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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

111 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 111
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 4.54
pDev: 9.25%
Wants: 425
Gots: 22 | 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: 111 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scottfrie


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


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 ChrisPro


4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

12-15-2011 16:09:35 | More by ChrisPro
Photo of cadaugherty


5/5  rDev +10.1%

12-15-2011 03:54:54 | More by cadaugherty
Photo of jophish17


4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

12-14-2011 21:45:24 | More by jophish17
Photo of BrewerB


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 MrFootstones


5/5  rDev +10.1%

12-10-2011 04:01:41 | More by MrFootstones
Photo of ipa247


5/5  rDev +10.1%

12-10-2011 01:31:15 | More by ipa247
Photo of klipper


4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

12-09-2011 08:43:16 | More by klipper
Photo of imperialking


5/5  rDev +10.1%

11-30-2011 05:05:40 | More by imperialking
Photo of JAHMUR


4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

11-27-2011 22:58:57 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of seeswo


3.5/5  rDev -22.9%

11-24-2011 02:02:00 | More by seeswo
Photo of yeahnatenelson


3/5  rDev -33.9%

11-23-2011 16:03:10 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of sideshowe


4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

11-21-2011 20:44:27 | More by sideshowe
Photo of AleWatcher


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 rmalinowski4


5/5  rDev +10.1%

11-20-2011 02:39:56 | More by rmalinowski4
Photo of doughanson78


5/5  rDev +10.1%

11-15-2011 08:24:03 | More by doughanson78
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr


4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

11-14-2011 23:10:47 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of jh1982


5/5  rDev +10.1%

11-14-2011 17:17:11 | More by jh1982
Photo of SpdKilz


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

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


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


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.


Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 00:20:28 | More by woosterbill
Photo of billshmeinke


4.95/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pink wax.

Smell is heavenly. Toffee, chocolate, some oak, coconut, light hints of licorice. Wonderful bourbon notes too.

Tastes of chocolate fudge, oak, booze, raisin, fine bourbon, and brownies. Just wonderful chocolatey bourbony goodness.

Chewy full, rich and lucious mouthfeel.

In a word, amazing.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 22:41:38 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of JAXSON


4.1/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle with pink wax. Black with a thin ring on the edges. Rich bourbon on the nose, really smooth barrel, not much pronounced malt underneath, some caramel apple. Takes the barrel nicely, and it's a great barrel of course, but there's not much malt complexity or body going on. Especially right after Rare, which was way more substantial than this. In the mouth, rich dark chocolate brownie, dark chocolate cake, barrel. Some leafy oxidation. Great flavors, almost on par with Elijah Criag, but really suffers from being overly "smooth" and without much malt character.

"Here comes Kevin's next rant."

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2011 00:51:30 | More by JAXSON
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Pappy Van Winkle (23 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
99 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.