Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

very good
1,282 Ratings
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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,282 |  Reviews: 489
Photo of beerwolf77
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle split and poured into a tulip.

A: Dark cola brown with black edges. Tiny amount of dark beige head. Soapy lace ring.

S: Melted chocolate, coffee, molasses, dark roast malts and a good amount of booze.

T: Dry cocoa powder, coffee, molasses, burnt malts and loads of hot booze.

M: Thick syrupy body with just a hint of carbonation.

D: This one has some rough edges. I'm thinking a good year will make this very drinkable.

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Photo of imagese
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap @ Lunar

A- dark brown with slight lightness @ edges. 2 finger head faded fast, and left soapy lacing

S- great chocolate malt and dark fruit. Sweet boozy finish

T- much like the nose, but a roasted finish

M- falls short. Nice carbonation, but too thin

D- overall, very easy and smooth

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from 2009.

Pours thick, oily black with a half inch head of tan. A solid skim coat with ripped sheets of lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with Hershey's syrup, roasted malt, nougat, and malted milk balls. Hints of char, brownies, and black cake follow through.

Full bodied with a viscous, thick mouthfeel. Very chewy and batter-like.

Dark chocolate, brownie batter, crushed Oreo shells, and coffee grounds start the palate. A grainy vineousity steps forward along with a somewhat coarse bitterness. A mild ashiness follows through.

Finishes with lingering malted chocolate, a slight vineous tartness, and ash-dusted brownies.

This is one big, thick stout. The graininess, ash, and light tartness detract but otherwise a real beast.

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Photo of Soneast
3.44/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pitch black color, with some hints of amber/brown on the edges. Grows a quarter-inch brown colored head, with decent retention, although eventually dropping to a small bubbly ring.

Aroma is pretty strong, lots of roast malt and chocolate character, with some burnt caramel, molasses-like aromatics and preserved fruits.

Flavor is quite roasty, tastes like burnt grain and bitter dark chocolate with some semi-sweet marshmallow-like flavors and toffee. The finish has a pretty strong bitterness, which is lingering and slightly unpleasant.

I dunno this beer isn't all that bad, IMO. All the flavors and aromatics fit the style and overall the flavors are pretty tasty. The bitter finish is a little much, getting to an almost metallic character. Too much hops? Surprising for a company that generally brews to the lowest common denominator. Although I suppose a lack of experience brewing a style like this may have led to the imbalance? Too much bitterness from the roast malt, but they didn't adjust the bittering hops to compensate? Or not.

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Photo of ejimhof
3.06/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Good looking pitch black. No head or lacing.

Smell - The only aroma I get is a slight burnt malt.

Taste - sweet malt like melted chocolate. I can't make out anything else.

Mouthfeel - Full and creamy.

Drinkability - Not something that I feel a need to drink again. Not unpleasant just kind of forgetable.

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Photo of arizcards
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 4-pack from Total Wine in mid-November for $9.99.

Beer poured black as night with a brown head that disappeared quickly.

Nose is primarily malts with some hints of chocolate.

Taste is sweet, chocolate dominates, slightly roasted malt backbone, some hop balance is there in the end.

Mouthfeel is full, carbonation is low, very smooth finish.

Drinkability is good. The chocolate bitterness and the smooth finish make this beer worth trying.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tumpster as an add

Pours a thick tan head with a viscous black body.

Smell of sweet malt, figs, plums

Taste of sweetness, delicious fresh plum with some toffee, and sweet cocoa presence. A bit of licorice with the darker malts flavors.

Mouthfeel falls a bit flat. A lot of this beer is running off of the sweetness and as such I really enjoyed it. Im a sucker for sweet beers.

I was happy to have tried this, I think I passed by a review of it at some point but had never seeked it out. Would definitely drink again. Nice job by a big brewery

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Photo of bs870621345
2.91/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to bwiechmann for sending this to me as an extra.

Pours black with an inch and a half of mocha head. Leaves nice lacing down the glass.

