Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams BourbonImperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon

Educational use only; do not reuse.

176 Reviews
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Reviews: 176
Hads: 558
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.26%
Wants: 249
Gots: 290 | FT: 26
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.90% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: largadeer on 12-02-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 176 | Hads: 558
Reviews by CrellMoset:
Photo of CrellMoset
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. black wax topped bottle from Southbay Drugs. Poured in to a 22 oz. snifter. A friend is transcribing my dictation of this review as I lay in bed, too lazy to type.

Appearance: A black waxed bottle for a black, waxy beer. This one pours a dark brownie-hued body, capped by half a finger of slightly less brownie-hued head. Retention is lacking, but not atrocious, fading into a thin crisp lace and some breaths of dusting on the surface. Minimal carbonation is visible around the outside of the snifter.

Aroma: Fudge and barrel notes dominate the nose, mingling with lighter and darker malts. Cocoa is strong, sweet but authentic, and does a lot to cover up much of the harsh spirit qualities. Cherries, dark fruits, and coconut mingle with green oak on top of the fudge foundation, with toast and relatively authentic coffee beneath. Vanilla is also present, mingling with spiciness and a kiss of char beneath a surprisingly faint (at least, relatively) dash of bourbon.

Taste: Less sweet than one would expect from the nose, though cocoa is still the dominant note here it is more of a bittersweet presence the bitterness of which is augmented by astringencies in the malt base. They're not harsh, but definitely present though they play well off of the bourbon. Dark fruits contribute a measure of sweetness as well, though on the whole the beer is fairly balanced with the malts providing a neutral palette. Barrel characteristics are less noticeable here than in the nose, though some vanilla does emerge as it warms as does some leathery coconut. Similar to the nose, the bourbon is very mature- definitely spicy, only faintly warming, and even a touch sweet. Showcases most of the elements of an excellent bourbon barrel imperial stout.

Mouthfeel: First, the bad: it is thin, with minimal carbonation. Either of those things on their own would have been a huge problem, but together, they are only a problem worthy of a one point reduction, as the beer is neither cloying nor erratic. Second, the good: the amount of attenuation results in a pretty good thickness that works well with the flavor profile itself neither too sweet nor too dry.

Drinkability: Not the most drinkable imperial stout I have ever had, nor the most drinkable bourbon barrel aged imperial stout I have ever had. There are some definite astringencies present, the retention and lacing leave plenty to be desired, the mouth is a little thin, and the astringency is distracting. The ABV is not outrageous but should be respected-I know that I definitely shouldn't have started it at 11:30 at night. All in all, an enjoyable beer that I imagine fifty/fifty will only perfect over the coming years, though at the present I think it is possibly slightly overrated. (2,755 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of DanGeo
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of Afroman
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of aquazr1
4.56/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Juan611
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of kingcrowing
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a flute, huge thanks to Nate for sharing this! My first FiftyFifty beers, so I'm really excited to see how this is!

Pours a dark, dark oily black with almost no head, very thick looking, nose is bourbon up and down, but it isn't hot on the nose as I usually expect from bourbon BA beers.

Taste is very rich and thick, the bourbon is balanced well with the dark sweet maltiness, it has a really nice finish that kinda coats your mouth with rich chocolate notes. (486 characters)

Photo of JeffNev
3/5  rDev -29.7%

Photo of dogfishandi
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Black wax, 2012, bottle number: BR 1. At fridge temp poured into a snifter.

Pours out completely opaque black. Off the pour a wonderful looking khaki colored head that cascades to about 2 fingers. Keeps a thick retentive layer and shows lots of thick lacing the whole way down. Shows a lot better head and lacing than your usual barrel aged stout.

Sweet caramel, oaky vanilla, some bourbon booze,not quite as much as expected, dark dried fruits, hints of wood and roast.

Sweeter than most of this style which makes it extra enjoyable for me. Sweet caramel/ toffee, a nice black licorice, raisin, dark fruit combination, dark chocolate,maybe even some nuances of honey and wood. finishes with some really nice sweet caramel and bourbon.

Solid mouthfeel.

This was my first of the eclipse series and for me it was very enjoyable, lives up to the hype. I look forward to trying the rest. (888 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via online purchase

Black body throughout with a very small ring of brown bubbles atop. Not a lot of visible carbonation, but there's nothing wrong with that for a beer of this style. Leaves the glass dotted and spotted with irregular, small bubbles of stick down the glass. Pretty and appropriate.

The nose does bring layers of chocolate, a mild roast character, and just the faintest hint of a bourbon.

