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

Not Rated.
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses BourbonImperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

491 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 491
Reviews: 141
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 272
Gots: 290 | FT: 24
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: 491 | Reviews: 141
Reviews by shawlaqua:
More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
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 mikesgroove
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

essentially black as an abyss with no light coming through on Two fingers worth of brown, frothy head then gradually formed and pushed just out over the lip of my snifter.

warm vanilla notes waft through the air and perk up my senses. I find that rich aroma comforting and soothing and a sign that it stayed in the barrel just the right amount of time. Going in closer and letting it reach its zenith at room temperature reveals a complex mixture of chocolate, hints of tobacco and leather, even the finest touches of coffee all coming together and creating a symphony of aroma.
Vanilla and bourbon notes hit first. Smooth and silky feel here, really very nicely done. It melts seamlessly and effortlessly into a spinning cauldron of coffee and chocolate that just reeks of woody tones and vanilla underpinnings. Warming really starts to bring this out now. finish belongs to the barrel as the sweet, balanced flavor leaves its mark and fades off into the night.

Photo of womencantsail
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of the always epic largadeer. Thanks, brosef.

A: The pour is viscous and black with a finger of khaki head on it.

S: The roast and char from the barrel come through strong on the initial sniff. Lots of bourbon and vanilla notes follow along with dark roasted coffee and a nice dark chocolate/cocoa powder aroma. There is just a hint of smoke in the background.

T: A rather strong roast up front on the palate as well. Plenty of bourbon and oak notes and a sweet vanilla flavor to round it out. Mild sweetness of molasses and dark chocolate to go with the roast and coffee notes.

M: Medium to full in body with a smooth, creamy carbonation.

O: Although almost all of the variations on this beer are solid, this one is certainly up near the top. Very nice stuff.

Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up for me from the brewery by nerd - thanks dude! Served in a Three Floyds pint glass.

A - A finger of dark tan foam settles to a thin cap and some spotty lace. Dark brown near-black body that reveals a bit more lightness at the fringes.

S - Dark chocolate, smoke, oak, bourbon, dark fruits. It's got that typical Eclipse maple and caramel sweetness, particularly when it warms up. No obvious alcohol.

T - Heavy in oak, with notes of dark chocolate, dark fruits, and some bourbon flavor as well. Minimal roast, but perhaps a bit of espresso bitterness, as well as oak, in the finish.

M - A little thin, a common complaint I have about some Eclipse variants, although not totally out of line for the lower ABV. Medium-low carbonation, and no obvious alcohol. Finishes tannic and fairly dry.

D - Not my favorite variant, but eminently drinkable. Everyone enjoyed this and wished we had more of it to pass around (or less people sharing it). I'm looking forward to my 2011 bottles. A very good barrel-aged stout.

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 2613; 2011 Vintage

A - Pours deep brown with one and a half fingers of brown head. Head has very good retention and leaves some rings of lacing.

S - Aroma is somewhat subtle, but consists of sweet bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, some char and mild booze.

T - Taste is a big improvement on the nose. Bourbon is prominent up front, quickly followed by a big chocolate taste. Vanilla and more bourbon in the middle. Also seems to be a faint hop presence. A bit too much char on the finish, but still very enjoyable.

M - Medium mouthfeel, a bit lighter than I would like, but good.

O - I enjoyed the EC 12 version quite a bit more, but this is still a very nice barrel-aged stout. Wish the char (and price) could be turned down just a bit.

Photo of Beaver13
3.61/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, bottle 1385/2011. Pours dark brown / black with a bit creamy tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is oaty chocolate malts with some dark fruit, black licorice and light bourbon. There's some alcohol as well. It's a bit more subdued than expected.

The flavor is sweet sugary (honey?) chocolate malts and dark fruits and some grain that leads to a bitter warming alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, some harsh boozy bitterness early on, but it mellows and becomes pretty well balanced. As it warms up all the way, it becomes a bit boozy again.

