Imperial Eclipse Stout - Old Fitzgerald - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Old FitzgeraldImperial Eclipse Stout - Old Fitzgerald

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

56 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 56
Hads: 262
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 4.17%
Wants: 42
Gots: 100 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 12-16-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

2007 - No wax
2012 - Blue wax
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 56 | Hads: 262
Photo of pkalix
4.94/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I cheated. I tasted before I rated the appearance and the smell.... but here goes:
appearance: thin wispy chocolate-milk layer of fuzzy melting to a thin layer of micro-bubbles. pitch dark-brown and not transparent.
smell: luscious fruit.
taste: creamy darker fruits, some chocolate, vanilla, (slight) bourbon. I read others' of berries and such and I can see it. i'm not that refined. but it is darned good.
very creamy, silky. enamored with this one. I was very surprised with the non-thickness. I may be influenced by the already-high rating; I may be intimidated by the price I paid, but I really was impressed from sip one. I wish I had waited until the weekend to try this but I've had it for three weeks now and it's been itching to open. (745 characters)

Photo of Hatzilla
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been sitting on this one for a while - 2012 version. Dark oily pour into a Duvel tulip - short lasting head. Smell is chocolate, marshmallow, vanilla, dark cherries and oak. Taste is extremely chocolately and marshmallow-y, alcohol is present but not overbearing. Also more dark fruit/cherries on the tongue. Feel is smooth, oily but not cloying. Overall a great beer but the price prevents me from buying on a more regular basis (paid 30 bucks). Cheers! (461 characters)

Photo of StoneTSR
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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. (2,147 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Think I got this in trade from my sister, like three years ago. A month or two afterward I realized how this beer was outrageously expensive and therefore miraculously easier to find outside of California.

Blue wax, 2012. It says "BR 1," whatever that means.

Pours out quickly, a little thin-seeming, with nice opacity and a decent head.

Smells as much like straight up bourbon as any other BA stout I've ever had. Often, "bourbon" denotes nodes of fire or vanilla. But this smells like barrel-aged sour mash smoothed out by chewy barley and yeast. One of the most aggressive aromas I've ever come across in a a beer, and also one of the best.

Tastes... not nearly as good as the smell. Ahh blazes why'd you have to go an' do that me, love?

Tastes up front like the thinnest stout you ever had. You can sense inklings of better things, but it's like they're knocking against a locked door. This gives way to a rather generic bourbon burn and leads to a fantastic finish, firework puffs of vanilla, char, and vinous barley.

This is infuriating! It's like 93% a classic but that weak, watery opening keeps it away from glory. (1,142 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.39/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From 02/17/13 notes. 2012 vintage, BR3, poured into a wine glass. Tried along with the 2012 12-year EC and 2012 Rittenhouse Rye versions.

a - Pours a pitch black color with two inches of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Thick looking stout, I think all these Eclipse stouts look great.

s - Smells of sweet chocolate, roasted malts, caramel malts, whiskey, vanilla, and some toasted malts. Lots of chocolate and nice and sweet, and the whiskey comes through a bit as well. Alcohol is stronger here than the 12yr EC was, but if you like whiskey it is very nice. Not as much alcohol as the Rittenhouse Rye version.

t - Tastes of sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, roasted malts, cream, whiskey, oak, vanilla, toasted malts, caramel, dark fruits, and some sweet sugar. Taste is awesome; ton of sweet chocolate again here, and nice bourbon and vanilla too. Not as hot as the nose, and nearly as nice as the EC 12. More chocolate here vs vanilla and swet bourbon in the EC. Much better than the RR.

m - Full bodied stout and low to moderate carbonation. The body is thick and smooth and creamy, like most of the Eclipses. Great mouthfeel for a stout, and not much heat in the body.

o - Overall I liked this variant a lot. While I still like the 12 year EC better, this is my second favorite 2012 variant so far, as I found it significantly better and the Rittenhouse Rye and Bernheim Wheat. Lots of chocolate in this one and while the nose is a bit hot, the taste isn't as bad. If you like chocolate and whiskey forwards noses like me, you'll probably enjoy this one quite a bit. (1,591 characters)

Photo of flexabull
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle courtesy of the super generous BA maximum12, thanks again! For the second Christmas Eve in a row, I'm getting to enjoy a bottle of one of the Eclipse barrel aged beers now that all the family has gone home.

