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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Buffalo Trace Barrel Blend - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Buffalo Trace Barrel BlendImperial Eclipse Stout - Buffalo Trace Barrel Blend

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

204 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 204
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 74
Gots: 90 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 12-08-2011

Yellow wax.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 204 | Reviews: 55
Photo of Derek
4.84/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

We lined this up with the rye, Java and a number of other greats like speedway and this one really stood out. The best of the best.

Photo of cbutova
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks KimboSlobGob. Had a bunch of these last year and they fell flat due to lack of stout base and body. Bring it 2014.

A- Pours to my snifter with a black hue like the background of a moonlight eclipse. A thick and super bubbly frothy head rises to a finger with decent retention. Small sheets and webs of lace.

S- Old Buffalo Trace wood and barrel slightly at the forefront with aged whiskey and vanilla on top of the oak. Deep chocolate base, roast malts and a cherry truffle-like fruit feel.

T- Compared to last year, the non-barrel portion of the beer is miles ahead with a rich, semi-sweet cocoa feel like a fudgey milk shake. Vanilla is huge with the chocolate, like a milk shake dessert at times. Super aged whiskey and old sweet oak. Charred grains balance it out.

MF- Massive body with a creamy and oily consistency. Carbonation is on the low side and in this case it really suits the big dessert flavors.

Miles away from the 2014 besides perhaps the Elijah Craig. The stout base is delicious and the barrel seems pumped up too. A dessert treat.

Photo of Brabander
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle numer 283 from the year 2011. Very well made barrel aged beer.

Photo of rlee1390
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Black in the glass, one finger brown head with some lacing.

S-Nice bourbon, sweet chocolate and coffee as well.

T-Bourbon, sweet chocolate, roasted malt, nice coffee. Faint vanilla.

M-Heavier, not much carbonation tad thick.

O-Another good Eclipse stout. Not upper echelon but one that you can justify the expense on.

Photo of ppoitras
4.49/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Beverage Warehouse, Winooski, VT. Gold wax, Bottle 1/2013.

Poured into DFH snifter, formed a 1/2" purpley dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Frothy head holds nicely, with thick coating lace. Aroma is dark, sweet, and boozy.

Taste starts with rich and dark malts, dark fruit in the middle, and closes with tannins and tons of alcohol character, which mellows through with come vanilla barrel character. Mouthfeel is slickery smooth, and drinkability is good, as in I look forward to finishing the bottle. Glad I had the opportunity to have this, even if the price point is somewhat prohibitive. A Christmas gift to myself.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with some transparency. Nice khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Bright, sharp bourbon. Oak. Chocolate. Boozy.

Taste - More chocolate. Lots of oak. Bourbon pushes into the finish. Dark chocolate finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Well carbonated.

Overall - Previous year Eclipses seemed to have much more barrel than this. Hmm.

Photo of BMMillsy
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 single barrel version, bottle run 1, yellow wax. Came from Dawson's while home in Maryland. Pours black with nearly a finger of brown head in my Teku. Aroma of chocolate milk, some hot whiskey, vanilla, graham cracker. Flavor has big chocolate up front with a beautiful char and smoke finish from the barrel. Loooove the finish here. Whiskey is there but not too hot despite seeming so in the aroma. There is a fruity flavor and floral flavor here maybe from the honey. A really nice and complex blend of flavors that is noticeably different from the Evan Williams I had last night. Lives up to thinner body reputation that takes slightly away from it but still plenty of big flavors to love. Higher carbonation for the style. Really neat beer here.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz, 2013
Mini snifter

A: Pitch black in the glass. Thin layer of light tan head. Alcohol feet. Not really any lacing.

S: Boozy bourbon. Dark chocolate. Vanilla. Oak dryness.

T: very similar to the MM batch. Good amount of bourbon flavor here. Roast malt. Charred oak. Dark chocolate. Vanilla. Dry tannic wood. Bitter chocolate and lingering booze heat at the close.

M: Full bodied.

Photo of IKR
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage
11.9% ABV

Appearance: Very dark brown bordering on black with a modest dark beige head that slowly faded.

Smell: Mild Bourbon, brown sugar , and mild coffee/roasted malt aromas. Nice smelling but not overly complex.

Taste: Moderate Bourbon, roast malts, vanilla, brown sugar and tannic oak notes. The finish features sweet Bourbon notes, vanilla, roast malt note, oak notes and mild hop notes. This variant is sweeter than the 2013 Makers Mark. Very restrained alcohol presence.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation.

Overall: Good beer. Compared to the Maker Mark, the Bourbon flavor comes off a bit sweeter downplaying the roast malt/coffee aspect. As always, it's a treat to see the different barrel effects on the base beer.

Photo of Dope
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Batch 1 of 2013.

A: Pitch-black pour with a very dense and tall dark brown head. Head fades impossibly slowly, leaving heavy and thick swatches behind. Top notch retention.

S: Nice mild bourbon aroma. Caramel mainly. Lots of honey and toasted sugars. Mild chocolate.

