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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

203 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 203
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 74
Gots: 89 | FT: 8
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: 203 | Reviews: 55
Reviews by MrFootstones:
Photo of MrFootstones
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011, bottle #650. Warmed up significantly before reviewing.

Pours with a big cocoa head which settles into a thin film. Black with clear redwood edges.

Very dark fruity chocolate, dried dark fruit, sweet alcoholic esters, Vanilla-y milk chocolate, toasty and dark roasted grain. Smells delicious, on point.

Milk chocolate, damp oak, chocolate covered raisins. Pretty simple, but easy to drink and very nice. -bals are restrained, but are a pleasant as a nice background note. Nothing wrong with that.

Silky and rich. The effort to amend the mouthfeel (which wasn't necessarily a problem to me) shows.

A nice iteration of this beer. No over the top char or booze to be found. A nice change of pace and highly enjoyable.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ehammond1
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Thanks for snagging this for me at the release party, DarthKostrizer!

(Aged for 6 months)

Black in color, with a finger's worth of bubbly brown head that eventually leaves the glass lined and messy with spiderwebs of lace. Gorgeous, and easily the prettiest of the Eclipses I've had so far.

A somewhat disappointing aroma, at least compared to the other beers in the series. There's some chocolate, mild roast, only a little bit of barrel, some minerals, and a little bit of licorice, interestingly enough.

The flavor carries significantly more barrel character, along with some chocolate and roast. There's a bit of licorice as well, which I'm never a huge fan of. There's a hint of vanilla, but the dark chocolate lingering finish is quite nice.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. This actually has one of the better, fuller mouthfeels of the 2011 Eclipse lineup.

Good, but not great. This lacks aroma and depth.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours out black with absolutely zero carbonation. None. Zero. Nothing. Nice chocolate aroma to it, very dark kind of chocolate seemingly.

More chocolate in the taste, very rich, decadent, much like some of the columbian chocolate they were passing around at the party. Good bourbon integration, mild wood flavor to it. Sweetness is mild, but chocolate flavor is massive. Everything is very good here except for the absolute flattest of flat beer hurts, most notably, the mouthfeel and appearance, but even the nose to a lesser degree I suspect.

Was told not to worry about the carbonation in the bottle. I hope not. If this beer is carbonated, its probably in the very good to excellent category.

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 Bay01
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter from a bomber, thanks to Ryan being a great proxy!

A - Pours a not opaque black with brown highlights without much apparent viscosity. Small tan head with carbonation present. Looks a bit thin for a BA stout.

S - Rich chocolate and a good bit of oak with bourbon present but not overpowering

T - Well balanced with the oak, the bourbon, and chocolate and coffee notes from the stout all playing a role while non are standing out front. Fuller taste than the thin appearance let on.

M - This is the weakpoint of this beer for me, it's not thin but it's also not thick and chewy like BCBS is.

O - Above average BA stout with great balance of flavors but below some of my favorites such as BCBS because the body is lacking a bit. The barrel character is definitely present but it's not hot and doesn't require any smoothing out. Can't wait to try my others!

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to ipa247 for this one. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours pitch black with a 1.5 finger frothy coffee colored head with little retention. Spotty and stringy lace with excellent cling and thick, oily legs. Really good for the style.

Chocolate, booze, fudge, roasted malt, and some light soy sauce. Some weird mint in there too. Moderately aromatic. Some lactose as this one warms smooths it over. Just above average.

Opens honey and molasses. Very sweet. Chocolate, fudge, and cocoa in the middle with a big, boozy end. Some prune and fig in there too. Really mellow soy sauce in the background. Aftertaste is sweet and boozy. Delicious.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth and warm going down. Messy finish with a long, lingering aftertaste. Real smooth. Almost exactly what I want.

A real good brew overall but not a standout among the Eclipse series of which almost everything has been excellent. This one definitely holds its own though.

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 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 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 largadeer
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 batch. I didn't care for this version on tap, but found it much more enjoyable from the bottle.

Pretty standard Eclipse appearance: black with translucent dark brown edges. Perhaps a bit more carbonated than other versions, this pours with a fairly tall and lasting head. More fruitiness on the nose than any other Eclipse, surprisingly jammy and berry-like. Whiskey is present but subdued, and the chocolate and licorice Eclipse foundation seems more mellow than other 2011 batches. The palate mirrors the nose, exhibiting pleasant berry-like fruit flavors along with very mellow, integrated bourbon, mild roast and a touch of cocoa. There's no heat to this one, and it may be a bit too tame for its own good, bordering on uninteresting. It's a very well made and drinkable beer all the same, certainly not my favorite of the 2011 batches but still quite good.

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 oline73
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on-tap at Capone's during Philly beer week. Poured into a 5 oz. snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours almost black with some red light coming through at the edges. There is a layer of off white head that goes away but leaves some lacing.

Smell: Sweet and smooth dark chocolate roast. Along with the chocolate notes, I'm getting some coconut, dark fruit, and bourbon.

Taste: Just as smooth as the smell. Chocolate and coconut with a slight roasty bitterness. The bourbon and coconut flavors are nice together. I thought this tasted almost as good as the 18 year version.