Photo of ehammond1
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Super Junior Market
San Diego, CA

Very dark brown, nearly black in color, without a lot of visible carbonation and not much head. Eventually, however, this does leave sticky spots and sheets of lacing down the glass. That being said, this has significantly less carbonation than any of the other Eclipse variations I've opened this year.

The familiar coconut, bourbon, chocolate, wood, roast, and coffee elements combine here for something quite nice. Nearly as good as the white wax Elijah Craig variation, but not quite.

The flavor follows similarly, with toasted coconut, chocolate, bourbon, and earthy vanilla notes rounding this out. There's also a noticable ashey/char note to it as well, unfortunately. This is the third Eclipse variation I've tried so far, and it's unfortunately my least favorite.

Medium mouthfeel with low carbonation.

A terrific variation, but not quite as good as the Elijah Craig 18 nor the Brewmaster's Grand Cru.

Photo of Soonami
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

50/50 Eclipse aged in Four Roses is a really great bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. These beers are often hit and miss for me, but I think this is a really great rendition of the style that hits the nail right on the head. The only beer that I have had that has the balance of bourbon and stout flavors is Black Ops. The bourbon barrel aging contributes a warm, earthiness in the form of vanilla, oak, burnt caramel, while the stout has plenty of rich coffee, bitter chocolate and toasted malt, rounded molasses and maple sweetness. The beer was very smooth and adequately carbonated. Teh alcohol is definitely present, but it isn't blaring or hot just warm in the throat on the swallow. This was very tasty and I'd love to have again, but it's not exactly the easiest to get a hold of.

Thanks Dan for sharing.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Eclipse release party. Pours black, reddish brown head to this one, better than the other varieties I thought. Smell was unremarkable, not necessarily the biggest fan of 4 roses bourbon.

Good taste, as expected, bourbon, oak, good roast feel. Very similar to the EW version. Charred feel to the beer. Tiny amount of vanilla. Creamy, very easy to drink, not an alcohol bomb by any means. Goes with coffee chocolates that they had out for sampling. Dark chocolate comes out more and more the longer you sip on it.

Photo of jeonseh
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle as part of Eclipse sampling

A - Dark brown with light chestnut aspects to it. Small off white foam head 3.25

S - Slight bourbon with light vanilla and caramel

T - Dark bitter chocolate, sweet caramel and vanilla. There is a light amount of oak in the finish. Overall, there is a good amount of bitterness in this one. The sweetness from the 4 roses bourbon tries to cut the overall bitterness but cannot.

M - Creamy slightly sticky body with bitterness that makes the finish slightly astringent

O - Decent eclipse with good bourbon sweetness from the 4 Roses that adds a good amount vanilla and caramel to it; however, it can't manage to cut the overall bitterness.

Photo of RichardMNixon
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%

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 SomethingClever
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
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 Roguer
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
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 SpeedwayJim
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to nerd for this one. Bottle #357. Shared with schen9303. Poured into a Founders snifter.

Pour yields a 1.5 finger coarse, light mocha head with moderate retention. Beer is a dark, opaque black. Lacing is ringed and thick with good stick. Decent legs. A real good looking beer that's solid in all aspects.

Nose is chocolate, molasses, sweet mocha, some sweet soy sauce, and a light sprinkling of dark fruit, all covered in bourbon. Heat is moderately strong in this one but not overwhelming. Again, solid though a touch mild.

Opens sweet molasses, chocolate, and with a creamy hop presence. In come the bourbon barrels towards the middle, adding a touch of heat and more sweetness. Some dark fruit appears later on. End is mocha characteristics and sweet brown sugar and molasses. Finishes more of the same with an aftertaste is sweet coffee beans and roasted malt. Probably one of the most mellow and subtle barrel aging qualities I've come across.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Super smooth and silky in the mouth and goes down warm, oily, and smooth. Really impressive. Finish is warm and balanced with a mellow but lingering aftertaste. Really impressive.

