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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

1,093 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,093
Reviews: 455
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: 1,093 | Reviews: 455 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%

Reviewed from notes. Some of the old batch. Opened at Dark Lord Day 2009.

Pours a very dark color bordering on black. There is a pretty good mocha head. The nose is really nice with a good dose of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and a bit of black licorice. The taste wasn't quite as complex, with the chocolate and roast going through a bit more. Feel is pretty nice and thick. Drinks well and very impressive that this came from Leinenkugel.

Thorpe429, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of muskabeatz
4/5  rDev +5%

Poured into my snifter.

A- Pours nearly black, with hazelnut and amber hues around the edges. A rich, light brown head forms nicely above above the beer, and a thin coat remains until my glass is empty.

S- Nothing too wild. A lot of clean malt up front, followed by roasted malt, a slight vanilla presence, some cocoa nibs, and a surprising amount of nuttiness once the beer warms. Alcohol presence is negligible.

T- Here the beer comes alive a bit more. A modest roasted malt shows its face, followed by a pleasant swell of brownies and baker's chocolate on the finish. Really pretty tasty, but not as complex as I would typically expect from a good RIS. The alcohol is very well hidden.

M- Honestly, for coming from Leinenkugel's, this beer has pretty good mouthfeel. Not nearly as thick as some, but it does have a viscous feel that coats your mouth and lingers for a short while. Carbonation may be a tad high for my taste, but overall everything is pretty good here.

D- Very drinkable, especially when the alcohol content is taken into account. Overall, I was pleasantly by this beer. I would certainly buy it again, and recommend it to my friends as a solid, affordable RIS. I see this as the perfect gateway beer into the category, for people who aren't quite ready to go out and down a Dark Lord.

muskabeatz, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of crossovert
2.88/5  rDev -24.4%

2010 vintage.

It pours a dense, dark black with a nice foamy tan head. Thehead sticks for a nice while. It has a bit of decent lacing.

The smell is pretty standard for a RIS. It is clean, not superbly fragrant, but consistent with the style. There is some raisin, dark fruits, cocoa, and coffee

The flavor is where you can tell this is a leine's product. It isn't bad but it is inferior to the standard of the style. It has a lot of components: a nice bitterness, coffee, caramel, chocolate, dark fruits, a surprising hppiness, and a hint of roastiness, but it doesn't mesh as well as it could. There is a flavor sticking out that is just unnatural.

The mouthfeel is pretty full-bodied, perhaps a bit excessive carbonation however. The alcohol isn't completely hidden. It has a bit of a cloying sweetness.

It is a nice attempt by a macro brewery, but there is still room for improvement.

crossovert, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of sweemzander
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint.

(A)- Pours rather thick and pitch black. Produced a small brown colored head that dissipated quickly.

(S)- A nice mellow roasted profile. Some molasses, caramel, brown sugar, and coffee. Subtle notes of a cinnamon-like spice.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. Has a good roasted profile with molasses, cocoa, licorice, and a caramel sweetness. Rich for sure.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance of flavors. A present bitterness that increases as it warms. A mellow sweetness that contributes to its rich character. The 9.5% ABV is definitely present, but not quite overpowering.

(D)- This one is a surprise. It has alot of room for aging potential that could smooth out some of its rougher edges it currently shows. A bit too bitter and hot fresh, but I would like to see what 6months to a year does to this. I was not expecting much going into this bottle, but it is actually quite could; could be better, but has the right idea.

sweemzander, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of boomer31
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%

Had this beer when it came out a few years back, had another last year and am happy to have a few of the latest release to measure up. 2010 version

A - Pours a viscous black with a menacing brown head. With a swirl the head comes back. Does not stick to the glass

S - Big roast coffee and alcohol. Hints of molasses and burnt sugar. Really nice.

T - The heavy roast in the nose is more faint in the taste but finishes strong. Bitter chocolate and hop bitterness take over. Dry finish but a bit too much alcohol

M - Rich viscous and dry. Great low carb

D - A bit hot now but pretty complex. At 9.5% this may be a great beer in a few months but needs time to mellow

A very good beer and I'm happy that Leinenkugel brought this back.

boomer31, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of Arnie2709
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%

First pour, allowing light to shine through the pour shows a red/auburn, kind of a dark ruby. a milk chocolate colored head about 2 inches thick.

