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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,133 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,133
Reviews: 462
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.39%
Wants: 45
Gots: 123 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jj21 on 10-27-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,133 | Reviews: 462 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rudylaw
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Stub's and now in the bottle. This review is for the beer in front of me... poured into my Darkness goblet.

Pours a dark brown with light that peaks through on the edge. A one finger head which diminishes to a thin rim a few minutes later.

Tons of roasted malts in the nose. Bakers chocolate, anise and booze.

Those roasted malts are all up in your grill. Dark fruits come out at the outset and coffee grounds on the back end.

A thinner than average mouthfeel but it does have terrific, medium carbonation.

Once again, I will echo the previous bottle reviews. This beer is green and needs a few months to coagulate. Look forward to seeing how this progresses over the next few months.

rudylaw, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of Greggy
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a massive 3 finger thick light brown head which recedes very slowly. With no shock, the body is pitch black with no light showing through.

S- Big chocolate, big roastiness, vanilla, brandy, large hoppy presence, also bits of graham cracker.

T- Starts out with a large chocolate, raisins and other dark fruits, big caramel. Half way through the hops really come through with a very solid bitterness that pushes through all the way to the finish. Very solid, not hugely complex, but good.

M- What can I say, big feel. Appropriately low carbonation.

D- 9.5%... Overall, a solid beer. Not cloying but smooth and enjoyable. I don't find it to massively complex but it definitely doesn't lack complexity. Will I buy again? Not sure. Given I can get expedition for cheaper which I feel has more complexity, I perhaps would not.

Greggy, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of adrock7309
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this brew into a Darkness snifter.

Roasty looking head rised about 3/4 inch and faded slowly with just a minimal lacing.

Smell was strong in alcohol, burnt rasins, and some faint hops.

Tast was very bitter burnt fruit forward, some brown sugar sweetness and strong to fair hop bitterness on the finish. The finish also left my mouth with a strange tartness - perhaps some strong licorice. However, this bitterness faded as it warmed. No real chocolate present.

Mouthfeel was fine for the style - medium body - definitely not thick.

Took a good 45 minutes to finish. Was not overly impressed at a cooler temp and got better as it warmed.

Will be letting a couple age a year before i try again.

adrock7309, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of BierFan
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Thin light brown head. Very black body. Good head retention. Great lacing.

Smell: Berries, and dark chocolate.

Taste: Cherry/berry and dark chocolate flavor upfront. Dark chocolate and roasted malts all over the tongue long into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipper. This is gonna take me forever to finish. Luckily it's pretty tasty.

BierFan, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of Penguin3200
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Motor oil black, whihc is great, nose of chocolate and spice. Love it. Hits the palate with massive roassted malts, caramel, and hints of chocolate. Thin mouthfeel for such a big stout, but the finish just goes and goes. Like this a lot, and will be searching out more, as I would like to see what some age does to this.

Penguin3200, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of jera1350
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich and thick night black body with a brown head of suds adorning it. Plenty of lacing to be had.

Very sweet and robust nose. Kind of reminds me of Batch 9000 actually. Raisin, blackstrap molasses, caramelized sugar along with some vanilla bean. Not to be forgotten is the major dose of hops coming through as well. Can't wait to tear in!

Matches the nose quite well. There is a really nice smokey taste that comes out though. It is not timid at all and adds a BBQ smoke flavor. Plenty of sweetness, a good toastiness and lots of hoppiness. It does present a little bit of hot booze. Burnt sugar in the aftertaste. I bet with some age, this stuff will be superb.

Creamy soft carbonation. The body is not as thick and syrupy as one would think from the nose and the taste. Still full bodied, but not real viscous.

A real top notch RIS. Glad I was able to snag several of these as I think they will only improve with time. All around enjoyable RIS that drinks quite well. Glad Leinie's decided to bring this one back.

jera1350, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of Wisconsinality
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into Chimay chalice.

