Imperial Eclipse Stout - Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 412 | Reviews: 152 | Display Reviews Only:
3.93/5 rDev -8.2%
My mate Doops and I were lucky enough to be able to try the entire 2010 - 2008 series. This was the fourth bottle we opened, and the first of the '09 bottles. A big thanks to everyone who made putting this set together possible, and a big cheers to GoGriz for the trade on this one. Thanks man!
From a bottle into a snifter
APPEARANCE: Pretty much the same as the 2010 bottles. Thin, transparent pour yields a small, medium looking, slightly bubbly, tan head with decent retention. Head fades relatively quickly to a faint wisp and ring. Black body, quite transparent, with no carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end leaving some dots of lacing down the glass. Just too light and transparent for the style, unfortunately.
SMELL: Very similar to the EW bottle we opened before. A bolder nose with lots of barrel notes. Bourbon, oak, vanilla and some milk chocolate. Notes of roasted malts and dark chocolate come out as it sits, but the barrel is really the star of the show. Nice nose and perhaps the extra time in the bottle has allowed the base beer to peak through ever so slightly. A touch more complex than the EW.
TASTE: Again, this one is similar to the EW. Lots of bourbon up front and the whole way through the journey. Bourbon and strong flavors of oak, vanilla and milk chocolate with just a touch of roasted malt flavors at the swallow as well. Aftertaste is bold and very persistent with a strong barrel presence and a touch of roasted malts acting as a reminder that there actually is a base stout under here. Bold and flavorful.
PALATE: Similar to the Christian Brothers, but with more staying power. Medium body and lower levels of carbonation. Heavy and thick enough on the palate, creamy enough as well, goes down smooth and finishes slightly sticky. Pretty nice.
OVERALL: Behind the superior EC ’09, the HH was probably my second favorite of the series. This one was quite bourbon barrel forward, much like the EW, but was more flavorful and slightly more complex. A solid feel helped this one along as well. I hear the ’10 bottling didn’t work out as well, unfortunately, but we were quite pleased with this ’09 vintage. This one and the EC ’09 are probably the only two I’d make an effort to track down again. Good stuff!
02-07-2012 20:00:59 | More by Jeffo
4.38/5 rDev +2.3%
Pull up just about any thread on here and read people's most wanted and top beers, and you're bound to find tons of barrel aged stouts. It seems like just about everyone makes them and just about all of them are very good.
So I was skeptical when I first saw this beer in my local bottle shop. I had never even heard of this brewery. The $30 price tag per bottle didn't help either, but I decided to take a risk and pick one up anyway.
This beer was well worth the risk and the hefty pricetag.
It poured black with a thin tan head. The aroma was mix of vanilla, whiskey, and sweet malt flavors.
From the first taste you can definitely pick up the barrel's influence on the beer as the vanilla, wood, and whiskey flavors are noticeable right up front. The roasty and chocolate flavors are blended in as well. The Rye contributes more of a sweetness than most barrel aged stouts. The alcohol burn was minimal and the mouthfeel was very creamy with not that much carbonation.
Overall, this beer was a just about perfect example of everything that a barrel aged stout should be. The Rye and Oak flavors were very much in the forefront without totally overpowering the flavors that make it taste like beer. This is definitely worth seeking out.
02-07-2012 00:19:11 | More by jonvan04
3.63/5 rDev -15.2%
bottle 241 -2010 release -Thanks Schwaeh.
A; Black with minimal head , slight lacing, decent carbonation.
S: Caramel, toffee, slight bourbon, chocolate.
T: Vanilla , slight toffee /caramel, chocolate, bourbon.
O: Overall this is my least favorite of the Eclipses Iv'e had ,It's by no means bad , just not on par with the rest of the series.
02-04-2012 20:04:27 | More by InebriatedJoker
3.85/5 rDev -10%
2009 650ml bottle generously shared by colonelforbin. Thanks Mike. Pours a black that is cola brown at the edges when held up to the light. A small tan head settles to a ring and leaves decent lacing on the glass. The aroma is oak, light alcohol, rye whiskey, marshmallow, caramel, and some light cherry. The taste has a light sweetness with rye bourbon, vanilla, alcohol, caramel, and some light roast. The finish has some light alcohol along with some twangy rye. Light bodied, like all the Eclipses with low carbonation. Pretty enjoyable. I've liked the Elijah Craig and Four Roses versions better, but this is still an enjoyable beer.
