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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

190 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 190
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 64
Gots: 116 | FT: 9
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Burgandy wax.

(Beer added by: MasterSki on 12-08-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 190 | Reviews: 68 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kiddynamite920
3.28/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Doesn't appear completely black, although light seems to have a tough time passing through it. Thin head like all the Eclipses I've tried so far. Swirling produces a tan cream that fades right back down quickly. Beer itself looks thin as well.

S: Sweet brandy, mixed with some heavy booze. Some nice chocolate and cherry, but not much as far as the base stout goes. Easy to pick up the barrel and some vanilla/oaky aromas.

T: Easily the smoothest I've tried of the series so far, but that doesn't necessarily help the stout. Comes off sweet and lacks roastiness until late where a small amount of bitterness creeps up. Reminds me of a jar of brandied cherries, with some chocolate aftertones.

M: Thin, big shocker there. It's smooth, but finishes boozy and almost with a tart cherry thing going on. Perhaps these are just familiar brandy flavors to me.

O: Everyone knows these beers aren't worth the price, but can't help but buy them. Gotta catch'em all. Not my favorite variation without question. Too sweet and lacks the stout underneath.

Photo of sweemzander
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle #3140. 2011 vintage. Thanks to Chris for sharing!

(A)- Pours a nice pitch black color. Some good tan froth and lace too.

(S)- A nice sweet but rich aroma. Plenty of caramel, toffee, raisin, and subtle chocolate covered bread and coffee ground.

(T)- Similar to the smell. An underlying sweetness to it with raisin, cocoa, and caramel. You can just tell this is brandy instead of bourbon due to the slightly larger sweetness behind it. I do find that brandy barrel aging does lend far more sweetness to some stouts as opposed to bourbon, but this one does keep it balanced well.

(M)- A nice smooth carbonation level. A rather nice balance as well even with a slightly larger overall sweetness level. Rich and sweet but it does have nice subtle barrel character to help with its balance.

(D)- Like I mentioned before, I do find most of the brandy barrel beers I have tried to be a bit too sweet sometimes for my liking, however this one pulls it off quite well: smooth and balanced. I am looking forward to trying the other variants as well.

Photo of bsuedekum
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of brotherloco
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz waxed bomber. 2011 Edition. Bottle #2219. Served in a brandy snifter.

A vigorous pour gave me a finger and a half of dark beige foam on top of a dark brown/black brew. Holding it to the light reveals a root beer tinged color. Head settles to a dense creamy ring. Nice big swoops of lacing left in glass.

Aroma hits me with more initial alcohol than I've smelled in other varieties of Eclipse. Milk chocolate malty notes lie underneath but are more subtle. A dry and dusty barrel presence hangs around in the background. Vanilla and oak.

Flavor is initially really sweet and roasty. Chocolate malt, espresso, tobacco, dark fruit, vanilla ice cream. This flavor transitions into a highly spirited (as in booze) brandy-like sting. A little astringent. Finishes with a rich and creamy roasted bitterness, with some sweetness lingering as well.

Mouthfeel is great on this one. Full bodied, creamy, slick, and nicely carbonated, if a touch sharp. A real pleasure to sip.

Overall another very good Eclipse, but perhaps a touch astringent compared to the bourbon varieties I've tried.

Photo of maximum12
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another in the series of one of my favorite barrel-aged bunches. What better way to clear out the Town Hall goodness than one of the pyramids of BA madness? Bottle #2978, split with the wife.

Heh. Pours typical big black bad; more head than most Christians, uh, what? Nose on this is spot-on as advertised, brandy, dark maltish, chocolate. Niiice.

Brandy Barrel Blend is just lovely. Long chocolate milk with a shot of brandy, just like Santa ordered. Tingly sweet malts. Roast, vanilla, heavy dose of oak in the back-fill. Really easy to drink, this is a barrel-aged session beer.

One more winner in the series, this is a huge improvement over the 2010 version, in my exalted opinion. Excellent beer.

Photo of Swervine44
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BeerImmediately
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz into goblet.

Beautiful looking beer. Short coffee ice-cream-colored head over a deep, opaque brown body.

Decent aromas that won't knock you over. Strangely, the first thing I picked up was concentrated apple juice. Cocoa, caramel, and a touch of char round things out. The brandy fruitiness continues to dominate, though.

