Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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86
very good
485 Reviews
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okay
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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:
1,274
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
13.02%
 
 
Wants:
53
Gots:
179
For Trade:
6
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Reviews: 485 | Ratings: 1,274
Photo of kojevergas
3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded black pry-off pressure cap and classy appealing label acquired for $3.49 USD at my local bottle shop and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I'm not big on the brewery but the label/marketing is sound and I'm in the mood for a good Russian Imperial Stout. 2012 vintage. 9.5% ABV confirmed.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of lovely khaki-tan colour; it's rich and decadent. Has a great shiny soft complexion and good smooth even consistency. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is average - about 2 minutes.

Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black. Appears adequately carbonated. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's pretty standard fare for a Russian Imperial Stout. While far from unique or special, it's a beer I'm looking forward to trying. I don't notice any overt flaws. It's absolutely to-style.

Sm: I'm pleasantly surprised given the brewery. It's got plenty of chocolate and chocolate malt, dark malts, caramel, hints of coffee, and even a bit of roasted barley (something I always look for in a stout). Cream. It's certainly sweet, but pleasantly so. Cocoa powder.

I don't find any yeast character or alcohol. The hop profile is really buried as well.

Overall, it's an inviting aroma of mild strength and I'm really looking forward to trying it. Could Leinenkugel's actually have an above average beer on their hands?

T: Hm. Not quite the breakout Leinenkugel's hit I was hoping for. It's a pretty generic build for a Russian Imperial Stout, with your standard notes of chocolate/chocolate malt/cocoa powder, caramel, dark malts, and a nice sweetness. Any coffee notes I convinced myself I was finding on the aroma are nowhere to be found here. I do get some raisin and (unfortunately for my personal tastes) some licorice/fennel. There's some unwelcome charred and burnt characteristics, but they're forgivable. The roast has also faded, much to the beer's detriment. That said, it's pretty balanced and certainly pretty cohesive - albeit not quite gestalt.

It's not a horribly complex or subtle beer (especially considering the style), but I rather like it. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. There's not really any nuance here.

No yeast character, hop profile, or alcohol come through.

Mf: Has a sickening stickiness to it. A bit syrupy. Too thick. Smooth and wet. Slick. Chewy. The mouthfeel is admittedly quite a trainwreck, but it could be worse. At least it's not astringent or boozy. Overcarbonated. Too full-bodied. Bad presence on the palate. The texture doesn't suit the taste all that well.

Dr: Ordinarily, the whole "we used x amount of malts" marketing approach is indicative of a gimmicky beer, but this Leinenkugel's offering stays pleasingly close to style conventions and doesn't feel as cheap/artificial as most of their core offerings. It's a bit too sweet and it won't blow your socks off, but for a macrobrewed Russian Imperial Stout from a usually unremarkable brewery, it's surprisingly quaffable. I wouldn't get it again at $3.49, but I'm sure I overpayed given the bottle shop I acquired this at. It's absolutely worth trying at a reasonable price and I'm not disappointed. I'll be giving Leinenkugel's a little more attention - at least insofar as their limited releases are concerned - going forward.

High C

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Photo of vkv822
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz : Teku
2013 vintage

Opaque black with a long lasting, foamy light brown head.

Boozy, dark fruits, roasty cocoa notes in both the aroma and taste.

Medium body, though I would have liked to see a bit more viscosity in such a big beer. Low foamy carbonation.

A fairly well done RIS, though I did feel like the flavored could have been a bit more robust in the taste, which carried into the mouthfeel and wanting that to be a bit "bigger" as well.

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Photo of socon67
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Black pour into snifter. some rings of lacing, and a thin mocha foam head.

S - Strong scents of chocolate and roasted malt. Slight boozy smell as this warmed.

T - Good amount of sweet chocolate flavor. Rich malt gives a flavor of toasted bread. Some flavors of English toffee in the finish.

M - Felt a little thin for a RIS. Easy to drink, but I like this style with a slick feel and I didn't get that here.

O - Surprised that Leinenkugel makes such a high end craft offering. Glad that a buddy picked this up for me. I'll keep an eye out for other Big Eddy series.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2012

Great stillwater black with a thin half-pinky of mocha foam. Looks like an R.I.S. So far, so good.

