Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 495 | Reviews: 174 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4.2/5 rDev -3%
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.
03-03-2011 19:19:57 | More by drabmuh
4.49/5 rDev +3.7%
2012 edition, thanks to claystation for making it happen! from what i understand (according to google), evan williams is a wheated bourbon, giving it an extra smoothness, and i think that comes through in the beer here, although i have to admit, i was really focused on identifying that element of it. this is one of the better, if not the very best edition of eclipse i have had, and im not sure how much of that is this barrel treatment or its age, both of which have smoothed it right out beautifully. matte black color, viscous, and producing half an inch of espresso colored head that sticks around a little while. slurpy rich texture to it, thick and mostly still, palate coating and dense, a nice medium for this type of ale. lots of barrel in the nose, bourbon yes, but evan williams distinctly? impossible to say. the flavor is loaded with vanilla and heavy chocolate flavors, dark raw cocoa and char, mostly in the finish. mellowing oak and booze in great proportions. i remember the four roses edition being quite similar, as far as the chocolate and vanilla complex, but this one feels so much smoother to me, again, maybe due to its cellaring awhile. long finish on it, i taste it for miles after the swallow where a faint sweetness creeps in and the heavy roast just cancels it. the texture is amazing too, i love how full and consuming it is, dominating really, but not aggressive. i will remember this one for awhile!
08-04-2014 18:26:50 | More by StonedTrippin
4.2/5 rDev -3%
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.
03-24-2013 21:38:15 | More by Rifugium
3.73/5 rDev -13.9%
This was the last beer we opened up during our epic tasting last weekend. Poured into a snifter.
Appearance: Pours almost black with just a little light coming through the very edge of the pour. There is a layer of tan head.
Smell: Sweet, roasted malt up front with a strong presence from the bourbon barrel. The bourbon dominates the smell of this beer.
Taste: This one is quite hot from the bourbon. Dark roast and some sweet dark fruit notes. The finish is bitter. Not a ton of sweetness from the malt.
Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side with some heat from the bourbon. Tingly carbonation and a dry finish.
Overall: I would have liked the bourbon to be a bit less hot. A bit more malt sweetness coming out would have been alright with me.
12-20-2011 05:12:12 | More by oline73
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
3.9/5 rDev -9.9%
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.
12-17-2010 04:59:06 | More by Halcyondays
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
4.58/5 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
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
4.68/5 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
4.43/5 rDev +2.3%
A LOT of hype around the Eclipse series. I told myself to take it easy with Eclipse, and what do you know, the opportunity presented itself at the Rose & Crown. Even more honoring was splitting the bottle with my collegue Ricardo, who helps run a Brazilian beer rating website (www.brejas.com.br). On to the beer:
Black, black, and black. Light isn't going to penetate through the body. A small tanned head forms, dropping away to a thin lace. The nose brings the barrel characterists. Here comes oak, vanilla, and molasses.
This is good, and the taste becomes even better as it warms. At times, I almost forgot that I was drinking a stout. Very heavy are the barrel characterstics. Flavors of honey, vanilla, oak, molasses, and evenutally a big kick of licorice and a gentle dose of dark chocolate. The body is smooth and seems medium heavy; it's not one to weigh you down or leaves tons of residue around your lips after you're done drinking it. The alcohol is inserted well, only coming up as a warming sensation in the throat.
I have good news, it's a very good beer. It still doesn't compell me to chase right after the rest of the Eclipse series, but if the opportunity is right, I'll be happy to experiment.
04-05-2011 05:32:20 | More by DoubleJ
United Kingdom (Wales)
4/5 rDev -7.6%
Eclipse Evan Williams
Bottle 1682 shared by translucent.
Pours ½ finger of tan head. Good retention leaving thin lace rings. Color is black.
Aroma: Vanilla, oak, and whiskey. Chocolate with a light roast and some dark fruits (plums and grapes). Warming alcohol.
Taste: Much more whiskey flavors here, but enjoyable. Chocolate with a bit of char. Caramel, vanilla, oak, and some dark fruits. More roast than in the nose.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, roasted, and warming. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends kind of boozy but clean.
Overall, this was a really solid beer. Great whiskey flavors. Pretty easy drinking. I really enjoyed this one.
05-19-2011 20:43:24 | More by mothman
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 495 ratings.