Big Eddy Ryewine Ale | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

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Big Eddy Ryewine AleBig Eddy Ryewine Ale
Very Good
144 Ratings
Big Eddy Ryewine AleBig Eddy Ryewine Ale

Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerFMAndy on 05-26-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 144 |  Reviews: 31
Photo of ruzzal
4.34/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sweffin
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of woodychandler
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It may be retired (my bottle is dated 2013), but when we saw this on the shelf during a recent foray, I suggested that my friend buy it! He was kind enough to gift me a bottle & since 2017 approacheth, no time like the present.

From the ancient bottle: "A rare blend of rye malts gives a spicy complexity to a brew with the unforgettable depth of an American barleywine ale."; "Our Brewery was born on the Big Eddy Spring in Chippewa, Wisconsin[.] Its waters guiding us through five generations of genuine brewing heritage."

Upon Pop!ping the cap, I noted some crystals around the mouth. Caramelization? Oxidation? We shall see. A booziness began to waft forth, though, even before the pour. I employed a very gentle pour so as not to Rousey (loser!) any lees that may have formed in the interim since this beer's bottling. I noticed that some foaming had come up in the neck, so I was even more cautious than usual. It seemed to come out in a clot, so I poured maybe a quarter of it and then set it back down to re-settle. I only had wisps for head and even a vigorous in-glass swirl would not raise anything more than that. Color was a hazy Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27, but closer to 27) & I want to see if it clarifies with some wait time. Nose smelled like whisky with a woodiness and a booziness that just seemed to beckon me forth. Mouthfeel was big, full & thick, kind of like one of my exes. The taste was initially oaky with caramel undertones, but then I also got some leather, dried dark fruits, and a light peppery spiciness from the rye. Phew! This was unquestionably a sipper. I liked getting a dram or so in my mouth and just letting it roll around on my tongue. The caramel flavor really began to assert itself, but it was actually more towards toffee (not quite burnt) than caramel. I have shared before about my youthful (high school) desire to become a cook, but I HATE making candy! Especially hard candies. That s**t is molten and dangerous as heck to make. The smell in the HomeEc lab when we made peppermints was fantastic, but pouring it into molds left all of us shaking. Have you ever seen the scale on a candy thermometer? Ugh. Best left to the professionals. Back to the beer. Second pour. Clarity has only slightly increased, although I got a brief finger of soapy, light tan head this time, vice wisps. The leatheriness is becoming more potent as I now get it both on the nose and in the mouth. The mouthfeel remains like a dollop on my tongue. It would be daring to drink it in a quick swallow. Toffee? Butterscotch? NOT diacetyl, however! Finish was dry, very liquor-like, with a slight astringency from the rye. It acted kind of like a pepperiness in the back of the throat. Another memory: when I was assigned to the Auxiliary Security Force (ASF) on NAS Alameda, CA back in 1988, I was not happy about becoming a cop. I was even unhappier when the only way that we could be issued pepper spray was to have it sprayed on us first. Man, that stuff burns like fire! They told us to close our eyes and clamp our mouths shut, but I either inhaled some or it dripped into my mouth. This beer was nothing that intense, but it did have the power to conjure up the memory. Oof. Final thoughts as I ready the lees for consumption: What a shame that it is out of production! I really need to read some of the early reviews for (perhaps) a clue. It was a really lucky find on our part. It has held up extremely well. Time to assign some rating scores.

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Photo of pkkosmatka
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of deebo
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle of 2013 that has been festering for awhile. Didn't have this fresh so going in blind.
A-Poured into a snifter, this brew has a thin finger of slightly tight tan head atop a clear (with yeast floaties) brown coloer with ruby highlights when held up to light.
S-Quite aromatic; notes of rum soaked cranberries and raisins with at this point hints of rye malt spiciness.
T-Quite a bit of dark fruit maltiness sweetness at this point with hints of rye peppery bite.
M-Pretty rich with a moderate body, fair warming in the finish with a little bit of alcohol vapors.
O-I like the way this has more than likely mellowed. The nice rich malty sweetness has overtaken any rye overpowering spiciness.

 703 characters

Photo of barczar
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage.

Huge notes of deeply caramelized malt, toffee, dates, sherry, and spicy rye form the complex aroma.

