Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel BlendImperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

68 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 68
Hads: 196
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 4.84%
Wants: 64
Gots: 110 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 12-08-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Burgandy wax.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 68 | Hads: 196
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.85/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours jet black with a light chocolate brown head. In the aroma, oaky and a sweet brandy/ bourbon like alcohol. In the taste, sweet roast, alcohol of cognac and bourbon. Quite smooth and a medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry brandy like alcohol aftertaste. WOW! what a nice sipper, big alcohol heat on this one. (327 characters)

Photo of rand
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%

Another ridiculously delicious brew, poured from bottle #1942, 2011 batch, into a snifter. This has been sitting in my house at room temp for 3 years, opened 09/26/2014, and tastes basically perfect.

I don't see the point in reviewing each Eclipse variety from scratch...if anyone is intersted in my first review, here's the link http://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/14936/55063/?ba=rand. But to quickly note the uniqueness of this bottle, I remember drinking this fresh, early 2011, and it was hot and a little too boozy. As expected, aging has rounded out its astringent, prickly aspects (and beer at this level doesn't NOT need to be at cellar-temp, unless you're aging for a long-ass time), yielding a decadent beverage that proves the entire Eclipse project is an exercise in patience. Any grape-y, off-putting sweetness from the brandy barrels has rolled into dark-chocolatey goodness. Amazing. (913 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage. #1710. Poured in to CBS snifter.

A - Poured dark brown, settled black. As it poured there was a brown/red glow in the beer that is reminiscent of brandy. Half a finger of light brown head formed and quickly receded to a thin layer.

S - Brandy, oak and a touch of vanilla up front. Sweet roasted malts and molasses provide sweetness and roasted coffee, dark chocolate and char balance out the nose. The brandy is not dominant bit is noticeable.

T - Brandy up front with oak, sweet vanilla and cocoa. A fairly prominent overall sweetness is present and is balanced by a nice hop profile, warming alcohol and bitter coffee and cocoa. The finish is full of roast, char, dark chocolate, molasses and more coffee. Remarkably balanced. All of the flavours come through with no one flavour dominating the palate.

M - Full body, creamy and smooth. Light carbonation. (877 characters)

Photo of actone2001
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Bottle #1566, consumed with smoked blue cheese and prosciutto (a perfect pairing for any good BA stout!). Word to the wise, let this one warm up.

A - Typical black stout. Quarter inch tan head, lingers for a little bit, then fades as the beer warms.

S - sweet fig, date, raisin, dark fruits. Definitely some brandy, but in a reserved fashion.

T - Good amount of brandy up front, balanced by dark fruit flavor, slight roast, and then a bit of alcohol heat. Molasses/dark brown sugar provide the sweetness, but the brandy creates a presence which is complimentary to the dark malts. The sweet date flavor is most prominent as it warms.

M - More thick than medium of a mouthfeel. Compliments the big stout perfectly. Silky smooth.

O - Great beer overall! I love the Brandy barrel influence! It's my first fiftyfifty eclipse, and I'm very impressed! It's balanced, big, and has some depth. Can't wait to break out some other eclipses from the cellar! (956 characters)

Photo of portia99
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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. (2,612 characters)

Photo of pkalix
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

so, the 2011's are still running around out there in the wild . . . . ? hope they age well!
pours a dark, dark mahogany with no foam. just a filmy layer sitting on top as typical of the style.... beaded lacing down the side.... nice....
smell is of wood and alcohol and, secondarily, brandy...
taste is . . . thin. well, thin-bodied. heavy alcohol presence. not of the existing content, but of the residual left by the casking. sweetness develops as it sits on the tongue. $45 bucks at Stone Bistro, $40 at Churchill's Pub in San Marcos.... commands quite a value, eh? is it worth it? some stouts are thick, and yet some are thin and contain a fair abv. I like this one. I think I like the first one I had better (Fitzgerald?), but probably because it was a whiskey and not a brandy. the brandy seems to impart a particular sweetness. but these are very good brews and i'm happy to have stumbled upon them. I suppose when one understands the ingredients and process which actually produces a beer, then it can be understood why it costs so much. as opposed, of course, to the ones which are all hype and do not deserve your money.
but this is a good one. I like it. a lot of flavor in the thin-bodied liquid. a nectar, of a sort... cask-aged brews can be very nasty, if not done well. these seem very well done. just my opinion. (1,328 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.54/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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). (1,189 characters)

Photo of bcostner1
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #1065. Enjoyed 11/28/12 from a brandy snifter.

A: Deep dark rich brown bordering on black; thick milky-tan head that pours richly and stick around for quite a while.

S: Brandy, raisin bread, roasted dark figs and dates.

