gws57 (1275) - Saint Charles, Illinois, USA - FEB 5, 2008
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Had this one on draught at Angelic Brewing Company in Madison, Wisconsin. Was absolutely delighted to get to try Leinieís new extreme line, as these beers are not distributed in Illinois. This one was very impressive. Opaque, coal black pour with a sweet, malty chocolate nose, a velvety, milky mouthfeel, a bit smoky but with bitter chocolate, sweet plum, and coffee. Strong with a bit of an alcoholic finish. Actually, I was expecting a bit more, but I was not disappointed in any means.
ucusty (2691) - raleigh, North Carolina, USA - FEB 3, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thanks to captaincougar for this. Pours black with thick brown head and some decent lacing. Roasted malts up with a hoppy, and a sweet molasses finish.
stevesandmore (2) - USA - FEB 2, 2008 does not count
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Oh boy.... I canít believe Iím writing this about a Leinenkugel beer. 12 ounce bottle. Opaque black pour, beautiful, pudding like tan head. Glorious aroma ; promises coffee, toffee, chocolate, a little licorice and dark fruit. And then in my mouth.... pleasantly sweet, rich and complex. Molasses-driven, itís creamy, loaded with chocolate, toasty malt, and dark fruit; raisin? Dry hops on the finish. Fabulous.
Alldaydrinker (559) - Norwood, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 30, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Courtesy of ughsmash, thanks Jason! Poured into a snifter with black oil color and medium mocha color creamy head. Nose of dark fruits, alcohol, chocolate and creaminess. Initial taste is extremely sweet (almost too sweet) and creamy with chocolate lighting up the palate. Roasted malts begin set in after the initial splash of chocolate. Moving into a mid palate of molasses, dark fruit and mild coffee. Finishing with roasted malts, chocolate and mild bitter hops for great palate duration. Full body. Syrupy mouthfeel. Good head retention and lacing of the glass.
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - JAN 27, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Black pour with a thin brown head, this beer greets you with a toffee & chocolate aroma. The palate is creamy with an alcohol warming finish. The flavors are of chocolate, toffee and a touch of soy. Pretty nice impy stout.
TheEpeeist (3400) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 27, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
12 oz bottle. Dark brown with a crema ring. Enticing nose of licorice and molasses. Thick and chewy with enough carb to froth it a bit in the mouth. Nonetheless, quite heavy. Taste is coffee and chocolate cake that turns to dark Karo and broiled grapefruit. Too sweet for me but good.
chimpscampee (566) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 23, 2008
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: FEB 1, 2008 Unique combination of meaty roasty notes with coffee and chocalate notes. Thinner and less carbonation than many stouts. Not a big leap away from that Frederick M. choclate ale. Not too creamy. Ecclectic but balanced. None of the vinous aspect I associate with great stout but there is real craft here.
Addendum: grew tiresome on just second try--unpleasantly medicinal and oily and cloying in the mouth and unwelcome sourness in the long aftertaste. Malt overwhelms the hops. Faint fruit notes seem particularly artificial.
2nd Addendum!: I want to share an email I got from the brewer-- the first ratebeer email Iíve gotten, because I do not think the brewer would object and I do greatly commend and appreciate he cares enough to contact me:
I brewed the Big Eddy Russian Imperial stout at our little brewery in Milwaukee. I take offense to you thinking there was artifical flavors in this brew. Believe me, nothing artificial was in this brew. This was by far the most costly beer we ever made. The flavors all developed from the malts and yeast used. This beer has 400 calories per 12 ounces. How is it you think it is thin? Maybe you got a bad bottle. If you are in Milwaukee visit us at 1515 North 10th street. You can sample the big eddy in our bar and see if it is the same.
Thank you for the offer and the sincere note of feedback, and please do produce more such ambitious brews-- I will keep an eye out for them. I do not mean to claim any artifical ingredient-- only that the natural ingredients combine so as to be similar to common, similar artificial tastes Iíve experienced. I actually am not a health nut, and enjoy and even prefer many artifical tastes and products.
I would rate this much higher if my palate was able to tolerate certain kinds of sweetness better. My description as thin is made in context of other high end stouts and the obvious caloric nature of this brew. The fullness of a brew to me is about mouthfeel as much as calories. For example, I do not object to an oily, inky, lower carbonation, less creamy brew per se but such brews feel thinner to me.
hophead75 (2008) - Largo, Florida, USA - JAN 23, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Another trade extra from Stine. 12 oz bottle- opaque black with a small light brown head. Aroma of chocolate, some dark fruit- blackberry and raisin, light roast, brown sugar. Taste is very good- with alot of chocolate, moderate roast, some dark fruit-raisins, a moderate amount of molasses. Smooth, full body. Finishes with lingering roast, chocolate, and touches of dark fruit. Carbonation on the low end, but still very enjoyable.
troyc (2473) - Illinois, USA - JAN 23, 2008
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
(Bottle) Pours an inky black color with a small brown head. Aroma of heavy malts, chocolate and burnt toffee. Complex taste includes loads of heavy, dark malts. I could note the distinct taste of rye malts, which added a dry undertone throughout the beer. Some vanilla, nut, chocolate and sweet spices in here as well. Very good palate and mouthfeel, with below average carbonation. The alcohol is well hidden as well. Not quite as strong or potent as Bells Expedition Stout, but at the same time itís more drinkable and more enjoyable in my opinion. Excellent!
Cryotek (206) - Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA - JAN 22, 2008
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 25, 2008 Oily wet pout, dark black, with a nice brown head. VERY fruity smell for a stout! Sweet wheat scent also noted. Almost a juice inital taste, plum, berries or figs as others have noted. Raisens also, all the fruity flavors out shine the basic stouts roasty, coffee, or milky chocolate tastes. Creamy berry aftertaste with a touch of roastiness. This is a unique Imperial Stout in my short experiance. Different, but great, stands out, but in a good way!