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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.

142 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 142
Hads: 515
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 8.98%
Wants: 272
Gots: 291 | FT: 23
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: 142 | Hads: 515
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage, bottle #1063. Red wax so I have the right listing.

This is my fifth variant this year (EC12, EC20, BT, RR) and sixth ever ('10 EW).

4.0 A: This one falls between RR and all of the others in terms of appearance. Black color. One and a half fingers of creamy tan head. Retention is about average and a thick ring of lacing is left behind.

3.0 S: Everything about the nose in this one screams (or maybe whimpers) average. As always, the stout is low octane in flavor and ofters only scant chocolate and roastiness. The bourbon isn't as powerful as the other variants and I'm left with small amounts of leather, earth, and light fruits.

4.5 T: The taste is more legit, but it isn't too legit to quit. Still, quite legit. The stout offers the same minor chocolate and roast, but the bourbon adds a variety platter of tastes. The strongest note in this chorus is strangely whipped cream. It's like a something you'd find atop a fancy coffee beverage. After that I get coffee itself, a tangy almost persimmon like fruitiness, melon galore, coconut, and carmelized sugar. Barrel adds a good bit of vanilla. Moderately boozy. Aftertaste is a sugary sweetness, but until that point it isn't overly sweet. I don't know how the nose is so weak after tasting it.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Somewhat creamy, but not as much as I like. Like usual, I wish this had more body.

4.0 D: This is my second favorite variant. Mighty tasty. If a better stout had been used with 50's pinnacle barrel aging, this would be something to remember. In any case, it's still quite good.

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Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
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

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
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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Photo of Dope
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another one shared with friends @ Jason's place. Poured into Bruery tulip.

A - Pours black, mocha-colored head, some spotty lacing, and a thin filmy cap. The most head I've seen from any of the variations.

S - Rich chocolate, booze, oak, burnt/charred sugars. A touch lighter then the Evan Williams we had right before this. A little more subtle.

T - A nice dose of alcohol booze, oak, chocolate, char. As with the nose, a little more subtle when compared to the EW. Perhaps more balanced?

M - Full, good carbonation, rich and smooth, creamy finish.

D - Not quite as good as the EW we had right before this but it's better then most other imperial stouts out there. It's really a treat to try all the different variations Todd's created. He's done a stellar job. Recommend!

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Photo of ehammond1
4.09/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.76/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My mate Doops and I were lucky enough to be able to try the entire 2010 - 2008 series. This was the second bottle we opened. Thanks for tracking this one down mate, and a big thanks to everyone who made putting this set together possible.

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2010
Bottle: 616
Wax: Red

APPEARANCE: All the 2010 bottles basically look the same. Thin, transparent pour yields a small, medium looking, tan head with decent retention. Head fades relatively quickly to a faint wisp and ring. Black body, quite transparent, with no carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end leaving some dots of lacing down the glass. Just too light and transparent for the style, unfortunately.

SMELL: Milder nose that the other bourbon barrel variants, but a little more complex. Milder bourbon with more aromas of oak, vanilla and some milk chocolate. Dark, pure chocolate in there as well with some light smoky notes. Nice and more appealing, though not quite as bold hoped.

TASTE: Milder bourbon flavors, but more of the base beer in this one. Some oak, vanilla and milk chocolate to be sure, with dark chocolate, roasted and smoky malts and licorice mid-palate and into the swallow. Barrel comes forward again in the pleasant aftertaste with oak, vanilla and dark chocolate flavors lingering nicely on the palate. Not as bourbon heavy as the others, with more base beer showing through. Quite nice actually.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Lighter on the palate, perhaps the lightest of the series, but very creamy and very smooth. Goes down smooth and silky and finishes slightly sticky. A touch of heat lingers. Needs a bit more weight perhaps, but very creamy and smooth stuff.

OVERALL: This was another good beer in the series, and I probably enjoyed it a little more than the EW we had earlier. The bourbon is a little more restrained in this one, but that allows the oak and base beer to shine through a little more. This is one I’d gladly drink again, but probably wouldn’t hunt down either. Check it out if you get the chance. I’d surely give the 2011 batch of this a go if the opportunity presented itself. Recommended.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a touch of brown and a finger of frothy khaki-chocolate head. Fades normal.

S - Chocolate and dark caramel malts, molasses, Bourbon, vanilla, oak, black licorice, dark cocoa, coffee, booze.

T - Sweet chocolate and caramel malts, Bourbon, vanilla, oak, molasses, coffee, black licorice, bitter dark cocoa, raisin and other dark fruits, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and a bit syrupy with a warming, sweet, and lightly spicy finish.

