Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses BourbonImperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

489 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 489
Reviews: 141
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 8.9%
Wants: 271
Gots: 291 | FT: 26
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: largadeer on 11-14-2010

Red wax identifies the Four Roses version.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 489 | Reviews: 141
Photo of Boccu
3.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Lacks any aroma out of a snifter. No real tones during or after each drink. Has no real complexity. Taste like a smooth stout. Not impressed.

Photo of Roguer
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Solid dark brown head; decent retention. Dark nut brown brew.

Slightly sharp and tart aroma; roasted barley and coffee (from the malt). Bourbon and oak, but very tame.

Tons of coffee and chocolate and nuts. Extremely smooth and restrained bourbon - vanilla, oak, bourbon.

Thick and chewy.

Aged one year, this has hit the sweet spot. Unbelievably good.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brief write-up. This is a nice beer, and very easy to drink for 12%. It has a nice dark fruit flavor, but the oak seems a little vegetal and green for me. The bourbon also lacks nuance. Way overpriced, so I won't buy again.

3.58/5: Easy drinking and a good beer, just not worth the price

Photo of Meathead27
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

No time for detailed review. Outstanding. Bourbon is slightly harsh but balanced.

Photo of SomethingClever
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 Four Roses

22 oz bottle poured into nonic pint

A: pitch black in appearance very little head with a moderate pour vanished to nothing but a ring around the glass

S: Bourbon, toffee, vanilla, some chocolate,

T: Nice leatheresque aroma taste if that makes sense, some sweet tobacco taste, roasty, bourbon, not the huge vanilla toffee taste the nose implied

M: a slight thinness to it but that seems common with barrel aged beers it's still pretty full and the taste lays in your mouth afterwards more dry than you'd expect from one of these beers

O: it's dynamite, I've had this now Elijah Craig and Edmund Fitzgerald and while not as good as Elijah it's still quite good to excellent.

Photo of tkdchampxi
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a great, extremely smooth beer.

Four Roses is already one of my favorite bourbons, and, as far as Four Roses is concerned, I love the smooothness and sweetness of the bourbon character. I can't say that I can tell this is Four Roses from drinking the beer, but I can tell that it is a quality Bourbon.

Great beer, reminiscent of bourbon county barleywine. Just overall amazing.

SMOOTH and DEEP is the key descriptor here, with just a touch of fruitiness that characterizes Four Roses bourbon

Photo of GPHarris
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013

A - poured a one finger thick coffee-colored head into a snifter that left great lacing throughout. The body was dark black.
S - chocolate, roast coffee, bourbon and vanilla.
T - coffee, chocolate and bourbon.
M - medium and slick.
O - excellent. Lots of great stout flavors and the bourbon is done well.

Photo of pants678
3.73/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Black with retaining off white head.

Sweet bourbon.

A Black Tuesday that's easier on the alcohol, has the same phenols. Finish is earthy, pasty which is off putting. Otherwise, staunch vanilla highlights the barrel aging. Better with smaller sips. Roasted malts are subdued. Worth about a fifth of the price.

Dense, smooth, just right.

Photo of Damian
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 1 pint, 6 fl oz red wax dipped bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA
Bottle run no.: 1/2013
Served in a snifter

Fantastic appearance. The medium bodied, dark brown liquid was topped by a billowing, near three-finger tall, super tight and creamy, caramel colored head. Amazing retention, especially given the high ABV. The crown slowly faded to a thick, frothy cap. A drippy wall of lacing coated the glass.

The aroma was deep, dark and roasty. Espresso was immediately noticeable. Some bittersweet chocolate as well. Cocoa nibs came to mind. Touch of brown sugar-like sweetness. Slightly boozy. Subtle bourbon notes came forth as the beer warmed.

The flavor profile was punchier than the nose but not as rounded or as smooth. Lots of roasted and caramel malts on the front end. Slightly sweet in the center. Hint of brown sugar. Notes of dark chocolate were apparent. The beer finished quite boozy with loads of char and a lingering earthy and piney hop bitterness. While the alcohol was quite noticeable, the flavors from the barrel were unfortunately rather muted.

The mouthfeel was definitely the best aspect of this beer. It was super creamy and slick. Medium to full bodied for the style. Not super thick but rich and palate coating. The liquid contained an ultra fine, moderate effervescence.

Of the three beers I have tried in FiftyFifty's Eclipse series (Elijah Craig 12 Year, Evan Williams and now the Four Roses Bourbon variant), the was definitely the least impressive of the bunch. After hearing that these beers drink best without much age, I decided to crack this one a bit earlier. It seemed that the alcohol was rather intense and the flavor profile still needed time to meld. While these beers are all solid, at their price point I was hoping they would be a bit more remarkable.

