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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
86
very good
485 Reviews
THE BROS
75
okay
Read the review
Big Eddy Russian Imperial StoutBig Eddy Russian Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
485
Ratings:
1,272
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
13.02%
 
 
Wants:
53
Gots:
179
For Trade:
7
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 485 | Ratings: 1,272
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pulled from my cellar after nearly two years. A 12 ounce bottle poured into a standard shaker glass. The stout appears an opaque dark brown color with about a finger of creamy dark ecru foam. The head leaves a thick tan lace on the inside of my glass with each sip. Taste and nose contain notes of caramel coated dates, raisins, grassy hops, a touch of vanilla, rich roasted grains, molasses, prunes, bittersweet chocolate, dark cherries. Maybe a notch better than medium bodied with adequate carbonation and very little alcohol presence. This was hard to put down.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired as an EXTRA in a recent trade with nflmvp. Steve, you fucking rock!

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours out thick, black, and oily. Looks nasty (the good kinda nasty). A small, foamy, brown head forms on top, but quickly dissipates to a thin halo. Absolutely no light passes through this beast; none whatsoever. Stringy lacing.

Smell: Molasses, dark fruits, coffee, and chocolate syrup. Lots of sugar in there. Smells rich and delicious.

Taste: Take the smell and amplify it. Damn! Molasses and sour dark fruits - namely old, mushy plums and raisins - form a pungent sugary kick. Tons of dark chocolate in the middle and back to smooth things out. Also getting roasted malt and coffee in the aftertaste. Lots of sweetness in here. I even get some cinnamon when I swish it about. For those that have had one, think Mexican mocha.

Mouthfeel: Thick, sugary, dry and warm. Sticky lips to the max! Very sugary and heavy.

Drinkability: I'm very glad I got to try this. I feared that it may be something like Leinenkugel's take on Fruity Pebbles a.k.a. Sunset Wheat, and while it was to some extent (tons of sweetness), it proved to be very complex and interesting. A heavy, sugary, sticky brew that I would recommend to anyone. Thanks again Steve!

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Photo of nrbw23
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a black color with a nice huge brown colored head. Head that settles slowly and coats the glass with some nice lacing.

S- Loaded with semisweet chocolate and thick molasses aromas. Dark fruits (cherries, prunes, dates), roasted malts and coffee/expresso.

T- Taste is very very sweet much more than I expected. I could also pick up a lot of dark fruits like prunes, figs, and raisins. A bit of hoppy/earthy flavor as well. Complex malts very chocolate and caramel malts and a touch of alcohol warming.

M- Medium to full in body maybe a tad bit on the lighter side for what I expected, and low carbonation.

D- Easy to drink, a very good effort here and glad I got my hands on this one.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle handed to me at Dark Lord Day and I masterfully stumbled about with it balancing in my hands before my friend took it away and to the cooler in the car. Thanks Steve.

When I poured it, it had a really thick brown head. Smells good, a very sweet smell with little roastiness.

Well, I finished the beers without finishing notes on the beer, but it's a drinkable RIS and tastes good.

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

Appearance: Pours a pitch black body with a full, unyielding inch of dark tan-colored head.

Smell: Incredibly roasty and still rather sweet-smelling aroma of dark chocolate, molasses, black coffee, and a rather notable dark fruitiness.

Taste: Strong, assertive roasted malts with full flavors of bittersweet chocolate sauce, espresso, blackstrap molasses, licorice, and even dark caramel. Very rich raisin fruitiness. Maybe, just maybe even a few blackberries. Mainly, there's a roasty, earthy bitterness at work, but there's also some minor hints of citrus in the distant background. One single drop of soy sauce. It's a tad warming, but otherwise the alcohol is nearly completely hidden. Finishes drying with a lingering mingling of roast and fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-low carbonation. Lusciously smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: One after another, I've found the Leinenkugel lineup to be made up of nothing but downright dumpy, unrewarding beers. It's one thing to be unable to brew a good beer, but to able to brew a delightful beer and simply opt not to is completely criminal.

