Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,084 | Reviews: 452 | Display Reviews Only:
3.68/5 rDev -3.4%
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.
10-04-2008 02:18:05 | More by Gueuzedude
4.3/5 rDev +12.9%
Many thanks to hoppymeal for the bottle.
Appearance: It pours a nearly pitch black color. Not any light getting through, even at the edges. The head is spectacular. It's a very dark, mocha brown color and is roughly two and a half fingers deep. Retention was pretty average (abv killed it), but a nice, dark coat of lace remained.
Smell: The nose is dominated by strong mix of chocolate and roasted malts. The two are actually very well balanced and extremely enticing. Aside from that, there's a solid coffee bean aroma and a decent hop presence. The only complaint I have is its range. It's just not a very deep or complex smelling beer. The chocolate and roasted malts dominate the nose. Still smells pretty damn good in light of that fact.
Taste: It should come as no surprise that the chocolate and roasted malts come through strongest here. This really is a nice, malty beer. They're very flavorful and satisfying. Hops shine here compared to the nose. There's even a bit of a grapefruit taste. I can't identify the specific type of hops, but there's plenty of tasty bitterness here. Coffee really doesn't come through in flavor. Perhaps the nose is an illusion. Comparatively speaking, the flavor doesn't add a whole lot in terms of depth, but it really does have an excellent flavor. Bump in score for that. It finishes sweet and slightly bitter. Surprisingly, very little alcohol is noted.
Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's on the lighter side of full bodied and has a very creamy, smooth feel. Carbonation is relatively light. Excellent marks for feel. Drinkability is good, but due it's strength, I'd stick with a single bottle. My bottle indicates the abv is 9.5%.
Big Eddy's a big, kick ass beer. Easily the best Leinenkugel's beer I've tried. It's a very flavorful, great tasting beer. On second thought, I'm not sure the nose really lacks depth, but it could use some refining. The flavor profile doesn't add much in terms of depth, but tastes absolutely fantastic. Minor complaint. Definitely one to seek out.
10-03-2008 01:58:10 | More by prototypic
4.08/5 rDev +7.1%
This is one of those beers that I have to keep bumping up the category scores as I get deeper into the glass.
The beer sits quietly in the bowl of the snifter, the light from the nearby desk lamp seemingly unable to conquer the darkness that has overtaken the glass. A thin cap of burgundy and tan foam alighted the surface at first pour, but was quickly lost to the depths of inky blackness below.
A unique bouquet among stouts awaits the drinker of this Big Eddy. Vinous and caramel-like at once, the aroma is enticing. Yet deeper still beneath the layer of sweetness reminiscent of milk chocolate and candied fruit lies an aroma of some troubling definition. Just a touch is detectable, and maybe I misname it, but this reviewer can only, to remain completely truthful in the reviewing, convey the thoughts and connections that come to this particular mind whilst critiquing the aromatics of this brew. With the disclaimer firmly in place I feel lax enough to mention that there may be, lurking somewhere in the back of this brew, scents reminiscent of latex paint and/or a decidedly chlorine-type sweatiness. The images I draw to define the scent of this beer maybe less than appealing, but somehow the overall effect is not diminished in anyway by their presence.
In the areas of flavor and texture this beer truly shines. Rich and decadent, it is a velvety blend of lightly roasted coffee and chewy caramel creams. Tempering all this sweetness is a bold blaze of alcohol presence wrapping everything up in a cutting spicy finish.
A very enjoyable stout to be sure. Thank you to the unknown trader (Kathleen?) who contributed this bottle. Cheers.
09-10-2008 06:47:17 | More by froggyfrog
4.53/5 rDev +18.9%
Pours deeply, darkly, purely opaque blackness. Thick and syrupy. Head is two full fingers of carmel colored foam with nice staying power and a cloak of lace. Nose is very nice with dark chocolate covered cherries, raisens, carmalized malt and a decent balance of hops. Very attractive as you take first sip, roasty malts wrap nicely around the dark fruits. Syrupy chocolate glazes the tongue and the hopsbring about a slight soured bitter feel as you continue to drink. Dare I say "underrated". Electric on the mouthfeel as it begs for the nexy sip. Alchol is crazy well hidden. The lasting sour bitter twang is the only thing that smudges the drinkability only slightly. Very nice.
08-29-2008 21:01:23 | More by SPLITGRIN
5/5 rDev +31.2%
Appearance - pours a thick, oily black into the SA glass. Two fingers of richly dark mocha foam form up, making a creamy smooth cover across the top with a various assortment of bubbles. The slowly receding head leaves almost a solid sheer of lace behind. Wow.
