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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Java Coffee - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Java CoffeeImperial Eclipse Stout - Java Coffee

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

169 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 169
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 7.41%


Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: DarthKostrizer on 12-07-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 169 | Reviews: 32 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of pkalix
pkalix

California

4.89/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mine is the 2013 version, and…. 11.9% ? how is this 11.9% and all the others are 9.5% ? ? ?
This one smells nice. Very nice. I don’t really like all these stouts with coffee in them although I love coffee. But they are usually a bit bitter but not in that i-love-coffee kind of bitter, ya know?
This one poured ultra dark brown with a residual creaminess on top after sitting for a few minutes (because I cant get enough of this aroma!) and smells absolutely divine. This is a just-finished filter from the Mr. Coffee or a just-done Keurig cone aroma. No bitterness whatsoever in the smell and I guess that’s why I’m hesitating to take that first sip….. I don’t want to be disappointed in the taste….. and the longer it sits, the creamier the film on top gets!! This is amazing! Okay, first sip coming up……
Some bitterness. A lit bit like sucking on that just-finished Mr. Coffee filter, yet still with some nice roundness and it blends very well with the expected Eclipse. A little weird subconsciously expecting some whiskey aromas and tastes but the coffee is doing very nicely. For the style of infusing coffee flavor (via a barrel or otherwise) this one gets a 5 in aroma and is almost perfect in taste. The coffee is subtle, yet very present, if that makes any sense at all…..
Subsequent more-vigorous pours into the snifter produce taller, much-more creamier head and smell just as beautiful. I really had my doubts on this one and maybe that is why I am so surprised I enjoy it this much. The coffee is a ‘part’ of the brew, not tasting as an ‘added’ component. What an awesome brew all these Eclipses are… ! just a tad too bitter (maybe i expect to much) but aside from that this one is TOPS...

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 23:23:32 | More by pkalix
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken

New York

4.69/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: black-bodied beer with a finger of creamy white head, shiny motes of lace follow the beer down the glass

S: rich roasted dark malts kick up aromas of chocolate and coffee; hints of oak and wood

T: coffee, espresso and regular, sweet and mildly bitter; chocolate, bittersweet and rich, dark and sensuous; oak barrels, light and woodsy, airy and dry - a perfect storm of these influences dominates the palate and wraps you up in an indulgent drinking experience.

M: milky-smooth, slick and slightly sticky, medium-full body, mild bittersweetness and drying finish

O: exquisite ale - price-point may deter some, but if you like coffee stouts, take the plunge.
Easily on par with Peche Mortel, Speedway Stout, and BCB Coffee Stout and other top-tier coffee stouts and barrel-aged stouts.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 15:55:05 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of Damian
Damian

Massachusetts

4.58/5  rDev +6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 19:11:52 | More by Damian
Photo of jethrodium
jethrodium

California

4.53/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650 ml bottle. Pours a dark cola brown with a small tan head that settles to a ring and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is lots of coffee, some chocolate, marshmallow, bourbon, vanilla, and coconut. Awesome. The taste has a bit of initial sweetness. There is lots of coffee, bourbon, vanilla, and some light coconut. The finish has a lot of coffee, some oak and some lingering bourbon with a very light astringency. Medium body. Medium carbonation. Amazing beer. It should probably be drank soon before the awesome coffee flavor fades.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 00:59:52 | More by jethrodium
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12/21/2012

Thanks to Arthur for this.

A: Black with a finger of frothy beige mass. Scattered lacing.

S: Nutty dark chocolate and subtle coffee. Delicious bourbon and vanilla notes. There's a little dark toffee in there accompanying earthy notes. Some coconut is present.

T: Firm bourbon presence with a nice vanilla profile blending with rich chocolate. Subtle but evident coffee with some nutty notes and a touch of earth. Light booze presence with lower medium bitterness. Alcohol is well hidden. There's a light spiciness and I'm not sure where it's coming from. Strong licorice and molasses throughout.

M: Sticky, silky, somewhat chewy mouthfeel. Full body with lower medium carbonation.

