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 Jeffo
2.26/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bomber from Vissai in a recent box. Cheers for the trade man!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2012
Bottle: 312
Blue Wax

APPEARANCE: Pours out pretty black producing a one finger, medium looking, tan head with good retention. Black body with lower levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a thin wisp and bubbly ring. A ring remains and a few dots of lace fall back into the glass. Dark enough for the style, and one of the darker ones in the series. Most of the other years have been thin and transparent brown.

SMELL: Lots of oak on the nose, with some bourbon, caramel and dark chocolate as well. Light notes of sweet cream and milk chocolate as well. Medium strength. Some complexity here, though there is an off aroma of nailpolish remover. Too bad, though the complexity keeps it from being an abomination.

TASTE: Some caramel and burnt malt notes up front, then lots of bourbon, oak and some alcohol at the swallow. Bold and lingering finish with lots of oak, bourbon flavors, sweet cream and an off-putting alcohol flavor of nail polish remover as well. The oak, sweet cream and dark, bitter chocolate try to outwit the nail polish remover but can't quite live up to the task. A shame, as there was some potential here.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly astringent on the tongue. Some heat lingers as well. Full enough body, but the light astringency, probably from the harsh alcohol, detracts from the experience.

OVERALL: I'm afraid this series just isn't all that great. There are a few decent variants, such as the Elijah Craig and Heaven Hill, but most of them, including this one, are relatively lack luster. This was one of the worst of the bunch. There is certainly potential here, as there were some nice, complex flavors in this beer, but the astringent finish and harsh alcohol flavors made it a chore. I actually drain poured the last third of the bottle as I just couldn't be bothered any more. Perhaps something went wrong with the fermentation process or the barrel aging, but regardless, for me, this series has yet to prove that it's worth the price of admission. Thanks for the trade Vissai. Was a pleasure. (2,239 characters)

Photo of Rish907
3.06/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Was very disappointed with this one especially after trying the purple wax Elijah. This was very bitter and harsh & did not go down smoothly. Very unrefined and not complex. Lack-luster overall. Felt like a complete waste for $32. Going to stick with the purple wax which was superb! (283 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Lovely shade of blue wax, 2012 vintage.

3.5 A: Black color. One and a half fingers of frothy/creamy light brown head. Retention is about averageand a short ring of lacing is left.

3.5 S: Like the Rebel Yell, this whiskey is earthy and minerally, but it doesn't suck like RY did. Light leather, caramel, and toastiness. Maybe some coconut notes as well. Oak and vanilla from the barrel. The base gives a roastiness and a decent amount of chocolate.

3.5 T: The taste is like the nose, but it's lacking depth (the nose did too to a lesser extent). Earthy, caramel, molasses, mineral, toast, light leather. Oak and vanilla. Roast and chocolate.

3.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lacking creaminess big time, even more so than most of the other variants.

3.0 D: This is my second least favorite Eclipse from this year. While Rebel Yell was horrid, this isn't bad, but it's nothing special and the barrel aging can't save this one like it has for some of the others. (1,004 characters)

Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.69/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2012 batch poured into a snifter.

A- Pours almost black in color with just a little bit of carbonation. The small amount of head is basically just a rim on the top of the body of tan bubbles. Lacing is minimal.

S- Huge, sweet and boozy barrel notes are first and foremost on the nose. Tons of caramel and spicy oak are the primary barrel notes. Some mild bitter notes from the malt comes through next, but a majority of the scent is in the barrel flavors.

T- Starts off with a combo punch of the barrel and bitter malts from the scent. The malts are much more prominent than in the smell. The barrel sweetness is quickly overtaken from its original dominance by these malts and a nice, burnt, roasted flavor comes to the forefront for the middle and latter parts of the drink. This malt flavor presides until the end, when a touch of oak and bourbon bitterness ramp up to take over a little bit. Lingering flavor is fairly bitter in a burnt and boozy way.

M- This beer is smooth and rather thick, like a good stout should be. I suspect that most of the reason for low carbonation levels is the age of the bottle, but it actually benefits from the smooth feel it provides.

