Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

very good
488 Reviews
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Big Eddy Russian Imperial StoutBig Eddy Russian Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jj21 on 10-27-2007

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Reviews: 488 | Ratings: 1,279
4.53/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deeply, darkly, purely opaque blackness. Thick and syrupy. Head is two full fingers of carmel colored foam with nice staying power and a cloak of lace. Nose is very nice with dark chocolate covered cherries, raisens, carmalized malt and a decent balance of hops. Very attractive as you take first sip, roasty malts wrap nicely around the dark fruits. Syrupy chocolate glazes the tongue and the hopsbring about a slight soured bitter feel as you continue to drink. Dare I say "underrated". Electric on the mouthfeel as it begs for the nexy sip. Alchol is crazy well hidden. The lasting sour bitter twang is the only thing that smudges the drinkability only slightly. Very nice.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.53/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with some viscosity. Pitch black beer with a super dense crop of dark brown head. Retention is outstanding as is the lacing. Nose is really nice. Thick and rich. Ripe berries mix with anise oil and char and alcohol. This beer has a real oily texture, which I like in Imperial Stouts. Body is about medium-full or so and light on the carbonation. The flavor is quite rich as well, with dark chocolate and black licorice. Very nice flavor. This is a solid RIS. Best beer I've had from Jacob et al.

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Photo of getch
4.52/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a-dark color, with one finger of head, pours very smooth and nice. best pour beers

s-deep dark chocolate with a hint of fruit

t-very thick, but a chocolate taste with a fruit ending, it melts in the mouth
has a nice little kick with the 9.5 alcohol content!!

m-this is wonderful, like i said it melts in the mouth, and turns alittle foamy in the mouth.!

d-the best russian stout i have had, this is excellent!! the best beer i have had thus faR

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Photo of Nicknackpaddywack
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best micro-brewed in seasonal quantity high alcohol content export extra stout beer with year brewed on bottle neck band.

Perfect match to my favorite Cohiba XV [very strong] maduro torpedo cigar.

None of the tootie-fruity crap overly complex characteristics like Rasputin or other sissy girly Russian Imperial Stouts ranked much higher here by fags.

If you think you can jump off a big cornice, be a good guy special ops guy with immigrant taste buds & sinuses for strong cigars ... This beer's for YOU!

Since BeerAdvocate led the sheep review in 2007, I'd suggest a new updated review. Water, ingredients & process characteristics makes this the best "no nonsense" aftertaste export extra stout on the market!

Most amazing tiny & tight bubble-head on the market. THIS IS THE HARDCORE BEER FOR HARDCORE MADURO SMOKERS !!!

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Photo of GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: This one skulks out of the bottle a pure ebony. Quite viscous looking. Dark-cocoa tan colored head that comes in about 1 finger thick. This dissipates quickly and leaves specks of lace behind. Nice bubbly ring as well.

S: Huge nose of tangy dark fruit, roasted malt, black licorice, espresso, cherry, and bitter dark chocolate.

T: The taste follows the nose very closely. Also popping up are anise, bitter hops, black pepper, milk chocolate, a touch of alcohol, and various spices.

M: This one starts of with a small bitter dryness that is quickly overtaken by a big tangy sweetness that is followed by an espresso-like bitterness. Big, thick, creamy, oily, and sticky.

D: This beer is incredible! The flavors and aromas are so complex and enjoyable. I still can't believe it's made by the same folks who brought us "Summer Shandy".

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Photo of HESSLER500
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured nice and black. Smells of chocolate and fruit notes. Mouth feel is a good balance between carbonation and that thick viscous feel; though i think a wee bit more of the carbonation than i like. Taste is refreshing on a hot day; notes of chocolate and fruit just like the smell. Overall, as one who really steers towards RIS's, this one is a winner. I feel this is more drinkable then Rasputin and a few others as their is more flavor overall. An excellent brew; will keep this one on the top 10 of my favorite RIS's.

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Photo of blackcompg
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from their 12oz bottle into my 12oz glass

Appearance - Poured a finger of cinnamon brown head, color is an opaque deep mahogany to an almost red/black. Beautiful thick brown lacing covering the entire glass when finished. *only other time I've seen a head this color is with FBS.

Smell - Molasses, dark fruits, roast/smoke, and dark cherries.

Taste - Oh my goodness, this is delicious! Starts out with liquid smoke & molasses, then quickly goes to ripe dark fruits, semi-sweet soy sauce, a burst of dark cherries, hint of black coffee, then some drying roasted grains.

