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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

514 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 514
Reviews: 175
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 8.06%
Wants: 255
Gots: 275 | FT: 21
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: largadeer on 12-02-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 514 | Reviews: 175 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of claytong
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

claytong, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of birchstick
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

birchstick, Jul 24, 2012
Photo of funkel81
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

funkel81, Dec 19, 2012
Photo of Rudy
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Rudy, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of carlitosbronson1
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

carlitosbronson1, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of GreyGhost4
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

GreyGhost4, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

GraduatedCashew, Aug 28, 2013
Photo of tom10101
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

tom10101, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of brystmar
3.78/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I somehow forgot to include this review in my mass copy/paste from EverNote after our big tasting in March. 2010 Evan Williams (black wax).

Pours just like the others. Bourbon, roasty malt, chocolate. Some mild figs hidden in there too. Smooth bourbon character imparts boozy warmth as I drink. Really doesn't seem much better or worse than -- or even that different from -- the others. A few friends said this was their favorite from recent tastings, but it definitely doesn't stand out to me amongst its peers.

Overall, this finished middle of the pack; '11 EC18 was our group's consensus favorite. And honestly, I was unimpressed across the board with most of these beers. Bourbon County Stout is far superior to all of them except EC18. Very glad I got to try them all, but EC18 is the only one I'd seek out again.

brystmar, Aug 01, 2012
Photo of jminsc76
3.8/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Into a tulip, pours a big thick chocolate brown head atop an impenetrable body. Exhibits a lighter viscosity in the body that, as I suspected, analogously translates to the mouthfeel.

Aromas of biscuit, graham cracker, bourbon-soaked chocolate chip cookie dough, and a feint hint of raspberries as well as oak. A pleasant-smelling bouquet, though mild in intensity. Certain *whiffs* yield some sharp heat as well.

Complex flavors ranging from molasses to sticky-icky honey, with a powerful bitter roast on the finish and the spirit of Evan Williams manifesting throughout, soaking the cookie dough known as my tongue.

Mouthfeel, not surprisingly, is thinner than I would like but understandable considering the nature of the bourbon it's aged in.

Overall, there are moments where I don't know if I am drinking a stout infused with bourbon flavor, or a bourbon infused with stout flavor (the latter impression comes on the heals of having sipped 75% of the bottle on my own, so take that for what it's worth).

All this said, what this is is delicious, and I am definitely impressed, considering honey as a flavor isn't among my top favorites. And it should have been shared, as one per sitting is about all I'd like to withstand.

jminsc76, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of BrewerB
3.8/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 2276, picked up at Healthy Spirits when this beer was initially released.

Poured a dark black with a thin tan head that partially retains.

Very inviting nose. Caramel, coffee, dark chocolate. Bourbon character noticeable but not overwhelming.

Taste didn't live up to the expectations set forth by the nose. Harsher alcohol presence detracting from the enjoyment here. Some vanilla woody notes along with dark chocolate and caramel.

Medium bodied, low carbonation. Slightly oily.

A solid offering from a brewery I'd expect nothing less of in this department. I have another bottle of this particular version and am going to sit on it for another year or two, expecting improvement with a little more age.

BrewerB, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of kruthar
3.85/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

kruthar, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of DosBeerigos
3.88/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

C: Black
H: Dark Black
N: Chocolate, Bourbon, Vanilla

Three of these now tried and reviewed…..they all look similar, smell similar, and taste….well not so much. Starting to think I should have just stopped with the Purple Wax or Red Wax. Lighter body than the other two, and lets face it when the beer is that close, body is a lot. Good…..but my least favorite out of the group.

DosBeerigos, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

Alieniloquium, Jul 05, 2012
Photo of claaark13
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

claaark13, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of Retsinis
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Bottle # 608, cellared just shy of 1 year.

A: Poured from the black waxed sealed bomber bottle in a tulip glass, the beer is a black thick motor oil, with about 1/10 of an inch of head that forms to just a film resting on top, and then quickly dissipates to just razor thin ring of bubbles. When swirled, the light film of lace resurfaces. Light coating on the glass.

