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
89
very good

54 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 54
Hads: 208
rAvg: 4
pDev: 4.5%
Wants: 73
Gots: 91 | FT: 10
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 54 | Hads: 208
Photo of champ103
2.8/5  rDev -30%
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. (783 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
2.96/5  rDev -26%
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. (411 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass. I tried this on tap at the Eclipse party and was profoundly disappointed, so I figured I would check out the bottles to see if they were better.

A: The brewer mentioned that he brewed the base beer, Totality, to be thicker this year before giving it barrel treatments. That is reflected in the appearance, which (in previous years) was a clear cola brown. It's still clear in small quantities, but with a larger pour, it appears opaque black in the center with some edge translucence. The tap iteration was flat, but the bottle is amply carbonated, with a pinky finger of mocha foam generated off a modest pour.

S: This is oddly fruity, with a berry-like presence that is distinct and memorable against the other barrel treatments. The base beer contributes flavors of licorice, baker's chocolate, and mild caramel. The barrel also provides oak, vanilla, bourbon, and a mildly floral scent.

T: Chocolate, licorice, roast, and some caramel set the tone initially. The barrel takes over firmly in mid-taste, layering on oak, vanilla, flowers, raisins, currants. I'm mystified and intrigued by the latter contributions; I enjoy some iterations of Buffalo Trace bourbon, and I don't get these flavors in the whiskey. It's a unique result. That being said, the finish thins out a bit and drops off.

M: Amply carbonated, which makes it feel a touch thinner than the other iterations. No heat. Weak finish. Generally an unremarkable presence.

O: While this isn't irredeemable, I'd rather trade this in for one of the other bourbon treatments, as they seem to have been executed better (note: I haven't had the Four Roses out of the bottle yet, but the tap form was excellent). (1,708 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.48/5  rDev -13%
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. (699 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.51/5  rDev -12.3%
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. (400 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The first of the 2011 Eclipse treatments that I opened. Yellow wax, delivered to my house about a month ago. This pours dark brown like all Eclipses, with very little head at first (and only a thin ring after a little while).

Sweet smelling with only a minor bourbon nose. I had a BA Blackout right before this, which unfortunately highlighted how much better that beer was. No roasted aromas at all, just a sweet stout with hints of dark fruit and bourbon.

It tastes as sweet as it smells, and while the bourbon flavor is evident there's no hint of heat. It never really gets cloying but the taste gets a little tiring. Light carbonation, slightly sticky and full body.

Not bad at all, but not worth the price in my opinion. I was lured in by my tastes of Pappy and Elijah Craig versions last year. (804 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
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. (386 characters)

Photo of Bay01
3.6/5  rDev -10%
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! (881 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
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. (1,629 characters)

Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a Stone IRS Snifter...

Yellow Wax. Bottle#281

A - Pours black with a one finger light brown head that dissipates at a good pace. Some sticky lace is present...

S - Bourbon up front, with chocolate, sweet vanilla, and dark fruits in the mix.

T - Chocolate, roasted barley, oak/vanilla, and smooth bourbon on the end. A hint of raisins comes through in the aftertaste with some lingering vanilla. The dark fruits that came through in the scent are very muted...

M - A tad thin. On the higher end of medium bodied. Carbonation is above average for the style...

O - Not my favorite from the lineup, but still very enjoyable. Going to sit my other one for awhile and see how it holds up...

Cheers... (728 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (724 characters)

Photo of bbb099
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to scottfrie for sharing this one!

A - Pours dark brown almost black. Caramel colored head that dissipated quickly.

S - Bourbon aroma with hints of roasted malt and molasses.

T - Tasted just like what you would expect: dark malt accompanied with cocoa, barrel/woody, and some bourbon favors.

M - Low carbonation. Full bodied.

O - Solid imperial stout. Probably not something I could drink often however. (415 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
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. (942 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.92/5  rDev -2%
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. (1,324 characters)

Photo of kaseydad
3.92/5  rDev -2%
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. (748 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
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. (1,040 characters)

Photo of jeonseh
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (622 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1/28/12

Snifter.

A: Black with a big frothy beige head. Excellent retention and lots of lacing.

S: The nose is mellow and restrained. It takes a lot of swirling and coaxing to bring out the various characteristics. There's a good deal of vanilla accompanied by oak, bourbon, licorice, and coconut. There's also a little banana which sounds odd but fits right in. Roast and chocolate are subdued. Alcohol isn't evident. I get some caramel as well as perfume-like floral notes.

T: The flavor is much more roasty than the nose, with faint dark fruit notes. Chocolate accompanies caramel and an upper low earthy bitterness. There's a little alcohol in there. Bourbon is light. Licorice blends with a touch of molasses and brown sugar.

M: Lower full body with upper medium body.

Overall: A nice aroma and a solid flavor make this enjoyable, but $25 is pretty damn steep. I might buy this again at $15, but definitely not at $25. (929 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (653 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with yellow wax provide by Frank (lurchingbeast), thanks! Good Beer/Bad Beer tasting. Poured into Bell's tulip.

A - Pours darker brown, pretty much black, thin tan-colored head, which quickly vanishes leaving only the brown/black of the body.

S - Nice level of roast, chocolate, oak, and light dark fruity chocolate notes. A nice mix of rich chocolate, light bitterness, and sweetness really balances this one out. The Buffalo Trace is really smooth and not "hot" by any means.

T - Similar to the nose, but less dark fruit and more barrel. Sweet milk chocolate, light bitter roast, smooth Buffalo Trace, oak. Quite possibly the best-tasting Buffalo Trace barrel-aged beer I've ever had. Really ready to drink now.

M - Full body, rich & smooth, creamy finish.

O - Really impressive stuff. Really smooth, excellent barrel character, and the Buffalo Trace is showcased well. I'm usually not a fan of BT -bals, but this was really nice. Recommend. (960 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4/5  rDev 0%
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. (510 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev 0%
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. (867 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

This was the last of the Eclipses opened last night, and it was honestly one of the best. Great aroma with mild chocolate and coffee adding to the rounded bourbon. Taste is smooth and caramely with hints of dark fruit among the stout flavors. Bourbon layers nicely on top and doesn't add much heat.

Overall, Buffalo Trace tied the '10 Heaven Hill as my 2nd favorite, trailing the '11 EC18 (which was our group's consensus favorite). But honestly, I was unimpressed across the board with most of these beers. Bourbon County Stout is far 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. (812 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #205' enjoyed from a Kate the great snifter.

a - brew poured a watery black that settled a pewter black with a generous creamy head that hung out for a while. Some lacing as well, has an almost porter look to it, but pretty much looks like the others in the series that I have tried.

s - Roasty vanilla with some bourbon sweetness. The barrel is there and gives a peaty woody smell.

t - taste is big and bold with lots of charred roastiness. The bourbon is in the backseat. The vanilla is not nearly as present as the nose suggests. Chocolate and other favors come out as it opens up and the beer begins to be less of a char roast monster and balances out a bit more.

m - leaves a boozy tingle. smooth, but with lots of char. Medium bodied. Not as heavy or big as some of the others in the series.

o - overall, solid, but far from the highlight of the series. This barrel seems to add lots of peat wordiness and char as opposed to a bourbon glaze. (959 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev 0%
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. (466 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Buffalo Trace Barrel Blend from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.