Overall: Arthur told me the coffee was fading fast on this and I believe him. It's subtle but still evident and a welcome addition. Stronger in the aroma than in the flavor. This is the best bottle of Eclipse I've had in quite some time.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2012 19:38:22 | More by HopHead84
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek

New York

4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of two variants of this series I've tried. The EW was slightly better, but this was still incredibly enjoyable. Purchased at AJ's in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dark black color. Might be dark brown, but still very dark. Foamy, dark head forms, about one finger. Small amount of lacing but not much.

Smells great. Sweet coffee, slight bourbon.

Tastes amazing. Dark, roasty malt flavors intermingle with sweet coffee, mild oak and vanilla from the bourbon, and chocolate. The coffee, as I drink more of this beer, starts to give off a slight tartness that's almost fruity. The coffee beans used for this beer are very tasty. The bourbon flavors are mild, since it's a blended BA beer.

Mouthfeel is great. Medium to full bodied, good carbonation.

A great treatment of Eclipse. I'm not sure if any beer is worth the money for this series, but very tasty nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2014 03:05:22 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
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...

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 22:54:09 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Mike (AgentZero). Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - A thin tan foam settles to a partial cap, thick collar, and minimal lacing. Very dark brown body with a hint of transparency at the fringes of the glass.

S - A nice mix of coffee, honey, bourbon, vanilla, nuts, and semisweet chocolate. Base beer shines through more than some of the other Eclipses, and the coffee presence is restrained and more integrated into the flavor profile than some of the palate-raping coffee stouts I've tried.

T - The taste is quite similar, with a hefty dose of the Totality base's sweetness and honey, with coffee, oaky vanilla, and bourbon all working harmony to round out the flavor profile. The coffee lingers into the finish but avoids being overly bitter or astringent. No obvious alcohol.

M - Medium chewy body, pleasant moderate carbonation, roasty and tannic from the coffee, and a dryish finish. Really smooth, with well-concealed alcohol.

D - We had this side-by-side with BCS Coffee and this is a much more subtle beer. I love them both, but I think I could drink substantially more of this one in an evening thanks to the lower ABV and reduced palate fatigue. Hope Todd does this variant again some time.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2013 23:35:14 | More by MasterSki
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.39/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily 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, coffee bean, and brewed coffee aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa covered coffee bean flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that has a fantastic blend of cocoa and coffee qualities.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2013 00:26:44 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle consumed Dec 2012. Thanks Chad.

A: Normal eclipse look (raisin to near black with a small head). Looks fairly thick and delicious. Spotty lace.
S: Rich coffee beans and dark chocolate fill my nose. One of the more potent smelling coffee beers I've had, probably due to its freshness. I detect hints of vanilla mixed in with the coffee ground scent as well.
T: Big chocolate fudge sickle taste mixed with super rich and extremely bitter coffee grounds. One of the more richer and smoother of the Eclipse treatments. Vanilla comes through more as toasted marshmallow along with flavors of oak, raisins and buttery EC 12. The bourbon is not strong, but its balancing, smoothing, presence is felt. The aftertaste is very bitter and lingers with chocolate and coffee long after the swallow.
M: Medium-full body but a medium-thin mouthfeel. Carbonation is normal. Could be slightly thicker but this beer is very smooth and creamy and drinks very well. No warming alcohol detected.
O: Drinks like a rich coffee stout. Bourbon doesn't stand out but where it lacks the coffee steps in. One of the more flavorful, unique, and delicious Eclipses made yet.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2013 01:18:59 | More by scottfrie
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

4.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a 22oz bottle.

2012 Vintage
Bottle # 121

Pours a nice dark mahogany color with a nice tan light/cream colored head that is pretty dense. The retention is pretty low but there is some slight stickyness to it.

Aroma of mocha and cocoa notes with some nice fudge notes. There is some slight coffee notes on the background. There is also some good sweet molasses and caramel notes in there. The aroma is very balanced with some slight woody notes. Sweet cocoa notes with some bitter dark chocolate and some mild coffee notes in the aroma.