Flavor is spicy throughout, on the sweet side, with underlying dates, prunes, and toffee that lingers into the dry, lightly bitter, peppery finish. Very complex character. Light notes of cardboard in the aftertaste, but has aged very well.

 359 characters

Photo of Theoboley
2.65/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Definitely not as complex as most other barley/wheat/rye wines out there. After letting it sit for a good year and a half, it seems to have gotten worse. This was no gem to start with, but aged, I was hoping that it would pull through.

Mouthfeel is thin. I expect a big, malty, velvety, almost tongue coating feel, and this provided none.

Smell - there wasn't a lot of hop character to this to begin with, what little there was, was gone now. Smelled of spicy rye, malt, maybe a little raisin & fig. And a touch of alcohol

Taste - follows the nose, but add an odd bitter finish.

Look - again, like the mouth, the look was very thin, like it had been filtered. I looked at the bottom of the bottle, surely to see some dregs, and it was clean as a whistle. Very odd.

Overall - I've had this fresh, and I've had this aged. This was much better at its release. I actually drain-poured this and moved on to something better.

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Photo of WiggyKGB
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Thrifty101091
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tbone1384
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jadjunk
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

"A rare blend of rye malts gives a spicy complexity to a brew with the unforgettable depth of an American barleywine ale." Brewed in the style of an American Barleywine Ale with Rye malt added. Summer 2013 release in the Big Eddy lineup series, available in 12 oz. bottled 4 packs and on limited draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter glass. Served above 58 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, frothy maple tan colored head over a cloudy dark brown body with deep burgundy highlights. Retention is below average and lacing is light and spotty. 2.75

(Smell) Caramelized dark sugars, soft caramel grains, some light unsweetened toffee malts, a pinch of alcohol. Soft stone fruitiness and a dense body add to complexity. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) Light caramel syrups forward, making for a slick, easy drinking barleywine base with the delicate tangy but shallow rye contributing more to the body than the flavor complexity. Despite this, it still comes off highly drinkable for the style and lighter bodied than I usually expect per the style. Finishes slick and dry with a puff of mild alcohol. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) The texture is slick, silky, lightly chewy, clean and moderately dry. Carbonation is medium, generating a light frothiness and a moderately creamy finish. Body is medium for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is slightly sweet over bitter. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 3.5

(Overall) Even with the inclusion of rye in the mix, this Big Eddy Barleywine manages to come across mildly bodied yet highly drinkable, with not too much added complexity nor a wide flavor range through the rye malts. Unlike several bad experiences with other beers in the Big Eddy label, however, I found this Ryewine Ale very drinkable for the style and considerably less harsh and grainy than other styles that Leinenkugel has experimented with. I would not go out of my way to seek this ale out but recommend it as one of the finer ales in the Big Eddy series and one worth getting, especially if bargain priced. I don't think that it holds a candle to some of the most mainstream American Barleywine ales out there but as per Leinenkugel standards, it's a pretty solid beer. 3.75

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company's
Big Eddy Ryewine Ale

 2,308 characters

Photo of SweetwaterTuonker
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Shawner
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Kevinpitts
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed from a 12 oz bottle in a Liefmans snifter. This most excellent ale pours a hazy orangeish red with a 1/2 inch layer of foam with GREAT retention and beautiful soapy lacing. Nose of figs, nicely roasted caramel, raisins, and herbal grain spiciness. Flavors are sweet to the front, spicy rye to the sides, and a blend of figs, raisins, and sweet malts to the back with a lingering sweet aftertaste of fig like jam. Mild carbonation makes this one a fine sipper and a great addition to the Big Eddy family. Most excellent.


 541 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of russpowell
3.39/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

2013 vintage pours an effervescent scarlet/orange with a pinky of tan head. Stays effervescent with decent head retention & lacing

S: Leafy hops, figs

T: Follows the nose, some jammyness, dryness & faint whispers of rye pepperiness. Booze warmth, leafy hops & more figgyness. Finishes jammy, with a little leafy hops & booze warmth

MF: Medium bodied, some warmth & low carbonation

Must try this fresher, but this is a place holder. I would buy again in hopes of more rye...

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Photo of NickyPogs
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of themorninglark
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%

Photo of RBCBrams17
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of tourdot
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Kingcurio
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of WastingFreetime
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of lochef81
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

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Big Eddy Ryewine Ale from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 144 ratings