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

Not Rated.
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Heaven Hill Rittenhouse RyeImperial Eclipse Stout - Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

160 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 160
Hads: 472
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 5.23%
Wants: 268
Gots: 227 | FT: 23
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.90% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jmoore50 on 12-29-2009

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 160 | Hads: 472
Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a touch of brown and a finger of frothy khaki-chocolate head. Fades normal.

S - Chocolate and dark caramel malts, molasses, Bourbon, vanilla, oak, rye, black licorice, dark cocoa, coffee, booze.

T - Sweet chocolate and caramel malts, Bourbon, vanilla, oak, spicy rye, molasses, coffee, black licorice, bitter dark cocoa, touch of dark fruit, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and a bit syrupy with a warming, sweet, and lightly spicy finish.

D - Great barrel aged stout. The rye bourbon comes through really nicely. (571 characters)

Photo of pigc
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 Green Wax Bottle #1356. Stout brewed with honey

Served in Darkness snifter.

A - Pours pitch black with a two finger light brown sugar colored head. Tiny bubbly lacing clings to sides of the glass.

S - Sweet bourbon whiskey, brown sugar, dark molasses.

T - Starts out with a spicy rye heat up front followed by a moderate wave of whiskey with a slight hint of honey. Molasses and brown sugar dominate mid palate. Finish is semi-bitter.

M - Full bodied and smooth. Creamy texture.

O - This is my first version of the Eclipse beers. Nice spice from the rye although it may be a bit too much for my liking. Whiskey presence is moderate. Seems to drink bigger than a 9.5% abv beer. Well crafted. (701 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into an Eclipse snifter. 2012 bottle.

Appearance - Murky black with transparent edges. Not much of a head. Wispy surface.

Smell - Whiskey smell but nothing like the other treatments. Sharp alcohol aroma. Chocolate.

Taste - Dark chocolate flavor. Whiskey but not a lot of barrel. Chocolatey sweet finish.

Mouthfeel - Slick and creamier than the base beer. Medium carbonation. Sweet and barrel booze finish.

Overall - Rye has nothing on Bourbon. Tasty base beer. Nice whiskey but not quite bourbon. (522 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (261 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Shared by Sammy - Bottle from Premier Gourmet, 650ml into a tulip. Tasted alongside 4 other variants.

Black with a tan head. Nose has a beautiful bourbon character, light wood, chocolate, a touch of the corny spirit itself and some overripe red apple. Taste has the whiskey up front, good roast and dark chocolate. Sweeter finish, roast and chocolate lingers with a light alcoholic burn. (388 characters)

Photo of twowheelssoar
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle, brought it back from our last trip to Truckee. A friend had two bottles, and he didn't like it!

Poured into a classy hotel tumbler. Pours very dark with a thin light tan head. The rad disappears quickly. Aroma is of bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate. Tastes of more fudgey chocolate, smooth vanilla and well-integrated bourbon. The feel is on thicker side, with a nice mellow carbonation level. A very enjoyable, slightly grainy and roasty coffee finish develops as it warms. Seems like there are lots of bottle variation with the Eclipse series, and I think I got a good one here. Really mellow with lots of depth, enjoyed this a lot. (647 characters)

Photo of standardcherry
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served into a snifter. 2012 vintage.

A: Dark brown/black color. Small brown head that disappeared quickly.
S: Lots of whiskey. A bit of spicy rye character blended with lots of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee.
T: Oaky and boozy. I like this. Spicy rye with vanilla, caramel and chocolate following. Roasty malt character.
M: Full bodied, rich and creamy. Soft carbonation. A touch of alcohol heat balanced well with the sweetness.
O: This is an excellent beer, I can't wait to try the other variants. Can't believe it's only 9.5%, feels much bigger. (566 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2012 vintage. Poured from a 22 oz green wax bottle into a Goose Island snifter.

A- pours pitch black with a 1 finger mocha head. Big bubbly wall of lacing remains on the glass.

S- brown sugar, chocolate, bourbon, spices, some honey.

T- sweet brown sugar and honey, followed by spicy rye, bourbon, slight bitter chocolate, and a hint of vanilla.

M- full body and medium carbonation. A touch thin at first that turns syrupy and a dry finish.

O- good BA stout and like the spiciness from the rye whiskey barrels, but again not worth the money. (545 characters)

Photo of Vonerichs
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown body with just a slight expresso colored head that lasts less than a minute after the pour.

The whiskey smell is front and center. It's nice an boozy with vanilla, oak, and spicey notes undeniably from the rye. There's a light roasty smell, too.

The Eclipse series are just fantastic at getting the right amount of whiskey notes in it. Heavy vanilla, caramel, and a light spice. The stout contributes chocolate and roasted barley.

The mouthfeel is a catch 22 for me. Yes, it's thin. But I feel like that thin body is what helps accentuate the booze.

Overall, I thought this was another fantastic Eclipse, as usual. I just hate the $30 price tags on these and because of that I think there are very few left in my future. (738 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, 2012
The Bruery tulip

A: Deep brown pour. Aggressive pour doesn't give any head. Couple trace bubbles if light tan. There is minimal carbonation.

