Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Big Eddy Russian Imperial StoutBig Eddy Russian Imperial Stout
Very Good
1,288 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,288 |  Reviews: 490
Photo of buyBinboaVodka
2.69/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a pitch black with a 2 finger dark khacki head. It leaves some nice sticky lacing around the glass.

S - Bitter chocolate and burnt malts. This has a rather odd smell to it for a stout. Its not crisp and clean, but smells rather sloppy. Like it doesn't know what it is.

T - Bitter chocolate followed by burnt malts. Some coffee comes through as it warms up. The finish seems to be lacking in flavor. Something is missing in this beer.

M - It feels rather thin with moderate carbonation.

O - This is an ok beer. I would not reach for it again with so many other options.

 583 characters

Photo of Oboogie
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of plasma
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of YobroitsJoe
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of RievyRW
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of harrylee773
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of PirateBier
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of Retail1LO
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Beer pours jet black with a thick, two finger coffee tinted head that recedes rather quickly. The nose on this is pretty muted. Or perhaps it's my sniffer. Might revisit this aspect of the review with one of the three remaining bottles. From what I can gather, however, it's pretty roasty, malty, and has some hints of chocolate. The taste has a certain fruitiness to it. Cherries, figs...not quite sure...but the sweetness is a fruity variety. Subtle woody notes, alongside of vanilla and a touch of alcohol make an appearance. The mouthfeel is way smooth. Very silky, with a slight remnant of alcohol lingering behind. Overall, this is a fine stout. It's nice seeing a BMC beer come through for a change.

 753 characters

Photo of Tone
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 3/4 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, roasted malt, sweet malt, hint of oatmeal, hint of dark citrus, and a hint of maple syrup. Fits the style of a Russian Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, roasted malt, hint of coffee, hint of hop, slight sweet malt, hint of dark citrus, hint of maple syrup, and a hint of oak. Overall, good appearance, aroma, complexity, blend, and great body. Lacking in roasted malt or hop bitterness.

 557 characters

Photo of ucis
5/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of AlexChillton
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of kenm2118
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of boralyl
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage.

A - Pours pitch black with a very small dark tan head that fades quickly with little lace.

S - Huge chocolate and roasted malt notes are apparent in the aroma. There is also a small alcohol presence.

M - Full in body with light carbonation. Smooth and creamy in the mouth feel.

T - Dark roasted malts are infused with light chocolate. There is what tastes like light woodiness throughout along with some dark fruit near the finish. It finishes with some moderate bitterness.

An above average Imperial Stout. I was surprised that Leinenkugel could produce a beer of this caliber. As the description says, this beer does age well (with one year on it now). Certainly worth picking up and giving a try.

 718 characters

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

Pours like 10,000 mile motor oil with a pinky of mocha colored head. Good lacing & above average head retention, much viscosity

S: Oaky & vanilla notes, figs & raisins, they fade a bit as this warms

T: Dark fruit, woody hops, prunes & dryness up front. Some charred grain as this warms, along with some boozey coarseness, a touch of smokeyness & more pruney notes. Finishes dry, fruitty & with some woody hops, plus a kiss of carob

MF: Chewy, fairly firm carbonation

A decent Imp Stout, doesn't compare well to the best, but easily the best beer I've had from these guys

 574 characters

Photo of smogfood
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of jegross2
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company.
Score: 90

2011 vintage bottle poured in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Dark chocolate color, pours one and a half fingers of creamy tan head that settles to about a half finger. Entirely opaque. Excellent lacing. 4.5/5

Smell: Sweet and creamy bitter chocolate. A little bit of toffee, some dark fruits. Hop bitterness and alcohol aromas at the back end. 4/5

Taste: Creamy, malty milk chocolate with light tones of sweet honey. Very malty-sweet, raisin and dark fruit, flavor on the mid-palate. Finishes with smoky dark chocolate that lingers a long time. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, light-medium carbonation (which is a bit much for a Russian Imperial Stout, but it's not over-carbonated). Finishes very dry. 3.5/5

Overall: A surprisingly good offering and attempt at the style by Leinenkugel, who makes some of the worst beer that often gets labeled as "craft" at bars. Nonetheless, Big Eddy does not stack up to most craft breweries' Russian Imperial Stout recipes. Certainly worth buying, and I would certainly try this beer again, but I would rather spend the extra couple of dollars for Ten Fidy if I am at a liquor store with a good selection.

Recommendation: This is a very good Russian Imperial Stout as a "gateway beer" for casual drinkers curious in the style (or just higher ABV beverages). For the more seasoned beer drinker, this one is also worth the moderate price.

