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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.

474 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 474
Reviews: 172
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.08%
Wants: 253
Gots: 265 | FT: 19
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: 474 | Reviews: 172 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BMMillsy


4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 00:05:59 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of Bierguy5


4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, 9.5% abv. Pours pure black with a nice looking beige head. Good head retention, with a modest amount of lace.

Great nose. Bourbon, oak, roasted malts. Some dark fruit, cocoa and some dark chocolate.

Roasty, with a great amount of chocolate. Bourbon comes in very nicely, with some oak notes. Some dark fruits are noted as well, but chocolate dominates.

Medium to full body, with a great creamy feel. Alcohol is present, but not overbearing. Very well made.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 00:14:16 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of hoppymcgee


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

06-25-2012 02:06:59 | More by hoppymcgee
Photo of CrellMoset


4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. black wax topped bottle from Southbay Drugs. Poured in to a 22 oz. snifter. A friend is transcribing my dictation of this review as I lay in bed, too lazy to type.

Appearance: A black waxed bottle for a black, waxy beer. This one pours a dark brownie-hued body, capped by half a finger of slightly less brownie-hued head. Retention is lacking, but not atrocious, fading into a thin crisp lace and some breaths of dusting on the surface. Minimal carbonation is visible around the outside of the snifter.

Aroma: Fudge and barrel notes dominate the nose, mingling with lighter and darker malts. Cocoa is strong, sweet but authentic, and does a lot to cover up much of the harsh spirit qualities. Cherries, dark fruits, and coconut mingle with green oak on top of the fudge foundation, with toast and relatively authentic coffee beneath. Vanilla is also present, mingling with spiciness and a kiss of char beneath a surprisingly faint (at least, relatively) dash of bourbon.

Taste: Less sweet than one would expect from the nose, though cocoa is still the dominant note here it is more of a bittersweet presence the bitterness of which is augmented by astringencies in the malt base. They're not harsh, but definitely present though they play well off of the bourbon. Dark fruits contribute a measure of sweetness as well, though on the whole the beer is fairly balanced with the malts providing a neutral palette. Barrel characteristics are less noticeable here than in the nose, though some vanilla does emerge as it warms as does some leathery coconut. Similar to the nose, the bourbon is very mature- definitely spicy, only faintly warming, and even a touch sweet. Showcases most of the elements of an excellent bourbon barrel imperial stout.

Mouthfeel: First, the bad: it is thin, with minimal carbonation. Either of those things on their own would have been a huge problem, but together, they are only a problem worthy of a one point reduction, as the beer is neither cloying nor erratic. Second, the good: the amount of attenuation results in a pretty good thickness that works well with the flavor profile itself neither too sweet nor too dry.

Drinkability: Not the most drinkable imperial stout I have ever had, nor the most drinkable bourbon barrel aged imperial stout I have ever had. There are some definite astringencies present, the retention and lacing leave plenty to be desired, the mouth is a little thin, and the astringency is distracting. The ABV is not outrageous but should be respected-I know that I definitely shouldn't have started it at 11:30 at night. All in all, an enjoyable beer that I imagine fifty/fifty will only perfect over the coming years, though at the present I think it is possibly slightly overrated.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2011 05:52:40 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of jampics2


4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

03-22-2013 14:55:20 | More by jampics2
Photo of inlimbo77


4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2013 15:01:56 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of GreesyFizeek

New York

4.81/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I haven't tried that many Eclipse treatments yet (this is my second, after Java Coffee), so I can't compare this to the other variants, but this is quite simply one of the best BA stouts I've ever had. So smooth I could die. Purchased from Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester. Black wax.

It pours a deep, dark black, basically opaque. The head rises mightily, about 3 fingers of dark mocha foam. The lacing is nice, stays on the glass the whole way down.

Smells incredible. Smooth bourbon, oak, vanilla, a bit of chocolate. Left my nose in this one for a while.

The taste blows the smell away though. Tastes of cocoa powder, marshmallow, vanilla, smooth, sweet bourbon, and a mild oakiness make love to my taste buds. None of the mentioned flavors are intense or harsh, they subtly hit my tongue in smooth waves. Drinks much easier than the ABV suggests (9.5%)

The mouthfeel is appropriately full, creamy, and a bit chewy.

