Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout - Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
86
very good

1,145 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,145
Reviews: 464
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 13.39%
Wants: 46
Gots: 124 | 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: 1,145 | Reviews: 464 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wgk
4.78/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

OMG! From a bottle produced by Leinie's...a PART OF MILLER Coors? How nice is that? When I thought that the best they would ever do again was maybe an ice cold Coors silver bullet in the hot summer sun in the middle of August with 90% relative humidity when there just wasn't anything else around.

Despite the fact that it is very nice, I have to say it was a bit over-priced at nearly $10 for a 4 pack.

I am not very well seasoned with stout, yet, so I am going to have to leave this as just a comment for what it is worth.

Photo of burnheartsMKE
3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I can tell an unusual amount of time and devotion went into making this beer versus the rest of the Leinenkugel portfolio. It pours a deep black with a beautiful strong café au lait head. At first the nose reeked of burnt drip coffee but as it warmed a deep soy sauce quality emerged like a kitchen sink late in the morning after stacking coffee mugs atop last night's still dirty chinese food plates; not in a bad way, but those dishes may have been better off being washed sooner.

My first impression as I raise the glass is that my fingers are really sticky, really, really sticky. I blame myself for the sloppy pour and rinse my fingers before continuing. First taste, more burnt coffee, then sweetness, loads of it! Like a kid making his first cup of coffee, spoonful after spoonful of bleached white granules; no one is watching. Bits of chocolate & cookie dough trying to push through hoping to round out the middle, but nothing is getting past the overpowering sweetness/bitter one-two punch.

I am very glad that this bottle is only 12 oz. and next time I crack into my 4-pack stash in the cellar I will happily to invite my brother over to split the little-sized Big Eddy. And anyways, that's family does when Leinies are in the cooler, we share!

Like a hunter after too many rounds: I get what they were shooting for but I think they missed... and that's OK 'cause we're just here to have fun & drink some beer. Seeing as this my third RIS tasting this week I am forcing the bronze on this one.

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

What a nice surprise this beer was. I had heard that it was pretty good, but I was a little dubious. A well crafted, very tasty imperial stout. Pours pitch black with quite a nice head, dark beige and with some quite nice lacing. Smells vinous to start and then follows with bitter chocolate and some light cream. Nicely balanced with more bitter chocolate, asome dark roastiness, a touch of dark fruit without being overly acidic, and some cream. Nice bitterness throughout. A tiny bit chalky in the mouth, but clean and smooth otherwise. Very nice,

Photo of pisomojado8
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Leinenkugel's pulls out the big guns with this RIS. "Dark and complex with 11 malts and grains by three different and distinct hops," the bottle says. All right, let's check it out.

Pours medium black with a faint mocha head that gives way to a couple of wispy thin white swirls on top of the black mass.

Not much to the smell -- chocolate raspberry? A couple of bourbon notes? Otherwise, pretty neutral.

Taste -- bourbon front-end with dark chocolate which explodes to a complex finish including some burnt chocolate, wildberries and caramelized sugars. (It must be those 11 malts that provide such a complex finish!) A harsh, but warming, RIS.

This offering is quite good compared to the run-of-the-mill Leinenkugel's lagers, which are a little caricaturish in nature. A great effort from the Leinenkugels.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You can't fault Leinie's on this one! No corners have been cut whatsoever. It's rich and malty, superbly roasty, and there's even a good bit of hop flavor. Some bright yeasty fruitiness rounds it out; and the fact that it's superbly balanced hits the ball home. My only question now is where to find more.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into Tulip.

A. Poured a massive almost 4 finger dark tan colored head into my tall tulip. Very good retention. Thick Lacing. Color is jet black.

S. Smell is roasted dark malt, some bitter coffee smell. Has some other kind of strange smell going on that I can't quite put my finger on. Chocolate.

T. Good. Coffee, roasted malt, chocolate. Somewhat bittr with a bit of sweetness. Has somewhat of an boozey astringent quality to it.

M. Medium/full bodied. Full carbonation.

D. Drinkable. Has some kind of odd smell/flavor that puts me off some. Its almost like an astringent alcohol smell/flavor that I really havent experienced before. Its too bad because it has all the makings to be a pretty solid Imperial Stout. I will check the remaining 2 I have to see if I pick up the strange quality that I got in this one.

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

Big Eddy RIS pours black with a head the color of wet sand which laces nicely.

