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.

141 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 141
Hads: 506
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 3.79%
Wants: 271
Gots: 292 | FT: 27
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 141 | Hads: 506
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (444 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (1,239 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. 2011 vintage, bottle 427. Thanks Chris!Pours a dark brown with a light tan head. Nice rich aroma, bourbon, vanilla, and dark chocolate. Medium/heavy mouthfeel. Very Smooth. The bourbon is slight and adds no heat. Dark chocolate, vanilla, dark fruit, and bourbon. This is a very solid beer. The mouthfeel is really nice. Nice clean finish. (346 characters)

Photo of mjyoung
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011. Split w/ scottfrie. Thanks a ton.

A: Dark. Not quite the inky blackness I was expecting but with a beautifully off-tan head that dissipates relatively quickly.

S: To quote a friend "Mmmm bourbon-y chocolate". That pretty much sums it up. Not too much that is TOO crazy in here, but it's quite good.

T: Same thing on the palate. Delicious bourbon and delicious chocolate. Not the most robust or complex of flavors, but the three or four notes that come through are superb. Oh-so-smooth...

M: Thick but not chewy. It's a bit thinner than I would like, but that's a minor knock. A tasty beer, and great feel.

O: It's hard to say how this stacks up with the others, but it IS good. Of that there is no doubt. It's easy to be consistent when all you're doing is changing the barrels, but 50/50 continues to overwhelm. (825 characters)

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks once again to Michael (yourefragile) for hitting this beer I've been wanting to try, awesome.

A: Nice blackish color but very clear brown highlights on the edges and a ring of head, nice lacing. Pretty.

S: Lots of stone fruit and some malt/sweet notes, barley, just a little chocolate powder and a bit of bourbon, not nearly as much as I expected.

T: Some chocolate powder, really nice bourbon soaked malt and barley, true stout flavors punch through. Quite interesting and rich. Just a little sweet, mostly alcohol sweet from the spirits, but not hot. Savory in some ways like a bit of autumn fire, quite nice.

M: Semi thick, not very hot, leaves the tongue tingling with flavor.

Overall very nice. (712 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think Sean brought this to our Fedor beat-down party.

A - Black beer with a good-looking brown head that dissipated after a short time and left some sparce and thin lacing on the sides.

S - Chocolate, roasted malts. A pleasant bourbon smell that is not very harsh with mild oak, toffee, and a little vanilla. Smells very good.

T - Had a differnce of opinions on this one, but I liked the taste of this better than the Evan Williams which we had side-by-side. Good chocolate and vanilla, bourbon is present but not hot. Not too woody, this is a very well balanced and slightly sweeter. Taste is very good.

M - A little thinner than I like, but nice body and mellow carbonation.

D - Pretty drinkable and a great beer at 9.5%, might be my favorite of this year's Eclipse releases. (784 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, 2011 vintage bottle number 1885, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours black with mahogany highlights, topped with a finger of creamy tan head that recedes to a thin layer, leaves good lacing.

S- Very nicely blended bourbon with chocolate cookies, some molasses with oak and vanilla.

T- Bourbon flavors, oak and coconut, some dark fruits mixed with molasses and honey. Roasted, slightly smoky malts.

M- Full-bodied, smooth feel, creamy, would have liked it slightly thicker, some boozy warmth.

O- An excellent barrel-aged stout, it's not the best in the series but is still very good. (597 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Bottle number 2296 split two ways.

A - Pours a dark, almost opaque with a lively dark tan head that eventually fades to edges.

S - Strong chocolate hits you first, then some some oak and booze follow it up. As I let it sit and warm, lots of nice welcoming carmel tones come through. I wanted to smell it more than drink it.

T - The taste was more boozy and chocolate up-front, also like the nose. As it warmed, lots of wonderful carmel flavors showed up.

D - Good carbonation for the style with a medium to heavy body.

O - Good at first, but as it warmed it really opened up with the carmel tones. Very nice. Let this one sit and you will love it. (657 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle split 4 ways and poured into a Boulevard tulip. 2011 batch and bottle #396.

A: This one pours black as night, dark black. Not as oily looking as other BA RIS versions. It's completely opaque though. I got about a half finger of fluffy tan head, which was a welcome surprise. But the ABV isn't as high as others, so I guess it makes sense. You get some nice dark sheeting of oil on the glass.

