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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

1,116 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,116
Reviews: 459
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.12%
Wants: 45
Gots: 122 | 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: 1,116 | Reviews: 459 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to nflmvp for this via trade. I first looked at it and thought cool and RIS that's new to me. then I saw 11 malts and leinekkugel. I can't say I've always had a great brew when the variety of malts are that high and this was the brewery that made a huge intro to New England with yet another "wheat" beer.

Enough with the background. Yeah, this is one heck of good stout! I wish they had followed up the summer wheat beer campaign with 6 packs of this beer! Pitch black, solid tan head, bold roasted malts, dark fruits, espresso and bitter hops swirl in and out in a very complimentary manner. Full bodied, nicely carbonated and wonderfully engaging to drink.

I would buy this if it ever makes it to my markets.

barleywinebrewer, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of mnstorm99
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a bolla grande glass.

Black oily pour with little tan head that disappears quickly, lacing good which should be expected in a beer like this.
Aroma is weak and I really tried to get the best of it, what I could detect is a nice coffee carmel but I had to fight for it.
Taste is very good, much more pronounced, sweet, dates, coffee and carmel are all evident. nice little touch of hops to round it out. So much else going on, I have no idea what kind of hops are used.
Mouthfeel is excellent, like it should be for an RIS, creamy, smooth and oily. Very well carbonated.
Drinkability is low for most RIS, for me but to be subjective this one seems a little too boozy to me compared to other versions of this style.

Good not great, but very exciting Leinie's did this beer.

mnstorm99, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of Viggo
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to grub for hooking me up with this for Xmas, you're the best!

Pours an opaque deep black, thick dark tan head forms, settles to a thin layer and ring, nice lace spots. Smell is very fruity, figs/raisins, chocolate, toffee, roast, vanilla, sherry, thick aroma. Taste is similar, sweet sherry, chocolate roast, vanilla, oak, toffee, lots of dark fruits, nice bitter roast near the end, very long finish, really lingers. Mouthfeel is full bodied with low carbonation, alcohol is well hidden. Nice imperial stout, especially coming from Leinies! Thanks Russ!

Viggo, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of Lexx
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you to Viggo for sharing this one!

This beer looks pretty awesome. Black, with a dark chocolate milk/hot cocoa colored head. Leaves some very tight, spotty lacing, almost symmetrical.
The scent is molasses, a bit of coffee, chocolate, nice and roasty, a hint of alcohol.
The taste is sweet, a light chocolaty bitterness, some roast, a bit of smoke in the finish. There's a bit of that deep molasses flavor, and perhaps some dark fruits. I'm having trouble believing I'm drinking a leinie.
This is nice and oily, a great finish to a night of drinking. Thank you, Eric!

Lexx, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of DackAchan
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Pours oil black with a very thin dark brown head.

S- Sweet smell, definative raisin and date smell to it. Highlighted by chocolate.

T- Burnt flavoring with some taste of chocolate to it. Finishes with some rich black licorice and alcohol taste.

M- Heavy drink. Weighs on the tongue, I think this is a good thing.

D- Weight and alcohol bring this down, but a solid beer none the less.

DackAchan, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to kryptic for this extra.

The eddy pours a thick viscous black with almost no head. The nose is chocolatey with spice. Meaty flavors with very rich flavor. Smokiness, smoky meats. There is a speck of JW lees flavor in here (wierd I know but i taste it just a bit) There also some chocolatey tones in here and a little bit of subtle hop bitterness all the way through. A little bit of coppery taste on the finish. very little coffee tones. The mouthfeel is very thick and viscous, soupy. Drinkability is ok for an imperial, but its so rich and thick it would be hard to have more than one in a row. Good brew, but a sipper, and nothing too fantastic. worth a try.

AKBelgianBeast, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: This one skulks out of the bottle a pure ebony. Quite viscous looking. Dark-cocoa tan colored head that comes in about 1 finger thick. This dissipates quickly and leaves specks of lace behind. Nice bubbly ring as well.

S: Huge nose of tangy dark fruit, roasted malt, black licorice, espresso, cherry, and bitter dark chocolate.

T: The taste follows the nose very closely. Also popping up are anise, bitter hops, black pepper, milk chocolate, a touch of alcohol, and various spices.

M: This one starts of with a small bitter dryness that is quickly overtaken by a big tangy sweetness that is followed by an espresso-like bitterness. Big, thick, creamy, oily, and sticky.

D: This beer is incredible! The flavors and aromas are so complex and enjoyable. I still can't believe it's made by the same folks who brought us "Summer Shandy".

GbVDave, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Blackness, with a big, thick roasted tan head, sits long in the glass...nice, and lovely...