The smell is sweet with notes of dark fruit and a bit of alcohol.

The taste is slightly sweet with notes of dark fruit, chocolate, and coffee.

Mouthfeel has some weight on the tongue, slightly coating with a pleasant alcohol aftertaste.

This is a nice beer to have when you are chilled to the bone. I would like to see how it ages.

Photo of mdfb79
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip. Received as part of my Secret Santa box thanks to pwoods; thanks Patrick!

a - Pours a black color with one finger of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head has a little bit of retention and leaves a little bit of lacing.

s - Smells of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and some dark fruits. Pretty nice.

t - Tastes of coffee, bitter chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruit, alcohol, light vanilla, and toasted malts. A small step up from the nose.

m - Full body and low to moderate carbonation. Body is very smooth and creamy, very nice.

d - A very nice RIS. I enjoyed the taste and the mouthfeel quite a bit. Would like to have again.

Photo of WJVII
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass this brew was as dark as night and as thick as used motor oil with a thick 3 finger milk chocolate head. The aroma is bold with burnt malt, coffee, caramel and dried fruits. The taste is exactly that creamy dark malts along with strong sweetness that is almost overpowering and a lingering raisin and plum taste. Aftertaste is strong and on the burnt side of things. A little disappointing, however a decent strong brew. Likely to cellar two and pass one along to a friend from my four pack.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I didn't even know that Leinenkugel made a Russian Imperial Stout, so I was pretty surprised to see this at the local Kroger. There was no price tag so the cashier sold it for 6 bucks for a four pack. I'm guessing that was a good price, appears pitch black in body. Large tan head forms thick velvet texture, I like the cascading effect as this one dwindles. Fine speckled lacing is even around the entire glass. Aroma has some dark ripened fruit notes hints of cherry/raisin notes. Roasted malts with a touch of soy sauce/anise like notes. Dark roasted malt brings in hints of chocolate and coffee but these noted don't stand out as much as other features I mentioned. Alcohol plays a pretty big factor in the nose here, I can really smell the booze in this one. Flavor has a tart cherry/raisin sweetness wrapped in dark chocolate dry alcoholic finish with dark nearly burnt roasted malts. Body is somewhat thin for the style alcohol is a bit too prominent on the palate, it hits with dark roasted malt and ripened fruit notes finishes a bit boozey. Drinkability overall is one and done type of pseudo craft, this is a good representation of the style I just think it would do better with some age I have three left, I'll update my reviews accordingly.

Photo of malty
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours into my stemmed tulip glass a pitch black with a settled enormous 2.5" fluffy beige head. Thick, ropey dripping beighe rings of lace all the way down.

Smells like burnt fudge brownies with a chaser of booze. Also, this ale smells just like a fresh brown paper bag at the grocery store checkout. Seriously. Have you ever separated a few bags from the stack and got a good whiff? That's exactly what I smell here. Weird, I know.

Big time leather and burnt dark malts. The alcohol is a bit abrasive, but I am getting a few notes of hop spiciness. The major charred elements eventually intertwine with the hoppiness quite nicely, but the boozy edges are a bit much to ignore. Strong black coffee commands a firm stance, albeit a bit faded.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Full bodied and a perfect level of fine and kinda perky carbonation make this slick and oily textured beast a bit fun to explore. The finish is charred, burnt, warm and a little chalky.

Drinkability is a little waning compared to other RIS I've had the pleasure to savor over the years.

Overall this beer seems a bit too raw and edgy. It does have huge elements of dark, charred, roasted malts with a fudgy backdrop, but the alcohol erodes these otherwise welcomed flavors. This beer just seems to collide with itself, rather than working in somewhat of a harmonious experience. I'm going to cellar the remaining (3) 12 oz. bottles and see how age might mellow this bustling beast.

Photo of AllFineThings
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very black with a quarter inch head that dissipates to a wisp quickly.

Smell is of raisin, coffee, chocolate and more.

Tastes like a russian imperial like the nose, pretty complex.

For the ABV, it is a very good drinker--and to think Leine created this--very cool!

Photo of theycallmedoc
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A= dark , dark, dark. love the color. can't see through it at all. head was real big when poured into a pint glass but really minimal when poured into a wine glass.


S= chocolate right off the bat with a little bit of caramel and a hint of coffee. very malty.

T= malty, chocolately, almost smoky. alcohol

M= Body is full but not overwhelming considering how dark it is. Nice carbonation not too in your face, very smooth.

