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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
95
world-class

439 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 439
Reviews: 156
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 262
Gots: 212 | FT: 15
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 439 | Reviews: 156 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CrellMoset
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 224 of the 2010 vintage, courtesy of a great west coast trader, poured in to a 22 oz. snifter.

Appearance: Pours a fudgy sienna, dark but not obsidian, with a robustness to its hue that's refreshing, about as bright and vivid as you can expect from something refracting as little light as this body does. What started as a gentle pour became more vigorous as the 22 oz., green wax-topped bottle became approximately half empty, coaxing a good finger of solid, creamy, cocoa head out of the depths. The retention of this one leaves a little to be desired, however, and the light, wispy cap faded to a foamy, bubbly sheen and some nice streaks and fuzzy sheets of sandy French beige lacing fairly quickly. The lacing is actually quite nice, better than I would have expected from a 9.5% barrel aged stout, and salvages the score of this one from a 4.0.

Aroma: High and estery, without a lot of body until it nears room temperature, though not hot or too spicy. This one's really about the barrel notes and the spirit additions, showcasing a great vanilla/coconut one-two as well as a smooth but powerful whiskey note that manages to be intense without being abrasive. The cocoa, toast, and earthy astringencies of the base beer definitely take a backseat here, moreso than in many other beers I've shoved my schnoz in to, and though it's very graceful and elegant in its smoothness, it fails to be the most intense or aromatically inviting thing in the world. Mixed bag.

Taste: Very much like a rye whiskey chocolate milkshake, and that's a good thing. I normally start these sorts of reviews by talking about the malts, then on to the hops, then on to the spirit notes, and finally closing them out with all of the other little flourishes that popped up during the tasting experience. But I would almost be remiss if I didn't start this one by talking about the barrel components. This beer is a whiskey vanilla bomb, in every sense - vanilla is strong, almost out of balance with the rest of the notes, and is accompanied by a huge hit of spicy rye whiskey. Fortunately, the whiskey isn't hot or chemical-ly - it is, however, bracingly potent, but I suppose in the best way that it can be bracingly potent, for what that's worth. A few dashes of coconut and green oak round out this Martin and Lewis (for all you QT fans). The remainder of the body of this beer is dry, toasty, mildly brownie-like though bittersweet on the whole. A faint hop bitterness suggests no other hop characteristics, and that's fine.

Mouthfeel: Erratic at first, though it does even out eventually. The body is definitely thinned both by the relatively high attenuation of the malts here as well as the spirit thinning, though the end result is still fat enough that it leaves a bit of a stick in the mouth. It works fairly well with the flavor profile, though it doesn't necessarily blow me away or stand out above any other aspect of this beer.

Drinkability: Better, but not great. Fifty/Fifty continues to impress if not amaze, and I think this one was a little more refined and mature than the Evan Williams. That being said, it still wore its flaws on its sleeve, and I think these beers are still a few years away from being perfected. The 9.5% was hidden to everything but the sixth sense, which was nice, though I caution downing an entire one of these the morning before anything necessitating a clear mind.

Photo of yourefragile
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amalgamated review of 2009 and 2010 bottles. Shared with Jeff and Adam.

Looks very similar to the other Eclipses, near black, chocolate brown with a minimal than head that quickly fades to nothing.

Aroma is distinct from other Eclipses as roast and burnt malt dominate over the HH bourbon, vanilla and oak. Mildly spicy as well. The 10 however is much boozier than the 09 and was easily identified as the fresh bottle next to 09 EC and HH.

The 09 was remarkably smooth and balanced, with a mild rye spiciness perfectly melding with the malt and char of the base beer and the molasses, vanilla and bourbon of the barrel. The 10 however is bizarrely harsh and boozy for an Eclipse.

The body of the 09 is viscous and smooth, with light carbonation and a smooth, creamy finish. The 10 is overly carbonated and fizzy with a harsh boozy finish. I'm giving the 10 the benefit of the doubt that it will get better with age or that this was a bad bottle. The 09 was extremely drinkable, but a little bland next to the EC.

Resampling 2010 bottle 865 in Dec 2011. Much smoother and milky body; more enjoyable than it was fresh; developing into something nice. Bumping the mouthfeel .5 for being awesomer

Photo of orangesol
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to largadeer for sharing this one at the post RS party tasting. 2009 vintage served into a tasting glass.

