On my way home from work, I had an urge for a new beer. Perusing the many bottles at my local liquor store, I found another bottle from Leinenkugel’s, the Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout. The RIS is a specialty beer that was first released in 2007 and is periodically re-released by Leinie’s. The RIS and its companion release the Big Eddy Imperial IPA remain the highest rated of all of Leinie’s products. The Big Eddy name is taken from the local spring in Chippewa Falls that Leinie’s has used for 140 years to make its brews.
The RIS boasts a selection of eleven malts and grains, balanced by three distinct hops. Munich, Caramel and Chocolate malts give it a sweet and chocolate nose. The addition of Warrior, Summit and Glacier hops provides a hoppy balance to all of the malt and leads to a slightly bitter finish.
- Appearance: Deep coffee color. Slight foam that quickly dissipates. A good amount of lacing that clings to the glass as you drink it down.
- Aroma: A strong chocolate aroma with a lot of malt sweetness coming through in the background.
- Taste: Medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel. Mild sweetness upfront which is balanced by the strong hop flavors and a slightly bitter finish.
- ABV: 9.5%
I found this to be a flavorful and complex bottle that is clearly one of the best products in the Leinenkugel line. I recommend giving the Russian Imperial Stout a try before the product runs out.