D - Great barrel aged stout. The bourbon is very present, but balanced here.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the release party and finally getting around to reviewing it

Look: Pours a almost black color with 1/8 inch head and no retention

Smell: The bourbon is integrated pretty nicely with the coffee and chocolate notes but nothing truly stands out which is something I would have liked

Taste: Upfront on this one is some roasted malt with just the slightest touch of bourbon I would have really liked more and then the beer finishes with some nice coffee chocolate and oak notes

Mouthfeel: Medium body and low carbonation

Overall: They had both the 2010 and 2011 versions available for sampling at the party and this is a review of the 2011. I tried both of them and had this been a review for the 2010 version the review would be much worse and it became overpoweringly sweet and a bit off putting so I would drink this one fresh. That being said the 2011 version was still not one of my favorites of the different barrel treatments coming in slightly above the Brandy for least favorite of the night

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Photo of Beaver13
3.61/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

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Photo of jeff1973
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Schlafly tulip. Bottled 12/11, so almost 2yrs old at this point. Bought at the Bruery Provisions (RIP) in Orange CA for $28.50.

A - Pitch, glistening black. Like motor oil. Light tan head leaves good lacing.

S - Milk chocolate, coconut, vanilla, toffee. All the nice bourbon smells you want.

T - Again, milk chocolate, coconut, vanilla, toffee. Also, some dried cherry, some coffee, roast. Alcohol is still present, even after 2yrs. Has a little raw grain finish. Only flaw.

M - Thick and rich upfront. Has a slightly watery finish (for the style). Carbonation is low and gives a silky mouthfeel.

O - Barrel-aged stouts are hard not to like. There are a few flaws on this one, but it is still a great beer. I will look for these again on the next bottle.

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Photo of brotherloco
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz waxed bomber. 2011 Edition. Bottle #645. Served in a snifter.

A vigorous pour gave me a very dark, opaque black body topped by about a finger of dark beige foam. Dissipates fairly quickly to a thick ring with large bubbles. Bits of lacing.

Dry and dusty barrel aroma. A little lighter than other versions. Vanilla ice cream and marshmallows dominate. Chocolate malt. Light bourbon and oak presence. A good bit of alcohol.

Taste is rich and very sweet. Honey is there, along with vanilla and more oak than in the nose. Roasty chocolate malt meets sweet bourbon in the middle of the flavor. Elements are well integrated. Roasty bitter finish with some booze dries things up. Heat comes on after several sips.

Body is medium-full and carbonation is medium-low. Fairly oily slick feel. Goes down great.

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Photo of Overlord
3.87/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a surprisingly thin dark, deep brown with a black core. Dark brown foam bubbling. Great looking head, good looking beer once settled into glass. Really shocking amount of bubbles.

Smell is surprisingly roast-y, with a bit of molasses, a bit of charred chocolate, and a surprising amount of bourbon/alcohol heat.

Taste is a bit all over the place. The bourbon is too damned hot. 9.5% abv? Really? Uhhhh...if so, it's not well integrated into the flavor profile here. Also surprisingly acrid/roast-y ... where's the bitterness coming from? Not much vanilla. Would have really liked some sweeter bourbon/vanilla notes to balance out the bittering background. The chocolate comes across much more strongly in the nose than in the flavor. The sweetness of the chocolate/charred molasses is fighting for air.

I mean, we're not talking about volcanic ash like what we've seen from recent Abyss releases, but this flavor profile was quite a bit different from the Pappy Van WInkle I tried earlier this year. Not as sweet, hotter yet not as bulky in terms of mouthfeel or flavor profile. A good beer, but not nearly worth what I paid for it. Too much charred barrel.

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Photo of justintcoons
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #575, 2011 Red wax
Poured into a tulip.

Black with some garnet highlights around the edges. 3 fingers of fluffy, light brown head. Good retention for the high abv.

Sweet bourbon, toffee and honey. Dark fruit, black licorice, bittersweet chocolate and a hint of vanilla.

Moderate amount of sweet bourbon notes upfront giving off some pleasant alcohol esters. A lot of dark fruit consisting of overripe plum, fig and some maraschino cherries. Molasses, toffee and honey. Bittersweet chocolate and cocoa nib. Finishes with light notes of espresso, coffee grounds, earth and some very subtle oak.

Medium bodied, silky, warming and sticky.

Deceptively smooth and easy drinking for a BA Imperial Stout. Complex and sweet but lacing vanilla flavors. Worth the $30 price tag? No. I can get KBS or BCBS cheaper and those are much better quality.

