Big Eddy Ryewine Ale | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

BA SCORE
85
very good
143 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Big Eddy Ryewine AleBig Eddy Ryewine Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
leinie.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
143
Reviews:
31
Avg:
3.8
pDev:
12.37%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
11
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 143 |  Reviews: 31
Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of kojevergas
2.84/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

12 fl oz 2013 vintage brown glass bottle with classy label art (especially for Leinenkugel's!) and branded black pry-off pressure cap acquired for $3.49 at a local (and overpriced) bottle shop and served into an Avery stem-tulip in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given the brewery, which tends to disappoint. Reviewed as a barleywine/rye beer hybrid since the label identifies it as a ryewine. Normally I'd go with the brewery's classification, but this is Leinenkugel's we're talking about. 10% ABV confirmed. From the neck: "12614. A21011228."

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm considerably over the course of consumption as I don't like my barleywines too cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

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

Doesn't quite pour a true head, but it does have a floating semi-circle of near-head which is pale khaki in colour, thin, and lacks creaminess. It fades within 15 seconds, leaving no lacing.

All that's left to look at is the unappealing body which is a strange murky amber-brown colour and is painfully dull, lacking any vibrance or glow whatsoever even when backlit. Nontransparent and quasitranslucent. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Presentation overall is rather poor. This doesn't appear to be alive nor is it appealing; I'm a bit turned off. Appears undercarbonated, but I'm expecting overcarbonation given the brewery.

Sm: Toffee, caramel, marshmallow, the seeds of that stale cardboard note that tend to pop up in barleywines, brown malts, heavy residual sugars and a moderate accompanying sweetness, English biscuit malt, and cream. There's also some prominent prune and a hint of grape.

I search for rye (and/or its trademark subtle spiciness) and don't find it. I also have trouble identifying any discernable hop profile or yeast character. I do pick up some alcohol, but there're no other overt off-notes.

The toffee and marshmallow play well together and are a highlight for me personally, but I have my suspicions about how this will taste. It's a generally inoffensive aroma of mild strength. The aroma suggests a definite fruity stickiness.

T/Mf: The prune and grape dominate the flavour profile, obscuring the marshmallow and toffee notes - to the beer's detriment. The caramel also gets buried beneath the unbecoming fruitiness.

It has a plump, wet, sticky feel on the palate, which isn't a good presence for a style which excels with a lightly dry coarse texture. Carbonation is off, but I can't tell in which direction. It's filling, medium to full-bodied, and thick. Also a bit syrupy. The texture doesn't seem well-tailored to the taste, nor does it suit the style. I will say that it isn't as heavy on the palate as most beers in the style.

I pick up a bit of bread crust/light bready malts. Some vague nuttiness. Plenty of brown malts and a bit of English biscuit malt. I search for rye but the eponymous malt never shows up, nor does its trademark subtle spiciness.

Speaking of subtlety, there is none here. Nor is there much complexity, intricacy, or nuance. What little I was looking forward to after the aroma (the marshmallow and toffee primarily) got buried in the flavour profile. Grape rarely works in a barleywine, and Leinenkugel's sure isn't the brewery to brew the exception to the rule. Below average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

No hop profile comes through. I don't pick up on any yeast character either. It has some alcohol presence, but I wouldn't call it boozy or hot.

Not oily, gushed, astringent, harsh, or rough.

Dr: Not quite the sipper I expected, but the syrupy thick mouthfeel does restrict drinkability and holds the beer back. I definitely wouldn't pick this beer up again (especially at this price point). Far from Leinenkugel's worst effort, but it's a pretty lackluster barleywine and has little to offer the discerning drinker. Even huge fanatics of the style are unlikely to be satisfied. I'd caution friends against purchasing this and doubt I'll remember it in a couple weeks. It's just a forgettable middle-of-the-road barleywine and feels like a Leinenkugel's attempt to squeeze some bucks from craft drinkers. Hey, they got my money.

Uninspired mediocre stuff.

C

 4,337 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clear tawny port color capped by an inch or so of foam; quite a bit of lacing

Smell: Smells a bit like an herbal cherry cough syrup - plummy, with fortified grape, cherry and orange peel

Taste: Very fruity, with fortified grape, cherry, plum and dried orange peel cracking through the toffee malt; after the swallow, it tastes very much like fruitcake

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: A rather odd tasting beer, with a fruitcake character dominating; not sure what happened to the rye

 560 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Ryewine pours a very dark reddish orange color with bright clarity. When backlit it appears more of a dark copper. Creamy layer of surface foam, a little bit of frothy lace forms around the edges. A thin veil of skim remains after the first few sips.

Aroma is mild, some light butter toffee, a vague floral hop note.

Sweet and buttery toffee, light astringency, slippery feel. Vegetal bitterness in the aftertaste, along with some mild alcohol heat, sort of jarring. As it warms it gets a little thin and medicinal. Lacking flavor and complexity, slightly cloying and one-dimensional. Reminds me of Point's Whole Hog Barleywine with a better hidden abv.

 657 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 4/5/2014. Pours crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, pear, apple, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, toast, rye, brown bread, nuttiness, light chocolate, floral, and toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity and balance of malt and dark fruit notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, prune, pear, caramel, apple, brown sugar, toast, toffee, brown bread, rye, nuttiness, light chocolate, floral, and toasted earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark/light fruits, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toast, rye, nuttiness, floral, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of dark/toasted malt and fruity ester flavors; with big robustness and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and slightly syrupy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barleywine style. All around great complexity and balance of flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,346 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%

On-tap 3/19/2014 at Doherty’s Ale House, in Warwick, RI served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a large dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains brown sugar, caramelized malts, some fruit and touches of spice and hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty roasted malts character. Then some sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. There is some spice flavor in the background. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a very solid beer to drink for as long as you can handle it.

 899 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of russpowell
3.39/5  rDev -10.8%
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...

 486 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

 3,487 characters

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of jgunther71
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of krome
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

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

Photo of Whiskeydeez
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of enelson
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of spinrsx
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle the Wegmans Dewitt NY for $3

Appearance - Hazy brown colour with a good size frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, anise

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, molasses/caramel and hops. There is also some vanilla, cola and a touch of anise.

Overall - Surprisingly good. Picked this up because I'd never seen it before. The booze is well hidden and it seems like it is really well crafted.

 601 characters

Photo of sweemzander
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a very dark crimson amber color. Produced a nice cap of off-white froth. Surprising retention and lacing for the style.

(S)- A big rye malt base with massive raisin and plum dark fruits. Not overly sweet but a firm graininess to the smell overall.

(T)- Surprised at the amount of spicy dark fruits this has (plum, raisin, and prune). Slight biscuity yeast makes this quite belgian-like for me.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level. I really like the balance this has, even though it has strong belgian-like qualities despite it being an american barleywine.

(O)- An interesting take for a barleywine. With the age on the bottle, this has morphed into something complex, just not necessarily in a barleywine sense.

 758 characters

Photo of harpus
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of mattmarka1
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of barczar
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
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

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Big Eddy Ryewine Ale from Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 143 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.