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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

548 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 548
Reviews: 177
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.08%
Wants: 248
Gots: 289 | FT: 27
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 548 | Reviews: 177
Reviews by SDDanC:
Photo of SDDanC
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to badboyrsl for sharing this. Poured into rodenbach tulip. Pours very thick, small cocoa tan head, disappears quickly leaving a ring. Completely black. Large alcohol bubbles. Nose is intense bourbon, dark fruits, lots of alcohol burn. Taste is sweet, the honey adds a great edge, bourbon comes out up front then ends with a hot roasty, dark fruityness. Mouthfeel is very smooth, not too much carbonation makes it almost velvety. The full bodiedness lingers in your mouth. This definitely earns a world class rating, it is complete and extremely well crafted. I am glad to have tried it

More User Reviews:
Photo of kingcrowing
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of ehammond1
3.93/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Photo of Soonami
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of OStrungT
5/5  rDev +15.5%
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

Photo of daveytheformer
4.72/5  rDev +9%
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.

Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of nkersten
3.42/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Bottle poured into tulip, black with brown edges tiny bubbly collar. Pretty run of the mill in terms of looks. Smells like bourbon water, malty biscuits, alcohol, buttery toffee, kind of nutty vanilla. Taste is hot and boozey at first, vanilla bourbon, oak, spicy barrel char, slight roast in the end. Medium bodied with a light carbonation, very hot and a bit watery for the style. A decent tasting beer despite the alcohol presence. The mouthfeel kills this beer for me.

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A study in corn whiskey for those fans. Not so carbonated. Boozy. Some lace drops. The barreling yielded tastes of coconut, caramel, chocolate. Drinkable, owing much to the sweetness, but to me just a regular imperial stout. Bottle from Premier split with Liam.

Photo of Roguer
4.02/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Huge, dark brown head, with absolutely fantastic retention. Brew is black as night. Slick, thick lacing as the head slowly dies down. Beautiful beer.

Whiskey, oak, and vanilla notes are very prominent, but they don't quite drown out the chocolate malt and roast barley, accentuated by a hint of cream. Similar aroma proportions to BCBS, but a different overall feel. Whiskey notes are sharp but not overpowering.

Thin, sweet whiskey up front; chocolate malt and roast barley next; strong finish of whiskey; vanilla, oak, and berries are present throughout. Very, very tasty, but not genre-defining like BCBS has become.

Slightly thin for the style. I would definitely prefer it a lot thicker. Very full-flavored; lively, with a nice alcohol and carbonation sting. A little heat, but not too bad.

The contrasts to BCBS are worth mentioning, because this is where the beer falls just shy of true greatness. It's a very, very tasty beer, very drinkable, and the Evan Williams barrels definitely gives it a distinct and unique flavor. Maybe that's enough to make this your personal favorite; it's a little pricey to try on a whim, though.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to nerd for this one. Bottle #857. Poured from a waxed and capped bomber into a Southampton oversize snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours pitch black with no head. Lacing is spotty with poor cling but nice legs. Slightly below average.

Nose is chocolate, molasses, brownie, caramel, cocoa, and a mellow covering of booze. Decent but as this one warms, the alcohol smells takes over a bit too much. Still. Great complexity and integration of flavors here.

Opens chocolate, molasses, and brownie. Caramel and honey peak through towards the middle. Brownie and more molasses. Sharp booziness at the end with notes of cocoa and roasted malt. Finish is sweet molasses with a sweet boozy aftertaste. Really tasty.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and oily in the mouth and goes down mellow with a slight touch of heat even at room temperature. Finish is accented with a nice, warm aftertaste. Solid. Body is really perfect.

Another winner from the Eclipse series. This one probably lies somewhere in the middle, behind the pappy and Elijah Craig versions but ahead of all the others. I'd love to try another one of these in a couple of months.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.12/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked one of these up because I always hear about them and I have never gotten my hands on one since I've been a BA.

Pours a deep black with a one finger tan head. Dissipated to a super thin film with OK lacing.

Aroma I think is the best part. Lots of dark fruits and toasted sugars and caramel. Smells awesome.

Taste is awesome but not the best stout I've had. Very roasted but with a nice caramel malt that has some good dark fruit flavor. A slight bit of bourbon and oak. As it warms up the roast gets a little more harsh and the booz becomes a little more apparent. To me it seems to be lacking something in flavor that other barrel aged stouts have.

Mouthfeel is heavy and I wouldn't want to drink a whole 22oz by myeself.

Overall a solid BA Stout but there are some better ones for sure. I would probably get it again but $22 for the one bottle when beers like Abyss and Parabola are considerably cheaper I think I will have to pass.

