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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
89
very good

68 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 68
Hads: 200
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.45%
Wants: 50
Gots: 124 | 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: 200
Photo of orangesol
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to petesuphi for opening a bottle of this one for us to try.

A - Pours black with a small half finger tall off-white head leaving light lace down the glass. Just like the others it has very little head.

S - Smells of dark roasted malts, oak, bourbon, chocolate, licorice and toffee. An overly charred aroma comes to light as it warms up, not really sure where that is coming from.

T - Starts off with some rich sweetness consisting of vanilla, chocolate and toffee giving way to a nice bourbon kick, leaving the pallet coated in dry oak tannins long after the finish. Pretty damn tasty, could use some time to mellow out.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderately low carbonation. This one feels a little bigger than its counterparts. A little sweeter than the others with some more heat.

O - I liked this one a little more than my rating would indicate. It has a ton of good going for it but it is still a little hot at this point. Glad I got one of these sitting in the cellar, can't wait to try it again in the future. Has the potential to be great. (1,069 characters)

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.52/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Darkness snifter sharred with a fellow BA.

Bottle # 2425

A- Not the most attractive looking beer, no carbonation, thin bubbles on top that dissipate to nothing, pitch black color.
S- Nice bourbon aroma, buttery vanilla, slight dark fruits, some sweetness comes out, cocoa, no heat in the aroma.
T- Interesting, I was expecting this to be thicker, really thin, some bourbon, nice buttery vanilla, slight cocoa, a little disappointing.
M- No carbonation at all, really thin, watery, smooth drinking, abv is hidden.
O- Alright beer had so much potential, the lack of carbonation played a big factor in my overall impression of this beer, really thin, watery mouth feel, nice bourbon characteristics but the lack of carbonation dropped this beer down in my books. (789 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (268 characters)

Photo of MBrausen
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
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. (473 characters)

Photo of mindspin315
2.97/5  rDev -26.1%
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] (1,316 characters)

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

My first Eclipse ... bottle #1268 of this version for 2011.

Pours with a short tan head over an opaque black body with brown edges.

Aromas include bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla/oak, and slight roast.

Smooth as hell on the palate. Rich molasses, baker's chocolate, caramel, and slight coffee bean bitterness. Creamy mouthfeel... like a milk stout. Very drinkable.

This was great - expensive, but great. Looking forward to trying the other 5 we got out here.

edit: Ha, my review just bumped it to a 90. (512 characters)

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

2011 served @ 55F

A - Very dark roasted cocoa with 1mm of milk chocolate, thin sheet sticks around without many legs.

S - Light alcohol again with a toffee and cocoa sweetness followed with a light char and a hint of dark fruit.

T - Brandy barrels seem to be the main component of this blend. Overall nothing sticks out but everything falls together well. The vanilla and oak fall back compared to the EC and the dark fruit and a light licorice come out.

M/D - Low carbonation and slightly tannic and hot. Definitely not a stand out of the three that I had tonight, but not bad at all. A good blend that doesn't have a wow aspect but is still a solid BA stout. (666 characters)

Photo of kiddynamite920
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle# 2418. 2011 Batch.

A: Appearance of a much larger stout, think I heard that this might be a bit higher than the 9.5% listed on the bottle. Very small head, soapy bubbles that are fading away very fast. Not pitch black, but very dark. Not seeing any light through this.

S: Sweet bourbon! Much smoother than the 12 year. Caramel and vanilla with some toffee. Very dark malts and a bit of char. Picking up a dark fruit aroma that I first noticed in Black Albert, almost a dark cherry and plum thing going on. The wood is very nice and so smooth.

T: Deep and dark with bitter chocolate, caramel, oak and vanilla. Touch of alcohol that smooths out nicely. A small hint of some leafy hops that lends some nice bitterness. A bit strong, could use some time in a dark place.

M: Same problem I encountered with the 12 year...where is the body on this beer? This could be simply outstanding if it had a full body. Feels heavy at the first sip, but thins out very fast on the palate.

O: Really only jumped on these beers because I was so surprised to see it in my area. 28 dollars seemed right for an impulse buy, but after trying two of the varieties. Meh. (1,159 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
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. (748 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.67/5  rDev +16.2%
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. (1,380 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Lush. Served in a Jester King tulip.

A - Typical low carbonation Eclipse appearance. A partial ring of bubble and wisps show up, but not much else. Near-black body with a glint of brown at the edges of the glass.

S - Initially this is heavy on the dark roasted malts, licorice, oak, and bourbon. It's surprisingly boozy for an Eclipse variant, and has a light solvent character that I'm guessing is from the brandy barrels. As it warms up the sweetness increases a bit and some of the melted chocolate and vanilla flavors creep in.