T: Really awesome. Smooth brandy throughout. Lots of rum/brandy soaked raisins, figs, dates. Toasted rown sugar raisin bread. Some rich caramel. A nice, rich melange of all the above listed elements along with some vanilla, mild wood, and a strong malt backbone. Delicious.

M: Smooth drinker for sure. The brandy/booze is there but not offensively so. Definitely a warming beer that is best enjoyed as a sipper.

Overall, a great brew. Glad I got to try it and I'm looking forward to the other Eclipse varieties that I have waiting. (764 characters)

Photo of treyrab
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the Elijah 18 a few nights ago, so I figured I would try the Brandy version to see how it stacked up against what most were saying was the best of this year's varieties. Well, in my opinion, the Brandy was the better beer. Here is why:

A: Took at least 10 minutes to get the wax off. Easily three layers of thick wax coated the top of this bottle. Had to get out the knife and chisel away. Once that was over, it poured into a snifter a nice rich black. A rather aggressive pour yielded a one finger creamy mocha head that retained itself for quite a while. Very nice.

S: Much more integrated than the Elijah 18. The Elijah smelled rather sweet, with an intense blast of bourbon. The Brandy here, was much more mellow, but with noticeable scents of nice brandy and roasted malts. The roast here is plays a larger factor than the Elijah. Also, this does not smell as sweet. Contains more chocolate than the Elijah as well.

T: Rich, complex brandy melds gracefully with the dark, bitter bakers chocolate and roasted malts. Nice creamy milkshake with brandy, malted milk balls, and some cocoa powder. Rather dry compared to the Elijah.

Overall, this was one hell of a beer. My girlfriend and I both agreed that we liked this better than the Elijah (but both were great). (1,275 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Same as always, black with a mocha head.

S: Sweet wine, raisins, rummy canded fruits, a little vanilla and some oak in the nose.

T: Sweet candied rummy fruit, a little orange, a little lemon, vanilla, sweet chocolate and oak.

M: Full bodied and creamy smooth.

O: I wouldn't buy a bottle of this for $30, but I'd be glad to get it in a sampler with other eclipses again. Not too many beers are worth $30, at least taste-wise, but this is definitely a very tasty beer. I'd love it if they did more rye barrels, as well as scotch. I think Scotch is the one thing that's always been missing from the series. (618 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew poured out as a very nice black color with a dark tan head on top. The lacing and retention were pretty good on this. The smell of the beer reminded me of fresh tobacco, with some sweet boozy malts and wood in the mix. The taste was very good, It's just got some quality levels that this goes through. Had some boozy heat with some thick creaminess to it in the mouthfeel, Overall this beer was quite good. I look very forward to trying the other two I have that are from different barrels. (500 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured into my CBS snifter. Pitch black in color with a thin tan head scattered across the top and sticking to the sides of the glass. Good lacing as I drank it and a nice looking beer overall.

The aroma blends the chocolate and roasted malts with the dark fruits of the brandy barrel. They compliment each other very well. Some alcohol is noticeable, but not too bad. I really liked the rich dark fruits the brandy barrel added.

The taste shows more of the brandy barrel up front with some really nice notes or dark fruit and red wine to it. The finish is where more of the chocolate and and roasted malts come out. The chocolate in the finish particularly stands out. Again, it really comes together well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being average. Overall, I thought it was a great beer. The brandy barrel complimented the beer better than any other brandy barrel beer I've had. The rich dark fruits and chocolate went together perfectly. Very rich and bold, but also smooth and balanced for the style. Great beer overall. (1,077 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to dsgolovin for throwing this bottle in as an extra.

2011 Vintage
Burgandy Wax
Bottle Nr. 3080
22oz. Bomber

Poured into a chalice a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice one-finger thick cream dark tan head, lots of sticky lacing, but disappear to some oil slicks. The nose is big on malts, sweet, picking up slight brandy notes, lots of chocolate/toffee, vanilla. The taste is very nice malty, sweet, some vanilla, tons of chocolate/toffee notes, and a very nice touch of brandy that makes it pretty interesting. Medium body, ABV hidden pretty well, but definitely a sipper. This is my first FiftyFifty brew, and enjoying it very much. Thanks David! (699 characters)

Photo of SpdKilz
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (846 characters)

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #139(smudged off last digit) from the 2011 release. Poured into snifters, split two ways.

Looks nice and thick and the Brandy Barrel Blend of this years Eclipse stout cascades from the mouth of the bottle into my glass. The head reaches about a half centimeter, but isn't retained for long. Despite this, there is some stringy and slick looking lacing that forms as I drink.