Overall, this is a very good barrel aged stout that is a little past its prime. The barrel has held up well in the scent, but the taste of the beer has skewed back towards bitter malts and away from the barrel. Still, this is a solid stout. (1,417 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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. (261 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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. (1,079 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Vintage 2012 bottle Br/4.

Mahogany brown out of the bottle, hits and creates a simple dark walnut brown body, maybe some red hued edges and some chestnut lighter brown as well. There's no head made on this beer at all, it's barely a pencil dot thin collar (maybe mocha brown?) with a filmy top, and little carbonation present.

Nose is quite unique. The beer smells like candy cane peppermints, mixing with roast. Hints of classic caramel and chocolate, vanilla in the back, and some peanuts hide among this very minty nose. Very interesting and quite odd.

Palate comes through a bit wet. This is hard to tell if this even came from a barrel. Lots of roasted and dry grains, with a simple malt backbone. Sweetness and depth sensed on the nose doesn't come through. I almost feel like this should be toasty, but then it's kind of hammered down. Some peanut action comes out a bit mixing with toasty char a bit on the finish also. The charring and dryness just goes on forever, and unfortunately not in a fun enjoyable way, the front tip of my tongue particularly feels numb.

Overall probably not one of the Eclipse versions I would want to have again, but no harm in trying it. I get the sense the classic profile is there but on the palate it's just not brought out to shine. (1,324 characters)

Photo of tjmodica
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

They really nailed the color, black with thin beige lace, the smell on this variety is the let down for me, alcohol, bourbon, and grain. Taste is light dark fruits with hints of bourbon, just as smell lead on, heavy alcohol burn. The Old Fitzgerald is the variety to age. (271 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

1697th Review on BA
Bottle to Woodshop snifter
22oz Blue wax

2012 Vintage

App- A very dark brown. Bordered on black but never reached it. An amber/garnet edge formed and then was gone when the small aggressive 1/2 finger brown head poured and was gone. Made way to a small ring of bubbles.

Smell- An aromatic beer with strong chocolate on a large whiff. The ensuing notes bring a bit of roasty malts and a bit of oak. The booze is not very heavy but adds a depth to this one, this seems creamier and lusher than others to me.

Taste- As it warmed to over 55F, it became a bit more creamy and tastier. However, this one was a bit smoother than all others. Had a bit of molasses and chocolate on the back but doesnt give the boozy variant burn as others have. Nice variant but not the tastiest one.

Mouth- A fairly medium body with a large creamy body to it and a low- medium carbonation. The after taste leaves residual booze and some oaky chocolate.

Drink- Its an eclipse stout for sure. Has that underlying flavor that each variant had. This just was just smoother than others but not in the class of the other variants I prefer. (1,135 characters)

Photo of Auracom
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottling. 6 oz. in a FFF Rastal on December 26th, 2012.

A - On-par with the other '12 variant I've tried so far. Slightly thicker than previous years with more presence in a soft, soapy head. Good lacing.

S - Cocoa powder blended with dark chocolate bar. Lighter roasted almonds and charred oak barrel. A hint of whisker but this is much less barrel-forward than the 2012 EC12 and not quite as complex.

T - Similar to the aroma, not quite as robust. Light caramel, fudge. Whiskey bourbon sweetness picks up more in rear palate.

M - Quite smooth for an eclipse offering, just like EC12. I think the base beer may just have more of that attribute this year. Medium body, semi-dry finish with an oak aftertaste.

D - It's really a different experience than its Elijah Craig brethren. The barrel is not nearly as well-featured. However, it feels a bit less harsh and a bit more drinkable in the long run. (911 characters)

Photo of Treebs
3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz. bottle served in a CBS snifter. 2012 batch, blue wax.

A: Pours a dark black color with a khaki colored head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin film that leaves some sticky sheets of lace down the glass.

S: Light bourbon, some oak and a nice roasted malt profile. Dark fruit with some caramel notes as well.

T: Oaky with a dark fruit. Light bourbon, a little cocoa and some dark chocolate. Dry, roasted malts on the finish with some nougat flavors as well. As it warms the bourbon comes back out a little more and has a little harshness to it. This dies down once it reaches about 60-65 degrees.

