Imperial Eclipse Stout - Christian Brothers Brandy - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Christian Brothers BrandyImperial Eclipse Stout - Christian Brothers Brandy

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

86 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 86
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 14.43%
Wants: 137
Gots: 25 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: largadeer on 12-02-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brown/purple wax top.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 86 | Reviews: 44
Reviews by PaulStoneAnchor:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Broke out the bottle for the xmas tree lighting.
Pours blacker than I recalled. Amazing brandy aroma melded with the charred oak and singed malt.

Taste, exquisite, mellow enjoyable brandy heat, chewy chocolate, burnt flavor to it. A sipper, lighter than gargantuan malt overflowing in the mash type of stouts, this one is big, yet delicate. Smoky.

Can't wait to see how these develop through the years.

--Update: After 2 more bottles of this, there's a little bit of inconsistency, all have been good, but there's too much variation compared to the draft version upon its release.

Photo of jeonseh
3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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

Photo of nkersten
2.49/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Sampled at Flossmoor Hi Fi Rye release. Not sure who dropped this one on our table, but thank you! Served in a pint glass. Pours black with tiny brown edges, tan bubbly collar that fades quickly. Smells strong of rubbing alcohol, some dark malts, tiny bit of brandy, not very sweet at all. No oak presence in the smell. Taste is a bit better, but the brandy alcohol is overwhelming. Slight malty sweetness with a rubbing alcohol finish. Heavy body and light carbonation, a bit syrupy. This is the biggest fail for me so far in the eclipse line. There was no balance to this and it was a alcohol mess.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mikey711 for this one. Had at a tasting 2/19/11. 4oz. pour from a 22oz. bomber into a brandy snifter. Reviewed from notes.

A: .25 finger light coffee head dissipates quickly into a thin ring around the glass that lingers for just a second before disappearing completely. Beer is an opaque, oily black. Lacing is spotty with little cling but nice legs. Pretty typical looking though head retention is a bit poor and legs and color are slightly above average.

S: Nose is sweet soy sauce, chocolate fudge, molasses and some raisins and prunes. Branday barrels are very subtle and provide a nice smoothing quality over the other aromas. Not the most aromatic but very appetizing.

T: Opens sweet chocolate and vanilla. Sweet soy sauce, raisin, and molasses towards the middle. Brandy barrels come in right about the halfway point along with creamy hop oils that melds with the roasted malt to provide a subtle bittersweet experience. End is creamy chocolate, fudge, and slight hop bitterness with a sticky, sweet aftertaste. ALmost like what I'd imaging a Brandy-barrel Darkness to taste like but much more subtle.

M: Medium to full bodied with very low carbonation. Slick and oily in the mouth and super smooth, yet slightly viscous going down. Substantial. Very little heat overall. Finish is messy with an aftertaste that lingers just a bit. Exactly what I'd want from an imperial stout.

D: Probably one of the better Brandy-barrel aged beers that I've come across. Mouthfeel is unbelievable here and its what really sets it apart from other beers in its class. Definitely worth seeking out and another winner from the 50/50 Imperial Stout series.

Photo of nickd717
4.82/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bomber thanks to Craig.

Pours pretty much black with a one-finger tan head and good lacing.

The aroma is awesome as usual for Eclipse. Huge roast and coffee, dark chocolate, oak, and brandy.

Amazing flavor. So incredibly balanced, with roasted malts, oak, vanilla, dark chocolate, and brandy. Just incredbible, as it is for the other beers in the series.

Fairly full bodied and extremely slick with soft carbonation and amazing smoothness.

Once again, Eclipse owns. This is right up there with Pappy '08 and Heaven Hill '09 as the best in the series. Phenomenal.

Photo of hopsbreath
2.25/5  rDev -45%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Recognition has to go out to Arbitrator for sending this up to ramnuts house for a tasting I was lucky enough to attend. Thanks to ramnuts for hosting and to Arbi for directing yet another rare beer up this way. Tick, tick, tick, here we go.

A: Medium reddish brown with good clarity, pale brown short lived fizzy head that recedes to a wisp ring, no legs, no lacing. 2/5

S: Yep, there’s brandy. Some smoky meat doesn’t really work here. Neither does the plum like fruits. 2/5

T: Overly sweet and seemingly under-attenuated. Weak chocolate never really develops into anything pleasant. Other notes include burnt raisin and charred barrel. Bleh. 2.5/5

M: Low carbonation in big stouts usually works for me but in this particular case the base is just too damn thin. Sticky finish does nothing to help. 2.5/5

O: Not enjoyable. I had this along-side the Four Roses barrel treatment and the 4R clearly was better. Definitely the worst of the Eclipse series that I’ve had this year. I’ve yet to have the Heaven Hill though so that’s still in contention. I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that brandy doesn't typically agree with my palate when it comes to barrel aging. 2/5.

