Nov 16, 2010

Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy

This is a review of a promotional sample received from the brewery.

I’ve been itching to try this one since the press release went out in early October. Having had the opportunity to sample a few brews from Leinenkugel, and being a ridiculously big Stout fan, this had me both excited and worried. I mean, hell, this is not a brewery that would come to mind while daydreaming of Russian Imperial Stouts — not to mention that SABMiller owns the company.

That all said, it only took a couple of sips to realize that this is probably the best beer that Leinenkugel makes, seasonal or otherwise. Brewed with 11 different malts, it’s a rich, roasty brew that, at the moment, is a little rough around the edges, but shows good promise with a little time in the cellar.

Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy in the basement


As you can see this one pours dark. It’s nearly black in color with a deep garnet edge when held up to a light. A dark mocha head faded rather slowly to a sticky lacing.


There’s a pretty big nose on this brew with bittersweet chocolates, light roasted coffee, a touch of molasses, decent sweetness and a hint of the 9.5% ABV. There’s not much of a hop presence on the nose.


As far as the nose is concerned, it really didn’t present anything surprising for the style, but the taste of this brew was surprising. There’s an excellent roast to the brew with just the slightest char. The roast is a little rough, but will surely fade a bit with some aging. In addition to the roast are bittersweet chocolate and a nice coffee presence. The mouthfeel is full and smooth with just a touch of carbonation. The finish has a surprisingly strong hop bitterness that cuts through the sweetness sharply. The alcohol is definitely present, but it’s far from overbearing, leaving a lingering heat in the finish.


All in all, this is a pleasant surprise from Leinenkugel. It’s a complex beer that is completely unlike anything of theirs I’ve ever had before. The palate on it is a bit raw and young at this point, but it has some real promise to turn into something real nice with a good bit of cellaring to smooth out all the rough points. I can’t wait to see how the other samples I received turn out.

Rating: 3.5/5

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