Imperial Eclipse Stout - Old Fitzgerald - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 228 | Reviews: 49 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by StoneTSR:
4.41/5 rDev +4.3%
Bottle #312 – 4 – 2012
APPEARANCE: Similar to the Elijah Craig 12-year, the color is pretty much jet black with a trace of brown light getting through when held up to the light. The only difference here is that the quarter-inch, coffee-colored head lasted for a few minutes longer. In fact, its endurance surprised me. When it finally faded, a thin film covered most of the surface. Lacing is non-existent, but that’s OK.
SMELL: I thought the Elijah Craig was good on the nose, this is just ridiculous. The bourbon aromas are perfectly balanced and all very present. Vanilla and a very distinct wet wood that brings to mind freshly emptied whiskey barrels leads the way. A hint of caramel dances around the edges and a breath of roasted malt rounds it all out.
TASTE: My first impression is that this is a little hotter and boozy than the Elijah Craig. The Old Fitzgerald packs much more of a bourbon punch with the wood from the nose pulling through from the front of the sip all the way to the finish. The vanilla is also fairly pronounced up front with more of a chocolate finish and a caramel backbone stays steady from front to back. The finish on this one is bitter, but not so much from the roasted malt, but from what seems to be more of a slightly citrusy hop flavor. Also, raisins.
MOUTHFEEL: The first word that comes to mind is voluptuous. Silky, creamy and smooth, the Old Fitz version of Eclipse goes down very, very easy. While the body is big, it does not weigh me down as much as I would expect from such a rich beer.
OVERALL: In three of the five categories, the Old Fitz beats out the Elijah Craig version, however in the flavor department, this one came in too strong (and I served this one at a more appropriate temperature that the E.C.). The booziness and bourbon bite were too much right out of the gate. This is an amazing beer, still worth the price in my opinion, but unlike the 12-year, I would prefer to lay this one down for a year or two. Taste is a big piece of the equation, so I’ve got to give it a slightly lower score in the overall department, but worth a trade or a splurge at the liquor store.
02-19-2013 07:12:43 | More by StoneTSR
More User Reviews:
3.74/5 rDev -11.6%
Usual black and dark brown pour, and very thin off white, beige head on this one, very small ring to it, 1/32" deep.
Aroma yields booze, chocolate, and for the first time ever when checking out an Eclipse beer. . . hops? Hmm. Questioning my nose on this one. At least the usual soggy wood and vanilla are still part of it. Bourbon a little too forward for me on this one, nice, but below average for the Eclipse series.
Plenty of booze and chocolate on the mouthfeel. Again, hopping and carbonation seemed like they were out of whack for what I've come to know Eclipse as. Seems high, the hops and the bubbles took away from a normally smooth experience. A little bit of coconut still, but maybe the barrel was extra wet, this one just is the hottest Eclipse I've ever had.
The sweetness from the whiskey itself doesn't seem to have found a home here, this one is a little bitter and rough in the mouthfeel. I was expecting a smoother, sweeter, less obvious barrel character out of this one, boy was I wrong.
While still enjoyable, it is probably my least favorite Eclipse.
04-08-2013 16:35:55 | More by Beerandraiderfan
4.24/5 rDev +0.2%
22oz bottle, 2012 edition, thanks to hoppypocket for the trade. I get the waxing for presentation, etc, but wow, is it a pain in the ass to get any manner of bottle opener (and yes, I used a knife to scrape off the wax first) to work on such a thing. Better be worth it - that, kids, is called an expository teaser.
This beer pours a solid black, with more than ample cola highlights, and one finger of bubbly, tightly foamy, and fairly creamy chocolate milk brown head, which leaves some decently spooky stringy mitochondrial lace around the glass as things evenly subside.
It smells of acrid booze-soaked grainy bourbon wood, with a strong dose of thin vanilla extract, musty milk chocolate, well-toasted caramel malt, sugary dark orchard fruit, almost fruitcake-like, a bit of wet ash, and earthy, dusty hops. The taste is another big smack to the palate, with a mixture of chocolate pudding cups and a shot of sweet vanilla, caramel, and wood-heavy middle-shelf bourbon, some softly sweet coffee notes, roasted caramel malt - one rather nougaty in its bearing - charred sultana raisins, and a growing alcohol astringency.
The bubbles are pretty low-key, and almost inert at times, the body a somewhat unsettling medium-heavy weight, and really rather smooth, with an amateur creaminess. It finishes on the sweet side, just, as the bourbon and English candy caramel notes come 'round full bore with the last of their twin barrel (sic) loads. Eep, I think I now need a shower, if not a smoke.
A pretty agreeable Bourbon County affected Imperial Stout, the barrel doing its thing, and doing it well, while the 'base' stout has a thing or two to add to the palette. Soft, silky, and really quite drinkable, at least until that near 10 points of ABV comes a' knockin', sooner, rather than later, I suppose. I'm starting to grok a trend here, one not too unlike the single-hop series so in vogue for the last little while - single house barrel agings, i.e. not just 'bourbon aged', but 'Old Fitzgerald aged', through the good graces of Heaven Hills, of course. Anyways, as my lugubrious nature here indicates, this is one beer worth seeking out - make your own reasons.
11-02-2013 02:44:45 | More by biboergosum
3.73/5 rDev -11.8%
Perhaps the most distinct bottle in the series I have had so far. Bottle from Premier split with Liam. Strong whiskey smell, rough and strong taste. A little head on a black body. Some sips noteable as a bit of astringency. Drinkable, mostly owing to sweetness.
03-14-2013 23:45:51 | More by Sammy
3.98/5 rDev -5.9%
650 mL bottle poured into an Eclipse snifter. 2012 bottle.
Appearance - Murky black with transparent edges. Not much of a head. Wispy surface.
Smell - Sharp bourbon aroma. Nothing subtle about it. Hefty liquor flavor without so much barrel character. Chocolatey.
Taste - Sharp bourbon flavor. Dies down to a dark chocolate flavor. Bourbon comes back in the back end and gives it a bitter bourbon finish.
Mouthfeel - Slick and creamier than the base beer. Medium carbonation. Sweet and barrel booze finish.
Overall - The bourbon flavor is intense and even a little harsh. It still improves the base beer though.
04-06-2013 20:24:47 | More by Alieniloquium
4.06/5 rDev -4%
Appearance: Very dark brown bordering on black with a small beige head that slowly faded.
Smell: Moderate Bourbon, brown sugar and some vanilla notes.
Taste: Spicy Bourbon, mild vanilla, caramel/brown sugar, a touch of roasted malts and some oak notes appearing in the finish. The beer finishes with Bourbon and mild hop notes.
Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation Fairly thin bodied for the style.
Overall: Good beer. A bit more Bourbon forward than the 2012 Elijah Craig's I've had and as a result perhaps a simpler taste profile.
Opened a bottle on March 28, 2014, and noted while the Bourbon still features prominently, the oak and other barrel elements were more forward and a healthy amount of carbonation remained. Based on the changes I'd upgrade my taste score to 4.5 and overall to 4.5.
04-06-2013 22:30:07 | More by IKR
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Old Fitzgerald from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.