Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 495 | Reviews: 174 | Display Reviews Only:
3.85/5 rDev -11.1%
Here we go. First beer of our epic tasting. Oregon edition.
Stouts are stouts this is a pretty beautiful looking bevrage but it is really the similiar image of every other stout. But the smell...heavy bourban very sweet.
The taste desnt reveal much more then the smell HOLY BOURBON. I must say there isn't much more body to this brew then the bourban and some maltiness.
The mouthfeel is still surprisingly good for being so hot.
The drinkability though depends on the bourbon tlerance of the drinker.
02-28-2011 07:50:38 | More by kruthar
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
4.47/5 rDev +3.2%
200-day version thanks to largadeer. Sampled side-by-side with the 300-day edition. Served in a Dark Lord Day taster.
A - A hard pour rouses a half-finger of tan foam that settles to a thin ring, wispy film, and a few spots of lace. Slightly more carbonation than the 300-day version. They're both pretty similar, with a black body that displays a hint of brown at the fringes.
S - A delightful blend of bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate truffles and cake, molasses, and roastiness. There's better balance and integration in the 200-day version, and the initial alcohol heat I noticed a few months ago has largely dissipated.
T - The taste delta between 200 and 300 day versions is much smaller than the chasm between the aromas. A rich mix of chocolate, fudge, vanilla, and caramel that is balanced by a bit of roasty bitterness, oak, and a touch of smoke.
M - Both versions have very low carbonation and are silky-smooth, with a dry tannic finish and a bit of warmth.
D - I kept coming back to both versions throughout the evening, and we had no problems finishing the aggregate 40oz or so. I prefer the standard bottled release, although it was a real treat to do an a/b and see what three additional months in the barrel did for this beer. An excellent barrel-aged imperial stout.
02-27-2011 21:17:43 | More by MasterSki
4.38/5 rDev +1.2%
Thanks to injuredreserve for sharing!
Black, maybe some brown tinges. Light brown billowy head and nice lacing.
Lots of sweet oaky notes, light bit of booze, whiskey, chocolate, lots of roasted malts and some leather.
Sweet chocolate, oak, wood, mild whiskey booze notes, smooth roasted malts.
Thick, full, and chewy. Nuff said.
Good drink ability. All the hype around these Eclipse's seems to hold up!
02-27-2011 00:16:00 | More by EgadBananas
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
4.1/5 rDev -5.3%
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.
02-22-2011 06:36:47 | More by PeprSprYoFace
4.63/5 rDev +6.9%
From 02/20/11 notes. Shared by Desaparecido; thanks Ed! 2010 vintage, bottle 1434. Tried side by side with the 2010 vintage of Four Roses.
a - Pours a jet black color with one inch of thick tan head and light carbonation evident. Looks exactly the same as the Four Roses version, and looks amazing.
s - Smells of bourbon, oak, alcohol, roasted malts, chocolate, light coffee, and light caramel malts. I thought the EW version had a lot more alcohol in the smell than the 4 Roses version; I preferred 4 Roses here.
t - Taste is amazing. Tastes of sweet dark fruits, bourbon, oak, roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, and light caramel. I found the taste a lot better than the 4 Roses version.
m - Medium to full body and low carbonation, thick and smooth. Very nice and not too hot.
d - Overall I thought this was an amazing stout. It looked and had the same mouthfeel as the Four Roses version, and while I enjoyed the smell of the Four Roses better, I thought the taste of this one got the edge. Either way, both are great stouts that I would love to try again.
02-21-2011 17:08:46 | More by mdfb79
3.98/5 rDev -8.1%
From bomber with wax-dipped cap to oversized wine glass
Note: Picked this up from Best Damn Beer Shop downtown SD, had no idea there were different barrel-aged varieties. I'm assuming the wax differentiates.
A: Jet black on the pour, dense and oily in appearance. A small caramel-colored head forms, maybe an inch thick, which leaves little islands of lacing as I gently swirl the glass.
