Big Eddy Imperial IPA | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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Big Eddy Imperial IPABig Eddy Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerBelcher on 03-12-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 473
Photo of Skotrat
5/5  rDev +33%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My Dear God...

What a fantastic offering by Leinies.

Rich malt and hop aroma. Huge hop flavor and excellent residual sweetness to back up all the hops. Medium Carb and Ruby in color.

I certainly wish that Leinies continues the Big Eddy series.

Great Offering!


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Photo of laynerjohnson
4.89/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Draught is impeccable. Bottle is average (3.5).

ABV differs 0.7% between draught and bottle, but dramatically effects the experience and balance of the brew. Higher ABV on draught (9.6%) brings out a complexity (+ more mango) that is lacking in bottle (8.9%). Bottle renders tart.

When poured, a gorgeous beer both ways.

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Photo of milljs
4.75/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance – Brilliantly clear, apricot orange to amber with tight off white foam crown that quickly dissipates. Very little to no carbonation visible in the snifter. Aroma – Spicy, hoppy, and complex. Hop notes of floral, pine, and citrus. Fresh green wildflowers, pinecones, and tangerine. Taste –Big complex hops from the aroma come thru on the taste, with more fruit. Resinous, tropical, mango, pineapple….MMMM I love citra hops. But also pine and maybe some hibiscus. Extremely complex hop taste. A floral freshness. But definitely a subtle but present malt sweetness. Honey toast. Also subtle citrus fruit, like a candied orange peel. Mouthfeel – Medium to full bodied. Creamy and complex Finish – creamy, bitter, and sweet all at once. Complex but not overwhelming. Delicious and a FANTASTIC Imperial IPA

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Photo of mynie
4.7/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at Roman's.

Pours a cherry red and crayon orange with a very nice, sticky white head.

Smells of Double Hop. Big Citrus, huge pine, and giant gooey malt.

Tastes like wow. Perfect hop comobo, giant citrus against giant pine against a huge syrupy bready yeasty malt background.

I was all set to diss on this beer but I'm afraid I cannot. It's just too damn good.

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Photo of badbeer
4.68/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been fortunate enough to try this on more than one occasion, first on-tap, second on cask. Pours a magnificent amber color with a creamy white head leaving rings of lacing around the glass. Smell is incredibly hoppy, full of citrus and grapefruit which dominates, but still shows signs of a solid malt base. It's certainly got plenty of bitterness, not as many as some DIPA's, but it definitely doesn't lack hop flavor. Mouthfeel was medium to full bodied with really soft amounts of carbonation. Very drinkable beer; Leinie's still has the capability to produce amazing beers.

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Photo of challenja
4.63/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle drank straight from the neck then to the Dogfish Head Pint glass for further inspection.

A: Dark amber orange. Thick cloudy appearance with light carbonation. It has a really nice thin white froth head that is resilient sip after mouthwatering sip. Well done.

S: Brown sugar malts jump off first. Sweet nectarines, blood orange, rose pedals. This is full of sweet hop varietals, 5 in total, with Warrior and Chinook hops springing forth through the crowd. No real trace of pine which you get with almost all double IPA's..strange.. but hey its all good.

T: This is a slightly spicier Lagunitas Brown Sugga clone. This has more malts, spice box, and peppery flourish than most DIPA's. This beer is coated with loads of residual sugar and tangerine fruit.

M: Creamy, smooth, full bodied deliciousness. A really well rounded chewy mouthfeel. NICE

O: This is my second Big Eddy series from Leinenkugel, there other being one of my top 5 stouts Their Oak Barreled Russian Imperial Bourbon Stout, and let me say DAMN GOOD JOB!

nothing else to report but this BUY THIS BEER...put your regular good old boys down and GET THIS NOW... you will thank me and your tastebuds later..

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.62/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Imperial IPA 2013 has a very thick, yellowish-colored head, a semi-hazy, deep copper appearance, bubble streams, and some lacing left on the glass. Aroma is of rather intense and full barley malt and especially hop resins. Taste is of that, with caramel, sugar, hop resin, and some bitterness, but one would not guess at an 80 IBU. Mouthfeel is mostly heavy, and Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Imperial IPA 2013 finishes mostly dry, rich, and sip-able. Overall, this is delightful and so well made.


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Photo of Beertron
4.57/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drove 150 miles with the sole purpose of sampling this beer. This is sad since I own a bar in the brewery's hometown. They would not, no matter how much we whined, sell us a keg. Twice, I drank it on draft and had more than a person should. However, the review is based upon a rare bottle procured by CFBeermaker, who happens to play golf regularly with one of the "higher-ups" at Leinie's. Poured into a plain ol' pint glass.

