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

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

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

499 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 499
Reviews: 141
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 272
Gots: 292 | FT: 26
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.90% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: largadeer on 11-14-2010

Red wax identifies the Four Roses version.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 499 | Reviews: 141
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 MordorMongo
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review #6 cellar temp served in a tulip

A : Jet black, 1" mocha colored head that settles into a nice froth on top, lacing throughout, weaker retention than I expected

S : Booming oak and chocolate, bourbon less present than expected in the nose, some faint coffee

T : Comes off a bit dry, I get a lot more cocoa and coffee than I do the anticipated vanilla and toffee from the bourbon...it is not unpleasant at all just less barrel than I assumed.

M : Thinnish with strong carbonation, some bitter dark chocolate mid-palate and a dry, tight finish

O : Would have been interesting to have this blind as I don't think I would have guessed it for close to what it is. It is a very good imperial stout but the barrel notes were below expectation. Would be a great $15 beer, but at $30 is a bit meh. Glad to have had it though!

Photo of liamt07
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Marcus, 650ml into some snifters. 2011 vintage I believe.

Black in body with a few fingers of brown head. Good lacing, but only a ring of retention. Nose has chocolate, bourbon, brown sugar, a good bit of malt sweetness and some roasted marshmallow. Just enough of everything. Taste has the bourbon well integrated into some milk chocolate, light roast, a touch of oak, vanilla and brown sugar. A solid sweetness all around. Medium full feel, super smooth low carbonation. Sweet, bourbon-y and chocolate-y. Yum.

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 HuskyinPDX
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of sweemzander
3.83/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks for sharing Matt!
2011 Vintage. Bottle #723.

(A)- Pours a pitch black color. Some tan froth and lace.

(S)- Tons of oak in this. Bits of raisin and coffee, but otherwise, an overall dry, oaky, almost salty profile.

(T)- Still, the larger dry oak character from the smell is present, but does have some nice raisin, coffee, and cocoa to it.

(M)- A slightly higher carbonation level than normal, but really not that high considering. At the same time, it feels a tad thinner than the others, but still solid flavors.

(D)- Its a solid example for the style, but in my opinion one of the "lesser" examples in the Eclipse barrel variations.

Photo of jegross2
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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

2011 vintage split with mjyoung.

A: Pours near black with a finger of creamy, fluffy, light brown head that faded into a soft film and collar leaving streaks of lace down the glass.
S: I get big notes of vanilla, bourbon, chocolate and woody, spicy barrel. Very smooth smelling with no harshness.
T: Super smooth and integrated flavors of dark chocolate and mellow barrel spices and oak. I get a ton of vanilla and oak in the finish, with some powdery cocoa and roast in the aftertaste. The bourbon is mellow and smooth, and I get a hint of caramel, marshmallow, and toasted oats as well.
M: Velvety smooth mouth, super fluffy mousse-like carbonation with a thick full body that has a nice heft to it.
O: One of the better variations in my opinion and definitely an exceptional stout. Flavors are rich and creamy, and the mouthfeel with silky and smooth. Well done.

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 mjyoung
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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!

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 brotherloco
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of oline73
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours an almost opaque dark brown with a layer of off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Smooth roasted malt with some chocolate, peppery oak, and bourbon alcohol warmth in the finish.

Taste: Sweet, roasted malt with a nice undertone from the bourbon. The woody note is slightly peppery, just like the smell. Not quite full enough to be outstanding.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium, which seems a bit thin for this beer. Rather large bubbles with a dry finish.

Overall: This beer was a bit thin but it was still quite good. Not my favorite variation, but I would still have another.

Photo of WillCarrera
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber to fish bowl. 2010 vintage. Bottle number 457. Many thanks to Grant for the trade. Sampled 3/18/12.

A: Scant 1 finger of head on the pour (the deep and wide glass rarely produces much more than that). The wispy head is light brown in color and doesn't last long, leaving only a crescent shaped ring along the sides. The body is very dark brown, and dark amber edges can be seen when the glass gets tilted back. Dots of lace sprinkle the glass before being washed away by the next sip.

S: The bourbon barrel sets the nose off. More refined than overpowering and very well integrated. Less prevalent are the subtle notes of cookie, cocoa powder, honey and vanillins. I pick up on light scents of dry wood, which are probably the oaky tannins coming through.

T: I honestly think that the honey is the key to this beer - and the most distinguishing factor. Not only does the honey flavor work with the overall profile, but there is a decent amount of malt sweetness here - and the drying effect of the honey does well to balance it out. The bourbon character supports the base beer well.

