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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Java Coffee - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Java CoffeeImperial Eclipse Stout - Java Coffee

Educational use only; do not reuse.

55 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 55
Hads: 377
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 19.48%
Wants: 93
Gots: 115 | FT: 21
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout | 11.90% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: DarthKostrizer on 12-07-2012

Lavender Pearl wax.

The 2013 version had 4Roses, High West Rye, High West Bourbon, Elijah Craig12 Eclipse and blended with a bigger Imperial Stout known as Totality Squared(aka Masterpiece) Starting gravity for the Stout was 31.5* Plato vs Totality's 26.5* Plato. Different hops, fermented with a blended yeast(s).
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 55 | Hads: 377
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look: Love the look of these guys. 3rd one i've had and all are dark dark brown with a big mocha head and messy lacing. This Coffee is letting in less light around the edges than the other 2.
smell: Rich roasty coffee and cocoa. Theres the honey roasty milkshake thing too.
taste: again, roasty coffee up front. a bit of a bitter, spicy thing i haven't gotten form the others. The bitterness is gentle, blooms a bit and lingers far into the finish.

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Photo of BeerTheater
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2015 release. Very well done, if not for the wax and the price point i'd call this a grand slam. This beer shines in the taste dpt. Glad it's not a super sweet beer. However, maybe not the best barrel character being shown but all the other flavors are spot on and delicious. This is a very smooth beer. I love the coffee taste it carries and the stout flavors we all love. Roasty, chocolate and full bodied. It's great, and maybe they prefer to showcase the java before the barrel, but i'd prefer more barrel character and perhaps a thicker body. I'd drink this anytime.

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Photo of KettleBellFreak
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Glad to get to drink this beer.

Pours jet black with a tight head with a hissing carbonation. Not much lacing, but still nice imo, head doesn't dissipate completely for 20 minutes or so.

Smells wonderful! Coffee, peanut butter and vanilla with some salty burnt wood and toffee sweetness. Very good aroma.

Flavors have a slight bite to them with some bourbon quality, coffee and burnt sugar mix in with a woody and toffee finish that's really fantastic.

Mouthfeel is slick and thick, not as chewy as I had hoped, but still great.

Great stout, price point is fucked though. I reviewed the beer though, not the msrp.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A tale of two beers...coming out of my cellar at 53-55 degrees I couldn't taste any coffee at all. Over the course of an hour and more, the coffee really began to assert itself and it became a completely different drinking experience for me. A very nice coffee stout but....the price point....UGH.

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Photo of BabaBeer
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 version. Opens with strong bourbon and coffee notes. However there is minimal coffee tatse and almost tastes like a normal bba stout. Two years of age has probably caused most of the coffee flavors to disappear so would be interested in trying a fresher version

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Photo of smanson56
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark black color into my snifter. A medium thick dark tan head on top. The nose is mostly very strong coffee with very little of the barrel aging coming through. The taste follows the nose a very strong harsh coffee taste with which the barrel aging seems lost in. The mouth feel is smooth. This is my least favorite of the Eclipse Stouts I have had. Surely not worth the price.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.61/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2015 release, reviewed fresh.

A - A little thin in the pour but really nice in the glass. Dark chocolate body with 2 fingers of tan head. Outstanding retention and ok lace.

S - Fantastic nose. Rich, bold cold brewed coffee with touches of almond, cream, French vanilla, and a hint of oak.

T - Lives up to the nose. Delicious, smooth medium roast coffee, touch of oak, chocolate liquor, cream, light caramel, and espresso.

M - Probably the weakest part of the beer, but still excellent. Light body for the style, but smooth and well balanced. Great staying power.

O - A fantastic beer. One of the best coffee stouts out there.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 Vintage poured into a snifter.
Pours a pitch black with minimal tan head that dissipates quickly.
The nose is roasted stout, chocolate, coffee, and slight bourbon.
I was surprised with the bitterness on the palate and the lack of bourbon. But otherwise a solid stout.
The mouth feel was a little thin but nothing to gripe about.
A good stout but not worth the price tag. I would like to try other variants.

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Photo of Beersnake1
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'13 vintage. Poured from fridge temp to snifter. Lots of head on a slow pour. Jet black in appearance - very nice.

Taste - very little coffee, but a lot of bitter notes. The barrel aging doesn't come through too much. Seems more like a typical imperial stout. Wasn't as impressed as I was hoping.

Overall, this isn't bad. However, not worth $30. I would definitely not buy this again.

