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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

very good
480 Reviews
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Big Eddy Russian Imperial StoutBig Eddy Russian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jj21 on 10-27-2007

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Reviews: 480 | Ratings: 1,258
Photo of brewskifan55
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. Aged for about 6 months.

A: Black with a tan half finger head that blows out fast. Some foam on top. Curtain-y lacing.

S: Anise, chocolate, leather, molasses. Vanilla, too.

T: Strong chocolate opening volley with hints of vanilla. Also picking up anise and molasses. Some dark fruits in the mix, too. Nutty and malty. So smooth and creamy. Robust.

M: Medium to heavy with medium, creamy carbonation. A dry finish.

O: A terrific sipper. A very nice RIP that would go well with brownies or a chocolate chip cookie. I really think the aging helped it. Would love to try a year in the closet.

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Photo of CHickman
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%

A well aged bottle that is at least a year old, it pours pitch black color with a thick 3 finger creamy tan head that was full of bubbles and faded very slowly, not really moving for a minute or so and then dissipating slowly and leaving great lacing coating the sides and rings as it went down.

Smells sweet and boozy with strong coffee, chocolate and espresso up front, followed by roasted grains, charred wood, dark fruit, molasses, brown sugar and a milky sweetness like a milk stout with a half a shot of bourbon poured in it. Hints of vanilla and licorice trail the strong char and coffee notes, and the booze comes through but in a complimentary way.

Taste is very similar to the nose, with coffee, dark chocolate, espresso, whipped cream, roasted grains, charred wood, burnt oats, dark fruit like cherry, raisin and very sweet prunes, molasses, brown sugar, bourbon, red wine barrels that unleash oaky tannins like a merlot, vanilla, malted ball candy (forget the name) and licorice. The booze is present but not hot, and the bitterness is strong but this was still pretty smooth for such a heavy, chewy beer. It said a variety of hops were used on the bottle, but the only evidence of hops is the mild bitterness which more resembles a dark coffee than a blend of hops.

Mouthfeel was thick and heavy, with a slick feel across the tongue, a smack and some mild heat from the booze, mild carbonation, and a plethora of flavors that were very complex and got more flavorful as it warmed.

I know that this is a Leinenkugel brew, but this could be mistaken for a Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout in a blind taste test. This bottle aged well and was very tasty, so I would definitely have this again and would recommend it.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, vintage 2013, with 34414 printed on the bottleneck. My first from the Big Eddy line of beers from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. Brewed with 11 malts and grains, and three varieties of hops.

Poured into a Big Eddy snifter glass, gifted to me from my homies at Ardmore Station Liquors. #properglassware.

A - It pours thick and viscous, a black body with some brownish red hues to it when poured. Opaque in the glass. Two fingers of creamy dark mocha head that retains well for the high abv, and leaves behind lots of nice fluffy sticky lacing.

S - The aroma isn't half bad either - lots of dark raisins / figs / dates, hints of coffee, and some creamy chocolatey sweetness. Not the greatest smelling stout, but intriguing and appealing enough.

T - Taste follows the nose - light sugary sweetness, roasted malt, notes of char / coffee / chocolate / cream / toffee. Lots of raisin / fig / date dark fruitiness and just a hint of herbal hop presence buried in the finish. Not bad at all.

M - The feel is bitter & roasty on the finish. Thick and creamy with good carbonation, and easy drinking for the hefty 9.50% abv.

Overall, a very nice take on the style from this brewery; definitely exceeded the expectations I had for it on many levels. By far the best thing I have had from this brewery, and I think a year's worth of age might have done this beer some good. Recommended, and I would have it again.

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout -----3.5/5

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Photo of dmgeng
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Got this from my coworker. I was on the fence about this "Leine" spin-off but I was pleasantly surprised.

A - Nice robust black color. Mostly clear but difficult to see from the dark color. Dark khaki colored head with light lacing.

S - Strong roasty aroma with some chocolate, some malt, and a burnt tone that is predominant. There is some alcohol and a light coffee tone after the roasted notes.

T - Very similar to the smell this beer it is pretty good with all those tastes swirling around. It seems somewhat muddled but still good flavor. There is a sweet roasty character that is predominant and has some light coffee tones that compliment. It's good but it seems that the roasted, burnt character is the most predominant flavor.
M - Moderate mouth-feel. Light carbonation. Not as heavy as other imperial stouts but is a better drinker than I had expected.