Smells like dark fruits and copper.

Taste is sweet, plums, caramel, roast, and that metallic twang shows up again.

Mouthfeel is nice, full, creamy, and not too carbonated. Its pretty good.

Drinkability suffers because of that metallic twang.

Its not bad, but its nothing I'd search for again.

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Photo of harrymel
2.84/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to jbtice0315 for this as an extra, cheers Jesse!

A: Pours a dark brown with no translucence. Two finger mocha head which falls to thick quilt of foam. Moderate lacing.

S: Raisin, cocoa, malts, again, raisin. Very nice nose on this. Hints of molasses, licorice, anise. Goddamn beautiful nose.

T: The yeast doesn't offer appropriate tones to this beer (IMO). The nose follows through, but the flavor is negatively impacted by the yeast strain I believe. Decent finish though.

M: Heavy body with low/medium carbonation. Leaves the mouth dry (surprisingly).

D: love the nose, taste - not so much. Although tolerable, this is not particularly nice as a RIS.

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Photo of Kelly88
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this beer as part of my second place Fantasy Football BIF. Served from a bottle into my Kentucky Ale snifter. This beer looks Good in my snifter. Black with a Nice quarter inch khaki head That fades to a ring of cream.
Smell is nice but muted. Mostly roasted and a little dark fruit. Doesn't really jump out if the glass you have to work for the aroma.
Taste is good nothing that will wow you but enjoyable. Very mild chocolate coffee with some acidity on the fizzy finish. Some sips bring more chocolate than bitter coffee. Tasty beer.
Mouthfeel is the highlight of this beer for me. Perfect body that is medium to slightly full bodied. Coats the palate and delivers the nice pleasing carbonation.
drinkability is great for s ruskie. Not to sweet and not to heavy. Overall a solid well made beer that could benefit from some more prominent flavors. Glad I got to try this Wisconsin brew. Thanks Jason!

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Photo of SupaCelt
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A dark beauty with a righteous tan head. Positive for lace.

The nose is fraught with dark fruit and rindy tones. Rich and chocolate whipple dipple.

The taste is decent at the onset, but with a somewhat rotten aftertaste. Spoiled darkfruits, not pleasing overripe darkfruits, wreak havoc on the brew in the late moments. Subtle offness is detectable 'neath a thin profile that is perhaps a bit anorexic for an Imperial. The taste betrays the appearance and aromas of this beer. A near miss.

Mouthfeel is a pinch flimsy and perhaps not a staunch example of the Imperial designation. It seems a bit cost effective and crossover.

The drinkability suffers a bit due to the aforementioned chinks in the armor. Not a huge proponent of this beer in the grand scope of the market. Jacob, you cheapskate!

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Photo of kirkpjr
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip.

A: Dark, viscous black beer with 1 1/2 fingers of mocha colored head. Thick sheets of lacing as well.

S: Burnt, toasted malts. I'm also getting a leathery, smokey scent. Some faint molasses as well.

T: Heavy roasted malts. Light chocolate and the same flavors in the smell.

M: Chewy feel to it. Have to give it Leinenkugel's for this one. Full body and moderate to low carbonation.

D: A nice sipper, but not outstanding in my book. Glad to try this one.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is strong and oily with a rich overtone of smoky molasses and firm hints of semi-sweet chocolate and quality roast coffee. It pours opaque sable just a shade above black with a thick, fine-bubbled, peristent tan head. Flavor is like a sweet mocha with tones of smoky wood and hints of molasses and caramel as well as a hoppy-bitter undertone. Texture is smooth and fizzy, alcohol bite is subtle rather than fierce, and finish is rough and tingly.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Donnie boy for the gift of four Big Eddy's.

Appearance: Opaque, black-brown liquid pours oily and viscious into the glass kicking up about an inch of dark brown foamy head.

Smell: Black cherries, espresso, chocolates. Heavy roasted malt.

