otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - NOV 27, 2008
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
No matter how long I have been and will be in the world of beer, I am still amazed and quite often baffled by the widely accepted big name beers and just what it is that constitutes their largely universal appeal. Uniformity? Consistency? Cheap simplicity? Availability? Conspiracy? All of the above I would say, with far more than I can and would really like to go into at the moment. My personal ethics and beer politics aside, I always try to let the beers speak for themselves and so far to date Leinenkugal has done absolutely nothing to impress or even averagely appease me. Not part of their yearly selection of beers, I am hoping that the Leinenkugal Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout will be the one to buck a current trend and wow me with its flavor, dazzle me with its complexity, and woo me with its seductive quaffability.
A thick, oily, viscous pour is a promising sign of what is to come as my glass is slowly overtaken by its black abyss topped by a large tan head. Soft and tightly packed bubbles seem to be sucked into the blackness below, leaving only a thin tan layer. I swirl my glass a couple times and a dark tan head once again struggles to rise to the surface, but is once more sucked into the abyss below. Careful to not be sucked in myself, I raise the glass to my nose to partake of her bouquet which revels in richly roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, and pitted fruits such as dates and prunes with a dry citric lemon rind finish. So far, I am more than sufficiently impressed, and as I partake of my first quaff I am once more impressed. Thick and chewy with noticeable notes of licorice upfront while overripe dates and prunes come in a close second. A mildly dry finish, my lips smack with each sticky sweet, viscous, and mouth-coating quaff. The chocolate I got in her nose comes into play later on in the game, slowly building into a permanent afterimage while fresh dark chocolate and bakers chocolate cleans my palate in preperation of my next quaff. As I finish my Big Eddy, I have but one minor complaint amidst an oil field of satisfaction; she was almost a bit too sticky. That aside, well, done.
While I love being right, I also love being made a believer out of a usually washed-out macro brew performer and for Leinenkugal that would be the Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout. You won’t see me going near any of their other brews, but I would gladly grab another bottle of Big Eddy if given an opportunity. For anyone who is a fan of Russian Imperial Stouts, you need to give her a try.
after4ever (7581) - Brier, Washington, USA - NOV 3, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
12-oz. Thanks, Sprinkle! Pantanap? No, I think it was Sprinkle. :-)
Dense black with tight creamy tan mousse on top. Humongous sweet chocolate nose with backing chocolate there as well. A little bit of prune and coffee underneath that. Rich, dense, creamy, thick body--almost syrupy. Super complex multilayered swirls of chocolate on the mid-palate, from sweet tangy milk chocolate all the way to baking chocolate. Baking chocolate and coffee finish.
Tripplebrew (778) - Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA - NOV 1, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a midnight black with heavy lacing and really thick tan head. Aroma is nutty, malts, caramel. Flavor is caramel, malts and some hops undertones. Body is thick and cream with light carbonation.
kosko20 (352) - Bemidji, Minnesota, USA - OCT 27, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
On tap at Blue Nile. Pour is black with minimal brown head. Aroma is dark chocolate, caramel, dark fruit and raisins. Flavor much of the same with some alcohol. Palate is thick and chewy. Too much going on to enjoy. An alright but slightly disappointed.
BeerBunker (965) - Burbank, Illinois, USA - OCT 27, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap. Poured black with minimal brown head. Aroma was of roasted malt, dairy creamer, dark fruit, chocolate, and syrup. Taste was of chocolate, roasted malt, soy, raisins, and a small amount of coffee. Mouthfeel was lighter, yet sticker than expected. This one stuck to the mouth leaving a delicious lingering chocolate taste. Tasty, without being too heavy.
ilovedarkbeer (2712) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - OCT 8, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle thanks to BMan1113VR via zathrus13. Blackout pours with the tiny fishegg tan bubbly head. Nose: soy sauce, milk chocolate. MOuthfeel is thick. Taste: salt, dark chocolate, teriyaki, sweetness. Its good but lacking.
BMan1113VR (7917) - Los Angeles, California, USA - OCT 7, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle thanks to zathrus13. Pours thick with a largish, inky dark brown body and a dark brown head to match. Aroma is yeasty with soy, liccorice, and chocolate. Taste is chocolate, soy, yeast and some coffee. Lots of Mocha. Creamy mouthfeel with light bubbles
SQNfan (591) - Wheaton, Illinois, USA - OCT 5, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
This poured deep black in color with a moderate brown head of very fine bubbles. The nose was semi-sweet with aromas of fig, fudge and dark caramel. In the mouth it was full-bodied and concentrated with flavors of bittersweet chocolate, fig, fudge and dark fruit. This is really well-balanced and had fine carbonation that kept this feeling light and was enjoyable to drink now.
daknole (10872) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - OCT 4, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 2, 2013 Ok holy shit this is amazing. I must stock up on this and fast. Seriously amazing. Black pour wtih a pretty decent brown head. Aroma is tons of chocolate and molasses. Some raisin notes are evident as well. The flavor is just delicious. Sweet and creamy with chocolate, sweet cuban coffee, molasses, raisins, maple syrup, fresh cane syrup, fig preserves, and a hint of soy sauce. Damn this is fine. Again, I need more...asap!
FlacoAlto (4152) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - OCT 3, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle code of 04258 & 31710; Sampled October 2008
A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass creates a slightly cascading, tightly beaded froth that starts out three fingers in height and has a darkly browned, tan colored head. The beer is quite black in color thought it shows some dark chocolate brown notes around the edges. The aroma has rich notes of concentrated, sweet, dark malts as well as an ample roast character that produces aromas of dark cocoa, soft burnt grain, and a rich toasted whole grain character. There is something here that is a bit like burnt nuts, or even burnt play-doh. The aroma is actually fairly restrained, I was expecting this to be a bit more aromatic than it is, though I do like that it seems pretty well integrated and balanced (but that might just be because everything is so muted).
The flavor has a rich, complex, dark malt sweetness to it that accentuates sweet dark chocolate notes up front and a nice dark cocoa note towards the finish were the sweetness is not quite so prominent. A touch of dusty, roasted grain character adds some burnt bitterness to the finish. Reminds me of a rich, dark chocolate something or other that has a strong, black coffee infusion. As the beer warms up the sweetness softens a bit and starts to couple with concentrated, roasted fruit flavors of prune and perhaps a touch of fig. This does have a really complex, rich malt character to it, unfortunately a lot of this gets masked by the sweetness.
This is actually quite sweet tasting, though it is not as thick as the sweetness might suggest; it could actually use more roast malt character to balance things out and some more body, without more sweetness, would help to balance this a bit more too. I like that this is a fairly well integrated and smooth in its roast character. Not a bad example of an Imperial Stout & it is certainly quite enjoyable, and if it was not for the simplistic sweetness, this would be really damn good.