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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
86
very good

1,174 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,174
Reviews: 468
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.12%
Wants: 46
Gots: 141 | 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.
View: Beers (44) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,174 | Reviews: 468
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!

Photo of Phelps
3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
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.

Photo of joshuaseresse
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.27/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

Photo of ahalloin
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of darklordlager
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.75/5  rDev +24.7%
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!

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...

01-07-2008
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.

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.

Photo of mataelbata
4.85/5  rDev +27.3%
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.

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.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
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!

Photo of nrbw23
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a black color with a nice huge brown colored head. Head that settles slowly and coats the glass with some nice lacing.

S- Loaded with semisweet chocolate and thick molasses aromas. Dark fruits (cherries, prunes, dates), roasted malts and coffee/expresso.

T- Taste is very very sweet much more than I expected. I could also pick up a lot of dark fruits like prunes, figs, and raisins. A bit of hoppy/earthy flavor as well. Complex malts very chocolate and caramel malts and a touch of alcohol warming.

M- Medium to full in body maybe a tad bit on the lighter side for what I expected, and low carbonation.

D- Easy to drink, a very good effort here and glad I got my hands on this one.

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle handed to me at Dark Lord Day and I masterfully stumbled about with it balancing in my hands before my friend took it away and to the cooler in the car. Thanks Steve.

When I poured it, it had a really thick brown head. Smells good, a very sweet smell with little roastiness.

Well, I finished the beers without finishing notes on the beer, but it's a drinkable RIS and tastes good.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a pitch black body with a full, unyielding inch of dark tan-colored head.

Smell: Incredibly roasty and still rather sweet-smelling aroma of dark chocolate, molasses, black coffee, and a rather notable dark fruitiness.

Taste: Strong, assertive roasted malts with full flavors of bittersweet chocolate sauce, espresso, blackstrap molasses, licorice, and even dark caramel. Very rich raisin fruitiness. Maybe, just maybe even a few blackberries. Mainly, there's a roasty, earthy bitterness at work, but there's also some minor hints of citrus in the distant background. One single drop of soy sauce. It's a tad warming, but otherwise the alcohol is nearly completely hidden. Finishes drying with a lingering mingling of roast and fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-low carbonation. Lusciously smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: One after another, I've found the Leinenkugel lineup to be made up of nothing but downright dumpy, unrewarding beers. It's one thing to be unable to brew a good beer, but to able to brew a delightful beer and simply opt not to is completely criminal.

Photo of drumrboy22
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received in trade from nflmvp. Poured into a La Trappe chalice. Beer was thick and black. Tiny toffee colored head, no lacing.

Aroma was coffee, heavy bourbon and light hops.

Taste was dark fruits (especially cherries), molasses, bitter chocolate, still surprisingly hoppy.

Very nice brew. Has held up well and could go longer. Only wish I had more. Thanks Steve for the chance to try this one!

Photo of Mauerhan
2.68/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a recent bottle from the black booty bif.

pours dark with about a half finger of mocha head that fizzles quickly. little to no lacing. smell is smokey and boozy. taste leaves alot to be desired. very fusely. big presence of the alcohol. mouth is thick and burny. leaves a bit of a burnt malt taste in my mouth. not really a huge fan of this one. swing and a miss leinenkugel

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown in color with a nice cascading head from the bottom of the glass. Head quickly diminishes and leaves nice webbing on the inside of the glass.
Smell is dark cocoa and some very dark, ripe fruits. Taste is wonderful. All the roastiness I come to love in my imperial stouts. Not a noticable hop presence, which is a plus as well. Very good roasted coffee in the taste as well.
My only knock is that it is a tad thin on the mouthfeel. If this were to bulk up a bit it would be world class.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade a little while ago and it has been staring at me in my beer fridge.

Pours a deep dark black that let's no light through. A thin tan head formed at the top but dissapated fast. No lacing.

Smells wonderful. Bourbon barrel aged smoothness with bitter chocolate. Can't wait.

Tastes great. Very smooth and barrel aged quality. Lots of dark chocolate covered espresso bean flavor. Very tasty but after the other barrel aged RIS's I have had I feel as if this is missing a quality I can't put my finger on.

Mouthfeel is great with just enough carbonation

Overall a very tasty brew that I am glad I tried but I don't need to trade for it again. I would rather waste my trading on something new.

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick and syrupy into my glass, dark as sin, a brown head of about a quarter inch, smooth, just sits there mostly, leaves some lacing in arcs and splotches. The aroma is fairly aggressive, charred dark malts, dark cocoa, fain bitter hops. Its kind of like there is so much going on, its hard to tell just whats going on, so it just smells, for lack of a better word, big.

Taste is also big, lots going on. Lots of charred, roasted malt, chocolates, bittering, dark coffee, molasses, not much for dark fruits as the label promised. Again, there is a lot going on, and the general impression is, hefty. The mouth is fairly full and smooth and creamy, enough carbonation, quite nice. Now, there is something in this RIS thats seems, for lack of a better word, unrefined. Or, unleashed. Like the roasted malt just wants to leap out at ya. But its really a quite fine beer, particularly for a group known more for 'gateway' beers than solidly craft. So, good for them, this is a high quality RIS, interesting and great to drink, challenging even. Nearly makes it to the upper class.

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

Had to be talked into trying this. It's tough to buck up for a Leine when so many other good beers on tap. Gave it a try, and was surprised.

black with some maroon in the right light. creamy brown 1/2 inch head. smells sweet and citrusy, a hoppy stout no doubt. Dark fruit is there too

on the tongue, dark cherries, pomegranate, raisin, but mostly cherry to my buds. very vinous, a lot of port character. smooth, sweet. some hops, just enough, to make keep it from being too port-like.

actually ,reminds me a lot of Darkness, fruity sweet, easy to drink, and a nice hop presence.
hits hard like a typical high ABV stout.

great beer, and if it's true they aren't making it anymore, what a shame. I might actually send an email to the brewery to tell them myself that this beer needs to stick around.

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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,174 ratings.