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

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BA SCORE
89
very good

68 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 68
Hads: 199
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 6.22%
Wants: 50
Gots: 123 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 68 | Hads: 199
Photo of kaseydad
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this over a year ago and wasn't that impressed. A year later? Let's review...

Nice carbonation pop after cracking the cap. Pours a black ale with a decent amount of light brown head. No lacing to speak of.

Getting huge sweet chocolate whiffs. The barrel definitely is rising through as well. Fain green apple. Syrup. Molasses.

The taste is again...huge chocolate. Sweet chocolate and cocoa abound on this. Roasty. There is still a decent amount of barrel in this too. Slight burn as it slides down. Tad of a bitter aftertaste. Good, good stuff.

Slick mouthfeel. Not as thin as some of the other variants.

Overall I am very happy to have waited the year for this. I think it's the perfect time to drink it now. The blend is working as a team perfectly. Not sure which barrels were used but very nice work here. Had I reviewed this on my first bottle, this rating would be lower. Patience is a virtue when it comes to the Eclipse. (939 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a sampling glass. 2011 vintage. From notes. Reviewed 12 February 2013.

A: Pitch-black with cola edges and a light brownish head.

S: Incredible! Soft vanilla, ensorcelling spirits, and gentle-sweet yeast.

T: Good, but light and short. Fruit, chocolate, and old ale yeast. Very brief.

M: Soft and flattish.

O: One of the best smelling Eclipses, with a good, soft, taste, but not a lot else. (405 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (416 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eclipse '11 Grand Cru
22oz, Btl#2035

A: Pours basically pitch black. Initially got about a cm of light tan head. Reddish hues towards edges when held up to the light. Not as thick as I was expecting.

S: Chocolate and soft vanilla in nose for sure. You do get a little bit of that fruity sweetness, probably from the brandy barrel that was blended in as well as the bourbon variations. The normal oak notes are there as well.

T: Up front nice touch if chocolate sweetness. It's more of a blend of creamy milk chocolate and some semi sweet or dark chocolate. Definitely pulling those rounded vanilla/oak notes. Year has helped this guy. No booze. No heat. Very nice. Long finish.

M: It's full bodied but not overly thick. (723 characters)

Photo of tewaris
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eclipse Grand Cru 2011 sent a while back by Dan, thanks!

Dark brown color with garnet highlights and a small ring of bubbles for head. Smells a bit alcoholic with some vanilla and caramel. Roasty, dark and a bit tart but still smooth. The thin body, while disappointing, lets the alcohol come forward nicely. Overall it is a good beer but I am still to drink any Eclipse worth its price. (388 characters)

Photo of jethrodium
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle. Pours a dark black with a small tan head that has good retention and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is bourbon, chocolate, oak, some light coffee, some vanilla, and a bit of roastiness. The taste has a light sweetness with chocolate, bourbon, light coffee, some roastiness, and vanilla. The finish has decent alcohol and a bit of bitterness. Medium-light body. Medium carbonation. Not bad, but certainly not the best of the Eclipse variations. It seems to have quite a bit more alcohol presence than the others. (544 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle 1470, 2011

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a half finger beige head that quickly fizzles into a thin ring. Minimal spots of lace left behind.

Complex aroma with the barrel character nicely integrated into the characteristics of the base beer. Some spicy bourbon but the spirit presence is pretty mild with lots of oak, vanilla and toasted coconut followed by hints of chocolate cake, fudge, toffee, toasted malt, oatmeal and coffee bean. Not overly roasted, however, with lots of chocolate sweetness and barrel. Smells like an oaky, bourbon filled chocolate dessert.

