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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brewmaster’s Grand Cru Blend 2011 - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brewmaster’s Grand Cru Blend 2011Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brewmaster’s Grand Cru Blend 2011

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

196 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 196
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 50
Gots: 125 | FT: 9
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.

Copper wax.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 196 | Reviews: 68
Reviews by MrVonzipper:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
3.57/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, number 1674. Pours dark brown black with a thin bubbly tan head that quickly goes to a thin collar that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is roasted fudgy chocolate malts, black licorice and a little bourbon.

The flavor is huge - lots of roast chocolate malts, black licorice, some sweet honey and quite a bit of booze with a bitter alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, it's a huge flavorful beer. It's quite bit over the top especially in the alcohol, but I enjoyed drinking it.

Photo of ehammond1
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Super Junior Market
San Diego, CA

Very dark brown, nearly black in color, without a lot of visible carbonation and not much head. Eventually, however, this does leave sticky spots and sheets of lacing down the glass. Quite pretty.

The familiar coconut, bourbon, chocolate, wood, roast, and coffee elements combine here for something quite nice. Nearly as good as the white wax Elijah Craig variation, but not quite.

The flavor follows similarly, with toasted coconut, chocolate, bourbon, and earthy vanilla, and definite honey flavors combining into something very special. There is hardly any trace of alcohol harshness.

Medium mouthfeel with low carbonation.

A terrific variation, but not quite as good as the Elijah Craig 18.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.67/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At the release party, black pour, tan head, pretty thin ring. Aroma was probably the best of any of the Eclipses, big time chocolate, mild oak, bourbon, mild heat.

Taste more chocolate, a little sweetness, as if I can detect just what the rye barrel brings to the game. Yeah right. The mouthfeel is nice and chewy, would like to think I can tell the difference between the mouthfeel and consistency here compared with prior years. Bourbon is very mellow. Chocolate stays decadent and never thins out, real dark chocolate vibe with very little sweetness to it. Good touch with the vanilla, adds creaminess and flavor. Hides alcohol quite well like most Eclipse (all?) I've had. Still allows a little smoke to not be distracting, as well as a very tiny dark fruit and approaching tang/sour note in the most minimalistic way. I'm guessing the brandy was used in the perfect way here.

This was my favorite of all the 2011 Eclipse varieties. I think I went back and had it a total of 3 different times during the evening. Very balanced, a real showcase for what FiftyFifty has done, much less their blending capabilities on display in the grand cru more than any other version.

EDIT: Just drank my first bottle of it before the Silva/Sonnen II fight, holy damn, this got even better! Upping my rating to a 5 in the taste, this is classic stuff, how bourbon barrel stouts should be.

Photo of jeonseh
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle as part of eclipse drinking.

A - Dark chocolate wih light brown head

S - Light bourbon, chocolate, and oak

T - Chocolate, light roasted malt, vanilla, caramel. The roasted malt and dark chocolate make itself known in the middle. The finish is sweet milk chocolate

M - Medium body with a slight watery presence to it. Light roasted aspect remains in the finish

O - Solid eclipse with good barrel presence that provides some vanilla and caramel sweetness

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Stone's Brewery Bistro and Gardens. Bartender's recommendation for choice. Complex, some coffee,roasty aroma, above-average mouthfeel. Boozy. Very dark brown. Coconut and wood from barrel ageing. Some chocolate, bitter overall. Decent for style but overated.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.52/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ipa247 for this one. Bottle #355. Bomber poured into a Founders snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a dense, black with no head and very spotty lacing but thick, viscous, and oily legs.

Nose is sweeter than I expect. Honey, sweet booze, plum, prune, chocolate, and cocoa powder and fudge create a slight graininess. Despite being a "grand cru", this one's not quite as appetizing as some of the others. Still very solid though.

Opens sweet. Honey, cocoa, fudge, and chocolate. Some molasses and plum add a slightly odd flavor towards the middle. Booziness awakens towards the end but this time, it doesn't add too much to the flavor profile. Ends sweet honey and dark fruit. Honey and molasses on the finish. Decent but this one doesn't stand out as one of the better blends.

Medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth with some bubbles going down and a nice bit of heat. Messy finish with a lingering aftertaste. The eclipse series always seems to have great feel.