Pours thick, a flat black color with a pretty nice light brown head. Head dies down to nothing, leaving some streaky lacing on the glass.

Aromas are very bourbon forward. Also some very nice notes of dark chocolate, dark fruits, and roasted nuts.

Taste is complex. Nutty, with dark chocolate, light cream, and dark fruits. Finish has a very nice hint of bourbon, booze, and roasted coconuts.

Mouthfeel is smooth with nice body, could be a touch thicker though.

Overall, an excellent beer. And another winner from FiftyFifty. (748 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle picked up by my trustee and sent my way, had this one before, but looks like the tick is still in a notebook somewhere with the backlog. Enjoyed from a eclipse snifter.

a - like all eclipses, this one is dark as night with a gorgeous barrel shine and zero head to speak of. Great shine but a watery look.

s - nose is chocolate covered booze. Great balance and nothing too much in any one direction. Bourbon is there but not too intense and some hints of vanilla.

t/m - taste matches the nose but the vanilla is bigger and more present. As always great balance and a super easy drinker. A bit on the watery side, but oh dat flavor and to drink so easily for such a massive beer, this bad boy is dangerous.

o - overall, i have said it before and i will say it again, eclipse beers are one of the few series that are actually worth the crazy price point. This beer is no exception. Really well balanced and drinks like juice. Great flavor and there is a touch of oxidation that actually works with this beer. Another winner from the series. Not my top pick, but on the high end of the middle. (1,100 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Oh man, this is a special one. Got a few of these waiting to go in the cellar, and I've been waiting for the right moment but it never seems to come, or there are other beers to do instead. So decided to just crack one and maybe others later. 2012 vintage, excited.

It pours a small mocha colored fizzy but thick creamy small head covering that stays for a little while, then disappears. a bit of lacing, but loooooooong legs, and sure enough a pitch black beer.

Nose wafts out of the bottle when I pop the top, great, dark malts all over the place, powdered cocoa dust, dark chocolate notes, a little bit of a a roasted malt, like a heavy roasted malt that has just enough age to let it settle to a nice point, lots of fluffy nougat candy bar, bit of caramel, the roast is still able to deliver a little roasted coffee as well. Then some mild barrel notes, a little vanilla oak, a little candy bourbon, like bourbon mixed with caramel and candied, and a bit of a marshmallow-y fluffy aroma with a fluffy fudgey cocoa.

Taste brings more great characters, I do get a little bit of the roast quality again that was probably too much when fresh but now brings a great roasty aged quality with still a little nutty earthy coffee note. Mild caramel nutty note, with mild sweetness and candy but mostly dry surprisingly. Plenty of fluffy nougat, candy bar, and again that marshmallow-y fluffed chocolate thing. A mild dark chocolate, nice expensive soft Lindt like chocolate candy center filling creamy dark chocolate. it also brings a little anise as it warms, a nice light anise and baking spices, interesting. Mild earthy hops in the background. Then again mild barrel, which I could only assume has gone downhill a bit as it's not a lot of barrel, but a nice vanilla barrel character, as well as more mild bourbon, just a touch of that nice bourbon fudge, and again not straight up bourbon, like it's blended wtih something, but this time blended with a fudge sauce or something. Just a hint of booze, mostly hidden well. Finish is dry, as the whole beer was, a hint of warming booze not much, long lingering fudge, bourbon blended fudge, a little roasted malt and coffee, fluffy nougat etc lingering.

Mouth is fuller bod, thick and fudgey, chewy, airy, etc, decent carb esp for the age, and just a hint of booze which is hidden well.

