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

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
180 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
180
Ratings:
574
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
14.45%
 
 
Wants:
239
Gots:
291
For Trade:
26
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams BourbonImperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by largadeer on 12-02-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews
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Reviews: 180 | Ratings: 574
Photo of jnn4v
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Mahogany / espresso colored - dark brown around the edges and black through the center. No visible sediment or haze. Tan colored head rose around the fringes, but barely.

S: Bourbon, oak, cola, molasses, chocolate, and a hint of vanilla. Very sharp scents, especially weighted toward the bourbon.

T: Sharp American oak is dominant. Bourbon flavors of vanilla, toasted oak and coconut blend with rich chocolate and molasses malts. Black coffee is prevalent throughout. So many bold flavors that it actually borders on harsh. Definitely not a subtle beer.

M: Good density and viscosity. Not much carbonation. Slightly tannic, likely from the oak.

O: Good bourbon-barrel aged imperial stout, but (if it's actually possible?) too much oak.

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Photo of spicelab
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bomber split 4 ways at tasting. Reviewed from notes.

Molasses-hued pour, near black in glass. Firm tan head drops stealthily over a couple of minutes to a film. Attractive lace trails on swirling.

Good amount of barrel in the nose with appreciable honey and coconut notes, but mostly emphasising the drier aspects of the barrel. Solid toasty, liqourice and rubber base beer elements underneath. Compact and contained.

Less roast, more coconut and dark brwon sugar sweetness. Big and growing chocolate fudge presence.

Quite viscous but medium bodied, with mild, dusty carbonation and emergent booze heat.

Like all the Eclipse beers, this is tight. Very easy-going with a near perfectly calibrated barrel influence.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hannydawg for sharing this one.

A: pours black with maroon highlights, appears a bit thin for style/abv, some lacing, minimal head retention

S: starts off with heavy oak the is melded nicely with notes of vanilla, marshmallow, rich cocoa, and bitter earthy hops on the finish

T: robust chocolate starts things off and gives way to mellow vanilla and a touch of coconut, a little bit of bitterness on the end. Nice balance.

MF: somewhat thin for style...doesn't really detract from the overall experience, medium carbonation

O: this is a nice exhibition of well executed bourbon barrel aging, only wish is for a little more body

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Photo of muttyd
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 version

As expected, thick black creamy pour with a thin tan head. Head settles into a faint ring. Wish the head persisted throughout. Looks rather bland at first glance.

Nose hits all the right notes: whiskey burn, coffee, roasted malts and chocolate. Some molasses in their as well. Flavor follows the nose with a very prevalent whiskey flavor in the finish. Sweet, but well rounded with enough roasty flavor to balance it out. Almost no hop flavor, as it is overpowered by the big barrel flavor. Thick and creamy, coats the mouth. Solid overall, but not as good as the Elijah Craig.

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Photo of metter98
4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short creamy tan head that died down, leaving delicate lacing covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderately strong aromas of bourbon are present in the nose along with notes of vanilla.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but has stronger notes of vanilla and oak. Some alcohol is perceptible, but this is all from the bourbon. As the beer begins up, you can start to pick some hints of the underlying stout.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The bourbon lends some warming to the mouthfeel.
O: This beer has a lot of bourbon in the smell and taste, so much that it almost obscures the rest of the beer. It seems to mellow out a bit once the beer warms up, but this beer could use a fuller body to support all of the bourbon.

Note: Bottle Run No. 1/2013

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Photo of orangesol
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of IKR
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of spoony
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 650 ml bottle (2012 batch) into a snifter.

A-The brew pours with almost a finger of light mocha-brown head. Retention is poor, but the head leaves some alcoholic legs and spotty lacing on the glass. The beer is black and opaque.

S-The smell is rich and boozy. I get significant bourbon, with lots of vanilla, oak, caramel, and some brown sugar. I also get a lot of roasted flavor, milky chocolate, and a hint of plum and other dark fruits. The bourbon is right up front.

T-The taste, like the smell, is heavy on the bourbon flavors with lots of vanilla, caramel, oak, and booze. Underneath the barrel, I get some dark fruit and raisin, cocoa, and heavily-roasted malts. The alcohol is almost too hot (even though this bottle has been sitting in the cellar a year) and amplifies the bourbon-y qualities. The whole package is pretty sweet (as in sugary sweet) even with the healthy dose of drying oak.