T - Taste is more typical of Eclipse, with maple, brownies, honey, baker's chocolate, and a light licorice finish. There's significantly less oak and whiskey than the aroma suggests. Gets a touch hot as it reaches room temperature, but otherwise it's pretty enjoyable stuff. Not much overt brandy here - I'm curious what went into the blend.

M - Body is a bit bigger than some of the other Eclipse variants and slows into the medium-full range. Minimal carbonation, nice residual stickiness, and a bit of tannic character as well. Some definite warming alcohol too.

D - It's an enjoyable barrel-aged stout, but doesn't live up to the heights of the Eclipse series. It's also surprisingly hot and harsh for a 50/50 offering, although some of those flavors dissipated as the beer warmed up. If you have bottles of this version, I'd recommend giving them a few more months - I suspect they'll age nicely. (1,450 characters)

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
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. (564 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
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 (853 characters)

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

1014th Review on BA
Bottle to CBS Snifter
22oz Copper Wax

2011
Bottle 1760/2011

App- A bit more crimson in color than the Rye. More alive with a bit of red in it and a bigger head to it. A tad more cling and lace. A really good looking stout in the glass.

Smell- A bit more stringy alcohol on this nose with a bit a grainy note. A bit of melting chocolate with oak, vanilla and toffee and maybe some sort of roasted nut in there.

Taste- A really good blend but not mind blowing or very smooth. I like the blend with a bit of the oak and the dark ripe fruits. I really feel this blend is more a very good quad and a very good stout were layered with more vanilla and sweetness behind it.

Mouth- A bit more thin medium than a previous bottle of the Rye. A tad more smooth and lacking bubbles on the finish. A bit of a residual fruit and vanilla and burnt oak flavor.

Drink- I am celebrating with this for a new job. Glad I got this one out of the way. I will look forward to the other versions to be a bit more smooth and layered. A good stout but the single treatments are probably much better. (1,099 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (677 characters)

Photo of billshmeinke
4.83/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter.

Pitch black with three fingers of light beige head. Retention and lacing are both excellent.

Smells of bourbon, coffee, vanilla, oak, baker's chocolate, and brown sugar.

Taste follows smell. Dark chocolate, bourbon soaked dark fruits (raisins/plumbs/figs), brown sugar, coffee, tobacco, leather, touch of clove like spice. The finish is smokey, leathery, and tannic acompanied by some dark fruit.

The mouthfeel is full bodied, velvety smooth, nicely textired carbonation.

One of the best Eclipse versions. I'd rank it below Pappy and Elijah Craig 18, and higher than the rest of the versions I have tried. (633 characters)

Photo of HovsepJO
4.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review is based on what I remember last night and that isn't much considering how much I had to drink today through sunday football... lol anyway,

Appearance: pours a very dark brown/black body with a nice lace. carbonation was clear and satisfying. brown head.

Smell: best part of the beer. aroma included hints of coffee cocoa raisins and dozens of other things but I simply don't remember what..

Taste: tasted much like it smelled. although a rook, probably my favorite beer yet. Thank goodness I've got a second.

Mouthfeel: pleasant on the palate. Alcohol was well hidden. The flavors were fresh. The carbonation was excellent. I wouldn't wait on this beer.

Overall: 4.5/5. Honestly a phenomenal beer. As I said above, I am a rook, but this beer was extremely satisfying. I'm just excited for the ec 12, ec 18, and brandy I've also got in stock. The Bruery provisions really hooked it up this last thursday...

cheers. (934 characters)

Photo of penniwisdom
4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours black with a small 1/4 inch khaki colored head. Instantly forms pretty thick lacing along the sides of my glass.

Smell - Sweet chocolate malts and some coffee, slight brandy and/or sweeter spirit aroma, a real array of different bourbon aromas. The bourbon aroma is very complex, so many great bourbon flavors going on at once it is hard to concentrate on anything individually. Definitely unique in this regard. Even though there is alot of barrel action going on, the malts are still the majority of what i smell. Bursting with doughy, chocolatey, roasty flavors.

Taste - More of an even coffee/chocolate flavor than the aroma would lead one to expect. Bourbon, vanilla, nutty, subtle coconut and just when you think you may be tasting the slightest alcohol hotness the malt finishes creamy and smooth. Coffee is very pronounced in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Creamy, perfect. The 9.5% abv is perfect for this style for me. Not too thick or thin, perfect richness to hold up to the barrel treatments. Perfect carbonation.

Overall - This is a phenomenal beer. I must warn I haven't gotten into any of the other variants from this year quite yet. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer from start to finish. Tons of flavors going on at once, which is enjoyable but almost too intense. The blending of all of these great barrel treatments might be too much on the pallette, i spent a while contemplating while i enjoyed this beer. This beer is somewhat of a benchmark for me, easily being top 3 as far as complexity to digest and understand. Great beer/brewery and i am looking forward to trying the other bottles from this release. Thanks for another great beer Todd. (1,679 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.