Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 184 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
4.88/5 rDev +17.3%
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.
05-30-2012 20:14:43 | More by OWSLEY069
4.55/5 rDev +9.4%
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.
06-01-2012 20:42:43 | More by TheSevenDuffs
4.55/5 rDev +9.4%
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!
12-30-2012 01:14:51 | More by actone2001
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
4.54/5 rDev +9.1%
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.
08-23-2013 21:41:49 | More by pkalix
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
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.