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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

59 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 59
Hads: 122
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 6%
Wants: 430
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: Floydster on 02-02-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

2008. A few (aged) cases were released in 2010.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 59 | Hads: 122
Photo of Thorpe429
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to nerd for providing this at the post-Christmas tasting in Chicago. Served in my Cantillon tulip. Like others have said, this one was far and away the best of the "Pappy barrel" blind tasting we had. Unwaxed bottle from the 2nd release.

Pours near black with a very thin tan head without too much retention. Given the age, I won't complain too much. Looks pretty good, all things considered. The nose is pretty impressive with a really nice aroma that I've come to know as that coming from Pappy barrels. Really great bourbon character here. A bit of sweetness and chocolate there as well.

The taste is right up there with it. Amazing bourbon presence coming from the Pappy as well as a fantastic chocolate character and a nice amount of sweetness. Some mild roast sitting there in the background. Really quite smooth. The mouthfeel is where this really hit high gear with me--some booze but this is incredibly smooth and the barrel character is fantastic. Really incredibly smooth and drinkable all around. Thanks again, Mike. (1,043 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
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. (1,365 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
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. (1,460 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An enormous round of thanks to Jeff for breaking this one open at Sour Fest. I've wanted to try this one for a long time.

A: The pour is black is night and menacingly viscous. The head is about a finger's worth of dense tan/brown foam.

S: The nose is what you expect from a great barrel aged imperial stout. Rich and smooth chocolate, a hint of vanilla, maple syrup, graham cracker, and soft notes of roasted malt.

T: The flavor is even better. Lots of semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, dark and overripe fruits, bourbon, and a hint of maple syrup. This is decadence in a bottle.

M: The body is thick and full, but not overly heavy or syrupy. Subtle carbonation that works almost perfectly.

D: This beer was just way too easy to drink. Absolutely wonderful flavor to it and no discernible alcohol/heat at all. (811 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (653 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to jhenry04 for this one. I tried multiple ISOs before he hooked me up. Shared at Derek's insane tasting, and definitely one of the highlights of the evening.

A - Looks a lot like the Czar Jack consumed beforehand. A hint of transparent brown at the fringes of an otherwise black body. Dark mocha foam that slowly dissipates to a thin cap and ring, and leaves some patchy lacing.

S - Full of earthy barrel, dark fruits, smoke, caramel, vanilla, and maple. You can definitely tell this is a high-end bourbon barrel in use, as this is rich in flavor and low in booze or harshness. Let this one warm to get the full impact of all the flavors.

T - The taste is even better than the smell, with a superb balance of sweetness, wood, Pappy Van Winkle bourbon, and all the aforementioned flavors from the nose. The sweetness is definitely in the maple and caramel realm rather than the typical chocolate flavors and I think it works well to keep the beer from becoming to bitter or harsh. This is a reference quality barrel-aged stout.

M - Medium-thick body that is more than sufficient for the 9.5% ABV. Lightly tannic, and also sticky and chewy. Lower carbonation, but still lively.

D - I am depressed that this beer is going to be almost impossible to acquire again, and isn't one of the announced 2010 offerings from FiftyFifty. Among a utterly spectacular lineup of beers that included Yellow Bus, M, Dirty Horse, and Zhukov's Final Push this was "best in show" for me. (1,483 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From 04/30/11 notes. Got to try this at Dark Lord Day thanks to the ever generous Sean9689. After seeing Geist's review, it looks like this bottle was thanks to nerd; huge thanks man, next time we meet I owe you a beer.

a - Pours a thick, pitch black color with only a few bubbles of tan head and light carbonation evident. Not overly impressive looking, but good none the less.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, rich milk chocolate, dark chocolate, roasted malts, light fruit, and light vanilla. I've had a few PVW aged beers where I didn't think the higher quality barrels really shone through, but having had the EW and 4 Roses version of Eclipse, this one was really outstanding. Amazing nose.