Mouthfeel - Medium+ mouthfeel, a smooth, creamy, mouthcoating beer. Carb is nearly medium but ends up feeling like silky smooth foam, not any crispness or edges here.

Overall - Perhaps I'm a bit biased here, but I LOVE all of the flavors in this beer, especially they way they are combined. I find this beer complex and very well balanced, and actually has notes of sweet, salty, sour, bitter and dry all in one beer. I will ALWAYS have this beer in my fridge, for as long as it's available. Two thumbs way up for me, can't believe this is Leinies! It certainly isn't the Leinie's price either, but well worth it in my opinion.

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Photo of jera1350
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unknown vintage; drank 9/9/15 on draft @ Fischman's.

Black appearance.

Dark khaki head; strong lace.

Cognac, blackberry & dark chocolate notes in the nose.

Medium thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Blackberry, bakers chocolate & red wine flavors; no booze heat. Fruity & very tasty.

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Photo of brewbucker
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted on Nov 8, 2007. Bottle. Finally got some of this. WOW!! This is some thick stuff. Pours black with a small dark tan head and sticky lacing. Aroma is rich malt, licorice, medicinal ripe fruits. Flavor is chalky smokey malts, cocoa, molasses, licorice, and faint hops. Mouthfeel is thick and velvety. Thank you Leinenkugels for brewing a beer that drinkers can sink their teeth into. Don't be afraid to brew more big beers. You are now off of my shit list. ; )

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an opaque black color. The head is a half inch of tan foam that recedes quickly into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is of roasted malt, alcohol, cocoa, and hops. The taste is similar with tons of roasted malt, and a bitterness that is firm but not over the top. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a velvety texture, and appropriately low carbonation. Overall, this is a very good beer that I will drink many more times in the future.

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Photo of Strix
4.46/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Steve's on Mineral Point in Madison, WI. 1/4/08


Pours like motor oil, and is as transparent as motor oil, with a head the color of chocolate milk.

Smell is of coffee and roastedness with a hint of blackberries.

Tastes of roasted malts, with hints of coffee, chocolate, and blackberries. A pleasant hoppy twang to the finish, complete with warming alcohol. But considering the abv, alcohol is relatively hidden. This is pretty well balanced, and has some complexity as the flavors change.

Mouthfeel is heavenly. Super smooth.

Drinkability on this is awesome. If I didn't know the abv, I'd have a few more right after this.

Please don't stop brewing these!

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Photo of challenja
4.46/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle consumed on my bed watching Californication. That is how we do on a Wednesday night.

A: Black as Serial Killers Heart. I mean I can't even see through this bastard when held up to the light. A mocha choco head that takes its sweet ass time to dissipate like a young girlfriend that won't leave your house.

S: Bourbon barrel, smoke hickory, dark chocolate malt, middle eastern coffee, juniper berries and cracked black pepper.

T: This is one smooth bourbon barrel brew. I mean quite impressive, the alcohol is nicely masked and plays well like a fine tuned quartet. You get that nice charcoal smoke, burnt barrel with dark chicory, molasses, bourbon malts, arabian coffee, but not the super strong kind, dark cocoa nibs with a nice alcohol juniper berry finish.

M: Yum, luscious, creamy, dense, and full bodied. Long lasting bourbon chicory finish that takes the alcohol down your throat where it stays there for the cops to find.

O: This is one epic stout, I mean Top 5 caliber. Definitely my number 1 bourbon barrel stout for sure. Grab your self a sixer and slowly enjoy and share with only the best of friends.

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Photo of jsh420
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours motor oil black with a 2+ finger mocha head that left lacing all down the glass

smells l lots of black licorice dark fruit and roasted malts

taste - wow this reminds me a ton of bells expedition with out the hot booze - big roasted chocolate roasted malt tons of black licorice and dark fruit malts - a very tasty RIS

mouthfeel - on the lighter side when compared to the other Big Stouts - medium full with good carbonation

overall - this beer is up there with the best - i just wish it would have hit shelves around me - maybe next year

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Photo of Longhorn22
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - I drank this beer straight out of the bottle, so it was hard to give a good review of its actual appearance, but it appeared to be dark with a bit of lacing, and it has a good looking bottle.

S - This beer smelled much sweeter than many stouts I have had, which generally tend to be more bitter. Again, being in a bottle it was a bit difficult to get a good smell, but I would actually compare this beer to a Cabernet Savignon wine in scent.