S: Notes of bourbon up front, with coffee, chocolate and licorice right behind. The bourbon notes carry a spicy floral tone suggesting hibiscus. Alcohol is barely noticeable.
T: Boozy bourbon is first noticed, but quickly balanced by notes of chocolate and licorice. Sweet, but just enough to offset the punchy bourbon notes. Alcohol is a bit more noticed than in the nose but still well masked. Honey bread and toffee carry into the finish, leaving a sweet and creamy aftertaste.
M: Oily, rich and chewy. As full-bodied an imperial stout as I can remember.
D: I would argue that bourbon barrel-aged brews are categorically hard to drink, but this one is unique. I was skeptical when I read this was aged in Evan Williams barrels - most examples of this style just don't work. But this is truly an exception. Everything is nicely balanced - alcohol and bourbon flavors are distinct but far from overwhelming, leaving plenty of room on the palate for the characteristic flavors of an imperial stout.
02-20-2011 07:04:52 | More by rand
4.47/5 rDev +3.2%
On tap during an SF beer week FiftyFifty event, poured into a tulip glass. Beautiful pour by the bartender, dark brown bordering on black beer with a finger and a half of dark mocha colored frothy head. Some lighter browns on the edge of the glass when held up to the light so the beer isn't completely dark. Head dissipates to about half a finger and maintains it, leaving lots of nice brown lacing on the glass with some swirling. Carbonation is definitely visible at the edge of the glass, and seems fairly active.
Nose leaves my mouth watering, dark roasted malts, roasted coffee, boozy dried dark fruits like raisins and figs, vanilla, dark caramel, and feint hints of oak. Very complex and ample aroma.
Taste doesn't disappoint, following the complexity of the nose, but tempered by a distinct bourbon component which makes the beer drink a little hot. Delicious, but this almost drinks like a spirit.
Light medium bodied beer is a bit of a surprise for a barrel aged imperial stout. Well carbonated with small gentle bubbles that help a lot to bump up the mouthfeel toward creaminess. The Evan Williams bourbon barrels added a lot more of the bourbon character when compared to the 2010 Four Roses and Heaven's Hill version of the Eclipse, and it makes it of warming and boozy beer. However, this makes this a great candidate for cellaring.
02-20-2011 03:04:48 | More by nataku00
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.
Opaque black body topped by a lasting reverse-cascading tan head. The head is surprisingly steadfast, and leaves patches of lacing behind.
This beer really benefits from warmer temperatures. The nose is pretty decadent, chocolate and bourbon forward. Caramel candy and vanilla come out as it reaches room temperature, along with a milder note of licorice. The bourbon character isn't as refined as the Pappy Van Winkle or Elijah Craig batches of Eclipse, but it still lends a wonderful richness to the beer. Alcohol is nowhere to be seen; additional time in the barrels seems to have tamed this beer quite a bit.
The palate has more licorice and coffee character than the nose, which serves to balance the sweeter notes of bourbon, caramel, chocolate and vanilla. There's a little more alcohol than the nose implies, but it's far from harsh. The body is medium-full, typical of the Eclipse series, and the finish is fairly dry, leaving lingering flavors or coffee and oak.
Overall, this is quite different than the bottles. There's more bourbon flavor, but less noticeable alcohol. There's a lot of variation with bottles of 2010 Evan Williams Eclipse, and I'd say that this blend is on par with the better bottles of that beer.
02-19-2011 00:23:50 | More by largadeer
4.33/5 rDev 0%
Drank it at FiftyFifty event at the Bloodhound in SF. Not actually sure if it was on tap or from a bottle. Also enjoyed it along side a pour of Evan Williams single barrel.
Pitch black. Almost no head.
Aroma was lightly roasted and chocolately.
Flavor was sweet, but not overly sweet, primarily of milk chocolate, with a mild roasted character. Little to no bittnerness. Nice balance of oak and bourbon character with the sweet chocolate gives it depth and roundness.
Overall very drinkable and enjoyable. Personally its how I like a stout.