Smell, first thing that comes to mind. My first attempt at making caramel. BURNT. It is very very similar to burnt sugar. slightly sweet. Some coffee, and a little boozy.

Flavor, no surprise burnt sugar and strong coffee. some bitter hop character that thankfully isn't too prominent because the dark malts would probably be bitter enough. and the bitterness coats your mouth.

Medium, to Full mouth feel. The flavors don't go away right away.

It's OK that they sell in 4 packs. I wouldn't want more than 3 or 4 at a time. It is a pretty good beer for every once in a while.

Arnie2709, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of dpnelson1978
2.85/5  rDev -25.2%

12 oz. bottle into glass snifter.

$3.25 / ea.

A: Opaque black body topped with a small brown head that quickly dissipates leaving no lace and just a bubbly ring of cover.

S: Ripe red fruit, banana, molasses, and slight booze. The banana is out of place and creates a bit of confusion. Still, an interesting blend.

T: Bitter coffee, and slightly tart. Hop character is strong leaving a potent aftertaste. Quite a bit of fruit flavors throughout, not something I'm used to seeing in the style. Interesting. Could do with less bitterness.

M: Light to medium body and moderate carbonation. Noticeable carbonic bite and tangible bitterness on the tongue. Lacks the smooth character I look for in the style.

D: One max for me. The flavors are too intense in the wrong spots.

O: Worth a try, and may be worth aging. Definitely on the low end of the style.

dpnelson1978, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of AgentZero
2.3/5  rDev -39.6%

A - A black stout, brown head that was just a touch too bubbly, but still nice looking. Little bit of lacing left on the sides.

S - This smells pretty bad, huge alcohol burn, completely unexpected and gross. It's kind of a sickly, sweet alcohol smell, which surrounds some cocoa and roasted malts.

T - This beer is pretty bad. Sweet alcohol taste and some roasted malts. It's really a lot like the nose, with a bit of artificual fruit taste in there as well. Almost wonder if this has started to turn a little bit, it's just a bad taste.

M - Little chewy, thick, over carbonated.

D - This beer was a bad beer and a bad experience. Would not drink this again.

AgentZero, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of OleBruin
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%

A: pours out from a 12 oz twist off bottle with a very thin, tan colored head with a slight oily appearance into a Leinie Big Eddy Stout chalice. dark and opaque, it leaves a very thin ring

S: not a strong aroma, but hints of licorice and cocoa

T: forward roasted malt. a nice bitterness lingers in the middle to the back of the mouth from the 3 hops. although it doesn't quite explode like some RI stouts, i would like to try this again in a few months after some cellaring. dark chocolate and coffee notes.

M: it's pleasant mouthfeel, with quite a tingling sensation from the 9.5% ABV & roasted malt lingering on the tongue. moderate acidity, medium carbonation.

D: it does the job, but still curious about cellaring for a couple months. i will try it again. also curious about the draft version.

OleBruin, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of WYVYRN527
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%

On tap at Zorbaz on Big Sandy Lake. From a pint glass, which is not my first choice in glassware.

A: This offering from Leinies pours a thick black hue with a tan head that settles quickly. Lacing is minimal, but the liquid still takes some time to run down the glass walls.

S: Roasted malt character, with hints of molasses, dark fruits, and coffee. Not much for hops on the nose, except some slight grassy notes in the backround.

T: Roasted barley gives the beer added dryness, some coffee flavor, and hints of dark chocolate. Alcohol is slightly noticeable, with some warming character. Hops lend a dry, grassy finish.

Notes: Big Eddy is a full bodied brew, and has some potential. While drinkable, it's a brew that needs just a bit of improvement. It's good, but there is an element it lacks. A solid effort, nonetheless.

WYVYRN527, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of rudylaw
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%

Had this on tap at Stub's and now in the bottle. This review is for the beer in front of me... poured into my Darkness goblet.

Pours a dark brown with light that peaks through on the edge. A one finger head which diminishes to a thin rim a few minutes later.

