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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

83 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 83
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 14.5%
Wants: 140
Gots: 27 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brown/purple wax top.

(Beer added by: largadeer on 12-02-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 83 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hopsbreath
2.28/5  rDev -44%
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 nkersten
2.5/5  rDev -38.6%
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 Arbitrator
2.63/5  rDev -35.4%
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.

Photo of craytonic
2.63/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From the 2010 release party bottling. Shared with Habmike, Kkipple, SpencerDB, RobOrb and Advent. Many thanks to a kind mule.

Appearance: Looks basically like the rest of the 50/50 barrel aged lineup; small head, not much lacing, dark pour with some mahogany brown edges.

Smell: There is this boozy, brandy sweet fruitiness to it, followed by chocolate, brown sugar, toffee and caramel. I was not crazy about it.

Taste: Again the brandy sweet fruitiness and booze, perhaps some cough syrup cherry. Also a bit of coffee, fudge brownies and brown sugar behind it.

Mouthfeel: Undercarbonated, a bit thin

Drinkability: Most of use drain poured this one; as compared to the Pappy 50/50 (gave it a 4.6) this one just isn't worth drinking.

We did a big side-by-side and I would rate them in this order: Pappy 50/50; Evan Williams 50/50; Elijah Craig 50/50; 4 Roses 50/50; Heaven Hill 50/50 (noticeably worse than the rest); Brandy 50/50 (Brandy being a drain pour). It was fun to try them side-by-side, each is incredibly distinct and there are certainly some winners and some losers - with brandy being the big loser.

Photo of Jeffo
2.7/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The Dooper and I were very fortunate to be able to try the whole 2010 - 2008 series. This was the third one we opened. Thanks to everyone who made these good times possible. A shout goes out to jbeatty for sending us this one. Cheers man!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2010
Bottle: 388
Wax: Brown

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: Very mild on the nose. Weak even. Some brandy for sure and then some light notes of roasted malts and dark chocolate. Though not off-putting by any means, it’s simply too mild to be memorable.

TASTE: Milder flavors up front, but some brandy, roasted flavors and notes of dark chocolate come out at the finish. Smoky notes as well. A bold but dry aftertaste of brandy and some roasted chocolaty flavors is there and gone. Some heat at the swallow on this one as well. A little unimpressive, though decent enough. Probably the most mild of all the variants.

PALATE: Medium body and lower levels of carbonation, much like the HH ‘09. Heavy and thick enough on the palate, creamy enough as well, goes down smooth and finishes slightly sticky. Unfortunately it gets slightly watery as it sits in the glass, but it starts out quite good.

OVERALL: Just too mild and boring to be at all interesting. There’s nothing wrong with this beer per se, but there’s nothing impressive enough to make it worth drinking really. I would put this near the bottom of the series, and the only reason it isn’t dead last is because it wasn’t offensive like the JD version was. It looks like they retired this, for whatever reason, and that was probably a good choice. Skip this one and try one of the others. Some of the other variants have much more character and complexity than this.

Photo of JAXSON
2.78/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. Pours black with more of a head than the other Eclipse variations. Nose is malty, sweet, meaty, a bit smoky. In the mouth, it's pretty hot, sugary, under attenuated. Really this just struck me as being all malt and sweet brandy, no integration, no balance, no finesse. Oddly meaty and almost alsty at times, despite the huge sweet alcohol sugars. By far the worst Eclipse variation.

Photo of Gonzoillini
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of richbrew
3/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of cpetrone84
3/5  rDev -26.3%
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 jeonseh
3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
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 maximum12
3.4/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again to the folks at FiftyFifty for sharing their beer with the rest of the country: ordered this along with the rest of their varieties last winter. The rest have been so good I can't imagine this isn't going to be in the same pantheon.

Pour is more still than the other Eclipse: almost completely quiet, virtually no carbonation. Hard black. Smell is subtle. Brandy is there but muzzled, malt is strong/deep.

Brandy Eclipse is steeped in a big tea-bag of brandy: no doubting the family tree of this brew. Plenty of dollops of other flavors too. Silvers of oak, bits of dark fruit, maybe a little mild chocolate & char thrown in for good measure. That said, these flavors don't quite roll around & couple the way they do in the other Eclipse brews, or other top-flight barrel-aged brews. Everything is good on its own, but the overall impression is a bit less than the sum of its parts.

Good, but not great, which I can't say for any of the other Eclipse iterations. Whatever. Still one of the best barrel-aged series out there, & I'm happy to try this.

Photo of scottfrie
3.5/5  rDev -14%
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 juhl31
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

-pitch black in color. i held it up to the full sun and nothing through it. i like how the head looks after a bit, tall on the edges with a light brown film across the rest. not much fluff to it at all though

-when cold, it is hard to pull smell descriptors out of it. as it warms you can definitely smell the brandy on it. on the sweet end and has a bit of a nostril sting to it

-when colder it seems as it has much more roast flavor than others. and again the brandy rolls in hard as it warms. it gives it a weird, almost tart flavor. the brandy doesn't seem to blend with it as well as the bourbons. i also get a bit of a vanilla taste along with a bit of dark chocolate

-almost no carb feel involved and seems a bit thin compared to the others. your mouth also gets left with a bit of a dingy bitter feel to it

-this is definitely an interesting version. it is crazy how different the overall beer tastes with the brandy. it leads me to believe that brandy barrels lend itself better to barleywines. i am glad i tried a solid portion, but i am not necessarily impressed

Photo of HopHead84
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
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
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
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 IdrinkGas
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of claaark13
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
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 PerHops
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
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 stakem
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
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 Kegatron
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of jegross2
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of alalvarez75
4/5  rDev -1.7%

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Christian Brothers Brandy from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 83 ratings.