T: Bourbon up front, stronger than the aroma interestingly enough. Caramel and toffee. Pretty spicy and stinging alcohol presence. One of the hottest 50/50 variants I've had. Mild cocoa in the middle and finish. Cocoa is more bitter in the finish with hints of smoke and even coffee. A little oak in the aftertaste too.

M: Heavy, smooth and boozy.

O: Hmph, I'm a big fan of buffalo trace but this blend didn't really do it for me. Quite sharp and boozy initially. Not nearly as sweet as the other variants too, much more bitter as a result. The bitterness and harshness really drowns out everything else, resulting in a seemingly less complex and balanced brew. This is my second least favorite variation so far, with corn whiskey being at the bottom.

Photo of flexabull
4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

A great Christmas Eve tradition! A bottle of Eclipse courtesy of one of the best BAs out there, maximum12. Thanks again my man!

Pours a flat and sludge black color, with a pretty nice tan color head.

Aromas are of very prominent roasted nuts. Some coconuts, oak, and of course, bourbon.

Tasted is very nutty up front. Very pronounced oak, some toasted coconut, and dark bakers cocoa. Finish is warm from the alcohol, but it's cut the sweetness nicely, also notes of bourbon.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but thin for the style.

Overall, this is another winner from 50/50. Flavors and aromas are spot on, it's just the thinner body that hold this back a bit.

Photo of pkalix
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

you guys are high! Sammy gave it a 2.93? oh please...
same recipe as the others, just a different barrel. great aroma in the glass, bourbon and oak, roasted malts.... vanilla. chocolate. yummmm...
taste is a lot like the others, except for a small difference which I assume is from the different barrels(?). I love this stuff and place it highly on my all-time list of favorites. it's a little expensive but it's a great treat when in the right frame of mind. warming and sweet on a cold December afternoon...
this may not be as good as the others I have tried, and i'm trying to decide if maybe because it was just bottled as opposed to sitting a bit, but I am truly entranced with this brew.

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
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, Bourbon, vanilla, oak, black licorice, dark cocoa, coffee, booze.

T - Sweet chocolate and caramel malts, Bourbon, vanilla, oak, molasses, coffee, black licorice, bitter dark cocoa, touch of dark fruit, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and a bit syrupy with a warming, sweet, and lightly spicy finish.

D - Great barrel aged stout. The bourbon is a bit more subtle here.

Photo of jeonseh
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle drank as part of slowly drinking most of these eclipses.

A - Dark brown color with small mocha colored head that sits on top

S - Dark chocolate and fudge with light dark berry presence to it as well. I get slight vanilla and bourbon presence

T - Thick chocolate fudge, light roasted coffee, vanilla and light caramel. Oak and light bourbon comes through and linger on in the finish

M - Light body with good carbonation that leaves a light tingle in the finish

O - Solid eclipse with good sweetness to it. It also has a thicker body than some of the other eclipses which I feel prevents it from being too thin.

Photo of kaseydad
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black ale with a huge light brown creamy, foamy head. Decent lacing. Glad it held for so long.

Aroma consists a lot of the bourbon barrel. Light dark fruits. Burn in the nostrils. Apple. Brown sugar. Honey. Molasses.

Taste is woody and still very barrel forward. Getting a lot of bourbon flavor without the heat. Char taste is present also. Chocolate is there but more on the baker's chocolate flavor. Definitely improves as it warms. The 9.5% definitely seems stronger.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is not improving with time imo. I had this right after purchasing it and the honey and bourbon worked great together. Now? Not so much. It's still good, but it definitely lacks that "something" when compared to other variants.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage. Yellow Wax. Bottle #606.
Poured in to snifter.

A - Very dark brown on the pour but settled black with a thin layer of light brown head.

S - Charred oak, sweet bourbon and vanilla from the barrel up front. Chocolate fudge, roast and sweet molasses.

T - A big oak presence up front with lighter bourbon and vanilla flavours. The barrel dominates, but the base beer comes through as well adding chocolate fudge, roast, char and sweet molasses.

M - Medium body, slightly chewy. Light carbonation.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip glass.

Big thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this bottle!

2011 vintage, bottle #664. If nothing else can be said about the Eclipse series, it does show how different barrels influence the same base. This one pours a deep black-brown (one that comes very close to approximating obsidian) topped by a finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises whiskey, buttercream, caramel, and vanilla. The barrel seems to block out any real sense of the stout within, but things still smell really good. The taste brings in more of the same, though now the stout asserts itself a bit more, though only through a somewhat light roasted-malt note. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a pretty smooth feel. Overall, a very nice stout, one that seems to have benefited from its year of closet-aging. Good times.

Photo of mdfb79
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 11/17/12 notes at our big Eclipse tasting. Big thanks to Thorpe429 for bringing this one; thanks Mike! 2011 vintage bottle #643.

a - Pours a deep dark brown, almost black color, with an inch of two of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks great, like the others.

s - Smells of bourbon, roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, toasted malts, light coffee, cream, and a little bit sweet. Lots of roasted notes and the sweet bourbon is wonderful in the taste, as is the mix of chocolate and vanilla. Awesome nose.

t - Tastes of sweet bourbon, swete chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, sweet dark fruits, burnt malts, cream, earthy notes. A little sweeter than the nose; still quite nice.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Body is similar to all the others, though a bit sweeter. No heat.

o - Overall a really great variation of Eclipse; one of my favorites of the tasting behind 18 year EC. Awesome nose, one of the sweeter ones in my opinion. Would love to have it again.

Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe, thanks. Served in a FiftyFifty eclipse snifter, the occasion was right. Beer is dark black with a wispy brown head of small bubbles, minimal lacing, low carbonation, low retention.

Aroma is a little boozy and a little sweet. The roast comes through in this one more than the others. I like it.

Beer is medium in body, roasty on the end, a little sweet, a nice variant, close to one of my favorites of the night. I'd have this again.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a FiftyFifty Eclipse snifter.

The beer is dark brown, nearing blacks porting a small, beige head that leaves a bit of lacing in its wake. The aroma offers booze, vanilla, chocolate roast. The beer is slightly sweet, with prominent barrel characteristics throughout. Nice notes of vanilla and chocolate. Medium to full bodied with a boozy finish. This variant is middle of the pack as far as Eclipse stouts. Overall, a tasty beer. I would have this again.

Photo of FosterJM
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1618th Review on BA
Bottle to CBS Snifter
22oz

2011 Yellow Wax
Thanks to Daysinthewake for this one

App- This pours out like a cola cola, only with a smaller head. It has some good browns, crimsons and reds behind it. The center is fairly dark and dense and then moves into a clear red edge with a small 1/4" head and then leaves only a couple lines of cling. Interesting color.

Smell- Not as aromatic as some of the other treatments but more than holds it own with a good amount of rich malts and some deeper chocolates, this also has some good vanilla and oak notes that balance it all out.

Taste- This was pretty damn good. For me the least sweet besides the JD which was 3 years old when I had it. A strong malt and barrel character with a good amount of booze. The barrel adds a nice rich layer of flavor and the honey is a bit subdued all around. This had more balance the other variants I have had.

Mouth- This was a very full medium body and then paired with a semi low bodied carbonation. It really works. The residual barrel is quite prevalent with good oak, char and vanilla and a bit of caramel sweetness.

Drink- This was a very good treatment. Probably in top 3 for me. The EC and the Brandy so far have been best and this is no different. Great layering and outstanding flavors. I am surprised people hate on this one.

Photo of DovaliHops
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 Yellow Wax. Pours a dark brown-black color...probably the lightest eclipse beer I've had (in color). Small tan head that disappears quickly. Scent is dark chocolate, sweet vanilla, and graham cracker. Roasted malt, with a light bourbon aroma,,,a lot less whiskey than the other variations IMO. Taste is dark chocolate up front. Tons of roasted malt with some pleasant nuttiness. Lots of vanilla and a little bit of whiskey. Finishes with bitter, dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is medium-bodies, and quite possibly lacking in this department. Drinkability is fair. I would much rather drink the other variations of Eclipse, but this is still a good beer.

Photo of John_M
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capone's during Philly beer week.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and considerable sticky lacing all around. The nose is impressive as well, as I pick up considerable bourbon, milk chocolate, vanilla and light coffee. The flavor profile replicates the nose, dominated by the bourbon and milk chocolate (which works just fine for me, thank you very much). There's a hint of bitterness on the finish as well, which helps to dry out some of the sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium boided, with a long, somewhat boozy finish. Still, the alcohol is pretty well integrated into the flavor profile, and so drinkability is actually pretty good. The mouthfeel is a bit thin, in comparison to some of the other Eclipse beers I've had, but it's a minor thing, and is the only criticism I can think of.

A very nice beer from the folks at 50/50.

Photo of corby112
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage, bottle #637. Pours a dark chesnut brown color that's completely opaque with a half finger beige head that immediately settles into a thin ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Slightly smokey aroma with a strong barrel character that's nicely integrated into the sweet and roasted malt notes of the base beer. Some spicy bourbon but the other barrel notes really stand out in the nose. Lots of earthy oak, vanilla bean, marshmallow and toasted coconut complimenting hints of coffee bean, toffee, toast and dark chocolate. Smells pretty nice but could use more of a bourbon presence.

Medium bodied but a bit thinner than expected with a stronger bourbon presence than the aroma suggests. Still, the barrel character is well integrated into the flavor of the beer without completely dominating the other notes. Some dry, toasted oak, almond and faint vanilla along with spicy, sweet bourbon lingering over the malt backbone into a dry finish. The smokiness from the nose I'd barely noticeable and it's a bit sweeter than expected with hints of chocolate cake, fudge, toffee and burnt toast. Good bourbon flavor with little to no heat. ABV excellently masked making it deceptively drinkable. Not very complex and the spirit presence isn't as strong as in some of the other treatments but it's still very enjoyable.

Photo of illidurit
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at Woodshop 7 at Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach. Pours dark brown. Aroma is pretty heavy on the booze, with some roast, dark chocolate and vanilla coming through. Flavor is brown sugar, deep dark chocolates and sweet bourbon with a dry finish.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Buffalo Trace Barrel Blend from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.