Tons of roasted malts in the nose. Bakers chocolate, anise and booze.

Those roasted malts are all up in your grill. Dark fruits come out at the outset and coffee grounds on the back end.

A thinner than average mouthfeel but it does have terrific, medium carbonation.

Once again, I will echo the previous bottle reviews. This beer is green and needs a few months to coagulate. Look forward to seeing how this progresses over the next few months.

rudylaw, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of Greggy
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

A- Pours a massive 3 finger thick light brown head which recedes very slowly. With no shock, the body is pitch black with no light showing through.

S- Big chocolate, big roastiness, vanilla, brandy, large hoppy presence, also bits of graham cracker.

T- Starts out with a large chocolate, raisins and other dark fruits, big caramel. Half way through the hops really come through with a very solid bitterness that pushes through all the way to the finish. Very solid, not hugely complex, but good.

M- What can I say, big feel. Appropriately low carbonation.

D- 9.5%... Overall, a solid beer. Not cloying but smooth and enjoyable. I don't find it to massively complex but it definitely doesn't lack complexity. Will I buy again? Not sure. Given I can get expedition for cheaper which I feel has more complexity, I perhaps would not.

Greggy, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of adrock7309
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%

Poured this brew into a Darkness snifter.

Roasty looking head rised about 3/4 inch and faded slowly with just a minimal lacing.

Smell was strong in alcohol, burnt rasins, and some faint hops.

Tast was very bitter burnt fruit forward, some brown sugar sweetness and strong to fair hop bitterness on the finish. The finish also left my mouth with a strange tartness - perhaps some strong licorice. However, this bitterness faded as it warmed. No real chocolate present.

Mouthfeel was fine for the style - medium body - definitely not thick.

Took a good 45 minutes to finish. Was not overly impressed at a cooler temp and got better as it warmed.

Will be letting a couple age a year before i try again.

adrock7309, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of BierFan
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Thin light brown head. Very black body. Good head retention. Great lacing.

Smell: Berries, and dark chocolate.

Taste: Cherry/berry and dark chocolate flavor upfront. Dark chocolate and roasted malts all over the tongue long into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipper. This is gonna take me forever to finish. Luckily it's pretty tasty.

BierFan, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of Penguin3200
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Motor oil black, whihc is great, nose of chocolate and spice. Love it. Hits the palate with massive roassted malts, caramel, and hints of chocolate. Thin mouthfeel for such a big stout, but the finish just goes and goes. Like this a lot, and will be searching out more, as I would like to see what some age does to this.

Penguin3200, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of jera1350
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Rich and thick night black body with a brown head of suds adorning it. Plenty of lacing to be had.

Very sweet and robust nose. Kind of reminds me of Batch 9000 actually. Raisin, blackstrap molasses, caramelized sugar along with some vanilla bean. Not to be forgotten is the major dose of hops coming through as well. Can't wait to tear in!

Matches the nose quite well. There is a really nice smokey taste that comes out though. It is not timid at all and adds a BBQ smoke flavor. Plenty of sweetness, a good toastiness and lots of hoppiness. It does present a little bit of hot booze. Burnt sugar in the aftertaste. I bet with some age, this stuff will be superb.

Creamy soft carbonation. The body is not as thick and syrupy as one would think from the nose and the taste. Still full bodied, but not real viscous.

A real top notch RIS. Glad I was able to snag several of these as I think they will only improve with time. All around enjoyable RIS that drinks quite well. Glad Leinie's decided to bring this one back.

jera1350, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of Wisconsinality
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%

12oz bottle poured into Chimay chalice.

A- Pours a very deep brown with a slight amount of light let in around the edges. A half finger of mocha colored head fades rather quickly and doesn't leave much in the way of lacing.

S- Big amounts of roasted malts, some nice dark chocolate, some brown sugar and just a hint of alcohol. Just a hint of black licorice rounds this one out.

T- This beer is still young. The malts are bold and in your face along with the alcohol. The chocolate subsides a bit along with the brown sugar. I pick up just a hint of cinnamon as well.

M- A bit thin for the style but not bad with a medium body. Also a little more carbonated than I would have anticipated. Quite bubbly that tickles the tongue.