02-17-2011 23:58:17 | More by lionchow
4.33/5 rDev 0%
200-day bottle & 300-day growler drank side-by-side. Thanks goes to Alex for providing both versions and an added thanks to lardodeer for hooking it up...you the man, Chris. I'm going to review the 200-day and add additional comments for the 300-day.
A - Pours black, smallish tan-colored head which eventually reduces down to some very spotty lacing, some whisps, and bubbles here and there. Mostly though, just the black body of the beer remains after the initial pour.
S - Sweet milk chocolate, nice woody/oak, ever-so-slight bitter chocolate, nice dose of roast, no real noticeable alcohol detection. The 300-day had larger barrel notes, while the 200-day seemed more balanced and smooth. (4.5 for 200, 4 for 300)
T - Very similar to the nose. Chocolate, oak, burnt sugars, roast, slight alcohol (not too little, not too much). The 300-day has too much barrel/oak, which interfere's with the other wonderful things going on with this beer. (4.5 for 200, 4 for 300).
M - Full, rich and smooth, viscous, very little carbonation, creamy finish.
D - It was awesome to try both versions side-by-side and I really enjoyed the differences. Seems they removed the bottle version at just the right time, 200 days. While I enjoyed the 300-day, it wasn't as enjoyable as the 200-day. Another amazing variation brewed by Mr. Todd Ashman...your stuff is amazing!
02-13-2011 23:39:14 | More by Sean9689
4.68/5 rDev +8.1%
Big thanks to Tripphop for sharing! Bottle # 848 black wax, 2010 bottle.
Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a dark brown color with clarity around the edges and through the body when held to the light. A brown frothy cap of foam forms and recedes hanging around the edges of the glass.
The smells of this brew includes sweet vanilla tones from barrel aging along with coconut and chocolate malt. Spicy alcohol is evident that comes across a little tangy. Everything about the way this beer smells is amazing and pleasant. If I was to brew a stout and barrel age it, this is exactly how I would want it to smell. The oaked character in this brew is brilliant. The vanilla seemingly makes the chocolate scent even better.
The taste of this brew includes toasty coconut and a creamy vanilla smoothness. Pleasant accented alcohol that increases with a fusel taste as it warms. The whiskey imparts a light twang to the alcohol character that is enjoyable. The roast of the grain imparts quite a smooth chocolate flavor to this brew and never really turns to bitterness. It maintains a smoothness and high drinkability. While the alcohol is noticeable, it is exceptionally smooth and I never once for a minute would have guessed it was more than 9%.
This is a medium bodied brew, silky smooth feel and is modestly carbonated. To say that this brew is "super drinkable" is a bit of an understatement. It is exceptional and absolutely worth the hype. Having a chance to partake in this was very bitter sweet, I want a chance to try more of this in the worst way.
02-09-2011 18:47:41 | More by stakem
4.55/5 rDev +5.1%
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!
02-09-2011 03:15:36 | More by SpdKilz
4.58/5 rDev +5.8%
A: Poured jet black with a nice dirty white cap and plenty of bubbles
S: Lighter bourbon than I expected but not bad because it let the chocolate, oak and toasted malt come through
T: Wow. Has a very smooth balanced feel and flavor. Not one flavor kills or competes. The chocolate, lighter whsikey, oak notes, roasted malt, coffee, some liquorice notes too
M: Nice feel, big body, tasty. The booze is pretty tame and allows this beer to shine on feel and flavor
D: Very high, sooo easy to drink!
02-06-2011 21:01:17 | More by barleywinefiend
District of Columbia
4.6/5 rDev +6.2%
22 oz 2010 black wax bottle #1372. Poured into a snifter.
Pours a mildly thin for the style mocha black with a short lived creamy tan head. Short retention and minimal lacing, the weakest part of the beer.
Aroma packs an immediate bourbon punch and is balanced by rich vanilla and milk chocolate. Molasses, raisins, brown sugar and caramel with very little roast, burnt or hop aromas. Non-existent alcohol and the sweetness is very pleasant and smooth.