A - Pours deep brown, borderline black, with a small light tan head leaving spotty lacing down the glass.

S - Some dark chocolate, sweet dark malt, and a bit of alcohol from the rye bourbon. Pretty good overall balance but a touch too sweet.

T - Lots of chocolatey sweetness mixes well with the sweet dark malts, some caramel, a touch of coffee, and some alcohol heat from the rye bourbon. This one has a good overall balance, a bit sweet but not to the point of being overpowering. Good stuff.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Nice light feel with plenty of flavor still. Finish is a tiny bit hot with some lingering dark roast.

D - Pretty good. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. It was really cool to see the differences between this version and the Evan Williams version. I can't wait to try the rest of the series.

Photo of hopsbreath
2.9/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Shared at ramnuts house by our host. Black13, TulipSnifter, Bird, Mini, and Growler were there with us on 1-15-11. Review from notes. 2009 bottling.

A: Dark brown, plum edges, moderate sized froth ring.

S: Muted brown alcohol, a touch of citrus house cleaner, rum soaked raisins, and what seems to be a touch of oxidation come through here.

T: Marshmallow, a heat similar to chile's, nutmeg, bitter cocoa.

M: A thin silkiness helps the low carbonated body move easily and the clean finish make me go back for another sip quickly.

D: Meh... Compared to some of the other big barrel aged beers we had that night, this seemed a little week.

Photo of xpimptastikx
3.86/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage served at ~55F into a tulip.

A - Pours a slightly thin dark brown with a finger of milk chocolate head, leaves good lacing.

S - The nose is disappointing. It's dominated by rye wiskey, a little char, and maybe a glimpse of some dark fruit.

T- Very similar to the nose, but more balance. The dark fruits and slight spice of the rye is very nice, but there is a lingering alcohol presence that is reminiscent of taking a shot without the heat. strange, but I'm becoming used to it and it seems to be going away the warmer the beer gets and the more I drink.

M/D - carbonation is spot on, giving it an oily yet creamy mouthfeel. Drinkability suffers significantly when this beer drops below 55F.

I'm pretty pleased with the first 50/50 Eclipse that I've tried and quite excited to get to the other 2 now!

Photo of Urbancaver
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Side by side of 2009 and 2010 thanks to w113raf and mistakebythelake

Appearance- Both pour dark dark brown with a minimal amount of light brown head. Not opaque but quite dark. They really look identical between years.

Smell- similar smell between 2009 and 2010. The 2010 has some harsher alcohol characteristics. The 2009 has some great buttery rye barrel characteristics.

Taste- the 2010 is a bit harsh on the tongue. Feels stronger than 10% on the pallette. Lots of dark lightly roasted malts and chocolate flavors. The rye really compliments it well on both years. The 2009 is much smoother and cleaner. The rye comes out stronger.

Mouthfeel- highly carbonated. A bit boozy on the tongue. Honestly. It is lacking on the tongue.

Drinkability- a bit bitter and boozy. Feels stronger than it is

Photo of Gobzilla
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights when held up to the light that had a thin bubbly head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass. I was able to detect a little spicey rye in the nose with nice chocolatey aroma with some caramel, mild coffee, and roastiness. The rye was subtle on the palate but blended quite well with the chocolatey flavor that had caramel, molasses, roasty accents and a touch of underlying coffee notes. The brew was full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had very mild rye spice, chocolatey, roasty, sweet, and silky finish. Another solid imperial stout from 50/50 that was really delicious and was definitely a sipper.

Photo of thagr81us
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of sprucetip
4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick black with just a little light around the edges when backlit. Thin tan head dissolves to film and ring, and leaves some small specks of lacing.

Not much in the nose at all at first. Later it's mostly smoky, kind of roasty,and a little bit boozy, but not a whole lot else, and it's not strong.

Malty sweetness hits first and fades gradually as the strong roasty flavors increase. Coffee, molasses and chocolate add depth. Impressively smooth and complex.

Well carbonated, rich and full body, strong warming present, with a bit of a sting. Some bitterness in the finish.

Smooth, rich, complex, roasty and balanced. Nose is weak, but it's a very good beer. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have tried it.

Photo of craytonic
3.18/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the 2010 release party bottling. Shared with Habmike, Kkipple, SpencerDB, RobOrb and Advent. Many thanks to a kind mule.

Appearance: Looks basically like the rest of the 50/50 barrel aged lineup; small head, some lacing, dark pour with some mahogany brown edges.