Flavor starts out pretty awesome! Starts off with nice chocolatey and mocha notes followed by some nice slight strong espresso notes. The body is pretty nice and smooth for a brew that seems to pour pretty light. The body is velvety. There is a nice coffee roast finish and dry bitterness that starts off around the middle of the brew but the bitterness subsides and the roast intermingles with nice slight molasses sweetness. This brew is soo well a balanced the flavor is nearly perfect. It has just enough coffee and woody notes and just enough sweetness to blend in together in a chocolatey roasted mess of deliciousness.

I was pretty impressed with this brew. It is up there as one of the better coffee stouts I've had. Great body that is rich and silky. The coffee notes and sweet chocolatey malt notes marry perfectly.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2013 01:23:55 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch 1, 2013. 11.9%

A: Pitch-black pour. Tall, dense medium/dark brown head. Top notch head retention with a very, very slowly fading head. Thick, heavy and continuous lacing. The 50/50 IE versions have some of the best appearances of any beer, IMO.

S: Pure roasted coffee beans. Wow, great coffee aroma, clearly high quality. There's some chocolate, giving it somewhat of a mocha character. Not really getting any bourbon, maybe just in the alcohol sting when swirled. Absolutely mouth watering.

T: Ahh there's the bourbon. Initially it is a very bourbon-coffee flavor. It tastes like coffee that someone spiked with bourbon, that's the best way I can describe it. Caramel, toffee and lots of oak combined with the mildly bitter coffee and chocolate flavors. Great roasted coffee beans and chocolate from start to finish. Aftertaste is some bourbon and oak and coffee (what else?). Lingering coffee beans for a lonnng time between sips. No real sign of booze despite the big ABV.

M: Quite heavy, noticeably more so than the other variants (9.5% vs 11.9%). Bourbon isn't as strong as the other variants as well, so it doesn't cut the sweetness or thickness quite as well.

O: Pretty seriously good brew. Bourbon is not nearly as hot as in many of the other variants, it's either weaker or the coffee is overshadowing it. It's a nice layer of complexity but not the star of the show like the other variants. The coffee steals the spotlight in this one. Very tasty brew. One of my favorite variants but it's quite different than the rest at the same time.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 06:17:18 | More by Dope
Photo of raynmoon
raynmoon

California

4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

it smells amazing, rich, rich coffee, some salted caramel. Almost like kahlua coffee. awesome.

taste is similar, big coffee notes, come chocolate and heat coming through. Light to medium viscosity. Very, Very nice.

Not sure if this is barrel aged, but it tastes wonderful.

had this on tap at Toronado and gave it a 4.75. This has a little too much heat in the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2013 07:05:41 | More by raynmoon
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 lavender waxed bomber Bottle run #2 poured into tulip, 24/12/13

A black liquid with deep cola edge, enough clarity to see some bubbles going up the side and they feed a fast falling three finger mocha foam that leaves a couple random patches of lace

S lots of chocolate and coffee, faint woody bourbon barrel, chocolate milk, coco powder, more coffee grinds and some sweetener and just a little booze

T like the nose but more of everything, the barrels still faint but I get more then the nose, coffees ramped up a couple notches to espresso levels, chocolate comes out as fudge, if you don't like coffee stay away from this one, luckily I'm an addict and I'm loving this stuff, think dark chocolate covered dark roasted coffee beans

M medium- full, not as thick as you might guess by looking at it, bubbles cream it up a little, a little heat and heavy amounts of coffee grinds and char on the finish, I'll be tasting this one for a while

O much like the Evan Williams I had the other day I'm having a hard time believing this is this is nearly 12%, great beer if your a coffee lover because its rather intense, I'm digging the flavor the most

I'm getting perked up by caffeine and downed by booze at the same time, kinda feels weird but I'll get by. great beer with massive coffee notes perfect for the java junkie like me

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2013 03:14:44 | More by wordemupg
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Shared by Oline73. Thanks Steve.

