Imperial Eclipse Stout - Pappy Van Winkle (23 Year) - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Pappy Van Winkle (23 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Pappy Van Winkle (23 Year)

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

119 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 119
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 4.51
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 424
Gots: 21 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

2008. A few (aged) cases were released in 2010.

(Beer added by: Floydster on 02-02-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 119 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Crosling:
Photo of Crosling
3.73/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draught, Boulder Strong Ale Festival. Black color. Dark tan head. Nose shows mostly barrel elements of vanilla, toast & smores. This ale, while good, had a thin mouth feel and didn't seem to have a lot of malt left. This ale didn't stand out for me.

More User Reviews:
Photo of jp7161
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of ehammond1
4.43/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (3rd bottling from 2008 kegs)

Thanks for opening this, johndoe8!

Very dark brown, nearly black in color, without a lot of visible carbonation and not much head. Eventually, however, this does leave sticky spots and sheets of lacing down the glass. Quite pretty.

Complex, rich aroma of chocolate, bourbon, wood, vanilla, and, earth. Incredible.

The flavor follows the aroma with lots of chocolate, earth, and barrel character present. There's not as much of the toasted coconut flavor here as I found in the fresh 2011 Elijah Craig variations--the malts as opposed to the barrel, strangely enough, steal the show. That being said, it comes together incredibly well.

Medium mouthfeel with low carbonation.

An incredible treat, and though I've never had it fresh, I have a feeling this was even better maybe a year or more ago.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.63/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Ah Christmas dinner, some tbones and king crab, time to bust out an uber premium bottle. Weary of how this will go with the crab.

Pours jet cherry cola black, cherry cola coming from the appearance of the foam after a pour, which is minimal and caused me a little concern. Aroma, obvious aging in some hard liquor barrel. Aside from the label information, the sweetness of that aroma leaves one with a rudimentary experience with bourbon knowing what they are smelling. Elements of coconut in this one, very nice all around in the nose

Taste, very delicous. The only downside of this was the tendency of persons to oversimplify the nuanced flavors as simply "tastes like a Jack and coke." Do I understand how one could say this? Yes. Is it accurate? No. There's so much more going on with this beer. Licorice, maybe some vanilla bean complimenting the usual chocolate notes in a stout.

Mouthfeel, key is to drink this with a meal, or slowly. Went so well with a piece of the portabella mushroom and steak. Crab, wasn't bad, but wasn't meant to go with a Bourbon Imperial Stout.

Surprisingly drinkable if you're into the beer. Another sampler passed on his share, and I jumped on it, so warming.

Photo of glid02
4.63/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Grant - thanks!

Pours black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of robust vanilla, moderate butterscotch, and smooth bourbon. Backing everything up is a solid roasted malt backbone with good amounts of rich dark chocolate.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though the bourbon influence is not quite as large. Smooth roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of dark chocolate flavors. Midway through the sip the flavors become more boozy with the addition of vanilla, light bourbon, and lighter oak. Finally, very slight hints of butterscotch make a brief appearance before fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is great. It's got a very smooth thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have another.

Overall this was another phenomenal beer from 50/50 but I enjoy the Heaven Hill better, albeit by a small margin. After having all four it's HH>PvW>EC>JD. Big thanks to Grant for procuring all of these and bringing them in to share.

Photo of cclark67789
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of ipa247
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Straight from the source! #71 autographed bottle from Todd. Thanks a million for this rarity! Shared with capra12 and schen9303. Poured into a Darkness snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Look is a bit below average with near no head and no lace. Color was appropriate and legs were nice but this still puts it slightly under the standard.

Nose is milk chocolate with nice mellow barrel notes. Dark dried raisins and plums linger in the background complemented by molasses and sweet soy sauce. Really nice. Barrel notes strike a nice balance with the stout flavors without covering them.

Taste is chocolate, creamy hops, vanilla, molasses, raisins, plum, brown sugar, mocha, espresso beans, and mildly hot barrel characteristics. Incredibly complex and well integrated. Super balanced. Molasses, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and dark fruit in the finish, which is muted and subtle. Really incredible barrel-aging is displayed here.

Medium body with low carbonation is oily, smooth, and silky in the mouth and goes down without so much as a hint of heat. Very mellow. Finish is clean with an enticing aftertaste that just makes you want to go for another sip immediately. Absolute perfection.

One of the top 3 imperial stouts I've had to date easily. Compared to Goose Island Rare and Olde Rabbit's Foot which are two other PvW Imperial Stouts, the Eclipse is heads and shoulders above the competition. The barrel aging here is comparatively more subtle and doesn't take over the beer, instread complementing the present flavors and enhacing them. I was told by the brewer to drink this as soon as possible as he thought it might be peaking and going downhill so don't wait to long if you have one sitting around!

Photo of leschkie
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of blabaer
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of fthegiants
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of nickd717
4.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage on tap at Bistro Barrel Aged Fest 2009. Rating transcribed from extensive notes kept from when I had it. Figure I'd finally put up my review after all this hype over this. This was possibly best of show at the Bistro, and that's saying a lot.

Jet black with a small tan head that leaves a little creamy foam on the beer.

Aroma is amazing - rich chocolate, roasted malt, bourbon, and vanilla.

Flavor is incredible and complex, with lots of chocolate, roasted malt and caramel, molasses, vanilla, oak, dark fruit notes, and very well-balanced and non-overpowering bourbon.

Full body with a slick, creamy mouthfeel.

Fairly drinkable for an imperial stout. This is really an amazing beer, one of the best imperial stouts out there, and that's saying a lot.

Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of mobius387
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of trappistlover
4.1/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pappy version-courtesy of dionysus at RBWG 2011-Phoenix. Pours dark brown with tan head. Aroma has beautiful bourbon aroma which is understated, if that's possible. Sweet malt and bourbon flavors with a little heat. Full bodied and creamy texture. Finish is all bourbon. This is a good beer, but other concurred that GI Rare was a bit better.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.8/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Most likely one of the rarest ticks I will experience. And of course, it was due to Sean9689 at Zwanze Day 2011.

Old style FiftyFifty bottle, unwaxed.

Appearance – Pours into a Cantillon Tulip with a vicious black. Slight mahogany color shines through the sides of the glass when held up to the light.

Smell – A wonderful milk chocolate, vanilla aroma mixed in with a subdued smooth bourbon character. Hints of oak, coffee, and burnt malts.

Taste – As with the nose, the flavors are extremely distinct yet nicely mellow. A creamy milk chocolate coconut flavor is first up. Next comes the vanilla and oak, with a slight roast. There is a subtle, dark fruit flavor near the end. During the entire sip the bourbon is prevalent yet not overpowering. Incredibly smooth.

Mouthfeel – Chewy, creamy mouthfeel. Lower carbonation.

Overall – What a wonderful way to end Zwanze Day. This beer has aged gracefully and was everything people have made it out to be. I could have drank this all night. I savored every sip.

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of BuckTuckian
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I traded dearly for this one. I had heard it was top notch and I was expecting it to be as such. Luckily I was no where near disappointed with what I was presented with. Served at cellar temp and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/16/2009. Bottle number 100 from the 2008 vintage.



Dark as night, black as an abyss, and this thing looked evil as it came out of the bottle. No light penetrating through at all, nothing, with a big head of two inches of chocolate foam on the top of it. Faded down gently leaving behind nothing more then sticky, very sticky webbing along the sides and tons of chocolate goop. The aroma may well have been one of the best I have ever come across, if not the best. Reminded me of BA Speedway in its thick bourbon, and vanilla notes. Just layer after layer of molasses and vanilla, sooo inviting and perfect. As I leaned in for a sip, rich waves of chocolate malts, molasses, light tobacco notes and seething vanilla just coat the tongue like a warm blanket. So smooth and delicious, this was your classic big barrel aged stout. A little bit light on the feel for me as I would have liked it to come across a bit thicker, but still another here to disappoint in any way. Super sippable, but it made for a one bottle night.



Overall an instant classic for me and something I was thrilled to be able to have I would have to tell you to go seek this one out as quickly as you can, it is really just that good.

Photo of largadeer
4.88/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was shared by jh1982 and Jmoore50 - thank you, guys. This is from one of the original 2008 bottlings, not the more recent one. I've had this on tap a few times before, but this is my first taste from a bottle.

Black with ruby red highlights, a small collar of foam forms from the light carbonation. This is a beautiful imperial stout, not too oily or thick, but very inviting.

It has an outstanding aroma, like a licorice-infused chocolate truffle drizzled with caramel. There's noticeable bourbon too, but it's balanced rather than overpowering, along with hints of vanilla and dark, earthy fruit.

The palate is exceptionally mellow, displaying plenty of complex with no trace of alcohol or heat. Bittersweet chocolate flavors meet caramel and vanilla from the barrel, with undertones of black licorice and coconut. It's not terribly viscous, nor is it thin, and it's only carbonated enough to scrub the palate slightly. The finish is fruity, chocolatey, lightly tannic and bittersweet, almost vinous.

As good as this is right now, it's hard to say where this beer will go in the future. I'm inclined to say that it's pretty much at a peak and won't improve from here, because there's really nothing to improve, no heat or harshness remains. If you have a bottle, now is a safe time to drink it. I have my doubts that it will still be this good in a year.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.1/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A HUGE want of mine, so I owe Joe an equally proportioned 'thank you' for crossing it off of the to-do list by providing a 2010 bottle with the pink wax at our recent tasting. This was easily one of the top 3 most anticipated beers of the weekend, and we were anxious to see if it would live up to the expectations. Poured into my Duvel tulip as the 14th brew of the tasting. The 8th on day 2.

The color is obsidian black, and it seems to have that same sheen. There is an espresso foam-colored head that reaches a half finger in height before subsiding considerably. The texture looks a bit thin, and it doesn't really fit with the rest of appearance.

One of the best smelling beers that I can remember ever having. This gives even M a run for its money. Vanilla is immediately apparent. This isn't some hint of vanilla imparted by barrels, this is potent and sweet vanilla that complements the thick dark ganache and prevalent warm bourbon notes that spring out of the bulb of my tulip. Smokey roasted malt adds another dimension as well. Finally, dark fruits make an appearance, highlighted by dates and figs.

The flavor is also very good. The contribution from the 23-year-old barrels is striking. This is a bourbon bomb, but still shows remarkable balance. Oakey and full of rich vanilla, chocolate fudge flavors come through just as they did in the flavor. These are accompanied by caramel and toffee, both of which I did not find in the aroma. Finally, commingled about in the mid-palate are dates, figs, blackstrap molasses, leather, and tobacco, ebbing and flowing in a seemingly random but always well-nuanced pattern. There is a hint of prickly warmth from ethanol in the finish, but it is fleeting and manages to tie off the profile artfully.

The mouthfeel, as others have noted, is the only real weakness of this beer. Thin for the style, and while it does all it can to be big and viscous, the base is just not there enough to really deliver. Aside from that detail, this beer is definitely up there with the best that I have had.

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of BGsWo22
3.5/5  rDev -22.4%

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Pappy Van Winkle (23 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.