Aroma gives us everything we expect from a RIS, rich cocoa, loads of bittersweet espresso/coffee flavors, some anise, some black pepper, a cadre of dark fruit flying in...with the rich, decadent chocolate taking command...that's this.
Many things going on, here, many flavors, many wonders...good, good stuff...

Taste: more dark fruits spark up to greet the chocolate, blackberries, and suchwise...full in the mouth,full in the finish...thick and rich and utterly...decadent and, well, full!

The folks who make their daily bread with HoneyWeiss and Berry Weiss, well, yeah, it seems, they CAN brew a RIS. And here's the proof, right here in my mouth. Big Eddy's has to sit in with every top notch RIS, it has few flaws, it's only drawback is that it fills the bill, but has nothing to really bring it forward. A good example of an RIS, maybe even very good, but not quite great...although, ...almost....

feloniousmonk, Jan 09, 2008
Photo of Mitchster
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

$2.79 for a 12oz bottle at Merchant's. This one say 9.5% ABV on the label, and it's brewed with 11 malts and grains (hrmmm...what does that mean?) and three different hops. Appears bottle-conditioned. Twist off cap. This stuff pours as black and shiny as 10,000 mile motor oil, forming a tall very dark cocoa powder colored head...like chocolate ice-cream. Carbonation is mild. Retention is good and lacing is good. The nose opens with freshly cut apples, rotting black cherries, prunes, raisins, burnt chocolate, espresso, and when swirled, lots of vanill and black walnut. An excellent nose and everything that I look for in a Russian Impy. Mouthfeel is oily, smooth, slick, moderately acidic and dense bodied. The taste is pervasive with prunes and raisins and then kicks in with burnt chocolate, soy sauce and espresso. There is an underlying burnt/grainy/hoppy acidity which kinda makes the beer a little sour and somewhat harsh to drink despite it's syrupy sweetness. The aftertaste is long and full of charcoal and toasted wood. Bitterness is quite mild.

Overall, this is an impressive brew. It's a touch too sharp for me right now but would probably age beautifully. I'm not a fan of Leiny, but they pulled this one off pretty true to the style. Kudos to them for deviating away from the "dumb it down to gain popularity" mentation.

Mitchster, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of Strix
4.48/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Steve's on Mineral Point in Madison, WI. 1/4/08


Pours like motor oil, and is as transparent as motor oil, with a head the color of chocolate milk.

Smell is of coffee and roastedness with a hint of blackberries.

Tastes of roasted malts, with hints of coffee, chocolate, and blackberries. A pleasant hoppy twang to the finish, complete with warming alcohol. But considering the abv, alcohol is relatively hidden. This is pretty well balanced, and has some complexity as the flavors change.

Mouthfeel is heavenly. Super smooth.

Drinkability on this is awesome. If I didn't know the abv, I'd have a few more right after this.

Please don't stop brewing these!

Strix, Jan 07, 2008
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-This came out of the bottle like motor oil, literally! Jet black and very viscous. A caramel-colored head came and went fast, but a nice carbonation ring around the edges held up nicely. This just looks like mollasses in a glass and I love it!

S-Deep, dark, sweet fruits and roasted barley. A lot of chocolate and a slight raw soil smell.

T-The sweetness of the malt comes through right away. Deep layers of anise, chocolate, and burnt sugar fill the mouth with flavor. A touch of astringent coffee lingers on the finish.

M-The body is wonderfully full and balanced. The alcohol makes a slight appearance that adds a bit of heat, but nothing unbearable. I can see this developing into a masterpiece if laid down for a year or two. The sweetness hangs in the mouth like a dessert.

D-This stuff could be dangerous. So easy to drink and you would never see the punch coming. I have gained a lot of respect back for Leinekuels after this bottling. Excellent work gentlemen!

ALESwhatCURESya, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of Overlord
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to grynder33, who I hopefully will be paying back soon.

Pours a jet black, nice dark tan head, very attractive looking beer. Smell is malt .. maybe a bit of chocolate. The taste is decidedly more complex than the aroma. This is one flavorful stout; it's loaded with gigantic roasted malt, a good dollop of chocolate, and a hint of dark burnt cherries/currants.

Delicious. I've grown a little tired of overly coffee-ed stouts, and this hit the spot. Decidedly underrated. Syrupy and chewy, but quite quaffable.

Overlord, Jan 04, 2008
Photo of twbrewer
4.97/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Pours jet black with no light getting through,has a dark brown head 1/4" thick,very little/no lacing.

S-Smells of black strap molasses,dark chocolate malts,plums,raisins and a slight hint of congac,and a touch of hops.