One of my least favorite from the eclipse series is still a very solid beer. Too bad it comes from a line where most of the other versions are better. There's just something missing here whether it be the lack of barrel character or lack of dimension in the flavor.

Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to sincereNc for sharing this one during a recent tasting! Served from bottle into a Boulevard tulip. Poured a massively dark brown with a half finger light tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, vanilla, wood, sweet alcohol, dark chocolate, and smoke. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, vanilla, dark chocolate, and wood. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. This one was definitely a very well-rounded brew. A lot of balanced notes in the nose and flavor going on in this one that keep you coming back for more. I had an idea of what to expect after having the Elijah Craig 12 and 18. Compared to those two, it fell a little short. However, this was definitely one of the better brews from the style I’ve had to date as far as balance and complexity. Definitely worth trying if you get the chance!

Photo of claaark13
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mark is a madman. Bottle #2705 poured into a Founders snifter at cellar temp.

A - A shade lighter than black with some very slow rising lacing. Sticks well actually. Is this the best looking Eclipse I've seen? Possibly, but still no better than a 4.

S - Lots of oak, little bit of heat, chocolate and caramel.

T - Caramel and bits of vanilla upfront, chocolate and then some oak and heat. Finish is somewhat dry with the oak. Heat comes and goes in the back part of the flavor with the oak.

M - Silky medium feel. A little light, but it does feel nice.

O - The oak is a little strong on this one, but the overall components are nice. I think if I were to blend the versions, I would focus on a little bit of a better finish. That being said, it is still a really good beer. I hate to give a straight 4.0score across the board, but it is what it is.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention. Aroma of black chocolates notes with some rye whiskey notes also clearly identifiable. Taste is a very enjoyable mix of rye whiskey notes with light woody features with some rich black chocolate notes and some warming alcohol notes. Body is quite full with an oily creamy texture. Very nice barrel-aged stout with a good balance between the different flavours.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle number 2719 from the 2011 vintage. Poured in to oversized CBS snifter.

A - Dark brown on the pour and settled black. Only a very thin layer of medium brown head that took the form of light bubbles that were scattered across the top of the beer.

S - Sweet bourbon and brandy notes up front with a huge vanilla presence and some oak coming through from the barrels. some roast and sweet molasses in the background.

T - Bourbon up front with a big oak and vanilla presence. The brandy is detectable as well but to a lesser extent. Semi-sweet chocolate, roast and sweet molasses flavours come through from the base beer to compliment the barrel characteristics.

M - Medium body. Creamy. Light carbonation.

O - This was my least favourite of the five 2011 Eclipse variants that I have tried, but it was still a solid beer that I would be happy to drink again.

Photo of mindspin315
2.97/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a very interesting looking beer. Poured no head whatsoever. Dark body...deep brown teetering on black. Looks like dark water in a glass. No lacing, no carbonation, and no head when poured (I poured it aggressive too)

Vanilla, toasted oak, and bourbon upfront. Chocolate, coffee, and dark cherry/plum sweetness in the background. Mild char graininess.

Drinks a lot more like an Old Ale than an Imperial Stout. Absolutely no carbonation and also the body is quite thin. For an Imperial Stout I'd like a medium-full bodied beer. The beer starts out with some flavor and mouthfeel complexity but finishes thin with not to much of an aftertaste. Charred roasted malt bitterness on the tongue. Hints of dark bittersweet chocolate, dark roast coffee, leather, roasted maltiness, some oak/vanilla at the middle to back end, and molasses in the aftertaste. Alcohol flavor comes through in the taste but I don't get any alcohol burn in the mouth/chest...only the bourbon notes in the flavor.

I was expecting a lot more from this one. The beer really lacks on the back end/after taste here. Quite thin and not much flavor hanging around. This one drinks more like an old ale than an imperial stout. Not that I don't like old ales, but it falls that way rather than actually aiming to be in that style category.

[78/100]

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.56/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Black with a barely there layer of reddish off white head from an aggressive pour. If you blinked you would have missed the head. It was gone that quickly and left no lacing.

Smell is heavenly. Strong semi sweet chocolate, bourbon and oak stand out most.

