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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,148 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,148
Reviews: 464
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.12%
Wants: 46
Gots: 127 | 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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,148 | Reviews: 464 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of canucklehead
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
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

Photo of tpd975
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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.

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!...


Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

Photo of hero27
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Photo of ZAP
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of brentk56
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
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

Photo of blackie
4.82/5  rDev +26.5%
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

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...

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.24/5  rDev -15%
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.

Photo of kirok1999
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
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

Photo of malcontent
3.81/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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.

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.

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%.

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.

Photo of cokes
4.41/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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.

Photo of Kegatron
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A special thanks to nflmvp for including this in a recent trade. Thanks Steve!

12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours an inky black with a 1/2 finger of burnt dark mocha colored head that leaves a ring of retention around edges with some thin wisps in the middle. Lacing was minimal. The aroma initially is deep notes of chocolate sweetness, coffee, roasted malts, a quite prominent dark fruit element, and heat. As it warms, the fruits and alcohol become more and more pungent creating a hazy smelling mixed fume of each.

The taste is more of the same. Chocolate, coffee, and light roasted malt notes up front that gives way to a pervasive tangy dark fruit presence that mixes with heat to give off a sticky feel of sweetness. Finishes with some light bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is thick and oily with a sticky viscous feel. The heat element is quite beefy but never quite gets to be stinging, just opting to add a little more heft to the proceedings.

This was quite the interesting RIS, with a taste profile that really skewered towards the dark fruit side of things. A little too much at times I'm afraid. A little more roasted malt or hop character to balance all that sweetness would have really helped. Still, this was a decent enough sipper of a RIS and one that I'm most grateful for having had the chance to try.

Photo of tayner
3.26/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle 9.5% abv stated on bottle.

Poured black, black with a small medium tan head that stayed in a ring all the way to the end.

Smell was overwhelmingly raisin and fig.

Taste was the same almost sickening sweet raisin, fig, plum along with some very roasted maltiness. The alcohol is also very dominant in the finish.

mouthfeel was good, oily, thick, coating. very heavy and nice which is expected in a RIS.

This one seems a little out of balance with the sweetness and dark fruitiness. Perhaps a tad more hops would help balance it out. as it warmed it got better, but still not right. I finished it, but i do not htink i would ask for another.

Photo of strohme2
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured this one and thought it looked like 10w30 coming from the bottle. This is as thick as night is dark. Tiny bubbles leads to a small head but way less than a quarter inch which disappears very quickly.

I detected coffee, caramel, malty and sweetness. I couldn't pin my nose on the overwhelming smell until I took a couple more whiffs..then I got it. It has a strong raisin odor to it that was too much for me.

It feels great in the mouth. Thick, thick, thick. Again with the raisin. As it warmed it became unbearable for me to drink. Fairly strong alcohol kick as it warms too.

I couldn't finish it. I didn't want my rating to reflect to the fact that I didn't like it. But I give HUGE props to Leinenkugel for brewing this one for all the RIS fans. For a larger micro to make and distribute this shows something about Leine.

Photo of sfoley333
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle thanks to Hoppymeal. Poured into a duvel snifter. Poured a thick black color with a finger size brown head. Smell was slight dark fruit with chocolate and alcohol scent. Taste is slight herbal coffee and light chocolate flavor with a alcohol finish. Mouthfeel is full body oily with a light carbonation feel. While a good RIS to me the alcohol feel is just a little unbalanced.

Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a thick jet black color from the bottle. Looks like ink flowing out of the 12-ouncer, topped off with a dingy copper colored head that dissipates quickly.

The nose is filled with toasted and roasted malt aromas. It has buttery and earthy notes along with prunes and salted peanuts.

The taste is very extreme, as expected. There are so many flavors going on in here that its hard to seperate them all. I notice a lot of dark fruits like prunes, figs, and raisins. A bit of hoppy/earthy flavor as well. The high alcohol content has a big warming effect.

The mouthfeel is absolutely, 100%, HEAVY. Quite possibly the single heaviest beer I have tried thus far. Very minimal carbonation and a slick, oily feel across the tongue.

This one is definitly a slow sipper. I can barely get the whole thing down, let alone a second one.

Excellent offering from Leinenkugel's. I wish every brewery the size of them, or larger, could grow some balls and start making craft beers like this that actually taste good. Cheers and Hooray for Leinenkugel's! I am thoroughly impressed with their character as a brewery and this beer itself!

Photo of Bighuge
4.53/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with some viscosity. Pitch black beer with a super dense crop of dark brown head. Retention is outstanding as is the lacing. Nose is really nice. Thick and rich. Ripe berries mix with anise oil and char and alcohol. This beer has a real oily texture, which I like in Imperial Stouts. Body is about medium-full or so and light on the carbonation. The flavor is quite rich as well, with dark chocolate and black licorice. Very nice flavor. This is a solid RIS. Best beer I've had from Jacob et al.

Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,148 ratings.