Photo of nickd717
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle came to me thanks to largadeer and westcoastbeerlvr, who transported it from the brewery to the possession of nickd717. So for this bottle I really have to thank nickd717. He is the man.

Pours pretty much jet black in color with a lasting one-finger tan head.

The aroma is amazing. Incredible whiskey aroma with -bals and chocolate and coffee on the background. Just heavenly shit.

The flavor is just a slight letdown i.e. phenomenal. Coffee, rich dark chocolate, roast, toffee, and an amazing -bal flavor of oak and vanilla.

Amazingly smooth on the mouthfeel with full body and soft carbonation. Just a tiny bit boozy.

Shit dogg, they did it again. Eclipse is ridiculous. Almost a perfect RIS, and probably will only get better with age.

Photo of GuruDel
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Bruery Tulip
Split a bottle with FosterJM

A: Jet black with a decent little head that fades quickly into an almost non-existant ring of small bubbles.

S: AMAZING. Vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, just everything I love in a beer. Sweet notes of ice cream and more vanilla mixed with bourbon. A great smelling beer for sure

T: Follows the nose well, a fantastic combination of vanilla, bourbon and sweet chocolate. The first taste was amazing, followed by each taste being better than the previous. As this warmed the alcohol finally made it's presence known at the end, not hot, but perfectly tied in.

M: This is my only ding, it was a touch thin for me but that is really being picky. There was a slight bit of carbonation which was welcomed.

Overall: I am so glad I got to try this beer, and even more glad that I have another bottle. I am going to see if there are anymore around as I can see myself really going back to this beer multiple times.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 bottle. I didn't write down the bottle number. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - No head and not quite black. Wisps of lace, but otherwise a rather lackluster-looking stout. Not impressive.

Smell - Oh man that is awesome barreling. Bourbon. Complex bourbon, if that makes sense. Vanilla and oak. My only issue is that I can barely smell the stout.

Taste - Really great barrel flavors again. Bourbon, oak, vanilla. Caramel and chocolate come through, but the stout still isn't shining. It's all about the barrel here.

Mouthfeel - Thin, but no booze. Low carbonation, as I would have expected given its appearance.

Overall - The barrel is perfect. The stout is mediocre. Tough to rate the beer, but it's still damn tasty.

Edit: Lowered the numbers on this after having it next to the other Eclipses. Definitely a cheaper booze.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black body with a dense cappuccino colored head. Good retention.

Aromas really pop. The bourbon brings heavy vanilla and oak. Fudge brownies, leathery earthy smells, espresso.

The fudge and coffee intertwine naturally with the vanilla. The oak lingers on the back of the tongue with a slight boozy heat

Heavy and smooth body with low carbonation. Very smooth.

I love these eclipse variants but wish the price tag was about $10 less. They're fantastic, but there's better for a more reasonable cost.

Photo of IKR
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 vintage

Appearance: Very dark brown bordering on black with a modest beige head that slowly faded.

Smell: Bourbon, coffee/roasted malt aromas, brown sugar and some vanilla notes.

Taste: Bourbon, roast malts, mild vanilla, caramel/brown sugar and oak notes. The finish is fairly dry with Bourbon, roast malts notes and mild hop notes.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation Fairly thin bodied for the style.

Overall: Good beer. A bit more Bourbon and hop forward than the 2011 Elijah Craig I recently had, but that could be due to the aging and the fact the 2011 I had was on tap.

Photo of thagr81us
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to largadeer for sharing a bottle of this on our visit to Beechwood BBQ after the Bruery Reserve Society Party. Served from bottle into a goblet. Poured pitch black with a minimal off-white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, chocolate, cream, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, chocolate, and alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this was an excellent brew. Had a very nice flavor and aroma going on here. Not a whole lot missing at all on this one. It is an absolute must try... Can't wait to try other things from this series.

Photo of hopsbreath
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It was only a few months ago that I even heard of FiftyFifty. The beer in question was the Eclipse series and only positive things were mentioned. When I heard that some of this years batches were available in Portland, I HAD to get some. No need to wait on this to age, let's try one fresh! Onto the review!

A: Poured into a pair of Portsmouth snifters and shared with my wife TulipSnifter. The body itself is as black as any adjective can describe with ruby-brown edges. About a finger or so of light tan head dissipates to merely a ring around the inside of the glass. There's definitely some legs to this very viscous looking beer. It looks good so far. 4/5

S: We've got the bourbon showcasing itself first and foremost. I'm noticing a whole lot of vanilla and spices although I don't really find that in straight Evan Williams. I used to drink a whole lot of EW back in college mixed with Guinness in Boiler Makers. Although at the time I didn't pay much attention to the smell, I imagine that this is the gourmet version! 4.5/5

T: This is one of the best examples of balance I've seen in a Bourbon barrel aged stout to date. Not only is the barrel on the front end of the taste buds, but a lot of bitter-sweet chocolate shoulders its way forward to be noticed. The finish isn't as sticky as a lot of big stouts I've enjoyed and has the essence of some french pressed french roast. 4/5

M: Nice and thick, lowly carbonated, and as clean as it can be. This is what you call perfect! 5/5

D: Its a great beer! I enjoyed my one snifter for about two hours and was hella satisfied with just the single glass. That said, I could go for another glass! Damn good stuff here. I'm glad I have some other bottles for aging and other variations to try out, because this looks to only get better with age. 4.5/5

Photo of claaark13
3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle poured into Founders snifter. Bottle #393.