Photo of RichardMNixon
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%

Bomber of 2011, drank in August 2014.

Pitch black body with thick, light brown head; persistent ring of bubbles around the glass.
Smells of dry cocoa, oak, and bourbon.
Taste is sticky sweet, a muted swish of bourbon, and a long, dry finish like dark chocolate.
Oil slick mouthfeel with bubbly carbonation at the very end and a lot of residual sugar. Alcohol is well disguised.

Photo of Circles413
4.74/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Picked this up on a whim & I'm glad I did!

Pour - From a 22oz bomber into a snifter. Nice things off white head with nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma - Sweet chocolate, bourbon & coffee.

Taste - Milk & bitter sweet chocolate, vanilla, caramel & of course, bourbon.

Mouth - Sticky, medium to thick body. A little chewy but not as thick as I would've liked.

Overall - This is an excellent beer. Would I ever pay $30 for another bottle of this? Maybe. Either which way, I'm glad I was able to try this. A very solid effort from 50/50!!

Photo of AgentMunky
3.68/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a tasting glass. Vintage 2013.

A: Dark with great lacing.

S: Sticky, syrupy sweet. Trace of booze.

T: Fruity and strong. This is awfully sweet. The fruit is nice, but the syrupy qualities make it taste a little like cough syrup. Finish is pleasantly bitter and cherryish,

M: Smooth and strong. Yum.

O: Tasty, but a bit too syrupy. Not my favorite Eclipse, but still worthy.

Photo of kaseydad
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013

Pours like all the rest. Dark brown with a nice frothy beige head, good staying power and a ring around the glass. Not much lacing here.

Nice bourbon burn in the nostrils. Even though this has sat for a number of months....the bourbon will not be denied. Chocolate, cinnamon, marshmallow, cough syrup, apple and caramel. Liking the smell as it warms. Key word...warms.

The taste is cocoa/chocolate goodness. The booze is there, but rather subdued. Good blend of light bourbon and smooth chocolate here. Some coffee, toffee and more marshmallow. Blending nicely.

Silky, smooth mouthfeel.

Overall this was pretty darn good. The flavors are blending well though I would be drinking this sooner rather than later. The booze was not overpowering and the Four Roses blend is really nice for the pairing. I see why Fifty/Fifty keeps this barrel in the mix. Enjoyable session.

Photo of tbeckett
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I got this bottle at a shop in Philly for about $30. Bottle run 3/2013.

A - Black pour with a thick, creamy and dense deep brown head that looks like it has staying power. A bit of carbonation coming up the sides. Spotty rings of lace and a film of retention.

S - Bourbon is definitely there. Fair bit of heat. Sweet maltiness there too with wood and vanilla. A bit muted, but it opened up a bit after a while. Obvious dark/bitter chocolate note there after a while.

T - Nice sweetness with lot's of bourbon, sweet malt, vanilla, lot's of layers. A bit of a dusty note. Lot's of sweet chocolate and honey with aggressive bourbon, wood and vanilla. Flavours of a strong, intense Imperial Stout. After some time a really nice sweetness reveals itself with a smooth undertone and some alcohol that is less intense than the beginning.

M - Pleasant mild carbonation, thick full body and a dry bourbony finish.

O/D - This is good. Maybe not $30 good, but good nonetheless. It's well balanced and to the point with lot's of complex notes coming out the more you investigate. This is not BCBS, but it's a well crafted BA Imperial Stout.

Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Black in the glass, one finger brown head with some lacing.

S-Bourbon, rather sweet, some chocolate.

T-Rather sweet, Almost too sweet, some bourbon, roasted malt and chocolate.

M-Medium bodied and slight carbonation.

O-Too sweet the barrel flavors were not allowed to come through.

Photo of brentk56
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 741 of 2010

Appearance: Pours fudge brown with a spumous head; excellent lacing

Smell: Roast, chocolate, oak, vanilla, dark fruit and, of course, the Four Roses Bourbon

Taste: From the outset, the thing that stands out is the balance; opens with all the flavors detected in the aroma; after the swallow, there is a modest amount of heat, but the finish brings back the start, with the sweetness held in check by the roast and chocolate while the dark fruit adds complexity

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation and some warmth in the gullet

Overall: Very pleased with how this brew has matured; I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did but it topped the Heaven Hill I had yesterday - three more to go

Photo of zeledonia
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 1233/2011. Tasted 25 March 2014.

