Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 183 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by portia99:
4.55/5 rDev +9.4%
22oz bottle (2011, bottle 1447) that is breaking in my CBS snifter. Very big thanks to Arbitrator for going above and beyond and facilitating my receipt of this fine beer. Been thwarted a couple of times in opening this, so really been looking forward to it.
A - Pours a very, very deep brown color. Clarity looked good on the pour, but in the glass not a shard of light passes thru, even towards the edges. A finger of creamy and dense dark tan head sits atop the beer for a good long time. Head slowly falls but continues to leave behind a thick and creamy collar and thin surface layer. Rings of foamy lacing coat the glass.
S - Brandy is noticeable up front, sweet, sugary, a bit of dark fruit, hints of vanilla, light booze, some dark roast underneath, light milky chocolate, maybe some cherries. Lots going on in here, but still remains balanced and the aromas mesh together quite well.
T - Quite fruity up front as the sip hits the tongue. I'm getting cherries and brandy up front. This fades slowly into a mild boozy presence in the middle which then drifts towards a chocolate assault. Milk chocolate mixed with some darker and more bitter chocolates blend together...I almost get the impression of a Black Forest chocolate cake topped with milk chocolate frosting, dark chocolate shavings and the great faintly noticeable cherry schnapps mixed in...dip that in a brandy reduction and the picture is complete. Dark roasty flavors including a bit of coffee lingers past the swallow well into the aftertaste. To me, this really comes across as a rich dessert in a glass.
M - Medium to full bodied, smooth and a bit frothy carbonation gives a bit of a milk shakey impression. Really well controlled booziness here. There is a noticeable warmth and liquor impression from the brandy barrels but not even close being described as overpowering or totally dominant...rather, the barrel complements the base beer nicely and only enhances. I'm gonna call the mouthfeel here close to perfect.
O - After hearing so much about the Eclipse "family" of beers, and never having experienced any of the versions before, I had high expectations coming into this, especially since the brandy version seems to be considered one of the best varieties this year. All I can say is that I am definitely not at all disappointed. Probably helps that I really love brandy straight or in a good dark roast coffee so perhaps this was set up for success with me. At any rate, this is definitely up there with my stouts of all time...here's hoping that the other varieties at least are in the same ballpark as this one is for me.
01-20-2012 00:45:02 | More by portia99
More User Reviews:
4.23/5 rDev +1.7%
Bottle 2118 into a Duvel tulip. 2011 vintage.
A - Pours a very deep brown/black, though clearly translucent on the pour. A solid one inch of creamy brown head. Pretty good persistence.
S- Lots of fruit in the aroma, with rich chocolate coming in right behind. Booze-soaked (I'm not a brandy drinker, so I can't say whether it is a brandy aroma) raisin is prevalent. A bit vinous. Quite nice.
T - In contrast to the aroma, chocolate is the dominant flavor, followed by the dark fruits, red wine and alcohol.
M - Haven't had an Eclipse in awhile, but this seems to have a thicker mouthfeel than then other variants I've had. Nice and creamy, but still not heavy. A bit dry on the finish.
O - Very enjoyable. The brandy notes seem to bring a very slight harshness to this, but still a nice twist on the barrel aged stout.
04-14-2013 19:32:16 | More by warnerry
3.95/5 rDev -5%
Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA
Very dark brown, nearly black in color, without a lot of visible carbonation and not much head. Eventually, however, this does leave sticky spots and sheets of lacing down the glass. Quite pretty.
The aroma is fairly sweet, with lots of maple syrup, bittersweet chocolate, brandy, roast, a bit of vanilla, and a hint of wood. This is far sweeter and much different than all of the bourbon variations, though it's also the least transformed in comparison to the base beer, Totality, which is already a fairly sweet stout.
The flavor is far more simple and less complex than the bourbon variations. The brandy, sweet chocolate, and roast make for a nice combination, but it lacks the depth I hope for in a barrel aged stout. Also, the honey is quite present and pronounced in this variation. That all being said, this stuff is still delicious--it's just that the other variations set the bar so incredibly high.
Thin to medium mouthfeel with low carbonation.
A fine beer, but a bit too sweet. I was hoping for more transformation from the barrels.
