Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

very good
488 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 488 | Ratings: 1,279
Photo of Bleer
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good, not great. Poured hard into a snifter from a 12oz bottle. Heavy char taste to me, others describe as "campfire". Boozy but harsh. Very dry, makes me want to chase it with cold water. I'd drink it if offered but I wouldn't buy again.

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Photo of BWood
2.63/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

L: black with small head .

S: malty and roasty. Ok .

T: tastes of malt and booze.

F: feels like a barleywine. Just a really bad one.

O: I wouldn't rebuy. I saw a 2013 RIS sitting on the shelf in March 2016. Thought it would be good. But it was not.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bought from Bev Mart
Dark black color
Low Carbonation
Burnt roasted malt smell
Taste of smokey chocolate, alcohol taste is noticeable
Overall I would not buy it again. To me a good beer is you can feel the alcohol, but not taste it. The characteristic flavors should be the dominate taste.

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Photo of SFNC
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Leinenkugal brew usually leave cold, but this is a pleasant surprise. The taste reminds me on one of my all time favorites, Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout, just a little less refined.
Look; Standard RIS look, very dark black, mocha colored head.
Smell; A bit boozy, leather roasted malts, wood, some licorice.
Taste; A strong scorched malt flavor, with a smoke like presence. Booze is not very well hidden, creating slight harshness.
Feel; Smooth, slightly thin for a RIS, but no demerits. The aftertaste reminds me of a smoked beer.
Overall; Not a classic, but pretty good. This won't bump any of my favorites out of rotation, but I'd gladyl drink one if offered. This would be the best beer I've had from Leinenkugel to date.

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Photo of chicagoish
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Solid Imperial Stout from a 12 oz Bottle . Smooth dark pour. Had huge notes of chocolate, malt, leather, maybe even a little tobacco flavor. Hard to note the 9.5ABV as it's smooth under the taste.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a tulip. 2015 vintage. 26514B22052 is stamped on the bottom. 01416 021011617 is stamped on the neck.

Pours tarry black with a slow-to-bloom head that fades quickly to a small ring. Very fine, very slow carbonation. This beer looks very thick. Smell is booze and overripe cherries, bourbon or smoke and wood, licorice.

Taste is burnt wood and licorice, alcohol. A little of the cherry or plum sweetness. Surprisingly nondescript.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin. Overall, it's a pretty good RIS.

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Photo of MIchelle
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delicious tasting dark brew. Really packs a punch with that high abv but goes down very smooth. Nice inch plus tan head. Color is dark as dark can be, just the way I like my beer. :) Has a pleasant soft smell. I like this one a lot more then the average rating gives it but hey I'm just one dark beer drinker.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

"Dark and complex with 11 malts and grains balanced by three different and distinct hops." Brewed in the style of a Russian Imperial Stout. Available in 12 oz. bottled 4 packs and on limited draft. Released as part of the Big Eddy series.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter glass. Served above 61 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a creamy frothed head of a chocolate brown color over a very dark brown, near black body. Retention is very good and lacing is light and patchy. 3.75

(Smell) Medium roasted barley, chocolate and caramel bread, candied sugars, licorice and dark fruit syrups. Potency is high. 4

(Taste) Creamy chocolate syrups, light caramel grains and toasted bread. Light licorice and syrupy fruit presence. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, residual and moderately chewy, lightly dry. Carbonation is light, generating a light frothiness and a mildly crisp finish. Body is medium+ for the style, shy of heavy overall. Balance is slightly earthy bitter over sweet. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 3.5

(Overall) Arguably one of the better Big Eddy releases, although consider it an introductory ale to the potential that the style has, as there are far more Russian Imperial Stouts that dive much deeper into the stout flavor profile than this one. 3.75

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company's
Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown almost black like oil, thick, with khaki colored head. Roasted malt and cocoa on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with a little sweetness rounded out with a raw cocoa like bitterness.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours bright coffee black under a 2” finely bubbled brown foam collar that grips the side of the glass.
S: Light roast, fruit, prune, dried fruit.
T: A creamy emulsion fills the palate with fruit, prune, dark dried fruit, and grain culminating in a bitter espresso finish.
F: Super creamy, chewy, medium carbonation.
O: A fruity sweetness throughout tempers the roast flavors.

