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

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Pappy Van Winkle (23 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Pappy Van Winkle (23 Year)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

108 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 4.54
pDev: 9.25%


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: 108 | Reviews: 58 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

4.7/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2009 01:20:57 | More by nickd717
Photo of bulletrain76
bulletrain76

California

4.65/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Draught at Bistro Barrel Aged Festival 2009; 2008 vintage. Just a stunning beer from start to finish, and just so happens to be my 1400th rating. Black with a small tan head that leaves a slick of foam. Super rich bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, wood and brown sugar aroma. The flavor is just as complex but with a smoothness that was out of this world. After my first sip, I just looked at my buddy mike and said "Holy shit, this is amazing!" Nothing out of place, and rich, yet not overly sweet and thick. The bourbon adds character without being at all hot or sharp, and the body is perfectly silky and smooth. The only beer at the festival that really came close was the 2009 version, though it wasn't as smooth. The best stout that I have had in a very long time, and a true testament to what barrel-aging can do to a beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2009 22:20:43 | More by bulletrain76
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

3.73/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-16-2009 20:12:52 | More by Crosling
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

4.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours near black with a silky tan head. The nose has bourbon, oak, chocolate, roasty malts, subtle hops and dark fruits. Taste has sweet malts, bitter chocolate, coffee, molasses, vanilla, whiskey and wood. I think another six months in the barrels would only help. Body seemed a bit under weight, but still drank well.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2009 19:24:51 | More by rye726
Photo of Floydster
Floydster

California

4.43/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass at Toronado in San Frnacisco on 1/25/09 during their Stout Festival for a whole three dollars during happy hour, reviewed from notes, this is a bourbon barrel imperial stout and one of the better ones I have had in quite some time, color is pitch black and looks wonderful, nice creamy tan head that leaves a ton of lacing and lasts for upwards of ten minutes, aroma was full of whiskey, sweetness, milk chocolate, vanilla, wood, roasted malts, and cake batter, flavor was great too with an introductory roasty chocolate taste, some more malt mixed with vanilla in the middle, light bourbon notes in the finish with a oaky aftertaste and slight alcohol warmth, mouthfeel is sweet, roasted, boozy, and dry at times, thick full body, soft carbonation that is almost perfect, could drink a good amount of this stuff considering its strength, nice and smooth with just a hint of booze in the flavor, I would have drank a lot more of it if I could, awesome beer that I hope to revisit someday, highly recommended

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2009 05:10:34 | More by Floydster
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 unwaxed bomber poured into a matching Eclipse snifter. The brew appears black in color and still looking with no head. As it warms up and is swirled, some large brown bubbles collect around the edge of the glass. No real head/lacing effect other than the clear legs of alcohol that droop down the side of the glass.

The smell includes notes of wood and spicy bourbon. Some raw oak and raisin-like fruit character. More sniffs reveal a deeper sence of dark fruit like dates/plum mixed with soft roasted grain and chocolate to vanilla that was extracted from the oak during the aging. It is mildly tangy and spicy with alcohol across the back.

The taste is unmistakeable boozy and slightly spiced pappy bourbon. Mid-palate are flavors of chocolate covered raisons and some earthen oak notes. There is a slight oxidative quality to this that lingers with a musty oak quality that layers the flavors and does not distract like oxidation sometimes can.

This is a medium bodied brew with a very low amount of carbonation. This really is a stellar offering that is a boozy sipper. Having now consumed nearly every Eclipse barrel treatment/blend with the exception of some of the newest ones, I can firmly state this is a standout. I cant wait to try this again side by side with the 20 year when it gets released.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2013 18:24:54 | More by stakem
Photo of BucketBoy
BucketBoy

Pennsylvania

4.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Review from notes from my first time having this. Shared with some great BAs at my first epic Philly tasting.

L - Looks menacing, thick and viscous, very little head and just a few specks of popping pin bubbles on the sides of the glass. Garnet rimmed.

S - Smoke and dark, well-worn leather, sorghum, bourbon, bittersweet yet fruity chocolate, coconut, and a whiff of alcohol to close off the sniff.

T - Special! Rich and decadent all the way, yet completely and perfectly balanced. Bittersweet chocolate, fudgy brownies, tobacco, medium leather, sweet fruity dark chocolate, coconut, vanilla, and sorghum all wrapped together in a perfect bourbon truffle package.

M - Resin and viscous liquid just glides into my mouth and down my throat. Just perfect, with an almost paradoxical thick chewiness and light, soft smoothness that shoots the drinkability through the roof. I'm curious to try this again to see if it has faded a bit as I've heard rumors to be.

O - Consider yourself fortunate if you are able to enjoy a bottle of this. I'm so glad I still have another bottle left for a special occasion.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2013 18:48:38 | More by BucketBoy
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.85/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was in a bottle with pink wax signed by the brewer. Served in a tasting snifter.