The aroma of this variant is far less ashy than that of the Eclipse aged in the 18-year Elijah Craig barrels. As a result, the nose is filled with more dark roast coffee, dates, figs, and toasted oaky tannins. The barrel influence is far more subtle here, as well. Subdued vanilla and oak do manifest themselves in the finish, but the deep vinous character from the spirit balances itself very well with the base beer. Tobacco, a little ash, roasted coffee, and those vinous barrel notes are the bulk of the flavor on the palate.

This is just awesome in terms of feel. Silky, creamy, and full. No thin mouthfeel here. It looks like FiftyFifty has addressed the thin texture that I experienced in prior vintages. Very well balanced -- more so than the EC18. (1,141 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1210th Review on BA
Bottle CBS snifter
22oz Burgundy wax

Bottle #16??

App- Almost an opaque black with brown highlights. More burgundy on the edges. A nice two finger brown head fell with so-so cling.

Smell- Sweetness prevails like the brandy it was aged in. Roasty like a good stout with a large amount of oak and some milk chocolate.

Taste- To begin its very smooth. Much more so than the others. Tastes likes small belgian rich chocolate with the brandy and oak creating a rich layered stout.

Mouth- A rich and creamy medium body with a medium low carbonation. Brandy sweetness very forward.

Drink-An outstanding treatment. Very rich and smooth with huge pockets of flavors as mentioned. One of the better variants of the 2011 series. (744 characters)

Photo of mikeyv35
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Date: 01/08/2012
Vintage: 2011 Brandy BA(Burgundy Wax)
Type: 22oz. Bomber #1805
Glass: Snifter Glass

Received this beer in a trade from fortsambo, thanks! Decided to crack this brew for the Steelers wildcard playoff game, needless to say the brew turned out better than the game.

Poured a dark black in color w/ a 1 finger tan head that left medium amounts of sticky lacing. One knock was it appears a tad thin for the style, but it is barrel aged. The nose was aromas of brandy, oak, molasses, dark chocolate, and brown sugar. The taste was about the same, starting off w/ brandy sweetness, followed by big oak, and finishing w/ molasses/dark chocolate a touch of hop bitterness and charred malts. Full bodied and lush. The flavors really stick to the palate. For the style this brew is very drinkable as I almost polished off the bomber myself, but then again it was a very close game.

Overall, this brew was excellent and I would happily drink another bomber in the future. (979 characters)

Photo of sitarist
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another blind review via the "blind bif 7." While reviewing 2b. last night the power went out. From my candle lit notes...

Pours deep brown, opaque, 1/4" of tan head falls to a ring with a tiny island just a couple spots of lacing.

I'm expecting a big burbon aroma, instead Im greeted with a well balanced scent of chocolate, vanilla, raisins, with a clean alcohol aroma. Port? Whatever it is, I like it.

Flavors fall in line with its aroma. Its flavors are delicately balanced. Coco, & vanilla start it off with some fruit in the middle, bitter-sweet chocolate, faint hints of anise, & port at the end.

Medium body, and lightly carbonated...works well with its flavor. Creamy to dry, an easy drinking imp.stout.

A well crafted beer that is intriguing, yet easy to drink. There is a wicked storm outside, and the power is out, but I do not have a care in the world.

Im guessing its an Imp. Stout. I do not think it has anything in common with 2a. other than being a stout.

Wrong...its a Fifty Fifty - Eclipse(bottle#1090, year 2011) with dark red wax, which I believe is the Brady Barrel Blend version. Quite different, and much more complete than the Grand Cru Blend. I cant believe how different the two blends are, though they started out as the same. (1,261 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a touch of brown and a finger of frothy khaki-chocolate head. Fades normal.

S - Chocolate and dark caramel malts, molasses, dark fruits, vanilla, oak, Brandy, black licorice, dark cocoa, coffee, booze.

T - Sweet chocolate and caramel malts, Brandy, vanilla, oak, molasses, coffee, black licorice, bitter dark cocoa, raisin, figs, dates and other dark fruits, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and a bit syrupy with a warming, sweet finish.

D - Great barrel aged stout. The brandy barrel is a nice touch and the dark fruits come through a bit more. (603 characters)

Photo of NorCalYeti
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

really enjoyed this beer over the grand cru which i sampled recently. the beer was soft in the mouth and had a nicely balanced hop/malt taste. long warming finish. a hop bite in the swallow for sure. beer had tropical flavors along with a toasted element and chocolate in the finish. apricots come to mind. the beer tasted sweet up front but that component backed off after a while. my thought was this could be a digestif and could be paired with a gelatinous dessert, a ciger, and/or chocolate. felt like the beer had high gravity and felt weighty on the palate, a sipper. (574 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from 22oz bottle poured into snifter (on New Years eve) supplemented by notes taken from the tap version consumed at the release.