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Photo of generallee
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. 9.5% abv and a very brief description of the beer. Appearance: Very dark used motor oil like pour. Looks Black in the glass and has a small dark tan head. It fades out quickly leaving a light ring. Some lacing on the glass. Smell: It has a slightly lighter nose than I was expecting but still full of dark roasted maltiness and earthy hops. Taste/Palate: It is full of deep roasted maltiness caramel like sweetness and a touch of prune. The finish bring some hop bitterness and and mild dry earthy tones. Overall it remains fairly sweet.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost black with a coffee colored head that trails the glass. The smell is full of dark chocolate with a bit of espresso. The taste was great with those semi sweet flavors melding with some dark fruit as well as a bit of tobacco. I liked it quite a bit but thought it was a little thin for a RIS that was 9.5%.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.85/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Great dark brown brew with beautiful frothy khaki colored cap. Lacing up and down the sides. Licorice, roast, char, tobacco, and minimal chocolate make up the aroma. Taste is of roasted malts, ash, slight coffee with some cocoa mixed about. Not super thick but medium bodied enough for me to enjoy. This was overall a fantastic imperial stout that more than surpassed my expectations. Enjoy!

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in a snifter from a twelve ounce bottle.

Light but frothy dark-khaki colored head. Settles into a quarter inch of froth that could be ladled. Pitch black body. Excellent looking beer. 4.5

Sweet caramel, floral, dark chocolate and vanilla on the nose. Something slightly spicy in there, as well as some smoke. 4

Pretty campfire and bacon-like. I always love those flavors. Dark chocolate and vanilla are there and a a heavily pronounced floral hop flavor. The flavor is a tad yeasty but otherwise great tasting. Toasted coconut makes a nice entrance as I delve deeper in the beer. 3.75

As I mentioned, it has a smoky feel, is a tad yeasty, and has a creamy, viscous and medium carbonated feel. The hops give a slight touch of hop bitterness. 3.5

$8 RIS 4-pack and it's damn good. A few noticeable flaws but again, a great beer and especially so for the price.

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

A: deep black. Caramel head, medium density foam.

S: strong smell of chocolate. Milk chocolate.

T: extremely creamy, great chocolate taste,

M: fantastically creamy feel. Very thick. Has a nice boozy finish but not at all overpowering.

O: I picked this up because it looked interesting. I was extremely pleased. Never knew this existed. I will look for this again. Will probably do well with a little age too.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Vintage 2013 bottle served in a snifter glass.

So this is the third beer I've tried in Liney's Big Eddy series. Hopefully it is better than that cherry doppleschwartzbier cough syrup @#$%. The the dry hoped Oktoberfest was ok but the added hops ruined the traditional style. I digress, here we go...

Appearance: classic RIS. Thick, viscous, plenty of creamy tan head, black as night with no light shining through. On a side note, I really do like the labels of this series of beers. Great design.

Nose: plums, figs, raisins, prunes, prune juice, chocolate, roasted malts, campfire ashes, not boozy at all

Taste and Mouthfeel: creamy and rich, burnt malts, smokey, very dark chocolate (bakers), hoppy bite from the "3 distinct hops", not too bad. Lingering aftertaste.

Overall: It is an Americanized version of the classic RIS style. Not too bad and by far the best in their Big Eddy series so far. This 4-pack is from the 2013 release (Feb/Mar 2014 shelf time) so I'm thinking it has about a year of age on it. I'll try it again in a few months to see if things are changing. If they don't, I can certainly enjoy a few more of these. Not as good as other RISs I've tried but a nice offering from Liney's.