The beer appears dark brown with a thick tan head. The aroma brings a huge dose of coffee. Additional notes of roast and chocolate, but coffee takes center stage. Oak presence asserts itself much more in the flavor than in the aroma. A bit tannic with bold coffee. Very tasty. What a treat.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2013 00:51:07 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: pours a near black body with rings of brown around the edges. 1/4 inch tan head with good retention and some spotty lace

Smell: you are greeted by a fair amount of coffee which is followed up by some chocolate vanilla and a kiss of honey

Taste: again you are greeted by cold pressed coffee which lingers for a little while. The coffee is followed by some oak and vanilla with a tiny bit of chocolate finishing up the beer

Mouthfeel: like all the eclipse variants the body is just a bit on the thin side. This one however was a bit sticky on the roof of the mouth probably due to the coffee

Overall. I was actually hoping that at some point 50/50 would do this and the beer definitely delivers. The coffee is integrated very well though in my opinion there could be more of it. Highly recommended and absolutely worth a try

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2012 22:42:59 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz. waxed bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a dark, dense black brew with no head. Lacing is layered, thick and patchy with good stick. Thick, oily legs too. Good looking beer.

Nose is big mocha, chocolate, cocoa and roasted malt. A touch of a lactose/cream undertone. Real rich, deep, and delicious. Pretty aromatic too. I like it.

Opens coffee, mocha and chocolate. Cocoa powder, fudge, leather and burnt malt in the middle. End is more coffee and cocoa. Aftertaste of molasses, leather, and mocha. Pretty straightforward but the coffee is big and bold here... something I don't always get out of coffee imperial stouts.

Full bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Oily, thick, and slick in the mouth and goes down smooth. Messy finish with a long, sticky, lingering finish. Great for the style.

I've been very impressed with the beers from the 50/50 Imperial Stout series and Coffee Eclipse is no exception. The flavors here are pretty straightforward but the coffee is big, bold and in your face. Feel is great as always and overall this one is just as advertised. Definitely worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2013 03:25:39 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of Jonada
Jonada

New Jersey

4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 version. Bottle run #2. Served in a Teku glass.

Appearance: Pours black with 2 fingers of a creamy dark tan head. Nice retention. Body is opaque.

Smell: Huge fresh roasted coffee notes with whiskey, vanilla, dark chocolate, roasted malt and a hint of oak.

Taste: Like the aroma, the predominant flavor is coffee, with roasted malt, dark fudge, earthy hops, bourbon and a mild booziness.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied creamy mouthfeel with medium gentle carbonation. Some booziness, but not overpowering. Semi sweet finish, but with a low/medium lingering bitterness.

Overall: Another good eclipse variant. It's stronger on the coffee and lighter on the bourbon barrel character, so if you like your stouts that way, this one's worth picking up. Price tag is a bit steep though.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2014 00:42:57 | More by Jonada
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2012)

Thanks for opening this with me, DarthKostrizer!

Black in body with a thin ring of dark brown foam atop. This already looks a touch thicker than other Eclipse variants. Slightly oily sheen. Leaves the glass oily and spotted with dots of stick.

The coffee aroma is very well integrated into the base, delicious aroma of Eclipse: chocolate, smooth, integrated bourbon, a bit of vanilla, and a wave of cold-pressed coffee. Very nice.

The flavor is similar to the aroma. This is not a coffee-bomb of a barrel-aged stout, like BCBCS, for example. The coffee is present, but only complementary, as opposed to boldly in-your-face. Nice layers of chocolate, some roast, bourbon and oak, and a bit of vanilla push up against the added coffee element. Very drinkable.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Very nice, and definitely thicker than most of the other Eclipse variants I've tried.

A wonderful nightcap.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2013 23:09:27 | More by ehammond1
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390

Indiana

4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Black in the glass, one finger brown head that tries to leave some lacing.

S-Some coffee, was expecting more, chocolate, roasted malt some oak and sugar as well.

T- Starts with coffee, like the nose I was expecting more, nice blend of dark chocolate and roasted malt. Good balanced, but I like a real dominating coffee. Oak and roasted malt as well.

M-Medium in body, almost watery not much carbonation.

O-A good beer, maybe not worth the price tag. Still wish that there would have been more coffee.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2014 01:54:15 | More by rlee1390
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, lavender wax capped, from bottle run numero 2 of 2013.