D- Like others said, I am going to lay this one down for a while and see what some time does to it. Its a bit hot fresh but a pretty decent effort by a big brewer. I would have liked to see it be a little thicker but you cannot always get what you want.

Wisconsinality, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of mrandypandy
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%

12oz bottle purchased from Hop City, in Atlanta. 2010 vintage.

A - Pours clean, smooth, jet black with a minimal dark mocha head which dies down quickly. OK lacing.
S - Strange. Not much going on, kind of a soapy quality to it when cold.
T - Mmm... Nice roasted malt base. Dark fruit finish (figs, plums, touch of raisins). Almost a sour tinge as it warms. Some burnt bitterness as well.
M - Medium to lighter body. Smooth, a little on the dry side (not a bad thing).
D - Easy drinking, and the high ABV is well hidden.

Overall - With the exception of the aroma and soapy quality to said smell, this is a well crafted RIS. It leans more towards the roasted and dark fruity side, and gets better as it warms up. They should make this more often.

mrandypandy, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of levifunk
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%

2010 bottle poured into Darkness tulip.

a - pours black with a dark brown head. head is thick and retains well.

s - I get big piney hops notes initially...reminds me of Nightstalker. Roasted malts and chocolate sweetness. As it warms up, the hop notes take a back seat and some dark fruits and tobacco come forward.

t - chocolate, both sweet and bitter. bitterness also coming from hops. alcohol flavor is more noticeable than I would like, but at nearly 10%, its not out of reason. tobacco flavor.

m - body is thick. feel is kind of syrupy, but then the bubbles stick with you. bitter and somewhat dry finish.

overall - solid brew from a "macro-esque" brewery.

levifunk, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of Buebie
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%

Its been just over 2 years since I've had this beer. I had a 16 gallon keg on-tap in the kegerator. Excited to try it in bottle form, fresh.
Picked up a 4 pack of 12 oz bottles for roughly $9 today.

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, producing 2 billowing inches of dark brown head. Receding slowly and leaving a solid cap of retention. Thin yet full coverage lace.
Color is black, no light penetration.
Aroma of brewers licorice, dark rich malt, semi sweet with dark bittering chocolate and brownie batter.
Dark robust chocolate with a semi sweet malt backbone, chocolate becoming increasingly bitter and brownie like in flavor. Robust grain bite. This is a chocolate lovers delight and any woman on the rag with adore you with first sip.
Lingering burnt sugars, grains and dark unsweetened bakers chocolate with hints at toasted oak. Hops are overwhelmed mostly but do come forward slightly with a grassy hemp like flavor, bust overall are subdued with huge rish roasty malt and chocolate flavors.
brewers licorice only mildly detectable at first sip, then disappearing behind the largeness of this beer.
Mouthfeel is slick and creamy with medium carbonation balance.
This is much different then what I remember on tap form. But still extremely delicious and very easy to drink. Drinakability is dangerously high. Abv is also dangerously well hidden in flavor and aroma.
Excellent brew!

Buebie, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of Phelps
3/5  rDev -21.3%

A: inky black with a gummy one-finger head the color of rusted pennies. It recedes at a glacier's pace, getting denser and leaving sticky walls of lace as it does.

S: plum sauce, raisins, molasses, espresso, dark chocolate, some fairly strong floral hops and sweet bubblegum and cocoa powder. It leans more to the fruity side, but the roastiness is strong enough to create a nice balance. Not bad.

T: it begins pleasantly enough, with flavors of raisins mixing nicely with dark chocolate and coffee beans. The dilemma comes mid-palate, when my mouth's invaded by oddly tangy plum juice. It's far too sweet and clashing with the roasted malts rather than melding with them. The weird tang only grows as I make my way through the glass, especially noticeable on the sides and back of the tongue.

M: the problems continue. The body isn't horrible -- it's medium-light and smooth, though still a little light for me. The carbonation is just WAY too high, assaulting my tongue with vigor. There's a pretty noticeable alcohol tinge as well.

D: I got this bottle for free, so I can't complain. But I'd never pay for one. Too fruity, too disheveled, too boozy for its own good.

