May 26, 2011

Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy 6 Month Tasting

In November of last year I received four bottles of Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy (a Russian Imperial Stout) that I quite enjoyed. Instead of inhaling all the samples that the brewery had sent my way, I opted to try something a little different. I decided then that I would do a series of tastings (6 month, 1 year and 2 year intervals) to see how the beer is turning out — side note: this is also the plan for a few bottles of Shipyard Brewing’s Double Old Thumper Ale.

At the time of the original tasting, Big Eddy had a wonderfully surprising smoky char backed by bittersweet chocolates and espresso. So far, after only six months in the basement, the beer is still darn tasty with only the slightest changes noticeable.

Cuvee 3 on the deck.


This Imperial Stout still pours very dark, though it appeared to be a bit more viscous as it met the glass. The head was a just as dark as I had remembered.


There’s still a bit of a roasted char within the aroma, but the chocolates don’t seem quite as dominant while the espresso and semi-sweet molasses character have moved a bit forward in the aroma. There’s really not hint of the 9.5% ABV in the nose.


How does the bottle stand up after six months in the basement? So far so good. The roasty nature of this beer is still dominant though it has faded a touch. The chocolate sweetness, espresso and molasses are all at similar levels that they were when I first tasted the beer. The alcohol seems to have become a bit more pronounced as it warms the palate in the slightly bitter finish.


All in all, I’d have to say that this beer improved a bit with a little time under its belt. Everything has come into its own and at just the right levels making for a more matured combination of flavors. I can’t wait to see how the beer is in another six months.

Rating: 4/5

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