Rich chocolatey cocoa nibs with some malty grain stew, hearty licorice, and black currant. Hint of pine needle hops. Big wallop of fudgy dark chocolate with a toffee/caramel undercurrent. Some booze. Faint malted milk ball.

Meaty roast with slight oxidation, sweet cocoa, tentative booziness, brulee'd creme, piney mint, currant, licorice root, and toffee notes. Age plays a little cruel, here. Flavors are smaller and more composite. Tanginess is somewhat unsuitable. The body is a wash; a hefty medium that detracts from the decadence. This new bitterness is a byproduct, and probably unintended or changed. Carbonation is medium-low with little play. There might have been a really good beer here a year or two ago. What I'm left with is still good, but not something I'd drink aged a second time.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance- Pours up a finger's worth of head which really doesn't have much retention at all. The head is dark beige with hints of purple while the body is almost a fully opaque, dark chocolate black. There is a slight hint of burgundy when this beer is held up to the light. Some lacing but rather minimal at the moment.

Nose- Very subdued- I really have to strain to get anything at all. Light caramel, light chocolate, light roasted notes. Perhaps a touch of raisins from the glass. Not a very good sign for an Imperial but it does happen from time to time. Swirling shows a light cocoa that hints at bubblegum. Some hints of alcohol as well.

Taste- Shows a lot more presence than the nose and is pretty sweet even for an RIS. Starts off with bittersweet chocolate, cocoa, and coffee that moves into a searing finish and linger of raisins mixed with noticeable alcohol. The raisins are definitely the dominant aspect of the flavor profile and they tend to an almost cherry cough syrup flavor. Some woody bitterness on the finish with slight spice (maybe cinnamon?). The alcohol isn't strong but the pairing with the cloying sweetness makes it seem like an off-note. Some hints of brownie. A good amount of bubblegum. It's not bad but it just doesn't really work as an RIS. Pretty much above average at this point. I wasn't expecting but this is a little too one-dimensional for my tastes. A tendency toward metallic notes. Earwax bitterness on the finish does not bolster this beer's case. Some indication of dark stone fruits but these flavors seem off and too sweet as well.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with light carbonation and some syrup to the texture.

Drinkability- The sweetness is a bit cloying and will make this beer a bit of a slog. I imagine this would be a drain pour for many. 3 bucks a bottle isn't a bad price but this beer certainly isn't worth it.

Overall- Pretty much just above average. Maybe age would improve it but I don't care to find out- I just want to be done with it. I would not recommend this to anyone unless you like cloying sweetness. Would probably be better cold.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served n a snifter.

Appearance: Borderline black color with a brownish tint and dark tan head which rises to roughly 1/2" off the body.

Smell: Hard espresso scent but very light as far as potency.

Taste: Very good and complex with bitter notes and bitter coffee feel with the right touch of brown sugar. Very addicting brew, you will find yourself near the end of the glass before you know it.

Mouth: medium bodied, slight dry finish in the end that might make some cringe a bit. The brew itself should be left to settle closer to room temperature where it's stickiness really comes through.

Overall: Very good brew, for roughly twelve bucks a 4-pack it is definitely well worth your investment. Enjoy with your favorite glass....Salud!

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Photo of bmwats
3.49/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Black. Pours a 1+ finger, bubbly, brown head. Settles pretty quickly, but not completely.

S: Roasted coffee, with lots of dark chocolate, raisin, and molasses.

T: Bitter roasted espresso beans. Bitter pecan shells. Raisin, prune, and tons of booze.

M: Syrupy and thick. Bitterness lingers on the palate throughout. Very boozy.

D: Sipping experience.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Nice head, and some fair lacing. Nose is roasty and sweet. Bitterness and booziness overpower the characteristic chocolate and coffee components. Overall, this is an okay quaff.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: black motor oil - didn't even kick up much head - maybe a slim finger of smooth, creamy-looking dark foam off a center pour

S: rich, sweet dark malts, roasty and bitter cocoa and coffee, some herbal and earthy aromas

T: bittersweet dark malts and sweet black coffee; suggestions of herb and anise; some blackstrap molasses and mocha; some mineral-esque qualities

M: creamy, smooth, dense, full-to-medium body; slick

O: a nice RIS, with a very earthy and grainy profile, which I liked - luxurious and decadent, yes, but with a rustic tone and traditional vibe

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Photo of Earpe
4.63/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I agree with "DRINKSOMUCH"...

