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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
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 68
Hads: 196
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 4.84%
Wants: 63
Gots: 111 | 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 cosmicevan
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage enjoyed from an eclipse snifter.

a - nine more black. All eclipse beers are stunning...they have a gorgeous shine and a thin head that is gone quick leaving sparse islands of bubbles on the surface.

s - nose is really pleasant. Big bold chocolate infused with sangria. Deep fruit from the brandy. Way more fruity than the Christian bros one I tried not too long ago.

t/m/o - big lush flavorful brew. Big chocolate roast. The brandy adds an element of fruit and booziness. It works well but doesn't seem as silky as other eclipse beers...seems a touch fizzy, fizzy for an eclipse so it still is fairly smooth and goes down easy for such a big beer. Pulls off the brandy treatment well, but doesn't hold a candle to the bourbon variations in the series. (774 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 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 Phyl21ca
3.81/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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. (536 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 stakem
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bomber #2396 poured into a matching Eclipse snifter. Consumed immediately after the Christian Brothers Brandy version. The bree appears a dark cola brown thats lighter around the edges. Some big bubble formation rises atop and collapses before really forming any significant cap. Legs of clear alcohol coat the glass.

The smells contains chocolate and raisony alcohol. A little earthen with roast and suggestions of coffee. The barrel presence is mild with a bit of fruity tang and soft vanilla-like oak with a hint of spice somewhat like cinnamon.

The taste is boozy like chocolate covered raisons and a bit of fruity alcohol. Some soft vanilla blends into raw oak and some lingering woodiness. The bitterness is like day old strong coffee.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is complex, interesting and shows off the spirit seemingly moreso than the barrel that was used to age the brew. Having drank this after the other brandy version, there are some definite similarities but I actually liked the vanilla barrel presence on this one and the overall cleanliess/roast more than the single barrel. (1,137 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 warnerry
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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. (823 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 HuskyinPDX
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened again on 10.28.13
2011
B076

A - Pours a dark brown with a tan head that fades slowly.

S - Sweetness, then bourbon and bitter chocolate.

T - Sweet brandy, chocolate, roasted malts. Nice.

D - Good carbonation with a heavy body.

O - Swwet and drinks very easy. Great version. (291 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sampling glass. 2011 vintage. From notes. Reviewed 12 February 2013.

A: Pitch-black with cola edges and a light brownish head.

S: Sweet grapes and strong liquor. Deep and complex.

T/M: Bright and tasty, with a great soft aftertsate. Brandy is evident, grapes, but it's perhaps oversweet.

O: It's okay. Not my favourite. Stick to the whiskey barrels. (367 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage from secret Santa Alex M, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a solid black with a nice sized tan head that slowly dissipates to a cap on top with a moderate amount of lace on the sides. Smells of roast and chocolate with a heavy hit of molasses and dark fruits. Cherries, plums, raisins and a touch of alcohol round out the nose nicely. The flavor is lots of milk chocolate and coffee with a hint of smoke. Subtle supporting flavors of vanilla, dark fruits, tangerines, and a hint of wood. Medium to thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet silky mouthfeel. I really enjoyed this eclipse version. The Brandy gives it a much softer barrel treatment than the bourbon barrel I last had. (711 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 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 inlimbo77
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, 2011 vintage, bottle # 3091
Mini nonic pint glass (4oz)

A: Pours a deep black color. Completely opaque. Some carbonation because I got a half finger of slightly tan head. Not a ton of lacing. Slight alcohol feet. Lots lacing.

S: Getting lots of that brandy barrel on this one. More than what I have read in other reviews. Lots of dark fruit and candied sugar. Overwhelms the roast.

T: Lots of dark fruit sweetness. Heavy prune. Rum soaked raisin. Then you get that roasted malts. This is completely different then the other variations I have had where it was more vanilla, caramel, oak, etc. Some what dry finish.

M: Medium leading to full. (650 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
2.96/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

11/24/2012

2011 vintage into a snifter.