Taste: Espresso and dark semi-sweet chocolate, anise notes, dark fruit, light smoke and hop bitterness. Initially somewhat acidic/sweet the roasted malt character and also the anise notes increase in strength as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Slick and medium body. Just a bit too thin for the style. Decent carbonation.

Drinkability: I won't knock it for being a product from a large-scale operation. It's a reasonably good attempt at a RIS, a bit thin, but made unique by it's misses, it's reasonably priced, and drinkable.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice brownish blackish color with a brownish head. Taste of coffee, chocolate among others. Smells heavenly. Very crisp feeling in the mouth and smooth drinkabilty going all the way down. Definitely a good beer to have a good day or when you had it up to your eyeballs at work

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep, dark brown, almost black. Poured a 2 finger chocolate head that dissipated to a thick cap. Laced in thin, unbroken rings.

S: Bitter espresso, chocolate and black cherries. A smokey and earthy character underlying it all.

T: Much like the nose; espresso, bitter chocolate and aged black cherries (if there is such a thing). Smokey character builds in the middle. A little sweeter than many, but definitely flavorful.

M: Light body. Low carbonation. Oily and silky smooth. The flavors are really big and build yet disguises the alcohol well.

D: Though disguised well, the alcohol keeps it from being really drinkable in quantity.

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Photo of tewaris
3.12/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 vintage poured into a New Belgium globe on 02/07/2010

Pours very very dark brown and looks jet black in the glass with a big, dark brown head that rose up in cascades. The head took a long time to fall into a thinner cap and laced the glass beautifully.

This beers seems more acidic and spicy than most RIS's and as it warmed up, the anise-licorice notes got a little too strong. Not bad per se but doesn't smell much like an RIS. Moving on to taste...

Big Eddy, although named Big, seems like the younger cousin of Bell's Expedition Stout (an RIS that can kick a lot of ass). Strikingly reminiscent of Expedition in its dark and acidic "tartness", this beer tastes like prunes and dried strawberries!

Few swigs of water...

Although the tartness of Big Eddy reminds a lot of Expedition, Big Eddy doesn't even seem like a RIS at this point. It's dark and black alright, but the roast is entirely missing. The acidity is all fruit and no coffee and that comes as a disappointment. A good beer, and perhaps the best to come from Miller-Coors, but not what the label promises. Warm temperature is perhaps the true test of a beer, and Big Eddy has lost all its "bigness". While it could have been a decent something else, it sure doesn't have the mouthfeel to live up to the tag of RIS. The alcohol seems solventy at times and the spiciness gets overwhelming. Very very average if viewed as a stout.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A deep, dark inky black liquid with barely any light coming through at the edges. The brown head is thin but very creamy and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Black cherries, smoke, dark roasted coffee, and black chocolate. Pretty unique.

T- Black cherry, sweet black coffee, some smoke and black chocolate. Smells sweeter than the aroma led me to believe. Pretty unique and tasty.

M- Oily and smooth with enough carbonation to keep it interesting. The flavors are heavy and it builds on the palate.

D- The alcohol is not apparent and it is pretty unique. A bit of a sipper and definitely worth trying.

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Photo of doucmehu
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have to say, this is one of the best RIS "bang for the buck" deals around. It is not up to par with some of the more complex RIS out there, and certainly lacking a bit in sweetness. However, none of the qualities of this beer really detract from it being quite enjoyable.

There is more bitterness and acidity than you might expect from this style, though again not to a fault. The tasting notes are subdued compared to some other big beers and stouts. I do get some of the banana bread on the nose, and the malts are more acidic than that nice roasty, rich favor you can find in other brews of this type.

The bottom line for me is that for a $3 beer, this is solid. I think it is worth a shot, a little different than a Founder's or Storm King. Good thing I live in WI, where it is cheap and plentiful!

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Photo of uno99
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bought this in response to a friend who was desperate to try it based on a description in some sort of beer calendar.