This offering is up there with the Elijah Craig and Pappy Van Winkle versions of the 50/50 imperial stout. Incredibly smooth with a very balanced flavor profile that incorporates, then displays the barrel aging process perfectly. Gotta more of this one.

Photo of nickd717
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from the brewpub.

Very dark brown in color with a one finger tan head and great lacing. Nice viscosity to it.

The bourbon in this one is a bit hotter on the nose than in, say, the Evan Williams. Behind that is your typical Eclipse awesomeness. Roasty dark chocolate and coffee notes, with a bit of oak.

The flavor has great complexity. The base stout is bomb, lending mildly sweet chocolate flavors and espresso, and the -bals do their job with considerable oak and bourbon. Not as seamless as some other versions, but still excellent.

The mouthfeel is exceedingly smooth like all Eclipses, if a tiny bit boozy with mild tannins. Fairly full body.

Overall this is probably my least favorite 2010 Eclipse, but it’s still amazing. Todd has these beers dialed in.

Photo of bashiba
3.15/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a nice deep dark brown with a thin ring of tan head.

Smelled sweet and chocolatey, almost candy bar like, very light on the bourbon with just a touch of vanilla.

My first impression of the flavor is wow this is boring. The flavors are strangely muted and subdued for a big barrel aged stout. Its a bit sweet with chocolate and coffee notes with a hint of bourbon and oak, but just barely.

Mouthfeel was lightly warm, but almost seemed a touch thin.

Overall one of the more pedestrian Barrel aged stouts I have had.

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was a part of cmrillo’s 40 Beers* @ 40 Birthday Bash! Shared by cmrillo at his own party! 2011 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a dark reddish brown with a half finger khaki colored head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, wood, earth, subtle vanilla, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, earth, wood, vanilla, and sweet alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. Based on have both of the Elijah Craigs just before this one, you definitely tell the Four Roses barrel treatment from the other. This one carried a nice earthy note along with it while still carrying over a lot from the others as well. It was rather enjoyable and definitely worth getting your hands on if you do not have any in your possession currently.

Photo of hopsbreath
3.54/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber shared at a tasting hosted by ramnuts. Fellow BA’s ChaseT, black13, MADhombrewer, Witchsbrew, TulipSnifter also helped me drink this. Thanks guys.

A: Medium reddish brown with good clarity, pale brown short lived fizzy head that sticks around a little better than the brandy version but still recedes to a wisp ring, no legs, minimal spotty lacing. 3/5

S: Wonderful vanilla, dusty cocoa, oaky brown liquor. This is where the beer shines the most for me. 4/5

T: Caramel coated bourbon soaked wood. Not much in the end of the char I was half expecting so it’s working for me. There’s more of a milk chocolate flavor here. A little too sweet for my liking but not terribly so. 3.5/5

M: Copy/pasted from my CB Eclipse rating: Low carbonation in big stouts usually works for me but in this particular case the base is just too damn thin. Sticky finish does nothing to help but isn't as gummy as the CB. 3/5

O: I’m not sure I understand the allure of this series. Perhaps the 2009’s I haven’t had are much better than this year’s batches. For the cash, I wouldn’t buy this one again. 3.5/5

Photo of Tripphop
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very attractive bottle design, simple and elegant with red wax. Bottle # 38. Pours a deep brown with good consistency, light doesnt penetrate once its in the glass. Fine tan foam rises an inch above the top of the beer and slowly fades, clinging onto the glass in clumps. Aromas of chocolate cake with bourbon and floral accents. Taste is unbeleivable, big chocolatey, doughy front with a silky cream finish. Bourbon and oak dance on the tongue as the flavor coates your mouth and slips slowly to your throat. This beer has everything going for it, great balance and strength, smooth creamy malt profile with a complex and boozy finish. Dangerously drinkable. A real treat, cant wait to try the others!

Photo of claaark13
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #1098 poured into a small Bell's snifter.

A - Poured with tan head which turned into lacing with some bubbles. Looks marginally better than the Elijah Craig.