T - Holy cow, this beer is something special. I drank another beer right before this one, so although it is high alcohol content, I could hardly taste the alcohol. This beer tastes like a porter (my favorite kind of beer) and a Cabernet (my favorite kind of wine) had a wonderful baby together. It has all the complexity of wine, while still having the carbonation and body of a beer. I am going to go pick a few more bottles of this stuff up and give it a second test, but my recommendation is to drink something else before this one so that you don't get any of the alcohol flavor that other reviewers are complaining about.

M - This goes down pretty smooth, and actually has a good amount of drinkability compared to other heavy stouts and high ABV beers.

Overall - This is not a traditional imperial stout, but it is a darn good beer that really goes in a different direction than I have seen before. I personally loved this beer, and I will be trying to procure more bottles of it for the future.


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Photo of ISmith87
4.44/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this one a few times before but haven't gotten around to reviewing it until now.

A - 4.75 - This is a great looking beer. Finger of dark khaki/light brown head is really thick and lays on top of a very dark brown/black colored beer that's dark as night. Lacing is pretty good, but kind of sparse once you near the end of the glass.

S - 4.25 - Red wine, dark fruits, dark chocolate, espresso, not very in your face though.

T - 4.5 - Dark fruits, red wine, dark chocolate, coffee, espresso , roasted marshmallows, pretty dry. More milky, vanilla and creamy flavors as you keep drinking it.

M - 4.5 - It actually drinks kind of like red wine, leaving a dry, dark fruit flavor in your mouth. But It also leaves the roasty dark malt flavors of a stout. Alcohol is basically completely covered, The carbonation is nice and light.

O - 4.5 - The cool thing about this beer is the taste is so original, even within it's own genre. The big red wine flavor that it combines with Imperial Stout Flavors sets it apart. I'd include it in any Imperial Stout tasting to give some diversity to my line up.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color with a decent sized tan head, fades pretty quickly with hardly any lacing on the glass.

Smell has a nice strong roasted malt backing, decent dark fruit notes like dates and raisins, subtle chocolate hints.

Taste starts out with the roasted caramel malt, not as bitter as one might expect for as much as the roasted aspect was in the nose, in fact it's a touch sweet but doesn't come close to being cloying, dark fruit adds a nice complexity , body is nice and chewy, good viscosity, soft carbonation adds a smoothness.

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Photo of scot_chale
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- big fat black body, syrupy and thick looking during the pour, and a paper thin tan head that all but disappears.

S- chocolate, espresso malt. you have to get fairly close to it to get that out. dark bing cheeries are hiding in there too.

T- that is imperial. it's big. it's full bodied. it's bitter. it's coffee. i like. it's a goddamn attention grabber and i approve. that same dark cherry or blackberry fruit hint is there, but it's so subtle you have to take a second or third taste to notice it.

M- slick and oily with a slight snap of carbonation, but it's very mild. it's just what i'm looking for in this style at this level of my education.

O- I'm giving this a 4.5 overall because I don't know that much about russian imperial stouts. I didn't expect as much out of this beer given that leinie's made it. But, wow. I don't care who made it, this is great. If Big Eddy is the series to help keep their reputation in check, i'm on board. I would buy a 4 pack of this and share it with my homebrewing friends. I intend on trying the other Big Eddy offerings as soon as possible.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours inky black with a medium sized creamy rusty brown head that dissipates quickly to a ring. Aroma is a big dry and smoky roastiness with hints of chocolate, acidic tangy aroma lies behind it mixing with the maltiness to create a sweet fruit smell. Taste is a soft chocolate mixing with the smoky and dry charred woodyiness of roasted malts up front, sweet fruity and ripe berry maltiness comes in mid taste and lingers nearly to the finish before the smoky and nutty roastiness lingers dryly on the tongue. Medium to heavy in body, fairly thick, sugary and full on the tongue, low level of carbonation is soft and creamy, slight drying in the finish. This is an outstanding beer, I had no idea what to expect and was very impressed. The smoky quality to the roasted malts is very nice as is the strong fruity maltiness. The alcohol is extremely well balanced. I am very excited to see how this will age but it is drinking very well now.

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Photo of matthewalee
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 version

Appearance is a very dark cloudy beer (cellared)

Smell is of fruits and leather. old...

Taste is excellent!!! chocolate, dry, fruity, maybe-a-kinda tobacco and certainly a smoky taste. really good!

This beer is GREAT for those that em in stock! ENJOY Kids!