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Photo of drumrboy22
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received in trade from nflmvp. Poured into a La Trappe chalice. Beer was thick and black. Tiny toffee colored head, no lacing.

Aroma was coffee, heavy bourbon and light hops.

Taste was dark fruits (especially cherries), molasses, bitter chocolate, still surprisingly hoppy.

Very nice brew. Has held up well and could go longer. Only wish I had more. Thanks Steve for the chance to try this one!

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Photo of Mauerhan
2.68/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a recent bottle from the black booty bif.

pours dark with about a half finger of mocha head that fizzles quickly. little to no lacing. smell is smokey and boozy. taste leaves alot to be desired. very fusely. big presence of the alcohol. mouth is thick and burny. leaves a bit of a burnt malt taste in my mouth. not really a huge fan of this one. swing and a miss leinenkugel

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown in color with a nice cascading head from the bottom of the glass. Head quickly diminishes and leaves nice webbing on the inside of the glass.
Smell is dark cocoa and some very dark, ripe fruits. Taste is wonderful. All the roastiness I come to love in my imperial stouts. Not a noticable hop presence, which is a plus as well. Very good roasted coffee in the taste as well.
My only knock is that it is a tad thin on the mouthfeel. If this were to bulk up a bit it would be world class.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade a little while ago and it has been staring at me in my beer fridge.

Pours a deep dark black that let's no light through. A thin tan head formed at the top but dissapated fast. No lacing.

Smells wonderful. Bourbon barrel aged smoothness with bitter chocolate. Can't wait.

Tastes great. Very smooth and barrel aged quality. Lots of dark chocolate covered espresso bean flavor. Very tasty but after the other barrel aged RIS's I have had I feel as if this is missing a quality I can't put my finger on.

Mouthfeel is great with just enough carbonation

Overall a very tasty brew that I am glad I tried but I don't need to trade for it again. I would rather waste my trading on something new.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick and syrupy into my glass, dark as sin, a brown head of about a quarter inch, smooth, just sits there mostly, leaves some lacing in arcs and splotches. The aroma is fairly aggressive, charred dark malts, dark cocoa, fain bitter hops. Its kind of like there is so much going on, its hard to tell just whats going on, so it just smells, for lack of a better word, big.

Taste is also big, lots going on. Lots of charred, roasted malt, chocolates, bittering, dark coffee, molasses, not much for dark fruits as the label promised. Again, there is a lot going on, and the general impression is, hefty. The mouth is fairly full and smooth and creamy, enough carbonation, quite nice. Now, there is something in this RIS thats seems, for lack of a better word, unrefined. Or, unleashed. Like the roasted malt just wants to leap out at ya. But its really a quite fine beer, particularly for a group known more for 'gateway' beers than solidly craft. So, good for them, this is a high quality RIS, interesting and great to drink, challenging even. Nearly makes it to the upper class.

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

Had to be talked into trying this. It's tough to buck up for a Leine when so many other good beers on tap. Gave it a try, and was surprised.

black with some maroon in the right light. creamy brown 1/2 inch head. smells sweet and citrusy, a hoppy stout no doubt. Dark fruit is there too

on the tongue, dark cherries, pomegranate, raisin, but mostly cherry to my buds. very vinous, a lot of port character. smooth, sweet. some hops, just enough, to make keep it from being too port-like.

actually ,reminds me a lot of Darkness, fruity sweet, easy to drink, and a nice hop presence.
hits hard like a typical high ABV stout.

great beer, and if it's true they aren't making it anymore, what a shame. I might actually send an email to the brewery to tell them myself that this beer needs to stick around.

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

Thanks to tayner for this brew as part of SS 2008. Cheers.

Pours as black as my heart. Thin head. Smells very sweet for a RIS. I taste mostly sweet fruit without as much malt as I would expect from a RIS. Mouthfeel is good but this is too sweet for my preference. Interesting beer nonetheless.

