one of the prettiest beers I've seen.

S- chocolaty, malty and smokey. smells like soy sauce. both dark and light fruits (raisins and oranges maybe?). a touch of alcohol scent.

T- chocolate malts are the first taste I get, followed by smoke, soy sauce and fruit. finishes with alcohol and a tiny bit of hops. Flavors are not balanced, they conflict. To quote the guy at the beer store where I bought it "It tastes like someone poured about 1/3 of a bottle of sunset wheat into a decent imperial stout."

M- Pretty good. maybe a bit thin and too carbonated for me but I basically like drinking motor oil mixed with cement.

D- I've had beers higher than 9.5% ABV that were more drinkable. alcohol flavor is too pronounced and there is too much carbonation. Also if I want soy sauce I'll drink a bottle of soy sauce, not a beer.

Photo of morimech
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark black color with one finger of head that had good retention before settling to a thin cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass. Very stout like aroma with plenty of roasted malt, chocolate, and some dark fruit. A touch of grassy, earthy hops as well. The flavor features the roasted malt foremost. A little smokiness sneaks in as well. Other hints include a bit of chocolate. Alcohol is well disguised. This beer falls short in the body department. Far thinner than the premier Russian Imperial Stouts. It just does not let the flavors linger very long. Carbonation is good and would of been very good if the body had more substance. Relatively easy drinking for a big stout thanks to the alcohol not being detectable and not really a positive, a light body.

Photo of alleykatking
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a dark brown color with some light highlights of reddish hues. One and a half finger beige head shows medium retention. Nice streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Roasted malts with some smokey overtones. Light darker fruits soaked in alcohol toward the middle. Coffee highlights throughout the entire beer itself. Chocolate and a touch of soy sauce. The nose is full of aroma which is nice.

T- The roasted malts come out with front of the beer. There is a light smokey flavor as well. Darker fruits in the middle with some light chocolate notes. The ending flavor is interesting with some coffee flavors hitting a light soy flavor. The ending of this is full of a smokey flavor with a touch of warming alcohol.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Roasted malts with a touch of smoke left on the palate. Aftertaste is full of smokey malts and light alcohol. Flavor is balanced for the style between the malts. No real hop balance from the malts. Medium drying of the palate from the alcohol.

D- This is a good beer from Leinenkugel. Most people will be surprised with this beer as their regular lineup is not very pleasing at least for me on the palate. A nice go at a bigger style that I think they did well.

Photo of aasher
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This offering from Leinenkugel pours a midnight black with a reddish brown, one finger head. It smells like a baltic porter. It has some malty sweetness to it. It tastes rich, chocolaty sweet, and has a nice maltiness to it. I really like it and it's really surprising me. I certainly didn't expect anything of this quality. The way it drinks is where it especially stands out. This is possibly the smoothest stout I've ever had. It's full body but is so soft, so smooth that it's hard to believe this came from Leinenkugel. Why have they been hiding this? This beer is so drinkable, so delicious that this should've been released years ago. What a beer. I hope they don't limit it's release.

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

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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,176 ratings.