Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 491 | Reviews: 174 | Display Reviews Only:
4.48/5 rDev +3.5%
Many thanks to Dyan for obtaining this beer for me.
The beer pours a blackish brown color with pretty good head retention and considerable lacing. Right off the bat, I have to say this beer has the look of a beer that has seen some pretty serious barrel aging. The nos is quite impressive and is about what I expected from this beer, as I get considerable bourbon, coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate and some light licorice. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this moderately sweet stout, with the chocolate, vanilla and bourbon taking center stage. The beer is a bit boozy and sweet, but I expected that, and is not really something I mind too much in an RIS. Also, the touch of licorice in the finish helps to tame the sweetness somewhat, and enhances this beer's drinkability. Mouthfeel is soft, smooth and fairly full, in what comes across as a low carbonation beer. The beer is not at all heavy or tiring on the palate, despite the noticeable bourbon and alcohol. The finish is long and very, very smooth in this beer, and this is undeniably a very tasty beer.
Hard to imagine drinking a whole lot of this, but nevertheless, this is pretty impressive.
03-12-2012 14:09:59 | More by John_M
4.45/5 rDev +2.8%
Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. BR-1 Vintage 2012.
A classic dark walnut brown, just wants to hint at black but doesn't quite get there, with nice chestnut red/brown edges. Head makes barely a finger, but what little there is does stay, in a somewhat dark mocha color. Manages an attractive wispy top and several pencil thin rings of a collar while drinking.
Nose is quite delicious with a bourbon whiskey caramel angle that fits nicely. Charing roast malt, with soot angle. Caramel becomes quite dominant with a sense of bourbon aging not from the malt bill. A little bit of "spice" kick also, not sure what that angle is on first impression, but it's nice. Hints also at a good salt angle, which matches real nicely with the caramel. Great bouquet.
Palate is a classic example of what a malty dark roasted stout should be. Char and a good warmth both hinting at malts and barrel charred. Then caramel bourbon warmth comes out, with a salty peanut like action. Body has a good light depth, mostly it seems from the honey, but this is not very silky. Not overly sweet, in fact quite downplayed on the sweetness which I enjoy. As your palate rests, some hop bitterness even comes out which feels real good, giving the beer an interesting warmth. Not boozy, but the brew has a nice kick with all this flavor and this faint hop sting at the finish.,
Overall I am not sure what to say, these Eclipse barrel brews so far from Fifty Fifty are very impressive.
01-18-2013 23:58:14 | More by smakawhat
4.38/5 rDev +1.2%
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.
12-24-2010 23:09:36 | More by Beerandraiderfan
4.5/5 rDev +3.9%
"300 day" Evan Williams Eclipse, draft-only, aged for an additional couple of months in barrels beyond the bottled version. Poured from the growler into a snifter.
A: Near black and nebulous with a creamy light brown head. When held to light and carefully examined, the beer is a very dark shade of brown rather than pure black. Scattered lacing is left behind.
S: A great mixture of caramel and dark chocolate, with notes of brown sugar cookie dough and a strong yet well integrated bourbon profile. Vanilla billows from the glass when I venture near it. Oak provides complexity. This is much different from the bottled Evan Williams I had, granted that wasn't the 300 Day version. It's much smoother and mellower, with more positive barrel notes. Malt is faintly roasted. No coffee is evident. The amount of caramel is worth nothing again because it is quite powerful and complements the dark chocolate wonderfully. No booze is evident in the nose.
T: The flavor is just as good as the aroma. Smooth and mellow, with light oak and tannins. Though I detected no coffee in the aroma, the taste does display a little. The caramel, chocolate, and bourbon interplay is excellent. Brown sugar and vanilla maintain a firm presence throughout. Alcohol is tame in the flavor. I get a little black licorice. The finish is smooth and mellow with a slight increase in sweetness and roasted malt, and noticeable oak.
M: Full body with low carbonation. The mouthfeel is silky and smooth and there's a good deal of warming in the finish.
Overall: The best experience I've had with the 2010 batches of Eclipse. This is really good stuff.
02-24-2011 04:00:58 | More by HopHead84
4.24/5 rDev -2.1%
2012 vintage shared with some friends.
Pours a solid black with a decent sized tan head that slowly dissipates. The aroma is roasty, chocolate, caramel and coffee wrapped in a subtle but evident barrel treatment of vanilla, and sweet bourbon whiskey. The flavor starts off sweet and malty with lots of roast, brown sugar, and chocolate. The barrel notes rush in with vanilla, whiskey, light wood to remind us that this is no ordinary stout. Lingering roast lasts long after every sip. Thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy creamy mouthfeel. This version was probably the smoothest that we sampled tonight.
