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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

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,148
Reviews: 464
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.39%
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 richbrew
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of enelson
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of bmur112
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of millelacsmark
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Mrcalrizion
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of JRod1969
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of 1noa
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of AmericanGothic
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint.

A: Pours an opaque, dark brown color with one finger of tan head. Some retention and lace.

S: Coffee, roast and chocolate. Not bad, but a bit timid.

T: Sweet chocolate is followed by some light bitterness, then proceeds to the roast flavors with coffee on the finish. Some sweetness lingers in the aftertaste.

M: Good, full body is well balanced by creamy carbonation.

O: A pretty good imperial stout, glad I tried it. With all the other stars in this style, it's probably not one I would return to very often, but I have to say it's easily the best Leinie I can remember having. Worth a try.

Photo of DannyDan
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark brown hue with a thick tan head that quickly disappears leaving really good retention and beautiful lacing along the glass. The nose consists of roasted coffee and dark chocolate along with some licorice. The taste starts out with with roasted coffee, some dark chocolate followed by licorice and some sweet malts. It finishes off with a roasted chocolate, licorice and vanilla and has a bitter chocolate aftertaste that stays a long time. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, but yet a bit on the thin side. A really enjoyable beer to enjoy and savor the flavor. This beer is by far the best I have ever tasted from Leinie's.

Photo of yourefragile
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz 2011 bottle poured into a snifter.

Dark near black with a couple finger thick mocha head. Minimal lacing. Roast heavy aroma, chocolate and licorice. Fairly sweet flavor, with background of roast and smoke malt, dark chocolate, ash, and mild bitterness in the finish. Soft, medium body with a slightly thin finish. Better than expected, but something I need to have again.

Photo of John_M
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is likewise attractive, showcasing a text book RIS aroma profile of coffee, dark chocolate and vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this fairly sweet stout, though the finish is a bit odd. There's some good bitterness, along with something of a metalic flavor. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, though this beer certainly delivers plenty of flavor. The finish is fairly long, with considerable chocolate and coffee grounds. Alcohol is fairly well integrated into the flavor profile, though there's a touch of heat from the 9.5% alcohol.

While nothing extraorinary, this is pretty tasty beer from the folks at Leinenkugel.

Photo of lurpy1
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Who is Eddy and why did they name a beer after him? :)

I've heard about this beer and been hoping to find it - a medicore RLCD (Regional Lowest Common Denominator) brewery striking out with a bold esoteric beer that is surprisingly good. Quite pleased to find it in Lansing.

Pours deep black with a nice scummy head - I mean scummy endearingly, of course. The smell is deep and strong, roast, dark fruit, plenty of chocolate and coffee in back. The taste is a mix of bittering chocolate, malt, and booze. It finds a good balance without being too sweet or bitter, perhaps the alcohol wallop's a bit much. The mouthfeel, while not been, is not as slick and thick as I like in a RIS.

The final verdict is that this is a great stout in all respects except consistency. Ulitmately it is in the ranks of really good, not quite great stouts. Far and away the best Leinie's I've had, and while that's damnation by faint praise, this is still a compliment. Given that Leinie's has always been a brewery that makes brews designed to be adequate and achieve mass non-discriminating consumption, this beer is a bold and welcome step.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice beer from an average brewery...

Dark chocolate pour, some brown and reddish hues. Capped with a chocolate shake/malt head, somewhat dense. Lacing was quite nice.

Caramel, vanilla, and cocoa make up most of the nose. Some roasted malt and dark bread. Almond bark, somewhat sharp.

Slight coffee up front on the taste. Caramel and cocoa come and go, a bit boozy thins out the stickiness. The sharpness isn't quite managed as it becomes metallic and something like oily. The flavors are nice, but with the abv where it is I would like more robustness. Not sure if age would help on this. Vanilla and caramel linger and smooth out.

Photo of TheSarge
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saw this beer at Scott AFB class 6 for only a little over $4 for a 4 pack, so I thought what the hay? Why not?

To make this beer a little classier, the fellows at Leinenkugel's decided to not use a twist off cap, so I have to get off my ass to get a bottle opener...

The brew pours nicely for a 4 finger thick head of milk chocolate ice cream color that has great retention, along with a pitch black colored body. There are deep reddish hues that show through on the edge of my glass.

The aroma is coffee, dark chocolate, hints of vanilla with a woody finish.

The taste is strong in the way of coffee, cocoa, and has a slightly metallic hops quality to it.

