1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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
90
outstanding

85 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 85
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 14.46%
Wants: 139
Gots: 26 | FT: 3
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 85 | Reviews: 44 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of stevefinny
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of dan027
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of corby112
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of doughanson78
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of Rothobinide
4.94/5  rDev +21.1%
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 johndoe8
4.87/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap @ the Eclipse Release Party.

This was my favorite of the eclipse of the night. By far it was the least "hot" of the Eclipse, and the brandy added such a wonderful flavor to the beer.

The aroma was outstanding. Honey, brandy, light chocolate, some cognac nose on it. It tasted less dry than the other variations of Eclipse, which I thought was a big plus... this also increased the drinkability, as the heat didn't come through at all.

If you've had Eclipse before, you'd know that the mouthfeel for them is generally perfect for the style.. not too much viscosity.. just right.

I'm sorry for the lack of more details, but I will amend this review after I find the occasion to crack open a bottle.

Photo of nickd717
4.82/5  rDev +18.1%
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 Jmoore50
4.78/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this first on the Sunday before the release party while we were bottling everything. I liked it then a lot, but felt it was suffering from a bit of under carbonation. At the party everything on this beer was almost perfect, probably my second or third favorite version of the Eclipse. Absolutely stunning how this one came out.

The appearance is perfect for an Imperial Stout. It was poured into a small 8 oz snifter. It had a great dark tan head that was poured about one fingers height. The head actually stuck around for a while and eventually ended up as a thin layering over the top of the liquid. It is thick, and left beautiful brown legs all over the sides of my glass. The viscosity was perfect, head density and retention were great, overall an exceptional looking beer.

If I were to characterize this beer into one word it would be 'smooth'. It has a very pronounced brandy character that has accompanied smells to round it out nicely. It is a very sweet smelling beer with milk chocolate, hints of vanilla, black licorice, and a very earthy malt backbone.

It is perfect on the tongue with different flavors playing very well with the noticeable booze aspect. Sweet chocolate and a smooth brandy mouthfeel come together with vanilla, and a bit of earthy malt to produce one of the smoothest and most delicious beers I have had. There is minimal heat on this from the barrel, but its carbonation and viscosity make it easy to drink.

This is one of the beers that I kept going back to, the one that I could not get enough of. With some of these high gravity barrel aged beers you can see where age would do favors to different parts of the beer. This has almost reached perfection and I can see it only getting better with age. Truly amazing what is going on at this brewery.

J

Photo of JWD
4.71/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a fellow BA i got a few of these from the recent release last week. I am a big Eclipse fan so i had to try one of the brandy ones now.

A-This was probably the worst part of this beer. Color was a deep black with some ruby tones to the edge of the glass. The carbonation is very light and even with a hard pour i struggled to get a head to develop. I would have liked a little more activity here. This was not unexpected as i have had several versions and they all seem very unique in body and feel.

S-WONDERFUL sweet brandy with chocolate and toffee, i swirled this for 15 minutes just so i could smell it over and over.

T-GREAT here as well. 50/50 does not disappoint with the wonderful complexities that they deliver in their barrel beers. The brandy treatment really comes through front and center along with a mild touch of heat which was suprising for a beer this fresh i expected it to be hotter. I can only imagine where this will be in year or two.

M-OK, I wish the body was a bit bigger. I feel that these tend to be a little light on the body, however it does not take away from the experience to much.

D-Here is another area where these beers shine and this FRESH brandy stays true to being extremely smooth and easy to drink. As with all big stouts this will continue to improve over time. I have said this before that these beers seem like the ABV is higher than what the bottle states at 9.5, you can't taste it but it will catch up to you if your not careful. Way to easy to drink..

Overall I was very impressed at another solid stout to come out of 50/50. This was a wonderful beer to try and to get ahold of with a very low bottle count of ~450 total and with no plans on a brandy version in 2011 these will be very rare and a prize for any cellar.

Bring on the PORT verion in 11!!!