This is a very good RIS, Dark black color, great smell, dark fruit tones with a nice burnt flavoring, and a hint of chocolate. This is definitely a must try for imperial stout drinkers, at 9.5 ABV, you can't go wrong.... One of my favorites.

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

I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!! I love this stuff!!!

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.24/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle poured into a teku

thick jet black pour, 2 fingers of dark tan head with slow dissipation and ridiculous head retention.. tons of creamy brown lacing. this beer looks like a perfect stout, let's hope it tastes that way too!

roasty dark aromas - coffee, chocolate, tobacco, with a sweet malty overall nose. the flavor is complimented by the oxidation over the years.. a subtle rustyness to it adds some kick to the deep dark chocolate flavor, roasted grains, coffee/molasses. dark, but sweet as well thanks to the malted barley.

the mouthfeel is nice - creamy and thick, full bodied with low carbonation. this is a perfect night cap, honestly.. coats your mouth nicely and takes place of any dessert.

i'm blown away by how nice this beer aged.. i haven't had much from this brewery that stood out, but this is definitely one i will be sure to pick up again.

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Photo of oberon
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My first of the "Big Eddy" line.Poures nearly jet black except for just one small ring of ruby at the bottom of the glass when held right up to the light,a half finger creamy mocha colored head atop.Dark fruit with a slight sour tinge in the nose,a roasted nut note wich comes along with alot of the beers of the same style is there as well,odd no roast playing a role.Like drinking a liquid raisin at the first couple sips,oddly the roast is subdued as well as the chocolate,it's all about dark fruit and alcohol.I like this beer but it's one sided in the dark fruit category,still this is top notch from this brewery.Actually this is not the the first "Big Eddy" beer I have tried.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The JLBC Imperial Stout is a big beer that is great for an after dinner aperitif. The beer pours an opaque black with ecru head that is not leaving much lace. The scent carries a light peat and earth. The taste is a strong rich taste bolster my slightly chocolate roast and espresso. There also is an earthy hint. The mouthfeel is a full body beer with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a decent stout.

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Photo of CASK1
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A raffle prize from our home-brew club's monthly meeting. Poured to a Sam Adams glass.

A - Jet black and opaque. Tan head fades a bit quickly, but leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S - Roast malt up front. Hints of bitter chocolate and coffee. Some sweetness and low alcohol aroma. Low teasing amounts of piney hops. As it warms, some dark fruit esters emerge - plums and raisins.

T - Dark chocolate and toffee sweetness. Hints of coffee. Medium hop bitterness, but low hop flavor. A bit of metallic character distracts from the flavor a bit. The alcohol is well hidden in this beer. I would like more complexity to the flavor of a RIS than what I find here.

M - Full-bodied, viscous, and smooth. Medium carbonation. Moderate alcohol warmth, but not "hot". Somewhat creamy.

O - I was not expecting much from this beer, but was pleasantly surprised. A decent take on the style from a brewery that doesn't get a lot of love on BA.

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Photo of NewGlarusFan
4.26/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in Pint glass bottle marked 2012

A) Pour dark and heavy like used motor oil. Thick dark chocolate colored head. No light can pierce this dark beast.

S) Dark fruits, plum jam, chocolate, nuts

T) Chocolate covered raisins, coffee, plum, espresso

M) thick and heavy

O) good but there are better Russian imperial stouts out there.

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Photo of DIM
4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2011 bottle, thanks Chris.

a: Black body; big, thick tan colored head.

s: Roasty bittersweet chocolate, some fairly pronounced jammy dark fruit, and subdued heat.

t: Big chocolate notes from start to finish. Bittersweet up front, with the sweetness fading towards the finish. Moderate heat and a surprisingly strong hop tingle at the end. Nice tart berry flavor throughout.

m: Medium body and creamy carbonation.

o: Top notch stout for sure.

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

2011 version

Appearance is a very dark cloudy beer (cellared)

Smell is of fruits and leather. old...

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

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

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Photo of joe1510
4.29/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz Bottle

Received this in a trade with Badbeer, thanks Mike. Big Eddy gurgles from the bottle midnight black with zero transparency. The mocha head grew to a quality two fingers on the pour and as it fell to a crown left sheet lacing its whole way down. Big Eddy is a really good looking stout.

