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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

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

79 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 79
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 14.74%
Wants: 141
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:
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: 79 | Reviews: 43 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AgentZero
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

AgentZero, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  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.

mikesgroove, Jul 04, 2011
Photo of jethrodium
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle. Maroon wax. Pours a very dark brown that's ruby colored at the edges when held up to the light. A light tan head dissipates relatively quickly and leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass. Aroma in brandy, toasted marshmallow, some honey, a bit of roastiness, some cocoa, grape, plum, as well as some light alcohol. The taste is relatively sweet with brandy, plum, toasted marshmallow, and cocoa. The finish has some roastiness as well as a light bitterness. The alcohol present in the nose was not present in the taste. Relatively light bodied for an imperial stout. Low carbonation. Just a great beer. I enjoyed this one the best out of all the 2010 eclipses.

jethrodium, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of seeswo
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

seeswo, Jun 11, 2011
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

juhl31, Jun 09, 2011
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.

maximum12, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of Urbancaver
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
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

Urbancaver, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of DefenCorps
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

DefenCorps, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of woosterbill
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
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!

woosterbill, May 16, 2011
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.

JAXSON, May 10, 2011
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.

hopsbreath, Apr 25, 2011
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.

nkersten, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of gford217
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

gford217, Mar 25, 2011
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.

HopHead84, Feb 23, 2011
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

SpeedwayJim, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.1/5  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.

Beerandraiderfan, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

womencantsail, Jan 13, 2011
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.

craytonic, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Thorpe429, Jan 05, 2011
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.

JoeySchlitz, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of waltonc
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

waltonc, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

jrallen34, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of Sean9689
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Sean9689, Dec 29, 2010
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.

Arbitrator, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of nickd717
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

nickd717, Dec 17, 2010
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Christian Brothers Brandy from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.