Overall, this is a solid imperial stout. Not the best imperial stout I've ever had but is still very good with a tilt toward the burnt side. I was surprised that this was better than expected and I prefer the thicker and boozier but this is a way to double up a dry stout and keep drinking.

Glass- Snifter

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Photo of BladesOfBarley
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

2013 Vintage Four Pack

Okay, so here it is. The best beer that I've ever had by Leinenkugel's, a rich, velvety and bitter Russian Imperial Stout.

Starting off, is the appearance. Rich and velvety black, with a rich brown ahead (mollasses?) A pleasure to look at.

Starting off, is a wonderful boozy and chocolaty aroma. Some roasted barley and coffee as expected in the style, the richness of the aroma is incredible on a fall day like this. Compliments the appearance well.

Finally, the most important factor: the taste! Chocolates, bourbon style boozy taste, roasted coffee beans, some vanilla, a hint of cherries, roasted barley is through it all, ending on a pleasant bitter end to this other wise incredibly sweet RIS.

Verdict: One of the best I've had, especially considering it's father company! Curious as to how the rest will hold up over the next 6 months to a year.

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Photo of Roguer
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Beautiful stout: pours dark nut brown, almost perfectly black, and topped by a very dark brown head. Retention is good, leaving long lines of lacing.

Creamy, boozy RIS aroma, dominated by roasted barley with a bit of cacao and a hint of syrup.

Chocolate and earthy up front on the tongue, followed by a hint of booze and a ton of roasted barley. Slightly metallic on the mid-palate, and washed over by an incredibly strong dose of blackstrap molasses; by far the most I've ever noticed in a beer. Fascinating, and certainly not unpleasant.

Thick, chewy mouthfeel; an excellent representation of a full-bodied stout. Long, sticky finish; medium alcohol presence.

This is really an excellent stout across the board. The huge molasses note on the back-end, carrying with it a subtle metallic twinge, might put some people off, but overall this is a barley-forward, sweet, thick stout.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +4.2%

2013 vintage:

Pours pitch black with a lasting brown head. Great retention for the style.

The smell is of rich chocolate, roasted espresso and anise.

The taste follows the nose - robust chocolate sweetness balanced by sour-ish dried dark fruit and earthy/anise-like notes and roasted espresso. Complex and delicious.

Dangerously smooth, this is a rich, enjoyable RIS!

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Photo of kkleu357
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%

From notes on 3/5/14

Solid Imperial Stout. Drank on tap at a bowling alley in Green Bay. Was easily there best beer on tap. Had huge notes of chocolate, malt, leather, maybe even a little tobacco flavor. I enjoyed way too many glasses of this stuff.

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Photo of jellikit
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%

A: pitch black. Tan, creamy, thick, foamy head. Sticky lacing.

S: roasted barley. Molasses. Black licorice.

T: same as the aroma. Plus, grainy maltiness. Fig. A bit of hop bitterness? Maybe bitterness is from the malt. Sweet. Alcohol.

M: medium-low carbonation. Big body. Syrup.

O: pretty decent imperial stout. A bit on the bitter side for me. Not quite sure if it belongs in this beer. Decent beer though. A sipper. Strong.

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Photo of kfh227
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I hope I am not biased. A local beer store had 4 packs of this for $3.29. I think I'll be buying a case tommorrow. They probably had 12-18 cases on the floor. I'm guessing a distributer had a bunch sitting around that they wanted to unload.

Appearance - Very dark and the head formed very thickly when poured into a glass, even when care was taken. Nice caramel color to the head. the head went down after a minute and it maintained a 1/16" head.

smell - Nothing special. Not sure if my nose is acting up but I can't smell much. Bacially smells like a generic stout to me.

taste - At 83 cents a bottle for a 9.5% aABV beer ... surprisingly good. Not bitter at all. A Slightly sweet stout. The alcohol is not noticeable.

mouthfeel - Not something I know how to rate properly. I think it is as thick as any other stout.

Overall - worth every penny of the 83 cents I paid. I will be buying more. I actually like this enough that I'd happily pay $8 for a 4 pack.

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Photo of ahommell
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: DARK DARK DARK. Pours with the viscosity of a bad 5 w 30. A beautiful caramel colored head finds its way to the top of my glass. Many small bubbles... but the few big bubbles show and stick around with the rest of the head.