M: The body is no slouch - but it could stand to be a fuller certainly. Carbonation is spot on and keeps the beer rolling slowly over the tongue. Light heat on the backend is a plus in my mind.

O: Great beer - and not a single complaint - but I will be looking for a little more out of the next few 50/50's that I open.

Photo of John_M
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a darkish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is likewise attractive, as I pick up considerable milk chocolate, whiskey, vanilla annd maltballs. The stouts smells as if it will be on the sweet side, which it is, but the whiskey flavor helps to tame some of that sweetness. Otherwise, the flavor profile generally replicates the nose, but is dominated by chocolate and some light coffee. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a long, smooth, slightly boozy finish. Otherwise, the alcohol is pretty well integrated into the flavor profile, and drinkability is pretty good in this one.

A nice enough beer, but nothing really extraordinary either. Had this along with the Elijah Craig 18 year old, and I'm just thankful we sampled this beer first (this beer would likely not have shown nearly as well if we had drunk it after the EC version).

Photo of brystmar
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed as part of last night's bottle share. Thanks to rlmartin, rmjavanut, hoppymcgee, and whartontallboy for contributing to this 11-bottle Eclipse tasting!

The Four Roses Eclipse was more bold and raw than the other varieties. Stout flavors were unleashed moreso than its peers, but the bourbon character and overall balance still left something to be desired.

Overall, the '11 EC18 was our group's consensus favorite. And honestly, I was unimpressed across the board with most of these beers. Bourbon County Stout is far superior to all of them except EC18. Very glad I got to try them all, but EC18 is the only one I'd seek out again.

Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed while observing Mars for the first time through my telescope. Viewing the red planet while drinking the red wax Eclipse.

A - Pours black with a one finger light brown head. Head retention is decent, and lacing is minimal...

S - Chocolate, molasses, vanilla, roast, and a good dose of Bourbon...

T - Molasses, toasted coconut, cocoa, and roast. Finishes with vanilla and smooth Bourbon kick. Very well ballanced...

M - Rich and creamy, but as with the other Eclipse variants a little thin. On the higher end of the medium bodied scale with a moderate amount of carbonation...

O - Not my favorite from the lineup, but damb solid. Would be interested to see how this one holds up with a little time...

Cheers...

Photo of inlimbo77
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of xnicknj
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

800TH REVIEW

22oz bottle poured into large snifter - 2011 vintage, bottle 894

Pours a viscous black with a one-finger tanned head resting on top. Fades into some spots of film, leaving a few patches of lacing behind.

Nice barrel character in the nose with some vanilla and oak tones. Honey with roasted malts and dark sweetness and a touch of chocolate. A few hints of candied fruit as well.

Slightly sweet up front with a nice flair of dark fruit. Some candied tones with raisin and dates. The barrel felt subdued at first, but opens up as the beer sits and warms. Pleasant oak with vanilla and bourbon tones on a layer of chocolate. A nice dollop of honey adds a slight syrupy note. Hints of smoky edges and leather lurk underneath. Slowly finishes with a nice splash of bourbon and warmth.

Fuller body, decent carbonation, slick and creamy on the tongue. Delicious, yet balanced barrel character on this one - I'm looking forward to trying more.

Photo of Jeffo
3.76/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

Photo of kbutler1
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Delerium snifter, sharred with fellow BA's.

Bottle #427
2011

A- One finger tan head that dissipates quickly to a thin layer around the glass, splotchy lacing, dark brown almost black color.
S- The aroma was unique, slight bourbon, slight oak, cocoa, not a lot coming out.
T- Really nice taste, better then aroma, really smooth, bourbon, chocolate, slight vanilla, slight roast, really balanced.
M- Love the mouth feel, silky smooth, decent carbonation, really tasty.
O- Really enjoyable, really smooth and tasty, nice dessert beer, glad to share it with fellow BA’s.

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottle 944 - thanks Schwaeh - 2010 bottle

A: poured a deep black with one finger head that descended into a thin frothy off white lacing, decent carbonation.

S: Bourbon, roasted malts, slight vanilla, chocolate.

T: Mellow bourbon notes with a slight vanilla , deep roasted malt , slight chocolate hints.

O: Much more mellow in the bourbon taste than the 2011 12 and 18, smooth and creamy , probably my favorite of the Eclipse's so far.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 499 ratings.