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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 SaucyA
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Looks pretty damn nice in the snifter. A tan, frothy head forms briefly, only to be swallowed up by the deep, near-black base.

S - This is a Leinenkugel's brew? It's a bit more worldly than say... Sunset Wheat. As opposed to artificial flavoring, I smell a nice, hearty RIS. Big molasses and chocolate notes, combined with a raisiny sweetness.

T - Hmm. I'm not blown away. It's rather sweet throughout, with a backend that's just trying to even itself out with dryness to no avail. Big, sweet, creamed coffee, baker's chocolate, and a sugary sweetness combine to make a less than stellar brew. No booze notes. I wonder if this was better when it was fresh?

M - Somewhat light for a RIS, as well as a bit too crisp for a RIS.

D - This is a one and done. The sweetness is outta control.

Notes: Far and away a better attempt than their fruity lineup, yet still could use some work. I don't think this would hold up in a cellar situation very well.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Darkness prerelease party at Stub And Herb's - Pours pitch black with a slight caramel/tan colored head. Beautiful aromas of coffee and chocolate dominate the nose. First sip is all coffee and bitter dark chocolate. Could use a slightly stronger malt backbone...even still this is wonderful. World Class.

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Photo of supercolter
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really like the look of this beer, that was the one thing that stood out to me. Very dark wiht some tan head and no real lacing. Smell is pretty weak, I don't know, I would have expected more of the typical dry malt chocolates, coffee, toffee, etc.
Taste is a bit better, some dry and bitter chocolate comes through. Lots of coffee as well, with no notable hops. Mouthfeel is good, nice and creamy. Drinkability is pretty good as well.

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Photo of kmeves
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Miller Tech Center (9-26-07), 11.3% ABV. Pitch black color, frothy amber-brown head. Aroma is a wonderful blend of roast, spice, chocolate, light coffee and a touch of vanilla. Flavor is raisony sweetness, vanilla, spice, roast and light chocolate. Medium to full bodied. The finish warms the insides as it goes down. Another great Big Eddy beer.

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Photo of Packforever1976
4.57/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the Happy Gnome.

A: Pitch black. Smallish and creamy tan head decent retention. Sticky lacing.

S: Smells eerily similar to Darkness. Some dark chocolate, dark roasted malts, slight hint of hop bitterness. Smells absolutely sinful.

T: Amazing. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever get to enjoy this one, but when I saw it on the menu, it was a done deal. A nice balance between the sweetness and bitterness. Nice dark chocolate flavor, cocoa nibs, a hint of apple cider.

M: I usually like my RIS alightly thicker than this, but with the flavor as spot on as it was, I didn't mind too much. Like drinking velvet.

D: Where's the alcohol? I couldn't detect it at all. Dangerously drinkable. If the weather would've been a little more cooperative, I would have had another. Leines best offering, by a mile.

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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 tempest
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Stub & Herb's for only $5 a pint. Get it while you can. Appears a pitch black with a short tan head, no lacing.

This immediately reminds me of Surly Darkness. Not because they taste identical, but because its the most similar RIS I've had in terms of a smooth body and esters. It starts out with a mild dry cocoa note and then dives into a mix of chocolate-covered berries and hoppy citrus rind. It finishes with a big caramel-coated espresso bitterness (with some hops character mixed in) and medium-weight body that makes this all the more drinkable. It's a shame this beer will soon be extinct. Easily the best beer Leiny's ever made and one of the best RIS's I've had. Definitely a favorite.

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Photo of beckje01
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Black can't see through it, a nice tan head no activity.

S- Sweet malt very nice but stops at nice.

T- Nice malt but a slight bit bitter but no hops to the flavor, just too sweet with some more hops to balance it would really take it up a notch.

M- Nice thickness a nice improvement to most of Leinenkugel's offerings.

D- Drinkable but only if you can handle the sweet it could be really off putting for some. I don't mind it really.

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Photo of CHSLBrew
4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a chalice.

A-Beer arrived with sparse head, likely due to the time it took to arrive at the table. What was left was an attractive, strong brown. Moderate lacing. The beer was jet black and opaque.