A - 1 1/2" frothy white head. Copper colored with tons of bubbles. A healthy-looking DIPA.

S - Strong pine needle hops with a prominent blast of the tartest of citrus fruits -- grapefruit and yuzu. The scent also maintains a strong, pleasant mustiness, providing for an overall beautiful scent.

T - Drying and pine-like. There is a heavy dose of grapefruit and pine in the profile, but it's backed up by a wonderful malty sweetness. The mustiness detected in the nose comes through slowly to the point of perfection. This is one of the better beers I've ever had.

M - For a DIPA, a style well-known for being tasty yet unpleasant on the tongue, this is smooth. All of the pine and tart citrus flavors are kept in balance by the malty sweetness and unusual mustiness. This is drying and supplying, making my mouth want more and more. There is a quality about this beer that reminds me of toothpaste that doesn't suck. It makes your mouth feel better for having been introduced.

D - A double-edged sword if there ever was one...this beer is so good that you'll want to drink a lot of it, but that's not the healthiest decision. For the record, the first night I drank this beer, I had over 10 pints. The next morning, I drove the porcelain bus home. I still feel that it was worth it.

O - Holy crap!!! That Leinie's made this beer is nothing shy of a miracle. This is a DIPA that's extremely bold but even more extremely balanced. Hopslam remains one of my all-time favorite DIPA's but this should be in a different category altogether. Leinie's tagline has long been the "Flavor of the Northwoods" yet this is the first beer I've ever had that nails that statement to the wall (or rather, scribbles it in wet cement). I'm thoroughly impressed!

F - This beer would do really well with two styles of food, both of which provide the strongest of flavors capable of standing up to the bold profile of this giant. First, strong, tangy cheeses. Not tangy like chevre, but tangy like Morbier or Hook's 10-year cheddar. Second, deep smoked fish -- a la trout or salmon. Otherwise, this beer will kill anything in its path, even the spicy tomato-based dishes that normally play well with DIPAs.

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Photo of logansboat15
4.53/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

While sampling at the Blessing of the Bock event at Milwaukee's Serb Hall, the most surprising and excellent beer was on tap at the Leinenkugel booth. Dick Leinenkugel was on hand fielding questions as he handed me a glass of Big Eddy Imperial IPA. What I tasted was easily the finest Imperial IPA that I've had to date. This beer is far and away the best and most complex offering that I've tasted from Leinies. Big Eddy poured a deep orange-gold and smelled strongly of hops and pine. I knew then that this was a beer uncharacteristic of the brewery. The deep hoppiness and sweet grapefruit flavors came through in an intense rush. Mouthfeel was full as should be expected in such a big beer. At nearly 9% ABV, this is not your grandpa's weeknight swill water. Drink responsibly. This aggressive brew will go well with spicy Indian, Thai or Mexican food. I told Dick Leinenkugel that this beer is worthy of bottling for widespread distribution.

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Photo of ChimRichels
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Crystal clear copper color rests beneath a gentle finger's thickness of off-white head. Not a speck of haze in this one. Lacing is there, about what you'd expect for a 9% beer.

S - The aroma permeated the surrounding area almost the instant the cap was cracked open. Very resinous and pine/cedar heavy. The longer it sits, the more it begins to smell like a big juicy ruby-red grapefruit. Interesting aroma development.

T - Just a really great DIPA. The tangy zing of the resinous hops is in your face, but the body holds its own. A solid caramel malt base prevents it from turning into an all-out hop-assault. However, the hops reign supreme here, as they should. The grapefruit pith develops the longer I sip on it, much like the aroma.

M- Very complimentary to the delicate subtleties hiding in this beer, the mild carbonation and rich body provide the perfect canvas for a portrait of a hop bouquet.

O - I loved this beer, much like the other big eddy offerings. It's nice to see Leine's flex their muscles a bit. Slap a Russian River label on this beer and it would be rated in the top 10 DIPAs on this site. But that discussion we can save for later...

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Photo of Strix
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear orange-amber, nice lacing.

Big pine and grapefruit blast in the nose.

Malty and sweet, then orange peel, grapefruit, lemon, pine, and a touch of alcohol in the finish. Nice balance - a hop bite, but it's not palate-obliterating.

Mouthfeel smooth, fairly bubbly.

This disappeared quickly. The Big Eddy series is like a completely different brewery, their Imperial Stout was also surprisingly delicious. Lenie's needs to unleash this power and keep making this series because these are the types of beers they can be proud of. Are you listening?

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this a few years ago. From my notes:

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Semi-opaque orange appearance.

Nice off-white head; nice lace.

Nice floral hop aroma. Orange is the dominant smell.

