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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 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 mattsander
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deepest brown with a surprisingly tenacious crema-colored head.

S: A lot of alcohol, some oak, cocoa, medicinal-brandy vibe. Definitely less barrel character than the bourbon versions of Eclipse. The alcohol retracts from greatness here, I'll save my next bottle for a couple years.

T: Very nicely balanced chocolatey malt, fruitiness from the brandy, and warm boozy honey. It's very nice, but it feels more like the base beer than something that's been in a barrel for a year.

M: For me Eclipse has the ideal mouthfeel for a strong stout. Honey keeps this rich yet drinkable.

A very nice stout, though for me this wasn't near the level of the Elijah Craig, Rittenhouse, or Buffalo trace. Will definitely be laying down my remaining bottle for a year or two to taste this minus the strong alcohol aroma. (811 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 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 cps98
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brandy Barrel Aged version with the Burgandy wax. Got this one in a trade with ShanePB, thanks man it was super tasty now I want to try and score the other variations of this. Enjoyed this past weekend with a couple friends enjoying the great outdoors.
Pours a deep black with a nice creamy mocha colored head. Fantastic lacing on the glass, the beer just clung to the sides of the glass when swirled around. Smells of coffee, oak light hints of dark berries, figs maybe some plums were all intermingled. It was a really nice full bodied smooth beer. Carbonation was fantastic. It was a little more mellow in the taste department compared to other BA stouts I’ve had (not overy complex). Light hints of coffee and chocolate along with oak and a little alcohol were all present on the tongue. I was hoping for more brandy. This beer was a really good mellow BA variation and I believe all who were tasting wish we had more. I hope I get the chance to try the other variants at some point! (990 characters)

Photo of beerhan
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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. (629 characters)

Photo of jethrodium
3.01/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

650 ml bottle. 2011 version. Pours a dark brown with a small tan chocolate head that has good retention and leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is big brandy, some plum, light oak, a hint of marshmallow, and a quite boozy. The taste is sweet with brandy, marshmallow, some light roastiness, a bit of oak, and a lot of alcohol. The finish has a decent bitterness and is quite astringent. Medium body. Low carbonation. This was quite disappointing. It was very boozy and the flavors did not come together all that well. The astringency also took away from the beer. (582 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle I shared at jmgrub’s tasting.

2011 vintage. Bottle # 1502.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, cinnamon, and alcohol. Taste is the same with a medium roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good Eclipse treatment but I am not getting any real brandy aromas or flavors from it. (543 characters)

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

Bottle share in Hoboken, NJ.

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some dark brown + burgundy highlights when held up to the light. The beer has a finger tall mocha head that reduces but has great retention properties with more than 50% surviving the time of drinking. Significant lacing is observed.

S: The smell of this beer is quite sweet with the brandy aroma from the barrels it was aged in - this really dominates the smell of the beer. Additionally there is some dark roasted malts, oak, and chocolate.

T: The flavor really follows the smell with the chocolate and brandy tastes in the forefront. There is a definite light oak taste in the finish.

M: On the heavier side of medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Creamy.

O: I really enjoyed this and think more brewers should consider aging in brandy barrels - it adds some nice complexity and great taste/smell to the beer. I could have sipped on this one for quite a while. Yum. (969 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 DavoleBomb
3.56/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage, bottle #1727. Burgundy wax so I have the right listing.

4.5 A: Black color. Nearly three fingers of creamy/frothy light brown head. Retention is good at first and gets great for the last half finger. Tons of lacing is left behind.

3.5 S: The brandy brings out the chocolate in the base beer quite well. Otherwise, earth and lightly vinous brandy persists. Not much else going on though aside from a light roastiness.

3.5 T: Tastes like the nose. Big chocolate. Vinous, fruity brandy. Light roastiness.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light creaminess. Boozy finish and aftertaste.

3.5 D: This is a pretty good brandy barrel stout, but I'd prefer a more sturdy stout that this. (735 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in the 2012 Birthday BIF from futhurgone; Thanks Rob! Another want of mine…always excited for a new Eclipse beer. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Sierra Nevada XXX Anniversary tulip. 2011 vintage, bottle #1840.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for four to five minutes and leaves an inch throughout drinking, with spotty lacing on the glass. Looks awesome.

s - Smells of sweet dark fruits, chocolate, roasted malts, brandy, oak, molasses, sweet cherries, sugar, and some toasted malts. Nose is nice but quite sweet.

t - Tastes of sweet dark fruits, sweet chocolate, roasted malts, cherries, fruity malts, brandy, alcohol, oak, light vanilla, cocoa, molasses, and toasted malts. Again, pretty sweet but I like it.

m - Full bodied stout and low carbonation, thick and chewy. The low carbonation makes this one super smooth and easy to drink, and there isn't really any alcohol heat. Very nice body for a stout; a tiny bit more carbonation and it would be perfect.

o - Overall I thought this was a good beer and another good Eclipse variant, though it isn't nearly as good as the other versions I've had so far (PVW, Evan Williams, 12 Yr EC, and Four Roses). I've thought those 4 were outstanding and this was very good. I guess it's because of the barrel, but this one is much fruitier and sweeter than the others, thought the body is nice. I liked it, but prefer my stouts not quite as sweet. Definitely worth checking out, but not if you can have one of the other 4 variants over this one. (1,588 characters)

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

Enjoyed during last night's bottle share. Thanks to rlmartin, rmjavanut, hoppymcgee, and whartontallboy for contributing to this 11-bottle Eclipse tasting!

This Brandy version was nicely balanced with a hearty roasted malt backbone that supported the brandy's sweetness nicely. Refreshingly balanced: not too much booze, not too sweet, not too roasty. Most of the other barrel varieties over-emphasized the barrel flavors, so the mix of flavors here was certainly welcome.

Overall, the '11 EC18 was our group's consensus favorite. But honestly, I was mostly unimpressed with the Eclipse variants. Bourbon County Stout is superior to all of them except EC18. Very glad I got to try them all, but EC18 is the only one I'd seek out again. (737 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 kiddynamite920
3.3/5  rDev -20.1%
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. (1,049 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (1,086 characters)

Photo of brotherloco
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (1,086 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (707 characters)

Photo of BeerImmediately
3.84/5  rDev -7%
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. (752 characters)

Photo of waltonc
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
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. (874 characters)

Photo of jonvan04
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
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. (816 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
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. (834 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 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 Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (803 characters)

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