One of the best. These Evan Williams barrels worked wonders. Holy shit. Worth the money.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2014 23:14:03 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of akang


4/5  rDev -7.6%

03-28-2014 03:34:25 | More by akang
Photo of smithj4

New York

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

01-01-2014 06:37:47 | More by smithj4
Photo of whatname


4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

03-17-2014 01:02:40 | More by whatname
Photo of JRod1969

New York

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

01-16-2012 04:50:54 | More by JRod1969
Photo of vonnegut21

New York

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

02-09-2013 03:03:16 | More by vonnegut21
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 03:15:36 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of Phelps


4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by ejyoung, this is the 2010 edition, bottle number 2390. Poured into a snifter.

Pitch black, like...an eclipse. Huh. A fluffy one-finger head of cocoa powder remains as thin, silky top layer.

Super sweet and fruity nose. Dark cherries, toasted coconut, molasses, maple, vanilla. Hot damn, this is delicious.

I don’t know how the brewers at FiftyFifty managed to pull such magnificent flavors out of such sub-par bourbon, but this is exquisite. Again with the dark cherries, but there’s also toasted coconut, toffee, vanilla and molasses. It’s super sweet, but smoothly integrated as well, and I pick up zero alcohol.

The velvety medium body is just so smooth, with super-light carbonation. Some alcohol comes through the nose and is noticeable in throat and mouth as well, but it’s not too off-putting.

This one really reminds of Firestone 14, with its dark cherry sweetness, and the fact that this is the result of aging in a single barrel and not a blended bunch is even more impressive. If this is what an Evan Wiliiams-aged Eclipse can produce, I can’t wait to try the other variations.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2011 23:16:07 | More by Phelps
Photo of JoEBoBpr


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Bourbon County Stout snifter from a 22oz bottle.
BR # 1

Pours a nice slightly viscous liquid with nice dark dark black notes and a nice sticky half inch light tan head. Absolutely no lights gets through. The head recedes down to a nice thin film with a ring.

Aroma starts off with nice vanilla sweetness then followed by some good milk chocolaty sweetness. The vanilla spice notes in the nose definitely come from the barrel with some nice caramel and molasses back bone holding it up. Slight roasted notes in the aroma can be perceived. Dark roasted malts with some slight espresso notes. There is some slight boozy heat coming form the nose with some mild honey notes that then turn back into some nice fudgy cocoa.

Now the taste is where this beer takes off. The flavor starts off with fluffy light yet sweet bakers chocolate. Notes of milk chocolate, fudge and some mild dark cocoa bitterness. Then some nice vanilla and bourbon barrel hints come through with some amazing fudge and molasses sweetness. Then some nice dark malt roast comes through. Just barely (maybe 'cuz of age). Nice balancing act between all the main players in this brew. GReat notes of chocolate, barrel, molasses and vanilla with some mild roast to boot. Body is thicker than expected based on the pour. Overall this is a gem. A delicious base beer with some good barrels.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 00:37:41 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of mltobin


4/5  rDev -7.6%

01-30-2014 01:50:16 | More by mltobin
Photo of CoolEthan


4/5  rDev -7.6%

03-27-2014 16:49:45 | More by CoolEthan
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2011 02:20:12 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of CelticAleMan


4/5  rDev -7.6%

12-14-2011 08:32:27 | More by CelticAleMan
Photo of brotherloco


4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bottle. #2179 - 2010 Evan Williams Edition (Black Wax)

Pours a dark coffee brown and settles to a thin mocha head, fades to razor thin ring. Carbonation is low, but not unusual for the style.

Definite bourbon barrel presence on the nose here. Oak, vanilla, whiskey, ice cream sandwich. Quite sweet smelling. Maybe a touch of alcohol, but very well hidden.

Wonderful flavor. It's like melted vanilla and chocolate ice cream lightly blended with sweet bourbon. Roasty malt in the background. Very well balanced and consistent throughout. Pleasant lingering finish.

I really like the feel of the beer as well. The carbonation is on the lower side, but it doesn't get too cloying and the alcohol is buried nicely. Quite drinkable.

This is the first version of this beer that I've tried. Looking forward to getting more variations of Eclipse in the future.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 01:56:42 | More by brotherloco
Photo of schnarr84

Alberta (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

02-17-2014 06:17:10 | More by schnarr84
Photo of ajzy


4/5  rDev -7.6%

06-08-2013 00:41:46 | More by ajzy
Photo of buzzy


4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

04-06-2014 17:42:48 | More by buzzy
Photo of dogfishandi

New York

4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2013 17:34:27 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of brystmar


3.78/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2012 18:36:27 | More by brystmar
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.