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Photo of cokes
4.41/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Update on the newly released 2010 version:
First impression is that the new stuff is not nearly as good as I remembered. Worty, pruney, cloying, and lacking the smoky, subtly roasty tones I recall. The old stuff needed some time to gel in the bottle, and I'm hoping for a repeat here. I'm not changing my numbers, yet, but it's important to note that they are for the last batch.

Teeth-staining black, no magenta edges, no light penetration, just absolute darkness. The head is a healthy, tall stack of dark brown, greasy and retentive enough to soil up the inside of the glass with all kinds of lacework. It's absolutely one of the sexiest beers I've seen.
Scents come forth with with carob, fudge, liquorice, and smoked plums. It's a certifiable malt bath, but seems a touch worty. Alcohol is manifest in fringe Malbec vinousness. Vanilla comes through more as it warms, along with a hint of charcoal and Tennessee Whiskey. Hopping is M.I.A, this is a malt-bomb Imperial Stout, and I'm okay with that.
It blankets the mouth with fudge and caramel. It's not particularly roasty, but that can be perceived with some attention. Dark fruits shuffle in, with an emphasis on prune. Make that a couple emphases. Notions of dates, and figs, and currants, are here too, but this is as pruney as it gets, as far as hallmark flavors go. Traces of liquorice, carob, and bourbon-bread pudding. Wafts of pungent tobacco smoke dot the close, as vanilla-laced dark chocolate fudge reforms around them.
Hopping is insignificant. This is a malt heavy English-leaning Imperial Stout (reference Sammy Smith). And in that sense, it's fucking delicious.
My first several bottles (and draughts) of this seemed a tad on the worty and incomplete side. After a few months in the bottle it has coalesced. I have a feeling more time wouldn't hurt.
The body is low in carbonation and huge in weight. Almost gluey thick like Expedition, sweet but not overly cloying. Texturally, this is big stout incarnate. There are plenty of well-known Impys that could use this feel.
This is Ten Thousand miles from any Leinie's I've ever had (except, obviously, the Big Eddy Imperial IPA). And even better after it's had some time in the bottle. Just don't come here expecting a big hop counter punch, because that's not what it's about.
Forget that this more or less a Miller puppet, and respect it for what it is...a big step for big breweries, as this easily stands amongst its widely heralded micro peers. Let's encourage more of it. Especially if it is this good.

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Photo of Winter
4.41/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours like motor oil. Black with a thick, rising, brown head which remains throughout consumption. Aroma of chocolate malt, raisins, alcohol, and chocolate covered cherries. The mouthfeel is full-bodied and soft with just the perfect amount of carbonation. Nice chewy roasted malt on the front. Dark fruit, like cherries appear in the middle. Rum soaked raisins follow. Just a touch syrupy. Hint of espresso near the finish. Long smooth finish reveals the 9.0% abv. Hands down Leinenkugel's best offering. When you consume this, take a moment to thank the brewmaster that crafted this RIS for them.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz received a little bit back from NFLMVP.. thanks a huge bunch Steve... I really appreciate the great box you shipped.

Poured into my New Belgium snifter.. 2 inch head looks like a brown pillow.. very pretty.. so is the huge rings of lace... the brew is black.

As soon as I poured this one, I could smell the deep aroma.. rich.. roasty.. chocolate.. dark fruitiness.. very complex.. raisins and dark dried sweet cherries..

Wow... I realize most people have probably said, "This is a Leine brew?".. but no kidding.. this is a fantastic RIS.. take the nose and multiply.. chocolate and lite roasty malts.. again alot of fruitiness.. but this time it's more prune.. good balance throughout is achieved through a nice malty sweetness... the body is fantastic.. so is carbonation...

the only bitch is it may be just a touch sweet.. but I can't complain that much.. this is a great RIS... thanks Steve.. I honestly really do appreciate the supercool trade.

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Photo of weeare138
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to hopdog for this one...
Appears an opaque black with brown-red edges when held up to the light. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of raisins, prunes, cocoa, roasted nuts, and dark fruit.
Taste is of raisins, caramel, nuts, cocoa, fruit highlighted by huge amounts of dates.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sugary, chewy, with a hint of booze. of the better Russian's I've had this year.

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Photo of MIchelle
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delicious tasting dark brew. Really packs a punch with that high abv but goes down very smooth. Nice inch plus tan head. Color is dark as dark can be, just the way I like my beer. :) Has a pleasant soft smell. I like this one a lot more then the average rating gives it but hey I'm just one dark beer drinker.

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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,279 ratings.
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