1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
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: 425
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 119 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jkane101
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of oline73
4.85/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Photo of duceswild
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of jethrodium
4/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Photo of cclark67789
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of yourefragile
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of spycow
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of rmaste6282
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of monitorpop
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Fux
4.6/5  rDev +2%
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 !

Photo of cosmicevan
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of jp7161
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of AndrewK
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of leschkie
4.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of CelticAleMan
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Romulux
3.5/5  rDev -22.4%

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of mistakebythelake
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of penniwisdom
5/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
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

Photo of Jeffo
3.3/5  rDev -26.8%
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!

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