S-Sweet and dark/roasty malt aromas. Hints of chocolate. Some candy/bubblegum esters. No hop aroma.

T-An initial sweetnessis overtaken by a deep chocolate and roasted maltiness. Light, fruity ester flavors on top of the thick choco-coffee backbone. This beer had flavor to spare! No hop flavors, but a present bitterness afforded an appropriate balance.

M-A silken feel over the tongue and with the swallow, though the beer felt thick and chewey moving it through my mouth. A comforting alcoholic warmth in the aftertaste.

D-Even with the heaviness of this brew, Big Eddy was easy and a pleasure to put down. I most assuredly would want to have another if I find it again.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this as an extra in my trade with Elric73!

A- deep brown almost black body that pours with a dark tan head. Head fades to a thin collar and little lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Scent of roasted chocolate malt, toffee, and a vanilla-like sweetness.

T- Roasted dark malt upfront with hints of toffee. The finish is much sweeter than most stouts adding that characteristic almost cloying sweet swallow to all of their brews.

M- Medium carbonation and somewhat heavy and thick body. Mouthfeel is creamy.

D- Really impressed by this one from Leine's. I thought the best of their line-up was sunset wheat...but I guess there are a bunch of brews from them that I don't know about!

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

12oz bottle received as an extra from crazy Ed (OHLRangers) - thanks man! I've been looking for this for a while now. Into my snifter

A: Pours black with reddish brown highlights. Thin dark brown head that rises slowly and hangs around for a while before receding to a disk

S: Big, thick, chewy and rich with treacle, dark chocolate, heavily roasted malts, a hint of coffee and some cream upon swirling. A hint of dark fruit character comes through along with a hint of alcohol on the back end.

T: Oh my. This is delicious. Up front is a combination of fruit (plums and raisins), tons of bitter chocolate, coffee and a hint of cream. This is also fairly sweet, more along the lines of a treacle-like sweetness with some molasses. The balance is quite remarkable and I must say this is one of the more impressive stouts i've had recently. Fullish in body, this one leaves an excellent bitter finish with some chocolate

M: Excellent body, carbonation is low and goes well with the body and the finish is excellent too. Creamy and full on the palate.

D: I could possibly sip this all night long. An excellent drinking RIS, though a bit on the sweeter side.

**Edit 09 May 2012**
Drinking my other bottle from the original release, I think I got this from NFLMVP. Thanks, Steve!

Lots of acidic dark grains with fruity sour cherries, a little bit of char, black licorice and some molasses. Unsweetened dark chocolate is also present. The palate has a lot more fruity, cherry-like oxidation, with a prominent roast character lending a nice bitterness. Despite that, it does have a noticeable sweetness as well, dark chocolate and caramel in nature, with a lot of fruit in the mid-palate. Roasty and sweet on the finish, there's lingering chocolate and cherries. Very nice. 4/4/4

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Photo of maximum12
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this twice now on tap at one of the finer beer bars in the Twin Cities, Stub & Herb's. Good to finally meet John bartending on Friday night.

This is the best Leinie's beer...ever. Followed some of the patter about it being to expensive and/or not selling well enough to make again. Too bad. This isn't just a solid stout made by a solid regional brewery cautiously feeling it's way into big beers...this RIS is really, really good. It belongs at the head of not-quite-divine stouts like Bell's Expedition, Speedway, & Blackout. Which essentially means if I could drink it every day, I'd choose to 3-4 times per week.

Big Eddy is rich, full, black as sin, with a great head. It's fullness isn't belly-weighing like lesser stouts, but retains a certain lightness of being that allows one (me) to knock back a couple, slowly, without feeling like I've ingested a small dolphin. It also boasts that best of RIS mouthfeel, creamy & sensual.

I love this beer. As long as Stub's & others (wonder if the Nile still has it) keep it on tap, I'll still be hanging around the bar. Leinie's, make this beer again!

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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 485 ratings.
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