A- Pours a very deep brown with a slight amount of light let in around the edges. A half finger of mocha colored head fades rather quickly and doesn't leave much in the way of lacing.

S- Big amounts of roasted malts, some nice dark chocolate, some brown sugar and just a hint of alcohol. Just a hint of black licorice rounds this one out.

T- This beer is still young. The malts are bold and in your face along with the alcohol. The chocolate subsides a bit along with the brown sugar. I pick up just a hint of cinnamon as well.

M- A bit thin for the style but not bad with a medium body. Also a little more carbonated than I would have anticipated. Quite bubbly that tickles the tongue.

D- Like others said, I am going to lay this one down for a while and see what some time does to it. Its a bit hot fresh but a pretty decent effort by a big brewer. I would have liked to see it be a little thicker but you cannot always get what you want.

Wisconsinality, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of mrandypandy
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased from Hop City, in Atlanta. 2010 vintage.

A - Pours clean, smooth, jet black with a minimal dark mocha head which dies down quickly. OK lacing.
S - Strange. Not much going on, kind of a soapy quality to it when cold.
T - Mmm... Nice roasted malt base. Dark fruit finish (figs, plums, touch of raisins). Almost a sour tinge as it warms. Some burnt bitterness as well.
M - Medium to lighter body. Smooth, a little on the dry side (not a bad thing).
D - Easy drinking, and the high ABV is well hidden.

Overall - With the exception of the aroma and soapy quality to said smell, this is a well crafted RIS. It leans more towards the roasted and dark fruity side, and gets better as it warms up. They should make this more often.

mrandypandy, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of levifunk
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle poured into Darkness tulip.

a - pours black with a dark brown head. head is thick and retains well.

s - I get big piney hops notes initially...reminds me of Nightstalker. Roasted malts and chocolate sweetness. As it warms up, the hop notes take a back seat and some dark fruits and tobacco come forward.

t - chocolate, both sweet and bitter. bitterness also coming from hops. alcohol flavor is more noticeable than I would like, but at nearly 10%, its not out of reason. tobacco flavor.

m - body is thick. feel is kind of syrupy, but then the bubbles stick with you. bitter and somewhat dry finish.

overall - solid brew from a "macro-esque" brewery.

levifunk, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of Buebie
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Its been just over 2 years since I've had this beer. I had a 16 gallon keg on-tap in the kegerator. Excited to try it in bottle form, fresh.
Picked up a 4 pack of 12 oz bottles for roughly $9 today.

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, producing 2 billowing inches of dark brown head. Receding slowly and leaving a solid cap of retention. Thin yet full coverage lace.
Color is black, no light penetration.
Aroma of brewers licorice, dark rich malt, semi sweet with dark bittering chocolate and brownie batter.
Dark robust chocolate with a semi sweet malt backbone, chocolate becoming increasingly bitter and brownie like in flavor. Robust grain bite. This is a chocolate lovers delight and any woman on the rag with adore you with first sip.
Lingering burnt sugars, grains and dark unsweetened bakers chocolate with hints at toasted oak. Hops are overwhelmed mostly but do come forward slightly with a grassy hemp like flavor, bust overall are subdued with huge rish roasty malt and chocolate flavors.
brewers licorice only mildly detectable at first sip, then disappearing behind the largeness of this beer.
Mouthfeel is slick and creamy with medium carbonation balance.
This is much different then what I remember on tap form. But still extremely delicious and very easy to drink. Drinakability is dangerously high. Abv is also dangerously well hidden in flavor and aroma.
Excellent brew!

Buebie, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of Phelps
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: inky black with a gummy one-finger head the color of rusted pennies. It recedes at a glacier's pace, getting denser and leaving sticky walls of lace as it does.

S: plum sauce, raisins, molasses, espresso, dark chocolate, some fairly strong floral hops and sweet bubblegum and cocoa powder. It leans more to the fruity side, but the roastiness is strong enough to create a nice balance. Not bad.

