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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Heaven Hill Rittenhouse RyeImperial Eclipse Stout - Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

389 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 389
Reviews: 149
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 9.58%


Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Imperial Stout aged 175 days in Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey barrels. The 2012 version contains a small amount of beer aged in Heaven Hill Pikesville Supreme Rye Whiskey barrels.

(Beer added by: Jmoore50 on 12-29-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 389 | Reviews: 149 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Certainly the best tasting, smoothest of the half dozen I have had to date in this series. Black, lacey. Coffee but also nicely undercarbonated. Very good drinkability. Bottlefrom Premier split with Liam.A moderate roast characteristic. Well integrated whiskey.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2013 23:33:50 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Los Angeles, CA as part of the FiftyFifty Eclipse Release Party.

2011 vintage. Bottle # 679.

Pours an opaque black with a 1/2 inch foamy khaki head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Small streaks of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, wood, and a nice rye whisky aroma. Taste is pretty much the same. I really enjoy the Rittenhouse Rye treatment on this one. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good barrel aged stout with a nice rye whisky flavor. One of the best of the night.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 05:00:11 | More by UCLABrewN84
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mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as night it sludged into the glass and popped up a sticky brown head of nearly two inches before settling down but retaining a wonderful balance of about a half an inch. Lacing coats the whole glass wonderfully. Lots of bourbon in the aroma, hot with vanilla and wood streaming through the air and dominating an otherwise chocolate and roasted masterpiece. Each sip tastes like you are coming straight off the barrel. Wonderful notes of vanilla and butterscotch, warm chocolate and light smoke all come together. Lots of heat, this definitely will benefit from a year or two but such a smooth, creamy finish it was literally as smooth as one could imagine given the strength.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 04:27:50 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Dave for sharing this one at Sour Fest.

A: The pour is like all of the Imperial Eclipse iterations: thick and black as night with a finger's worth of tan head.

S: The whiskey notes are noticeable right away. Good kick of barrel, vanilla, rye, coconut?, chocolate, and a bit of sugar. Not quite as smooth as the PVW or the EC, but still very nice.

T: The few missteps of the nose are atoned for in the flavor. Great chocolate, roast, and slight dark fruit and coffee flavors from the beer itself. The barrel really lends quite a bit of complexity, including vanilla, some oak, and whiskey flavor.

M: The body is velvety and smooth on the tongue, and the carbonation is quite restrained.

D: These beers are all fantastic, and the fact that I'm giving such a high score to my "least favorite" of the bunch is telling. I wish I had more than one of each.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2010 18:58:42 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.96/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a large brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of rich black chocolates notes with light residual sugar notes and some rye whiskey notes with some bitter roasted malt. Taste is a mix between some bitter roasted malt with some rich black chocolate notes and some rye whiskey notes with a somewhat harsh finish. Body is full with nice creamy and oily texture with good carbonation and not much apparent alcohol notes. Very enjoyable but still a bit harsher than some of the other varieties.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2014 19:24:10 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Espresso. Chocolate. Molasses. Whisky spice. Lavish creamy texture. ...yes, please!

Pushing against stillness, the oily black elixir still only amounts a dainty espresso-like creme with even the most assertive swirl of the glass. Its oil slick appearance is onyx-like with low-lying retention and lace; preferring brandy legging tendencies instead. It simply prefers to look like an abyss. ...and it seductively pulls me in.

Utmost savory aromas rise from the glass as the nose is haplessly captivated by its espresso roast, dark chocolate and spicy whisky scents. Supporting burnt caramel, molasses, vanilla, whipping cream and booze-soaked oak offers lushness and roundness as well as balance to the nose. A tinge of burnt currant, cherry, walnut and fennel all play a role in the beer's developing aroma.

Surprisingly just as savory and seductive to taste, a deep fudge-like chocolaty, creamy denseness greets the early palate. Its bittersweet taste invites vinous wood notes of savory soy sauce to go along with its brownie batter, chocolate covered espresso bean, and freshly roasted walnut character. A welcome reprieve comes from the spicy huskiness of burnt rye, pumpernickel croutons, and a peppery booze taste to slice through the dense chocolate tone. Charred woods with black-strap molasses, gently rolling whipping cream and vanilla round out its oaky finish.