The flavor is really quite nice though. Layers of chocolate, roast, integrated bourbon, and a touch of alcohol warmth combine quite nicely. This isn't the most complex, or most interesting example of a barrel-aged imperial stout, and probably not worth the sticker price all things considered, but this is still a very tasty beer, no matter how you slice it.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Coating and sticky. Quite nice. Lingering chocolate finish is a great attribute of this beer.

A nice beer from FiftyFifty, but not one of my favorite of the variants. (1,002 characters)

Photo of sourdog
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of Soonami
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SidVicious619 for sending me this.

This beer is a beautiful black with virtually no head. It smells a little oxidized but has huge bourbon nose. The sweet, sweet stout has lots of vanilla and oaky bourbon. It's both smokey and creamy at the same time. This is a great beer, that is almost as good as the Four Roses, which I really enjoyed, I can only imagine how good Pappy and Elijah Craig are. (406 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Comes out black, shockingly! And the smell is, hold your breath: bourbonesque.

Licorice, bourbon, roasted nuts of the darker variety, coffee malt, slow burn to all of these variations in what is done with the coffee and chocolate malts. Was really smooth, brewer even mentioned heat, but I didn't pick up on it, thought it was plenty, to quote the Bullet Boys "Smooth Up In Ya. A little more chocolate going on than some of the other variations.

I'll be very interested to see how the bottles I have of this age over time. They're great right now. Don't hesitate if EW isn't your favorite drink, it really does well with the base beer. (638 characters)

Photo of williamjbauer
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of jtladner
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of OStrungT
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours an obsidian black color with a brown, thin but fluffy head. The head fades slowly, leaving very little lace.

This beer smells less aggressive than I was expecting. I detect, of course, bourbon. But I also detect raisins, vanilla, and chocolate.

This beer tastes like it smells. A lot more mild than I would expect. Raisins, chocolate, bourbon, dates, and vanilla all mix in wonderfully. It has a sweet malty backbone to it as well. This beer tastes amazing!

This beer is very thich and full bodied. The alcohol is present in the finish. It warms slightly on the way down. It leaves an oaky bourbon aftertaste.

This beer would not make a good session beer. It is a sipper for sure.

Overall: I think this is the best bourbon aged beer I have ever had. It is just amazing. I like how it isnt overly aggressive.

Bottle # 2131 of the 2010 vintage (863 characters)

Photo of daveytheformer
4.72/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 batch / bottle #115
Poured from a 22 into a snifter.

Appears black with some brownish purple that shines through held up to the light. A nice thin head that fades off pretty quickly.

Smells boozy with some chocolate and vanilla in there as well. As it warms smells even more just like bourbon.

Tastes like roasted malts and sweet chocolate. The bourbon really shines through as well with a light oak presence.

Mouthfeel is smooth creamy sweet with some alcohol heat.

Overall very drinkable. A pretty full bodied beer with a strong bourbon taste that blend perfectly with the beer. I would drink as much of this as I could get my hands on or afford. (659 characters)

Photo of jmadrigal2
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Iparedman
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, black wax ensconced bottle, batch #2 for 2013. Deadly looking, and a rather dear shelf tag, for a single beer, this one has.

This beer pours a solid black, with the barest of basal dark cola, erm, 'highlights', and two fingers of dense, weakly puffy, and mostly challenging in its bubbly essence, light brown mocha head, which leaves some random cobwebbed lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of semi-sweet caramel/toffee malt, mildly acrid wood grain, prune, raisin and dried cherry fruit, vanilla pudding, a hint of cocoa, middle-shelf Bourbon whiskey, one with a surprisingly subtle booze astringency. The taste is big on the chocolate liqueur up front, the woody Bourbon alcohol essence closely following, with some baking vanilla, black licorice, well-sugared coffee grounds, cream, weak earthy hops, and further booze notes fleshing things out.

The bubbles are rather light, and mostly just happy to provide a simple frothiness, the body a solid full weight, for any sort of style, and generally smooth, nothing other than the burgeoning alcohol capable of fucking this one up at the current juncture. It finishes still quite sweet, the caramel, toffee, woody booze, coffee and cocoa, and weak as shit earthy and leafy hops not really providing any real sort of balance here.

Another agreeable enough boozy, American whiskey-enhanced version of the base RIS, one which, once again, it would seem, doesn't really need the extra oomph provided here, whatever the added barrel notes may otherwise indicate. Pleasantly rendered, though, an attribute that carries on beyond the end of this affair, which make me wonder whether I might have chosen this one first for the evening, inadvisable drain pours and all that. (1,752 characters)

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of Tuckersmth
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Dawkins
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of twizzard
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.