Imperial Eclipse Stout - Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 410 | Reviews: 152 | Display Reviews Only:
4.5/5 rDev +5.1%
Very nice shade of black, well nearly. A large frothy head of half an inch of almond color holds long retention and shows fine lacing.
Phenomenal aromas. Chocolate, great whisky character, fruity, with some spicy rye notes, big oak and layered black fruits. Vanilla, molten caramel and toffee notes.
Again just delicious and supple. Nice oak tannins on the finish, long and semi sweet. Milk chocolate on the middle and finish, with a swirl of bitter cocoa throughout. Spicy rye on the finish while the mid palate is enamored with vanilla, oak, currant, burnt caramel, leather, and whisky soaked plums. Mouth is decadent, smooth and creamy. Gonna be sad when this ones gone.
04-21-2012 18:44:07 | More by mcallister
4.45/5 rDev +4%
Sharing the bomber with vickster529.
A-Pours an opaque deep brown to black with a nice thin pool of mocha head.
S-Mmmm. Sweet mocha, dark fruit, candied walnuts, rum soaked cherries. All things sweet and boozy.
T-Nicely managed boozy heat and dark fruit. Some mocha notes and chocolate covered cherries.
M-Medium to heavy, coats the tongue nicely.
O-Really nice. Delicious richness, well restrained booziness.
04-14-2012 01:21:23 | More by sholland119
4.25/5 rDev -0.7%
Poured from the 650-mL bottle with green wax (bottle no: 195/2011) into a Delirium tulip.
A: Deep dark brown with hints of red. There is a smallish cap of khaki head that floats on the top for a while before receding to the sides of the glass where it clings for dear life as the rest of beer gets swept away, sip by sip.
N: The nose is initially quite, for lack of a better word, funky. As the beer has time to breathe, notes of charred oak dominate. There is a very subtle whisky note amidst a sea of toasted malts that emulate chocolate and coffee.
T/M: The taste does not entirely follow the nose--there is, of course, the predominate toasted grain qualities of chocolate and a hint of coffee. However, there are flavors of oak and rye whisky (i.e., earth & pepper). This mouthfeel is very unique to the Eclipse line--smooth and creamy like the others, but with a much dryer characteristic. There is a touch of boozy heat, but nothing too dominant.
Overall, this is my least favorite of the Eclipse series. Although it is a bit of a positive that there is less pronounced heat from the alcohol, I do miss how the sweeter bourbon and brandy barrels bring out more of the sweetness in the beer. Still a fantastic beer, just maybe not as much for the price.
04-11-2012 01:44:36 | More by peacebone116
4.33/5 rDev +1.2%
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.
04-02-2012 01:25:58 | More by zeff80
4.43/5 rDev +3.5%
2009 Vintage, enjoyed 3/24/2012
The pour is a nice jet black color with minimal transparency, a faint head appears before receding into nothingness. There is a lingering film atop the glass and a nice ring of caramel colored head that sticks to the circumference of the glass as well. The nose is amazing, rich chocolate, hazelnut and rye whiskey pair together exceptionally well. Grainy malt and and a nice prickly spice from the rye come out and blend amazingly well with the predominant nutty chocolate aromas and make for a wonderful nose that is more than inviting. Spot on flavor wise, big rye elements play with the powerful malt and chocolate, but also open up to some atypical nutty flavors. The earthiness one would expect from a stout is there, chocolaty and malty but also woody from the barrel, but there is a lingering nuttiness, almost like a Nutella-esque flavor, such as hazelnut or even a roasted walnut. The alcohol is slightly apparent and lends some sweetness which cuts down the strong earthiness of the beer and makes it exceptionally approachable. The body is a bit thin, but with a lower ABV (10%) for a barrel aged stout, it’s not unwelcome.
Verdict: This is top class, the aging did a magnificent job, taking an already world class beer to a new echelon. If you have any opportunity to try a vintage Eclipse, it’s worth your while.
03-25-2012 19:43:17 | More by kevanb
4.5/5 rDev +5.1%
22 oz bomber, 2011 vintage bottle number 2057, poured into a snifter.