Its dense and lavish texture wraps around the tongue like silk. Its well-woven alcohols allows its sweetness to seep into the mouth's soft tissues with ease. This allows for an intensification in taste and mouthfeel that latches on and won't let go. Its slow development warms the throat and only relaxes a bit as the alcohols assist in drying the palate and the pleasant powdery texture from oak and grain spice to offer a mild lift. But its low carbonation does little to pull the beer from the tongue in order to allow for full saturation of the taste buds with that simmering and sultry warmth.

Its immense residual sweetness requires high roast, high level of complexity, and help from outsourced barrel and whisky complements in order to balance its gargantuan malt display. But carefully sculpted, this beer resonates beautifully on the mouth, stomach and soul.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2013 16:51:32 | More by BEERchitect
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Thorpe429

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep back with a nice tan head into a Bruery tulip. A bit of lacing as it goes down.

S: The bourbon is definitely present. Nice and creamy, although not quite as heavy as the Elijah Craig, which we had this side-by-side with. Along with the alcohol is a bit of roasted malt and vanilla. Some hints of chocolate.

T: Similar to the nose, although the bourbon comes out more, playing with the malt and creating a nice creaminess, which really drives the mouthfeel.

M: Fairly full bodied and nice and creamy. No much alcohol; quite smooth.

D: Heavily drinkable. So glad they're releasing this again and that I have my futures certificates in hand.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2010 01:27:21 | More by Thorpe429
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MasterSki

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage - thanks to Adam & Anna (Nanoslug(s)). Served in a Bell's tulip.

A - Quick-dissolving off-white foam settles to a thin ring, leaving no lace. Dark brown body that is a touch lighter at the fringes.

S - This expression of Eclipse is very sweet, with loads of cocoa powder, oaky vanilla, hint of maple, and only a modest amount of earthy rye whiskey. There's also an aged quality, with perhaps a touch of port-like oxidation present. No obvious alcohol present, but I've never found these beers very boozy.

T - Dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, whiskey, and a modest amount of oak. Less sweet than the nose implies, with more espresso bitterness and char present.

M - Medium-bodied, with medium-low carbonation, a lightly tannic and gritty texture, and a modest amount of warming alcohol. On the lighter side of Imperial Stouts, but plenty hefty for the listed 9.5% ABV.

D - The flavor is a bit too charry for this rank among my favorite Eclipses, but it's still quite enjoyable and something I'd gladly have again. Goes down quite easily, and packs a lot of flavor into a 9.5% beer. I'm curious how the 2010 version compares, but Elijah Craig is my clear-cut favorite from the 2009 variants.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 03:15:30 | More by MasterSki
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drabmuh

Maryland

4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer served in a snifter from the 2011 release. Fun. Beer is black but clear at the corner, thin tan head small bubbles, some lacing but low retention and low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, malty with a nice oaky / liquor almost bitter aroma. Smells nice.

Beer is medium in body, strong, a little boozy but great throughout. The finish is a little dry and oaky, overall not my favorite out of these but very solid, the unique character of the liquor comes through in the palate. I'd have it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2012 21:39:07 | More by drabmuh
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zeff80

Missouri

4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, light brown head of thick foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of oak, rye and some spicy notes. Good roasty aromas.

T - It tasted roasted malt, dark chocolate, toffee and sweet rye. Good spiciness with some oak and vanilla.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A full bodied ale with a warm alcohol presence.

O - This was fantastic. My second Eclipse and it was outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2012 01:25:58 | More by zeff80
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Halcyondays

California

3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a deep mahogany to black with a very small tan head, bubbly.

S: Not much at first, but some coaxing gives a nice barrel smell. Heavy malt, brown sugar, pretty standard.

T: Rye barrel, dark chocolate, heavy sweet malt. Fairly well balanced, not as full-flavoured as I would hope, but certainly enjoyable.

M: Full-bodied, rich, smooth, soft carbonation for its style.