Taste is of huge bourbon barrel flavors that mesh together perfectly. Toasted coconut, vanilla, espresso, chocolate and a little sweet brandy in the finish.

Big body with a smooth creamy mouthfeel. I'd like some carbonation.

Great taste but the lack of carbonation really brings it down a few notches.

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Eclipse.

Smell: A good mix of brandy and bourbon. Fruity berry notes alongside caramel, vanilla, faint char and smoke. Subdued alcohol.

Edit: There's apparently no brandy barrel Eclipse in this blend.

Taste & mouthfeel: Sweet brandy, vanilla, oak, bitter chocolate. Becomes more fruity and tart toward the mid-palate, and ends on a slightly acrid tar note with heavy oak lingering on the palate. Feels a bit thinner than other Eclipse variants this year. Has some good flavors, but surprisingly it feels a bit more harsh and unrefined than the single barrel versions. That's not to say it isn't good, but I do prefer several of the other 2011 Eclipse variations.

Photo of Blanco
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black, with a tan head. Starts of frothy, but sort of falls back. Lacing is evident though mostly transparent and filmy. Smells of bourbon, malt and caramel. More like a barrel-aged barleywine than a stout. Taste is sweet, slightly fruity, hints of wine almost, followed by the booze. Alcohol presence is warming. Though the taste is sweet, aftertaste is somewhat dry, strangely. Vanilla and toffee as well. Medium bodied.

After being so impressed with the 12 year Elijah Craig, I'm sort of disappointed in this one. Has a fruity toffee presence that I'm not enjoying as part of the profile of this stout. It's certainly not bad, but I was definitely expecting more.

Photo of oline73
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

We opened this up at our Eclipse tasting the other night. Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

The beer pours a very dark brown/almost black color. This beer had a very nice sweetness level to go along with the bourbon. I think this has come together quite nicely and it is a very complex beer. Bourbon, dark fruit, and mild vanilla notes are quite nice. I would definitely have more of this in the future.

Photo of papat444
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

***2011 Vintage (Bottle #1741)***

Poured from a bomber.

Appearance: A thick foam forms on top of a very dense body. Thick sheets of lace slather the sides.

Smell: Sweet a bit, brown sugar, pungent overripe fruits, raisin cookies, coffee.

Taste: Vanilla, coffee, honey, dark fruits, cocoa beans, smooth oak, slight heat in flavor.

Mouthfeel: Feel is awesome. Mix of creaminess, low carbonation and a coating feel.

Overall: Very much liked it though it does pack a punch if only 9.5%. Be warned!

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the release party. Finally getting around to review these

Look: Pours a black with lighter trace of brown floating about with only a 1/8 inch head and no retention

Smell: Upfront is the sweetness from the brandy barrels that is then backed up by some oak and vanilla a touch of bourbon and chocolate

Taste: Works very much the same way as then nose. Upfront again is the brandy sweetness and lingers for just a moment and then the bourbon characters show up to balance out the beer and it finishes nicely with some oak vanilla chocolate and roasted malts

Mouthfeel: Medium body and low carbonation

Overall: This was personally my 2nd favorite variation of the night coming in slightly behind the Rittenhouse Rye. I thought the blending of the barrels worked out quite nicely and created a very drinkable beer with a nice depth of flavors

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.03/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage, bottle #1582. Copper wax so I have the right listing. This is my fifth in the 2011 horizontal (brandy is missing) and sixth overall ('10 EW).

4.0 A: Black color. Two fingers of creamy light brown head. Retention is average and a short ring of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Overwhelmingly full of bourbon, but isn't boozy in the least. Leather, melon, a touch of peat, oak, vanilla, raisin, and apple fruitiness. No sign of tannins or astringency. The base beer is hidden moreso in this one than the other variants. Very subtle roastiness and light chocolate.

3.0 T: The taste is a little less vibrant than the nose. The individual flavors are harder to pick out. There's also a lot more booziness. Raisin, tobacco, and leather lead the charge. Oak, peat, and melon after. Vanilla and chocolate bring up the rear. There's some astringency in here as well.

2.5 M: Lighter medium body. This seems to be the lightest of the 2011 variants. Good moderate carbonation. This is the least creamy as well. Booze and tannic aftertaste.