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Photo of smcolw
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Small beige head that settles to rim bubbles. A couple of streaks for lace. Near black color with no light passing through.

Smell of ash and charcoal. I note some sour cherry in the background.

The flavor reminds me of black coffee. Again, the post-grilling ash and charcoal show up in the swallow. There's a touch of sweetness at the very end that lingers throughout the aftertaste. Full bodied for the style, but not too much.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.51/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

passable, but something here i just dont like. its hotly alcoholic, way more than the abv should force, and way more than i think the style allows for, or should allow for, its distracting to a nice dark fruit and charcoal malt profile and i really cant get past it. it feels weird in the stomach and going down because of it, and im having a harder time enjoying the dark chocolate and vanilla and tobacco flavors in it. is there a touch of smoke to it? it certainly seems to pop up in the finish. others have described this as smooth, so maybe something was off with the bottle i had, but i wouldnt describe it like that at all, well, maybe texture, but certainly not in overall feel, it almost burns. the way paint smells this sort of feels, if that makes sense. still, i think the project is a noble one, and i think the beers isnt as bad as i am making it sound, but the alcohol exposure is a little much. looks amazing though, shiny black and heady forever. good to get a four pack of a style like this out there affordably too, which is probably this beers greatest merit.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. Aged for about 6 months.

A: Black with a tan half finger head that blows out fast. Some foam on top. Curtain-y lacing.

S: Anise, chocolate, leather, molasses. Vanilla, too.

T: Strong chocolate opening volley with hints of vanilla. Also picking up anise and molasses. Some dark fruits in the mix, too. Nutty and malty. So smooth and creamy. Robust.

M: Medium to heavy with medium, creamy carbonation. A dry finish.

O: A terrific sipper. A very nice RIP that would go well with brownies or a chocolate chip cookie. I really think the aging helped it. Would love to try a year in the closet.

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Photo of CHickman
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%

A well aged bottle that is at least a year old, it pours pitch black color with a thick 3 finger creamy tan head that was full of bubbles and faded very slowly, not really moving for a minute or so and then dissipating slowly and leaving great lacing coating the sides and rings as it went down.

Smells sweet and boozy with strong coffee, chocolate and espresso up front, followed by roasted grains, charred wood, dark fruit, molasses, brown sugar and a milky sweetness like a milk stout with a half a shot of bourbon poured in it. Hints of vanilla and licorice trail the strong char and coffee notes, and the booze comes through but in a complimentary way.

Taste is very similar to the nose, with coffee, dark chocolate, espresso, whipped cream, roasted grains, charred wood, burnt oats, dark fruit like cherry, raisin and very sweet prunes, molasses, brown sugar, bourbon, red wine barrels that unleash oaky tannins like a merlot, vanilla, malted ball candy (forget the name) and licorice. The booze is present but not hot, and the bitterness is strong but this was still pretty smooth for such a heavy, chewy beer. It said a variety of hops were used on the bottle, but the only evidence of hops is the mild bitterness which more resembles a dark coffee than a blend of hops.

Mouthfeel was thick and heavy, with a slick feel across the tongue, a smack and some mild heat from the booze, mild carbonation, and a plethora of flavors that were very complex and got more flavorful as it warmed.

I know that this is a Leinenkugel brew, but this could be mistaken for a Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout in a blind taste test. This bottle aged well and was very tasty, so I would definitely have this again and would recommend it.

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

12 oz. bottle, vintage 2013, with 34414 printed on the bottleneck. My first from the Big Eddy line of beers from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. Brewed with 11 malts and grains, and three varieties of hops.

Poured into a Big Eddy snifter glass, gifted to me from my homies at Ardmore Station Liquors. #properglassware.

A - It pours thick and viscous, a black body with some brownish red hues to it when poured. Opaque in the glass. Two fingers of creamy dark mocha head that retains well for the high abv, and leaves behind lots of nice fluffy sticky lacing.