Aroma - monstrously rich roasted, chocolatey aroma with heavy deep fruits and tobacco, maybe a side of soy. Slightly smoky, totally delicious smelling.
Taste - huge roasty malts, oh mercy. Sweet, dark coffee, chocolate, all enhanced by some well-hidden abv. Very intense flavors everywhere, no flaws that I can tell. The swallow is chocolatey and warm, the finish is roasty, sweet, and begs for another sip.
Mouthfeel - heavy, smooth and coating as I hoped and expected. The carbonation is there, but well-beaten down by the body.
Drinkability - a top shelf RIS that can challenge any other in a blind taste test. Thanks a ton to pimpp for the bottle, I'll be on the lookout for this one next time it comes around.
08-09-2008 03:16:49 | More by brewdlyhooked13
3.98/5 rDev +4.5%
This 12 oz. (twist-capped) bottle poured to a snifter. Label shows a slightly higher 9.5% ABV, but no date. Thanks to ArrogantB for offering this from the cellar.
A: Perfectly black pour, covered by at least a finger of maple-tan head. A sudsy, yet creamy foam topping that ebbs slowly and leaves a lovely lace in wide bands. Where the liquid meets the head is a jagged line of scattered streams and varied frothy bubbles.
S: Big sweetness: lots of vanilla, a brown-sugary oatmeal and an ample dusting of cocoa. There's a fragrant berry aroma with a slight honey, or rather honeySUCKLE, floralness. With warming, notes of the boozy alcohol begin to show.
T: First sip: I questioned the age of this one - a blatant tartness and acidic fruitiness. Second sip: mellowing, nicer chocolate notes. Third sip: becoming comfortable with the dark fruits, black coffee and semi-sweet chocolate, all married with an orange rind-like fruit flavor. By the end, I started to enjoy this, just took some getting used to.
M: Creamy, but not overly (ful)filling. Has a bit of a harsh alcohol burn, finishing a little 'tangy'. Somewhere around a 'medium' body, which is sorta disappointing in an aged RIS.
D: A solid RIS, but not among the best I've had. A bit of tartness and a lean toward acridity take this one down a notch or two in the 'drinkability' category. Glad to have had the try (and wouldn't pass on another). Thanks again, Michael.
08-05-2008 20:16:32 | More by msubulldog25
4.2/5 rDev +10.2%
Bottle courtesy of Solomon420 poured into a snifter.
Pours pitch black, like motor oil, and produces a small, dense mocha head that dissipates almost immediately to a thin swirl and collar leaving little bits of lacing. The smell is a massive malt bomb with coffee, chocolate, licorice and tons of dark fruit in the nose as well. The taste is as big as the smell with a more pronounced bitterness on top of the roasted malts. Semi-sweet chocolate and dark fruits are also in abundant supply in the taste. The mouthfeel is decadent, super creamy and sticks completely to the inside of the mouth. This is one of the better straight-up RIS's I've had in recent memory. It's a massive beer and definitely a sipper. Big thanks to Damian for sharing this one.
08-05-2008 02:49:44 | More by gford217
4.08/5 rDev +7.1%
12oz bottle obtained via trade with kmpitz2. Thanks for the opportunity.
Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head falls slowly, with thick coating lace. Aroma is rich hearty dark malts, with an undercurrent of fruit and alcohol. Taste is sweet dark grains upfront, a shot of coffee bitterness in the middle, and then some hops bitterness to end, over the previously mentioned alcohol character. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, and drinkability is good. Not as over-the-top as some, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
08-01-2008 01:59:09 | More by ppoitras
4.55/5 rDev +19.4%
Huge thanks to Homerbag for knocking this Want off my list..
Jet, jet black pour with a virtually non-existent head.. Wait, there it is... Very small though, an 1/8 inch or so.. This is black as pitch..
Lovely aroma of sweet blackstrap molasses, plump juicy raisins, roasted chocolatey malts... Very inviting and dark and delicious aroma...
Very deep dark taste of bittersweet chocolate covered raisins dipped in molasses... Identical to the smell, this is very very tasty...
Very creamy and rich and coating, I could drink this til I fell over face first..
Awesome brew this is. Love it, love it, love it...