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Photo of TBonez477
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice and dark brown/black pour with minimal tan head. Can tell from the appearance that this one will be a bit thin. Smell is roasted sweet malt and cocoa powder, coffee hit in the back. Flavor is roast and bitterness right up front, fades into espresso punch with a light barrel hit at the end. Mouthfeel is relatively thin for the ABV, high carbonation makes this one add up to a crisper body than the style usually dictates. Overall a decent brew but not worth the price tag.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Victoria's Gastropub in Columbia. Shared with the wife. Pours black with no head, really. Aroma of spicy coffee, roast, light wood/oak. Flavor follows with a nice punch of strong coffee followed by a nice roasty backbone and sweet malts, with just a hint from the bourbon barrels in the backdrop. Feels a bit heftier than other Eclipse beers I've had, but still not especially rich. Pretty easy to drink, and overall pretty nice. Among the better in the series that I've had.

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Photo of john0721
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle, pours black with light brown head, good lacing.

The nose is all coffee.

Flavor: Coffee, some vanilla and dark fruit.

Dry, mild to moderate bitter finish.

Overall, the flavor is more balanced than the nose but the coffee still dominates from start to finish.

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Photo of richj1970
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22 oz bomber into Old Guardian glass. 2014 vintage.

A: Pours a dark murky black with one finger mocha colored head that settles after a few minutes to a thin cap, and leaves a slight oily film on the surface. Some light lacing,

S: Fantastic smelling beer. I might buy another bottle just to inhale the aromas again. Strong espresso, and rich dark chocolate. Vanilla and bourbon lingering around in the back. A light fruity note - maybe blueberry.

T: Tons of bold espresso flavors mixed with very rich quality dark chocolate. Vanilla, and brown sugar.

M: Full bodied and fairly carbonated for a BA beer. A slight dry and sweet finish.

O: A truly wonderful beer combining many of my favorite flavors - coffee, chocolate, bourbon. My only wish is that it was more affordable, but on the other hand I don't have to fight a line of folks to buy a bottle.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.62/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with very little head. Fairly thin coming out of the bottle with quite a bit of light coming through. Aroma of coffee, cocoa, oak, whiskey and metallic nails. Different, but intriguing. Taste is sweet, but balanced. Strength of the coffee remains and combines with the barrel character. Cocoa powder, lots of earthy wood and a touch of dark fruits. Body is slightly more full than expected, low carbonation, and extremely rich. Fair amount of heat from the alcohol.
I really like the balance, but it lacks the depth of some flavors (vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, etc) that I prefer in the style. Crazy rich. Good, not great.

$30 for bomber

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Photo of SHODriver
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 Version

A: poured into a snifter to a deep black with a finger of dense dark tan head that fades to a small pool with decent lacing
S: smells of coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, and some bourbon barrel notes with some vanilla
T: taste is coffee, roasted malts, chocolate, caramel and vanilla, bourbon and oak. swallow is smooth and creamy with more coffee, chocolate, caramel and vanilla
M: big and heavy on the palate with soft but adequate carbonation and a slightly drying finish
O: If I could only use one word to describe this beer it would be 'incredible'. Unbelievable smoothness and complexity. The eclipse series is truly one of the best lines of barrel aged stouts there is. It may cost a lot but it's worth every penny for every last drop.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Lavender Pearl wax bottle run No. 1 Vintage 2014.

Out of the bottle comes out with mahogany classic brown, but a little thin looking. Fills the glass with a classic dark walnut brown, nearly black with not much head creation. Nice simple tan thin bubbles, but barely a finger of head but dissolves to a nice collar and a leopard like lacing along the edges in spots. A bit of a filmy top. Not one of the better looking Fifty Fifty Eclipse brews I've had.

Jesus this aroma is truly perfection. Wonderful piping coffee and charing roasted malts. Excellent fruity tones coming off of this which really smells like blueberry. Dark bitter chocolate notes and a small bit of heat, the perfect warmth of boozy character that doesn't smell overly strong. Some hints of leafy tobacco notes also. Incredibly complex and perfectly balanced, one of the best smelling coffee stouts I've had to date.

Palate comes nicely, but is let down by a surprisingly weak body that doesn't even hit of barrel aging round character. A bit thin and wet mouthfeel, doesn't make the palate last or coat, but the flavors are at least there and big. Big charring roast on first sip, with piping warm coffee to match. Much of the fruit character really opens up in the mid palate, cherry, blueberry and some light tannic wood character, almost sawdust tasting. The finish though is a bit bitter forward and dominates, but easily tolerable, with a good amount of roast bitterness which is quite accentuating a tobacco menthol and seemingly hop character. It dominates and then lets all the other tones and flavors disappear.