Pours black and thick. Two fingers of medium tan head. Great retention, islands of lacing all over the glass.

Smell is excellent. Rich and well-balanced. Full of chocolate, bourbon sweetness, with a light alcohol bite.

Taste is rich and full. Sweet dark roasted malts, chocolate, raisins, topped with grainy bourbon. Fantastically sweet and rich, with great balance between the base and the barrel. Excellent.

Feel is excellent as well. Full-bodied, thick and chewy. Medium-high carbonation, on the high side for a big stout, but I like the way it gets the flavors moving.

I'd put this in the upper-middle tier of barrel-aged stouts. Sweet and full, as I like them. Its best feature is its balance.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.77/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of rye whiskey notes with some woody notes and some burnt barley notes. Taste is a mix of wye whiskey notes with some burnt barley notes with some black chocolate notes with a finish that is a little bit harsh. Body is full with nice oily and creamy notes with good carbonation and light warming alcohol. Good but doesn’t really stands out against the other BA varieties of Eclipse.

Photo of Dope
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch 1 from 2013.

A: Pours jet-black with a tall, dense medium brown head. Head fades out slowly with great retention. Sparse little strings of lacing.

S: Toffee, caramel and lots of oak from the bourbon. Honey is fairly noticeable with a decent chunk of chocolate in there too. Decent alcohol sting too.

T: Stinging bourbon up front, almost stronger than the aroma betrayed (usually the other way around). Lots of caramel, toffee and burnt sugars. Fairly oaky with quite a bit of vanilla too. Quite sweet, but made even sweeter with chocolate and honey. Bourbon is pretty heavy, the booziness helps cut the sweetness down a bit. Lingering spicy alcohol, oak and burnt sugars in the aftertaste.

M: Heavy, thick, low carbonation. Only "just" cut with the booziness. Sort of a chalky mouthfeel at times.

O: Another delicious Imperial Eclipse variant. Very sweet and very thick, this one. A little boozier than most at the same time. Strong flavors with great bourbon integration. Wonderful. My only real detraction is that this is almost a little too oaky and a little too boozy at times. Still great.

Photo of Chico1985
3.71/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first experience with the Eclipse series, tried next to 3 other variants and many other stouts with good peoplez. This and the others were from the 2013 batch, 11.9% ABV.

Black pour, tan head. Great retention on this one, a thick+bubbly finger remains for the duration.

Smell is surprisingly very tame. It more or less comes off as pure bourbon, but it's even subtle in that aspect. A little more well-rounded with warmth with some dark fruits, roast and chocolate.

Taste is an improvement, but the lack of a base beer is still alarmingly clear. Although the bourbon flavor is great, all that accompanies it is some dark fruits (raisins/prunes come to mind), some roast, dark chocolate and honey - all of which are still pretty subtle.

Not much booze, pretty decent+full mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Quite drinkable.

I enjoyed it and the other variants, but I'd be lying if I said all of them weren't letdowns, especially considering the prices. The differing bourbons were all nice and distinguishable from each other, they were somewhat unique for the style, but there wasn't a whole lot going on for them otherwise. I didn't review the others I tried, but this and Evan Williams were about even for me, Elijah Craig 12 had a slight upper hand, and the Java Coffee wound up being my favorite of the bunch.

Photo of cbutova
3.79/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks Chico1985, bring on the Eclipses for the night. Stoutfest III beastmode.

A- Pitch black bomber pour to seven glasses with a black as night complexion. Light mocha tan head forms to about a finger with a frothy, creamy texture. Good retention and it falls to a thick pillow and ring. Thick lace blankets at the top continue to coat the glass most of the way down.

S- Fairly tame and quite relaxed compared to the other Stouts of the night so far. Fresh toasted oak and Four Roses whiskey bite, almost subdued a bit to pruney fruits, is nice above a smooth malty, semi-sweet roasted base. Nice dark fruits too.

T- Again, the Four Roses bite is there but actually kind of blended nicely into the dark fruity yeast and roasty, cocoa base malts. The Bourbon is strong but it doesn't really offset the rest of the beer, strength without killing balance. Fresh oaky, peppery, dark fruity feel to the whiskey. Slight honey sweetness.

MF- Moderately thick body on the palate but lacks a creaminess I have come to expect in most big stouts, seems just a bit thinned out, maybe from the bourbon. Carbonation at a medium level with a slight warmth in the finish.