07-08-2008 23:38:09 | More by Tilley4
4.4/5 rDev +15.5%
Opaque onyx with a fleeting glimpse of scarlet along the bottom edge. For all intents and purposes, though, this is a light sucker of the highest order. The head looks like it means business as well. It's dark cappuccino brown and looks be as thick as a coffee milkshake. A tremendous lace display solidifies an appearance score that was already well-earned.
The nose is pretty much everything that an RIS nose should be. It's roasted black malty and is just complex enough. It looks those '11 malts and grains' were put to good use. The hops are also appreciated, which is something of a surprise since the beer was brewed in late 2007.
Big Eddy is very good beer that actually tastes more like an RIS than an American double stout. It has an underlying tart fruitiness that took some getting used to during the first few mouthfuls. I'm diggin' it now, though. It's probably due the American hops, despite the fact that the malt sugars have pummeled most of the bitterness into oblivion.
The flavor profile features molasses mixed with honey, bittersweet chocolate, dark brown sugar and a few handfuls of white grapefruit rind. It all adds up to a marvelous melange that my taste buds are having a great deal of fun with. Alcohol is felt, not tasted. This is quality beer from 'A' to 'Z'.
The mouthfeel is full without being heavy. There's an amazing amount of beer still stuck to the inside of my mouth after the swallow. You want chewy? You got chewy. Nougat chewy.
I am not a fan of JLBC beer. I am a huge fan of Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout. This is the real deal and is an offering that deserves to be brewed every year. Thanks to the felonious one for the bottle.
07-08-2008 15:23:39 | More by BuckeyeNation
District of Columbia
3.75/5 rDev -1.6%
Big thank you to NCD for including this in a trade.
A - Reddish-black with a mocha-colored head. Large bubbles formed when I first poured the beer, but those settled down into a thickish head that laced the side of the glass in thick clumps (I suppose that doesn't sound as attractive as it is--the lacing is impressive).
S - Not overpowering for a RIS. Raisins predominate.
T - Sweet, fleshy dark fruit on the front end, transitioning to bittersweet chocolate and perhaps some tobacco and then a bitter aftertaste. Sugar remains on the lips. Slight harshness/warming from the 9.5%.
M - Seems about right. Thick, but not so thick as to overwhelm the other aspects of the beer.
06-29-2008 18:03:16 | More by toddhett
British Columbia (Canada)
3.73/5 rDev -2.1%
ThankS to Phyl21ca for this sample
black as coal tar and a head that is as tan as it is big
nose is kinda a cool dark fruit Belgian deal that screams RIS mixed with aged Belgian Doubles.
The taste is subdued yet the right roasted coffee/chocolate esters comeup in the next 30 seconds. This is a pretty good RIS that will not miss your stroke off RIS of the moment. Drink it when you can find and enjoy
06-27-2008 05:10:23 | More by canucklehead
4.22/5 rDev +10.8%
A big shout out to Gillard.
A: Nice dark motor oil hue with just a tinge of red showing thru. The micha head is nice and thick somewhat sticky leaving behind nice lace.
S: Nice roast malt is noted here. Hints of smoke and booze as well. Dark fruits like plums, and cherries can be noted. The chocolate is there with just a hint of coffee. No booze at all.
Taste: Whoa... this one has some sweetness, I did not expect that. It is not over the top by no means, but you are greeted by a nice sweet chocolate flavor up front. There is some brown sugar as well along with some molasses. Some smoke and booze does cut thru in the middle along with a touch of hops. The chocolate returns and plays a huge role in the finish. This one is nice, sweet, smoaky, and roasty. Leinenkugel's should be proud of this one.
M: 12 ounces of thick and smooth goodness.
D: I liked it. It is on the sweeter side of RIS' but I will search it out at next bottling. I would love to have five or six bottles of this one laying around.
06-24-2008 20:24:02 | More by tpd975
3.58/5 rDev -6%
Thanks to Kan over on RB for this as an extra.
12 oz. bottle allowed to warm up a bit before pouring into a nonic.
Pours a complete onyx black with a big bubbled two finger brown colored head that slowly falls to a thin foamy layer of bubbles. Thin spotty lacing left on the sides of the glass. Smell at first is strong dark fruits, thick rich chocolate, and booze. Roasted malts and spent coffee grinds in the nose as well. Bitter molasses taste up front followed by lots of dark fruits and a warming alcohol. Charred malts with brown sugar and rich caramel on the tongue finishing with a bitter and smokey licorice sweetness. Full body with a thick and creamy feel. Carbonation is soft and enjoyable for the style. A monster beer with too much that isn't coming together. Definitely need to take your time with this one seeing the alcohol is fairly present. Good beer, not great.
