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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

1,097 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,097
Reviews: 456
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.12%
Wants: 46
Gots: 119 | 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
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Ratings: 1,097 | Reviews: 456 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ajlvt
4/5  rDev +5%

Ajlvt, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of shand
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage.

I've gotta say, I was a little excited to see the Big Eddy series finally make it to my neck of the woods. After all, before the Goose Island purchase, the Big Eddy series had surely been the biggest attempt at "serious" craft from any of the big boys. Let's give it a shot. The appearance is spot-on, it pours out black with a tiny head. The aroma is on the sweeter side for a RIS, with anise, semi-sweet cocoa powder, and dark malts. The taste is much more intense than expected with the roast beast finally roaring it's head, growing until it completely dominates the finish. The almost burnt malts provide a sharp bitterness that is only amplified by a bit of leafy hop. The bitterness gets so intense towards the end that I'm inclined to call out tobacco notes, which is honestly something I've never got before from a beer.

Big Eddy has a thick mouthfeel, but it has a relatively high amount of carbonation. The drinkability is exceptional. You know what? Big Eddy RIS is actually an excellent and very unique RIS. A lot of Russian Imperial Stouts are a lot smoother and approachable than beer nerds like to hype them up to be. Big Eddy is a different story. This is a seriously intense beast of a beer, and I can see why someone could seriously dislike this. It's got a wallop of bitterness that stands up to the most intense double IPAs, but with a distinctively dark and roasted twist. True diehards of "the style" might call it rough or harsh, but the open-minded drinker (especially a die-hard IPA nerd) might find a lot to like from this one. Kudos to the folks over at Leinenkugel on this one.

shand, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of tim28
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

tim28, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of THECPJ
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

THECPJ, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.26/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a damn near pitch black color overall. The head is a three finger khaki shade featuring fantastic retention for both the style and gravity. Even better, the creamy texture leaves gorgeous rings of lacing down the side of the glass. One of the better looking imperial stouts I've encountered.

S: This stout in particular takes the route of being VERY licorice-forward. After it warms up a bit, it develops chocolate, molasses, and subtle cherry tones. Sweet in general; while not to my personal preference, the aroma is quite well done.

T: Again with the licorice. It tries to develop the aforementioned chocolate/dark fruit tones after a big opening salvo of licorice, but is still supplanted by licorice. The finish is a bit fruity and (pleasantly) boozy, with additional notes of toffee and marzipan. Roasted qualities are really subtle here. Generally, this one lacks depth, and the dominant quality isn't to my liking.

M: I like the softness here; but it isn't quite thick or dense enough for me. What surprises me here is how the softness gives way to a dry finish, almost as if it were designed more for drinkability than savorability. There are some *faint* wine-like qualities (it's vaguely tart, and I swear it seems a bit on the tannic side) in both the flavor and palate feel that I kind of dig.

O: I'll give it some credit here, it's reasonably well brewed and an excellent effort from Leinenkugel's. I just don't really care for beers that make me reminisce about chewing on a big ol' stick of Twizzlers (or even worse, black licorice jelly beans...shudder...) Luckily, this isn't some black-licorice-jelly-beans jabroni in the RIS world, just a lower midcarder in the vein of Koko B. Ware. Put him in a match with Ted DiBiase (Old Rasputin) or the Macho Man Randy Savage (Founders IS) and he's just going to eat a pinfall in 3 minutes - similar to this offering.

ThisWangsChung, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

mendvicdog, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of jplopez21
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

jplopez21, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of MSandahl23
4/5  rDev +5%

MSandahl23, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of duceswild
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

duceswild, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of JamesMN
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Opaque black body with a frothy light brown head.

Aroma: Rich dark malts and a touch of molasses laced with alcohol. Just a hint of dark fruits as well giving the aroma a subtle complexity.

Taste: Starts with a bright hop profile that's slightly grassy and lightly bitter. The brightness turns dark after that when dark syrupy malt flavor engulfs the palate. Flavors of black coffee, roasted malt, anise, and a touch of vanilla. The bitterness is moderate.

Mouthfeel: Full in body and robust. Average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: A decent RIS from a brewery that doesn't produce much drinkable beer. Would I drink it again? Sure, I'll be checking out other beers in the Big Eddy series.