A- Pours totally black, mahogany highlights at the edges, forms a thin tan head that reedes quickly to a ring around the edge of the glass, leaves pretty good lacing.
S- Pretty barrel-forward, lots of whiskey notes along with oak and vanilla, some tobacco, sweet maple syrup, some roasted notes in the background with dark chocolate and cocoa.
T- Not quite as heavy on the barrel as the nose implied, not as sweet either, whiskey is present but subtle, oak and vanilla complement it well. The beer is very well balanced by a strong roastiness with really nice chocolate and coffee flavors. Finishes with a bitter charred coffee bean flavor.
M- Medium to full bodied, relatively light and easy drinking, has a smooth velvety texture with low carbonation.
O- One of my favorite Eclipse varieties so far, definitely up there with the EC 12 and 18, the barrel flavors are done extremely well and the chocolate and roasted flavors are delicious, pretty damn drinkable for such a big stout as well.
03-24-2012 08:44:25 | More by WillCarrera
4.1/5 rDev -4.2%
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.
03-17-2012 01:14:38 | More by akorsak
3.88/5 rDev -9.3%
Opened this last week. Poured into a CBS Snifter. 2011 version.
Appearance – Pours into the glass with a dark brown but not black color. Around a finger of mocha colored head is achieved with a relatively vigorous pour.
Smell – Bittersweet cocoa, burnt malts, vanilla, bourbon, and wood char.
Taste – Very similar to the aroma. Overall a more bitter, char flavored stout which can be seen through burnt malts, the bitter chocolate, and a spicy earthiness (rye no doubt). Slight vanilla and alcohol from the bourbon.
Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, thinner than I was expecting from other variations, finishes dry.
Overall – Not my favorite Eclipse by a long shot. Honestly, this was a chore to drink/get through and I have enjoyed all my other Eclipse experiences more. Definitely not worth an almost $30 price tag.
03-15-2012 01:20:34 | More by SpdKilz
4/5 rDev -6.5%
Enjoyed the '09, '10, and '11 as part of last night's bottle share. Thanks to rlmartin, rmjavanut, hoppymcgee, and whartontallboy for contributing to this 11-bottle Eclipse tasting! This review is of the 2010 Heaven Hill, as that was my favorite of the three.
Aroma was immediately clear that this was a different beer than the '09. More rich and enveloping, more roasty malt & chocolate, more refined whiskey character.
Taste was similarly improved over the '09 and '11. It reminded me much more of an imperial stout with barrel treatment than the black whiskey-flavored beverages that poured from the other bottles. Booze character was tame and rounded, melded nicely with the stout base.
The '09 and '11 were both noticeably more boozy and put more emphasis on the barrel than on the stout. '10 HH tied the '11 Buffalo Trace as my 2nd favorite and trailed only the '11 EC18 for best in show. But honestly, I was unimpressed across the board with most of these beers. Bourbon County Stout is far superior to all of them except EC18. Very glad I got to try them all, but EC18 is the only one I'd seek out again.
03-04-2012 23:19:31 | More by brystmar
4.38/5 rDev +2.3%
This was enjoyed at a tasting that included 5 Eclipse variations: Elijah Craig 12 and 18, Four Roses, Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye, and Brewmaster's Grand Cru.
2011 Vintage Bottle #361. $25 for a 22oz bottle.
A: All of them pretty much poured the same. Finger or two of brown to light brown head. The color is black with noticeable bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.
S: Roasted aroma, chocolate and honey provide the sweetness, bourbon and vanilla add wonderful notes as well. The 18 did smell a bit better, but this was top notch.
T: The taste is definitely on another level, right with the Elijah Craig 18 year, but probably a bit under. The bourbon, vanilla, and oak are integrated really nicely with the chocolate, honey, and roasted malts. Booze at the end, with a nice amount of bourbon.
MF: Lighter body overall than I expected, and lower than average carbonation. Big booziness on all of them, with a warming alcohol feeling to finish. The dryness on the palate varies with the different bourbons. This one was a bit thinner than some of the others.
O: Definitely in the upper group of this tasting, but it was voted as #2. The body was just too thin. Still a solid beer overall.
02-27-2012 03:26:59 | More by russwbeck
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 410 ratings.