This stout has a huge amount of dark berry nose to it. Blackberry mostly and unripe blueberry. There are some darkly roasted malts making up the foundation then comes that berriness. There's a touch of dark chocolate wafting up through it all but it's ghostly.

This is one of those beers that taste nothing like what it smells like. The dark roasted maltiness is in the aroma but comes out full force in the mouth. Huge dark cocoa washes over my tongue mid-palate before segueing into dark chocolate on the finish. A hint of blackberry and a hint of dark roasted coffee compliment things nicely. This is an excellent, rich stout.

The mouthfeel is spot on; viscous with and incredibly smooth mouthfeel. Let's see, I believe it weighs in at a respectable 10W-30.

For a stout so big (weighing in at 9.5abv) this one goes down incredibly easy. It's supremely easy to sip considering the robust flavor and high abv.

I was glad to hear of Leinenkugels entering the extreme beer marketplace (with the Big Eddy series) as they've always been a favorite regional brewer of mine. I'm even happier to see that they did such a great job with such a big beer. I'll raise my glass to Leinenkugels and that they keep the surprises coming.

Reviewed: 1/5/08

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Cheers

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Photo of StArnoldFan
2.85/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle poured to a snifter

Saw this a my local HEB on the singles rack for $1.99 and decided to give it a try. Pours a solid black with minimal head, reminds me of something barrel aged. The nose is nothing but strong alcohol, kinda turns me off right away. The taste is much the same, some roasted malt but overpowering alcohol takes over. Iv have beers higher in ABV taste and smell milder than this. Glad I only bought a single of this, cause its horrible and I won't ever buy it again.

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Photo of brewcifix
4.57/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Big Eddy pours clear brown-black, but rests opaque black in the glass. There is a fizzy mocha head that provides a little lacing.

S- Roasted malts, molasses, toffee, dark fruit and raisin fill the nose. The bouquet is strong and lasts well to the last drop!

T- Sweet roasted malts, caramel, coffee, and bitter-sweet chocolate give way to sweet malty toffee finish. Hops take a back seat, only leaving a subtle grassy pine in an abundantly roasted malt-coffee aftertaste. This is a very nice tasting stout, indeed!

M- Soft carbonation accompanies a heavy tongue weight. This beer goes down silky- almost syrupy. It'd be difficult to drink ten of these, but, one is one to savor for sure.

Overall, this is a fabulous Russian Imperial. Unlike most brews, Big Eddy boasts a strong nose and rich taste without letting up an iota for the duration of the glass. Anyone that looks for a malt forward, sweet, rich, and impressive stout is sure to appreciate this one! I encourage anyone that happens upon this on tap or in a liquor store to not let this one slip through their fingers! I had this on tap at Bukowski's in Boston, and wasn't letting someone else buy it at my favorite liquor store! I even bought a little extra to age. I'll be back at a later date to review that!

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Photo of MaximalC
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours seal brown with molasses highlights and a moderate head of mocha foam. Retention and lacing are both very respectable. Aroma smells of molasses and herbal hops--a contrast to be sure. Alcohol is also present in the nose. The flavor profile features big roasted malt notes and herbal, almost medicinal, hops. Coffee and dark fruit lurk beneath the surface as well but are more difficult to discern behind the bitterness of the hops (warming helps some in this regard). Some dark chocolate creeps through in the finish as well. The mouthfeel is moderately sticky and appropriate for the style.

If not for the pronounced herbal hop character, this would be a really fine imperial stout. Unfortunately, the bitterness masks the more delectable nuances of the malt. It's still very flavorful, and I'd be happy to have it again, but it falls just shy of balanced.

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

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

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

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

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Photo of vcoggins
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle
Served in a Snifter glass

A - Pours black as night with a thin light brown head.

S - Dark fruits, chocolate, roasted malts, slight coffee. Complex smells hide the alcohol well.

T - Very malty taste. Dark fruits there but not as strong as on the nose. Coffee. Light hoppy bitterness. The alcohol adds a nice warming feeling as it goes down.

M - Thick body that really coats the mouth nicely. Light on the carbonation. Very smooth.

O - Very nice complex beer. My first from Leinenkugel. I am pleasantly surprised by this RIS. Overall this is a great stout.

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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,274 ratings.
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