S: Initial scents are of oak, bourbon, mild vanilla, toast, and dark 80% chocolate. Also there is the touch of alcohol heat, medium roasted malt, and a mild touch of espresso.

T: Mirror the nose, flavors of vanilla, bourbon, medium roasted malt, oak, and dark chocolate. As it warmed, nuances of toast, a touch of honey, and a kiss of pepper are also present.

M: Light carbonation, light viscosity, mildly sticky.

O: Smooth. Having had totality, the barrel aging treatments do wonders to the base beer, though the beer, imo, could be improved with a better base beer recipe, as this I enjoyed, totality I would pass on. Though perhaps that is why the infusion is as remarkable as it is.

Retsinis, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber, #412, 2010 Vintage,

A: Pours black with a moderate tan head. Solid head retention, good lace.

S: Honeyed sweet dark chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla, light notes of orange and citrus.

T: Malt heavy/chocolate, mild notes of roast. Bourbon is well integrated adding it's characteristic flavour. Dark fruit with a hint of charcoal in the finish with that cocoa powder note I got in the nose.

M: Medium-full body, at 9.5% it isn't a huge behemoth stout, but it's still a big beer. Smooth, creamy, spiritous finish, pleasantly alcoholic.

D: Nice beer, well made, I definitely want to see where this goes in a couple years.

Halcyondays, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of ehammond1
3.95/5  rDev -9%
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.

ehammond1, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of mulder1010
3.95/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Nicks6217 for providing this for me.
Bottle #417 Bomber poured into a tulip

A-- Poured a deep, dark cola color. Settled black. Very little head with this. A dark mocha colored head that at best was a 1/4 inch high and went quickly to film and strips of milk chocolate. On swirling got a half a finger of head and also died off quickly. One circle of lacing on the glass and not much else.

S-- Vanilla, dark plum, coconut, and soft bourbon. This smells very nice. Coconut gets more apparent as it gets more air and is more of a toasted coconut smell. No ABV smell to this at all.

T-- Bourbon forward. Get more dark fruits, vanilla blossom, honey and coconut.

M-- Smooth. Dairy milk chocolate smooth. Touches of hotness, booze and thinness here and there. Low carbonation and medium feel. Really not all that big. Honey is also apparent in the mouth. I think gives it that softer, smooth appeal.

O-- Really nice. Booze does hit you after a bit but really the 9.5 is really well hidden. not as thick as I thought it would be. There are a few thin gaps in this. Honey gets bigger as I have drank on in this. Not sure I am big on the honey. Would prefer to taste more of the oak barrel though. Would buy again though

mulder1010, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of brentk56
3.96/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle 1432 of 2010

Appearance: Pours fudge brown with just a hint of bubbly froth; a few spots of lacing

Smell: Vanilla, chocolate and marshmallow underpinned by oaky Bourbon tones

Taste: A hint of roast and we are off into a marshmallow and vanilla world of sweet flavor; boozy harshness picks up, in the mid-palate, with oaky Bourbon tones adding a slightly harsh character; the marshmallow and vanilla sweetness returns to linger in the finish though the Bourbon lingers, too

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: A fine beer but this one didn't meet the expectations I had for it; a bit too sweet and a bit too thin

brentk56, May 05, 2014
Photo of rand
3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

rand, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: The pour is nearly black with some soft brown bubbles that never truly form into a head. Very quickly I am looking at a viscous black liquid with no cap.

Smell: The smell is of the dark chocolate, espresso, and roasted malt that the other variants have, as well as a full and fairly rough bourbon aroma.

Taste: Strong Evan Williams flavor really dominates the flavor and the sweetness I have noticed in the other Eclipse treatments. Roasted malt, dark chocolate, some light dark fruits and a bit of espresso all blend together nicely, with a touch of woody oak at the end.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the full side of medium, with smooth, creamy carbonation and a bourbon stickiness.

Overall: Another good treatment of Eclipse, although the Evan Williams might be a bit harsh for my palate. My sense is that as this ages, it will develop nicely.

KickInTheChalice, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -7.8%

acurtis, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of leschkie
4/5  rDev -7.8%

leschkie, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Gonzoillini, Feb 04, 2012
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 514 ratings.