Overall this seemed like it would be gangbusters but even being let down it's still a solid brew. That aroma is just gangbusters though.

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Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

- 22 oz. poured into Black Tuesday whiskey snifter on 2-Jan-15

Prominent vanilla notes balanced well with the roasted coffee. Tasted alongside BAVS and although it wasn't at the same level in terms of coffee (and the beer as a whole overall), the bourbon barrel was spot on. The girls preferred this one over the BAVS.

My current Eclipse rankings:
1. 20-yr Elijah Craig
2. Four Roses
3. Java Coffee
4. 12-yr Elijah Craig
5. Maker's Mark
6. Old Fitzgerald

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Photo of neurobot01
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Waxed bottle at cellar temp into a snifter.

Look: super dark brown, viscous with a tiny ring of tan head. Impermeable to light, very little carbonation evident.

Smell: tons of whisky, and a fair undercurrent of coffee stout (which never smells much like coffee to me). Maybe hints of chocolate, vanilla, oak, but might all just be the power of suggestion from the strong bourbon presence. A bit 1-dimensional.

Taste: pretty damned good. Chocolate, oak, booze, bitter char, spices (cinnamon/nutmeg/anise). Finishes incredibly clean, with just a lingering bitterness for the aftertaste. Muted influence of both barrel and coffee—they're both there, but neither is in the foreground. Sweet, but not at all cloying.

Feel: probably the weak spot for me. Medium bodied, but this would be better a bit thicker, with a little less fizzy carbonation. Also maybe a bit too dry.

Overall: despite the generally good marks, no part of this is really great, or even probably in the top 3 of what I've had. Not worth $30, though that won't stop me from buying another bottle (of a different style) this year. If you just want a really solid heavy-hitting coffee stout, go for Speedway or Péché Mortel.

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Photo of More_betterness
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Inky midnight black body with a one finger mocha head that recedes to a small ring around the rim of the glass. Spotty lacing.

S: Big ground coffee and bourbon soaked dark fruit upfront, followed by hints of vanilla and a roasted dark malt backbone. Little beat of boozy heat. Pretty epic.

T: Bourbon soaked cherry, sweet cocoa, and honey first, with a long acrid coffee closer. Drying and tannic finish.

M: Medium/full bodied and lightly carbed. Long lingering finish.

O: Great beer. Bourbon barrels and coffee pairings never dissapoint!

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Photo of maximum12
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%

Thanks to hefman for kicking me this bottle, which I’ve been lusting after for quite some time. This is the first year I haven’t ordered a bunch of Eclipse & I might regret it. We’ll see. 22 oz. bottle split with my coffee loving wife.

The pour is full Eclipse black with a healthy, hard head for a big brew. Smells like a big, strong, sweet pot of coffee. Beer? Perhaps. Is sweet a beer?

Java Eclipse is making happy in my frontal cranial orifice. Wow. A gorgeous bouquet of java or bean or coffee or whatever hits the palate like a ton of Juan Valdez. But before the coffee machine hits Folgers levels, the sweet malts intervene, & the bourbon rears its head & cries out with a joyful noise. Mid-palate brings a few subtleties, a soft acorn or two, mild bitterness, vanilla, faint chocolate. The end lists into eternity & beyond with the barrel & the java mingling beautifully. Creamy, thicker than the regular Eclipse lineup. I could have easily taken the entire bottle, but would have needed to do so in secret, or face the Wrath of Wife.

This kind of brew is what gives coffee beers a good name. The lineage is good, the look is good, the beer is better than good. The world would be a better place with more beers like this one; excellent, & knocking on the steel door of elite.

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Photo of TheCuriograph
4.71/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Just getting into this series, and I've yet to be disappointed. Went into the Java (2012) with unreasonably high expectations:

A - Monolithic black, with a surprisingly full tan head.

S - Vanilla, hazelhut, espresso and massive baker's chocolate, with notes of black cherry, pipe tobacco and toasted coconut. Each swirl conjures fresh pipesmoke and molasses.

T - All of the above, but accented with some fruit - fig and blackberry preserves - and something like peanut butter. The taste is more like dark chocolate mousse than coffee (though admittedly the coffee might have faded with time).

M - Heavy, sticky and hot on the tongue.