A: Black with an enormous frothy light brown head. Great retention and lots of lacing. Nice looking beer.

S: A lot of Totality and a mellow barrel presence. Anise, licorice, oak, molasses, and a lot of roasted malt. Just a little vanilla and brandy. Pleasant coco notes.

T: Rich dark chocolate with a fair amount of booze and roasted malt. Heavy on the licorice and roasty bitterness. Subtle brandy and dark fruit with a touch of vanilla. Lots of booze and bitterness in the astringent roasted licorice finish. When the beer warms up it begins to taste like Robitussin.

M: Full body with medium carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel with alcohol warming.

Overall: Not a fan of this. The combination of licorice Robitussin and brash alcohol did not make for a pleasant drinking experience. I won't be finishing this bottle. (860 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle # 1446, 2011 vintage.

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black in the glass with a one finger beige head that quickly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Roasted, smoked malt aroma with a decent barrel presence that seems to be nicely integrated into the base beer. There's some toasted oak, vanilla and coconut but the spirit/brandy is much tamer here than in the other treatments. Some boozy brandy sweetness but there's room for the strong malt presence to shine. Pretty robust smelling with smokey charcoal along with roasted coffee bean, oatmeal, toast and dark chocolate. Decently balanced but the brandy presence could be a touch stronger for me.

Full bodied with a stronger barrel presence than I anticipated. Sweet brandy and vinous dark fruit notes along with dry, toasted oak and vanilla. Still, it's nicely integrated into the flavors of the base beer and doesn't overpower the roasted dark malt flavors. The oak compliments the robust malt and the brandy sweetness counters hints of burnt toast, espresso, oatmeal and chocolate cake. Really well balanced and the ABV is excellently masked, with little to no heat. (1,184 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 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 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 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 Huhzubendah
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a bottle of this with Paul yesterday.

The beer is dark brown, nearing black. Half inch of dense beige head. Looks like all of the other Eclipse stouts.

The aroma brings oak, booze, chocolate, roast. Smells nice.

The flavor is a small step up from the aroma. I would probably award aroma and taste each a 4.25 if possible. Nice balance of flavors, with a gentle sweetness imparted by the brandy barrel. Subtle notes of vanilla.

Medium bodied and easy drinking. A touch of heat in the finish. Well done.

Overall, another solid stout from FiftyFifty. I have enjoyed all of the beers in this series so far. (616 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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! (1,035 characters)

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

Bottle #1379, 2011. It's quite black, only showing brown when fairly thin. Small head, beige. The aroma has dark chocolate, molasses, vanilla, roast and a sweet brandy note. The taste is sweet and rich. It's nice big stout and packs a lot of flavor. The barrel flavor is relatively mild and blends into the roast, molasses and dark chocolate. There's some roast-bitterness to tone down the sweetness. Very tasty stuff. Mouthfeel is smooth and thick. It's a heavy beer, full of flavor. I'm a big fan of Eclipse. This isn't up to the Christian Brothers brandy version, but all of the Eclipses are quite good. My only real criticisms of this beer is that it could use more barrel flavor and a bit more depth. However, they're minor complaints, and I quite enjoyed the bottle. (772 characters)

Photo of Treebs
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage, bottle # 3138. Burgundy wax. 22 oz. bottle served in a Firestone Walker tulip.

A: Pours a dark black body with dark brown edges. A one finger height of tan head forms on the pour and slowly recedes to a thin cap. Sticky sheets of lace down the glass.

S: Sweet brandy on the nose with nice unsweetened chocolate. Toasted grains. Raw oak and some subtle dark fruits.

T: The taste is much more oaky than nose. The brandy is there, but seems a little disjointed from the base beer. The finish is sweeter with some chocolate and roasted malts, but it seems like the beer is in two parts.

M: Medium bodied with a slight chew. The alcohol is slightly overbearing, even at 9.5%. Not really well hidden. The finish is a little astringent.

O: The taste was a little disjointed and the alcohol was a little too prevalent. Not the best of the Eclipse series. Would pass over this in the future. (902 characters)

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