Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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Big Eddy Russian Imperial StoutBig Eddy Russian Imperial Stout
Very Good
1,292 Ratings
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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,292 |  Reviews: 491
Photo of Haybeerman
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
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 -18.1%
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 +5.2%
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 -8.1%
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 +3.4%
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 -7.3%
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 +11.5%
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 +5%
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 -12.9%
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 +5%
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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Photo of BARFLYB
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up in Jersey poured into a pint glass, a nice looking bottle.

Big Eddy pours out really bold black dark night sky with a dark tan head mocha like foam that raises up and dies into a cap leaving nice patterns. smell is roasted malt up front, dark fruit some chocolate. The fruit comes out and I get hints of a certain Jamacian stout, meaning some rotting may be a coming, I'll be drinking quick. Taste is a nice roasty stout that has nice stout characteristics mentioned above and some too much, namely the dark fruit. The feel is very thin for the style and needs a boost to keep things in check. Above medium, but not chewy enough for style, carbed nice. Glad I tried this one, needs a bigger build.

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Photo of DanThomas
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not generally a fan of RIS-style beers, but thought I'd give this one a try.

A- Thick and syrupy, black as night. About a centimeter or so off-white foamy head that adds a real nice touch to this beer.

S- Sweet brown sugar, some bitter dark chocolate, and hints of berry.

T- Lots of dark-roast malt and very bitter chocolate, which I like. Sweetness and a little alcohol at the back, just the right amount to warm the loins.

M- This is where this beer doesn't do so much for me. I don't know how to describe it right, but there's such a quick transition in the beer from the front to the back of the mouth. I'd like some of those really good flavors to develop in depth a little bit more. The upside of this, however, is that it's a little lighter on the palate then you might expect.

D- For me, this is my favorite RIS that I've had apart from the Yeti. It is an exceedingly easy drinker, too. Hope that they brew this more frequently!

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Photo of oglmcdgl
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bottle on the late tip poured into my duvel tulip.

A- a hard pour yields three huge fingers of semi dense mocha colored head that holds for a good long time until finally settling to leave some killer lace and a cm of light brown suds on top. Super dark brown almost completely black in color with a red brown glow at the edges. I gota say it looks real good.

S- roasty and sweet with chocolate, dark malts, coffee, a bit of a port wine hit with a touch of dark fruits.

T- opens up with a nice bold roasted malts and dark chocolate mix. Some burnt espresso and dark berries soaked in red wine. Brown sugar and a touch of molasses come with some warming.

M- a few steps above medium in body, almost on its way to full bodied, with a lighter carb. It sits nicely on the tongue and feels good going down.

D- wow they made this, way to go leiny. Way better then the rest of their brews. All in all its a tasty and quite drinkable imp stout. Its not blow your mind world class stuff but solid and enjoyable. Ill be sure to snag a 6er next time around.

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Photo of Mdog
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black, ok head.

Smell: Chocolate, molasses.

Taste: Roasted smoky barbeque, a little sweetness, somewhat bitter finish.

Drinkability: Ok, but not a standout.

I've had this on-tap a few times so I picked up a four pack to give it a review. Ok, but I prefer a little more chocolate flavor or sweetness in a big stout. Kind of astringent bitterness in this one turns me off.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer certainly pours like a big RIS. Its thick out of the bottle and clings to the glass giving me a brown tinted snifter. The head caps it off with a great head for the style. Right away I can tell that this isnt your typical joke of a beer that Leinenkugel has been churning out lately. This is the real deal. The aroma grabbed by attention with a robust sweetness of licorice and chocolate drizzled figs and raisins. Brown sugar and leather make appearances as well. The taste is very nice. I like when a beer is made well enough to define the line between Russian Imperial Stout and American Double Stout. This one is clearly an RIS. Nice deep fruitiness with licorice, leather and a sturdy hopping. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. This single I received has made me consider buying more.

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Photo of dali27
3.46/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle, served in snifter.

A: Very dark in color. Black with frothy caramel brown head. The presentation of this beer is splended in snifter. Beautiful.

S: Roasted malt, dark chocolate and alcohol (bourbon-esque) are scents that I notice.

T: Sweet chocolate flavor mixes with strong wood barrel taste. As I drank through, a smokey flavor became more evident to me. All the while mixed with evident alcohol taste.

M: Not too little, not too much and it feels pretty good in the mouth. Little carbonation. Ends dry.

D: Definitely drinkable, but I probably will not be buying another. There are too many other RIS's out there for me to explore.

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Photo of Florida9
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Unsurprisingly black in color. Forms a large dark tan head that settles down to a light surface coating. Some spotty lacing.

S: Predominantly raisins and dark fruit with some chocolate and an unplaceable "bright" scent, possibly citrus.

T: Sweet on the front end then a mix of dark fruits, raisin, and chocolate. There is a slight bitterness. Finishes quick with no longevity to speak of.

M: On the lighter side of heavy, but still full bodied with lower carbonation levels.

D: On the lighter side for the style, though this one isn't a beast to work through. However, this beer just lacks complexity and falls a bit short of the mark.

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Photo of scaliasux
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pitch black. Thick medium brown head with good retention.

Smell - Only moderately strong. Primarily sweet caramel malt. Molasses and brown sugar. Seems like it should be a little deeper.

Taste - Opens with very sweet caramel malt. Coffee and raisins are the principal and very strong flavors. Finishes with a bit of a bitter bite that I don't much care for. Warming.

Mouthfeel - Full and creamy.

Drinkability - This is nearly as far away from a Leine's as I could imagine a beer being. No sweet watery fruit. No overly subdued interpretation of a mildly non-pilsener style. This is bold and flavorful, if not the best in category. I'm glad they try once in awhile.

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Photo of mafeeker
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice black, pours with a decent sized beige head that fades quickly to a thin skim layer

S: Sweet, malty, fruity, hoppy and alcoholic. A very pleasant smell indeed. Up front almost smells like dried apricots. Nice citrusy hop background.

T: Taste is quite sweet. First maltiness hists your palate, followed by a nice hop bitterness to balace it. Finishes with a little bit of sweetness and chocolate roasty aftertaste.

D: This beer is pretty drinkable, especially for 9.5% I personally would only be able to do one of these at a time, but still pretty drinkable.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.21/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. From the most recent release. Poured into a tulip glass a dark brown/black color with a dark tan tightly bubbled head. Some lace as the head settles down. Dark roast, mild dark chocolate, tobacco, and almost a vegetable like aroma in the nose. Some booze also evident in the nose. Mdeium mouthfeel, too light in my opinion. The first flavor I notice is some mild smokiness that sticks around the entire time you take a drink. Sweet dark chocolate flavor along with some boose and dark chocolate bitterness to end this. I can't say that I am falling in love with this one.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
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 Bung
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz, picked up in GR over Christmas.
Oily appearing black pour, smallish amount of light brown head.

Smells on the sweeter side, molasses, caramel and some roast malt.

Taste, is not as sweet. Very malty and a bit acrid. Roast/burnt coffee and malt. Dark chocolate, molasses and anise come through more as it warms. Finishes just a bit watery.

Medium bodied, but a bit light feeling in the mouth. Alcohol is pretty well hidden, slides down fairly easily.
The biggest knock is probably that this is very green yet.

A good version, there is just a lot of quality competition in this category.

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Photo of wgk
4.75/5  rDev +24.7%
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.

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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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
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,

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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 1,292 ratings