06-18-2008 01:35:59 | More by BeerTruth
5/5 rDev +31.2%
Its been a long time since a beer inspired me to write a beer review. The beer was lightly chilled and served in an Imperial Nonic.
Appearance: The beer poured an impenetrable to light blackness. The head is about a finger and half. The head of the beer is the color of lightly creamed coffee. The lacing on the beer leaves nice concentric rings down my glass.
Smell: Good gods!... Leinenkugel hits it out of the park. The beer delivers on the expected dark roasted and toasted aromas of coffee, chocolate, a whiff of smokeyness, dark fruity sweetness, raisans, plums, bourbon or perhaps rum, molasses. Well played!...
Taste: This beer delivers in the flavor department. The expected dark chocolate and darkly roasted and toasted malt. Then the beer goes kind of fruity in a swell way. The middle of the flavor has the flavor of rum soaked berries and cherries. The bitterness returns and finishes off the beer.
Mouthfeel: The beer has a very pleasing low carbonated full body. The flavors last a long while. The alcohol is a little hot but in a pleasing fashion.
Drinkability: SOB I bought two bottles of this while I was in Michigan. The other bottle is my wifes. This beer met and exceeded all my expectations for a Russian Imperial Stout. The beer left my glass at a distressing pace. I wasnt disappointed with this beer. If you like Russian Imperial Stouts you wont be either. Well played Leinenekugel!...
06-06-2008 05:45:34 | More by nlmartin
4.33/5 rDev +13.6%
Thanks goes out to ampzilla for this brew.
Pours a thick black color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy dark tannish color, which does leave some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is big on malts, toffee/chocolate/coffee/caramel, nice touch of vanilla as well. The taste is very nice malty, with nice tones of toffee/chocolate/coffee/caramel, with some nic sweetness from the vanilla. Medium body, the alcohol is hidden very well. Very drinkable, this is my first from this brewery, and it is mighty tasty. Thanks Andrew.
05-09-2008 23:11:37 | More by Wasatch
4.35/5 rDev +14.2%
12 oz bottle.
Bottle acquired in trade from esch, thanks again!
wow, what a great surprise from Leinenkugels....not to be TOO hard on them, but is this beer from the same brewery? ...they really brought out the big guns for this one. Pours a very dark chestnut brown that has the consistency of whipping cream..thick head of beige foam sits unwavering atop.
I let this sit in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before consuming, but this shows it's true colors at room temp. Very creamy, heavy, and packed with bold chocolate & roasted coffee flavors. Subtle flavoring of currants, plum, and figs mix in with the velvety chocolate malt.
This may be the first imperial stout I've ever had where I chugged the last couple sips (meaning..instead of slowly saving the last few drops, I poured all the remaining liquid into my mouth so I could just get one last good swig.) Even at 9.5%, a 12-ounce bottle is easily manageable..and, in my case, gone rather quickly.
Overall, I'm both surprised & impressed to have a Leine's brew with this much craftsmanship put into it. Definitely worth trying if you come across it.
05-07-2008 02:00:38 | More by hero27
4.18/5 rDev +9.7%
A-Great looking beer....black with a nice ruby hue...
S-Nice aroma...smells like an Impy....molasses...dark berries...figs...raisens...rich fudge
T-Malty and rich...blackberries, molasses, fudge, raisens, figs. Finish has a little rum booziness to it...
M-Big, creamy and velvet like .Full bodied.
D-A nice effort by Miller/Leinie. A solid Impy but not an all-time great. Complete opposite in style of say a Rogue Impy as this one is devoid of the big bitter hoppiness....Not in the same league as the elite Impy's but still a damn fine beer. I would purchase a few more of these I think.
05-01-2008 05:05:44 | More by ZAP
3.73/5 rDev -2.1%
Appearance: Pours a magnificent obsidian, with a huge head that settles slowly and coats the glass with lace
Smell: Syrupy aroma with burnt coffee, molasses and dried dark fruit predominating
Taste: Opens with a mouthful of viscous molasses and espresso that just builds and adds black raspberry and fudge as it sweetens by mid-palate; after the swallow, some licorice and tobacco flavors emerge, but the sweetness continues to build, too eagerly, to the finish
Mouthfeel: Full bodied and sticky with smoothly moderate carbonation
Drinkability: Six months of age have yet to cut the sweetness factor; a very nice attempt at the style but ultimately, the sweetness becomes cloying
Thanks, tangfoot, for the opportunity
04-12-2008 20:44:49 | More by brentk56
4.83/5 rDev +26.8%
a: the low head is a gorgeous color somewhere between mocha and rusted brick, over a black colored beer, retention is light and easily roused by each sip.