Overall this is quite interesting. It has that roasted malt that seems like it was overpowering fresh but is nice and aged now. Barrel is a bit attenuated too much unfortunately, but therein lies the quagmire of beers like this, drink fresh you get the overroast burnt characters and booze but nice barrel and bourbon, drink fresh it's mellowed way out and drinkable but barrel has died down. This was still very tasty and enjoyable, and I can imagine it being phenomenal at some point, maybe it's just past that point, btu still drinking quite nicely. (2,892 characters)

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed blind thanks to Stupac2...

A: Pours a deep dark brown, pretty much pure black, with a half finger of medium tan head. The foam settles in a decent amount of time, but there is a serious amount of lacing left on the glass as this one drinks.

S: The nose is roast, milk chocolate, toffee, mild soy, mild spice, and booze. This beer just smells sticky, yes smells. It's like caramel and raisin residue that you find once you finish a box of Sun-Maid. I can't wait.

T: It starts out sweet with caramel and raisins, but the flavors begin to shift almost immediately. I start to get roast, char, and spice in the middle. As it moves even further back I'm starting to get silky milk chocolate. The finish is dark chocolate and booze.

M: Full bodied beer. This beer coats the palate, sticks, and doesn't let go. Sweet to start, roast in the middle, prickly and boozy in the finish. Solid.

O: I like this beer.The flavors shift all over the place, but I kind of like that. You go from sweet to bitter, smooth, to prickly, velvety, to hot. Something about this beer just works. I like it. (1,092 characters)

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark brown, Medium lacing. Lacing is coffee colored.

S- Sweet and boozy!. Some dark chocolate and roasted dark fruits. Honey notes

T- The sweet chocolate and dark fruits come off in great proportions with the barrel. Nice sting to this one.

M- Nice amount of carb, a bit of a sting. Kinda creamy, but not too much.

O- A very nice BA stout here from Fifty Fifty. (371 characters)

Photo of Gosox8787
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: 22 oz. bottle split with a friend. I've had other years of this series, and really enjoyed them, but the high tag would keep me from getting these more than once. 2012 vintage poured into two Sierra Nevada tulips.

Appearance: Dark brown in color. Definitely not as dark and thick as other barrel aged stouts. Doesn't pour much in the way of head.

Aroma: Really big sweetness and barrel notes upfront. Caramel, molasses, marshmallow, and fudge cake create a really nice sweet base. The bourbon is definitely there but it is very well integrated into the beer overall. Really surprised how mellow the booze character is in this.

Taste: Milk chocolate, marshmallow and caramel are all strong here as well. The bourbon is definitely there as well, but (like in the aroma) it shows itself with some sweetness and just the slightest burn. A touch of oak as well. Really well integrated. Somehow manages to be really sweet and avoid being too cloying.

Mouthfeel: As with most Eclipse beers, a bit thin for the style. Still very rich and easy to drink.

Overall, this could be my favorite Eclipse variation from the 5 or so I have had. The barrel blends pretty flawlessly and adds a ton of complexity and sweetness to the base beer. The only drawback for me was the price tag, but that's to be expected here. I definitely think this is drinking pretty much perfect for the style now, so I wouldn't cellar these at all. (1,429 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, 2012 vintage with blue wax and bottle number BR3, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a dark brown color, produces a thin khaki head that fades to a thin collar.

S- Very bourbon and chocolate-forward, the bourbon is really mild and smooth, with some light oak and vanilla notes. As it warms some nice roasty and chocolate/molasses aromas come out.

T- Nice blend of roast, chocolate and bourbon flavors. The chocolate and roast flavors are more prominent than in the aroma, with lots of roasty bitterness towards the finish and some molasses. The bourbon is also understated but lends some nice boozy and vanilla and oak flavors.

M- Full-bodied, low carbonation with a thick, almost oily feel, has a bit of alcohol warmth.