Flavor is similarly smooth and balanced with surprisingly more of a milk chocolate, vanilla and molasses presence than in the nose. Bourbon is still present, particularly in the finish, but never harsh. Warming throughout, yet the balance between the barrel and base beer is remarkable.
Mouthfeel is slightly thinner than hoped for, medium thick with light carbonation; slightly milky in character. I don't feel like this detracts from my enjoyment of the beer, but for the style would have expected something a little more robust.
I'll revisit this review as I try the other 2010 versions, but this new treatment is living up to my expectations from last years.
02-05-2011 01:52:22 | More by yourefragile
4.2/5 rDev -3%
Big thanks to largadeer for sharing a bottle of this at the post RS tasting. 2010 bottle pored into a taster glass.
A - Pours pitch black with a small off white head leaving light lacing down the glass.
S - Oak, bourbon, bittersweet chocolate, and some alcohol heat dominate this one. A bit of caramel sweetness mixes well with the dark roasted malt core.
T - Quite similar to the nose but much more balanced. Plenty of oak and bourbon from the barrel mix well with the chocolate, caramel, alcohol, and dark roasted malt from the base beer. Very nice stuff.
M - Heavy body and flavor with moderately low carbonation. A bit hot but still a pretty good feel none the less. Finish is a bit hot with some lingering dark roast.
D - Pretty high. I really enjoyed this one. I have been pretty impressed with all the barrel aged stouts I have tried form fifty fifty to date. I hope I get to try the other ones in the future.
02-02-2011 21:27:25 | More by orangesol
4.7/5 rDev +8.5%
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.
02-02-2011 03:17:57 | More by daveytheformer
4.28/5 rDev -1.2%
Thanks to beddachedda for the bottle! Split with sleepydave and abuliarose.
#476, black wax
Poured into a Portsmouth tulip glass. Pitch black body with a thin film of tan head. Leaves some good lacing behind.
Chocolate cake, bourbon, vanilla, oak and molasses rise up from a few swirls of the glass. Sweet, rich and bourbony. Honey soaked oak and booze. The nose does a great job of showcasing the bourbon barrels. Decadent.
Dark chocolate and sweet honey bourbon on the tongue. Well roasted malts and woody oak. Devil's food chocolate cake. Heather and honey. Well done.
Mouthfeel is smooth and almost creamy. Carbonation is a bit light, but still pretty good. The body is on the light side for an imperial stout and really the only complaint I have with this beer. It would be nice to see it just a tad thicker.
Quite drinkable for a 9.5% barrel aged stout. Boozy, but it goes down nicely. I don't know if I would even age this any longer if I had another bottle. I'm sure it can go the distance, but its drinking really well right now. Great mixture of stout and bourbon. If FiftyFifty could bump up the body a little bit this would be one of the best bourbon stouts I've ever had.
02-01-2011 21:41:43 | More by sisuspeed
4.58/5 rDev +5.8%
22oz black wax-topped bottle.
This one pours the same color as the other Eclipses which is not quite pitch black and has a small one-inch beige head that recedes quickly to a small collar with spotty lacing.
Aroma is wonderful and heavy on the bourbon, especially vs. the other versions. But it's not overpowering - nice vanilla, oak and bourbon aroma up front. There is plenty of of dark roasted malts, chocolate, and tobacco.
The taste is complex and after the "slight disappointment" of the 4 Roses I had last night, this brings back the Eclipses that I enjoyed so much from 08 and 09. There is more burn than the HH but it's well integrated with the bourbon melding with the roasted malts and cocoa.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth, not the thickest or fullest body, but silky.
This is up there with the HH for me. It's exceptionally drinkable for an impy stout with tons of complexity and flavor without being overpowering. Interestingly, the bourbon is heavy but doesn't limit the drinkability at all. Fantastic.