O: A solid -bal beer, but the bottle price is certainly pushing it. Glad I've been able to try a lot of the Eclipse Line on-tap.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2012 19:16:08 | More by Halcyondays
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barleywinefiend

Washington

4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a big black with a little bit of low carbonation providing some viscosity. A tannish cap appears leaving some bubbles and light lacing after a few sips

S: Initial booze burn with some charred wood, rye pepperness and chocolate

T: Initial chocolate meets rye thing going on with a booze sting. Some bourbon comes as does some wood. The finish provides heat, like fusel heat, charred wood, some rye pepperness and dark chocolate. Dry, hot.

M: Full body mainly due to lower carbonation. It is stil pretty coating and fiulling on the mouth.

O: Good but no way in Hell would pay the price tag for "Good". Over rated as most of the Fifty/Fifty wax are.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 15:31:19 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 11/24/12 notes. Shared this with my brother...2010 vintage, bottle #743. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a jet black color with two inches of dark tan head and low to moderate carbonation evident. This one doesn't look as thick as the others, but still looks great.

s - Smells of whiskey, roasted malts, sweet chocolate, cream, dark fruits, and oak. Nice but the whiskey is still a bit hot, and dominates the nose. Still good, but not on the level of the other versions.

t - Tastes of whiskey, alcohol, roasted malts, bitter chocolate, sweet chocolate, vanilla, oak, dark fruits. Taste has much more bitter choolate than the nose, and a lot of hot whiskey again.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Body is not as thick as the other versions, and is a little hotter than most variations.

o - Overall this is certainly a good beer, but having had 8 other variations at our Eclipse tasting last week, this is towards the bottom of the pack. It is a little bit thinner than most of the others, and a bit hotter, though still quite nice. Would like to have it again but would buy or seek out other variations first.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2012 16:30:39 | More by mdfb79
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to yourefragile for this bottle, #358 from the 2010 release (green wax).

A: The imperial stout is dark and black. That is all. The bottle was a bear to open though, a lighter was used but not harmed. Even the cracking of the cap didn't cause a hiss. The head, small on pour, disappears shortly thereafter.

S: Wonderful nose, the barrel aromas, wooden and glorious, have vanilla and the spicy heat that rye whiskey adds. Deep roasted stout blackness counters the sweetness. Graham comes through as well, sweetening the darkness. A very enjoyable beer to sniff.

T: Sweet whiskey goodness! The Heaven Hill rye is stupendous, imparting sweet vanilla and spicy rye, very hot with a burn that lingers. Roasted malts, dark with chocolate and burnt toast, are a foil to the barrel. The wood, oaken and rich, seemlessly brings the stout together. Despite the heat, it never feels too strong. There is more flavor, more bite near the finish. I gargled (or at least swished) a sip, mouthwash-like, before swallowing and was impressed by the flavors that came through -- spicy with a mild mintiness even.

M: My one bottle for the night, and what a doozy it is. Dark and sweet, spicy rye adding a sharp bite. I'm foggy and I like it.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 01:14:38 | More by akorsak
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage, bottle #2029

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a two finger, light mocha head that very slowly settles into a lasting cap/ring. Very good retention with streaks of lacing left behind.

Strong barrel presence in the aroma with lots of earthy, toasted oak, vanilla, coconut and spicy rye whiskey character countered by a slightly roasted chocolate malt backbone. The spicy rye and whiskey notes really stand out along with wood barrel, coffee bean, oatmeal and bakers chocolate. Dessert/cake like dessert character underneath the whiskey.

On the fuller end of medium bodied with a stronger whiskey barrel presence than the aroma suggests. Very strong dry oak/toothpick character along with prominent whiskey/boozy heat that overpowers the other notes a bit too much for my preference. Slightly peaty with lots of spicy rye and alcohol sweetness dominating the malt backbone. Underneath, there is some roasted malt and sweet chocolate flavor but it's overwhelmed by the wood, rye and whiskey flavors. Decent but a bit harsh and one dimensional making it tougher to drink and not as interesting as the other treatments.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2012 08:21:33 | More by corby112
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johnmichaelsen

Oregon

4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Generously shared at Dyan's place the other evening.