Smell: This was the only 50/50 barrel aged offering I tasted in a side-by-side where the bourbon did not dominate, it really took the backseat to an unpleasant roast/char taste. In the trunk there was some vanilla, oak, caramel, and blackstrap molasses.

Taste: Again a roast/char element dominates the bourbon; for the rest of the lineup I could easily and quickly pick out exactly what bourbon had been used. Not for this one. In the background I got some vanilla, honey and blackstrap molasses notes. It seems as if the base beer itself was different for this one, but I would assume they use the same beer for each. Very hot.

Mouthfeel: This one was even thinner than the rest of them somehow.

Drinkability:

We did a big side-by-side and I would rate them in this order: Pappy 50/50; Evan Williams 50/50; Elijah Craig 50/50; 4 Roses 50/50; Heaven Hill 50/50 (noticeably worse than the rest); Brandy 50/50 (Brandy being a drain pour). It was fun to try them side-by-side, each is incredibly distinct and there are certainly some winners and some losers.

I hate saying each of these smells like bourbon but they truly do smell like the brands of bourbon they used for the barrels. If you have not had each of the bourbons several times (enough times to pick them out of a 7 bourbon lineup) you won't have the fun wow factor of smelling and tasting each of them.

Photo of gumushie
2.42/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Vintage 2010 bottle. Since the Four Roses bottle I got a little better at cutting through the wax. Poured at 42° into a Duvel tulip.

The Pour: Like the Four Roses, this beer is characteristically very dark with a rich brown/tan head that disappears rather quickly. Very short head as well, maybe 1/2 in. at most and little lacing.

The Aroma: Some rich dark chocolate, coffee, sweet sweet maltiness and tobacco. Unfortunately the aroma was over taken by a very pervasive hot alcoholic nose.

The Taste: After smelling it it was hard to get the alcohol our of my head. The mouthfeel was medium viscous and for the most part quite smooth. However, it was so hot with alcohol that many of the flavors were lost immediately. There was some bitterness in the unbalanced alcohol and the rye seemed to translate as 'acrid' here. It seems other people have experiences similar inconsistencies in the bottling. This one must have been near the end of the barrel.

Overall: This was quite a disappointment. I've loved 2009 vintage Elijah Craig and 2010 Four Roses. Both were phenomenal beers and I was expecting the Heaven Hill was to be no exception. I couldn't finish it which is very rare. Perhaps I got an off bottle but at $27 a pop it's even harder to afford than it is to find. It would have been nice to see how the rye whiskey could have contributed to the generally very chocolaty and coffee flavors of the base beer. I have one last bottle of this barrel's to hold off for a few years and see if it mellows and improves.

Photo of GregSVT
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

200th review! 22oz waxed bomber into a snifter. Bottle #2069...2009 Vintage.

A: Pours a dark black with ruby highlights and a very small head barely made it's way out of the beer. What showed up left some lacing on the glass but quickly faded to a ring. This was pretty disappointing but seems to be about par compared to the Elijah Craig bottle I had earlier this year.

S: The nose is incredibly decadent with huge aromas of chocolate, molasses, vanilla, and roasty coconut.

T: The taste follows the nose along with a slighty bitter charred element from the barrel and then some vanilla and a spicey rye flavor on the finish. A bit more barrel flavor than the EC...wonderful stuff.

M: The feel is thin like the EC version yet a bit creamy.

D: Another incredible Eclipse beer from FiftyFifty. I would drink these all the time if I had access to them.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.91/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Re-review after a couple of bottles of the 2010 edition. Main differences from the 2009 are highlighted. Note: the Eclipse series greatly benefits from being served at 62 F or so.

S: When cold (50-55 F), the beer is almost all charred oak, cigar (tobacco, earth, smoke). As it warms to 60+ F, licorice, chocolate, and a mild rye spice emerge. At 65 F or so they blossom to the right balance where they overpower the charred oak somewhat.

T: Parallels the nose. I didn't have this particularly cold, but it was VERY sensitive to temperature. Initially it was charred, cigary oak -- just like I remembered from the 09, but that was all I could pick up. Only when it warmed a few more degrees did other flavors emerge to balance the harsh, bitter barrel notes. The beer gave off elements of licorice, dark chocolate, and a rye spice. I miss the coconut character of last year.