Photo of claaark13
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

#463, poured into a Founders snifter.

A - Pours black with no head whatsoever. Nothing. I let it sit for a few moments and then give it a sift. The slightest amount of tan begins to surface, then sits for just a little bit. Certainly looks better once agitated, so I'll bump this up to a 3.5.

S - Dark fruits, little chocolate, slight sweetness from the brandy. Not any heat, which is a plus.

T - Brandy is there from start to finish. Dark fruits are emphasized as well, slight dryness in the end evident of the barrel. Nothing boozy about it and the brandy helps give a slight sweetness with the honey. Little bit of chocolate. Little bit of oxidation in the flavor upfront. Nothing too dominating, just a nicely balanced and smooth flavor.

M - Medium going on light. Really not much body here. Just barely enough to carry the flavor through, but that actually may be in part due to the very low carbonation.

O - This beer is just a little too light for my liking. It is all personal preference, but this is just on the lower end...especially for the asking price. Flavor is very nice though, I enjoy how the brandy helps accentuate the base beer as opposed to the other variants.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

very deep dark chocolate brown, Some very light, and I mean very light side glass lace formed as I made my way down the glass, but it was unremarkable in that context. The look was a far cry from the thick tan heads and tremendous lacing of some of its peers, but that will by no means influence the final judging of this one.

The first thing I noticed was a tremendous amount of bourbon in the smell. It was coming across very hot at first, but this was just the barrel aging, which to be honest, if it was this prevalent in the aroma, the flavor was setting up to be out of this world. A deep resonant smell of roasted coffee then followed, mixed in with what almost seemed to be to be like some kind rich burnt tobacco smell, quite unique and I cannot say that I have encountered anything like this one in recent memory. Letting it warm lets some of the bourbon smells work themselves out and starts to reveal some of the deeper ingredients lying well under the surface. There was some bit of sweetness in there, albeit small; however, it was there and gave off a caramelized sugar note of some sort, bitter dark chocolate mingling in now and really staring to battle it out with the bourbon. Notes of oak now hitting the stage, really giving it that earthy tone I was looking for, and being sweetened up just a little bit b a hint of vanilla floating around in there. Rich dark chocolate notes were swirling around in here, mingling with everything that came there way, including a touch of sweet lactose,nsmoked tobacco that I picked up in the smell, not really sure what that is, but it adds great depth to it and really providing and interesting little hint. Rolling though there is now some oak starting to pull it together, really showing off the barrel character of it now. Some hints of vanilla starting to poke around, and then come some black licorice, hell yeah now we are talking. Letting it warm up now to around or close to room temperature, things are really starting to change a bit here. Gone is the strong bourbon barrel hotness, the alcohol all but faded away, and instead those subtle notes of sweetness are replacing it, really mellowing it out, letting the oak like earthy notes dominate and bring together the chocolate and the vanilla.

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Craig.

Dark opaque brown, low-to-moderate carbonation creates a thin tan head that recedes to a lasting collar.

The nose is an awesome mix of brandy barrel fruitiness, dark chocolate and oak. There's a little caramel sweetness above mellow and integrated alcohol.

It's incredibly mellow on the palate. Hardly a trace of alcohol, with flavors of brandy and toasted oak followed by caramel and dark chocolate, licorice and charred malt. The body is medium-full, and carbonation is light. Great beer, but be warned that there's a lot of bottle variation with this one.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mlaroche for this trade awhile back.
Bottle 54
2010 Vintage

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.

Photo of lurpy1
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened at the post-Christmas tasting in Chicago. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

Pours nearly-black with a thin whisp of a tan head. A few bubbles on top. The nose is really quite nice with a strong brandy presence and character, though not a terrible amount of booze. There is quite a bit of strong chocolate and mild oak there as well. Really nice aroma and I can't wait to see how this improves. The taste is excellent as well with quite a bit of chocolate and brandy character throughout. Slight oak presence in a bit of booze. Slightly boozy feel that is quite thick. Overall, this is a very memorable barrel-aged stout that I look forward to trying again in the future and seeing how it develops, especially after tasting with the Pappy version has turned into.

