Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 395 | Reviews: 132 | Display Reviews Only:
4.7/5 rDev +10.3%
22oz bottle split with russwbeck and poured into a Victory tulip. Bottle provided by jamdugan, thanks Jim!
A - This beer has a similar appearance to many other darker stouts out there - completely opaque, but this head really rounds out and softens this beer. About a 1.5-finger head rests carefully on top of the beer, smooth and creamy yet still many tunnels and caverns in it. The head has pretty good retention as well, and as the beer dissipates, a thin film of lacing covers most of the glass.
S - The smell is incredibly well-balanced. The bourbon is noticeable but not overwhelming in the slightest. A rich bouquet of sweet vanilla, oak, coffee, and chocolate intertwine with each other and keep each other in check while adding to its deep complexity. I was expecting more of a bourbon bomb but this is incredibly well-rounded.
T - As in the nose, the taste is so balanced by everything going on here. The bourbon is really integrated perfectly here, and plays precariously between a soft warming malt character that helps introduce some bittersweet chocolate. Additionally, the effect of the barrel does wonders in imparting an oak woodiness and vanilla note that accelerates this beer past the norm. Each characteristic is boldly defined, but meld fantastically about midway through and the final blend of flavors is euphoric. Each sip, each temperature change brings out something new, especially in the finish where a nice kick of honey injects a bit of sweetness into the bitter coffee, chocolate, slightly hoppy finish. Speaking of the finish, the chocolate just explodes into a smooth wave of fudge that makes this beer addicting. Slight alcohol in the finish, but overall incredibly complex and uses the bourbon as another level of complexity rather than having it assault the palate.
M - The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Coats the mouth thickly and the long finish lingers forever on the palate. The head and barrel helps soften this a bit.
D - Drinkability is insanely high. Easily one of the smoothest drinking and tastiest bourbon aged stouts I've had. It's complex and perfectly blended between all the flavors. Not one characteristic overwhelms the others and each has their time in the spotlight. If possible I would like to get my hands on many more of this beer.
02-17-2011 01:36:54 | More by nhindian
4.7/5 rDev +10.3%
Jet black hue with a thick khaki head with decent retention. The bottle smells of vanilla-bourbon. Sweet coffee-chocolate aroma. I'm smelling a little vanilla in there, too . You can smell a bit of booze in there, too, it most comes in the form of warmth. Very creamy and full texture, smooth, too. It seems to expand if you let it sit for a moment. Dark chocolate and roasted malt come together nicely. The warmth from the alcohol of the barrel gives the end of my first sip a warm finish. It almost calms the beer down. The chocolate and the barrel work nicely together. I'm also tasting a little bit of licorice as well. This beer shows great control. The effects of the barrel aging have done a nice job complimenting the beer. The bourbon comes through on its own, too, but unlike some barrel aged stouts, it doesn't take the beer hostage.
12-20-2010 00:46:03 | More by 100floods
4.68/5 rDev +9.9%
Pours black with dark brown edges. A beige head leaves a ring.
Smell is sweet and has plenty of barrel character. Chocolate and honey mesh with vanilla, charred oak, and a touch of alcohol.
Taste is sweet and roasty. Lots of chocolate mixed with bourbon. The flavors blend together nicely.
Body is medium with a lighter carbonation.
Overall, I really enjoyed this beer, and count it as one of the top barrel aged stouts I've tried.
01-31-2012 23:02:26 | More by fatmcb1
4.6/5 rDev +8%
You can probably still get this beer if you look hard enough. Especially in the SF bay area. Poured from a bomber (22 oz) into a tulip.
A: Coffee Black with a brown head. That's what I love to see.
S: Nose is full of brown sugar, oak, vanilla, caramel (nice bourbon character), coffee and chocolate. Smells great!
T: Taste is more chocolate forward and a bit weak on the bourbon character, though it is very flavorful. It's a bit of a disappointment, because Four Roses makes some excellent bourbon. There is some bourbon character (caramel, vanilla and oak), but more coffee and chocolate, which is nearly as delicious. A touch of alcohol is present, but forgivable.
M: Full bodied and smooth. Would be perfect (in that I love smooth, full bodied beers, especially when they're creamy), but there's a bit of alcohol astringency, which is never pleasant.