S - The aroma isn't half bad either - lots of dark raisins / figs / dates, hints of coffee, and some creamy chocolatey sweetness. Not the greatest smelling stout, but intriguing and appealing enough.

T - Taste follows the nose - light sugary sweetness, roasted malt, notes of char / coffee / chocolate / cream / toffee. Lots of raisin / fig / date dark fruitiness and just a hint of herbal hop presence buried in the finish. Not bad at all.

M - The feel is bitter & roasty on the finish. Thick and creamy with good carbonation, and easy drinking for the hefty 9.50% abv.

Overall, a very nice take on the style from this brewery; definitely exceeded the expectations I had for it on many levels. By far the best thing I have had from this brewery, and I think a year's worth of age might have done this beer some good. Recommended, and I would have it again.

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout -----3.5/5

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Photo of dmgeng
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Got this from my coworker. I was on the fence about this "Leine" spin-off but I was pleasantly surprised.

A - Nice robust black color. Mostly clear but difficult to see from the dark color. Dark khaki colored head with light lacing.

S - Strong roasty aroma with some chocolate, some malt, and a burnt tone that is predominant. There is some alcohol and a light coffee tone after the roasted notes.

T - Very similar to the smell this beer it is pretty good with all those tastes swirling around. It seems somewhat muddled but still good flavor. There is a sweet roasty character that is predominant and has some light coffee tones that compliment. It's good but it seems that the roasted, burnt character is the most predominant flavor.
M - Moderate mouth-feel. Light carbonation. Not as heavy as other imperial stouts but is a better drinker than I had expected.

Overall, this is a solid imperial stout. Not the best imperial stout I've ever had but is still very good with a tilt toward the burnt side. I was surprised that this was better than expected and I prefer the thicker and boozier but this is a way to double up a dry stout and keep drinking.

Glass- Snifter

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Photo of BladesOfBarley
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

2013 Vintage Four Pack

Okay, so here it is. The best beer that I've ever had by Leinenkugel's, a rich, velvety and bitter Russian Imperial Stout.

Starting off, is the appearance. Rich and velvety black, with a rich brown ahead (mollasses?) A pleasure to look at.

Starting off, is a wonderful boozy and chocolaty aroma. Some roasted barley and coffee as expected in the style, the richness of the aroma is incredible on a fall day like this. Compliments the appearance well.

Finally, the most important factor: the taste! Chocolates, bourbon style boozy taste, roasted coffee beans, some vanilla, a hint of cherries, roasted barley is through it all, ending on a pleasant bitter end to this other wise incredibly sweet RIS.

Verdict: One of the best I've had, especially considering it's father company! Curious as to how the rest will hold up over the next 6 months to a year.

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Photo of Roguer
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Beautiful stout: pours dark nut brown, almost perfectly black, and topped by a very dark brown head. Retention is good, leaving long lines of lacing.

Creamy, boozy RIS aroma, dominated by roasted barley with a bit of cacao and a hint of syrup.

Chocolate and earthy up front on the tongue, followed by a hint of booze and a ton of roasted barley. Slightly metallic on the mid-palate, and washed over by an incredibly strong dose of blackstrap molasses; by far the most I've ever noticed in a beer. Fascinating, and certainly not unpleasant.

Thick, chewy mouthfeel; an excellent representation of a full-bodied stout. Long, sticky finish; medium alcohol presence.

This is really an excellent stout across the board. The huge molasses note on the back-end, carrying with it a subtle metallic twinge, might put some people off, but overall this is a barley-forward, sweet, thick stout.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +4.2%

2013 vintage:

Pours pitch black with a lasting brown head. Great retention for the style.

The smell is of rich chocolate, roasted espresso and anise.

The taste follows the nose - robust chocolate sweetness balanced by sour-ish dried dark fruit and earthy/anise-like notes and roasted espresso. Complex and delicious.

Dangerously smooth, this is a rich, enjoyable RIS!

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Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,279 ratings.
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