S: Smells boozy. You get the dark chocolate. Soft vanilla hints. Touch of spice from the rye.

T: Dark chocolate. Fudgy brownie. Not getting tons of rye barrel. Soft vanilla. Gets better with warmth. Pull more if the toffee and caramel flavor. Feel the booze warmth down the throat.

M: Full bodied. Mouth coating. (468 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
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 (1,198 characters)

Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottle

A- Black, no head, doesn't look very thick

S- Stout roastiness followed by some oak vanilla and rye spiciness. Love it because you can clearly sense the rye influence on the nose. Exactly what I want from a project like this

T- Smooth roast with vanilla followed up with a kick of rye spice on the finish.

M- Light, again, but it works well with this barrel

O- my second favorite so far, still have the bernheim wheat to try, but this is worth considering for a second purchase. Really showcases what a rye whiskey barrel can do for a stout (558 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a sampling glass. 2011 vintage. From notes. Reviewed 12 February 2013.

A: Pitch-black with cola edges and a light brownish head.

S: Beautiful, rich, and strong. Berries and booze. Sweet, with an olde ale-ish yeast.

T: This is splendid! Spicy, lightly tart, and lingeringly fruity. The aftertaste lasts forever.

M: Smooth, spicy (yay rye!), and generally nice.

O: I love this beer. Probably the best Eclipse I've tasted. Highly recommended. (456 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -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. (661 characters)

Photo of mjtiernan
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Birthday beer!

22oz bottle poured into a small snifter. 2012 batch (BR2/2012).

A: Super black with medium brown head that disappeared pretty quickly leaving a thin ring around the edge. Lots of alcohol legs.

S: Beautiful bourbon and barrel character. Lots of vanilla, sugar cookie, chocolate and coffee.

T: Killer. All the complex flavors from the aroma are nicely incorporated. Can’t believe how smooth it is for being this fresh. Bourbon and chocolate are dominant. Vanilla, caramel, dark brown sugar in the middle and coffee and fusel alcohol in the finish.

M: Pretty darn drinkable for such a bold beer. A good amount of alcohol burn on the finish, but otherwise it’s pretty easy drinking.

O: Such an amazing beer. Tons of complexity. Makes my mouth happy. (771 characters)

Photo of browniewithnuts
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Dark black pour from which no light escapes. 1 inch tan/ brown head that retains slightly around the glass. Dark bubbles rise steadily to the top of the glass. Perfect look.

S: Deep dark chocolate notes right up front. The prominent whisky notes come through after that distinctly.

T: Bitter chocolate right up front and the taste really dominates the sip. Whisky notes comes through but do not over power the taste. There is slight hop bitterness that comes through as well. Chocolate comes through again at the end of the taste and lingers long after the sip.

M: Thick and almost chewy. Coats the mouth allowing all the different flavors to have their own distinctness.

O: Great beer overall. Not as good as the Elijah Craig version that I had during New Years but still a very good overall ba stout (809 characters)

Photo of Corkpuller
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Jet black with a 1" tan head which settles rapidly, leaving some decent lacing

S: LIght Roastiness, dark chocolate, burnt raisin, some complex spice aromas and very good integration of barrel aromas

T: Great mouthfeel. Oily and creamy but pretty lithe for an imperial stout. The hop bitterness blends masterfully with the roastiness. The lower abv suits it really well. Flavors are similar to nose but more intense. Finishes really long with just a tinge of warmth.

O: Outstanding. I was a huge skeptic of this beer but it reminds me a lot of Parabola, but in a lighter, more drinkable style. I drank the bottle in one sitting. I will not be trading the rest of mine. (674 characters)

Photo of NorCalYeti
3.53/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2011 vintage, bottle #954

taste- baker's chocolate, toasted malt in the finish, dark fruit, burnt toast

color- dark cola

clarity- pours clear and dark

smell- whiskey, heat, soap, green apple

body- somewhat oily on the tongue with a hop bite at the front of the mouth, mellow/smooth mouthfeel, medium-weight, woody-hoppy long finish

appearance- mocha-colored carbonation after the pour but it dissipates quickly to a faint ring around the glass, average-poor lacing

overall impression- rye and whiskey dominate the flavor profile, seems one note and out of balance

notes and comments- in some ways i think this has passed it's peak, i'm underwhelmed and for the price it should be delivering a lot better in my opinion. really didn't come together for me as an artisan barrel-aged beer. i have heard similar reviews and now i'm convinced, i would stay away from this one in the future. not a fan of rye-style beers (e.g., ruthless rye, etc.). i kept an open mind with this one but just wasn't feelin' it

beer spy- got in on the pre-order through fiftyfifty, 2011, 22oz

glassware: tulip (1,094 characters)

Photo of spoony
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a waxed cap bomber (2012) into a globe.

A-The beer was dark, chestnut brown (nearly opaque) with a thin tan head. Some lacing on the glass.