D= I'm already on to my second bottle.

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

I'm reviewing this based on the thought of Leine releasing an IRS this late in the general IRS game and how it might match up against the others.

Pours a jet black with a nice, brown head on it thats about a half inch thick.

Slight coffee and chocolate greet the nose at first. Some nut gives way after a little bit.

Taste is sweet, definitely big on the chocolate. The roasted chocolate malt comes through nicely. More hazelnut is present in the taste. Its got a lot of flavor and is very malty.

This beer is smooth. I thought with as much head that it had that it might be a little on the carbonated, harsher on the tongue side but its not. It's really a nicely done beer.

To be honest, when I first heard of this beer I thought that Leine was trying to run with the big boys and really had no reason to try an IRS. I feel that they landed in the middle of the spectrum though. Not a bad attempt and its a pretty decent brew.

Photo of budgood1
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours out an opaque jet black colour with a pretty frothy dark tan head. lots of stickiness and lace. aroma of yeast and ripe red fruit...think milky way candy bar. taste is pretty nice for an RIS...plenty of dark chocolate and toffee with yeasty notes complimenting the nut and nougat notes. some faint fruitcake nuances but mostly a no nonsense flavour profile leaning heavily on classi stout-like flavours such as cocoa, anise and caramel. some booze and spice with a noticeable floral hop enhancement make this a pretty respectable RIS. it has the slightest of hop bite at the end to nicely balance the rich maltiness present. love the body...about perfect with a soft and supple velvety mouthfeel that compliments everything quite nicely. drinkability is also pretty damn nice because it just goes down smoothly and without much fanfare.

i liked this offering and respectable stab at the style from a brewery with a reputation at some pretty entry level concoctions. it's decent, solid and enjoyable. recommended.

Photo of drewd
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A little thin for an imperial stout, but considering this is 9.5 ABV, rather drinkable. Not too boozy, just a bit of a warming feel after awhile. Finish is a bit charred, almost oaken, with caramel and toffee notes up-front. They say there are 3 types of hops, but I couldn't really discern any. Not usually into Leinenkugel, but a friend left this at my house, and it's a surprisingly decent & drinkable not-too-imperial Imperial Stout.

Photo of zeff80
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, tan head of foam. It left some nice sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of chocolate, toffee, caramel and some molasses. There was a mild floral presence, too.

T - Much like the aroma with chocolate, caramel, molasses and toffee. Just enough bitterness to add some balance.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied stout with a dry finish.

D - This is a fine imperial stout but not a great one. Pretty good considering most of Leinie's other offering are average.

Photo of Pellinore1
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep brown, nearly black into a pint glass, leaving about a finger of brown head. This fades slowly, leaving some lacing.

Smells of sweet, roasty malts, molasses, caramel, and a bit of chocolate.

Opens with big roastiness, then moves to an almost cloying sweetness. The finish is bitter, and a little messy.

This is a thick beer, with only just enough carbonation to keep from seeming syrupy.

The ABV is reasonably well concealed, which helps the drinkability. On the other hand, it just doesn't taste good enough for me to want another.

Photo of donteatpoop
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On first try I wasn't impressed by this beer, but then I'd been a little toasted already when I tried it. So I gave it another go. Glad I did.

Deep chocolate in color with a thin head the color of coaoca foam.

Roasted malt hits the nose, underlying notes of coffee and toasty bready aromas.

Nice upfront taste of semi-sweet chocolate, raisins, and a light dry hop character.

Excellent beer, a bit thinner than is typical of the style but it doesn't really take away from anything.

Very well done. I've often felt that Leinenkugel's is an underestimated brewery.

Photo of ElGrecoVerde
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look:
Dark dark purple/brown. Thick tan head with large bubbles.

Smell:
Cocoa and dark fruits. Hint of roasted coffee.

Taste:
Dark fruits, especially plum. Semi sweet chocolate. Creamy espresso and lightly roasted grains. Hints of grapefruit provide light bitterness. Not as intense as other RIS's but the flavors stand out more as it warms.

Feel:
Silky smooth, good carbonation.

Seems they stayed inside the box on this one. Still very good, not quite great.