Feels dry, powdery, and warm to the finish. Not a bad brew for a mass producer of beer. Leiny's is hit or miss sometimes, and I think they did quite well on this beer.

Photo of Mscarpen
4.68/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: very very dark amber with a generous deep brown head. The head alone looks delicious, which it very much is.

Smell: Sweet hops, caramel, sugar oak, and bit of booze.

Taste: dark roasted malt, chocolate for sure, and chocolate alba.. Sour and bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: creamy, viscous, and full bodied.

Overall: a great value beer with strong, bold, complex flavors.

Photo of gregy55902
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big Eddy RIS 2011 edition, 9.5%

A - Pours thick black with a nice two-finger tan head that recedes in 30 seconds. The head recedes into a lovely bit of bubbles and lacing.

S - notes of black chocolate and some malty goodness. Not the most complex nose - what is there beyond that is very hard to distinguish.

T - Chocolate, malt (but not overdone), plums/dark fruit, a hint of anise. Solid RIS flavor.

M - Best part of the beer. Perfect carbonation makes this brew incredibly creamy and drinkable. The alcohol is completely hidden in this one.

O - My new favorite brew by Leinenkugels, but that's not saying too much. Regardless, this is a fine offering - seek it out if you are looking for a good RIS that won't break the bank.

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

2011 bottle (although the date has washed out from the neck of the bottle and is illegible) poured into a Duvel tulip. Deep black body with a two-finger dark mocha head. The head dissipates rather quickly for such a large head, but does leave some decent lacing for a stout.

Fairly rich aroma that starts with dark fruit and ends with dark malt. In between, come some light notes of cherry, molasses, and dark chocolate.

The roasted malt is much more prominent in the flavor than the aroma and adds a note of bitterness to the taste. A bit of bourbon flavor and solid notes of raisin and dates. Some sweet, dark chocolate blends in to complete the flavor profile that on the whole, is fairly sweet.

Thick mouthfeel and only a slight note of the alcohol. Overal, a very decent RIS and a surprising offering from this brewery.

Photo of SpdKilz
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to SparklePants for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance – Pours a utter dark jet black. About a finger of mocha colored head is achieved with a moderate pour.

Smell – Heavy roasted/charred malts, bittersweet cocoa, dark fruits, slight soy sauce.

Taste – Similar to the aroma. Heavy dark chocolate and cocoa, molasses, roasted malts, and slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, decent carbonation, creamy.

Overall – Sweet though not overly. Odd soy sauce and charred flavors. No alcohol flavor or warmpth to speak of.

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

10 oz pour on tap

A- pour a black thick color with a nice tan head and lacing

S- was roasted malts,chocolate,hops and barley

T- was good a nice roasted chocolate/malt start with hops and coffee

M- smooth and medium carbonation with hops and malt

O- i liked this RIS very smooth and tasty ABV well hidden will drink this again

Photo of weizenbob
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This 12 ounce 2011 vintage bottle was purchased at Siciliano's Market in Grand Rapids, MI, for the handsome sum of $2.99. The bottle has a pry off cap as opposed to Leinenkugel's standard twist-off cap, leaving me with suspicions as to whether or not this is actually a Leinenkugel product. The label looks as though it was printed on a repurposed grocery bag. The label also brags about some bullshit like 11 malts and three distinct hops as though more malts and hops equate to better beer. If it seems like I'm being a bit hard on this beer before I even open the bottle, check out my reviews of other Leinenkugel offerings to understand why I'm more than a bit skeptical going into this. I'll be sampling Big Eddy at a temperature of about 55 degrees.

I pried off the cap and poured into a tulip glass. A horizontal pour manifests two fingers of creamy looking mocha-tinted head. Retention is pretty good. Lacing clings delicately to the side of the glass, eventually sliding into the receding head. The beer is about as dark as they come. No light can be seen through any part of the glass. We're off to a good start.

The aroma robustly displays all 11 herbs and spices, err, malts. Seriously though, the aroma leans toward sweet and malty. A delicate kiss of chocolate malt can be detected. For the most part however, the aroma is intensely fruity, a la, dates and plums. Licorice is noted. Some solvent-like alcohol comes through in the nose, which should be expected for a brew of 9.5% ABV. As it warms however, the alcohol becomes increasingly apparent.