A: Pours a very dark near black with reddish edges beneath a finger of dark mocha brown head that bubbled away into a thin wispy film.
S: Sweet, almost fruity smelling, with notes of rich malts, green apple and boozy brandy barrel.
T: Sweet like the nose with strong notes of brandy. The barrel really dominates in this version. I get notes of dark fruit, chocolate, molasses, vanilla and a hint of cola as well. Sweet yet spicy at the same time. The finish is woody and full of vanilla, and the aftertaste is full of brandy all the way. As this beer reaches room temp the brandy comes out even more and the fruit isn’t as strong.
M: Medium-thick body that is full but not the fullest, boozy but smooth mouthfeel with even carbonation.
O: The bottle seemed fruiter than I remember the tap version being at the release. This is definitely a brandy lovers beer. Rich and strong but very easy to sip on. Definitely not the smoothest or richest of the different Eclipse treatments, but this is one of the better ones. (1,159 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 1079, 2011 batch.

A: Very dark brown pour, not quite black. Big billowing dense head, light brown in color. Fades slowly, leaving a pretty heavy coating of lacing behind. Excellent retention.

S: Very fruity, lots and lots of dark fruits. Cherry, grape, and berries (raspberry/blackberries I would say) mainly. Sweet and a bit sharp with some alcohol sting in the nose. Slight metallic twang to boot.

T: Again, very sweet and fruity up front. Loaded with dark fruits to the hilt. Nice chocolate and some chalky char comes through in the middle and into the finish. Sharp alcohol in the finish as well. Lingering dark fruits and honey between sips. Awesome.

M: Not as heavy as you'd think but still plenty full. A touch chalky sometimes.

O: Awesome barrel aged stout. I've had the rittenhouse rye version too and that one was completely different while still being excellent. I did find the rittenhouse rye one slightly better but not enough to justify the leap down to 4.0. Regardless, this one is sweeter and very fruity. Great brandy flavor and aroma goes well with a chocolatey/roasty stout. Well balanced and delicious. (1,135 characters)

Photo of ratedz
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 release. Bottle 1307 (maybe, the last number is partly worn off, but it might be a 7)

A - Pours jet black with about a finger and a half of tan colored head. The head fades slowly for a barrel aged stout and leaves behind a lot of lacing on the glass.

S - Sweet, sugary brandy and some notes of chocolate. Hints of vanilla and dark fruits linger in the background. Very complex, yet very balanced.

T - The sweetness of the brandy is the first thing I notice upon taking a sip. Bittersweet chocolate, light smokiness, and some roasted malts. A slight bitter hop profile shows up before the sweetness of the brandy returns.

M - Thick and creamy. Light carbonation. A little heat from the brandy, but pretty much close to perfect mouth feel.

O - A very enjoyable beer. The sweetness from the brandy can be a bit much, but it compliments the base beer fairly well. This was the first of the 2011 Eclipse variations that I've tried and I'm looking forward to the others since I'm a bigger fan of bourbon than I am brandy. (1,026 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle 884 of 2011

Appearance: Pours fudge brown with a modest head that leaves a nice smattering of lace

Smell: Fruity brandy aromatics with undertones of chocolate, caramel and licorice

Taste: The brandy flavors jut forward off the bat and blend delicately with the chocolate, fruit and licorice; the sweetness stays on an even keel with the chocolate and the alcohol; very smooth, but slightly sweet finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low carbonation; velvety smooth

Overall: One more Eclipse to go and this is the smoothest of the bunch; while I prefer Bourbon to Brandy, this is a really well done Brandy barrel treatment; it may not be the most complex but it sure is well-balanced (700 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Forget who shared this one, but thanks! Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - Surprisingly carbonated for an Eclipse. A half-finger of tan foam settles to some wisps, a thin collar, and a few spots of lace. Very dark brown body with a glint of red at the fringes of the glass.

S - Aroma is quite sweet in comparison to the Grand Cru I recently had - the brandy barrel is front and center, imparting some sweet red fruits, oak and light perfume flavors. Dark chocolate, anise, and roasted grains are in the periphery. Alcohol is better hidden than the Grand Cru as well.

T - The base beer shines through more substantially in the taste, with dark chocolate and roasted malts balanced by red licorice and fruity brandy flavors. Quite sweet mid-palate but finishes with roasty bitterness and a bit of spirit alcohol bite.

M - Full-bodied, lower carbonation, sticky and chewy. One of the heftier offerings in the series. Some moderate alcohol warmth in the finish - I doubt this is actually 9.5%, but it's nowhere near as hot as the Grand Cru was.

D - Not my favorite barrel treatment of Eclipse, but still a very enjoyable and somewhat unique barrel-aged stout. I'd have this again, but not at the ridiculous price it was selling for locally. If you like sweet and fruity imperial stouts, this will be right up your alley. (1,322 characters)

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.