s: Loaded with semisweet chocolate pudding and thick molasses aromas. Thick with every manner of roasted sugar and chocolaty grain imaginable. Chocolate rum fruitcake. Dark fruits (cherries, prunes, dates) macerated in a boozy malt reduction, stirred into oozing dark chocolates infused with a shot of espresso. Both charred and fresh sweet tobaccos. You can tell the earthy hops are there in good number, but they are absolutely dominated by the roasted malts and fruits.
m: smooth, low carbonation and an absurdly thick body...nice
t: An absolute bomb of deep, bittersweet chocolate and coffee, dried cherries and prunes soaked in malty booze. Thick with various liquors of concentrated dark fruits...blackberry!, prune, cherry, date; blended with bold roasted grain and dark chocolate flavors. The finish just doesn't quit, with deep astringent roasts and molasses lingering. Hop flavors take a backseat, but keep things in check pretty well...definitely mild and towards the English side. Honestly, I feel bad for not giving a 5 here.
d: Totally different from any RIS I've ever had, save for perhaps the Samuel Smith's...though this would be comparable to that beer concentrated four times over. Dangerously easy drinkability, considering. I love this beer.
a bottle of black gold under a dirty rainbow
04-10-2008 07:20:28 | More by blackie
3.13/5 rDev -17.8%
Pours deep and dark, a medium brown head rises and falls to a ring. Smell is freaking crazy. Somewhat like an RIS but all over the damn place and when I say this I mean it. Sweet alcohol and chocolate soaked fruits. Cherry, raisin, plum, grape. Roasted scents underneath the overwhelming sweetness. Some coffee notes and underlying charred scents. But then...am I the only one...some olives? Weird...I'm confused. Taste is very, very sweet and not so pleasant. Lots of fruity flavors, way more than any other beer of this style I've encountered. Dark chocolate but overtaken by fruity sweet flavors. A bit of licorice or molasses. The hints of roasted flavor are almost gone from the flavor but linger in the aftertaste along with a slight hop presence. Great full and dense body. Almost syrupy thick but just shy. I finished this one bottle but don't really think two is possible. Just not a favorite of mine, mouthfeel was definitely the highlight.
Thanks goes to alexgash for this long ago in a trade...
04-03-2008 01:41:52 | More by ncvbc
3.28/5 rDev -13.9%
Bottle courtesy of Grub: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with loads of sweet notes. Taste is also dominated by some sweet cloying notes with some light notes of black chocolate and coffee. Full body with oily texture and good retention and no apparent alcohol. I think I am going against the grain on this one but I just can't like these super sweet imperial stout; I prefer them when they are more balance with coffee and black chocolate.
03-31-2008 20:47:00 | More by Phyl21ca
4.38/5 rDev +15%
Holy crap, didn't expect this from Leinenkugel!
Pours a nice black with just a hint of lace.
Smells super sweet with hints of dark fruit and some bourbon.
Tastes wonderful, darkly sweet with a lot of cherries, toffee and caramel, and a slight chocolate note. The citrus hops comes through in the finish.
Massive rich mouthfeel, coating as hell.
Just a monster of a brew, we had a Sam Adams Triple Bock after this one and there was a lot os similarities in the taste, just much less concentrated in the Big Eddy
03-30-2008 01:09:37 | More by kirok1999
3.8/5 rDev -0.3%
Sports a super, mocha-colored head that dissipates to a shallow ring around the light-swallowing black body.
Roasted notes sing right off the bat as do themes of prunes and bitter chocolate. Same chocolate aroma hangs on for a while before being usurped by an odd vegetable scent. Weird.
Starts very strong with burnt qualities lacing a big dried fruit center. That same fruit, however, goes a bit haywire midway though and exudes way too much sweetness. Still, the finish is long and, once again, chocolaty thereby saving the taste (and there was much rejoicing...).
Carbonation is a touch higher than many RIS's which is actually welcome considering the motor oil motif many brewers seem intent on creating. Body is substantial but, likewise, not overboard. A rare RIS with very strong drinkablitly...if the sweetness doesn't piss you off first.
03-21-2008 22:51:38 | More by malcontent
3.48/5 rDev -8.7%
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>
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.
03-18-2008 00:27:33 | More by johnnnniee
Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,084 ratings.