Eclipsse pours a fairly dark brown color with very good head retention and considerable lacing. The beer looks thick and viscuous... The nose is just stunning, showcasing considerable bourbon, coupled with brown sugar, chocolate and even light chalk. There is considerable honey in the nose as well, and in combination, it gives one the impression this beer will be fairly sweet. The flavor profile replicates the nose, but on the palate, the honey flavor really asserts itself. This beer is pretty sweet and rich, and the mouthfeel if full, long, creamy and altogether decadent. There is some light booze as well on the finish, but otherwise the alcohol is really quite well integrated into the flavort profile (the beer is not at all hot or tiring on the palate).

Quite an impressive beer. Just delicious.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 15:41:17 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super dark brown and black, thin brown ring forms on the top, less than 1/3" deep. Nice, sweeter than other barrel treatment aroma, chocolate, light bourbon, vanilla and oak.

Taste, one of the easiest drinking Eclipse varieties, this seems to be sweeter, lighter bodied, but still a good consistent thickness and mouthfeel to it. Very smooth, a pinch of smoke in it that is very complimentary to all of the other flavors. Has the least amount of coffee or bitterness that the other varieties hold, and even those are relatively low, but this one is all about sweet smoothness.

I even thought the '11 version on tap was better than the '10, but they are extremely similar, just the mouthfeel and consistency was better suited to my tastes this year around.

Serving type: on-tap

12-25-2011 19:39:36 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by Grant - much obliged!

Pours black with a 1.5-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth dark chocolate with muted roasted malts. Also present are good amounts of vanilla aromas from the barrels and lighter amounts of tobacco.

Tastes phenomenal. Soft roasted malt flavors are met almost immediately with smooth dark chocolate flavors with hints of sweeter milk chocolate. Midway through the sip vanilla flavors work their way into things along with a faint rye spiciness. Finally, hints of tobacco flavors come into play near the end before all flavors meld together and carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is great. It's got a very nice thickness with small and grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also great. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have more.

Overall this beer was all I was hoping it would be. Tasted alongside some other heavy hitters this was unquestionably my favorite. A nuanced big and barrel-aged stout that is well worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2010 01:19:20 | More by glid02
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I shared a bottle of this with my wife at our campsite in Vermont. Lovely.

The beer is a deep, dark brown with a half inch of dark beige head that leaves a thick sheet of lacing on the walls of the glass. The aroma brings oak, booze, roast, malt. The flavor is perhaps a tad more bready than usual, with a hint of bitterness in the back. Must be the rye malt. Tasty. Additional notes of chocolate and vanilla. Really, quite a flavorful beer, and deceptively easy to drink. Fairly light in the mouthfeel for the style. Well balanced, with lingering notes of oak and bourbon. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2012 20:54:07 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. BR 1, Vintage 2012.

A simple mahogany color out of the bottle, hits to a dark walnut brown body, with some chestnut hues and maybe some red. Head is about 3-4mm tall and mocha colored, leaving a thin bubbly collar. Not much head, but at least made enough and certainly looks fine. Top manages a nice mocha whispy top all throughout drinking.

Interesting nose. Probably the first Eclipse I had that smells like whiskey. Spicy rye notes mixing with a sharp fruit. Hint of pine and spruce like wood heat. Charring and quite wooden splintery smelling. Hints of chocolate fudge, and sort of a chocolate sprinkles like smell. Sweetness is not very large on this. It's really well done, and one of the few whiskey smelling brews I've had.

Palate brings much of what is hinted on the nose but with a lighter body feel. Hints of pine and spruce wood, and dry finish. Dark black berried fruit in the mid palate, and real sense of whiskey heat and spice. Drying finish with classic charring and roasty malts to go with it.

Overall this is the most whiskey forward, and spicy, and quite enjoyable. It's probably my second favorite right after the EC12 variation

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 19:32:07 | More by smakawhat
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HopHead84

California

4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1/24/2010

Bottle 1576. Thanks to Barry and Arbitrator for helping me acquire this. Consumed in a snifter. The beer is extremely dark brown, near black, with a small light brown head.