O- A delicious beer, one of my favorites from the Eclipse series along with the EC versions. (829 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a dark as night black in color with signs of brown highlights when held up to the light and a very thin head that barely left any lacing sticking to the glass.

S: booze smacks you upfront in the aroma with good roastiness, plenty of sweetness consisting of malts, molasses, chocolate, a little brown sugar, mild vanilla and brown sugar presence but the old fitzgerald barrel character is definitely there.

T: roastiness was more apparent on the palate alongside molasses, toffee, chocolatey sweetness, good vanilla flavor, nice old fitzgerald barrel accents and a good amount of boozy heat but with dark fruity accents.

M: the brew was full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a very sweet, boozy, mild dark fruity, roasty, chocolatey and rich finish.

O: I think it is one of my favorites from the eclipse variations but was just a touch more booze for me but it was fine. (906 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a touch of brown and a finger of frothy khaki-chocolate head. Fades normal.

S - Chocolate and dark caramel malts, molasses, Bourbon, vanilla, oak, black licorice, dark cocoa, coffee, booze.

T - Sweet dark chocolate and caramel malts, Bourbon, vanilla, oak, molasses, coffee, black licorice, bitter dark cocoa, touch of dark fruit, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and a bit syrupy with a warming, sweet, and lightly spicy finish.

D - Great barrel aged stout. The bourbon is a very smooth. (545 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: A very dark brown pour. Moderate-sized fluffy chocolate brown head. Tried to pour it aggressively but the head just wouldn't cooperate. Fades at a decent pace with very little lacing. None initially in fact, but as I drank it left some splotches here and there. Good retention at least.

S: Big sharp bourbon aroma. Caramel, coconut, marshmallows and vanilla primarily. Some oak too. Chocolate from the base beer. Stinging alcohol.

T: Bourbon up front but not as strong as some of the other variants. Very sweet with lots of caramel, melted chocolate bars and a little bit of char. Just a little. I get distinctive burnt marshmallows in the middle and into the finish. Even has a burnt marshmallow mouthfeel at the same time, sort of a chalky, ashy, sticky sweet feeling.

M: Fairly heavy, thick and sticky.

O: Huh, amazing how the different variants are so far apart. I had the corn whiskey version the other day and it doesn't even resemble this beer. This one is lower carbonation, sweet and syrupy. Basically marshmallow and chocolate. It's delicious to be honest. At the same time, it does lack some of the complexity of the other versions. Less bourbon character and no real oak. Wonder if it spent less time in barrels, or if Old Fitzgerald is just a simple, sweet bourbon (never had it). I tend to enjoy sweet beers however, and this was no exception - I loved every drop. I just can't give it top-notch marks for lack of complexity. (1,449 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another new Eclipse: be still my heart. After finishing last night with a new Evan Williams, this seemed like a good way to start an evening of lounging on the couch with my wife & watching bad movies. 22 oz. bottle, blue wax, split in twain.

Pour is regular old black, less carbonation that others in the series, one glass is almost still. Lovely chocolate, big roast, less barrel that many of the other series, only a small spurt of vanilla betrays its lineage.

Eclipse Old Fitgerald is a harsh fellow. Unlike the smoothness of most of the Eclipse series, this has a wicked, slashing bourbon bite to it; that's where this beer lives, is the bourbon & the backing vanilla. Underneath is chocolate, & the roast that's dominant in the nose comes on strong mid-palate & runs all the way to the finish, hand in hand with the old Fitz. Drying oak, too. I like this: I'm sucking on it like a black liquid lollipop.

This takes a whole different turn than you normal barrel-aged stout: it goes hot & rough rather than smooth & silky. I like the u-turn & would love to see more like it. Excellent. (1,095 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Jeff for this one. I've been wanting to try this ever since it came out again. 2012 vintage (blue wax) in a Founders snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a rich, 1 finger coffee cream colored head with moderate retention. Beer is thick and pitch black. Lacing is patchy and stringy with excellent stick. A nice looking beer.