Photo of mikesgroove
4.62/5  rDev +13.2%
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 DefenCorps
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
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 ferrari29
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of woosterbill
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Batch 3 Rosso release as part of an Eclipse tasting; huge thanks to Thorpe429, ChrisPro, callmemickey, rlmartin, corey70, and starrdogg for making this possible!

A: Black with clear red highlights. The lightest of the Eclipses in its body, but with a similarly creamy cap of light brown head. Nice.

S: Heaven. Rich, sweet, fruity, and roasty. Brandy, vanilla, milk chocolate, coffee, and bitterness. Intense and balanced at the same time. Very, very different from the whiskey versions, and it's a welcome change of pace.

T: Sweet malt, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit. The spirit isn't too prominent, but definitely noticeable. Plenty of booze and brandy on the finish. Delicious.

M: Smooth, full, rich, and soft - the only Eclipse to nail the mouthfeel.

O: This was the final installment in our epic Eclipse tasting, and what a way to cap things off. The shift from whiskey to brandy couldn't have been starker, or any better accomplished - the softer spirit notes and bigger fruit presence really added some cool complexity to the clearly amazing base beer. I'm not sure if all of my ratings align perfectly with my retrospective feelings, but for anyone who cares here's my rundown of the tasting, from best to worst:

Pappy
Elijah Craig
Brandy
09 Heaven Hill
4 Roses
Evan Williams
10 Heaven Hill

The top three were all just spectacular, the next three all similarly terrific, and the last one just a bit disappointing compared to the others - but I'm sure age will make it just as good as the previous year's version. All in all I'm a huge, huge fan of all of these beers, and eagerly look forward to the next set. Oh, and if anyone reads this and has Jack Daniel's version they want to trade me, I'd be more than happy to complete my set of reviews. Thanks again to the great BAs who included me in this epic, epic tasting.

Cheers!

Photo of twowheelssoar
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
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 ChrisPro
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of LancashireSam
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of Urbancaver
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks seeswo. Amazingly tasty brew.

Pours a dark dark brown. Vry nice light tan head. Looks pretty.
Smells sweet with a touch of light fruitiness. The malt profile is solid. Tastes sweet and malty. The brandy is subtle and very solid. I get just a touch of plum and or raisin. Solid mouthfeel and overall a great brew

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of mnbearsfan
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
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 gford217
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, #267, poured into a tulip.

Pour is typical for the Eclipses as it's not quite black. Te head is smaller than the others I've had and is really just a very thin film tha recedes immediately to a collar.

Aroma is fantastic with an initial sweetness from the brandy which balances the dark roasted malts, chocolate and vanilla from the underlying beer. Good bit of sugar coated raisins and overripe dark fruits.

The taste is more of the same as the initial tastes are of sweet dark fruits, brandy and vanilla. The backbone has some smooth dark chocolate and lightly roasted malts. Finish is a bit spicy with the oaky tannins and very subtle alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth though the carbonation is lower than I was expecting and lower than the other Eclipses.

Another home run for the boys from Fifty Fifty as the key word continues to be balance. The barrel character is well integrated and makes for an absurdly drinkable BA stout.

Photo of AgentZero
4.39/5  rDev +7.6%
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 NCBeerFan
4.39/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this for the first time at a January tasting as part of the entire '10 lineup, and it was the favorite for most of the attendees. Decided to open it again 8 months later and see if it still as tasty.

Poured a dark brown with some ruby highlights along the edges into a DFH snifter…can't recall the carbonation from the initial pour, but this one is flatter than expected, with virtually no head whatsoever…it does, however, leave a tiny bit of lacing around the glass.

Smells of brandy, vanilla, dark fruits, milk chocolate…just a great aroma, and makes you just want to enjoy the smell and not even take a sip, but….

The taste follows the nose, with the chocolate, brandy and vanilla coming through, although my wife picks up some toffee-like flavors. This is just a really tasty brew…these guys know how to brew a BA stout.

As is the case with all of the BA Eclipses, this is one velvety smooth brew…the flatness took away a bit of the enjoyment, but it's still a top-notch BA stout, and one that I would gladly drink again.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Christian Brothers Brandy from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.