t - Tastes of bourbon, milk chocolate, oak, vanilla from the oak, roasted malts, caramel/toffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits, and maybe some light coffee. Again, really great; an amazing tasting stout.

m - Medium to full bodied stout on the full size, and low carbonation. Thick and chewy, very smooth and nice for a stout. Not a lot of alcohol warmth.

o - Overall I thought this was an amazing stout. I love the 3 Eclipse stouts I've tried so far, but this one was the best. Very glad I was able to try it and would love to again sometime. (1,237 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (1,314 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by nerd. Thanks Michael!

Served in my Darkness tulip before Paul, in his infinite sense of entitlement, broke the goddamn thing. The beer is near black, with a thin, tan head that hangs out briefly before leaving a few random spots of lacing behind. The aroma is very inviting, with bourbon and roast at the forefront. The beer tastes wonderful, is well balanced, and full of flavor. The feel is exceptional, and is silky smooth on the palate, though not as big or full bodied as I might have expected. Terrific feel nonetheless. The PVW barrels shine through brilliantly. This is so easy to drink. Overall, a terrific barrel-aged stout, and one I would really enjoy having again...and again. (707 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.94/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From notes:

Original, non-waxed version. Received this in a trade with ipa247 before I even heard of the brewery. I thought with all of the talk lately I would finally enter my review.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even the slightest trace of lighter color when held to a light source and a half finger dark mocha head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

The nose of this beer is very complex with lots of bourbon as well as some earthy oak, vanilla and dark roasted malt. The barrel aging has done wonders to this beer, giving off a beautiful bourbon/spirit aroma that is balanced by the oak and vanilla notes. The aroma of the base beer is still evident however with hints of chocolate malt, roasted espresso/coffee bean, burnt toast, rye, smoke and oatmeal. I was expecting this to be a complete booze bomb but it smells amazing. Hopefully it lives up to the aroma.

Chewy, slightly viscous medium body with an excellent balance of bourbon, oak, vanilla, silky chocolate and roasted malt. The bourbon is prominent up front, slightly sweet and lingers throughout into a slightly warm finish but it is perfectly countered by a silky chocolate malt backbone with hints of roasted coffee, toffee, rye, caramel and oaky vanilla notes from the barrel. This beer is incredibly complex and all of the flavors perfectly balance each other out, making it incredibly smooth and dangerously quaffable. Again, I was expecting a booze bomb but the spirit presence is just prominent enough and the dark malt, silky chocolate, oak and vanilla combo is perfect. I can't say enough about how awesome this beer is.

I've had a ton of barrel aged beers and along with Kaggen! this is one of the best I've sampled. The only thing keeping this from a 5.0 rating is the appearance. The head is small and fades quickly without any lacing but otherwise this beer is perfect. This beer actually lives up to the hype and I wish I had another bottle. Anyone want to trade? (2,012 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

7/30/2010

Shared by Jeff at Sour Fest 2010, but it was a bit hectic so I was unable to review it, thanks though. This review is from a bottle purchased from City Beer Store a few months back. 2008 vintage, the only vintage, poured into a snifter. The beer is impenetrable black with a one inch silky dark brown head.

The aroma is a beautiful blend of brown sugar, bourbon, maple, dark chocolate, sugar cookie dough, and oak. It's very well balanced and incredibly expressive, one of the best aromas I've beheld on a beer of this style. Light vanilla notes are evident with further warming. There's a light booze sting in my nostrils when I plant my nose deep in the glass and inhale. Exceptional.

Booze, oak, bourbon, and chocolate define the opening. Sweetness picks up midpalate with notes of brown sugar and vanilla. The beer possesses a moderate, and desirable, level of booze heat. This is lovely...lovely! There's a nice and prominent bourbon presence. Light baker's chocolate notes harmonize with oak. The decadent finish displays caramel with lingering chocolate, bourbon, and booze. There's a shade of roasted character.