Pleasant orange peel flavor. The hops hit you on the back end with a nice bite. Alcohol is fairly well hidden. This is a real nice IPA, easy to drink but packed with flavor. I'd have another, no question.

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Photo of russpowell
4.45/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber/orange with 2 fingers of cream colored head. Below average head retention & lacing

S: Pineyness, pineapple, passion fruit, & ruby red grapefruit; stellar nose!

T: Grapefruit, pineyness, pineapple, dryness & a touch of breadyness up front. Big pineyness, grapefruit, a kiss of booze warmth as this beer warms. Finishes grapefruitty, piney, with a bit of pineapple & woody dryness

MF: Medium/heavy bodied, firm carbonation, very good balance

Super DIPA, this blows away every other Leine beer I've ever had by leaps & bounds, well done!

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Photo of Gotti311
4.4/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

I feel at this time I can pretty much try any beer without a preconceptions. But I would be lying if there wasn’t something deep in my brain that had some questions before I popped this bottle open.

Any thoughts deep within my subconscious were immediately drowned out by this really amazing offering from Leinies. The nose is a dense cluster of citrus. I have had a few one note citrus IIPA's recently and I crave complexity. The nose has a number of distinct notes, grapefruit, slight orange, and maybe even a more pungent lemon. The smell carries almost perfectly over into the first part of the taste, which is actually pretty rare now that I think about it. Most beers tend to move on to other flavors, but I am glad this one let me really think about that citrusy nose. The flavors hang for some time before a really nice dank mouth rounds out the mouthfeel. God I love dank beers and this one isn't insanely dank, but still very forward.

If I am going to nitpick this brew, I think it could have handled almost a whole extra percent of ABV. I think the bottle said 8.2% and I wouldn’t have minded it sitting in the mid to low 9's. But that is really nitpicking.

Bravo to the brewers up in Chippewa Falls and their Big Eddy Series. Glad the folks down in Milwaukee let you off your leash because you are accomplishing some great things.

A side note - I refuse to rate appearance so every beer gets the same score as overall. Smell and taste are the only things that truly matter when rating a beer.

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Photo of ZAP
4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Burnt orange color....nice white lace on the glass..

S-Aroma of sweet, sticky fruits...sugars...a light floral dimension..

T-A real nice tropical fruitiness to this....mangos, papaya, pineapple...along with peaches and nectarines...

M- I'd call it full bodied but not immense...a nice drinker...Biit of a syrupy texture but ABV is only 8.2%...still a little sticky on the finish from the sweet fruitiness...finally some drying bitterness enters but only on the long fade.

O-Wow! What fantastic DIPA....they use some of my favorite hops and I guess I should not be surprised with the outcome....Warrior..check.... Cascade...check... Simcoe...check....Amarillo...check... Citra...check....Might be my five favorite hops or close to it...4 pack for about $10...decent price and hell of a beer...I will buy more....would love to blind taste this with the big hitters...thinking it is slightly off the mark with the heavies but who knows?

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Photo of BDIMike
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a great looking light brown color. A bit of cloudiness and almost thickness to the look of this beer. Not a lot of carbonation though, just a thin, lace-like, white head.
Aroma is of incredibly fresh hops. Dominated by very piney and earthy hop smells. A good amount of alcohol and spice as well.
Taste has a lot of nice things going on. A slight malt base, but great earthy and piney hops dominate this beer. A good alcohol taste actually adds balance to the beer.
Mouthfeel has a nice smooth thickness that goes down easy.
Drinkability is nice on this beer. A very Earthy IPA that has all the tastes one would want in a beer.

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Photo of jj21
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in the Horse & Plow in Kohler, WI
This is the first in a series (the second rumored to be an Imperial Stout!!!) from Leinenkugel's premium line "Big Eddy" named after the natural spring that provides water for the Chipewa Falls brewery.

Pours clear orange with creams off-white head. decent carbonation. It's surprisingly clear and not what I expected. Aromas that I never anticipated being a Leinenkugel product (I said that phrase a lot while tasting this). Grapefruit aromas were present the moment the tap was opened. A real delight! Caramel malts are also very present and balance the hops (Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe and Amarillo) well and help hide the 8.9% alcohol in the aroma as well as the taste. Piney hop flavors are more present here than on the nose. Very warming. Went down very well on a sub-freezing April day in Wisconsin, but I don't see having more than one or two at a time.

My fear is that people will see this thinking "Oh, it's a Leinie product, I'll try that" expecting something tame. This is anything but tame and I hope any bad feedback to the brewery is taken with a grain of salt. I tip my hat to them for going out on a limb and trying something out of their normal range and doing it so well. Now, about that Summer Shandy...;)

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Photo of KevyKevNasty
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was skeptical when I thought about trying the Big Eddy Imperial IPA, as Leinenkugel has let me down so many times. This, however, was not the typical experience I usually have with a new Leinie. This Imperial IPA is packed with hops but does not let the smoothness hide beneath the bite. Very well-balanced flavor complement a great aroma and a head I usually only see with darker ales. Nice work Leinenkugal.