Phelps, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of joshuaseresse
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%

On-tap at Stub and Herb's 10-25-2010. Poured into a 10oz glass:

A - A frothy pour with one finger khaki head. Lacing is huge with good retention. Black as night.

S - Roast and chocolate. Bit sweet. Bits of dried fruit and nuts.

T - cream milk chocolate and roast and nutty. Bit lactose and bits of dark cherries.

M - Thick and creamy. A bit bitter and chalky. Roast flavors come through with the stale mouth feelings.

D - A bit thick and at 9abv, its a sipper. Enjoyable especially from Leinenkugels's. The flavors, smell and mouthfeel make this a nice brew.

joshuaseresse, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Beer review from BA Mag Dec 2007.

Even large regional brewers have been swayed to brew limited-edition big beers as they see the popularity grow and the consumers calling for more flavor. This offering is brewed with 11 malts and grains and three different hops.

The pitch-black liquid pours out a little thick and viscous as the modest carbonation struggles to break from the solution. Decent head retention as the tan lace does stick to the glass here and there. Sweet aroma of dark berries, chocolate and molasses with a hint of acrid burnt malt in the back. Syrupy full body with a slick creamy mouthfeel, light carbonation. Starts off with a bite of burnt malt that makes way for the sweetness, which is substantial but not cloying. Suggestions of dark chocolate, blackberries--blackstrap molasses comes to mind. Hops are hard to find with the massive malt backbone though a quick kiss of herbal flavor hits in the middle. Sweet in the end with a long linger of charred malt flavor.

A good stab at the Russian Imperial Stout style, it's worth a try to compare against the many craft brewers that are coming close to mastering this style. A good 6 months to a year of cellaring may do this beer some good as it seemed a bit green around the edges with all of the sweetness.

BeerAdvocate, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of ahalloin
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%

Never thought I'd see this on tap. The Happy Gnome in St. Paul was wise enough to stash a keg for two years.

Pours a heady thick black viscous fluid with big time tan head that will not quit. Lacing messes up the side of the glass with total disregard for symmetry. Wow! Slight amber hues appear at the edges when the beer is held to light.

S: I get strong cigar smoke coupled with black licorice, molasses, and cinged caramel (but in a good way). There are some notes of oxidation, but they are covered nicely by the strong cigar aroma.

T: The taste develops nicely with an initial sweet burst of toasted caramel, toffee, molasses, and slight cinged dark fruits giving way to a burnt cigar-like finish with some residual bitterness. Finish is medium dry with a slight herbal cigar aftertaste. They really should brew this again.

M: The mouthfeel is silky and milk like and very pleasing for this style.

D: This beer is not for the faint of heart. There are definitely some strong flavors here that create a complex flavor. Beer geeks will love it, but traditional Leinie fans probably won't dig it.

ahalloin, May 01, 2010
Photo of wagenvolks
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%

Seeing as I share a last name with this Leinenkugel RIS, I felt it was my duty to seek this beer out and drink it for Eddy's everywhere. Thanks to JDV for making that possible with his recent cellar purging. 12oz bottle listed at 9.5% ABV, code on the neck reads "31413", which I assume refers to a 'best by' date of March, 2013.

This Eddy (me) pours Big Eddy (the beer) to form a series of little eddies (whirlpools) that swirl about the snifter. The pitch-black body shows off a short-lived head of dark, velvety-brown bubbles that retreat to a thin wisp and ring of foam. Oily, dark, and viscous, just how I like my Russian Imperial Stout's to look. Great aroma, with a solid showing of Baker's chocolate, roasted black malt, and a big dark fruit presence that suggests over-ripened plum and fig. Small tinge of ethanol in the background with some soily hops.

Good flavor, but nothing extravagant for the style. Fruitiness is more pronounced on the tongue with raisin and currant. The roast is mild, and so is the dark chocolate, as notes of molasses and vanilla take their place. Finishes with a lingering, earthy hoppiness and a hint of smoke. Medium thickness, a bit thin for the style but creamy and smooth with a low carbonation level. Overall, a nice entry for an otherwise unremarkable brewery. Leinenkugel's should venture out more frequently into the 'bigger' beers.

wagenvolks, Mar 07, 2010
Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,093 ratings.