The mouthfeel is full, creamy, and silky. In a word: perfection. This is one of the best Barrel Aged Imperial Stouts I've ever had. I enjoyed this side by side with the 2009 Heaven Hill Rye, which is an excellent beer in its own right, but juxtaposed alongside the Pappy it was clearly inferior (though still a bit young). Seek this out! This was delicious with a sharp cheddar cheese. (1,520 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (1,199 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at a post-Christmas tasting in Chicago, courtesy of nerd (thanks Mike!). From what I heard this is from the 2nd release, a 22oz bottle with no wax.

We actually tried this blind against 2 other PVW aged stouts (BCS Rare and 2010 ORF). It was easy to tell the differences, as BCS Rare had an unmistakable BCS taste and ORF was, well, a noncompetitor. The PVW Eclipse was my favorite, with BCS Rare right behind it.

It poured opaque black, nearly zero foam. It could be that it was poured too gently, but there was very little carbonation so I'd guess that's why there was no foam.

It smells really spectacular, the bourbon is a leading aroma without taking over. Beyond that is a sweet stout, nearly a rich milk stout, cocoa and light roast. I love the nose, this is really rich and refined at the same time.

It tastes just as good, this is undeniably one of the better BA stouts I've tried. Cocoa and malt and mellowed out bourbon, delicious. No heat at all, one good defining point for this beer vs BCS and its derivatives.

Creamy and full, despite the lack of carbonation this has a substantial body. Very good in every way, so glad to have tried it. (1,168 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (1,146 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Nerd for this ridiculous beer. Review #1500. 22oz bottle drank into my Narke tulip. Part of a blind PVW tasting with Rare and ORF, this one dominated...Pours mostly black with not much head...The aroma is really sweet, creamy milk, bourbon, and chocolate. Its awesome, but wish it was a little bitter to balance...The taste takes the aroma to a whole new level. This is easily one the best tasting stouts I've ever heard. Creamy in taste and especially in feel comes to mind. It literally is like velvet then just disappears on my tongue, I can't get enough of it. Its on the sweeter side with lots of smooth bourbon and maple, but balanced by a little roast, wood, and bitter chocolate. My biggest complaint about this beer is the size of the pour, 3oz is not enough of this bad boy. I need more right now.

World class stout that needs to be searched out. (868 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you so much, Devin! This is one of those beers that I thought I'd have to give up an awful lot to try, and you just brought it to our regularly unscheduled tastings! 2008 release bottle # 10something.

The pour is pretty gorgeous, a jet black with a large dark brown head with great retention. Lacing is pretty outstanding for the style.

The nose is excellent. Right off the bat, I get a lot of the barrel complexity with a large amount of coconut, some bourbon heat and vanilla. While the bourbon is noticeable, there isn't really much booze character. The base beer, which I've never tried, is strong enough to hold its own against the strong barrel character, with a great combination of dark chocolate, roast and a little cream. A faint bit of licorice and molasses are apparent as well. The palate is similar, opening with bourbon and dark chocolate. Quite decadent, the coconut and vanilla appear. Rich and luscious on the palate, the dark chocolate character is quite exceptional. Mildly creamy. Hop and coffee-like bitterness is low, this is driven by flavors of dark chocolate and bourbon. The balance on this beer is quite incredible.The finish is truly exceptional, very long lasting with a beautiful dark chocolate character, bourbon and coconut. Fantastic stuff, I was sad when my glass was gone, but I'm certainly looking forward to grabbing a bottle or two with the next release. Highly recommended! I drank this side-by-side with an 08 Abyss, and this was every bit as enjoyable, though not as balanced and drinkable.