Photo of lester619
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep, jet-back syrupy pour. Three inch dark brown head that looks like it could be used for a hockey puck. Deep burnt roasted malts, dark chocolate and expresso smell. There is a little bit of alcohol in there, but is hidden pretty well for the most part. The smell is the taste at first. Gradually the roasted malt and coffee taste melds into some molases and slight spicy or herbal notes. Licorice/anice, maybe even some faint cinamon or nutmeg flavors. Hard to nail down. It finishes with more roasted malt/ burnt wood flavors, and a fair amount of bitter hoppy bite. The 10% alcohol is in there, but pretty far in the background. Very thick and chewy mouthfeel. It's like pudding it's so thick. I had no idea Leine's made beer like this. For the most part they make decent, drinkable, but mostly boring beers. This is way beyond anything I thought they would come out with.

Photo of Yesac
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours jet black in color, medium sized tan chocolate colored head.

S- roasted malt, molasses, hint of dark fuit.

T- Big roasted malt nose followed by a huge chocolate middle. Hints of molasses and sweet honey carry it through the finish which has hints of dark liquorish. Full flavors here, very dynamic and a real pleasure each sip. The ABV of 9.5% is very well hidden.

M- Not to dry or sticky. Excellent coating on the palate, a great medium/low level of carbonation.

D- An overall true pleasure of a RIS experience. Full body, full flavor, well hidden ABV, awesome mouthfeel. Great job on this one.

Photo of cdkrenz
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a 24 ounce snifter this beer is beautiful! Dark, dark brown body under a 3/8 inch medium to dark brown head with very nice stamina. Eddy has the look.

S - Tart woody and chocolate aromas with accents of plum and molasses.

T - Long roasted malt, subtle coffee i the middle and soft chocolate in the end. The finish is slightly smokey.

M - Slightly coarse on the tip of my tongue and roof of my mouth. It goes down slowly as it seems to stick to the interior of my mouth.

~ This is a quite a bit more than I expected from Leinenkugel's. This is a very good beer that has the ability to really make its mark in a world of stouts that have a strong following. I've always been a fan of the brewery from Chippewa Fall but never expected them to brew a beer with this kind of character. Cheers.

Photo of Lukafer
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Alleykatking

Pours black, with two fingers dark tan head.  Smells like roasted malts, slight coffee, slight alcohol.  Tastes are dark chocolate, slight dark fruits, bitter yet sweet finish.  Good, not great but good. I wasn't really expecting much so this was a nice surprise.

Photo of optimistictour
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So, wow. I didn't expect to find this from Leinenkugel's. Saw it on the shelf, did a double take, and promptly wrote myself a note to try it next time I was at the store. In the meantime a friend picked up a 4 pack and insisted I try it too. Sold.

Despite my weariness at Leine's doing such a craft-specialty style, fearing a botched effort has turned out to be a misguided thought. This isn't the best RIS I've ever had (it's sort of my absolute favorite style) but it's a remarkably solid effort.

Looks like an RIS should: thick black pour, absolutely no light penetration, a solid but not-too-voluminous head, and lacing all down the glass as it's drank. Nothing above the call of duty, though.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, smokiness, and just the slightest whisper of fruity sweet/tartness. The only problem is it's not a strong, solid smell; it's nothing you can really grasp and point to as a strength when recommending the beer, but it doesn't mislead.

Tastes, honestly, like an entryway RIS. Not that it's "entry level" in any sort of quality heirarchy - far from it in fact - but that it's super easy to get a handle on, to take in and fully appreciate across the spectrum of flavor it affords. It's inviting, evoking the proper coffee and dark chocolate bitterness, an appealing never-harsh malt character, and even "balanced" (you could say) with a sweetness of apples or oranges, something you'd find in a summer ale maybe. It's odd for an RIS but to me works just fine.

Mouthfeel is fine. It's got virtually no edge despite the 9.5% abv and simple fact that it is an RIS. Like I said with taste, it's an inviting beer. It's a comforting, almost pillowy feel, not nearly as oil-heavy as some of the hard hitters of this type.

Again, this is a truly welcoming experience. I'm already quite a fan of this breed but I imagine it being a solid introduction for friends and family I may want to share in the RIS love. There is basically no indication of the abv other than suddenly realizing a buzz after a couple of these - it's rare to find something early 10% without much of an up-front alcohol sensation.

So basically if you're a fan of RIS's then try it out. If you're curious about the type, most definitely try this out. If you just want to be surprised at what Leinenkugal can apparently do, just grab a 4 pack. It's worth it.

Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 1,145 ratings.