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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
88
very good

44 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 44
Hads: 86
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 135
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 44 | Hads: 86
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (604 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
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. (765 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
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. (576 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.62/5  rDev +16.4%
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. (2,263 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
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. (884 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (695 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (531 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (1,531 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (868 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
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. (584 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Another bottle provided by Thorpe, dude you gotta stop, you're killing us! Poured into my Narke tulip...Dark black pour with very little carbonation, not much to look at...The aroma is on the lighter side to my dismay, but its got lots of nice notes of light sweet brandy, with chocolate and dark fruits. Really love the brandy, just want more of it...The taste is nice but sadly it loses a lot of the sweet brandy that I like. Decadent chocolate dominates this with some light brandy and the barrel wood comes through...The feel is nice and creamy, really easy to drink.

This is pretty outstanding, if the brandy came through a little more on the taste this would be world class. Worth trying for sure. (704 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
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. (1,686 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3/5  rDev -24.4%
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. (485 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
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. (704 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
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. (1,068 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
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. (969 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
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! (1,870 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
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. (608 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to Thorpe429, thanks Mike! Poured from 22oz purple/brown wax-dipped bomber into 3F tasting glass.

A - Pours black, no head, some bubbles here and there. Nothing else much going on, but I don't care too much about the looks, so I'm ready to move on.

S - Nice rich chocolate, some dark fruits, nice brandy booze, some oak. This smells wonderful! The brandy barrels did this beer wonders!

T - Much like the nose, this doesn't disappoint. Wonderful rich dark chocolate, roasted malts, oak, and brandy. The brandy is perfectly blended with the base beer and really compliments it. Just outstanding!

M - Full, rich and thick, creamy finish.

D - Another awesome Eclipse variant from FiftyFifty. Todd sure knows how to create some wonderful stouts. Not as good as the PVW variant, but it's still outstanding. (820 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
2.7/5  rDev -32%
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. (2,092 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4.82/5  rDev +21.4%
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. (567 characters)

Photo of seeswo
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark with a small, quiet tan head. Smells very similar to other eclipse beers, malty with honey sweetness, a bit of dark fruit and a touch of chocolate combined with a subtle rich brandy. Smells really good. The taste is more subtle brandy than expected, but well melded with the nice honey touch on the malty, dark fruit imperial stout. Always drinkable, the beer is just a touch thinner than I am looking for, but goes down nice at <10%. It's not my favorite of the eclipse BA beers, but it is quite nice.

There must be some bottle variation, because no one would drain pour the beer I had. If anything, it might have been a bit too subtle. (658 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
2.67/5  rDev -32.7%
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. (1,613 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
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. (1,665 characters)

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
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. (1,102 characters)

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Christian Brothers Brandy from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.