Photo of AgentZero
4.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black beer with no head on it. That's really about it. It's black.

S - Not as heavy or full as some of the bourbon aged versions seem. The brandy is nice though, and nice for a change up. There's also some chocolate, as well as a slightly bigger focus on the dark fruits that the bourbon covers up.

T - Nice fruit character with chocolate and coffee. The brandy is prevelent but only slightly booze, and tastes pretty good. Little bit of wood comes through at the end.

M - Creamy, smooth, pretty full bodied, just a little bit thinner than the bourbon counterparts.

O - Great beer, and it's rare! Thanks to Thorpe429 for haring this one. A great change from the bourbon versions, and a good beer.

Photo of waltonc
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Thanks to both ipa247 and Joeyschlitz for helping me land this. Pours dark brown with no head. Smells amazing. Schlitz and I each smelled it, looked at each other, and nodded, as if to say, "that's tha chronic!". Strong brandy on the nose with rich chocolate and dark fruit. One of the best smelling beers I have had. Taste follows - lots of brandy, plum, cherry, and barrel. Body is medium with virtually no carbonation. By contrast, the bottle of Four Roses I had last night was very well-carbonated. Overall, quite good, but I am not sure this merits the hype. Seems driven more by the scarcity than by being the best version of eclipse. I much preferred PVW, EC and HH versions to this.

Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Ted.

A: The pour is almost black with essentially no head on it. Still works for me.

S: Quite a different aroma from the whiskey aged versions. Lots of brandy, that's for certain, with some oak, roasted malts, and dark chocolate. I get a bit of smoke here, strangely enough.

T: As the flavor opens up, I begin to like it more and more. The brandy provides the sort of trademark booze character these beers are known for. There's a nice fruit character that provides additional sweetness and complexity. I get a lot of chocolate and probably more roast and coffee than the other versions.

M: The body is medium to full with a low to medium level of carbonation.

D: You can definitely separate this from the other versions (based on the taste). I wasn't initially crazy about it, but as I let my glass sit and enjoyed the rest of it, I really liked it.

Photo of PerHops
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours like you'd expect. Syrupy, black as midnight, with a very light tan head that sticks to the top of the glass. This one smells good, but I don't pick up a lot of brandy barrel. On the nose I get chocolate, cherries and bananas. The one is heavy duty! Pretty smooth considering the ABV and brandy barrel aging. The alcohol is evident, but not dominant. Dark fruit flavors pair well with the chocolate and light espresso finish. Gets even darker as it warms up. Leather, earthiness, raisons, brandy more evident. This is a heavy duty stout. Share this one and you should enjoy it.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #515 from the 2010 release, shared with my dad last night.

Glugging a dark brown from the bottle, there's a thin, wispy, light brown head that briefly rises before falling off to a disk, leaving a nice sheet of lacing on the glass. The nose is rather excellent. The brandy character is great here. Rich with a blend of grape, red wine, port, a little smoke, a mild tannin, a little cocoa, a little leather, the barrel expression is excellent here! It does seem to have almost covered some of the sweeter elements of the base beer as well, there isn't as much caramel as in the other variants. A mild heat is present, but it's perfect on this pleasant spring evening.

The palate is rather excellent. It really needs to warm up to about 60, 'cos any lower and it feels thin and watery. The brandy expression on the palate is excellent. Rich, mildly smoky, mildly port-like, moderately tannic and of course, plenty of brandy and pomace. Behind it all, the caramel sweetness from the base stout is noticeable, pairing rather wonderfully with the smoky and leathery character that is rather unique to this variant of Eclipse. Mildly tannic with flavors of pomace and brandy on the finish, this beer is full in body with moderate carbonation and an absolutely wonderful finish. Excellent stuff, highly recommended. Of the two variants from the 2010 release that I've tried yet, this is my favorite.

**Edit 7th Feb 2012**

Happy birthday, Sandhosh! I'm revisiting this beer after a few months, and it looks like I have "good" bottles. Quite wonderfully balanced, with the brandy really making this stand apart from the other Eclipses. It still is my favorite among the 2010 releases.

Photo of Rothobinide
4.94/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Tried this in a vertical (and horizontal?) tasting of 27 different Fifty Fifty Eclipse variants / vintages from 2008 through 2014. Had the 2010 and the 2011 Brandy Barrel versions, both excellent.

Poured opaque with a light lacing that dissipated rather quickly.