JamesMN, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

oline73, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +5%

spycow, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of ChrisMon02
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

ChrisMon02, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of gmfessen
4.66/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, Big Eddy RIS appears black but upon further inspection is actually a very deep brown; the head is thin, creamy-looking and mocha in color. Nose is definitely that of a big beer! Fumes of alcohol, dark fruits like figs and dates, molasses and brown sugar, licorice; it's all in there. Flavor reflects the same complex, fruity-molasses alcohol whif of the nose. Alcohol is well covered but also mouth numbing. Mouthfeel is full bodied and chewy with a minimal yet creamy carbonation. Overall, I would say Leine's did good with this one! I'm always a fan of their beers but doing a big beer like this is a different game from the norm - great job Leine's!

gmfessen, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of raythealeman
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

raythealeman, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of Stevie_Janowski
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Stevie_Janowski, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of BeerNinja007
3.44/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a 12oz single for $3 at The Beer Store in Nashua, NH. I'm pretty skeptical because I've never been a fan of Leinenkugel's, they just seem like mainstream wanna-be craft beer. But curiosity got the better of me so here it is. Code "32513 B21010805" stamped on the bottle, whatever that means. At least it's in nice bright yellow lettering, unlike many others that are barely legible even under the best of light. The neckband claims 2012 vintage. Served cold in a tulip.

A: I rarely use this comparison, but this stuff truly pours like the thickest, blackest, used engine oil. Usually I can pick out some sort of highlights when putting a brew up to a bright light, but this brew gives NOTHING, not even a faint glimmer around the edges. A moderate pour gave a thick 1/2" of light brown head that settled rather quickly. Only a thin meniscus remains along the edge with some very thin whispy stuff in the middle.

S: Black malt, carmelized sugars, and a distinctive burnt molasses note that gives it an acerbic edge. Some raw grainy stuff (could be oatmeal) lingers underneath. Black licorice and vapors of rubbing alcohol... yes, more like isopropanol rather than ethanol.

T: Burnt toast drizzled with simple sugar. Yep, that about sums it up. Some vanilla undertones peek out from the burnt black malt finish. Brew is hot, alcohol fairly apparent on my breath, peppery solvent rules the finish.

M: Thick and heavy, they definitely invested in a lot of malt to make this one. The viscosity isn't overpowering but it's definitely there, but only does a fair job of covering up the alcohol. Carbo is soft, as you would expect with this kind of body.

O: Maybe some age will even things out, but as is it's a bit rough. Kinda odd how it can be so thick but still so solventy. Not quite as bad as I feared it could be, but that's only because I had pretty low expectations. The only reason I'd get this again would be for the academic exercise of putting one away for a few years to see if it evened out, but I can't really see myself bothering. They picked a tough category to compete in and there are PLENTY of better offerings out there.

BeerNinja007, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of Lewdd
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Lewdd, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of Rons35
4/5  rDev +5%

Rons35, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of bostonryan
4/5  rDev +5%

bostonryan, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of Brad007
4.55/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'd read about Big Eddy in ads but never saw it til now.

Pours a pitch black with a thin brown seal into my glass. When it comes to this style, the darker, the better.

Licorice, toffee, tobacco and roasted coffee with a touch of cocoa in the nose. Seems to support the claim on the label.

Flavor is equally complex with licorice, toffee and roasted coffee. Very little of anything else unless you count the alcohol itself. It's a bit "warm" but should age nicely.

Lingering toffee and tobacco notes finish off this RIS.

It is distinctive and goes beyond the "coffee & cream" bombs that pass for RIS. Should age marvelously.

Brad007, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of MickeyBeer
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this beer on tap at the Firkin served in a 4 oz sampler glass

A- Really great looking beer. Poured a totally black, opaque color, with a tan head that left some really nice lacing.

S- Smell is sweet and chocolaty with coffee aromas as well. Smell not as awesome as the appearance.

T- Taste has a variety of sweet flavors that has just enough hop balance to go along with it to keep it from being too sweet. Some nice chocolate, toffee, and coffee flavors.

M- Full bodied beer that has a nice feel to it. Smooth and easy drinking.

O- A good imperial stout. When I first had it I did not know it was by Leinenkugels. Was surprised at how tasty this beer really was.

MickeyBeer, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of Braz
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bought from Tacoma Boys. Pours a dark rich brown with a tan head. Smells of malt, maple, chocolate and a slight dose of roasted coffee. Tastes are woody and roasted. Pretty comparable to the aromatic notes. Lightly sweet. Alot more carbonation than I have experienced with this style. Enjoyable but not the best I've had of the Imperial Stouts.

Braz, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of foureyedgeek
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

foureyedgeek, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of cclark67789
4/5  rDev +5%

cclark67789, Feb 21, 2013
Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,097 ratings.