03-09-2013 01:09:58 | More by johnnnniee
4.28/5 rDev -1.2%
Split a bottle on 6.18.13
A - Pours a dark, deep brown with a few tan bubbles that quickly move to the edges.
S - Bourbon, chocolate, oaky, and some more bourbon.
T - Chocolate, bourbon, oak, a hint of vanilla. Really balanced and easy to drink.
D - Mild carbonation with a heavy body. Boozy.
O - A great bourbon for a great stout. Nicely balanced with just enough Bourbon to make you pay attention.
06-19-2013 06:14:57 | More by HuskyinPDX
4.13/5 rDev -4.6%
Shared by Sammy - Bottle from Premier Gourmet, 650ml into a tulip. Tasted alongside 4 other variants.
Black with a tan head. Nose has some fruitier bourbon notes, chocolate, oak, light vanilla and some brown sugar. Bourbon at the front on the palate, alcohol, and dark chocolate/roast well into the finish.
03-14-2013 22:41:23 | More by liamt07
4.43/5 rDev +2.3%
This was one of my contributions to the drinks during a poker game, part of the endless struggle to get others drunk while gambling their money away. It didn't work for me this time...
It pours a dark brown, mostly opaque although you can see through it a little on the edges (just a little). Thin tan foam that lasted for the 15 minutes or so that it took me to drink my 1/3 of the bottle, no real lacing.
Nice bourbon aromas, very strong as was the case with the Four Roses version I tried a few days ago, both being less refined in aroma than the PVW I tried 1 week ago (which was a lot older). Probably with time this will become more integrated. Behind the bourbon I picked up the scents I'm starting to really appreciate in these Eclipse stouts, more sweet than roasty, cocoa and vanilla, heavy sugar like honey or molasses.
Same in the flavor, this is somewhat hot but in a way that showcases the best bourbon flavors, the sweet stout letting the bourbon shine. Cocoa and vanilla, a hint of roast, and strong blasts of bourbony deliciousness. Excellent.
Medium-heavy, this is definitely not thick but seems just adequate enough to match the flavors. None of the Eclipses I've tried have been really heavy, which probably helps increase drinkability.
Another great Eclipse beer, I'm now pretty much converted to them. So glad to try them.
01-02-2011 15:46:43 | More by TurdFurgison
4.41/5 rDev +1.8%
650ml black waxed bomber 2013 bottle, bottle run #2, poured into tulip 21/12/13
A black liquid with a deep cola edge, two fingers of mocha foam slowly falls leaving three rings followed continuous lace deep down the glass after it fell to a thin film, sexy looking stuff
S wood, bruised plum, sweet bourbon, caramel, almost a cream brulee thing going on, some booze on a deep whiff but I'm not buying the nearly 12% I see on the bottle, I might be crazy but I get a little cinnamon, lots of chocolate fudge and a little licorice
T not quite everything the nose had going for it but still solid stuff, a little espresso and the woods a little burnt, caramel and cream brulee's not quite there, not as fruity but fudge and licorice still play a part, booze is still very well hidden
M doesn't feel too heavy at first but it ends up quite creamy and feels full, shes well carbonated for a big monster much to my surprise, slick on the palate and lots of dark roast on the finish, the booze is so mellow I don't feel it in my throat but it hits my head a little
O this ones working well for me, great nose, feels wonderful, tastes solid and the booze is nearly invisible
I'm hoping the rest of my 50-50 mixed case is this good, I'm not sure if I believe this is clocking in just shy of 12%, if it is perhaps I could jack up the score even further. If this is a true and fresh 12%er I can't wait to see what age dose to my second bottle
12-22-2013 03:51:26 | More by wordemupg
4.18/5 rDev -3.5%
22oz bottle poured into tasters - 2012 vintage - thanks gillian
Pours an inky black with little head, lacing or retention. Small lining of tanned film rings around the glass.
Rich chocolate soaked bourbon nose with oaked, boozy warmth. Residual vanilla sweetness with caramel and roasted dark malts. Cocoa, chocolate cake and alcohol.
Warm, sweet and boozy right up front. Chocolately tones with cocoa and caramel, vanilla and oaky char. Thick, burly malt backbone; roasted, dark and soaked in bourbon. Nice combination of sweet, boozy and roasty. Finishes with boozy chocolate.
Fuller body, milder carbonation, creamy and slick on the tongue. I've enjoyed all of the Eclipses so far, although I'm definitely realizing the price tag probably isn't worth it. Also, extensive aging (I still have a number of 2010 bottles) may or may not be necessary, depending on what you're searching for from these.
01-04-2013 14:38:21 | More by xnicknj
3.9/5 rDev -9.9%
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.