Mouthfeel: The body is thick, but less so than the 18 year. The carbonation is tingly and the finish is dry.

Overall: This is a very good and complex imperial stout. I liked the coconut note along with the bourbon and roast. I would have this one again.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage, bottle #919. Yellow wax so I got the right listing.

4.5 A: Black color. One and a half fingers of creamy tan head. Retention is a touch above average and a good bit of lacing is left behind.

4.0 S: Like the only other Eclipse I've had (last year's EW), the barrel aging seems to be done flawlessly. No off-flavors, no tannic astringency. However, the stout doesn't have the stones to compete with the barrels. Aside from a soft roastiness and a touch of chocolate, the stout isn't doing much. The bourbon and barrel give a lot of melon, some oak, a good bit of vanilla, and some raisin as well. Booze is well in check. Good smell despite the stout's inadequacies.

3.5 T: Well, well, well. I need to stop counting chickens because this tastes a lot better than it smells. The base stout has a lot more flavor than it did last year. Moderate roastiness, plenty of bittersweet chocolate, some anise, a light plum and raspberry fruitiness, and some caramel. It still isn't a great base stout, but it's definitely an improvement. Surprisingly, the barrel has a lot less influence in the taste. There's still plenty of melon and vanilla, but less oak, raisin, and earthiness. Booze is apparent at 9.5%.

3.0 M: This is the worst part of the beer. Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Mild creaminess. They really need to kick up the body in this. If they did, it would improve the taste and smell as well.

3.5 D: Decent offering, but not worth the hefty price. This doesn't hold a candle up to BCS, even though I can get twice as much BCS for the same price. Still, I'm glad I got to try it.

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 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 Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #643. Served in a snifter. Thanks to FedEx for zipping this bad boy to me at record speed. Assist to yourefragile.

Pours near-black with a sizable medium-tan head. Good retention and really nice lacing for an imperial stout. Good collar and a half-cap throughout. The nose carries loads of chocolate with a good dosing of bourbon. Light vanilla and oak in the background. Quite smooth. The flavor has a bit of booze and more of the barrel, but still quite nice. Medium-full body with good carbonation. Slight roasty bitterness to the finish along with just a bit too much booze. My first of the 2011 Eclipses. Very impressive so far.

Photo of AgentZero
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to lurchingbeast for busting this one out.

A - Mostly black beer with a little bit of brown on the edges. Looks a little thicker than other Eclipses. Probably a good thing, I have always felt that these have been too thin.

S - Chocolate, some sweeter smells like berries, oak, and some bourbon. Smells nice.

T - Taste is very smoothed out, the whiskey is not hot, and there is some decent barrel influence. Some good sweet chocolate, little bit of roasted malts, oak, some bourbon. I like this quite a bit.

M - Good carbonation, maybe a little too much, but it's alright. Decently close to full bodied.

O - Smooth, pretty enjoyable. Won't blow you away, but I liked drinking this and found it to be a solid beer.

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

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to Matt for sharing!
2011 Vintage. Bottle #593.

(A)- Pours pitch black. Minimal tan froth.

(S)- A nice rich aroma. Bits of a dense, almost charred oaky caramel with some raisin, coffee, and molasses. Tiny hints at licorice as it warms.

(T)- Similar to the smell. That same oaky caramel charred bit with raisin and licorice. Almost has a subtle smokiness on the back end.

(M)- A nice smooth carbonation level and feel. Rich, thick, and sweet, but in a perfectly balanced sense without being syrupy or too sweet.

(D)- Overall, I quite like this one with its distinct characters that I found to be quite enjoyable. One of the better Eclipse barrel variants in my opinion.

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 womencantsail
2.96/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks for sharing, Steve.

Black in color with low carbonation and a small tan head. A really harsh booziness on the aroma. Astringent roasted malt and overdone in terms of the charred oak qualities with only minimal vanilla and chocolate character. The flavor is hot and heavy on the charred wood and roasted malt. Only mild chocolate with some hints of coffee. Just way too much booze to really be enjoyable.

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 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 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 champ103
2.8/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Another thanks to Dajtai007 for sharing this with me.

A: Pours a dark black with some ruby highlights around the edges. A small bubbly tan head forms and recedes to nothing. No lace.
S: Lots of barrel in the nose. Wood, vanilla, solvent like alcohol. Sweet raisins.
T: Follows the nose with a lot of barrel flavors. Solvent like alcohol with rough, grainy malts. Charred/Ash like Wood and vanilla. Some coffee come through as well.
M/D: There needs to be more body here. Medium body, low carbonation, and thin. Solvent like alcohol makes this a slow sipper, and one I really don't want to come back to.

To much barrel and not enough stout or body. I have had several version of the Eclipse Stout, and I am not really a fan of them, and I think this is the weakest one of the bunch.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.51/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle #993 split three ways.

A - pours dark from with a few scattered dark tan bubbles that clinge to the edge.

S - I got lots of woody oakness and some chocolate and coffee.

T - Similar to the smell, I got more of the booze here.

D - A nice solid body and light carbonation.

O - I would be happy to drink this anytime, but not quite as amazing as some of the other barrel variations.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Buffalo Trace Barrel Blend from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 203 ratings.