Medium bodied with a stronger barrel presence than the aroma suggests. There's still a substantial malt backbone but it's slightly overpowered by a strong dry, toasted oak presence. Similar to the aroma, the spirit is somewhat tame with lots of dry, earthy wood followed by very subtle marshmallow and coconut notes. I wish there was more of this and the spirits used in the blend but these elements are drowned out a bit by the wood. As it warms the boozy sweetness becomes a bit stronger and the malt backbone comes more to the forefront. Lots of dark roasted malt flavor balanced by chocolate dessert like sweetness. Hints of burnt toast, coffee bean and oats followed by toffee, caramel and fudge-y chocolate. Some boozy heat in the finish making this variation a bit tougher to drink. Still, it's pretty easy for me to drink. I just wish it was a bit more complex and had more balance. (1,482 characters)

Photo of sitarist
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another blind review via the blind bif #7. Bottle 2a shared with Frankenstorm.

Pours opaque, deep purple to black in color. No head just a loose crop of bubbles that fall to a ring. Small webs of lacing.

Smells like a box of high end assorted chocolates. I smell chocolate liquor, nugget, dark fruit jelly's, hints of whiskey, and vanilla. Its aroma is finely balanced, and begs me to taste its dark allure.

I taste caramel, whiskey, vanilla, chocolate liquor, nugget, anise, and hints of dark fruit. A bit too sweet, and lacks the balance that its aroma has.

It has a medium body which does not hold up to its huge flavor profile. Lightly carbonated, a little bit bitter, a little bit hot. A nice sipping beer.

A nice beer on this stormy night. Wonderful aroma, and flavor, It could use a bit more body...IMO.

Thanks to slaphappysnark, & stupac2 for the bottle. (868 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (871 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.52/5  rDev -12.4%
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. (1,286 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 09/03/12 notes. Bought this is Philly a few months ago for about $26.99 at the new store in Ardmore, PA, The Beer Shoppe, their opening weekend. Poured into my Bruery tulip. 2011 vintage, bottle #65.

a - Pours a pitch black color with a few very dark brown bubbles when poured aggressively, and light carbonation evident. Looks pretty nice, though not much head.

s - Smells of whiskey, roasted malts, chocolate, and caramel malts. As it warms up, a little vanilla too. Whiskey is very strong and up front here, moreso than the other variations.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, toffee, roasted malts, chocolate, roasted malts, whiskey, and vanilla. Taste has much more caramel and more vanilla than the nose, and the whiskey is hidden a little better, though still prevelant.

m - Medium to thick, full body and low carbonation, with some alcohol heat. Little bit harsher than the other variations.

o - Overall I am a big fan of the Eclipse series, and this is a good beer, but this is probably my least favorite of the Eclipse's I've had so far. I felt the whiskey was a bit harsher and more prevelant than the other 6 or so variations I've had at this point. Don't get me wrong, this is still a good beer, but if you can choose between this and any of the other variations, I would go with one of the others. (1,315 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at Woodshop 7 at Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach for the Ratebeer Summer Gathering 2012. Black with a tan head. Chiefly a battle between chocolate, vanilla and caramel, with a boozy thread throughout. Honestly rather tame for a 'Grand Cru.’ (252 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into snifter

Pours an inky black with a frothy, bubbled tan head resting on top. Spotty, patchy lacing all over the glass, with a swirled cloud of retention on top.

Heavy scents of bourbon with oak and vanilla. Decent amount of sweetness with roasted malts and warmth. A few hints of dark fruit with alcohol and dark fruit. Chocolate and roasted notes warm the nose.

Sweet and boozy up front with a swirling bourbon flavor and oaky vanilla. Warm and roasty throughout, the barrel components really dominate from top to bottom. Roasted dark malts, chocolate, cocoa and molasses. Burnt sugar with vanilla and warming alcohol. Finishes sweet and sticky with bourbon soaked chocolate cake.

Full body, well carbonated, sticky and lingering on the tongue. Heavy, slow sipping drinking with plenty of barrel character from top to bottom. This isnt the best of the Eclipse series, but the mesh of bourbon flavors is quite unique. (947 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a dark as night black with a thin collar head that left very little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: lots of booze heat rising from the glass with a blend of brandy and bourbon but had vanilla, oaky, brown sugar, and roasty chocolate malts coming through as well.