S: This smells delicious. I pulled lots of vanilla and oak. Traditional bourbon forward notes. Maybe some coconut from the barrel aging as well. Some of that caramel and toffee.

T: Nothing crazy initially in the tongue. It's not hot or bitter or anything off putting. You then get the smooth vanilla and oak and coconut notes that you were expecting. Delicious caramel comes up as the beer warms. I actually drank this over the course of about an hour and loved it closer to room temp, as we initially had it far too cold. You do get some of that honey sweetness as well with the warmth.

M: Full bodied stout here. But not as chewy as others.

O: This is an A stout already for me, and can't wait to dig into the other versions that I have down in the cellar. The only knock on these beers is the price tag at $25 - $30 it's pretty steep BUT if they all drink like's worth it. (1,295 characters)

Photo of jethrodium
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Red waxed bottle. Pours a dark black with a little bit of light coming through at the edges. A one finger light chocolate head has good retention and leaves a large amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is big vanilla, cocoa, bourbon, light roastiness, light alcohol, a little coconut, and a little honey. The taste is sweet cocoa, vanilla, and some light bourbon. The finish is a little bitter with some dark chocolate. Medium-light body. Low carbonation. Great beer. I wish it had a slightly fuller mouthfeel, but it is still phenomenal. (542 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in a trade and enjoyed on the eve of my birthday. Bottle #706, 2011 Batch.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice dark almost black brown with a biiig two finger dark khaki/mocha head that faded and slumped to a one finger creamy rich blanket and nice lacing.

S - Very nice bourbon and lighter vanilla. Cannot exactly pickout that this is a Four Roses brand bourbon, but its clearly a solid bourbon. There are some nice faint barrel notes along with some roasted malts and chocolates. Quite nice.

T - More of that rich, smooth bourbon with nice softer vanilla and barrel notes. Quite pleasant and well executed. The chocolate is mild, as is the roast. Quiet subtle and delicious. Not assertive but very well balanced.

M - My only negative to this beer. Just a too carbonated for my tastes for such a bigger stout. I would really like a more smooth, chewier stout. The sharper carbonation is a bit distracting.

O - Overall, this was a very, very well executed stout. Love the appearance, love the aroma, and love the taste. Just wish it wasnt as sharp. Alcohol is hidden nicely though. Really enjoyed this one. (1,124 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle served in a Eclipse snifter, hell yes. Beer is black, dark, with a thin brown head of small bubbles, some lacing, decent retnetion.

Aroma is boozy, strong vanilla and tannic components, rounds nicely. I really like it.

Beer is medium in body, creamy, this is the 2011 version which is much better, smoother better integrated than the 2010, a phenomenal beer right here. Nice finish, no heat, strong bourbon barrel character, very nice. I'd have this again. (465 characters)

Photo of GregSVT
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a snifter - Bottle #1066, 2010 Vintage

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black in the glass, with a small dark tan head that fades to a ring and leaves a small bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose consists of molasses, dark fruits, chocolate, a touch of licorice, and bourbon. Nice sweet aromas that hint at the goodness to come.

T: Taste is big roasty chocolate malt, molasses, vanilla, slight licorice, and a bit of dark fruit. The flavors stick to the palate and allow the finish to fade very slowly.

M: The feel is creamy and thicker than past versions I've's on the fuller side of medium. It's sticky which helps with the finish.

O: Sweet and decadent, this is defintely a dessert beer. Big flavors and aromas and a nice mouthfeel make this one of the better Eclipse variants I've had so far next to the Elijah Craig version. (860 characters)

Photo of lionchow
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To be honest I am copying my review from the Evan Williams barrel version. They were very similar, it would be difficult to tell the two apart. Both were excellent.

Drank it at FiftyFifty event at the Bloodhound in SF. Not actually sure if it was on tap or from a bottle.

Pitch black. Almost no head.

Aroma was lightly roasted and chocolately.

Flavor was sweet, but not overly sweet, primarily of milk chocolate, with a mild roasted character. Little to no bittnerness. Nice balance of oak and bourbon character with the sweet chocolate gives it depth and roundness.

Low carbonation.

Overall very drinkable and enjoyable. Personally its how I like a stout. (663 characters)

Photo of Auracom
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2010, bottle #922. Part of my stout tasting on October 22nd, 2011. 2-3 oz. into snifter. The third variant we opened. Certain parts copied over from the other Eclipse reviews.