M: Medium bodied with a medium low carbonation level. Roasty finish.

O: Nice overall. Nice mouthfeel, Not too thin like some other eclipse variants with just the right amount of carbonation. The Old Fitz is slightly harsh as it warms, but that goes away after a while. (882 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottling Pours a solid black with a smallish tan head that slowly dissipates. The aroma coming out of my glass is almost heavenly. Roasty chocolate caramel and coffee wrapped in a subtle but evident barrel treatment of vanilla, and sweet bourbon whiskey. The flavor starts off sweet and malty with lots of roast, brown sugar, and chocolate. The barrel notes rush in with vanilla, whiskey, light wood to remind us that this is no ordinary stout. Lingering roasty whiskey with a touch of ethanol burn lasts long after every sip. Thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy creamy mouthfeel. Nice stout, but seems hot compared to the others I've tried. (681 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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. (615 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared at my eclipse vertical tasting. 07 vintage

Look: Pours a near black color with the ever so slight traces of brown. Had maybe a 1/8 inch head on with with a little film left on top of the beer.

Smell: The scent has obviously seen better days but is still a nice smelling beer. Chocolate and oak greet you right away with ever so slight dark fruits and vanilla. The bourbon is very faint and I found myself actually searching for it

Taste. Again like the nose the flavors are muted from a fresh bottle of eclipse. Chocolate brownie and vanilla are the first thing you taste followed up by a nice amount of oak and finishes with just the softest kiss of bourbon

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very little carbonation and slightly creamy

Overall: First off I can't believe I was actually able to assemble the 20 beers for the full vertical and thank you to the generous soul that sent me the bottle. With that being said the beer definitely showed its age and my guess is it peaked about 2 years ago if not fresh. I look forward to trying this fresh here in about a month and maybe updated my review. (1,105 characters)

Photo of kaseydad
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage

Couldn't wait. Had to partake.

Pours a black ale with a light foamy head. Not as much as the other blends I'm noticing. No lacing to speak of. Almost flat looking. Uh-oh.

The smell did not "pop" like the other variants. The bourbon is not pronounced. Chocolate, leather and vanilla. Light green apple. If you inhale deeply you can get the light nostril bourbon burn.

This is very tame with the booze. It is blended well and not harsh and almost has a chocolate milk taste. Very chocolatey. Again, the bourbon is hiding within the brew. Not sure why it's not pronounced like the other variants. I was hoping for the kick but it never comes. Very drinkable though. Light hops on the swallow.

Overall this needs to be drunk now IMO. The booze is there but I'm not sure for how much longer. As I stated earlier, this is very drinkable now and dare I say...smooth. Maybe my barrel was a little on the weak side though. Dunno. (938 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Old Fitzgerald
22oz, 2012
The Bruery tulip

A: Pretty much par for course, pitch black. Thin layer of slight tan head. Faded to a ring quickly. No really lacing. Some reddish hues on the edges. Some ABV feet on the swirl.

S: Dark cocao. Some vanilla. Some of that blueberry that you usually get in RIS. Touch if booze.

T: Dark chocolate up front. Some soft toffee and caramel. Hints of those dark fruits that you smelled on the nose. It tastes like dark chocolate fudge. Different than the Mellow Corn and Bernhein, specifically with the booze.

M: Full bodied. Maybe a little less creamy than others. Easy drinking, but thin almost. (635 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 batch on tap at the brewery for the third annual Eclipse release party.

Appearance: Black body with a thin layer of brown froth. Looks like Eclipse. I'm tired of describing how Eclipse looks.

Smell: Surprisingly enough, this still has a ton of barrel left on the nose. Boozy, brash bourbon is front and center, but there's a hint of fruity oxidation that shows the beer's age. Chocolate and burnt sugar round things out.

Palate: Not as boozy as it smells. Quite mellow in fact, with integrated bourbon and oak flavors that work nicely with the chocolatey malt backbone. Dark fruit and licorice pop out in the finish. Finishes a tad thin, and lacking the richness of fresher batches.

Overall: This has held up remarkably well considering the age, but it isn't as good as many newer Eclipse variants. (807 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage on-tap at the Eclipse release party, 2012. Reviewed from notes (my first beer of the night).