2.5 D: I'm a little shocked that I find this to be the second worst of the 2011 variants (rye was my least favorite). How could it be less good than it's parts? I dunno. In any case, the different barrels coming into one didn't help this beer. Not a bad beer, but not worth the price.

Photo of aasher
3.54/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My fiancé bought this for me while we were in Chicago at the beginning of the week. It was a ridiculous $34.99.

First off, the wax was pretty tough to fight through. I ended up having to take a knife to it after five minutes of barely being able to get to the cap. It poured a medium bodied dark chocolate brown which later resembled black as it pooled in my snifter. It was almost still and only had slight bubbling around the rim. It looks weak. The nose features soft chocolates, light roasted malts, light vanilla, some woodyness, and light whiskey. All aspects are a little muted in my opinion, but I realize it's a blend of sorts. The flavors are much different than the nose. This one is very whiskey forward with plenty of vanilla and barrel. The chocolate is secondary. The flavor is nice but it's very whiskey forward. It drinks very light for an imperial stout, not watery but something less than medium in body. Luckily I like bourbon forward beers so I'm a fan of the flavor but the lighter body hurts drinkability. Overall this is a decent stout but was nowhere near being worth $20 let alone $35. The fleecing of beer geeks must stop.

Photo of MBrausen
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a CBS snifter

A. Pours a dark caramel brown, nice 2mm head of foam that fades to a very nice ring

S. Smells of Caramel, dark chocolate and a very light toffee.

T. Tastes of toffee, nice milk chocolate, bitter chocolate and very light caramel.

M. Medium body, very dry with mild carbonation

O. A very good beer. Sweet and a little sugary, and a tiny bit bitter and tart. I really liked this beer a lot. I think this one is worth searching out.

Photo of rand
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%

...getting better with age. See my past Eclipse reviews for details, but as the years pass these beers are getting increasingly rounded and singular, pushing chocolate essence and a chewy complexion front-and-center. Decadent, heavenly, copiously quaffable - pick your descriptor - this is a benchmark to how far craft beer has pushed a brew's utter deliciousness.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.02/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle #86. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours near black with almost no head. A few mocha bubbles, but that's about it. Very thin mocha ring for a bit. A bit troubling. The nose has quite a bit of bourbon. Fairly smooth, but also a lot of heat. Chocolate and moderate roast in the background. The flavor is fairly boozy, though the bourbon character of it is quite nice. Milk and dark chocolate in the background. Medium body with very low carbonation. Fairly hot. Medium-full body.

Hopefully this was just an off bottle. I will revisit the next time I have one.

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black pour with an oily sheen, and a tiny ringlet of bubbles on top. Aroma of dark malts, bourbon and wood, dark fruits and anise. Taste was pretty similar to the smell, dark malts, molasses and licorice, a pretty strong bourbon quality, with a hint of fusel alcohol, baker's chocolate, and a bit of subtle smoke. On the heavy-medium body, lower carbonation, boozy, but still fairly smooth, and quite drinkable.

Photo of sweemzander
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle #1933. 2011 Vintage. Thanks to Chris for sharing!

(A)- Pours a pitch black color. Some tan froth and bubbles.

(S)- Very rich compared to the other variants we opened. Plenty of caramel and raisin with cocoa, coffee, and a subtle oaky spice.

(T)- Similar to the smell. An overall larger richness to it with caramel, raisin, and cocoa. A bit sweeter too overall.

(M)- A smooth carbonation level and a nice balance. Again, a bit richer/sweeter/heavier in its taste and feel than the other variants we opened.

(D)- Overall, definitely a larger/heavier beer than the other variants we opened tonight. Still, a solid stout that we all enjoyed. Some liked this the best, but I preferred the Elijah Craig versions far better.

Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Like the other variants, black in color with minimal head formation. Lots of roasted malt and almost a mild char. Quite a bit of vanilla and whiskey. A fair amount of booze but some nice chocolate and molasses. The flavor is a bit heavier on the roast and char than some of the other varieties. Not all that much sweet malt flavor or spirit. Some whiskey and booze with moderate vanilla notes on the palate. Good, but not the best from the series.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brewmaster’s Grand Cru Blend 2011 from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 196 ratings.