A - Thin, semi-dark brown coloring. Lacking any sort of considerable head but showing a decent amount of alcohol on the sides of my glass.

S – Vanilla, smoke, roasted almonds, walnuts, whiskey barrel, and oak. Well-blended. Wish we had an option for 4.75 here, it will score slightly lower than it ought to.

T – Sweetness contrasted by bourbon at the front. Middle of the tongue features a roasted note that follows through to a fairly tannic finish.

M - Medium body. Carbonation is expected, finish is a bit short unfortunately.

D – Despite the larger oak flavor in this version, the finish didn’t quite get to the level it needed to. The overall impression of my group is that it fell somewhere between the superior Heaven’s Hill and the lesser Evan Williams, though I think it was closer to the former. More than worthy for a tasting and all in all, when tasted in multiple versions, the Eclipse series is a great experience for learning about barrel variation. (1,158 characters)

Photo of orangesol
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to nickd717 for opening a bottle of this during his recent visit. Great meeting you nick. Bottle #768 poured into a tasting glass.

A - Pours deep, dark, brown bordering on black with a small film of head leaving little to no lacing down the glass.

S - Quite chocolatey up front. Plenty of bourbon with hints of vanilla, oak, and other dark, roasty aroma's. Not overly sweet like some other barrel aged stouts. Fairly well balanced all around.

T - This is definitely a barrel aged stout. Plenty of chocolate sweetness up front giving way quickly to a mix of bourbon heat and oaky dark roast. A bit of dark roast in the finish but it doesn't linger for long. Booze is ever present put not overpowering. Not the best I have had but certainly nowhere near the worst. I really hope I get to try the other versions in the future.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Nice warm feel with some lingering sweetness. A touch too thin for my liking but still very enjoyable.

D - Quite high. This was my first experience with any of the fifty fifty beers and I was very impressed to say the least. A very nice balance of base flavors and bourbon from the barrel aging. Really wish I had a few of these to drink in the future. (1,245 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah, my first taste of the 2010 Eclipses. I've been hugely impressed by the various incarnations of this beer that I've been fortunate enough to try, and I'm curious to try the new versions. Bottle #390

Pouring the typical very dark brown with reddish brown highlights, there's a dense, brown head that recedes to a disk, leaving some lace on my Duvel Green tulip. The nose has probably the biggest oak presence that I've encountered from these beers, woody and tannic. One of those few beers where the oak intensity comes across as spicy in addition to vanilla-like, there's a touch of ashy aromas too. Dominating the sweeter, milder stout base, some chocolate and cream are still noticeable though. And I guess I have to add that bourbon is present as well. As Arbitrator notes in his review, serving this beer too cold has a larger negative impact than you might expect. Warming this up to ~65F really brought out the chocolate and fudge behind the bourbon and oak, and some licorice, which is surprising 'cos this isn't an attribute of any of the other Eclipses I've tried.

The palate is significantly more complex than the nose. Bourbon is present up front with brown sugar and booze, along with vanilla and oak. Chocolate, fudge and cookie dough are present on the mid-palate, though this isn't as decadent as other editions (specifically the superlative Elijah Craig or Pappy versions). None of the oak harshness I picked out on the nose is present here. Medium-light in body with soft, creamy carbonation, this feels really good on the palate. Strangely, letting this breathe does wonders to the palate, bringing out the chocolate more. The finish is excellent, with the oak tannins and licorice (where did that come from?!) lending just enough bitterness to balance the sweetness, and a sufficient booze character to keep you warm. An excellent effort, though, if I had to guess, I got one of the oakier bottles here. (1,928 characters)

Photo of rowingbrewer
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a huge thanks to john for opening this bottle at a recent tasting

This beer pours black with a mocha colored head that leaves some lacing. the smell is sweet bourbon, light oak, vanilla and dark roasted grains. the taste is very similar to the smell. the mouthfeel is medium to full boddied, with decent carbonation. the beer has good drinkablitly (348 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage. Bottle #1419.

A: Pours black with a half-inch mocha head which fades to the rim and cap leaving globs and spots of lace.

N: Chocolate marshmallows soaked in bourbon, then roasted with a trace char and sprinkled with vanilla and caramel.

T: Dark cacao, vanilla, roasted oak barrel, char, sweet bourbon, dark fruits.