S: Wood... OAK? Sweet dark fruit. Candi sugar almost? It is that sweet. Chocolate malt? Cannot fully tell as the alcohol overtakes much of it.

T: Sweet. Dark Fruits. Oak. Cherries. Light raisin. Heavy alcohol.

M: The feeling won't quit. I'm not sure if I am sipping bourbon or a beer. It is light at first... but now my mouth feels heavy... may be a numbing effect of the alcohol.

O: It is leines camouflaged in a pretty package. You know what you are getting. When I was in college... they were the best 73 man operation to get beer.... But this? It reeks of big business filling a niche. Poorly done on some levels... but fantastic at times as well. Going to drink the four pack over a few days at different temperatures. Tonight's was at what I assumed was a lovely 46 degrees. That should be fantastic for the type of beer. Maybe even on the low side. Hoping that my next attempt at 55-60 degrees is a little better. Unfortunately, unimpressed.

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Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a Big Eddy snifter. Three cheers for proper glassware! A nice, thick pour. About a finger of mocha head, tinged slightly red. A pretty dark body to boot.

Smells more like dried figs than anything to me, which is a little odd. But, hey, I like dried figs. Some notes of coffee and chocolate.

Taste is better than I expected from the brewery that bottles Summer Shandy, let's be honest. But there is a sweetness I can't quite put my finger on, a candy-like sweetness. Maybe some Summer Shandy fell into the barrel.

Smooth mouthfeel, but not the thickest or creamiest I've had in an Imperial Stout.

Overall, this beer is much better than I thought it would be. Leinenkugel doesn't scream "Excellence" in my opinion, but this beer is solid.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Meaty beefy big and bouncy! This 2012 edition of Big Eddy is excellent. Pours a thick black with a nice thick tannish brown head. Notes of chocolate, coffee, figs, and sweet malts. Taste is a lot like the nose. Chocolate and deep roasted grains up front with a coffee bitterness and sweet chocolate and deep roasted grains in the background with hops coming through on the aftertaste. One of the better imperials I have had, even better on tap. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, improves with warmth. Very nice and to be appreciated. Cheers!

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.31/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle marked 31113, 2012 vintage
Bottle at 45 degrees into snifter
Aroma of roasted malt, dates, and figs
Head small (2 cm), light brown, creamy, rapidly diminishing to 2 mm ring and 1 mm layer with small bubble islands
Lacing good – complete rings of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor sweet, intense dates and figs with roasted malt; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate full, creamy, soft carbonation

This is worlds better than when it came out in 2012 – the rough edges have smoothed well.

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Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Dark motor oil with a great caramel head and beautiful lacing

Smell - Rich oaky malts up front followed by a train of booze

Taste - Smooth and sweet up front and then bring on the booze

Mouthfeel - very crisp to begin with, but this one leaves quite the after taste

Overall - this one does not hide the 9.5% alcohol at all.

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Photo of cervezango
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Russian imperial stout From leinies "Craft Beer line" Big eddy . Good for them that there trying to show a little creativity with this IRS but it kind of annoying them pretending to be craft beer makers. This Is a IRS for people who don't normally venture outside of normal leines options like summer shandy or honey weiss. This IRS will not challenge your taste buds and ends up being pretty forgettable.

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Photo of far333
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black and opaque with a reddish brown low head that kicks up minimally and then settles out quickly. Low, but rich aroma of molasses and brown sugar.

Rich and intense flavors of molasses, espresso, burnt caramel, ashie and acrid, woody, peppery bites in the finish, accented with subtle hops that add delicate but flavorful character to the flavor.

Moderate mouthfeel, even carbonation. Good beer, but just a bit too ashen for me.

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Photo of karengarys
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Leine? This has got to be crap. I like craft brews!

Pour it. Go ahead! Pour it!

Leine. Think twice.

Pours dark like an RIS. nice.

smells.... chocolate, licorace,.... ris, right?

Taste is the glorius RIS. Almost light, but a good light! Rich. Licorace. Coffee. Cocoa. Just what I want in an RIS.

Mouthfeel is awesome creamy, a bit... um... better than the "craft brews"?

Overall? Ignore "Leinenkugel". This ris is a force to be wreakoned with! Totally worth the price of the craft brew next to it.

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Photo of milljs
4.93/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance is a thick viscous black with a cappuccino-like foam crown.
Aroma is of molasses, coffee, leather, and wood with subtle spicy notes.
Taste is aligned to the aroma. Wonderful and full of complexity.
Mouthfeel and finish are full and lingering in a fantastic way. I love this beer.