07-05-2012 16:50:38 | More by Alieniloquium
District of Columbia
4/5 rDev -7.6%
From 22oz bottle to tasting glass at my 30th Beerthday Bash on 9/23/11
A: Dark and rich brownish black. A good pour yields a one finger head and minor lacing, with little retention.
S: Some coconut, chocolate and malt, kinda like a fresh Mounds bar.
T: A bit of astringency, yet it's not overly tannic. This far in, I would have thought I'd find more balance, yet what I get is a lot of bourbon hitting hard on the fore to mid. The finish washes some of this away, allowing a bit of cocoa and char to pick up the pieces.
M: Not overly viscous. It's most certainly rich, yet there's an oiliness to it that, with a bit more body, would end up coming across like satin sheets.
O: FiftyFifty's Evan Williams Eclipse was the second best of the three we had (Four Roses being #1 and Rittenhouse Rye being #3). This is a really damn fine beer, yet it's lacking something, that extra "wow" factor to push it over the top.
All in all though, don't hesitate to check this out. Damn fine drinking, here.
10-13-2011 22:31:00 | More by Rhettroactive
4.35/5 rDev +0.5%
300 day version thanks to Alex, consumed simultaneously with 200 day bottle version, drank from a Cigar City snifter... Looks basically like the regular version, black body with a medium tan head, nice ring with some lacing... The lovely nose on the 200 is totally destroyed by the 50% time increase in the barrel. Tons of oak, too much bourbon, but do get some nice smoke notes. You can tell instantly which beer is which, maybe in time this would be ok, maybe... In a reversal, I like the taste of the 300 better than the 200. Its better balanced with the bourbon showing off perfectly, then some great oak, chocolate and vanilla.
This is another solid beer, I like them almost equally just in different ways. I would LOVE to blend the 200 and 300, might create an almost perfect ba stout. Keep up the excellent work, Todd.
02-28-2011 01:26:37 | More by jrallen34
4.44/5 rDev +2.5%
2012 Vintage - Black Wax. Poured in to snifter.
A - Poured black with a thin layer of medium brown head.
S - Sweet bourbon and vanilla up front that give way to oak, chocolate fudge and molasses aromas. Fairly sweet overall nose with a good balance of barrel notes and the base beer.
T - Bourbon, vanilla and oak flavours up front from the barrel with a nice sweetness. Mid-palate adds dark caramel, chocolate fudge and a hint of molasses. The finish has roast and more barrel.
M - Medium to full body. Sludgy and silky at the same time. Light carbonation.
01-26-2013 16:57:21 | More by TheSevenDuffs
4.43/5 rDev +2.3%
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.
01-11-2011 16:00:30 | More by thagr81us
4.28/5 rDev -1.2%
Bottle thanks to Alex. Drank the 200 and 300 day versions side-by-side, rating the 200 day with some notes on the 300 day as well.
A - Black bodied beer that browns on the edges with a small brown head. Head didn't stick around for very long and left a little bit of lace on the sides.
S - Chocolate, bourbon, roasted malts, sweet molasses, on the nose. Pretty nicely balanced with roasted qualities and a bit of wood.
T - Taste is quite nice. Very smooth beer highlighted with roasted characteristics and baking cocoa as the primary sweetness. Molasses taste is present, but a secondary sweetness. The 300 day is a lot harsher oak and wood flavor, not as sweet, and I don't like it nearly as well.
M - Smooth, low carbonation, fairly full bodied.
D - A wonderful drinking stout that is quite good. I preferred the 200 day version strongly to the 300, but it wasn't a consensus among the tasters.
03-02-2011 16:57:54 | More by AgentZero
4.25/5 rDev -1.8%
Thanks, Chris. Bottle #202X (can't quite read it), 2010 release.
Pouring black with dark brown highlights, there's a dense, light brown head that falls off to a thin disk leaving patchy lace. The nose is pretty excellent, even for Eclipse. A wonderful creamy, caramel base from the stout paired with an excellent barrel character, there's coconut, vanilla, bourbon with some milk chocolate, a little roast, a nice boozy heat and some molasses. At this point, it's wonderfully balanced. And as Arbitrator notes in his review, there is a citrusy character present, it makes me think of Grand Marnier.
This tastes like an alcoholic chocolate milk. Bourbon - vanilla, a little coconut,moderately toasted oak -, chocolate, moderate molasses. A little bit of dark fruit is present, especially on the mid-palate, with plums, a little raisins (and some of that citrus from the nose). The roast character is moderate, lending a mild bitterness on the finish. A blend of vanilla and a little alcohol is present on the finish (think vanilla creme brulee), along with a little oak. Medium in body with soft, creamy carbonation, this feels pretty excellent on the body. An excellent beer, highly recommended.
01-19-2012 02:56:06 | More by DefenCorps
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 491 ratings.