01-31-2012 06:40:24 | More by jethrodium
4.4/5 rDev +2.8%
Super Junior Market
San Diego, CA
Very dark brown, nearly black in color, with a finger's worth of bubbly brown head that eventually leaves the glass oily and shiny with small bubbles of stick.
The aroma is packed full of sweet vanilla and caramel, bourbon, wood, chocolate, and a little bit of coconut, though not quite as strong as the Elijah Craig version.
The bourbon flavors, wood, vanilla, and chocolate come together really quite incredibly well. I don't really pick up much rye character specifically and there's hardly a bit of alcohol heat.
Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. The best carbonated variation yet, at least in my experience.
01-31-2012 01:45:04 | More by ehammond1
4.15/5 rDev -3%
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.
01-25-2012 21:39:07 | More by drabmuh
2.88/5 rDev -32.7%
Poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage, bottle #1653. Green wax so I have the correct listing.
This is my fourth variant of this year (EC 12, EC 18, and BT blend) and fifth ever ('10 EW).
3.5 A: I've been very impressed with the appearance of these so far, but this one doesn't have the same luster. Black color. Just around one finger of creamy tan head. The retention isn't even close to as good as the other ones and much, much less lacing is left.
2.5 S: The nose on this is easily the worst so far as well. First of all, the rye doesn't bring out the aromas in the base stout (I'm looking for you, chocolate). The rye itself is quite peculiar smelling. It has a musty, old grain smell to it with a light vegetal component backing it up. Booze is kept in check.
3.0 T: The taste is marginally better than the nose. For a barrel-aged beer with such a wimpy stout as a base, the barrel aging has to be done with perfection and the barrel used has to have had a good previous tenant. I'm not sure what the issue is with this one. I've never had Rittenhouse Rye before. Anyway, chocolate and a light roast from the stout. Earthy spicy rye with the same mustiness found in the nose. Fortunately, the vegetal component is quite weak. Overall, it's still not bad tasting and through all the BB stouts I've had, it comes in right about at the middle.
2.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. This is the least creamy of the variants I've had. Pump this thing up!
3.0 D: This is the worst variant across the board that I've had so far. Definitely not worth the price.
01-25-2012 01:35:34 | More by DavoleBomb
4.88/5 rDev +14%
A - Nice fluffy caramel malted head. Very rich looking like a latte. Brew swirls with ease and creates a nice marbling effect with medium sized bubbles. Brew is jet black with thin body.
S - Nice subtle Rye scent. Milk chocolate scent with notes of bold coffee. Toffee dominates with kicks of nuts. Smells a touch like a pencil eraser (rubber). Lightly smokey and well malted.
T/M - Very nice toasted-nutty flavor. Well hoped with nothing out of line. Rye is very well done, provides great hits of vanilla and toffee. Smooth light chocolate. Nice Brown sugar flavor with out the sugary-sweetness. No heat, no bitterness, super smooth. Perfect carbonation, an awesome sipping beer.
O - As good as it gets. Not over rated by any means, super glad I got to finally try this one... Thanks for the Distro-drop in CO, 50/50. A touch on the thin side, but still great. it would be difficult to thicken the body without heavily modifying flavor or mouthfeel. Fantastic brew. A steep price to pay, but grab it if you can find it.
01-22-2012 20:49:20 | More by chugalug06
3.55/5 rDev -17.1%
2010 bottle, shared with friends over the holidays. My notes...
A- Pitch black with an off white/tannish head. The head dissipates quickly, and leaves minimal lacing. The beer pours very thin.
S- Spicy oak and some whiskey notes. Peat, chocolate, molassas, and an all around boozy sweetness.
T- The rye and chocolate are pretty over powering at first, a spicy sort of booziness. Transitions to dark roasted malt with more peaty barrel. Very intense initially, and still pretty hot.
M- As it appeared, this beer was way too thin. Not bad on carbonation. The beer was just so astringent though, largely due to the rye treatment I would guess.
O- Overall this was probably my least favorite of the 2010 Eclipses. The Rye is just overboard, and is not my favorite alcohol. It was just very spicy and biting, which was not the case with all of the other Eclipses.
01-20-2012 16:05:20 | More by Gfunk720
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 412 ratings.