M: A semi-dry finish. This feels thinner than last year's, though the flavor is ample and it coats the tongue nicely. It's just not a viscous, chewy imperial stout. I prefer the flavor of the Evan Williams bourbon, but this one is much smoother. It's a wash.

O: The two bottles of this that I had were very different from each other. One was pretty much all barrel char, and the other was actually rye whiskey (lightly peppery), licorice, chocolate, vanilla, and dark fruit with a pronounced charred bitterness. I'd give the first a C+ and the latter an B+. Averaging the scores across multiple bottles, including the 2009s.

When they bring the bottling in-house, these beers are going to be phenomenal. Right now, though... The packaging (and resulting variation) is really hurting this beer. At $25 a pop I can feel the pain.

~~~

Original review (2009 edition):

Lightly chilled bottle into a glass. Side by side with the Elijah Craig.

I LOVED this version on tap, but out of the bottle, not as much. I've heard these batches were not blended, so it may be luck of the draw as to whether your bottle is world-class or merely spectacular. This one was the latter.

A: Pours a very dark brown (not black), slightly more translucent than the Elijah Craig version. The head is fairly long-lasting; it is a half-finger of mocha colored foam that caps the brew nicely. When I swirl the beer, it's a little leggy, which belies its relatively light body (see below).

S: Coconut, vanilla, sharp tannins (compared to the soft, buttery ones found in the Elijah Craig), rye, chocolate, and some cigar.

T: Coconut, vanilla, and chocolate up front. Rye whiskey is apparent in the mid-taste; it's not as pronounced as the bourbon was in the Elijah Craig version. Much more restrained. I pick up more dark fruit than I did in the Elijah Craig bottle. But it's balanced out by the more pronounced bitterness of this beer, which has an earthy / ashy and tannic finish that reminds me of cigars.

M: Semi-dry finish. Not viscous. It's a little heftier than the Elijah Craig, but the carbonation is similarly low and the two beers are equally smooth. If you like chewy, syrupy stouts, you won't enjoy this one. It's packed with flavor but the body is attenuated enough that it doesn't weigh heavily on your stomach. And that helps the next category...

D: I can easily finish a bomber of this in one sitting. That's not something I can say often; even a 12oz can of Ten FIDY can be a challenge for me these days. This beer is packed with tremendous flavor. But I have to say, after my side by side, I preferred the Elijah Craig bottle.

Photo of jrallen34
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A black pour with a nice full head, some decent lacing...The aroma is strong, lots of bourbon, vanilla, roasty...The taste is good, bourbon and chocolate, very creamy. Roasty again, not bitter but a touch of alcohol...I had this side by side with the Elijah Craig at a recent tasting and I actually liked this better, the EC was really burnt.

Photo of nataku00
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass at the Bistro for west coast barrel aged beerfest. Poured a dark opaque brown with minimal head. Some light lacing when swirling the beer and forcing the formation of some small foamy head, but it dissipates quickly.

Nose is oak, vanilla, dark malt sweetness and roasted coffee. A bit of cinnamon like spice and caraml.

Taste follows the nose, very smooth roasted malt, semisweet chocolate, medium roasted coffee upfront. As it warms in your mouth, more bourbon characteristics, vanilla, charred oak, burnt caramel, and the spiciness that I can only assume comes from a rye based bourbon.

Smooth medium bodied beer that was nicely drinkable. However, the low carbonation took away from the beer.

Photo of maximum12
4.92/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well, looking at these bottles since spring, I've been constantly reminded of the generosity of cloudskipper for sending me two bottles of the first generation Eclipse stouts. Thank you, again, my California beer dealer. Bottle #1587 split with my wife.

The green wax is actively hostile, & I have to risk physical injury slashing it off. Once I wrestle the cap off, the beautiful smell hits me like a teen-movie bitch slap. This is a beer that I could snuggle on my upper lip for an hour. The bourbony vanilla comes out strong - not Ahnold strong, but farm-boy, natural biceps strong. Roast malts & distant tropics underlay the rye whiskey, but it doesn't really matter.

Eclipse Heaven Hill Rye is downright freakin' fantastic. It's one of those beers that my first sip turns into a long sip, then a pull, & I have to pry my lips off of the glass. Fuck! I love my wife dearly, but I should have opened this while she was in Siberia or someplace.

The rye whiskey is dominant but doesn't squash the base into beer jelly. Love the rye, it adds a bit of spiciness to the deep malts & hard whiskey. Falling bits of vanilla, nice trace of peat moss, roast. Then the rye whiskey comes back in & obliterates everything & makes me happy. And this is smoooth. My ass wasn't this smooth at four weeks of age.

