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Totality Imperial Stout - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Totality Imperial StoutTotality Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

145 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 145
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 30
Gots: 11 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
formerly Roundabout Imperial Stout

(Beer added by: GClarkage on 10-22-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 145 | Reviews: 44 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of klipper
4/5  rDev -1.5%

klipper, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of drewone
4.75/5  rDev +17%

drewone, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +23.2%

jh1982, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.9/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at 5050

A: It came in a pint glass with no foam whatsoever but a light lacing. While being consumed it leaves a nice lacing along the glass as well.

S: The aroma is intoxicating, it has a sweet raisin, caramel, coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate, and some really great maltiness.

T: This beer has a ton of complexity to it as well. It starts with a sweet rummy raisin, which then goes into a bittersweet dark chocolate, and then finishes with a nice coffee and sweet caramel. I could not believe how much complexity you can have with so many different malts in which one malt doesnt overshadow another. All the malts lend there own flavor component to the beer and just allows the levels of flavor to continue.

M: It has a light carbonation and a very nice rich mouthfeel to it.

O: Overall, this is an amazing beer. I have had Eclipse several times and you can definitely see how each component that goes into Totality really can lend to the barrel aging in its own way. I have had several stouts, and imperial stouts, and I must say this is the most complex and flavorful. A lot of stouts tend to be heavy on the sweet side or heavy on the roasted side of the stout spectrum and this is a great stout that is right in the middle and very balanced. This beer is absolutely fantastic! Great job Todd!

PaulStoneAnchor, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of ehammond1
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap

Tony's Darts Away
Burbank, CA

Incredibly dark brown, but just not black. Dark brown head and lots of cling left to the glass.

Classic big stout aroma of roasted malts, coffee, dark fruits, some mild chocolate, though leaning toward sweet chocolate as opposed to bitter, throughout, and just the slightest tinge of alcohol.

Flavors follow the nose and consist of coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, and sweet molasses. Tasty and very easy to drink.

Thick, full, luscious mouthfeel.

A terrific big stout. I'm glad I got to try this one (again?).

ehammond1, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of Beerenauslese
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at FiftyFifty.

Served in a pint glass, body is opaque black with a foamy tan head. Leaves a little lacing at first, but not after the head quickly dissipated to a ring.

Smells of dark fruit, coffee, chocolate, toasted malt, and hops.

Taste follows the nose. There is a bitter char and dark chocolate character from the roasted malts, and that is balanced by the other dark fruit flavors and a bit of sweetness. I thought this was pretty well balanced between bitter and sweet. I could see where the BA Eclipse character comes from.

Body is medium and carbonation was sufficient to give this a creamy mouthfeel. There is a little char and hop burn on the tongue, but this tasted pretty smooth, although not as smooth as BA Eclipse versions. It is also lighter in body though still a bit sticky in the finish.

Overall, I thought this was a really good stout on its own and shows the basic character that BA Eclipse is built on. I wanted another, but the ABV prevented me. Didn't keep me from thinking about it, though, which I did for the next few days as I hiked some Sierra Nevada trails.

Beerenauslese, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
2.3/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Blue Palms

A: The beer pours almost black with a very small tan head to go with it.

S: First thing I pick up on is a distinct sourness. Acrid, roasted malts and coffee follow, as well as a mild char. There is a light chocolate aroma with a slight molasses and toffee sweetness.

T: A very sight sweetness to start, but the sourness and acridity of the roast follow shortly behind. There is a mild cocoa note as well as some coffee. A touch of molasses and licorice.

M: The body is sort of light and watery for an imperial stout. Medium carbonation, however.

O: Really disappointing as I was looking forward to trying this, given my enjoyment of the barrel aged versions.

womencantsail, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

look: black as night with a 1/2 inch tan colored foamy head and ok retention and good lacing

Smell: Coffee and roasted malts and hints of chocolate rule the nose

Taste: wow a very very sweet stout not like the smell. Coffee and chocolate and vanilla are all present but not in abundance. Unexpected flavor but real nice

Mouthfeel: medium to full body and medium carbonation i would say it leaves behind kind of a film that coats your whole mouth

Overall: This is my second beer by this small brewery and again I must say I'm very impressed. Nice flavor and real good drinkability for such a dark stout

DarthKostrizer, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of alexhahn82
3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Large bubbly foam, not really what I would call head, possibly a glass that had some water in the bottom prior to pouring? Dark burgundy color.