T: it begins pleasantly enough, with flavors of raisins mixing nicely with dark chocolate and coffee beans. The dilemma comes mid-palate, when my mouth's invaded by oddly tangy plum juice. It's far too sweet and clashing with the roasted malts rather than melding with them. The weird tang only grows as I make my way through the glass, especially noticeable on the sides and back of the tongue.

M: the problems continue. The body isn't horrible -- it's medium-light and smooth, though still a little light for me. The carbonation is just WAY too high, assaulting my tongue with vigor. There's a pretty noticeable alcohol tinge as well.

D: I got this bottle for free, so I can't complain. But I'd never pay for one. Too fruity, too disheveled, too boozy for its own good.

Phelps, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of joshuaseresse
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Stub and Herb's 10-25-2010. Poured into a 10oz glass:

A - A frothy pour with one finger khaki head. Lacing is huge with good retention. Black as night.

S - Roast and chocolate. Bit sweet. Bits of dried fruit and nuts.

T - cream milk chocolate and roast and nutty. Bit lactose and bits of dark cherries.

M - Thick and creamy. A bit bitter and chalky. Roast flavors come through with the stale mouth feelings.

D - A bit thick and at 9abv, its a sipper. Enjoyable especially from Leinenkugels's. The flavors, smell and mouthfeel make this a nice brew.

joshuaseresse, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer review from BA Mag Dec 2007.

Even large regional brewers have been swayed to brew limited-edition big beers as they see the popularity grow and the consumers calling for more flavor. This offering is brewed with 11 malts and grains and three different hops.

The pitch-black liquid pours out a little thick and viscous as the modest carbonation struggles to break from the solution. Decent head retention as the tan lace does stick to the glass here and there. Sweet aroma of dark berries, chocolate and molasses with a hint of acrid burnt malt in the back. Syrupy full body with a slick creamy mouthfeel, light carbonation. Starts off with a bite of burnt malt that makes way for the sweetness, which is substantial but not cloying. Suggestions of dark chocolate, blackberries--blackstrap molasses comes to mind. Hops are hard to find with the massive malt backbone though a quick kiss of herbal flavor hits in the middle. Sweet in the end with a long linger of charred malt flavor.

A good stab at the Russian Imperial Stout style, it's worth a try to compare against the many craft brewers that are coming close to mastering this style. A good 6 months to a year of cellaring may do this beer some good as it seemed a bit green around the edges with all of the sweetness.

BeerAdvocate, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of ahalloin
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Never thought I'd see this on tap. The Happy Gnome in St. Paul was wise enough to stash a keg for two years.

Pours a heady thick black viscous fluid with big time tan head that will not quit. Lacing messes up the side of the glass with total disregard for symmetry. Wow! Slight amber hues appear at the edges when the beer is held to light.

S: I get strong cigar smoke coupled with black licorice, molasses, and cinged caramel (but in a good way). There are some notes of oxidation, but they are covered nicely by the strong cigar aroma.

T: The taste develops nicely with an initial sweet burst of toasted caramel, toffee, molasses, and slight cinged dark fruits giving way to a burnt cigar-like finish with some residual bitterness. Finish is medium dry with a slight herbal cigar aftertaste. They really should brew this again.

M: The mouthfeel is silky and milk like and very pleasing for this style.

D: This beer is not for the faint of heart. There are definitely some strong flavors here that create a complex flavor. Beer geeks will love it, but traditional Leinie fans probably won't dig it.

ahalloin, May 01, 2010
Photo of wagenvolks
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Seeing as I share a last name with this Leinenkugel RIS, I felt it was my duty to seek this beer out and drink it for Eddy's everywhere. Thanks to JDV for making that possible with his recent cellar purging. 12oz bottle listed at 9.5% ABV, code on the neck reads "31413", which I assume refers to a 'best by' date of March, 2013.