**Edit 26 March 2011**
PvW Eclipse, 2008 vintage, final bottling, bottle #32. Thank you, Joe.

The nose has that beautiful Eclipse character - chocolate fudge, creamy, as well as bourbon, flaked coconut, a little smoke. The palate is exceptional. Opening mildly sweet with milk chocolate fudge, rich toffee, caramel and just the most beautifully integrated bourbon profile I've had in quite a while. Coconut, raisins, and the bourbon are simple but well put together. A little molasses, maybe? The finish is fantastic - mildly warming with some fruit, bourbon, coconut and fudge. Tannins are mild here, not really noticeable. Not terribly complex but fantastically structure. I'm upping my T and O scores here. (2,252 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (605 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Big cheers to nerd for being a playa and providing this at our post-Christmas tasting. Done blind, side-by-side with with Rare Bourbon County Stout and 2010 Olde Rabbit's Foot.

A - Black beer with a small tan head, gets a little lighter on the edges. No real stick on the sides, but head faded to a solid ring.

S - Bourbon, coconut, butter, little roast, chocolate, touch of smoke. Great mix. Wow.

T - Doesn't get much better than this. Mild bourbon, chocolate, slight touch of roast, mild coconut, and a little bit of butter. Very smooth, with no dominant flavors overpowering any other, great balance of great tastes.

M - Smooth, lower carbonation, would have preferred more body on it, but it is fine.

O - Awesome beer, one of the best I have ever had, although the score will not reflect this given the rating system. Taste should get a 6 to make up for what I had to do for look and mouthfeel. (903 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.5/5  rDev 0%
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. (1,239 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber, 2008 bottle #320, courtesy of jh1982 poured into a tulip.

Pours pitch black with a small mocha head that dissipates quickly, leaving a small ring and spotty lacing.

The aroma is fantastic and has a near perfect balance between the bourbon, which is not overpowering, and the underlying stout. There are lots of dark sweet malts, chocolate and tons of molasses sweetness in the nose. The barrels add a nice dose of bourbon and vanilla on top of that.

If anything, the taste is better than the aroma. The initial taste is a hint of bourbon with a big dark malt and chocolate sweetness forming a backbone. The finish is a bit of bakers chocolate mixed with bourbon and vanilla. One of the best tasting stouts I've ever had.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation and only the slightly bourbon burn in the finish.

This beer just blew me away. Quite possibly the most effective use of bourbon barrels I've seen in a beer. I was expecting good things but never expected this to be a world-class stout. That's exactly what this is - a world-class stout. (1,078 characters)

Photo of illidurit
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy bulletrain76. Pours inky black with a dark brown frothy head. Aroma is bourbony but not too hot. Rich chocolate, molasses, vanilla, raisins. Complex but a little muted. Flavor is really smooth and everything is in nice proportion to everything else. Oaky, coconutty bourbon without the typical ethanol shot, dark chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruit. Rich but a bit slick in mouthfeel. Very drinkable. (417 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
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! (1,212 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.32/5  rDev -4%
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. (1,255 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (662 characters)

Photo of tpd975
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another bad ass stout at our weekly tasting. This one courtesy of Gillard. Thanks Ryan for this rare gem.

Bottle #102

A: Pours a very dark flat black, no way light can get through this one. The head is nice, tall, and tan. Awesome retention, it looks as though a lace gernade went off in my glass.

S: Roasted malt from the start. One of the roastier smelling beers I have ever come across. This one also quickly let you know it was barrel aged. Tons of Bourbon, Oak, and vanilla. Hints of chocolate poke through along with a touch of acetone.

T: You guessed it very roasty followed by a bunch of barrel. The wood is rather bold here and it tastes nice and fresh. VCoffee, vanilla and chocolate play nicely with the other bold flavors. This beer is very bold, very extreme. The flavors meld together in such a wonderful way.

M: Rather full body. Rich, smooth, extreme with a touch of burn in the finish.

D: Could sip on this one for hours. I had never heard of the beer or the brewer, but now that I know they exist I want MORE! (1,033 characters)

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Pappy Van Winkle (23 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.