S - Light bourbon, dark roasted malts, light vanilla.

T - Oak, some toffee/vanilla, chocolate towards the end with a dry finish. Flavors blend well. I'm getting a slight amount of hotness as well. The toffee/vanilla in the finish is very nice.

M - A little thinner than I'd hoped.

O - Pretty good. A little hot right now, I'll see how it is next year.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review 450. Cheers!

Bought at Hamilton's in San Diego. 2010 vintage, bottle number 777.

Appearance - Pours into a supplied tulip with a dark viscosity. About a finger of mocha colored head is achieved with a moderate pour. The head dissipates relatively slowly leaving nice looking lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Holy cow, this smells amazing. Great bourbon scent, oak and heavy vanilla. Roasted malts and chocolate, and more vanilla.

Taste - The taste begins as expected, with some fantastic oaky vanilla flavors up front. Fades to chocolate brownie, fudge, and hazelnut. Charred malts and hints of alcohol finish it up. This tastes fantastic.

Mouthfeel - Moderate mouthfeel, lower carbonation, chewy and creamy.

Drinkability - Quite so. I shared this with another patron at the bar to give him a taste, but I probably could have put this down completely by myself. Quite good and am very thankful I was able to try this (I have three other versions of this and was not able to get this one). A great beer.

Photo of gumushie
4.64/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 2010 bottle at average outside temp in Santa Cruz, CA (about 42-45°) into large bowled Bourgogne wine glass.

The wax coating on these bottles take a little doing and don't have the benefit of wine bottles where the cork can be pulled directly. The bottle was definitely jostled some before finally uncapping and pouring.

The Pour: Very deep, rich brown/black. The cream/tan colored head formed 1/2 in. thick and dissipated in about 7 minutes. Very little lace left behind. The liquid itself has medium viscosity but holds together very tight.

The Aroma: As expected, lots of dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee notes. Caramel and some unplaceable fruity esters (from the whiskey barrel presumably) as undertones. Overall very, very pleasant.

The Taste: Satin mouthfeel. Very well balanced, not (alc)hot at all but not flaccid either. Like drinking a dark chocolate brownie, for adults, only. Superb.

Overall: The effect of this beer is oddly calming as it heightens senses, almost like the effects of some teas. It's warming in the mouth and encourages some salivation while the flavor remains bold. As fantastic an offering as last years. Worth every cent and the year long wait. I'd like to taste Four Roses whiskey itself and do a comparison with the other commercial offering this year, but boy did these go fast!

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.77/5  rDev -11.9%
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 TheSevenDuffs
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark black with a small amount of medium brown head.

S - Bourbon, oak and sweet roasted malts. The bourbon and base beer are well integrated and neither overshadows the other.

T - Bourbon, oak, honey and a good roasted malt presence are well integrated, as the nose suggested. There's a good sweetness present that really brings out the bourbon and some lighter vanilla and chocolate notes.

M - Medium body, smooth. Light carbonation.

Photo of nataku00
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From my notes at the West Coast Barrel Aged Beer Fest at the Bistro.

Freshly poured from the tap into a pitcher and then into my tulip tasting glass. Dark brown with hints of orange at the edge of the glass when held up to the light. Opaque enough so that I can't see the carbonation. The finger of initial dark brown head dissipated very quickly, with little lacing.

The nose of this one was a bit weaker that the Heaven's Hill version of the beer also at the fest. Woody vanilla presence, with dark roasted malt and some burnt sugar/caramel sweetness.

Taste followed the nose, the nice vanilla from the barrel aging playing nicely with the burnt sugar sweetness and roasted malt backbone. Bitter initially, but finishes very smooth, with a nice lingering combination of the aromas and flavors in your throat. Very tasty.

The body was a bit on the thin side, maybe barely medium bodied. Body was noticeable as the carbonation was barely there, which didn't help.

Overall, a very nice imperial stout.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 491 ratings.