M-Surpisingly, this brew has a fair bit of carbonation (for the style). The carbonation leads to a lighter than average mouthfeel.

O-This is a good beer if you like a little beer with your bourbon; it is complex, shows the barrel well, and drinks nicely, if a bit boozily. Although this beer packs more heat than its 9.5% ABV would lead you to anticipate, the booze and bourbon aren't really a problem, except to the extent that they mostly drown out the base beer...just know what you're in for. While not my favorite Eclipse, this brew will do just fine.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance-wise, it's the same as any other beer in the series, and surely similar to most beers of the style: dark, opaque black, with a small, dense cap of tan head that receded to a ringlet, maybe a few random trails of lacing on the glass. Aroma of dark roasty malts, dark chocolate, bourbon, molasses; not a hop to be had. Dark malts in the taste, fairly roasty, notes of dark chocolate and espresso, burnt caramel, vanilla and oak with a solid bourbon quality, warm but not quite hot with booze, touch of anise in the finish. Body on the heavier side of medium, carbonation adequately low, a quite enjoyable beer overall.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very little caramel colored soapy head rose from the intense black brew. Not overly thick. No lacing.

Pasty, vanilla (tons), Bourbon resin, intense chocolate, molasses, rich black wood..

Whoa. Sweet, but not a sugar bomb... High carbonation, only slightly detracts from rich flavorful flavors. Chocolate, molasses, toasted coconut, strong vanilla, bourbon heat kick, but you can tell it's faded a ton... Zero bitterness, but, nice fade of tobacco at the back end..

Another GREAT Eclipse series brew... It's hard to pay the $30 price tag, but damn is it worth it.. Evan Williams version is highly recommended, but I prefer the EC 12. Happy 2013 to all.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of Devi0us
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
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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Photo of kfsv034
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Florida9
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown, really almost black, but not quite, with a slight transparency. Forms a small, light tan head and leaves some light light lacing on the way down.

S: Smells strongly of bourbon and oak with roasted malts, chocolate, and alcohol rounding out the aroma.

T: Much like the aroma. Lots of roasted malts, chocolate, molasses, bourbon, and oak. A little vanilla as well.

M: Full bodied with lighter carbonation. Virtually no bitterness, with a slight alcoholic heat.

O: A very nice beer. Rather complex, yet still quite drinkable.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Snagged this in a trade a DLD.

A- Pours a black color with a pretty tiny brown head. Head becomes a ring of bubbles around the edge and leaves a bit of lacing.

S- Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, bourbon, molasses, and a bit of wood.

T- Very roasted, with sweet chocolate, molasses, wood flavor, and bit of bourbon.

M- Pretty smooth feel to it. Full in body and low carbonation.

O- Very nice to drink. I'm try to get some of the others.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lunch opened this bottle recently. Beer poured into a Darkness snifter (gifted to me by Lunch). Beer is black with a tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation, looks like a beer.

Aroma is sweet with a mild liquorness about it. Very great. Some roast, mostly malt. Smells good.

Beer is medium in body and overall sweet. The first thing I taste is the sweetness followed by a nice booziness without the heat. This beer finishes adequately heavy as to not dry out the bitterness at the end. It is very drinkable and a pleasure. Thanks Lunch.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle #1181 was poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage. From notes

A - Black with brown edging. It looks to be a bit thin, not that really slow outpour like some of the really heavy stouts (i.e. Rogue XS). Mocha brown head, minor lacing.

S - Lots of dark chocolate, sweet chocolate, lactose, vanilla, oak and the bourbon, very nice.

T - Very well balanced between the bourbon and the base beer. Lots of chocolate, vanilla, molasses, a hint of charcoal. Delicious

M - This is probably one of the smoothest beers I have ever had. It was like drinking silk. Incredibly well balanced, not hot and the bourbon was delicious.

O - I really enjoyed this beer, thought it was great. I am looking forward to trying the other variations and see how the different barrel treatments affect the end taste. Delicious beer!

