Imperial Eclipse Stout - Old Fitzgerald - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 228 | Reviews: 49 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheBrewo:
4.25/5 rDev +0.5%
We cut the blue wax on a bottle of 2012 stock, hand labeled on the front with “BR 4 2012” in white paint pen. The brew pours the color of the deepest molasses brown, sitting thick and murky in our ¾ sized tasting snifters. It holds a one finger head of soapy bubbles. This chocolate milk foam fades on the slower side of life, leaving watery wisps of lacing all around the glass. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be active, but dead slow. The aroma is wrapped in a thick blanket of cheap whiskey, Old Fitzgerald, and sings to the tune of quality that Jim Beam and the likes embody. The nose is otherwise filled with notes of fat buttery diacetyls, heavy cashew nuttiness, toffee and salted caramel sweetness, heavily roasted caramel, English brown, and dark chocolate malts, toasted shreds of coconut, milk chocolate syrup, lactic creaminess, burnt brown and confectioner’s sugar, raisin, cherry, and plum depth, vinyl sting, rocky smoke, vinegar acidity, light grassy hops, and fusel booziness, especially with warmth. Our first impression is that the flavoring is much spicier, deeper, and darker than expected, but it is a bit light on the lip. As we sip, the taste opens with oily molasses, heavy oak burden, caramel and chocolate malt char, phenolic plastic burn, fusel booziness, sweet corn whiskey fumes, subtle soapy and grassy hoppiness, and chocolate covered raisins. The middle is sweet, with dense chocolate fudge sweetness, continued caramel malt thickness, malted milk balls, salted caramel, sourdough pretzels, freshly pressed leathers, seaweed, clean bourbon heat, and aluminum hitting you high up on the palate. The end washes through with green bananas, soy sauce saltiness, dark chocolate truffles, char-burned oak, hot whiskey, chalked yeastiness, dried raspberry and cherry fruitiness, light coconut fruitiness, basement mustiness, and dark cherry flesh. The aftertaste breathes with massive cheap whiskey, sticky honey, mineral, metallic yeast, milk and dark cocoa chocolates, caramel honey, light cloven and plastic phenols, dark fruity pulp, plum juiciness, chocolate and coffee malts, generalized fusel boozy heat, and stark banana esters. The body is surprisingly medium and airy, and the carbonation is medium. Despite this there is sleek, greasy slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop, with the mouth left fully coated and dripping wet. This lasts for some time, with eventual chalky astringency focused hard to the anterior palate. The abv is appropriate, and this guy functions well as a sipper.
Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its flavoring. We were expecting the malt bill to be heavy and roasty, but we definitely didn’t see the smoke, char, and pow coming. This, combined with the dank whisky wetness, envelopes the palate in mystery, complexity, and intrigue. The nose set the stage nicely as well, with great fruitiness and syrupy sweetness, but again, didn’t get you ready for the depth of grain. If we had to knock something it would be the feel. For such a robustly flavored and nosed brew, it would have been better suited to have a frothy and creamy beverage. Instead we got a thinner, more oily and slick brew that had nice sip, but lesser follow-through and slurp. As this marks our introduction to the “Eclipse” family, we were very excited to crack this one. We remain enthusiastic about the rest, and can’t wait to see how they can turn up the robustness with each of the barrel agings from 2012.
12-17-2013 01:21:52 | More by TheBrewo
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.