M: Full body and moderate carbonation. A bit syrupy although rich and creamy.

O: With some age on it, this is drinking really well. Glad to still have 1 left. (492 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1035th Review on BA
Bottle to CBS Snifter

Red Wax
Bottle 1119/2011

App- Same color as the other treatments. Fit a whole bomber into the glass with a small one finger medium brown head that left a small small bit of webbing

Smell- opens a small bit of dark fruits and then moves to a bit of coffee and bourbon. Nice well rounded notes.

Taste- Much more chocolate than I thought. Very coffee foward as well which is a far departure from the previous two variants.  When it warms a bit more some roasted oats and a little bit of vanill

Mouth-  A bit more creamy than the other two. Medium/low bodied with a low/medium carbonation. Residual coffee & chocolate with some toasted and roasted malts

Drink- As I move from each variant to the next they kinda become better than the next. This one was a bit less heady than others and kinda brings it down. (864 characters)

Photo of Gtreid
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into my cigar city tulip. Can't remember who sent this to me, but thanks to whomever did.

A: Pretty much black. The pour dropped a finger of light tan head that faded to a thin rim and left no lace.

A: strong vanilla aroma. The barrel imparts great notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak. I get notes of roasted black malt and molasses. Next to no hop presence.

T: pretty darn good here too. The vanilla is the dominate characteristic, but the caramel and the roasted malt balance it nicely. The beer finihes sweet with a bit of alcohol heat.

M: Actually a touch thin for this caliber of beer. But still full bodied and creamy. And just a bit too much carbonation for my liking.

O: Really good beer here. I love the vanilla character a d the nose is just about perfect. Not quite as good as the EW treatment, but still a fantastic brew. Skal. (864 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (1,028 characters)

Photo of beerdrifter
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up with a great trade with Evan! 2011, #1387. Dark brown, nearly black pour with a two finger beige head with decent retention and great lacing. Sweet bourbon is the star of the complex nose along with hints of dark chocolate, espresso, molasses, licorice, caramel, vanilla, and dark fruits. The taste mirrors the nose in its complexity. The bourbon comes through nicely, but doesn't overwhelm. The barrel aging is very evident with hints of oak and vanilla along with dark fruits, cocoa, espresso, licorice, dark chocolate, and molasses. The mouthfeel is slightly thick and syrupy but very smooth and creamy with a subtle bite on the finish. Overall, this was very drinkable and complex, even though I found it leaning towards the sweet side. Anxious for the next release... (787 characters)

Photo of ghostwalker
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Been wanting to crack one of these bad boys open for some time now! Happy to have most of the 2011 collection and doubles of some, this included.

Poured into my CBS snifter: Midnight black appearance with a solid finger of tan head.

Nose is dark, bitter, boozy. Vanilla is noticeable. A harbinger of good things to come, I hope...

Flavor is rich and boozy. A great barrel showcase, as I've heard. The oak and vanilla noted are definitely there. Warming from the alcohol, but in a beneficial and happy way. This is a sipper and a half. I can picture drinking this for an hour or two, as it warms and various flavor components come to the forefront.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, but still rich and coating. Not a motor-oil comparison to be had here, so please move along.

Overall, this is a fantastic brew. The base beer must be pretty damn good, but the barrel treatment is really the thing. I regret not having some Four Roses Bourbon on hand to sip along with, maybe for the next one. Great Brew 50/50! (1,008 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle number 2021 - 2011 vintage
Four Roses Single Barrel = Red

a - poured a watery black with a surprising off white head. lacing was sparse, but left some remnants. doesn't look as thick and rich as i had expected, and surprised in the lack of barrel shine.

s - nice stout with some good barrel mixed in. the barrel is a bit boozy and bourbony, but subtle and muted. it carries some sweetness and vanilla spectrum flavoring, but nothing crazy. no big chocolate, but good roastiness.

t - tastes nice. the barrel aging, although sweet, integrates nicely with the base beer...which boasts big roasted notes and the chocolate i was missing in the nose. leads with the roast and complimented by the barrel sweetness. not a strong bourbon flavoring.

m - silky smooth. medium bodied and overall light for the style. the booze was not too intense which was nice.

o - overall a nice treat, but certainly not the highlight of the series. surprisingly light and easy to drink. (974 characters)

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 141 ratings.