S - SMOKEY... and thats about it.

T/M - SMOKEY!!! Crazy smoke with a slightly coffee like kick in flavor with a semi sweet finish, almost bitter chocolate finish.

O - A damn good high octane Imperial Stout with and impossible to find (in a good way) 9.5% ABV. Seek, but not necessarily destroy.

PP (Price Point) - $6.75 for a pint... Yes Please!

alexhahn82, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of peacebone116
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from growler into tulip.

A: Black, black, black, with foamy, clinging tan head.

N: Roasted coffee and sweet fresh raisins.

T/M: Creamy chocolate covered toasted coffee beans. The alcohol comes in through the middle with a slight warmness and a touch of licorice/anise. A definite sipper! Sweet malt leaves stone-fruit flavors that linger on the tongue.

This is a great stout, which probably explains why the bbl aged version (Eclipse) is so incredible. Fairly intricate flavor profile, but its smoothness and the way that all the flavors meld together really belies its complexity. This is one solid stout!

peacebone116, May 04, 2011
Photo of djeucalyptus
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an incredible jet black with glimpses of caramel at the edges. A two-finger dark brown head glistens with burnt red highlights. Stunning retention and beautiful web-like lacing.

Aroma is lucious. Dark and sweet. rich dark malts, brown sugar, figs, dates. Chocolate pudding. coffee.

Taste follows aroma perfectly. Rich chocolate, burnt coffee, tons of rich malt and a healthy dose of earthy hops. Some dark fruits - raisins, figs and prunes through the middle. Almost like an intense baltic porter. Clean malty, rich fudgie and chocolate finish.

Mouth is fairly thick and smooth. ample carbonation... almost too much? almost seems a touch light for the flavors it's trying to back up... a clean hop bitterness in the finish is welcome.

All in all, this is one solid stout. beautifully balanced with a nice hop profile and some strong fruit notes. One I'd seek out again and again. And in this day and age, it's awesome to see some imperial stouts that aren't barrel aged.

djeucalyptus, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at FiftyFifty, served in a brandy snifter.

Black with a dense mocha head that shows strong retention and sticky lacing, this is a great looking beer.

Licorice and espresso are prominent on the nose. Chocolate fudge and cookie dough lend some sweetness, but this is more of a bitter, earthy imperial stout.

The first sip makes me think of chocolate covered coffee beans. Further imbibing brings out licorice, charred malt, firm bitterness both from dark malt and hops. Medium in body, not particularly sweet. The finish is heavily roasted, quite bitter and sticky. With this as a base beer I can see why Eclipse is so good.

largadeer, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of nickd717
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Darkest brown in color with a small tannish head and pretty nice lacing on the glass.

The aroma is rich and enticing. Roastiness and mocha, like Eclipse without the -bal aging, as crazy as that is. Slight malty sweetness evident.

The flavor is excellent, rich and balanced. Chocolate, coffee, slight black cherry and molasses.

Very smooth mouthfeel with fairly full body and a good soft level of carbonation.

Lived up to my expectations for sure. This is a really good beer, and I can see how it spawned such -bal aged goodness. Easy to drink for a beer of this ABV and style.

nickd717, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah yes, another vote for "this is better w/o" aging it in a bunch of whiskey barrels" gimmick.

Amazing jet black appearance, no floaties, cherry cola top to die for. Bitter aroma, lacking the chococoffee effect you come to expect in this style.

The lack of barrel aging allows the bitterness and hops to take main stage, while the chococoffee feel stays in the background. Extremely smooth for high bitterness. Maybe not as thick as it looks, but if this beer don't hide the alcohol, I don't know which one does.

Drinkability is almost a perfect 5. At $7 a pint, its not atrocious, and maybe even seems cheap, since they charge $20-22 for the barrel aged version. Skip that stuff, buy 3 pints of this instead of 1 bomber of that stuff. This could be the best version overall, but especially from a value perspective. I dunno why people hate the base, I love it.

OK 50/50, you make a dank ryepa, and a dank imperial stout. . . let's get that rye stout ready for winter.