T: plenty of roasted chocolate malts upfront on the palate alongside good vanilla oaky character, brown sugar, hints of coconut, brandy bourbon booze combo, and caramel molasses accents.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with moderate amount of carbonation which had a roasty, sweet, oaky, very mild fruity, boozy and silky finish.

O: very solid from beer from the series but was not my favorite. Really glad to have tried it though. (716 characters)

Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes

22oz waxed bottle

A - Pours black with a one finger khaki head. Head retention is not the best, but there is some nice lacing to be had...

S - Caramel, roasted malt, molasses, oak, vanilla, and raisin. Bourbon comes through a little heavier than on other variants...

T - Caramel, molasses, roasted malt, and a little raisin. Good amount of vanilla and oak come through with some bourbon on the finish, Bourbon comes through alot smoother than in the scent. Chocolate is present, but is alot more subdued than the other Eclipses...

M - As expected, the body is light for the style, and leaves alot to be desired. Carbonation is on the moderate side...

O - My least favorite of the 2011 variants with the Buffalo Trace. Besides the EC18, I have been fairly disappointed with Eclipse seies this year. All in all, just not worth the price imo...

Cheers... (878 characters)

Photo of brotherloco
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz waxed bomber. 2011 Edition. Bottle #1920. Served in a brandy snifter.

A vigorous pour reveals half a centimeter of dark beige foam that quickly settles to a thin ring on top of a very dark brown opaque beer. Mild amounts of lacing left in the glass.

Aroma of slightly oxidized dark fruits. Sherry, port, and red wine notes. Backed up by sweeter vanilla and marshmallow notes. A moderate amount of alcohol on the end of the draw.

Flavor is sweet, but not overly so. There's a lot of graham cracker grain flavor mixed with vanilla and caramel notes. A good bit of roasty bitterness emerges in the middle and through the finish. Long lingering bitterness in the aftertaste along with a decent amount of alcohol, but not as much as in the aroma.

Medium bodied with medium-low soft carbonation. Doesn't get too thick and drinks well.

This version of Eclipse seems to round out a lot of the components of the other versions I've had. I imagine that's the goal with a brewmaster's blend, so great job. (1,004 characters)

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

Bottle #1941. Pours a dark black liquid with a very tiny tan head that disappears quickly. Scent is quite boozy with a hefty amount of dark chocolate. A ton of vanilla with some mellow toffee and coffee aromas. More dark chocolate with a bit of charcoal and burnt malt. Some sweet whiskey aromas. Taste is very similar to the Four Roses one I drank the other night, just not as well-balanced or delicious. There is the same amount of lovely whiskey/bourbon flavor, but this one had an overwhelming amount of dark chocolate, whereas the FR version had a well-balanced mixture of marshmallow, chocolate, vanilla, cherry, and toffee. This one had those flavors (except for the cherry), but was overpowered by the dark chocolate. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a syrupy, boozy finish. Drinkability is fairly high for such a big beer. Overall, this was a VERY tasty beer, but not my favorite of the Eclipses I've had. (918 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -3%
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. (447 characters)

Photo of Treebs
3.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle served in a Firestone Walker snifter. 2011 vintage, bottle # 2808.

A: Pours a dark black with brown edges. Even with a semi-rigorous pour a thin, dark tan head forms on the pour and dissipates quickly to a thin ring. Splotchy lace is left on the glass.

S: Boozy, sweet alcohol flavors. Dark fruits, oak, sweet toffee and some light chocolate.

T: Pretty close to the nose. Also boozy, toasted malts and some nice smooth oak. Nice dark fruits, a little figgy with some mild fruity esters as well. The finish has some roast and chocolate.

M: Medium bodied with some low carbonation. A little silky and chewy with some heat on the finish.