The taste follows the aroma fairly closely. Fruity sweetness charges out of the gate with impressions of green apple and sweet cherry. Overly roasted malts add a charcoal impression that combines with the fruity sweetness to arrive stunningly close to the flavor of burnt barbeque. More cherry juice flavor ensues. Though the finish is very sweet it is not what I would call cloying. However, marshmallow is noted in the aftertaste. I wouldn't call the flavor profile balanced, or well crafted, but I do not hate it either. The irony is in how authentic these fruity flavors appear while Leinenkugel's offerings containing "natural fruit flavors" end up tasting like children's breakfast cereal.

In the mouth this stout is medium bodied, with a decent boost from the spicy alcohol. The carbonation level is low. It feels thinner than I would expect from 11 malts. If oats are one of them, then you wouldn't know it in the mouth. The weight and texture wind up working okay because the flavor is so fruity. Per style however, I expected something much more heavy and viscous.

All in all, my feelings remain mixed about this supposed RIS. It looks great, but the aroma, taste, and feel are all unconventional and leave much to be desired. All could be forgiven if this were on the bargain end of imperial stouts as Leinenkugel's other offerings tend to be. However, at $3 a bottle, Big Eddy winds up costing more than much better beers in the genre, namely Old Rasputin and Brooklyn Black Chocolate. It's also about three times the cost of Leinenkugel's regular offerings. Instead of bragging about the number of malts in their stout, Leinenkugel should probably have spent more time formulating for better flavor, balance and feel. This is a perfect example of how more is not necessarily more.

On a positive note, I think this would make a fantastic marinade.


The Two-Schlitz Scale: (see my profile for an explanation)
I don't give a Schlitz for Leinenkugel's Big Eddy.

Photo of chodinheaven
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black as oil out of the bottle, viscous and syrup looking. Huge foamy dark khaki head on top that leaves plenty of lacing as it goes. Notes of dark chocolate, caramel, and dark roasted malts make for a sweet, milk-like aroma. Bit of grains. Not terribly aromatic, but solid.

Lighter in body than expected. Lots of bitterness from a combination of coffee and hops in the back that lead to a bitter finish. Some wood tannins that make for a sweet sourness that isn't quite bad as it adds a different dimension, but it's slightly too much. Virtually no alcohol taste despite a 9.5% ABV. Maybe a bit on the breath. Dark roasted malts and dark chocolate round out the beer to give it a good balance, but the sweet sourness remains pretty close to an off-flavor. It's hard to say that I don't like that aspect because I think it makes it interesting, but it does become a bit distracting from a very good RIS. As said above, the mouthfeel is light, but slick. It finishes pretty dry and bitter, which makes you want to take another sip.

Not bad, could use a bit more creamy body and maybe toned down on the sour flavor, but still a solid RIS and one that I enjoyed. Worth picking up, especially because I didn't think of Leinenkugel's as a very reputable brewery. But this was ok.

Photo of hwwty4
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Westmalle goblet.

This beer pours a dark India Ink black with mocha highlights when held up to the glass. Just a bit of a head is present with a vigorous pour. Just a little head sticks around on the sides of the glass. Pretty standard stuff for a big stout. The aroma is chocolate up front. It reminds me of what a Hershey's dark chocolate syrup would taste like. Sweeter dark chocolate with a bit of ripe cherries. Just a hint of booze on the tail end of the aroma. The flavor is similar. Dove sweet dark chocolates. Hints of sweet cream. Dark, ripe cherries with just a bit of date. There is a odd flavor that i cant put my finger on. Almost reminds me of a band-aid/plastic on the finish. The booze is hidden very well. Its really completely hidden. I would have never expected it to be a 9.5% stout. The mouthfeel is decent. I wish it was a bit creamier/oilier. Overall, its a good stout. Nothing to write home about but something I would order occasionally.

Photo of Lemke10
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought a 4pack of this at Woodman's in Janesville, WI in Fall 2011 for $10.89.

Pours a pitch black color with a frothy milk chocolate brown head. The scent is great with the mixture of malts and hops that are used. there are a lot of sharp flavors to this beer. You expect a heavy robust malt taste which you do get, but it's over powered by the bitterness of the beer. It's interesting to get a robust and bitter taste at the same time. Definetly not like any other Russian Imperial Stout that I've had before to say the least. Also a little too watery that makes for fast drinking which isn't good with a 9.5%abv...or maybe it is.

Photo of beerman207
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been a wile since I was on here. Not much grabbing my attention I guess.

A- dark brown, tan head about 2 fingers high

S- smell is chocolate malt and some fig. A little soy as well

T- taste is chocolate malt and some dark fruit. Some smoke.

M- medium carbonation and a bit thin. Sight burn as it goes down

O. - nothing truly remarkable but real easy to drink and a solid brew.

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