Bloody excellent beer, one of the best I've had in a long time. Perfectly balanced, easy to drink, delicious, with a smell that flares into happiness every time I put the glass near my face. So glad I ordered the current batch. Absolutely beautiful. Can't wait to try more.

Photo of nkersten
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured at FoBAB into taster. Program says this was aged in Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye barrels. Pitch black with brown hues at edges with a mocha head that settles to a ring at the edge of the glass. Smell is bourbon and alcohol up front with a spicy rye and oak aroma following. Taste is a bit spicy and bitter up front with dark roasted malt. Bourbon, vanilla, some oak, and a dark chocolate flavor in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium coating with a moderate/light carbonation. Drinkability is very good - a well balanced imperial stout. This was one of my favorite stouts of the night - the rye is very apparent in the taste and smell.

Photo of JAXSON
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, pours black with quite a sparse head. Large, woody nose, nice round malt, seems quite sweet, bourbon perhaps a little less integrated than with the Elijah Craig. Some tobacco and old, wet leather in there. Flavor is sweet, dark, and malty. Bourbon comes at you at the onset, more so than in the Elijah. Some tobacco leaf and maybe a bit of tar on the back palate. Very good, more of a tobacco thing going on here which I love, that is expressed through the bourbon I believe, but the bourbon in itself is a bit dominant here. Not as great as the Elijah but a worthy beer nonetheless.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of Wisconsinality
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The hits just keep coming from alcstradamus.

Bomber poured into Chimay chalice.

A- Pours a very deep brown with a small amount of light shining around the edges. Very minimal head and no real lacing left behind.

S- Big roasted malts and black licorice. Lots of brown sugar and caramel. Large amounts of whiskey linger in the background and aren't overpowering.

T- Big amounts of whiskey, more so than in the nose. Caramel and brown sugar are pretty pronounced as well. The rye is pretty noticeable but adds a great dimension to it. Black licorice ties it all together.

M- Medium to full bodied with not much for carbonation. Feels really smooth on the tongue and no alcohol burn which is impressive.

D- Pretty easy drinking all considering. I was really surprised by the lack of heat from the alcohol. I liked the combination of the whiskey and the rye. Great balance for a barrel aged stout.

Photo of glid02
4.82/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

Photo of gford217
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to James for getting this one to me. Dark green wax bottle shared with the Brick Store crew.

The pour is dark, dark brown, not quite completely black, with a small mocha head that recedes quickly to a thin collar.

The aroma is excellent - rye whiskey makes its presence felt but don't overwhelm the underlying beer. Those aromas are dark chocolate, roasted malts and hints of dark fruit. Throw in some vanilla, coconut and tobacco.

The taste is just sublime, with all kinds of flavors coming together perfectly. There's chocolate, coffee and dark malts with the rye whiskey complementing. The interesting characteristics in the taste are the tobacco and leather that come through a bit in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with soft carbonation and not nearly as charred or super-sweet as some other impy stouts.

The drinkability is off-the-charts for an impy stout. The barrel character is completely integrated into the well-balanced underlying beer. This is right up there with the Pappy from last year as one of the best BA beers I've ever tasted. Gorgeous.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of beerwolf77
3.97/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hate to sound like a broken record but huge thanks to Adam for yet antoher beer.

A: Pitch black minimal head tiny soapy lace ring, lots of legs with swirling

S: bourbon, chocolate, coffee, root beer, hint of rye bread, very sweet and rich

T: roast coffee, bourbon, chocolate, sharp bitter finish

M: Thick full body low carboantion

D: Another Bal aged RIS. same thing day in day out drinkable if not memorable

Photo of alcstradamus
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes

Pours a dark brown with very little head. Aroma has lots of toffee, pine bitterness, oak, and some unfortunate but minimal acetone.

The flavor has lots of bready notes. A ton of chocolate and peat/smokiness as well. Notes of toffee and bitter hops.

The body is medium yet heavy feeling due to the carbonation levels. Pleasant on the tongue.

Nice beer overall, the one noticeable flaw being the acetone. Still...complex, flavorful, and worthy of seeking out.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 439 ratings.