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Photo of nickd717
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Re-review. I've had a handful of bottles. I can't stop drinking this beer to save my life. Unfortunately, as I mentioned in my Evan Williams review, the bottles vary due to FiftyFifty contracting out to a mobile bottling operation. They hope to have the problem fixed next year. Still, as someone who has the opportunity to sample multiple bottles and catalogue the variation, I'm uploading my experiences.

Some bottles seem barrel-heavy. The charred oak comes through strongest, with general burnt flavors leading the charge. When the beer warms, the bourbon kind of takes over, but not enough to eliminate the acrid, bitter barrel parts. I'd give these a B- or B.

Other bottles, on the other hand, are mind-blowing. I had two that I would rate A+. Based on those, I'd call the Four Roses the standout of this year's treatments.

Unfortunately, when the bottles cost $25 apiece, I can't simply rate off the best one. I'm averaging my experiences here. On the whole I'd say I'm disappointed by the 2010 Eclipses considering what they cost. I feel they were a huge dropoff from 2009.


Original comments:

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks, Ted.

Note: serve at 60+ F. The Eclipse series, more than other stouts, seems to suffer with chilling.

A: Pours, like the other Eclipses, a dark, clear brown that appears opaque in larger quantities. This seems a tad more carbonated than the others, or at least it exhibits better retention. The tan head retains for a good while as a small cap on the beer, with a few tendrils of lace as I sip.

S: This is more spicy and flowery than the other bourbon in the 2010 treatments (Evan Williams), reminding me of a dark honey. It has a nice vanilla scent to it. The base beer comes through as a chocolatey fudge blast: brownies, cookie dough, caramel. There's a small booze note.

T: The bourbon pickup varies from bottle to bottle. Here, it is not shy, but it integrates well with the base beer. Spicy, floral characteristics meld with caramel and vanilla. Milk chocolate and brownies are rich and tasty. Charred oak is light, seguing into flavors of anise, roast, and smoke. The finish is lightly spicy again, with some heat that delivers a small kick. Retronasal hints of hazelnut. Beautifully integrated and delicious. This is significantly different from (and better than) the other bottle I opened, which had a strong charred barrel flavor to it. Either way, Four Roses is more subtle than other brands of bourbon, and that's reflected here. This particular variety needs to be quite warm to express itself.

M: This is a little more viscous than the other Eclipses, but it's still not that hefty. And when cold, the bourbon (which is a fairly subtle brand) is muted, making for a really empty-feeling beer. It really needs to approach room temp before it hits its stride. Carbonation is very low, nearl still. There is a small warmth to it that imparts a light stinging sensation.

D: I've opened a bottle myself and partaken in a bottle shared by chswimmer (RIP). They were very different. Supposedly the beers were blended this year, but I can't account for the bottle variation here; the swing is pretty severe. That being said, the second bottle of Four Roses was the best of the 4 versions this year...

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.4/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of jegross2
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Eclipse Imperial Stout (Four Roses bourbon version) from FiftyFifty Brewing Company.
Score: 92

2011 vintage, bottle no. 2641. Served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 03/07/12. Review is from notes.

Appearance: Pours half a finger of creamy tan head that settles to a thin ring around the glass. Jet black with caramel strip of highlight atop the glass. Average lacing, above average retention. 4/5

Smell: Surprisingly straightforward for a barrel aged beer. Lots of dark chocolate. Then vanilla bean and a little toffee. Not much else. 4/5

Taste: Primarily a medley of various chocolate flavors. Some dark chocolate, creamy milk chocolate and some roasted chocolate. A little oak, followed by bourbon and caramel undertones. There is a modest amount of dark fruit, and a honey-like sweetness. Not very complex outside the chocolate flavors, but still very delicious. Alcohol is entirely hidden. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, minimal carbonation. Really creamy mouthfeel. The finish is dry and slightly sweet. 4.5/5

Overall: Really tasty, but not very complex. This is a super solid barrel aged imperial stout that drinks incredibly well.

Recommendation: Delicious? Yes. Worth the cost? No. At $30+ a bottle, this is one certainly overpriced for what it is. I would absolutely drink it again, but there are plenty of cheaper, easier to find barrel aged imperial stouts out there.

Pairings: Chocolate chip pancakes.

Cost: $30 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

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Photo of bashiba
3.15/5  rDev -25.5%
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.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
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 this....it's worth it.

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Photo of zeledonia
4.44/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of Roguer
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.71/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.