Beerandraiderfan, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of popery
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft, City Beer Store. I had a taste from a growler a few days ago (courtesy of beddachedda), but finding it on tap so soon afterward is clearly a sign that I should write a review. Appearance-wise, Totality has a black body with a nice beige head. In the aroma, there's a ton of chocolate, lots of brown sugar and molasses, some coffee and roast, and touches of hops that make a stronger appearance in the flavor. It's a medium sweet beer that seems well-suited for barrel-aging, unsurprisingly. The finish has very good hop bitterness to reign in the sweet malt. Feel is fairly thick and smooth. A very good imperial stout that gets a lot better with some time in the barrel.

popery, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of JWD
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at fiftyfifty today.

This is the base beer for the barrel aged eclipse series so i had to try it to compare next to a JD eclipse.

A- Very dark black in color with only minimal light coming through at the edges. Thin light tan head that was retained to the last sip.

S & T - deep dark chocolate with a slight sweetness, fairly light on the roasted taste noramally expected with a stout like this. I thought this was a great opportunity to see how much a barrel can change a beer.

M & D - Medium body with higher carbonation that the barrel versions. Very easy to drink ABV is well hidden,

Overall i really liked this beer and in some cases would prefer it over the barrel beer just for the raw character of it.

JWD, May 01, 2010
Photo of Jmoore50
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was going through my notes and noticed I never logged this one down. The other two reviewers are confusing to me because Todd Ashman said that this was the base beer for this years three versions of Eclipse. Base beer, not touching a barrel. Interesting, but this one was good and worth the drive on St. Patricks day.

The appearance was dark and black and thick. It was served into a pint glass, and the head that was present was fluffy and tan. It left some leg on the glass and I noticed a medium lacing as well.

The smell was muted because of the temperature, but towards the bottom half of the glass the usual suspects of a good imperial stout were present. Lots of chocolate and nice roast.

The taste was solid, and very surprising how thick this one started out. This one was noticeably thicker on both the palate and in appearance than the Elijah Craig and Heaven Hill versions. What was great was the chocolate and real smooth roast flavors being recognized from the barrel versions. It makes me think that maybe after the barrel, the amount of liquor that is introduced to these base beers thins them out a bit. I don't know but it is probably the case.

The mouthfeel was thick on the palate, and left you with some long aftertastes. It was very drinkable and perfectly carbonated. Very good stout all in all and a great base beer for a barrel or two.

Jmoore50, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of bulletrain76
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Draught at the brewpub (notes from july). The board said that this was 9.5%abv, and the name is simply "Barrel-Aged Stout". The confusion comes from the fact that the name was written next to the old spot for Roundabout Stout, which was a 6% oatmeal stout that they haven't made in awhile. This is the same base beer (their standard imperial stout, which has placed at the last two GABFs) as Eclipse, but was given a different barrel treatment and is served only on tap at the brewpub. Black with a small tan head. Great aroma that is a rich showcase of bourbon-barrel aging, with lots of caramel, vanilla, dates, raisins, oak, bourbon, and dark cherries. The flavor is heavy on milk chocolate and caramel, but has a dry, woody, bourbony feel with a light alcoholic bite. There is some dried fruit as well before a warming and dry finish. Medium-full bodied with smooth, lower carbonation. Lots of bourbon, but very well integrated. The only thing that I thought held it back was the light tannic astringency in the mouthfeel.

bulletrain76, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of GClarkage
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10/17/09- Growler purchased at Firtyfifty Brewing Company.

Presentation- Via the growler into a Duvel style glass.

Appearance- Super black in appearance. Head is slight, maybe at a 1/3 of an inch. Lacing is light, but has some streaks and lines. Looks quite thick.

Smell- Nose of roated malts, light coffee beans and a large nose of dark chocolate.

Taste- Huge chocolate malt presence. Coffee is limited, but chocolate carries the show. Hops are there, but fade out the more you drink.

Mouthfeel- Pretty damn smooth with a lower carbonation level. Light hoppy finish, thick and chewy. Feels like more than 10% in mouthfeel, but doesn't hit hard like a 10% beer.

Drinkability- This is a pretty much the same beer as their award winning Total Esclipe, but they changed the name to match the Oatmeal and upped the abv a tad. Pretty sure this isn't an Imperial Oatmeal...at least they didn't mention that it was.

GClarkage, Oct 22, 2009
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Totality Imperial Stout from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.