This Eddy (me) pours Big Eddy (the beer) to form a series of little eddies (whirlpools) that swirl about the snifter. The pitch-black body shows off a short-lived head of dark, velvety-brown bubbles that retreat to a thin wisp and ring of foam. Oily, dark, and viscous, just how I like my Russian Imperial Stout's to look. Great aroma, with a solid showing of Baker's chocolate, roasted black malt, and a big dark fruit presence that suggests over-ripened plum and fig. Small tinge of ethanol in the background with some soily hops.

Good flavor, but nothing extravagant for the style. Fruitiness is more pronounced on the tongue with raisin and currant. The roast is mild, and so is the dark chocolate, as notes of molasses and vanilla take their place. Finishes with a lingering, earthy hoppiness and a hint of smoke. Medium thickness, a bit thin for the style but creamy and smooth with a low carbonation level. Overall, a nice entry for an otherwise unremarkable brewery. Leinenkugel's should venture out more frequently into the 'bigger' beers.

wagenvolks, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of darklordlager
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Happy Gnome in St. Paul

(From notes)
A: Pours a very dark shade of black, with a dark tan head.

S: Dark fruit, lightly roasty, lots of interesting dark fruit notes, chocolate.

T: Cocoa powder, lots of dark fruit lingering in the finish with a nice alcohol warmth. Toned down roasted malt. Dark chocolate.

M: Medium carbonation, a bit more than I would prefer for this particular beer.

D: A fine beer indeed, although I'm satisified with trying it but once.

darklordlager, Feb 08, 2010
Photo of jjayjaye
4.78/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A crazy random throw from 'zillatron...many thanks!!!
06-'07 version pours an opaque darkness with a generous dark brown head that decomposes in 3D like an ice cream sundae leaving spotty patterns of lacing. The smell is nothing but stunning super rich mocha licorice boozy roasted malt. The mouth feel is perfect...heavy, thick, full bodied, creamy smooth with a monstrously thick coating texture...holy cow!! Who brewed this??? are you kidding me??? ...and there isn't another batch in the tank why??? HELLO!!! It leaves you with an exceptional dark deep raisin dark fig date experience from the full flavored taste. An incredible drinker!! Where the h&^* did this one come from/ go to? Wow...this is one of the best ales that I've had the opportunity to consider!

jjayjaye, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 re-review ('08 vintage):
Been saving this one for the dead of winter, and it looks like it's time. (HFS... reviewed this almost exactly 2 years ago. Am I on my cycle or what?) Bumping up M/D scores this time around.

Charred, inky black into a tulip glass, this RIS leaves an intricate lacing, the foam even has a rusty brown tint. Opaque and black.

Aroma has elements of espresso, raisin, prune, and sweet milk chocolate. The 2 years of age is ever so slightly noticeable, but not as musty as some RIS' i've had.

Full and rich, this is like a melted chocolate espresso milkshake. Long aftertaste of roasty malts, chocolate, and a mild plum/prune/raisin note. A strong RIS contender that hits all the notes for me. Hope they bring this back...

Pours pitch black, with a ton of creamy mocha foam. Underestimating it's volatility, it was quickly poured into a tulip, and it foamed over. Once under control, there were 3 fingers of foam billowing up and over the rim. A thick ring of lace encircled the rim of the glass.

Aromas of chocolate, malted milk "whoppers" candy, and a hint of smoke.

Bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit, and a long finish of earthy char. Sweet fruit character is tempered by underlying bitterness. Very earthy and roasty. Distinct lactic character as well.

Smooth and silky, although the alcohol becomes apparent after it sits in the glass for awhile. One and done for me, but it's a very solid RIS. Best thing Leinie's has going...

$2.99 single from Riley's, Madison.

emerge077, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of KeefD
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been wanting to try this one for quite sometime now and was lucky enough to come across a trader who still had some. Thanks a million to SpeedwayJim for the bottle!