O: Try it if you can find it. Perhaps not worth the price tag. I wouldn't buy another bottle, but I do not at all regret buying one. It's roughly the same price as Old Rasputin XIV was, and that beer was damn near perfect. This is not quite as good. Still though, it's one of the best beers I've ever had. As of writing this, it's my number 14 out of more than 600, and one of only 18 beers to which I'd give an A+. If, however, you are faced with trying this or Old Rasputin Anniversary edition for the same price, go with this. You can always get the barrel aged version of rasputin, this is no longer brewed, from what I can tell.
01-17-2013 19:33:51 | More by BierJager89
4.6/5 rDev +8%
Traded for a couple of these a year or so back and this will be my 3rd iteration in the series. I’ve really enjoyed the first two and I’m 100% sure this will be no different. Drank while watching game 7 of the 2011 World Series (St. Louis vs. Texas).
2010 version bottle 850-something. I can’t read the last number.
Appearance- Pours a super dark brownish black with a small light brown fluffy cap that quickly bubbles away to almost no cap and thin collar. Not a speck of lacing either.
Smell- Surprisingly nutty smelling with an almost hazelnut note that I remember getting in the other versions, just didn’t seem this potent. Tons of coconut and vanilla as the barrel really seems to play into the nose a lot. Kind of sweet smelling with plenty of chocolate and caramel – especially at the beer warms. A few dark fruits show up for the nose party but nothing really all that potent.
Taste- Starts with a touch of booze that is slightly bourbon like with that wonderful soothing warming. Tons of coconut and milk chocolate make way for that Mounds Bar type flavor. Nutty to the core with a bit of vanilla, especially in the finish. The wood doesn’t seem quite as evident as I remember the previous versions being. Slightly sweet but the overall deliciousness of the beer makes me forget how much I hate that. The finish is earthy and warming and delicious.
Mouthfeel- Like the rest of the Eclipse the body is fairly thin but overall not bad. Carbonation is light and the beer feels silky smooth.
Drinkability- I really like this beer a lot and this is most definitely my favorite of the 3 versions I’ve had. It’s very tasty as the coconut and chocolate tones are fabulous. The more I have this beer the more I love. Awesome stuff!
10-29-2011 02:06:20 | More by younger35
4.58/5 rDev +7.5%
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.
06-19-2011 05:23:42 | More by mikesgroove
4.58/5 rDev +7.5%
Enjoying a recently aquired bottle.
A-This is more like it! All Eclipses are very different and my recently tasted brandy version did not have near the appearance of this version. Very nice frothy head with good staying power leaving rings as i work through the glass.
S-Very light bourbon and chocolate with a mild roasty character.
T-Again very good, just the right amount of bourbon, hints of chocolate and a bit of the ABV which is always very well hidden in these beers. It leaves a deep bitter chocolate aftertaste that lingers for some time. I think this is my favorite with the exception of the EC version.
M-I always say this, I wish these beers had a tad bit more body to them(09 HH was perfect here), I would say it is medium in body but i usually drink pretty heavy beers so it may just be perception.
D-VERY EASY to drink, hidden ABV, wonderful blend of flavors allow for a big beer to be very drinkable and very smooth.
Overall, I still think these are some of the best barrel stouts out there. I will continue to seek these out and enjoy regularly, it is nice to have these produced locally.
Another great release by 50/50.
12-12-2010 00:20:21 | More by JWD
4.55/5 rDev +6.8%
2010 vintage, bomber into a tulip.
Black with translucent brown edges. The dark tan head shows good longevity.
Unabashed bourbon on the nose. Brownie, cookie dough, caramel candy, subdued booze and vanilla. The bourbon barrel seems more dominant here compared to the Evan Williams version.
The palate also has a huge bourbon kick. Layers of bittersweet chocolate, black licorice and burnt sugar coat the tongue. Alcohol is more noticeable on the palate than the nose, but it's by no means a harsh beer. The finish is roasted and sharp; licorice, espresso and alcohol linger. There's a slight vinous red wine note as I dig deeper, like a big juicy merlot.
This strikes me as more intense than the Evan Williams bourbon barrel Eclipse. It's delicious, but I find myself preferring the balance of the EW edition.
12-06-2010 05:09:16 | More by largadeer
4.5/5 rDev +5.6%
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.
03-21-2011 00:34:53 | More by SpdKilz
4.5/5 rDev +5.6%
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.
01-24-2014 01:40:38 | More by smakawhat
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 395 ratings.