Big Eddy Imperial IPA | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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Big Eddy Imperial IPABig Eddy Imperial IPA
473 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 473 |  Reviews: 125
Photo of MaxOfMetal
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

Photo of millelacsmark
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of jera1350
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light amber colored with a sticky head of sand colored foam.

Lots of fresh hops in the nose that offer up pine, citrus and grassy notes.

Lots of hoppy goodness, but with a lower bitterness. Complex hop flavor with some pine, citrus and grass flavors coming through. Solid malt sweetness without much but a trace of alcohol.

Smooth with lots of velvety carbonation and a pine resiny feel.

A very well done DIPA overall. The Big Eddy series have all been very good beers and this one is no exception.

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Photo of liamt07
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draught at HopCat, served in a tulip.

Ruby red body with a light offwhite head. Mild retention and OK lacing. Nose has a whole bunch of fruit juice, resin and piney hop notes. Substantial malt component, but the hops are still quite bright. Tastes of sweet cranberry juice (no tartness that is), complemented by a mix of tropical and citrus notes. Moderate bitterness, but a good bit of malt sweetness. Medium heavy body, medium carbonation. A really interesting IIPA, something I'd love to have again.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Big Eddy snifter.
9% ABV, 2012, OCT1612 (Best By date printed on neck in yellow).

A - Gorgeous clear rusted amber in color, Leinie's sure knows how to make sexy-looking beer! A dense ivory head shrinks down slowly, caking the snifter in delicate lacing.

S - Strong maltiness elevates this imperial IPA to it's hefty 9% and, in true Wisconsin-style, really balanced the otherwise big hop aroma. Lots of earthy hops emerge almost secondary in nature; pine, oak chip...grapefruit, pineapple, and mango fruitiness linger towards the background. Decidedly malty, there's quite a bit of dense breadiness and biscuit in here. Mild alcohol is barely noticeable.

T - The bold malt aroma comes to a grinding halt and startles with it's lack of presence by comparison. Caramel cube and toffee sliver accompany toasted biscuit in a nice way while balanced hops pull through in the back end. Earthiness and resiny pine needle overcome the delicate fruity undertones displayed here.

M - Like the flavor, the malt's surprising lack of presence when compared to the aroma, leads to this beer feeling quite a bit thinner than one might initially assume. Aided by thinning alcohol and dry hops, Big Eddy Imperial IPA rounds out to be medium-bodied. Dry and resiny, there's a nicely balanced, smooth pine bitterness on the finish; don't expect gripping and assertive.

O - Leinie's follows suit with so many mid-western breweries and produced Big Eddy Imperial IPA with a lot of balance. For 9%, the alcohol is nearly unnoticeable. But it doesn't truly feel like and imperial IPA to me; it lacks that really strong blast of hops. Don't get me wrong, hops are there, they just aren't assertive. Maybe there's too much competition between the varieties or unique additions. Regardless, Big Eddy Imperial IPA's hoppy undertones meld nicely with the tasty maltiness for an incredibly drinkable, deceptively strong imperial IPA.

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Photo of lm0406910
5/5  rDev +34.8%

Photo of milljs
4.75/5  rDev +28%
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 aasher
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the first bottle I've seen of the new release for the summer of 2012. The label states that it is 9.0% abv.

This beer pours a light bodied bright amber in color with a soapy half finger head. The head quickly turned to a light lacing around the glass. The nose is big and pretty malt forward. There is a moderate amount of piney hops and a light bitterness. Cold, the alcohol isn't present in the nose. The flavors too are malt forward. It's piney with moderate bitterness. All in all, on the sweet side for a DIPA. There is a touch of alcohol as well. It drinks light in body and there is some residual sugar but I wouldn't say it's necessarily "sticky". Overall this is a decent beer but compared to all of the other DIPAs in the Midwest it can't really compete.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
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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Photo of kmeves
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is by far the best product ever to have the Leinenkugel name associated with it. Nice orange amber color, very piney aroma. Grapefruit flavor with a decent amount of carmel sweetness.
Medium mouthfeel, not as bitter of a finish as one might expect.

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Photo of Sammy
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Limited handbottle sent from Murrayswine, quickly and fresh. One of the smoothest DIPAs I have tried. Just great bitterness, and tasted and looked as if off the tap. Creamy mouthfeel and soft carbonation was purrfect. C-hop aroma. Orange and grapefruit. I could have drank this all night.

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Photo of Beertron
4.57/5  rDev +23.2%
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 adfenton
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I think the words of my girlfriend sum this up quite nicely:
"Wait. Leinenkugels makes a beer this good?"

Honestly put, I was completely blown away by this beer. It tasted of careful construction and care.

While not a higher peak on the IPA mountain, this beer most assuredly is a base camp in which I'd love to spend a week.

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Photo of Skotrat
5/5  rDev +34.8%
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 Atron67
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Very big off-white head with a carmel colored body. The head lasted forever thou didnt leave much lacing
S- piney sticky hops and lots of it, a little malt, very nice
T- pretty strongly malty which turns into a heavy cascadey hop flavor with lots of pine and resin tastes, can taste the alcohol on the way out however which is ok, but prolly more because of the really light carbonation.
M- slightly heavy body, very fine/light carbonation,
D- a good IPA, however i would like a stronger carbonation, although still very solid

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Photo of mynie
4.7/5  rDev +26.7%
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 +26.1%
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 Erdinger2003
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at a little out of the way place in Madison before moving on to FFF for Dark Lord Day.

The color is brown with an amber tint and a head that retains. The lacing is nice, leaving rings as you drink (unless you're drinking too fast). The aroma is so good, it's almost as if I am opening a hop cone and smelling it like Jim Koch. The smell is very floral with citrus hops that are prevelent, but also has a bit of a grassy hop taste in the finish. The flavor is very good, an explosion of great hops that are balanced nicely with a medium bodied base. Still on the lighter side of Double IPA's. The mouthfeel was a little overcarbonated, but still enjoyable. Overall I hope Leine's makes more of this great beer, very enjoyable and drinkable!!

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Photo of murrayswine
4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
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 logansboat15
4.53/5  rDev +22.1%
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 jj21
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
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 DaPeculierDane
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Goblet consumed at The Landmark 1850 Inn on Howell Ave. in Milwaukee.

Those who have been saying that this is somehow in the same league as Dreadnaught, Ruination, Hercules, etc… are dreadfully mistaken, but…this is good, very good.

Pours a bright copper-orange into the goblet with a thick white head on top.

Aroma is very fruity containing loads of grapefruit, lemon, and orange but also jammy berry aromas of strawberries, mulberries, and more. Floral hops are also present in a big way. All of this rests nicely over a fine base of caramel, biscuits, and toast.

Taste is also very fruity and juicy. Lots of citrus here but it doesn’t overpower the malt. I would say that this is pretty well balanced for a IIPA. There is a strong sweet caramel presence and plenty of bread to go around. Jammy sweet fruits and bitter/acidic citrus play off each other nicely. Floral and pine notes finish it off.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and pretty bitter, not to the degree of many west coast monsters but enough that you notice. As the beer warms booze becomes very noticeable, too noticeable in my opinion. It becomes difficult to finish by the end.

Drinkability: Moderate. Leinies fans and hop heads should find this very appealing and drinkable. I found it to be a bit too filling and boozy to drink more then one glass, and even that was pushing it.

This is a very good beer and for Leinie’s this is a great beer but this is no Dreadnaught despite what all the Leinie’s freaks are saying.

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Big Eddy Imperial IPA from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 473 ratings