Jan 8, 2013

Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout Two Year Tasting

A couple of years ago, I received a great package from the Leinenkugel’s brand in the form of a four pack of their newly released Russian Imperial Stout. I decided at the time of the arrival that I was going to do a series of tastings (fresh, 6 months, 1 year, 2 year and thanks to a subsequent year-old bottle they sent later a 3 year) and see how the beer held up.

I’m a little late in posting this two year tasting of Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout — a beer that was excellent fresh and still darn tasty after 12 months in the basement. How has it held up after two years?

Well, it’s still pretty much holding its own, but it’s starting to degrade a bit as characteristics of age are starting to appear. The characteristics of the beer that I thoroughly enjoyed fresh are still there (though muted) and a bit of a musty presence is starting to seep in. It’s still a quite drinkable, but is showing a little gray in the temples.


The stout pours an opaque black with a quickly falling light brown head. Though it left no lacing, it certainly discolored it a bit through its life in the glass.


Dark chocolates, anise, light cardboard and a subtle mustiness fill the nose along with hints of dark fruits. Still smells pretty solid.


The hints of age on the nose are a bit more present on the tongue as a musty, cardboard-like character is starting to appear among the dark chocolate, subtle roast and dark fruits. The beer has thinned out a bit, but the sweetness and mellow booze in the lightly bitter finish are still present. The beer still presents itself smoothly and is still quite tasty despite the age starting to show.


The beer is beginning to degrade a touch, but it’s not enough to affect my enjoyment of the beer. It’s certainly past its prime, but is still flavorful and drinkable. I’m not sure how it will hold up after another year in the basement, but I’m willing to sacrifice my tastebuds in the name of science.

Rating: 3.75/5

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

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