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Photo of woemad
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes.
12oz bottle of the 2012 vintage purchased at the Total Wine on Spokane’s northside. Per the label (which is different than in the picture featured here on BA): “Dark and complex with 11 malts and grains balanced by three different and distinct hops.”

Poured an inky black color. The head was large and creamy, and left lots of lace on the sides of my glass.

The aroma was of dark fruits and molasses. There were also some piney hop notes deep in the background.

Prunes, milk chocolate, molasses, coffee, soy sauce – all are present in the flavor, with the soy sauce and molasses seeming stronger than the other flavor components. There was a mild dryness at the swallow. The high alcohol content did not come through in the taste.

Full bodied, with a thick and coating mouthfeel.

This was a pretty good Russian Imperial Stout, but wasn’t quite up there with the best I’ve had. Still, it would make for a pretty good dessert beer or nightcap.

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Photo of SHODriver
3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottle from 2012

A: poured into a snifter to a deep black with a half inch of deep tan head that fades to a small pool and collar
S: smells of molasses and that's about it
T: tastes of roasted malt, molasses and burnt sugar. swallow is more molasses and roasted malt
M: fairly full on the mouth with fairly prickly carbonation. ever so slightly drying but just a little bit
O: maybe it was a bit more complex from the start but it's pretty smooth. Not terrible but certainly not great.

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Photo of ksimons
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-a creamy almost black with a fingers worth of tan head

S-roasted malt, creamy chocolate, molasses, and light coffee

T-big roasted malt backbone with dark and milk chocolate, and finishes with a bit of a burnt taste

M-medium to full body, moderate carbonation, dry burnt aftertaste

Overall a very surprising beer, I had low expectations, but this is actually very enjoyable. Only major complaint is the burnt finish

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Photo of Scrapss
4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a sam adams turibnator

A: deep chocolate with a big two finger head that subsides into a thin disk of chocolate head, big roasted chocolate body never wavers. Huge body appearance and heavy malt bill. Has legs, and appears HUGE in ABV. Dark and just nearly perfect.

S: roasted malts and a very faint estery yeast, HUGE sweetness. The smell is phenolic and huge malts. And that's it. Big malts.

T: Sweet malt could use some additional aging from a bottle yeast that eats some bottle sugars. very malt and sweet. Has that overtly malty richness and quality all well executed RIS have. Bready yeast peeking around the edges.

M: Smooth and huge malts. Big roasted and chocolate notes. The hops present barely any bitterness here.

O: Insane that this product is the output of the same people that bring us the standard Leinenkugel lineup. The other average brews are just, thin and meh. This is fantastic.

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Photo of a0lbudman
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-black with a large brown head that does not fade fast and leaves a good lacing
S-malasses, alcohol, nutty aroma and a burnt brown sugar
T-burnt brown sugar, malasses, coffee, a nutty taste with an alcohol taste to it, and the burnt sugar taste stays with you til the end
M-full body and low carbonation
O-this beer has a kick to it , and the only thing keeping this from being a great beer is the burnt taste

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Photo of TheDoctor
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an impenetrable ruby-hued black with a large frothy brown head that is quite active, very-slowly-settling to pretty fat film that only requires a quick shake to go back to being big. Good retention; a tiny bit of lacing.

Very sweet and warm. Oats, molasses, toasted nuts, licorice, dark fruits, smoked meat.

Extremely sweet, but not overly sticky. Burnt brown sugar, dark fruits and coffee grounds up front, with a gradually lighter middle. Coke, earth and the slightest tinge of medicinal hops at the finish.

A little thin, sticky, coating, full-bodied. The carbonation is fairly subdued and the head is quite creamy. The alcohol is well-concealed, but it is definitely pretty strong. Lingering finish, but it manages to stay pretty well in the background (doesn't get to be overwhelming).

Pretty decent RIS.
This is a fairly rich, relatively drinkable, almost cloyingly sweet stout. However, it is a fairly well-made beer in my opinion (although I am not a super well-versed in RISs). It is quite nice looking for something with its ABV. The rest of it is enjoyable if not life-altering. I enjoyed it, although it is definitely one of the less 'intense' Imperial stouts that you can find out there.
Might have again; not a bad option if you come across it.

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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.