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Photo of OliverBlaze
4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Leinies has really done it this time. Living only 10 minutes away from this brewery, I was excited to hear that they would be releasing an IPA. As soon as I spotted it on the shelves of my local store, I snatched it right up. From the bottle it had a surprisingly fruity taste, distinct hop presence, along with a strong malt backside. Leinenkugel's does an excellent job of masking the sturdy 8.2% alcohol content as the beer tastes delicious. Each sip encourages the next and soon you are wishing that this was available in more than a four pack. My only beef is the ritzy price tag. Nonetheless a great brew. Go get it.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.32/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Leinenkugel's Big Eddy Imperial IPA, 2012. Five distinctive hops are added to every stage of the brewing process for our take on an Imperial IPA. 9% ALC./VOL.

Clear and luminescent, cast in glowing amber, edging on crimson, under a tight, but firm and lasting creamy, off-white head. Looks great.

Bright and bountiful aromatics, ripe fruit, assertive bitterness, but not raw or unbridled. Orange and lime, under apple and caramel.

Taste: bitter spank of hops begins right at first sip, slaps the palate up, and slinks down the throat. Juicy malt profile, plenty of ballast and balance, while the hops shine through. Would be very interested to know which hops are involved in this, but I'm they indeed are distinctive. And delicious. And just bitter enough.

Big Eddy Imperial IPA is a class act. Not too anything, not overblown in any direction, with the high alcohol revealing itself at last, but remaining a minor fact in the enjoyment of this ale. The fierce hop action at the top relents some, mellows out a little, but never truly fades. A hint of sweetness is revealed in the middle, quickly overturned by more bitterness.

A continual treat. I'll be stocking up on this one.

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Photo of murrayswine
4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gifted a growler from a true friend who chose to remain anonymous! Poured a dark pumpkin/amber into my pint glass with a light head, and little lacing.

The nose a sharp and floral with a brutal pickled hopped up back end nose. A lot of lemon citrus, with a salty, piney astringancy Holy shite this beer is pretty damn big!

The taste is excedingly strong hops all up front, floral and pineappley, with a slight nutty finish, all in all, this beer is so frickin hoppy I am having trouble getting more out of it.

Waiting a bit, I am getting a bit of caraway, rich and thick in mouthfeel, this beer masks it's alcohol well. Slight harsh on the finish, but hey, it's a double.

On a side note, one of my good customers is the brew master of the 10th street pilot house (Leinies brew lab), when he told me what it took to make this beer, let alone the ...RIS to come...

Exciting shit my friends.

If your lucky to try it, it's a damn fine beer.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: It pours brilliant amber with a slight red hue under a 3” cream colored foam collar that dissipates to a thick film while hugging the side of the glass.
S: Complex hop aromas with citrus, grass, resin and pine.
T: Starts bold with big malt flavors that suggest cola, anise and citrus when they hit the hops. Lingering hop bitterness on the finish is mellowed by rich malt flavors.
F: Big luscious body with medium low carbonation.
O: Everything is big and above average on the palate but surprisingly in balance that knocks off any harsh or sharp edges.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz.

Pours a deep amber gold with an off-white film for a head.

Smells of honey, floral and pine hops, and grapefruit.

Tastes of honey, orange citrus, piney hops, grapefruit, and rich bready malts. The hops are flavorful but not overly bitter.

Full, slightly syrupy body with prickly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

This is a really good, flavorful double IPA. Hits all the right notes and is very tasty. Doesn't do anything daring, but does the stuff it's supposed to well. I'd drink this often.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.24/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a 13 oz tulip, best by July 2014. Pours a dark orange with a half inch white head, that leaves behind a few webs of lace.

Smell is mango, papaya, passion fruit, watermelon hard candy, and some grapefruit.

Taste is follows the nose nicely, loads of mango and other tropical flavors, a bit sweet, and grapefruit hangs on the tongue awhile after.

Body is large, plenty of life, a little dry, and easy drinking.

Overall this is the 3rd one of the Eddy Series I have had and they are all really solid beers. I am very impressed with this brew.

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4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best IPA I have had in a while. It even aged well in my basement at 56 degrees. Big hop smack in the buds and smooth finish.
I have it on good inside information that this beer will be back in stores in the fall of 2011. Get your taste buds rested up.

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Big Eddy Imperial IPA from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 473 ratings.
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