The whiskey feel is more on the peppery, fruity (almost like a brandy) side with the fruity yeast and dark cocoa roast malt base. The base itself is a bit lacking and it hurts a bit overall. Not much vanilla I have come to find in BA RIS but this is a nice change. I have had a good amount of Four Roses and you can tell it has that feel. Solid. PRICE IS STEEP THOUGH.

Photo of smakawhat
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2013, bottle run No. 1 poured into a large snifter glass.

A real aggressive appearance. Thick light tan head, uniform but grows very large and settles to a whipped up cocoa two finger retention thick cap. Body color is a classic dark walnut brown with near one hundred percent opaque quality. THick spider ring and clump lacing. Great looking beer.

Nose has a wonderful soft and subtle sweet aroma. It smells like a candy cane. Wintergreen mint and a hint of chocolate. Peppermint. Almost clove, but with a much sweeter quality. Not sensing much roast or classic stout character but the bouquet is so incredibly unique and wonderful.

Palate matches the nose. Sweetness is much more subdued but the control is better and the flavors much more keen on stout quality. Great minty finish and silky texture. Velvet hints of mint chocolate and warming roast coffee. An almost hinting pine and lime like hop bent soft astringency and hints of wintergreen mint schnapp warmth. Some crunky oreo mint cookies as well.

These brews just stun me, and it blows my mind how different the variations are, this is another favorite one for me to chalk up. Great brew.

Photo of wordemupg
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650ml red waxed bomber poured into tulip 22/1/14

A deep cola edge in black liquid, foams up nicely with a massive foam that hangs around forever leaving a table top island after ten minuets and lots of thick patches deep down the glass

S sweet bourbon and honey, sweet milk chocolate, dark fruits and a little coffee, some vanilla and brown sugar work well, not huge but some charred barrel plays a part, faint licorice and molasses

T not quite everything the nose had going on, still sweet, lots of dark malt and a little barrel but everything doesn't mesh as well and there's some booze but like the other 2013's just no way this is actually 11.9%,

M leaning towards full, creams up nicely, faint tannins, a hint of booze, lots of sweet chocolate and bourbon linger

O another well rounded Eclipse, if the smell followed through it would be world class but it didn't quite keep up that pace, great beer nonetheless and one of the better versions from 2013

My 6th Eclipse this year and everyone of them has been a great brew but I don't think any of them would qualify as world class. Consistently great beers but any 30$ bomber is hard to justify, that being said I'm glad I have some bottles to revisit a few years down the road.

Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz red wax ensconced bottle, 2013 version, and now 11.9% ABV. Can't say that I've ever tried the titular Bourbon - I'll save that for a future date.

This beer pours a solid light-sucking black hole, with the slightest of basal cola 'highlights', and a teeming tower of puffy, thickly foamy, and duly rocky light brown head, which leaves a pleasant web of sudsy lace around the glass as it slowly wilts away.

It smells of grainy milk chocolate, woody alcohol, vanilla, and caramel Bourbon barrel notes, field honey, molasses-heavy malt, besotted dark bread, a touch of cold coffee, and weak earthy, weedy hops. The taste is bittersweet cocoa, sugary Bourbon essences - watery vanilla, a more sturdy toffee and caramel, and an ethereal rye grain spiciness - lightly roasted pale, chocolate, and caramel malt, herbal honey, a hint of earthy hops, and a middling booze warmth.

The bubbles are pretty low-key overall, the body actually a bit on the light side of medium weight for this sort of offering, and equitably smooth at the same time. It finishes sweet, in the, 'gee someone poured a shot of top-shelf Yankee whiskey into my already heady Imperial Stout' kind of way, so thanks, Drunk Uncle, or whoever had the wherewithal to engender such an act.

One of the more approachable versions of this onslaught of Bourbon County aged stouts from this particular California mountain brewery that have suddenly made their way up north to we, um, northerners. Tasty, and still more than a wee bit challenging to the average palate, I would venture to presume, though I did quite enjoy the dual upsides of lush chocolate and a subtle alcohol perception a little too much, especially given the near 12 points of hooch.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with a thin sand colored head and some spotty lace down the glass with each sip.

S: Rich cocoa laced with bourbon. Honey, roasted malt, charred wood and just a touch of dark fruit. Pretty nice.

T: Roasted malt and honey upfront with some toasted brown sugar, milk chocolate, molasses and a touch of char. Just a tickle of bourbon in there as well, with a finish that definitely leans towards the barrel. Mouthfeel is light and a touch lacking. I really feel like this beer would benefit from a fuller mouthfeel. A solid beer, but I'm not sure worth the price. I'd much rather take Caldera's Mogli for 10 bucks less.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 489 ratings.