Monday, June 18, 2012

Bourbon Barrel-Aged Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout

Reviewing the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout from the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. Thank you Derek for giving me the chance to sample this hard-to-find brew!
Score: 93

Aged one year in 18-year old Heaven Hill barrels. Bottled 8/26/11. Served in a taster glass and enjoyed on 05/11/12. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: It's dark here and beer is black. There is a thin layer of what I think is tan-colored head atop the beer initially. 4/5

Smell: Light black licorice, bourbon, chocolate-covered raisin, caramel, pepper, raw chocolate and sweet brown sugar. 4.25/5

Taste: Taste largely follows the nose. Cocoa, non-sweet brown sugar. Smooth bourbon and rich vanilla flavors too. No licorice, however. Very balanced. Not boozy at all. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, minimal carbonation. Very creamy mouthfeel -- much more so than the rye barrel-aged Big Eddy. Slightly sweet finish. 4.5/5

Overall: A delicious improvement over a solid base beer. I liked the bourbon and rye barrel-aged Big Eddy's equally much, and if they were regularly released I would certainly buy them both. Kudos to Leiney's for an excellent foray into the craft beer market.

Recommendation: This beer's first release was incredibly limited, but I'd recommend trying to hunt down a bottle to try.

Pairings: Ice cream sundae.

Cost: Unknown.

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