Pairings: Hamburgers, maybe pumpkin pie.

Cost: $10.99 for a four pack.

 1,546 characters

Photo of dgugliuzza
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter

Charcoal black in appearance with a still, sandy brown head. Thin head almost completely dissolves into small bubbles.

Sweet and chocolaty aroma. Has a large malt bill backed by a touch of roastiness. Some bitterness at the back end. No alcohol aroma. Pretty straight forward, but still quite appealing.

Chocolate malt and honey sweet flavor profile. More roastiness and bitterness than the nose indicated. The finish is dry and bitter with a hint of salt. Soy sauce perhaps? Lots of ash as well. Great start but the finish is head scratching.

Medium mouthfeel with some creaminess and adequate carbonation. A bit too watery for the style and not refined. Decent drinkability. It's really hindered by the ashy finish.

Not a bad effort as it certainly has some nice flavors. I really enjoy the chocolate malt bill; however, something just seems off here. The ashy, salty finish is becoming more overpowering with each sip and the bitterness is oddly misplaced. I'd like to try it again to see if my palate reacts differently, but I wouldn't go out of my way.

 1,105 characters

Photo of wallrock
5/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of FreshmanPour77
5/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of BrewerB
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade but can not recall this generous BA who sent it. Whomever you are, thank you!

Pouring into a Jester King snifter that arrived courtesy of miikezombie. Thanks again, Glen! Midnight back with a well-sunned tan foam that dissipates quickly. Long, sticky legs nod towards a strong brew.

Prominent dark, roasted aromas include prunes, charcoal, blackberry, and dark chocolate. Non-modest alcohol isn't hot/solventy.

Flavor melds the deep roasted malty complexity you'd expect from the style. Usual suspects of well-roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate swimming in the same jet black pool as ash and blueberry. Medium-finish leaves a lingering chocolate-covered blackberry. Bitterness is appropriate and helps provide balance to the massive malt bill. Slight earthy/dirt hops.

Medium-full bodied, moderate-low level of carbonation. Alcohol warmth without being solventy.

A lot of what I'd hope for in a Russian Imperial Stout is present here - the massively rich dark roasted malts, luscious body, and enough drinkability to keep me sipping. Well done.

 1,080 characters

Photo of blackcompg
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from their 12oz bottle into my 12oz glass

Appearance - Poured a finger of cinnamon brown head, color is an opaque deep mahogany to an almost red/black. Beautiful thick brown lacing covering the entire glass when finished. *only other time I've seen a head this color is with FBS.

Smell - Molasses, dark fruits, roast/smoke, and dark cherries.

Taste - Oh my goodness, this is delicious! Starts out with liquid smoke & molasses, then quickly goes to ripe dark fruits, semi-sweet soy sauce, a burst of dark cherries, hint of black coffee, then some drying roasted grains.

Mouthfeel - Medium+ mouthfeel, a smooth, creamy, mouthcoating beer. Carb is nearly medium but ends up feeling like silky smooth foam, not any crispness or edges here.

Overall - Perhaps I'm a bit biased here, but I LOVE all of the flavors in this beer, especially they way they are combined. I find this beer complex and very well balanced, and actually has notes of sweet, salty, sour, bitter and dry all in one beer. I will ALWAYS have this beer in my fridge, for as long as it's available. Two thumbs way up for me, can't believe this is Leinies! It certainly isn't the Leinie's price either, but well worth it in my opinion.

 1,208 characters

Photo of rundocrun
3.11/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours deep black with no translucency or highlights whatsoever. Has a finger of rich mocha-brown head with decent retention. Slow, lazy bubbles drift up the glass through the viscous liquid. No lacing.

S - It is a mixture of bittersweet chocolate bar, an estery grape-like aroma, and some mild espresso undertones. No appreciable hop aroma. This smells very very sweet for an imperial stout.

T - Unsurprisingly, very sweet up front with lots of bitter chocolate and caramely malt. Minimal amount of acrid or burnt grain flavor through the middle (I would actually prefer/expect more for a RIS). The sweetness really predominates across my entire palate, morphing from malty, to chocolatey, to berry-like in the finish. Not much hop bitterness or booziness to speak of.

M - Strays more on the thick side, which is expected for the style. Carbonation is good, possibly a little strong. Leaves the mouth feeling syrupy and sugar-laden.

Overall- The guys at Leinenkugel's took a good stab at the RIS style. This is a decent beer, but it strays much too far on the sweet end with not enough hop/burnt grain character to balance it out. With a little tweaking, this could really be a great stout.

 1,242 characters

Photo of bootsdomino
4/5  rDev +5%

Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 1,288 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.