The beer pours a dark, almost black color with not much head at all. There isn't much carbonation but that seemed appropriate. The first thing I notices was how intense the bourbon flavor still was after over 4 years. There wasn't much alcohol heat at all, but the bourbon flavor was intense and wonderful. The sweetness from the malt compliments the pappy barrel and there is some dark fruit and mild chocolate in the mix as well. The beer smelled almost as good as it tasted. I would love to have more, but I'm not sure I'll have the chance. This was a real treat.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 03:01:10 | More by oline73
Photo of jethrodium
jethrodium

California

4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle generously shared by cpferris. Big thanks to Chad. Pours a dark brown with a small tan head that settles to a ring and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is roasty with coffee, a bit of alcohol, some vanilla, light coconut, and light chocolate. The taste has some sweetness with vanilla, bourbon, coconut, and a decent roastiness. The finish has some oak and a light bitterness. Light body. Low carbonation. This was a good, but not great beer. I'm sure it was once great, but it seems like a lot of the barrel characteristics have faded. I would prefer most of the newer eclipse variations fresh to this.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 01:09:09 | More by jethrodium
Photo of Fux
Fux

France

4.6/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage. Pink wax. Signed by the brewer. Bottle number 90.

A: Pours a syrupy black liquid with no apparent carbonation. Head is faint but leaves some lacings for a while then disappear completely. Looks like motor oil actually.

S: Smell is huge, powerful, deep and mellow, with tons of vanilla, gourmet chocolate, mild oak and bourbon.

T: Taste follows the nose with more bourbon. Here also loads of vanilla, chocolate and caramel malts. Alcohol is very light despite the bourbon aromas.

M: Syrupy, oily. Not much carbonation. Not an everyday beer mouthfeel, but perfect for the style.

O: A great beer. The nose was fantastic and it was a perfect sipper to pair with the home-made blueberry tart !

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2012 08:20:41 | More by Fux
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes from a tasting on 8/15. thanks to totoropanda for bringing this one out. i had tried a small taste at a captain lawrence release a while back, nice to get a reasonable pour and some time to ponder the beer a bit.

a - slick and shiny. silk in a glass. no head at all. looks how a BA stout should look...love that barrel aged glisten.

s - chocolate. barrel. mellow, well integrated booze (kind of surprising since i tend to find that pappy aged brews are a bit in your face, which i do like)...but the pappy booziness definitely tickles your nose in a mentholated way.

t - mmmm...perfection. great chocolate and booze integration. pappy big time. lots of in your face bourbon, but well integrated and compliments the beer instead of stealing the show.

m - definitely a bit hot still, but pappy brews in my opinion are usually very in your face, this one was a bit more mellow, but the heat and booze is still evident. chewy and rich. body is great. super smooth and silky.

o - overall, a REALLY nice bourbon barrel aged stout...just my speed. the pappy has some of the in your face bourbon that i love, but the chocolate notes are super prominent and although hot, this is a well balanced beer. really smooth and really wonderful.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2012 02:18:51 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

4.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JohnDoe8 for sharing this

Pink Wax final bottling

Look: Almost black in color with a 1/8 inch tan head that remains as a collar and leaves some spotty lacing

Smell: Oak bourbon chocolate and vanilla just a wonderful nose

Taste: The beer starts off similar to all the eclipse variations with copious amounts of chocolate and then you are hit with a vanilla and coconut sweetness which is amazing. The beer finishes with the great pappy bourbon character

Mouthfeel: Full body low carbonation and silky smooth

Overall: Exceptional beer age has been kind to this and I am stoked that I have a bottle all to myself

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 02:57:46 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

3.3/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My mate Doops and I were lucky enough to be able to try the entire 2010 - 2008 series. This is apparently the grand daddy of the set, and the oldest vintage around besides the '07 Fitzgerald, so we opened this one last. A big thanks to everyone who made putting this set together possible, and cheers again to Doops for hunting this one down. Stoked to get a chance to try this one while it's still around.

Form a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2008
Bottle: 63
Wax: Pink
Third bottling, signed by the brewer.

APPEARANCE: Probably the best looking one of the series, which isn’t actually saying much. A dark brown pour, thicker than the others, yields a small, medium looking, tan head that quickly fades to a ring and slight wisp. Black body with no carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass. This is the thickest of the bunch, but the head and lacing don’t have enough jive to get it over that ever menacing average barrier.

SMELL: Medium strength nose of barrel and base beer. Oak, vanilla and bourbon alongside notes of roasted malts and dark, pure, baker’s chocolate. This is actually relatively well integrated, with the barrel and base complimenting each other, it’s just not quite bold enough to really stand out. If this had the balls that the EC ’09 has, it would probably be quite impressive.