O: Overall I think the low carbonation helped this beer a bit as it's a little thin for a stout of this type. A good try, but wouldn't seek out again. (804 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

7/4/2012

Snifter. 2011 release. Bottle #1797.

A: Black with an inch of light brown froth that lingers for a few minutes. Lacing is left on the glass.

S: Lots of vanilla and oak with a firm roasted malt presence. I get traces of soy and coconut with pronounced brown sugar and caramel notes. There's a little plum-like brandy character. Bourbon is strong. Again, there's a lot of oak in the aroma, as well as a strong booze profile. When the beer really opens up there's a pretty great macadamia toffee note.

T: Bittersweet dark chocolate with notes of licorice, molasses, coffee, and vanilla. There's a big dose of brown sugar. The beer has a lower moderate earthy bitterness. The finish is a little boozy, hinting at a potency that surpasses the 9.5% listed on the label. The flavor is pleasant enough, with many nice elements, but these elements seem disjointed and sometimes at odds with one another. Perhaps a bit too roasted, boozy, licoricey, and bitter. Still, the flavor is pretty good.

M: Full in body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is sticky, silky, and smooth.

Overall: I recall liking the first bottle I opened quite a bit more, but it could be my imagination. A solid addition to the Eclipse series but not good enough for me to buy it again. (1,276 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
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! (1,009 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle #1964 from the 2011 release. Thanks, Chris!

Pouring the standard Eclipse pour, this is black with highlights that are obscured by the dense, dark brown head with excellent retention and nice lacing. The nose is a nice blend of barrel expressions. There's a lot of vanilla, toasted coconut, a pomace-like brandy aroma, a moderate fruitiness and the base stout (which, rather unfortunately, I'm yet to have tried) Nice, creamy milk chocolate, caramel, and not much roast.

The palate has a nice balance between brandy and bourbon flavors, with some rye-like spiciness also present (though that could be the power of suggestion). Coconut, vanilla, bourbon, booze and brandy, and of course, a little rye whiskey are all present in the barrel department. Moderately fruity and rather unusually for this beer, there's a slight ashy flavor as well. I do welcome it, though, as it adds a nice bitterness to the finish. Caramel, brown sugar round out the malt components, though this is mostly about the fruits. Mildly sweet on the finish with a moderate barrel character, some oak tannins and a little ash, this beer is medium-full in body, moderately carbonated and very nice on the palate. I am quite thoroughly enjoying this. (1,228 characters)

Photo of claaark13
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (854 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle #1648
enjoyed from a blue point snifter

a - brew poured a watery black with a finger's plus of creamy milky tan head. the milky head slowly bubbled away leaving a thin skin of head on the surface of the brew. lacing was streaky.

s - milk chocolate malts with a soft glaze of bourbon. seems wonderfully balanced. the booze is subtle and the beer has a really nice creamy smell.

t - much like the nose, the flavor is soft and milk chocolatey. the barrels and booze definitely takes a back seat to the wonderful stout flavors.

m - the first thing i noticed when the beer crossed my lips is the feel. smooth and silky while being rich and full. wonderful creaminess. really just a delight in my mouth. feels like a coating of milk chocolate is left behind. really REALLY nice.

o - overall a masterful blend. creamy and rich, not boozy...probably the least boozy of the series that i've tried...although i'm having this one solo instead of side-by-side with others. super enjoyable, especially if you don't want to be knocked out with booze. granted there is bourbon flavors in this beer, it doesn't knock me out and i like my bourbon barrel beers HOT, the heat reveals itself more in the buzz than the flavor. i really enjoyed this. (1,245 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting courtesy of Retsinis.

2011 vintage.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, wood, and bourbon. Taste is the same with an alcohol kick on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good Eclipse treatment with some nice aromas and flavors. (503 characters)

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Brewmaster’s Grand Cru Blend 2011 from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.