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 bomber, Bottle run 1 from Bay Ridge in Annapolis. Black wax. Pours black with a creamy khaki brown head into my Teku. Aroma has lots of whiskey barrel notes, subdued vanilla, dark fruits, roast molasses, honey, and a bit of chocolate. Very nice. Flavor is lots of molasses and bourbon with notes of dark raisins and chocolate, and hints of vanilla. There seems to be some wine-like notes with sharpness from the booze and barrel. It finishes with vanilla and leaves a dry oakiness on the palate. Feuit comes out more as it warms. The body is definitely on the thin side for a hefty stout, with low carbonation. While there could be more thickness to this, there is still plenty of flavor and I can see how having this on the thinner side could play well with tasting the different barrels. Overall a nice experience. Looking forward to my other 2 variants in the fridge.

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Photo of ptykozoon
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

2010
Black, a soft brown lasting cap. Very good lacing. Inviting.

Milk chocolate, dairy, vanilla, caramel in the background, so far so good.

Milk chocolate, caramel, vanilla. The smooth mouthfeel works harmoniously with the dessert flavor.

Mouthfeel is excellent, smooth as butter. Not a lot of heat coming through.

Reminded me of Goose Island. One of the best Imperial Stouts.

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Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber to mini tulip
2010 Vintage, Evan Williams barrel, black wax
Bottle number is indistinguishable
Sampled 29JUN12

Many thanks to Grant for the trade quite some time ago.

[A] Less than a half finger of medium dark brown head, bubbly, with short retention. A paper-thin collar remains for now, but seems likely to disappear. Pitch black body with almost no transparency. Even at the thinnest points, only a thin layer of dark amber-brown can be seen. Beaded strands of lace line the glass after each tilt but quickly slide back down to the surface.

[S] Big bourbon strikes first – very clean. The honey component sets in next, along with a very dark, semi bitter chocolate and a rich rendered caramel. Earthy hops. Light soil. Mild roast.

[T] Purely an extension on the nose. Bourbon and barrel up front. Honey and dark sugars creep back in at the end and leave lingering sweet notes for the final impression – with a little bit of bourbon to bring about a pleasant warming sensation.

[M] Semi-thick front palate which gains a substantial amount of body from mid-palate on. Very creamy towards the end of the palate. Gently tingling carbonation throughout. The mouthfeel and nose are my favorite aspects of the brew. The flavor lingers long but is not cloying at all.

[O] This is one fantastic beer. Nearly a perfect ‘5’ in at least two areas…..but just shy. Two years ago, my score would have been significantly higher – and it’s pretty high as is.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz, BR 1 2012
Beer Scene Philly snifter

A: Pours nearly pitch black. Deep brown color with some reddish hues on the edges. Didn't get hardly any head initially. Swirl got some to come up that was medium tan in color. Leaves some sticky lacing. Some alcohol feet are certainly there.

S: Big dark chocolate right away. Toasted coconut. Vanilla hints. Booze. Toffee. Maybe some marshmallow.

T: Deep dark chocolate bitterness on tip of tongue. Some of that blueberry-like note I usually pull from big RIS. Some caramel and toffee. Dark cocoa on back end. Finish has some lingering bitterness from that chocolate. You get a touch of booze in the throat, but I like it.

M: Full bodied. Some creaminess.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up as a Future during last year's release. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours black with a light tan head. The nose immediately brings forward a heavy bourbon presence with a bit of chocolate and some roasted malt. A bit of booze is in the background. The flavor is loaded with smooth bourbon alongside a chocolate and roast presence. Really nice, and my favorite treatment of 2010 other than the Brandy. The oak, bourbon, booze, chocolate, and roast are all there, melding together nicely. Medium body with a slightly-boozy finish. Overall, damn good. Can't wait to see how this ages out.

* I had one bottle of this that was overly hot, but after two additional bottles that were spot on, I think the first one was probably an aberration.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-nice black color with no head whatsoever
S-sweet burbon smell with a nice malty backbone
T-alot like it smells. More like a 4.25 and not a 4.0. Very mellow and smooth
M-medium body and smooth. Very nice
O-5.0 to make up for the taste to accuretly reflect my rating. Good brew

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 180 ratings.