01-27-2012 03:32:50 | More by ehammond1
4.53/5 rDev +8.9%
Got to have a sneak peak of this while helping out with bottling. Then had 2-3 samples the night of, one of my favorites (the brandy always is). Dark pour, tan head, 1/2" in height.
Aroma was just awesome. Best smelling Eclipse, even better than last year's. More complex, higher on the chocolate, vanilla and smoke, less on the brandy sweetness. This was chunkier.
Taste, pretty damn good, easy to drink, silky without the sweetness. There's still sweetness, and probably more than any other version other than the rye, but its more of a brown sugar kind of sweetness, which is a little more tolerable with the other flavors in this kind of beer. The base beer (Totality) seems like its roasted qualities are on better display in this barrel. That is one base beer that doesn't get enough stroking.
When I want to convert or expose people to something they wouldn't think they might be into dark beer wise (you know the I don't drink any dark beer types) I break this out, tell them I hate Brandy, but I love what it does here. More often than not, people have their eyes opened. Can't wait to open a bottle of this. Possibly even better than last year's (a tough burden to overcome).
01-02-2012 23:22:51 | More by Beerandraiderfan
4/5 rDev -3.8%
Thanks to ipa247 for this one. 2011 vintage. Bottle #488. Shared with schen9303. Poured into a Cigar City snifter
Pours 1 finger, dense, light mocha head with moderate retention. Beer is dense, opaque black. Lacing is thick, stringy, with nice stick. Oily legs.
Nose is chocolate, fudge, sweet soy sauce, molasses, booze, and very subtle roasted malt in the back. Nicely aromatic but good balance too.
Opens sweet soy sauce, prunes, chocolate, and cocoa powder. Brandy presence emerges a bit towards the middle and sweetens this one even further. Fudge and roasted malt at the end give this a slight bitterness. Finishes sweet with some molasses and more cocoa in the aftertaste. Solid.
Medium body with light carbonation. Oily and warm in the mouth and warm going down. Moderately smooth with a hot finish and sticky, lingering aftertaste. Great body.
As far as the 50/50 Imperial Eclipse series, this is rather middle of the road. Still, that makes it a far-above-average imperial stout and definitely not one to miss out on!
07-16-2012 23:20:19 | More by SpeedwayJim
3.9/5 rDev -6.3%
Big thanks to kecarl7 for the set
A-Perfect jet black pour with a 1 finger mocha head. Very viscious and thick.
S-Lots of chocolate and molasses with some coffee and a hint of alcohol in the finish.
T-muddy dark chocolate and coffee. It tasted very nice but was lacking in complexity. Very little brandy shines through except for the end.
M-Super crisp and smooth, mild carbonation and very drinkable.
O-A little disappointed by this one but I do hope the other variations are better. This beer was delicious but just did not live up to the expectations. The brandy was too subtle and it just lacked a burn from the barrel.
05-09-2012 16:02:28 | More by beerhan
4.35/5 rDev +4.6%
2011 version, bottle 448. Thanks to Abel for being my proxy for these beers. BTW, opening this beer was freaking annoying.
Appearance – Pours into my Surly Snifter with a utter black viscosity and two fingers of great looking mocha head that dissipates slowly leaving great looking lacing.
Smell – Bittersweet cocoa, vanilla, oak, brandy, roasty malts.
Taste – Heavy dark roasted malts and nice bittersweet chocolate up front. Lots of brandy barrel at the beginning also. Nice dark fruits such as dates and figs, nice oaky flavors, and slight ash.
Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, good carbonation, finishes dry.
Overall – Honestly, I really enjoyed this Eclipse variation. I enjoy stouts a bit dryer and less sweet. This was perfect in balance to me. A hint of sweetness mixed with bittersweet cocoa and roasted malts. Pretty darn good.
03-01-2012 03:13:12 | More by SpdKilz
3.8/5 rDev -8.7%
Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a large brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of rich black chocolates notes with some light soy sauce notes and quite a bit of residual sugars is different than the other BA Eclipse. Taste is also a good mix between some rich black chocolates notes with some light soy sauce notes with quite a bit of residual sugar notes. Body still has the nice creamy and oily texture with good carbonation. Interesting but I found the sweeter side to his varieties less interesting.
02-14-2014 19:31:43 | More by Phyl21ca
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 183 ratings.