The nose is of round and sometimes square milk chocolate cookies with caramel, oak, and vanilla. The Heaven Hill lends a light rye spiciness that's neither too strong nor too weak. There's a pleasurable upper moderate level of booze heat that provides a faint nostril sting. On the whole, this is an outstanding aroma. I rated this a 4.5 in aroma and then left my snifter to revisit at a later time during the tasting. 30 minutes passed before I touched this again, and the nose had been transformed from great to exceptional. I have a few words for you: amazing barrel aged American Double/Imperial Stout aroma.

The flavor continues the trend of excellence, though it couldn't possibly live up to the aroma. Notes of milk chocolate and caramel meld with Rye whisky, a dash of smoke, and a subtle spiciness. A lower moderate level of roast is perceivable, and the heat in the finish is at a perfect upper moderate level. The mouthfeel is full, silky, creamy, and square. Unlike a few other stouts I can think of, this beer is devoid of harsh solvents, extreme astringency, and torched acrid malt roast. Outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2010 04:42:14 | More by HopHead84
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, green wax, 2009 vintage, #1803

appearance: served in an oversized snifter, dark body with auburn highlights, minimal bubbly carbonation, lace is just a light swirl on the surface

smell: light, but nice - rich caramel, a bit of char, subtle rye whiskey notes, toasted hazelnut

taste: not an overly big stout, but the flavors are pretty solid - rich creamy caramel, vanilla, roasted malt, rye, nice barrel notes that really open up as this one warms up. The spice from the rye plays well - would love to try some other variations

mouthfeel: relatively light, velvety

overall: nice stuff, thanks lou91

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2012 20:40:55 | More by dirtylou
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thagr81us

South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Massive thanks to largadeer for sharing this one at Beechwood BBQ after the Bruery Reserve Society Party. 2009 Vintage! Served from bottle into a goblet. Poured pitch black witha minimal light tan head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark chocolate, and slight alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, chocolate, and alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this brew was quite excellent. Had a very nice flavor and aroma going on here. Even though the flavors weren't very complex, they were still quite nice and worked well together. An absolute must try given the chance.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 16:11:40 | More by thagr81us
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largadeer

California

4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Bring for hooking me up with this one.

Pours a translucent dark brown, and in the glass it's an opaque dark chocolate color. A small leather-colored head rises to a finger's height and just as quickly settles to a ring.

The aroma is an intoxicating mix of chocolate caramel candy, boozy rye whiskey and vanilla. There's a subtle fruitiness in the background, honey and light roastiness. This smells outstanding.

The taste, surprisingly, is even better than the aroma. It opens with a medley of milk chocolate, honey, vanilla and caramel, which segues into a mid-palate of burnt toast, spicy rye whiskey and plenty of boozy heat. The body is medium-full, right about where I like it for the style; it's neither thin nor syrupy. A bittersweet dark chocolate finish beautifully contrasts the initial chocolate-caramel blast, leaving a hint of charred malt, licorice and alcohol on the palate. It's rare that I'm impressed with big stouts these days, but I have to admit that this is an exceptionally well made beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2010 03:55:16 | More by largadeer
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. 9.5% ABV, Bottle No. 1891/2009 written on the bottle.

Once again, alcstradamus is to thank for this. It broke up the sour/funk going on during the tasting nicely!

A - Totally black but clear around the edges. A low tan head with low retention and almost no lace at all.

S - Dry rye and roasted malts with a big whiskey aroma that's not super boozy at all. Not hot but more whiskey in the aroma than Russian imperial stout. It definitely gets hot on the swirl though. Coffee and dark chocolate come out as well.

T - Sharp rye whiskey flavor with no real hot booze. Notes of coffee and bittersweet chocolate poke through the back with a little bit of roasted malts. Decent balance of barrel-aging on this one.

M - Actually a bit thin for an RIS, it lands around medium-bodied. Not that it needs to be like engine oil, but it's a little thin. Smooth but also a little under-carbonated it seems.

D - Not incredibly hot thankfully, but it's got a balance between the RIS and barrel-aged flavor. Nothing to get excited about in the world of barrel-aged RIS beers, but it's good nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2010 17:48:28 | More by BeerFMAndy
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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 389 ratings.