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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 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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Photo of Floydster
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle acquired in a trade with MuenchenerKindl, thanks for the opportunity to try this brew, my bottle says 9.5% ABV, split with my dad last night, poured into my Dogfish Head snifter

A-Mostly black with some red tint at the surface in the light, small 1/2 inch creamy tan head that disappears quickly, not much retention, some lacing
S-Roasted malts, sugar, oatmeal, whole grains, light coffee, weird tart aroma, dark fruits, booze, dark chocolate, charred accents, and sweet cream
T-Taste started off with a big roasty taste, some subtle prunes in the finish to go along with some malt, finish was a little dry with some coffee and an alcoholic aftertaste, booze were not hidden very well and that was apparent from the beginning, after a while an undesirable tart taste came to the surface, weird mixture once it hit the dry and roasted accents, not as enjoyable once it fully warmed, first few sips were good though, pretty sweet by the very end, misplaced flavors at times throughout
M-Creamy, boozy, slightly tart, dry, and roasty mouthfeel, medium bodied, pretty thin for its style, moderate level of carbonation, taste could linger more
D-Could drink the bottle pretty easily but happy I shared it, pretty heavy on the stomach, some booze are not hidden, smooth for the most part, taste could get tiresome

Had a bottle of this a year ago and decided to open my other one up and review it, best beer I have had from Leinenkugel Brewing for sure, does not measure up to a lot of the imperial stouts out there but there are now so many out there, it is still a solid offering, would not go out of my way to get more but glad I got to try it on a few different occasions, recommended

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle code of 04258 & 31710; Sampled October 2008
A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass creates a slightly cascading, tightly beaded froth that starts out three fingers in height and has a darkly browned, tan colored head. The beer is quite black in color thought it shows some dark chocolate brown notes around the edges. The aroma has rich notes of concentrated, sweet, dark malts as well as an ample roast character that produces aromas of dark cocoa, soft burnt grain, and a rich toasted whole grain character. There is something here that is a bit like burnt nuts, or even burnt play-doh. The aroma is actually fairly restrained, I was expecting this to be a bit more aromatic than it is, though I do like that it seems pretty well integrated and balanced (but that might just be because everything is so muted).

The flavor has a rich, complex, dark malt sweetness to it that accentuates sweet dark chocolate notes up front and a nice dark cocoa note towards the finish were the sweetness is not quite so prominent. A touch of dusty, roasted grain character adds some burnt bitterness to the finish. Reminds me of a rich, dark chocolate something or other that has a strong, black coffee infusion. As the beer warms up the sweetness softens a bit and starts to couple with concentrated, roasted fruit flavors of prune and perhaps a touch of fig. This does have a really complex, rich malt character to it, unfortunately a lot of this gets masked by the sweetness.

This is actually quite sweet tasting, though it is not as thick as the sweetness might suggest; it could actually use more roast malt character to balance things out and some more body, without more sweetness, would help to balance this a bit more too. I like that this is a fairly well integrated and smooth in its roast character. Not a bad example of an Imperial Stout & it is certainly quite enjoyable, and if it was not for the simplistic sweetness, this would be really damn good.

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Photo of prototypic
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to hoppymeal for the bottle.

Appearance: It pours a nearly pitch black color. Not any light getting through, even at the edges. The head is spectacular. It's a very dark, mocha brown color and is roughly two and a half fingers deep. Retention was pretty average (abv killed it), but a nice, dark coat of lace remained.

Smell: The nose is dominated by strong mix of chocolate and roasted malts. The two are actually very well balanced and extremely enticing. Aside from that, there's a solid coffee bean aroma and a decent hop presence. The only complaint I have is its range. It's just not a very deep or complex smelling beer. The chocolate and roasted malts dominate the nose. Still smells pretty damn good in light of that fact.

Taste: It should come as no surprise that the chocolate and roasted malts come through strongest here. This really is a nice, malty beer. They're very flavorful and satisfying. Hops shine here compared to the nose. There's even a bit of a grapefruit taste. I can't identify the specific type of hops, but there's plenty of tasty bitterness here. Coffee really doesn't come through in flavor. Perhaps the nose is an illusion. Comparatively speaking, the flavor doesn't add a whole lot in terms of depth, but it really does have an excellent flavor. Bump in score for that. It finishes sweet and slightly bitter. Surprisingly, very little alcohol is noted.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's on the lighter side of full bodied and has a very creamy, smooth feel. Carbonation is relatively light. Excellent marks for feel. Drinkability is good, but due it's strength, I'd stick with a single bottle. My bottle indicates the abv is 9.5%.

Big Eddy's a big, kick ass beer. Easily the best Leinenkugel's beer I've tried. It's a very flavorful, great tasting beer. On second thought, I'm not sure the nose really lacks depth, but it could use some refining. The flavor profile doesn't add much in terms of depth, but tastes absolutely fantastic. Minor complaint. Definitely one to seek out.

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

This is one of those beers that I have to keep bumping up the category scores as I get deeper into the glass.

The beer sits quietly in the bowl of the snifter, the light from the nearby desk lamp seemingly unable to conquer the darkness that has overtaken the glass. A thin cap of burgundy and tan foam alighted the surface at first pour, but was quickly lost to the depths of inky blackness below.

A unique bouquet among stouts awaits the drinker of this Big Eddy. Vinous and caramel-like at once, the aroma is enticing. Yet deeper still beneath the layer of sweetness reminiscent of milk chocolate and candied fruit lies an aroma of some troubling definition. Just a touch is detectable, and maybe I misname it, but this reviewer can only, to remain completely truthful in the reviewing, convey the thoughts and connections that come to this particular mind whilst critiquing the aromatics of this brew. With the disclaimer firmly in place I feel lax enough to mention that there may be, lurking somewhere in the back of this brew, scents reminiscent of latex paint and/or a decidedly chlorine-type sweatiness. The images I draw to define the scent of this beer maybe less than appealing, but somehow the overall effect is not diminished in anyway by their presence.

In the areas of flavor and texture this beer truly shines. Rich and decadent, it is a velvety blend of lightly roasted coffee and chewy caramel creams. Tempering all this sweetness is a bold blaze of alcohol presence wrapping everything up in a cutting spicy finish.

A very enjoyable stout to be sure. Thank you to the unknown trader (Kathleen?) who contributed this bottle. Cheers.

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