Imperial Eclipse Stout - Christian Brothers Brandy - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
4.31/5 rDev +5.9%
Thanks to mlaroche for this trade awhile back.
Pours a wicked dark brown/black color, hardly any head and no lacing either, carbonation looks to be pretty minimal so it's a bit worrisome it may be flat.
Smell has a rich roasted malt aroma backed with touches of dark fruit, cocoa and a subtle oak brandy, a mellow but well blended aromatic.
Taste is not a "slap your mouth it burns" stout which is refreshing since sometimes it can be heavy handed when it comes to barrel beers, the roasted malt contributes a strong char character with the barrel-aging not overwhelming the base beer, the subtle dark fruit and chocolate have a good layering of flavors with the oak and brandy showing up last, carbonation is quite low but not flat, could definitely have used a few more bubbles to make this beer more full bodied and creamy than syrupy and sticky.
Mouthfeel flaws aside, this is an excellent example of how to age a beer in barrels, the brandy does not overwhelm the beer itself or make it burn on every sip, instead it adds just enough flavor and complexity to complement.
12-21-2013 01:27:58 | More by deltatauhobbit
3.95/5 rDev -2.9%
Bomber into a matching Eclipse snifter. The brew appears a dark brown to black cole with a thin tan penline of head that that doesnt really maintain that well. A swirl revives the cap that is quick to fade leaving some spots of lacing effect on the glass.
The aroma contains plenty of earth and roast. A little spicy character almost like cinnamon mixes with some raw oak qualities moreso than the expected fruity or vinous brandy notes. Also, some sulfur comes out with swirls. It isnt until the brew really warms up that it gets quite fruity in alcohol with almost a raisony character typical of the other eclipse variations.
The taste is raw, bitter and earthen with a surprising amount of citrus to almost grassy hop elements. Some fruity alcohol tang like brandy is present but with a lingering bitter chocolate to woody aftertaste. The barrel presence has a hint of spice almost like cedar (just like the nose suggests) but remains more neutral and raw oak in flavor than anything elsez
This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is strangely complex and very much different than the other eclipse variations. The brandy in this one almost had it leaning towards a barrel aged black ipa of sorts which was unique. Admittedly, this was one of the barrel treatments ive been holding on to the longest and it was in the top 3 I was most excited to try since I really like brandy barrel aged beers. Unfortunately, while enjoyable it falls mid-range in the series overall as far as my enjoyment level.
10-22-2013 14:41:11 | More by stakem
3.28/5 rDev -19.4%
Bottle served in a snifter. Beginning of drinking most of the 2011 and 2012s over multiple tastings
A - Dark chocolate with a small milk chocolate head 3.25
S - Dark chocolate, light green apple, slight caramel, vanilla, and light bourbon but not much. 3.25
T - Bitter chocolate, light caramel, slight apple and almost lemon. There is a slight boozy bourbon that comes near the finish. The apple and lemon just don't seem to fit too well with the rest of the flavors boozy bourbon near the finish 3.25
M - Medium body with slight creaminess with light stickiness
O - Decent enough stout but not too good overall. The bitterness and apple / lemon flavors throw this off. Also, there is only a slight brandy presence as it appears the barrel didn't add too much
03-19-2013 02:27:10 | More by jeonseh
4.13/5 rDev +1.5%
From 11/17/12 notes.
a - Pours a pitch black color with one inch of dark tan head and low to moderate carbonation evident. Looks like the other versions, which is great, maybe with a itny bit less head.
s - Smells of roasted malts, sweet bourbon, sweet dark fruits, burnt malts, chocolate, coffee, and light cream. Nice and sweet.
t - Tastes of sweet chocolate, dark fruits, bourbon, oak, toasted malts, burnt malts, roasted malts, coffee, and vanilla.
m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. No heat, pretty easy to drink.
o - Overall another very good version of Eclipse. One of the sweeter ones, and not as good as the sweet Buffalo Trace, but still great. Would like to have it again.
11-19-2012 15:46:28 | More by mdfb79
4.05/5 rDev -0.5%
Bottle shared by Thorpe in our partial Eclipse tasting, thanks. Served in an Eclipse glass just because.
Beer is black and has a lazy head of dark brown bubbles, minimal lacing, minimal retention, minimal carbonation, it looks fine.
Aroma is sweeter than other variants, a little boozy, a little roast a little oak.
After having Totality I can say that barrel aging these beers mellow out the relatively harsh roast in this beer. I enjoyed it but it wasn't my favorite of the night, decent though, quite good. I'd have it again.
11-18-2012 23:44:44 | More by drabmuh
4.03/5 rDev -1%
Thanks to Miguel for sharing this one at NoSignsOfPain's birthday bottleshare hosted by mrbubbler.
2010 vintage. Bottle # 90.
Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, brandy, and wood. Taste is much the same with a medium level of roasty bitterness after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that I like slightly better than the 2011 brandy barrel blend.
07-02-2012 02:42:38 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.25/5 rDev +4.4%
Wow. Being a non-trader, non-whale chaser, I had always assumed the Eclipse line would fall into the category of beers I wanted to try but never would. Much thanks to maximum12 who brought a bottle along for a cabin weekend. Never mind that this version was described as one of the little sisters of the Eclipse family.
The pour is dark, still, calm? Head? No sir, that wouldn't be mellow. This beer is all about mellow.
The smell brings brandy, chocolate, and a little coffee, and a whole lot of Hakuna Matata. This is one mellow beer
Taste is predominantly, with a little roastiness too. Pleasantly understated, or perhaps, understatedly pleasant.
Loved the mouthfeel. Thick, calm, soothing. Brandy-like. This is a beer you drink before bedtime.
The biggest problem with this beer is the company it keeps. It's not an assertive beer that makes you say "whoa", so perhaps if you start with FiftyFifty's rough stuff, this one is a mild letdown. To an Eclipse outsider, though, it's pretty effin' good.
06-04-2012 22:19:41 | More by lurpy1
3.5/5 rDev -14%
2010. Thanks for sharing Abel.
A: Pours black with a very thin film for a head. Not much lace.
S: Big notes of brandy with a little bit of char and peat.
T: Sweet notes of brandy, caramel, vanilla and some sweeter dark fruits. Brandy is almost syrupy, and the peat and char comes through in the finish. Greasy caramel, milk chocolate, and a bit of toffee shine in the aftertaste. Peat is a bit astringent.
M: Greasy and slick mouth, medium body, low carbonation. Needs a few more bubbles and it could be thicker.
O: Not the best of the Eclipses. I’d drink this again, but I prefer the others over this.
05-19-2012 01:02:42 | More by scottfrie
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Christian Brothers Brandy from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.