A - Pours pretty black with a very thin tan head. The head dissipates quite quickly and leaves barely anything. Doesn't look fantastic, but looks nice. It sticks to the side of the glass a little to show the body. The fact that the lacing remains throughout the entire glass keeps the appearance of this one up.

S - Light fudge, light vanilla. The bourbon barrel is there, but it doesn't seem too overwhelming. There is a sweetness to be found as well. This seems a little too mild to me. It isn't that the aroma isn't good, it is that the aroma seems muted.

T - Slight fudge, vanilla, a little amount of hotness and then some nice charred oak. The oak has a slight vanilla tinge to it that blends well. After a few sips, it seems fairly balanced. The bourbon really dominates this one, so if that isn't your thing you should steer clear.

M - Medium but silky body with what seems like the right amount of carbonation. There is a little, but the silkiness breaks through the light carbonation nicely.

O - Pretty good beer. Nice BA stout. I'll drink it again in a year or so to see how things go.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Evan Williams, bottle 2088. Served at room temperature in my Russian River tulip, in memory and honor of my Grandpa Kacmar who passed away this morning. Always a fighter, he will be missed dearly by everyone. Rest in peace Grandpa.

Appearance - Pours an utter evil viscosity, midnight in color, a slight ring of white, slight tan bubbles that dissipate quickly leaving spotty, yet quite attractive lacing.

Smell - Honestly, it reminds me of a combination of the GI BCS series. Wonderful bourbon, oak, vanilla, smoky notes intermixed with burnt cocoa, molasses, and brown sugar.

Taste - Well damn. I made my grandfather take a sip of the BCBVS and BCBCS over Christmas, and really wish he could have tried this. The first thing I notice, before the tastes settle in, is just how incredibly SMOOTH this is (I will delve into this a bit later in the appropriate category). The flavor is damn similar to the nose...but holy cow the flavors just meld so utterly perfect. The smoke is somewhat dominate in the fact it is there through the entire sip. The bourbon and sweet molasses and brown sugar are second in command, followed by absolutely smooth vanilla and oaky notes. Wow.

Mouthfeel - SO creamy, smooth, lower carbonation. This feels damn good.

Drinkability - Obviously, this is a slow sipper, but I get no alcohol flavor nor warmth. This is a world class beer, and being the "2010" version versus some of the 2009 versions I have, I can't even imagine how great those will taste. What a perfect beer to have tonight in memory. Cheers to all!

Photo of CooperEllis
4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 2461 from 2010. Duck Rabbit snifter.

My god, this is straight 100% alcohol in the nose. Like, way way too much booze. Still, it's delightful booze so no harm done.

That said, the flavor here is spot on, started it from the cellar temp (a touch north of 60 at the moment). There is something missing from the mouthfeel, a cleanness or a crispness or full creamy body. One of these has to be there to round this out.

Malt, chocolate-cherry, molasses cookies, woood.

This is my fourth different 50/50 this month ('11 Rittenhouse, '11 EC 18/20 and '09 EC) and this holds it's own with all of them. The '09 EC is still my favorite, and the mouthfeel on the '11 EC was pitch perfect, but this is great. It won't look so good because of the smell score, but damn this is delicious.

Have to say, once the alcohol aftertaste is gone, there is a seemingly infinite amount of joy in the aftertaste. Lingers perfectly on the palate and really increases the drinkability of this one.

(175th)

Photo of Devi0us
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aggressively poured into my trusted
tulip...

A- Pours a deep rich black with dark brown edges when held up to light. Had a 2 finger mocha head that slowly morphed into a ring. Left stick lacing on the glass.

S- Bourbon and Vanilla dominate the senses. Slight alcohol smell due to the barrel aging.

T- Bourbon, caramel and vanilla sack your palate like it was a QB with no left tackle. Slight alcohol heat but not at all unpleasant. In fact, it was welcomed. Says it was brewed with honey but I don't notice it.

M- Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.

O- This is the first brew I've had the pleasure of tasting from FiftyFifty Brewing. I'm definitely going to try more offerings from this brewery after tasting this BadBoy...

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 548 ratings.