Nose is tickling alcohol, roast, chocolate, cream, fudge, and burnt wood with overtones of grape and plum. Pretty subtle actually.

Opens molasses, chocolate, dry dark fruit and fudge. Middle is booze, honey, chocolate, cocoa, and more molasses with hints of plum and prune. Ends sweet, sugary and with a subtle kick of booze, leather and wood. Really awesome. Great balance and a nice complement of flavors.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Slick and oily in the mouth and rich and warm going down. Messy finish with a sticky, lingering aftertaste. Not too thick, not too thin.

This beer certainly lived up to the hype for me. The barrel character has faded a bit but the flavor profile is excellent and the body is spot on in pulling together this beer. Definitely worth trying. (1,138 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 10.4.13
BR 3 2012

A - Pours a dark brown with a few dark tan bubbles that linger for a bit.

S - Chocolate, subtle roasted malts.

T - Silky chocolate, vanilla, then some bourbon in the finish.

D - Silky smooth heavy body with low carbonation.

O - Smooth, but heavy on the chocolate and vanilla. (316 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 blue wax. Tastes a lot like Town Hall's Czar Jack. Maybe a little thinner however. Still, a lot of oak, vanilla, and whiskey flavors. Very flavorful. (154 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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. (2,171 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

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. (3,500 characters)

Photo of More_betterness
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage.

A: Midnight black body with a mocha head that recedes to a small ring quickly. Patchy lacing. Nice looking stout.

S: Cocoa, toffee, and some oxidative sherry notes. Hints of vanilla and dark fruits as it warms. A bit of alcohol heat closes everything out.

T: Milk chocolate, bourbon soaked cherries, and honey sweetness upfront. Everything fades to bitter dark chocolate and a tick of maple syrup. Alcohol heat is still a big player in the finish despite the time in the cellar, but the barrel character that is usually paired with that is more subdued. Very balanced with no aspect overly dominant.

M: Medium bodied and moderate carbonation. Long lingering finish. Pretty light on its feet compared to other imperial stouts.

O: As usual, this entrant to the Eclipse series delivers. Liked it a bit more after the time in the cellar than I did than I did fresh. Drink em now! (895 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle shared by yours truly at a Chicago Burbs Tasting.

A - Pours black, mocha-colored head, thin collar.

S - Unbelievably, this still has a lot of boozy notes to it. The Old Fitz is right up front and easy detectible, though the nearly 5 years of age has smoothed it out considerably. Along with the Old Fitz, there's chocolate, caramel, burnt sugars, and a large barrel influence.

T - A ever-so-slight amont of oxidization helps smooth the Old Fitz and meld with the sweetness. Up front, chocolate, oak, and burnt sugars pair with the booze to create a nice level of roast. Alcohol is well-hidden as far as the booze, but you can taste the Old Fitz. Finish is oak, caramel, and burnt sugars.

M - Full body, rich and smooth, creamy finish.

O - Old Fitz has aged nicely and has held up much better then I ever thought possible. Not sure how much longer I'd cellar this beer though, as I can't imagine it aging in the positive direction any longer. I hope my friends enjoyed this treat as much as I did. (1,014 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Premier Gourmet, 650ml into a tulip. Tasted alongside 4 other variants.

Black with a tan head. Bourbon, brown sugar, oak and a sharp alcoholic note on the nose. Some ripe apple as well. Tastes of bourbon, toasted oak, dark chocolate, oak, and a light vanilla character. Would do well with a little more time in the bottle. (335 characters)

Photo of Rinkor16
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed with a friend

A: Very black and dark in color. Very little to no head.

S: Vanilla and lots of chocolate. The bourbon is hardly niceable.

T: A lot of vanilla up front mixed with the chocolate. The bourbon is definitely taking a back seat on this one. Very tasty.

M: Full bodied and very smooth, like most stouts.

O: A real treat. I just wish the Eclipse variants weren't so damn expensive. (401 characters)

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Old Fitzgerald from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.