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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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,129 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,129
Reviews: 461
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,129 | Reviews: 461 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of msubulldog25
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

msubulldog25, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of gford217
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

gford217, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of ppoitras
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

ppoitras, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of Tilley4
4.55/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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...

Tilley4, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of toddhett
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

toddhett, Jun 29, 2008
Photo of canucklehead
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

canucklehead, Jun 27, 2008
Photo of tpd975
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

tpd975, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of BeerTruth
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

BeerTruth, Jun 18, 2008
Photo of nlmartin
5/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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!...

Taste:

nlmartin, Jun 06, 2008
Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Wasatch, May 10, 2008
Photo of hero27
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.
9.5% abv

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.

hero27, May 07, 2008
Photo of ZAP
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

ZAP, May 01, 2008
Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

brentk56, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of blackie
4.83/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

ah, Leinerkugen

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

blackie, Apr 10, 2008
Photo of ncvbc
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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...

ncvbc, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Phyl21ca, Mar 31, 2008
Photo of kirok1999
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

kirok1999, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of malcontent
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

malcontent, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of johnnnniee
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

johnnnniee, Mar 18, 2008
Photo of mcallister
4.55/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to NFLMVP!!

So the lable on this brew suprised me as I was expecting the usual Leinenkugel label. But the Big Eddy lables shows sophistication and class.

This looks like a find RIS. Black and inky with a mocha head that appears and disapears just as quickly into splotches and a ring around the glass.

Very nice nose as well. Roasty with a bit of charcoal and loads of dark fruits, black licorice and dark bitter chocolates. Mollassesy aroma with a vanilla yougurt covered currant, tree bark, blackberry and other ripe fruits.

Jesus this is nice. Maybe perfect mouthfeel. Completely palate coating and viscous with a long I mean forever long roasty, chocolatey finish. Wow. Did not expect this from this beer. Some alcohol shows through in the mouth and chest but adds to the character and complexity of this beer. So much dark chocolate and black fruits. Black currant, hints of vanilla and molasses and more black fruits. Big and rich. The carbonation level is dead on just teases the taste buds. An amazing stout, love to see this get national distribution.

mcallister, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of JDV
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Miketd for this much wanted bottle!
Dark oily, black pour with a nice sized brown head. Looks nice in a snifter. Smells of some soy sauce, oatmeal, a bit of roast malt, and unbaked dough. Very interesting. Taste is smoky. Beef jerky, smoke and then some roasty malt and a bit of dark fruits. Nice thick creamy body and mouthfeel. Too smoky at first, but then it grows on me and has some chalky bittersweet cocoa powder notes that I enjoy.

JDV, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hoppymeal for this one.

This pours a dark black with port splashes around the edges and is nearly devoid of head.

Smels of celery and dry cherries, caramel, anise and homemade root beer. This conceals a boozy sting.

Starts up with a sharp sting of coffee and smoke mixed in with a sharp grape skin. Alcohol is prominent again, but a brown sugar hides a lot of the dryness.

Feels light and clean with a sweet slickness and light easy carbonation that falls out in the mouth dispensing the flavors remarkably well.

Tasty for sure but a little too focused on dry. It's also oddly boozy for 9%.

DarkerTheBetter, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am pleased that Prince Murray Swine recommended and sent this. A classic RIS and they nailed the style. Big bold bitter black and a full coffee. Full mouthfeel. Coffee in, chocolate coating but not over on the chocolate as per the new wave. I know many malts were used, but it is definately coming out on the strong bitter side.

Sammy, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of cokes
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Update on the newly released 2010 version:
First impression is that the new stuff is not nearly as good as I remembered. Worty, pruney, cloying, and lacking the smoky, subtly roasty tones I recall. The old stuff needed some time to gel in the bottle, and I'm hoping for a repeat here. I'm not changing my numbers, yet, but it's important to note that they are for the last batch.

2008
Teeth-staining black, no magenta edges, no light penetration, just absolute darkness. The head is a healthy, tall stack of dark brown, greasy and retentive enough to soil up the inside of the glass with all kinds of lacework. It's absolutely one of the sexiest beers I've seen.
Scents come forth with with carob, fudge, liquorice, and smoked plums. It's a certifiable malt bath, but seems a touch worty. Alcohol is manifest in fringe Malbec vinousness. Vanilla comes through more as it warms, along with a hint of charcoal and Tennessee Whiskey. Hopping is M.I.A, this is a malt-bomb Imperial Stout, and I'm okay with that.
It blankets the mouth with fudge and caramel. It's not particularly roasty, but that can be perceived with some attention. Dark fruits shuffle in, with an emphasis on prune. Make that a couple emphases. Notions of dates, and figs, and currants, are here too, but this is as pruney as it gets, as far as hallmark flavors go. Traces of liquorice, carob, and bourbon-bread pudding. Wafts of pungent tobacco smoke dot the close, as vanilla-laced dark chocolate fudge reforms around them.
Hopping is insignificant. This is a malt heavy English-leaning Imperial Stout (reference Sammy Smith). And in that sense, it's fucking delicious.
My first several bottles (and draughts) of this seemed a tad on the worty and incomplete side. After a few months in the bottle it has coalesced. I have a feeling more time wouldn't hurt.
The body is low in carbonation and huge in weight. Almost gluey thick like Expedition, sweet but not overly cloying. Texturally, this is big stout incarnate. There are plenty of well-known Impys that could use this feel.
This is Ten Thousand miles from any Leinie's I've ever had (except, obviously, the Big Eddy Imperial IPA). And even better after it's had some time in the bottle. Just don't come here expecting a big hop counter punch, because that's not what it's about.
Forget that this more or less a Miller puppet, and respect it for what it is...a big step for big breweries, as this easily stands amongst its widely heralded micro peers. Let's encourage more of it. Especially if it is this good.

cokes, Mar 06, 2008
Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,129 ratings.