The brandy didn't fully materialize in the flavor profile - but the beer was oh so smooth in the mouthfeel. A cooling alcohol burn was consistent throughout though not overpowering at all. Plenty of chocolate, a smidgen of raisin and plum - a bit of sweet stone fruit. The finish was smooth and warming. Remnants of a slightly sweet vanilla bean flavor lie on the palate. Overall an exceptional entry in a fathomless library of barrel-aged variations.

Photo of scottfrie
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of stakem
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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.

Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brandy eclipse

2/21/2011

Thanks! Apposed next to Pappy Eclipse.

A: Black with a small light brown head. Small alcohol collar.

S: Light Brandy notes with some fig and date. Nice chocolate profile. Barrel tannins and a pretty strong char are evident. Lots of charred wood phenolics. Some brown sugar and vanilla. The aroma opened up and improved after about thirty minutes. Initially, it was a lot of harsher barrel notes but the chocolate eventually became more pronounced.

T: Lightly sweet with some dark chocolate and fig. Big barrel char. Spirit character is pretty faint. Somewhat astringent. Light booze. Finish is a little harsh with more char.

M: Lower full body with low carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky with warming and some astringency.

Overall: It wasn't fair to put this next to Pappy Eclipse, but this is probably my least favorite of the Eclipses.

Photo of JoeySchlitz
3.77/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to waltonc for sharing this sought after gem with me.

Appearance isn't this beers strong suit, as it pours almost flat with some small sudsy bubbles at the perimeter of the glass. Midnight black in color and when held up against a light source, some light brown hues appear at the edges.

At first smell, I'm reminded of brandy angel's share. There's dark, alcohol soaked fruit (cherries) with a strong barrel aroma. Brown sugar mixed with some morning coffee and as it warms, more of the brandy barrel comes out. It smells divine and very different than the other 2010 versions.

Upon tasting, bitter bakers chocolate with cocoa, coffee with some slight dark fruit at the front. Followed by charred malt with slight brandy undertones. This is much easier to drink than other versions - it seems the brandy barrels have taken the imperial stout down a notch or two.

The beer has a medium viscosity with zero carbonation. Although the style doesn't necessitate carbonation, if there was just a faint amount, it would have been much improved (appearance, smell and taste).

Overall, this is a very good barrel-aged stout, but I think the Evan Williams version is better and is the sleeper of the bunch. I wonder how this will age compared to the others as well - it seems a bit lighter-bodied? I guess only a future tasting will tell.

Photo of cpetrone84
3/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had many of the eclipse series together. This is the 2010 Vintage. Pours thick black with brown edges and a small bit of thin tan head. The nose has hints of smoke, a little meaty, notes of vegetables with light roasted malts and some fig and plum fruits in behind. The flavor is roasted malts, slightly vegital, sweet in back with lots of sugar. Medium body, a little thin in back, smooth feel and low carb. Off malts, overly sweet, smallest amount of barrel presence, weakest of all.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.04/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.67/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Review averaged between two bottles. One opened by myself and another shared by the late chswimmer (RIP Ted).

A: Unlike the other Eclipses, this pours a dark brown that is essentially opaque, borderline black. There is almost no carbonation. This is just a hair above flat.

S: I think the Eclipses have some good noses in general. This is not an exception, though it doesn't meet the pungency and brilliance of some of its bourbon brothers. Good pairing of brandy, caramel, and milk chocolate. Mild cigar note. In two of the bottles I've tried, the nose was good; in the third, it was just ok. I've averaged them.

T: Mild brandy, caramel, milk chocolate. Toffee and vanilla are also noted. Oak is pronounced and produces a mild astringency in the finish, which resurrects the brandy and caramel. I like the flavor, and I love Eclipse, but I have to admit I felt like a couple of the other iterations were better as I was drinking this. Brandy flavors just don't seem to complement the stout base as well as the bourbon and rye treatments do. It doesn't have a lot of "there" there.

M: Smooth body. It lacks viscosity. Carbonation is nearly nonexistent, which is a drawback, though not a total deal-breaker. The flavor lingers slightly into the aftertaste. One bottle was extremely smooth, but another had a pronounced heat to it.

D: I think it's fine, but I'm really not that impressed by it, especially considering how much better its brothers are. Maybe bottle variation is a culprit, but after having it three times now, I am not so sure. I'd recommend the three other 2010 version ahead of this one.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Christian Brothers Brandy from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 86 ratings.