This is what I'm talking about. I wouldn't mind taking up permanent residence in this bottle. Not to speak ill of everyone's favorite coffee stout, but I'd take Eclipse Java over BCBCS any day of the week.

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Photo of cvm4
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Run #2... 2013 version

A - Pours black with a one finger dark khaki head. Doesn't seem like a thick stout on the pour. Lacing is okay and retention of the head is a ring around the glass.

S - To me, the coffee isn't at the forefront on the smell. Bitter dark chocolate mixed in with coffee and roasted malts on the nose. A rather subdued nose here and I'm not picking up much barrel.

T - Very complex taste! Coffee hits you from the get go, developing into bitter dark chocolate that gives way to oak, brown sugar and smooth bourbon notes.

M - Medium bodied with low carbonation. The carbonation bubbles feel small and toy with the smooth body on the beer.

O - Impressive... If only it was more coffee forward on the nose and the body was a bit bigger. Still, a great stout that I'm sure not a lot of people will turn down.

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Photo of hops202
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 22Oz Bottle run # 2 - Poured into stone snifter

A - black with one finger head - seems thin

S - strong coffee, lots of chocolate. Barrel notes barely there.

T - still lots of coffee and chocolate. Quite tasty but lacking the bourbon barrel finish.

M - medium - leaves you wanting more

O - Great bourbon barrel coffee stout, but other 50/50 variants are far better. Not even close to BCBS Coffee.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i anticipated a much more coffee heavy experience, this is actually rather relaxed on the coffee front, until it warms up in fact its almost hard to notice, but once it does, the coffee really expands out of it, especially in the finish, which carries no acidity at all and a great mix of earthy soil and charred bitterness, its really good stuff. a blend of some of the more interesting barreled editions of this, with what i remember from the elijah craig 12 being the most forward, that sweetness is there. not majorly bourbon heavy though, i get notes of dark chocolate dessert and vanilla crumble coffee cake, a nice mix of the light and dark sides here. the coffee is tough to pick out on the front end. only with temperature is it there, and even then only in the finish. nice burnt barley undertones and a lot of bourbon on it, its just layered and great. one thing i love the most is the texture, its not s thick or syrupy as others, and as such, drinks only as patiently as i choose. the honey is more subtle in this one than others, dryer too, but its still a very rich beer. this whole series is rather special, i wish i could afford to cellar a number of them, but the coffee in this one adds a layer that i love. bakers chocolate heavy though, woody, worthy of the nearly 30 bucks they fetch for this, and i don't often say that...

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Photo of Damian
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pint, 6 fl oz bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA
Bottle run no. 1/2013
Served in a snifter

Like the other Eclipse Stout variants, this beer poured slightly thin for the style. The slick, motor oil brown liquid was topped by a billing, foamy, caramel colored crown. The fluffy mass deposited thick, drippy rings of beautiful lacing all down the glass.

Not much coffee came through in the aroma initially. The nose was actually quite muted and simplistic. Roasty malts and char-like notes were apparent. Some dark chocolate. Touch of smoke. There was a crisp, dry yeast quality that almost seemed like something you would find in a lager. In this case, perhaps a Baltic porter. Subtle hints of coffee were detectible. As the beer warmed, the coffee presence came out exponentially. It reminded me a lot of freshly ground coffee beans, and it soon dominated the nose. Loads of bourbon/booziness and oak appeared as well. Really fantastic.

Unlike the nose, the flavor profile was remarkably complex and coffee-forward from the get-go. Rich and robust. Super smooth and balanced. Loads of roasted and caramel malts came through on the front end. Strong brown sugar notes. Copious amounts of dark chocolate and creamed coffee. Freshly baked chocolate fudge brownies came to mind. Raisins and prunes were noticeable. Espresso notes appeared in the center and carried through into the rich, roasty, slightly ashy and dry finish. A touch of earthy, piney bitterness was also detectable. With time, both the coffee and bourbon notes became much more intense, almost overwhelming (in a good way) the overall flavor profile.

The mouthfeel was thinner bodied for the style yet still creamy and smooth. A fine, moderate effervescence gave the liquid a nice frothiness. After every sip, the liquid left a slightly sticky film on my lips.

Although this beer was a bit underwhelming initially, it finished in a really big way. Serving this at cellar temperature seemed appropriate, but it really needed to warm up substantially for the coffee to show its true colors. Of the three Eclipse Stout variants I have sampled thus far, this was definitely my favorite. Hopefully someday I can find an even fresher batch with an even more intense coffee presence.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Java Coffee from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.