TASTE: Like the nose, the flavors are relatively mild on this one. Initially lacks a bit up front, but later on, some oak and caramel sweetness start showing up. A touch of licorice makes an appearance later on, but unfortunately so does some notes of cabbage. Not always the best sign. This soon moves into a nice dose of bourbon barrel, vanilla and milk chocolate at the swallow, which is nice enough. Milder yet lingering aftertaste of bourbon, toffee and caramel sweetness, and some dark chocolate and roasted notes. That cabbage that was around up front has reappeared in the aftertaste as well. This one is relatively complex and interesting, perhaps more so than the others, but it is definitely milder than the other bourbon variants, and the cabbage flavors mean it’s not always interesting in a good way.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry. Good feel and enough weight, but not quite as big as the JD variant.

OVERALL: While I was never lucky enough to have this beer fresh, I can seriously imagine that it’s seen better days. The aromas and flavors are relatively mild and have probably mellowed out over time, and a light hint of cabbage is definitely detectable, which is never a positive development. Luckily it was still quite complex and interesting, and I can imagine that it would have been much more enjoyable when it was younger, more assertive, and probably in better shape overall. This is all speculation of course, but if this is the PvW Eclipse at its best, then it is a far cry from good, let alone world-class. Quite simply, at this point, this one is not worth the asking price, and is not worth tracking down if you’re looking for a quality beer. I would suggest that if you have a bottle, do something with it, as I doubt it’s going to get any better. Thanks again for sharing Doops. One of the best beer nights of all time!

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 20:31:19 | More by Jeffo
Photo of Khazadum
Khazadum

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Some great bsrrel on the nose. Toasted marshmellow, coconut, vanilla, tannic wood. Molasses, chocolate.

Flavors, sweet. Super barrel forward. Sweet molasses, bourbon sweet, heat. Coconut for sure, less marshmellow. Vanilla, wood power. Tannins like tongue depressors. Finishes toasted grain and marshmellow.

Nice thick body, not creamy though. It's missing that syrupy nature. Thanks so much tasting group.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 21:18:16 | More by Khazadum
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4.43/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 19:34:22 | More by ehammond1
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1068th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
22 oz

Seeing as I got it wrong and Rich emailed me:
3rd and final bottling though from 2008 kegs.
that's why todd wrote over the bottle # "PVW FINAL". :)

Thanks to JohnDoe8 for sharing
Shared at MrHirschybars tasting

App- Was a nice dark brown bordering on black. It had a small head and was very dense and lush in the glass. Had lost some carbonation you could tell.

Smell- It smells nice It had a fair share of bourbon, vanilla, creme, a touch of barrel and a lot of malts behind it.

Taste- Pretty upfront on the taste. Well I can say I really like the PVW treatment but this one didn’t blow me over. I felt Rare and BASC where a touch better than this one. Still undeniably an outstanding barrel aged stout. It was very rich, smooth, creamy and lush. Add in small doses of vanilla in some pockets and its quite good.

Mouth- Medium bodied to almost full bodied. Medium amounts of carbonation. Leaves residual booze notes with some oak and chocolate and maybe a touch of vanilla.

Drink- Never thought I would see a bottle of this. I just couldn’t believe after Saturday how another tasting could get better. Thank you again Richard. One of the 1st trades on BA and you busted out two huge wants of mine.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 21:16:39 | More by FosterJM
Photo of bbb099
bbb099

California

4.43/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to scottfrie for sharing this one!
*reviewed on 12/16/11

A - Almost completely jet black with reddish hue and brown mocha head that creates a decent amount of lacing.

S - Roasted grain relatively prominent accompanied by cocoa and vanilla.

T - Burnt coffee and dark malt flavors. Hints of bourbon and molasses are present, goes well with the strong flavors.

M - Thick and somewhat viscous. What you expect of the beer style.

O - Great combination of aroma, taste and mouthfeel. Definitely one of the most well-balanced stout I have ever had.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 01:42:34 | More by bbb099
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

4.47/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second bottling. A thousand thanks for opening this, Jeff.

A: Pours black with a thin collar of a head that left a few spots of lacing down the glass.
S: That characteristic buttery Pappy barrel smell fills my nose with creamy scents of bourbon and dark malts. I get hints of vanilla and nuts.
T: Very creamy, smooth and buttery rich flavors of mellow and integrated bourbon, caramel, vanilla, sweet chocolate and molasses. The alcohol is very smooth and integrated at this point.
M: Full body, buttery smooth mouthfeel with creamy carbonation. I could drink this all day.
O: Probably the best in the series. Nothing beats a Pappy barrel. Thanks again, Jeff.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 00:28:41 | More by scottfrie
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had many of the eclipse series together. This is the 08 vintage. Pour is viscous black with a dark tan thin bubbly head. The nose is of wood and bourbon, rich chocolate cake, light roasted malt, hints of lsighlty burnt caramel. It is more subtle and less intense than the rare and the best of the eclipse stouts. The flavor is a little sweeter than the nose and the rare, bourbon and wood up front, subtle chocolate cake, light toffee, sweet short finish. Full body, thinner than rare, low carbonation and smooth finish. Less rich than rare but more subtle and still very good. Best of the eclipse series.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2011 16:47:09 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of BrewerB
BrewerB