A: Pours black with dark chocolate highlights beneath a thin dark brown head. Looks like every other Eclipse.
S: Caramel and vanilla dominate but I still get quite a bit of bourbon and oak barrel on the nose. I thought this would be way more muted for its age.
T: Again, still a great barrel quality to the taste. Chocolate dominates with hints of toasted marshmallow, and nutty, woody and toasted flavors. I get a hint of cherry alongside chocolate lingering in the aftertaste.
M: Low carbonation, syrupy but not greasy or cloying. Not as full or as rich as fresher variants. Still some booze to it though.
O: Surprisingly delicious. I’d take this over some of the fresher variants. Can’t wait to see how it is out of the bottle fresh. (850 characters)

Photo of Scotchboy
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beer I would not be able to enjoy without the efforts of laymansbeerfan and lesckie - thanks guys! Blue wax 22oz bomber BR/1 2012, split into Deschutes snifters with my bro.

A: Reddish/dark brown pour with a light layer of brown head and lace/film. Nearly opaque body.

S: Strong layers of vanilla, caramel, and sweet booze in the form of simple whiskey esters. Moderate chocolate and faint dark fruit as well.

T: Sweet but not as sweet & decadent as other Eclipse variants. There seems to be a base of significant black patent malt, but this brew is only lightly roasty. Vanilla, dark chocolate, caramel, and some dark fruit make up the flavors. Alcohol is very light at this age, giving the impression of whiskey but not overpowering by any stretch.

MF: Not quite heavy, full-bodied and smooth with low carbonation; faintly viscous.

O: A simple barrel-aged Eclipse variant. Elijah Craig 12 was more highly complex and decadent; this brew leans simple and sweet. A nice beer, but not special in my opinion. Its amazing how much the barrel changes an identical base beer... (1,079 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Brown when pouring, black in the glass, one finger off white head that leaves behind some lacing.

S-Slight bourbon, rather chocolately, some coffee and a tad vanilla.

T-Rather sweet, chocolate, vanilla, some but not much coffee. Chocolate seems to be more of a dark chocolate.

M-Medium bodied, nice deal of carbonation.

O-The bourbon seemed to really have faded in this beer, I'd drink all Eclipses as soon as possible. (425 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle from trade. Thanks buddy! Blue wax, 2012 Bottle Run 3. Pours dark brown to black with some light shining through, and a small khaki to mocha colored head on top. Aroma of dark fruits, lots of char, oxidation, vanilla, oak, bourbon. Flavor is sweet caramel, char, oak, and a big long vanilla marshmallow finish. Big maltiness here with sweet caramel more reminiscent of a barrel aged old ale or barleywine. Really picked up the barrel nicely. Medium plus bodied with low plus carbonation. The finish is the highlight here. Pretty nice. Very smooth. Aroma taking away from overall. (586 characters)

Photo of IKR
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage
Blue Wax

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. (870 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour at the bottle share held at Chloe's inside Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

2012 vintage.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and bourbon. Taste is much the same with a bourbon flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that tastes much better than it smells in my opinion. (638 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage - Blue Wax.
Poured in to snifter.

A - Jet black with a thin layer of light brown head that immediately receded to a thin ring around the edges of the glass.

S - Sweet bourbon, vanilla, charred oak, roast, chocolate and molasses.

T - Charred oak and roast up front, with sweet bourbon and vanilla entering mid-palate and chocolate fudge and molasses in the finish.

M - Medium to full body. Creamy. Light carbonation. (433 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm always open to trying out a new Eclipse variant - thanks to Hugonaut13 for this one. 2012 vintage:

Black body with a velvety half finger of khaki carb that produces just as much beading below as it does lacing above.

Assertive sweet whiskey, fudge, honeycomb, cocoa, I don't get a sense of that extreme heat that others have mentioned - it's evident but not overwhelming I don't think.

Chocolate and whiskey dominate the palate... a bit of vanilla and berry. The booze does surface quite a bit on the finish... nothing I can't handle, but it could get toned down a bit.

Glad to try this one on for size - thanks Tom! (626 characters)

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