01-28-2011 03:13:07 | More by gford217
4.43/5 rDev +2.3%
Received one of these from Black13 and oregonskibum, thanks guys! This will be my first foray into FiftyFifty brewing but I did enjoy some of the brewers beer from Flossmoor Station (for a brief time). Drank from my Darkness snifter.
2010 version bottle 156
Appearance- Pours a very dark brownish black with a small quarter finger dark tan head.
Smell- Very rich smelling with a big rush of sweet milk chocolate upon my first whiff. Plenty of caramel hiding in there as well with a touch of smooth woody bourbon. Not much of a dark roasty smell but there is a tiny bit of coffee hiding in there. Almost nutty smelling too with a roasted almond thing going on. The more I smell it the more I get some of that barrel and whiffs of vanilla.
Taste- Starts pretty bold with a more muted sweetness than I expected. The chocolate is nice and fairly intense but it leans more toward the dark version. I get more of that nuttiness I got in the nose with a sort of roasted pecan thing. A touch of brown sugar and plenty of vanilla from the fairly prevalent taste of the barrels. A bit of bitterness steps in from either the bold roasted aspect or some nice balancing hops. The wood isn't harsh but it sort of tannic and intense. I can't say I've ever had Evan Williams Bourbon but there is a bit of warming. The finish is chocolaty and lightly nutty with more of that vanilla.
Mouthfeel- A little thin for my liking in a big Imperial Stout but I'd call it somewhere around medium bodied. A nice zip of carbonation and a touch of warming.
Drinkability- Definitely one of the better Imperial Stouts I've had in quite some time. I look forward to see how the Evan Williams barrel compares to the others. It's not overly sweet (which I love) and the wood/bourbon definitely add their own stamps of flavor. Great beer that I'm glad I have another of (and different versions!). Thanks much gentlemen!
01-28-2011 02:18:14 | More by younger35
4.22/5 rDev -2.5%
A - Pours Black with light brown edges and minimal head that disappears to almost no head
S - Whiskey, vanilla, toffee. The alcohol really comes through.
T - Hot, when it warms up its really hot. Vanilla, carmel really good. some sweet molasses or honey.
M - Medium Bodied
D - Good, shared this with 5 others wish I had more.
01-27-2011 05:19:43 | More by kfsv034
4.47/5 rDev +3.2%
pours black with a finger of milk chocolate head, good lacing. smell is chocolate, bourbon, some dark fruit, light oak, with a hint of vanilla. taste is more of the nose, good bourbon character, molasses, oak, dark fruits, and a light roasted finish. a little thin, but good carbonation and very easy to drink. in my opinion this was much better than the HH version.
01-25-2011 19:45:19 | More by xpimptastikx
5/5 rDev +15.5%
Reviewed from notes on 1/10/11:
A: Pours jet black with a very thin layer of khaki colored head.
S: Holy cow. A beautiful bourbon smell wafts into my nose, I love that smell. Vanilla and oak are also present too.
T: My taste buds just died and went to beer heaven. Bourbon and oak taste dominate but in a way that makes you want to drink more. The roasted malts are there but definitely play second fiddle to the bourbon and oak.
M: It is very creamy and smooth. Out of this world.
D: This is the first beer I've given a perfect score to. I drank the 22oz by myself and felt a little guilty for not sharing. I wish I had another one.
01-23-2011 05:41:14 | More by gregshead
4.47/5 rDev +3.2%
Good lookin out largadeer for cracking this open on the post RS tasting
Poured a dark as night black in color with a tight thin head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma was very nice consisting of lots of chocolate but the bourbon was definitely there but add some sweet vanilla as well. I was able to detect mild coffee, oak, and some roastiness from the malts. The chocolate flavor really dominated the palate but had vanilla, oaky, slight coffee accents with bourbon character adding complexity that was not overbearing. For sure it had lots of roastiness and had a touch of cherries. The brew was full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a chocolatey, sweet, bourbon, roasty, and creamy finish. This brew was very delicious and definitely lives up to the hype. It was a sipper faux show but was glad to try it.
01-12-2011 20:17:09 | More by Gobzilla
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 495 ratings.