S-The beer had a pleasing, slightly sweet aroma comprised of vanilla, bourbon (or rye whiskey to be more accurate), lightly roasted malts, and brown sugar. Just a touch of alcohol heat.

T-The taste tracked the smell closely. The main components were oaky, boozy vanilla, caramel, and milk chocolate. Very little bitterness and only a touch of heat made for a sweet, but not cloying mixture of flavors.

M-Medium to full bodied feel with lower carbonation as you would expect for the style.

O-I tend to favor sweeter stouts and this was a pretty great beer. There was a lot of character from the barrel, which layered nicely with the underlying beer flavors. One of the better imperials stouts I have had. (853 characters)

Photo of rand
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure if this is the appropriate way to review, but since these are the same beer I think this will work. I just opened a 2012 version, poured into a whiskey sampler.

A: Deep dark brown in color, small carbonation forms a small, tightly-bubbled head. Tiny patches of lacing adorn the glass after a gentle swirl.

NOTHING NEW HERE.

S: The nose is bourbon-forward, quickly followed by all of the enticing aromas expected from a big craft stout - chocolate, vanilla, coffee, licorice. The alcohol is pretty strong and seems to propel the big bouquet to the nose.

VANILLA IS A BIT MORE CHISELLED BUT THE REST IS THE SAME.

T: Surprisingly, the bourbon is much more subdued than you'd think from its aromas. Instead of a hot bourbon-y blast, you get a nearly seamless package of flavors that wash over your palate. The chocolate and vanilla notes are there, licorice and coffee. But there's also rich buttery anchor to the flavor profile, almost like butterscotch. And the alcohol takes a back seat - it's there, but unlike most barrel-aged imperial stouts, this doesn't deserve the "boozy" descriptor. Finishes with a trace of lingering sweetness and alcohol warmth.

MORE BOOZY THAN THE FORMER, BUT NOT MORE HARSH OR ABRASIVE. UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE AND ANISE PLAY A HUGE PART, WHILE THE OAKY, BUTTERY NOTES MENTIONED BEFORE HELP TO BALANCE.

M: Rich and creamy, full-bodied. Carbonation is low, but the flavors are so harmonious you don't really need a big carb scrub.

YEP.

Well, what can I say? I'm glad I popped this open, I've got a bunch of these cellared but I wanted to try their most coveted, this 18 year Elijah Craig (which is a delicious bourbon, I'm more of a Scotch buy, but EC bourbon is amazing) fresh. Absolutely lives up to the hype and price, this brew is a piece of art.

DITTO FOR RITTENHOUSE RYE. ACTUALLY THIS BEER IS SLIGHTLY BETTER. I THINK THIS IS THE BEST OF THE ECLIPSE SO FAR. (1,914 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.73/5  rDev -11.4%
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. (1,144 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottling courtesy of Secret Santa Alex, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a solid black with a huge tan head that slowly dissipates, but never leaves and sticks much lace to the sides of the glass. The aroma coming out of my glass is almost heavenly. Roasty chocolate caramel and coffee wrapped in a subtle but evident barrel treatment of vanilla, coconut, white frosting, and rye whiskey. The flavor starts off sweet and malty with lots of roast, brown sugar, and chocolate. The barrel notes rush in with vanilla, whiskey, light wood to remind us that this is no ordinary stout. Lingering roasty whiskey last long after every sip. Thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy creamy mouthfeel. This is a really good stout, I can't believe I haven't tried this before. Now to get me some more. (824 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
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. (531 characters)

Photo of Rinkor16
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened this on 12/16/12 and split with a buddy.

A: Pitch black with a half inch head that dissipated to a thin ring.

S: Roasted malt, whiskey and chocolate.

T: Chocolate, vanilla and whiskey. I had Evan Williams last night and the whiskey in this one is much more present. Not a huge stout, but the flavors are excellent.

M: Kind of thin for a stout but very creamy.

O: Definitely an excellent stout. The Evan Williams tasted almost identical. I don't know that I would be able to tell the difference. Definitely worth the $25 though. (539 characters)

Photo of warnerry
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011, bottle #1778

A - Pours near black with one and a half fingers of brown head. Head has decent retention, eventually fading to a thin cap. Spotty lacing.

S - Lots of chocolate, with some roasted malt, a sweet aroma that could be some residual honey or a bit of molasses, vanilla, a bit of wood and some faint alcohol.

T - Taste is a little sweeter than the aroma would suggest, but not overpowering sweetness. Again a big chocolate presence, combining bittersweet and milk chocolate. A bit of spicy spirit undercuts the chocolate. Some nice vanilla. Roasted malt comes in near the finish. Finishes with a bit of rye whiskey. Very tasty, but a touch too sweet.

M - Medium mouthfeel, a touch on the light side for an imperial stout, but I don't mind. Definitely not thin.

O - This is a very nice Eclipse variant, but the honey sweetness is a bit too apparent. Still very enjoyable. I like that these are relatively low on the abv scale for barrel-aged imperial stouts at "only" 9.5%, but the price tag will definitely keep me from revisiting, considering other options for the style. (1,090 characters)

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 160 ratings.