T-The molasses taste hits you right away then a nice hop bitterness that fades into a bitter dark chocolate and roasted coffee finish.So many malts!

M-This is a thick syrupy,chewy beer.It has a very smooth feel on the palate and very little carbonation.

D-I could sip on this all night,very pleasant warming effect,very good balance between hops and all of the malts.I put a couple away for a later date,but when their gone this beer will be sadly missed.Please brew more,thanks.

twbrewer, Jan 04, 2008
Photo of Bitterbill
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle as an extra in a trade with Hoppymeal. Thanks Derek!

It pours from 12oz bottle a pitch black with a very impressive 2 finger head of tannish foam. It looks very inviting.

The smell is nice. I get caramel and roasted malt, fruit, chocolate, a bit of coffee. If it tastes as good as it smells, I'm gonna like this one.

The taste...well, this isn't a timid version of the style, that's for sure. Big roasted malt...no, more like burnt malt greets my taste buds right off the bat. Next thing I notice is a very tasty, but not overdone, coffee flavour along with some hot cocoa bitterness, grain, and boy, it has a great, silky smooth mouthfeel to it. I like! The low carbonation really makes the flavours stand out and it finishes with a tasty semi sweet chocolate kick. And as far as the 9%abv goes, just a touch of warming after the swallow? Wow. Dang this is sooo good and I find it dangerously drinkable. I don't think there's a brewer out there who wouldn't be proud to claim this RIS as their own. My hat's off to the brewers at Leinenkugel because this is some seriously good sh*t! Pardon my French.

Thanks again to Derek for including this in our trade!

Bitterbill, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of SMark
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this beer from a 12 ounce brown bottle at 55° into an imperial pint glass. A nice one finger tan head resulted from the pour with good lacing left during the settling period. The beer was a dark, dense chocolate brown. A date code was stenciled on the bottle.

A hint of what was to come was noticed with the pour. The aroma then presented a chocolate and coffee bouquet with a slight bitterness from the hops agitating the nostrils. Creaminess was anticipated with the first sip.

A rich, full, slightly bitter taste came about first. This evolved into coffee and dark chocolate with some of the creaminess I was anticipating at the onset. The taste smoothed out somewhat later on but still carried a little kick from the hops.

This beer was well received and could not overstay its welcome. The various components lingered in the mouth without any off flavors and only the slight bitterness prickling away at the cheeks and tongue.

Keep up the good work Leinenkugel. I wish now that I had sampled the IPA offered previously. I traveled over 600 miles round trip to secure some of this and am glad I did. It was a long day but I came back with some good Wisconsin beer. But then I do have a soft spot for Leinie’s & their friends.

SMark, Dec 25, 2007
Photo of esch
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

A: Black, black, black. Perfect for a Russian Imperial Stout.

S: Chocolate, smoke, unbelievable amounts of malt.

T: The smoke comes to the forefront, barely tempered by the malt sweetness. Finishes with a lasting salty bitterness.

M: Velvet. Well carbonated.

D: This beer has the potential to be really good but it needs some time in the cellar.

esch, Dec 22, 2007
Photo of enfield249
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - This is what a RIS should look like. Thick pouring, no head, extra thin tan ring of foam. Dark, dark black with only a hint of ruby in the thinest area on the top.

S - Lots of roast and sweet malt smells.

T - I started out giving this a 3.0, but it got better the further along the path the beer got. Roast, more coffee then chocolate. Some toffee. Then some sweetness and a little hop flavor. Very little alcohol taste for the amount. Has more of a warming feeling in my stomach then a "whiskey" burn on the back of my tongue. Probably how the Russians liked it!

M - Very full, thick. Slightly astringent on my tongue.

D - Well, I wouldn't drink this daily, or weekly. Lots of work and flavor. But on a cold winter night such as this with 7"-10" of snow bearing down down over the next 12 hrs, it's about perfect

enfield249, Dec 16, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a jet black body with a dark tan head that last as a thick film for a good part of the beer. A bit too dense to see any carbonation.

S- The smell of dark chocolate has a light chalk quality to it. There are strong smells of black malt with a slight hint of cardboard or wet wood in the background. The initial finish smell reminded me of a soy sauce hint and after that I couldn't get that thought out of my mind.

T- This beer has a dark chocolaty flavor supported by some roasted black malt followed by a smooth sweetness and a light molasses tang to it. The bitterness of black malt lingered after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture and a light alcohol note increases as the beer warms.

D- This beer has full dark malt flavors with some creamy qualities that are nice. It was served a bit colder than I like so I will re-review at a cellar temp. Nice easy drinking RIS overall.

rhoadsrage, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle courtesy of nflmvp - - Thanks!

