Brew Review

Beer Review – Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout


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.

8 replies »

  1. A bit of a departure from your normal Leinie’s Berry Weiss and Summer Shandy??? BTW …. Leinie’s has a Summer Shandy countdown on their web page …. you might want to set it as your home page.


    • As I have already conceded, the Summer Shandy is probably not targeted for our audience. The Big Eddy, however, would fit nicely with the Edmund Fitz and the Blacksmith.


  2. The Wookie Apologizes …..

    During a backyard grilling session this evening LimpD leans over the fence and hands both G-lo and me a bottle of Leinie’s Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout. This stuff is amazing; a dark, creamy, malty, complex brew. Better than a lot of stouts that I’ve had.

    I typically pick on LimpD for his love of the Leinie’s Summer Shandy and because Leinies has a reputation as brew for your everyday blue collar drinker but the Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout has changed my opinion of Leinenkugel. This brew is a serious craft beer big on ABV and big on flavor.

    LimpD, this was a great find. I am sorry I doubted you.


    • Agreed! This was damn tasty. Best Leiney to date. Better than the Bell’s Expedition Stout and on par with the Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. Potent but not boozy. Well done Limpd!

      One question…

      How do people that make this also make Lemon Pledge? Err… I mean Summer Shandy. 🙂


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