Flavors and mouthfeel make this pretty damn easy drinking for a brandy barrel aged impy stout. Vanilla is pretty prominent. Some sweet, creamy white chocolate, along with dose of black licorice, and a kiss of charred wood in the finish. Maintains its smooth mouthfeel throughout.

I just can't get enough of these, as I feel they're very well crafted. Glad I picked up two of each, even with the huge dent in my wallet.

Photo of warbird07
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of waltonc
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glass top of the bottle cracked off as I opened this. Poured the beer through a colander into my Bruery tulip in hopes I don't ingest any glass. Pours dark brown with an inch of velvety head. Nice to see fifty fifty release this with appropriate carbonation this year. I was quite disappointed that the brewery knowingly released the brandy eclipse last year without adequate carbonation. Smells of nice toasty malt, brandy, vanilla and brown sugar. Flavor is really nice. Not too much char and roast (unlike my first bottle of EC 18 year eclipse). Sweet brandy, vanilla, and brown sugar. Body is fairly thick with nice velvety carbonation. So far no lass in my mouth. Overall, quite a good beer. I just wish the bottle didn't break upon opening.

Would I buy this again? No, not at this price point. Too many good beers available for considerably less cost per fluid ounce.

Photo of jonvan04
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After trying the Rittenhouse Rye version of this beer, I was excited to try this since I loved the other and have never had a brandy barrel aged beer before.

This beer poured black with a 1/4 inch tan head.

The aroma was of dark fruits, cherries, chocolate, and wood.

The taste was very much fruit forward with some chocolate flavors blended in. I didn't detect as much flavors from the barrel but definitely got a lot from the brandy. The fruit and brandy flavors seemed to almost enhance the bitterness in the finish as the hops were much more detectable than the Rye barrel version of this beer.

This would be great for somebody who loves chocolate covered strawberries. This was a nice mix of the fruit and stout flavors, however after having tried it I think I'll stick to the other versions of this beer.

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of Khazadum
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Sean9689
3.8/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, (?spycow?)! Poured into Darkness tulip.

A - Pours black, light mocha-colored head, thin collar.

S - Chocolate, light booze, light roast. Not overly complex here, yet still enjoyable. The booze isn't too much and the sweetness is spot-on for me to enjoy. Just pretty straight-forward -bal.

T - Similar to the nose. Chocolate, smooth booze, oak. No real roast or caramel, but the sweetness and booze are enjoyable and work well together. No barrel notes, and it's hard to pick out anything but sweetness, chocolate, and brandy booze. Again, solid but not blowing me out of the water.

M - Medium to full body, good carbonation, creamy finish.

O - A solid barrel-aged stout and a nice variant in the horizontal. That said, I'm more of a fan of the Buffalo Trace then this one, and will score accordingly. Good, give it a try.

Photo of ratedz
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of Knapp85
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #1451. Served in a SAVOR wine glass, and split with Amyliz4.

Pours near black with a good light mocha head. Very bubbly and thin, receding to a thin cap fairly quickly. Collar throughout. The nose has distinct brandy notes pushing to the front. Some sweetness and oak, along with a mild cherry presence. A good portion of chocolate and a bit of booze come through more as it warms.

The flavor is focused mainly on the brandy, with a touch of oak and very light vanilla. Chocolate makes for a good base with a slight bit of roast. Slightly boozy. Medium-full body with a mild chewiness. Good body and nose, but the back-half and finish were a bit boozy and need to balance out a bit. Maybe a few more months for this before it reaches optimal drinking age. I look forward to revisiting this one.

Photo of bwyu
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of ehammond1
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

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.

Photo of TheCrowsNest
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.38/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of BubbaBeerMan
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of auroracrisis
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Duvel tulip.

Pours pitch black with a light mocha colored head that dissipates into nothing after a few sips. No lacing, a bit of legging.

Pretty hot on the nose with overlaying notes of sweet brandy and cocoa powder. Lots of alcohol, to be honest but it's not burning. Sweet confection sweetness too like caramel and marshmallow. Not too complex on the nose, but not offensive even though the alcohol is more than apparent on the nose.

Opens with nice roasty flavors of baker's chocolate and French roast coffee. Moves into brandy sweetness with German chocolate cake frosting. A follow up of malt balls and Toblerone? Pretty nice on the tongue, wish the nose matched up to this.

Soft carbonation and full bodied. Sticky.

Good brandy sweetness with various flavors of chocolate. Nice roast too. I'd suggest giving this a little more time to let the aroma gather itself.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brandy Barrel Blend from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 190 ratings.