No discernible date on the bottle, although when I bought it, I was told it was the 2010 release. I bought 3 for about $10.

A: It's an impy stout alright. Inky black, absence of head. Sort of ruby brown around the edges.

S: Roasty. chocolate, huge prunes and figs. a little sour like condensed milk. pineapple, walnuts and almonds. Quite complex. One needs not think and sniff until smoke pours from the ears to get all manner of scents from this.

T: Like the scent, this is very complex. bitterness enters the equation now however, and boy is this bitter!

M: Bitter and dry. lots of sweetness generated from the eleventy-seventy malts used in this, but the bitterness controls everything fairly well.

D: Being so complex, this is a sipper, and one I couldn't possibly enjoy in great quantity.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - jet black with about half a finger's worth of tan-colored foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell - definite dark chocolate hints in the aroma, with notes of burnt coffee and german chocolate cake.

Taste and Mouthfeel - very "stouty", but with more a chocolate/coffee vibe like the smell had. Mostly sweet from the eleven malts, but the hops help give it a bite. Can't identify the hops though, Saaz may be one of them. Texture is as you'd expect, creamy.

Drinkability - not quite as stout as I was expecting from the style, maybe because of an overabundance of malts? Still decent tasting.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm not really a fan of Leinenkugel, most of their beers have been very mediocre. So it is with surprise that I find myself happily reviewing Big Eddy, a very solid RIS from an unexpected source.

It pours a dark brown-black, completely opaque, with a massive billowing tan foam. Gorgeous. The aroma is no slouch either, roasted malts, lots of cocoa, some figgy raisins, even some vinous character that makes me think of red wine barrels.

First taste is spot on, initially sweet and then roasted bitterness, very nice flavors giving good balance. Massive flavors really, and I don't find anything to carp about. This tastes god.

Thicker than expected too, not Dark Lord sludge thick but still substantial feeling. This is definitely the best I've tried from them, and it could easily compete against long-time RIS favorites. Absolutely recommended.

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Photo of Onenote81
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really excited to get a couple bottles of this from BeerFMAndy recently. Thanks, Andy!

12oz bottle poured into a goblet. Pours a very thick pitch black. This was much thicker than I expected. A small tan head caps it off. Leaves some light lace behind. The nose is really sweet. Aromas of dark fruits, chocolate, vanilla, and some alcohol. No roasted aromas noted.

The mouth is creamy and smooth. Good finish. Spot-on for the style. Sweet chocolate flavors start this one off, move on to some licorice, plum, and hazy booze. This is a really easy sipper. The best I've had from these guys for sure. It's an accessible big stout that will cure my "big beer" fix any day.

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Photo of kohoutek
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, this beer pours pretty nicely. A rich brown head lasts and lasts and clings to the glass. A rich viscous black liquid settles beneath.

The aroma is completely dominated by a burnt aroma of campfire or overuse of smoked malt. It almost smells like burned newspaper. This adds a somewhat phenolic/plastic edge to the beer's aroma. Other aromas are ester laden pear, banana and cherry/dark fruit. That smoke and banana just kills it.

Fusel alcohol, banana, and burned newsprint all collide with golden raisins, iron laden black strap molasses, dark bitter chocolate, subtle black malts, toffee/caramel goodness and a nice acidity.

The mouthfeel seems a tad bit thin for a RIS.

It would so much nicer (like a 4.0 or better) if the damned burned quality was not there and the banana (isopentyl acetate yeast realated issues) were lost.

Edit: the burned qualities seems to leave after a while (unfortunately after 3/4 done) and the last bit became much better.

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

Pours black with a small head and spots of lacing

Aroma is lip glossy with a dark fruit sweetness.

The flavor is glossy with a roasty bitterness and some dark fruit. Some marshmallow and pine hops.

The body is on the full side of medium and carbonation is high but creaminess remains.

Overall this beer is great but not quite what I would consider to be among the best in the style. Definitely worth buying extras for the cellar.

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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,282 ratings.
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