Pours the darkest black that I've almost ever seen in an Impy Stout. This is easily just as dark and thick as Ten FIDY, Abyss, and the like. Small tan head that was gone rather quickly leaving no lacing. Aroma is lovely. Charred malts, chocolate, light coffee, some raisin and light apple are present in the nose. Becomes more chocolaty and boozy as it warms. Oh yeah, big hits of chocolate here, light roastiness, a touch of graham cracker and caramel. Dry finish with charred barley lingering. Very good stuff, alcohol is well hidden for 9.5%. Carbonation is a tad light, but I'll chalk that one up to aging. I thought the mouthfeel would be a lot more chewy and dense after observing the pour, but it's adequate enough.

Honestly, I can't believe this beer came from Jacob Leinenkugel's. This is easily the best thing they ever did and they should do themselves a favor and bring this one back for another limited release.

KeefD, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of mataelbata
4.88/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this one has been retired for two years and the tavern I went to just tapped it!! I believe the aging made this one even better. I was baffled to discover the Leinenkugels brewed such a beast. Too bad it's retired!! Thank you Happy Gnome for cellaring this one and bringing it out when no one in the world has it on tap.

mataelbata, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of weeare138
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

weeare138, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 bottle. Pours black with a small tan head. Aroma of rich molasses, toffee, bitter chocolate, raisin, sweet fruits, and sweet caramel malt. Flavor is sweet and a little boozy upfront with a roasty, chocolate finish. Lots of sweet malt (but not necessary roasted). Thick palate. Decent and complex, definitely a slow sipper.

LilBeerDoctor, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of clickpush
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour: 12oz bottle to tulip glass. Pours out thick, black, and viscous. A hefty pour produces a dense, one finger chestnut brown head. Lacing and webbing remain on the glass the whole time.

Nose: Roasty & rich, coffee and toast. Some black pepper notes, dried fruits. Big, sweet malts, caramel, brown sugar, and chocolate.

Mouth: Nice & thick, creamy smooth body. Lucious from front to back. Sweet, full, chocolate and roast malt. Lingering finish of roast flavor and residual sugar. I would prefer if the finish was a bit drier but this beer really does hold up well.

clickpush, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pulled from my cellar after nearly two years. A 12 ounce bottle poured into a standard shaker glass. The stout appears an opaque dark brown color with about a finger of creamy dark ecru foam. The head leaves a thick tan lace on the inside of my glass with each sip. Taste and nose contain notes of caramel coated dates, raisins, grassy hops, a touch of vanilla, rich roasted grains, molasses, prunes, bittersweet chocolate, dark cherries. Maybe a notch better than medium bodied with adequate carbonation and very little alcohol presence. This was hard to put down.

ClockworkOrange, Jun 10, 2009
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired as an EXTRA in a recent trade with nflmvp. Steve, you fucking rock!

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours out thick, black, and oily. Looks nasty (the good kinda nasty). A small, foamy, brown head forms on top, but quickly dissipates to a thin halo. Absolutely no light passes through this beast; none whatsoever. Stringy lacing.

Smell: Molasses, dark fruits, coffee, and chocolate syrup. Lots of sugar in there. Smells rich and delicious.

Taste: Take the smell and amplify it. Damn! Molasses and sour dark fruits - namely old, mushy plums and raisins - form a pungent sugary kick. Tons of dark chocolate in the middle and back to smooth things out. Also getting roasted malt and coffee in the aftertaste. Lots of sweetness in here. I even get some cinnamon when I swish it about. For those that have had one, think Mexican mocha.

Mouthfeel: Thick, sugary, dry and warm. Sticky lips to the max! Very sugary and heavy.

Drinkability: I'm very glad I got to try this. I feared that it may be something like Leinenkugel's take on Fruity Pebbles a.k.a. Sunset Wheat, and while it was to some extent (tons of sweetness), it proved to be very complex and interesting. A heavy, sugary, sticky brew that I would recommend to anyone. Thanks again Steve!

ThreeWiseMen, May 23, 2009
Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,133 ratings.