Imperial Eclipse Stout - Christian Brothers Brandy - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 77 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
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4.1/5 rDev +0.7%
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.
01-13-2011 19:17:13 | More by Beerandraiderfan
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
2.5/5 rDev -38.6%
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.
04-16-2011 18:15:12 | More by nkersten
4.2/5 rDev +3.2%
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.
02-20-2011 13:35:44 | More by SpeedwayJim
4.85/5 rDev +19.2%
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.
12-17-2010 18:54:04 | More by nickd717
2.28/5 rDev -44%
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.
04-25-2011 07:10:02 | More by hopsbreath
3.93/5 rDev -3.4%
#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.
11-29-2011 01:18:45 | More by claaark13
4.6/5 rDev +13%
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.
07-04-2011 04:25:58 | More by mikesgroove
4.5/5 rDev +10.6%
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.
12-17-2010 05:23:14 | More by largadeer
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
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
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Christian Brothers Brandy from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.