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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.

68 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 68
Hads: 197
Avg: 4.14
pDev: 15.46%
Wants: 63
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: 197
Photo of BierJager89
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of waltonc
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of treyrab
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
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).

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Photo of auroracrisis
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of sitarist
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of beerhan
3.91/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of mattsander
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.3/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of bcostner1
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of jethrodium
3.01/5  rDev -27.3%
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.

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of cps98
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
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!

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Photo of kmatlack
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #2957 vintage 2011.

A: pours dark, not the darkest black but definitely dark. Light khaki colored head pours a half finger, sticks around for a little bit and settles down atop the surface of the beer. Not much lacing.

S: you get blasted with sweet brandy at first, the barrel presence is strong here. I've heard others say that the brandy was barely noticeable but it's here in this bottle. That's for damn sure. Tones of honey, cinnamon, chocolate, dark fruits, figs, a little coffee, and more chocolate. In a strange way, it smells of a plethora of different kinds of chocolate. Bakers chocolate, dark, coca nibs, milk chocolate. Crazy!

T: the taste follows the nose here. Front palate is sweet honey and chocolate, the brandy is prominent as well. Mid palate the sweetness dies down and the roasty, smokey, coffee flavors start to shine through. On the back/aftertaste there is still a ton of sweetness, getting kindof old, but the lingering coffee and charred oak isn't. Wish it was a little less sweet, but it's fresh, so I understand.

M: big thick stout, chewy mouthfeel. Alcohol masked well, but still present.

O: an amazing BA imp stout. Is it worth $30 a bottle...? Yes and no. Maybe for a special event, this is definitely worth it. Everyday, no. I can't wait to try the rest of the series.

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Photo of ratedz
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of jonvan04
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of actone2001
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

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