Opaque, black/brown liquid. Some visibility at edges when held up to light. Small, brown head. Pretty good legs and lacing.

Aroma was very intense chocolate. Coffee came in second. Other scents included black cherries, earth and alcohol.

Taste was composed, again, of chocolate. Alcohol/bourbon was very noticeable, could turn down/hide better. Coffee and roast notes. Herbal bitterness at finish.

Medium to full bodied. An unpleasant chalky/grainy texture came through, was expecting it to be smoother. Medium + carbonation. Pretty dry.

Overall, very good, but not top tier. If the mouthfeel was improved by removing whatever is causing the texture issue, and the taste complexity was increased (too much chocolate and alcohol), it would be better.

, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of ejquin
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: As good as a RIS can look. Pitch black and thick with a bubbly brown head.

S: Cherries, chocolate, coffee, some hops and alcohol.

T: Nice cofee and choclatey taste, with a fruit element. Cherries with a hoppy citrus finish. Alcohol burn come through late, but lingers and increases as the beer warms. Towards the end I felt it was a bit hot.

M: I thought the beer had a perfect mouthfeel to me. Very heavy, smooth and creamy with little carbonation.

D: Hampered by the beer getting "hot" at the end.

Ovr: Fantastic stout. I guess it's hard to say a beer rated in the high 80's is under rated, but I had barely really heard of this beer until I made the trip up to WI and happened to find it on draft, which made me seek it our in bottles. I actually prefer this RIS a bit on the cold side wheras I normally like them a bit warm, but at the perfect temperature, this beer is right up there with m favorite RIS's.

ejquin, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of dirtylou
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, scooped a 4 pack at Star

appearance: pours into a bells chalice...beautiful pour, dark as night body with a huge chocolate brown head and great retention - this appearance is right on up there

smell: chocolate covered berries, heavy roasted malt aromas, big dark chocolate nose...pretty inviting

taste: tons and tons of dark chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruit and berries, booze is a little warm...not what you normally would think leinenkugel could produce

mouthfeel: rich and creamy, full bodied

drinkability: on par for style

dirtylou, Dec 02, 2007
Photo of brewcrew76
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

9.5% ABV on the bottle

A - Pours jet black with 2 fingers of foamy brown head sticky lacing everywhere. Slight ruby hints when held to the light but still black as night.

S - Very smoky with a vanilla extract quality. Chocolate, prunes, dates and raisins.

T - Sweet with a lot of vanilla. Molasses with a bunch of smokiness. Coffee with a touch of bitter chocolate and rum soaked raisins. Dates, prunes and raisins become more noticeable as it warms.

M - Between medium and heavy with a creamy smooth mouthfeel.

D - The smoke, sweetness and vanilla did not combine very well in my opinion. Nice attempt by Leinie's but I preferred the DIPA so far in the series. I hope they keep the big Eddy series going as I will keep trying them.

brewcrew76, Dec 02, 2007
Photo of franksnbeans
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out jet black with a huge cocoa head that dies slow and laces big. Smells of chocolate covered fruit, dried plums, coffee and cocoa. Taste is big chocolate, some dark fruit and coffee but all out of sorts. These flavors usually are perfect together but they all seem off. Turned off by the chalky finish. Full in the mouth and the ABV is well hidden. A victim of hype.

franksnbeans, Dec 01, 2007
Photo of alexgash
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Very dark, almost black, as in black oil. Finger of dense, creamy-looking, dirty cocoa brown head. Nose of dark chocolate-covered raspberries, scorched brown sugar, stewed plums, and raisins. Herbal, almost piny, hop aroma surrounds. Tastes of dark chocolate and roasted coffee bitterness up front. Sweet, dark fruits come on strong along with truffle and milk chocolate sweetness. Tiramisu flavors before herbal hop bitterness crescendos into the bittersweet, roasted coffee, warming finish. Full-bodied. Big and chewy with a very smooth, creamy finish. I was prepared to be disappointed by the hype, but this is a very impressive RIS. Keep up the good work Leinies!

alexgash, Nov 30, 2007
Photo of nsmartell
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. Poured from a bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a very nice black color with a nice thick dark-brown head.

Smell: The smell is dominated by chocolate and smoke.

Taste: Just a tad bit bitter at the end after the beer breathes and warms up a little, but still very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Just like I like my stouts; makes me want to chew it.

Drinkability: This is another good performance by Leinie's for the Big Eddy beers. The IPA was a better IPA than this is a stout, but this is still a good beer. I wish I had some chocoloate laying around...

nsmartell, Nov 29, 2007
Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,116 ratings.