Florida

4.7/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll admit...when this was made available for sale at the 2011 Eclipse Release party at $125 for a 22oz bottle, I chuckled to myself. And when my buddy Kevin offered to buy a bottle for us to share at City Beer Store the following day, as repayment for me picking him up a few of the 2011 releases, I thought he was joking. Big thanks goes out to Kevin for being serious! Would likely never have sampled it without his offer.

Poured into a snifter. It's a still, dark brown color. No head formation visible from the pour I received. Viscous with clinging legs grasping the sides of the glass.

Inviting aroma included toffee, tahitian vanilla, cocoa. Picking up on some toasted wood as well. Given the strength on this beer, the nose is susprisingly smooth with alcohol being well-masked.

Flavors included some you'd expect from this burly style of beer - burnt toffee, caramel, campfire smokiness. Slightly sweet at the end. Moderately bitter.

Moderate full body. Low carbonation. Smooth and warming.

Quite a treat to have sampled this one. I realize it's considered a whale by many and I did my best to not let this cloud judgment. Certainly sampling 7 varieties of eclipse and a BART the night prior helped factor into my assessment.

Very complex, layered flavors. Exactly what I like to find in a beer of this style. Sip after sip tore off another page in the taste book and made one of the most enjoyable sessions I've had. One of the best imperial stouts I've sampled and definitely the best Eclipse I've had. Perhaps one of the many bottles from the 2011 vintage can match up given an equal amount of time in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 22:57:11 | More by BrewerB
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

2.93/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Shared by seeswo-- thanks a lot.
Here's what chris says about his bottle when I told him that my review was flagged and deleted;
it was unquestionably a Pappy Eclipse. Bottle 83? if I recall, year 2008, unwaxed. I actually asked Todd Ashman about it via bm a while ago to confirm its authenticity.

So-- anyone with an issue regarding this review, BM me. If you're just angry I didn't give your precious whale an A+, get over it. I didn't think this was very good-- people disagree.

Looks thin. Aaaaand, it's pretty thin.

Lots of reddish hues come through on this one. Weak head, weak retention, and only the the spottiest chunks of lace.
Smells: cholately, touch of smoke, some oak and just a little hint of bourbon.
The taste is a bit bland-- the nose was too, but neither were offensive at all, just not impressive. The flavor hits the same notes as the nose, but adds a pretty boozy bite on the finish that is too hot and not quite pleasant.
Very thin feel, little oily.

Overall-- wow is this mediocre. Forget the hype, buy something else!

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 18:47:36 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

4.8/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2011 23:32:07 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

4.68/5  rDev +3.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 13:34:22 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of BMan1113VR
BMan1113VR

California

4.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Pink wax (Pappy Van Winkle). Bottle number 22 with many thanks to Billschmeinke. Pours with a minimal brown head over a deep black body. Aromas of cola, brown sugar, tobacco, earthy, sweet, estery, fudge, coconut, light alcohol caramel and vanilla. Light oak presence. Flavors are nutty, nougat, fudge, vanilla, cola, and coconut. Rich barrel, and aged bourbon flavors. Oily. Smooth and rich. Minimal tannins, medium carbonation. Creamy, lightly warming. The best of the Eclipse variants that I have had.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2011 20:33:02 | More by BMan1113VR
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

4.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled at the Batch 3 Rosso release as part of an Eclipse tasting; huge thanks to Thorpe429, ChrisPro, callmemickey, rlmartin, corey70, and starrdogg for making this possible!

A: Thick black body with a thin but persistent layer of soft, fine brown bubbles. Awesome.

S: Amazingly balanced. Bourbon is prominent, but it's all flavor and no heat. Vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and caramel all follow, but the supple bourbon carries the day, as it should.

T: Holy fucking shit that's good. This is a perfect bourbon-barrel stout - bourbon, vanilla, milk chocolate, and lightly fruity coffee all meld into a perfect melange of deliciousness.

M: Medium body, low carbonation, nice stickiness.

O: I've been dreaming of trying this fabled brew for a long time, and never really expected it to happen. Now that it has, I can only marvel at how precisely it met my expectations, but failed to exceed them. This isn't a bad thing, since I expected it to be an utterly amazing example of the style. It doesn't provide anything that I haven't experienced in similarly great beers (e.g. BA Speedway, Czar Jack), but it does exactly what it should with impeccable finesse. Pappy Eclipse deservers its reputation.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 00:20:28 | More by woosterbill
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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Pappy Van Winkle (23 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.