This beer pours a pretty convincingly solid black, with the slightest of basal cola edges, and one fat finger of bubbly, frothy, and ultimately creamy mocha head, which leaves some nice approaching storm system lace around the glass as things sink away.

It smells of bitter espresso, semi-sweet baker's chocolate, dry hot cocoa mix, restrained roasted caramel malt, a subtle barrel character - more grainy wood than the usual caramel/vanilla/spice/booze scoreboard - and a bit of musty ashiness. The taste is a whole lot sweeter in its bearing - lightly toasted caramel malt, hard toffee, bittersweet cold coffee, a more aggressive Bourbon spicy grain and natural vanilla booziness, free radical chunky chocolate, and a dry ashy earthiness.

The carbonation is fairly involved in its edgy peppiness, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight, and mostly smooth, the alcohol seeping in a tad, which doesn't seem to affect the airy creaminess. It finishes on the sweet side, just, as the coffee persists in the form of one of those hideous java house diabetes concoctions, and the cocoa, caramel, and whiskey-tinged booze round things out.

While the coffee essence here is indeed prominent, it's hardly overbearing - I've had worse (or better, depending on your outlook) in recent coffee porter examples. It's the tame, well-rounded accompanying imperial stout that gets me - seemingly simple, but really a dense palette of sweet and bitter, charred and alcoholic, no one note taking over, rather, they're all laudable for their strength among and despite each other. One of the better versions of the Eclipse series that I've yet tried, and that from an avowed java heretic.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2014 02:39:59 | More by biboergosum
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Scores for this review based on the "party bottle" 2012 with swirled wax: Bomber poured into a matching Eclipse snifter. The brew appears black in color with a tan film resting across the top. Some brown clarity is noted around the edges of the glass when held to the light.

The aroma opens up like your typical eclipse offering without the coffee really being all that bold. As it warms up and breathes it becomes more noticeable and integrated with an earty and roasty feel with a little citrus quality as well. A littke raisony with chocolate towards the back. The coffee really comes out once it gets warm.

The taste is of boozy alcohol. Some roast gets progressively earthen with a citrus-like coffee bean bite. A long roasted aftertaste with a solvent alcohol burn. The coffee while enjoyable in the aroma is a bit lost in the flavor profile. I realize this is a year old coffee beer, but I would have liked to seen the flavor aspect hold up as well as the nose.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. A pleasatly roasty and delicious brew with subtle enough coffee nuance ro be enjoyable and slightly different from the rest of the eclipse lineup. The nose was unfortunately the best aspect of this beer. I wouldnt mind killing a new bottle of this when the java version is releases this year.

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12/18/13 update:
The new 2013 version has wax that looks like the purple Elijah 12 but faded and with sparkles in the wax. The biggest difference between these years is that the fresh batch has a huge roasted coffee aroma that totally dominates with a slight roasty grain presence. It smells absolutely fantastic. The taste is slightly acrid, burnt and filled with solvent alcohol. The neutral alcohol flavor fills most of the flavor profile. The coffee is sadly lacking in flavor and only reveals itself in the aftertaste with a bit of stale or spent coffee flavor and a hint of citrus. If re-rating this, I would drop my score down in the 3.8 realm for the newest batch. The barrel aging of this blend is lost and the flavor isnt that great. It feels more like a totality variation that an eclipse variation.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2013 19:08:43 | More by stakem
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Gmann

New York

4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near black color with a dense beige head that left a nice wall of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is of ground coffee. Nice woody bark like coffee scent. There is some light chocolate notes. Perhaps some hints of caramel and vanilla.

The taste is big on coffee and roasted barley. Slightly bitter from the roast but fairly smooth considering. Again light chocolate and cocoa notes. Some torched caramel sweetness.

The feel is well bodied. Sweet notes hit off to start but is quickly balanced by the roast and coffee bitterness. A touch sticky in the finish.

Very good coffee stout. Oatmeal would be a good addition to smooth out the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 20:42:05 | More by Gmann
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inlimbo77

Delaware

4.09/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz, 2013
Mini snifter

A: Pours deep brown leading to black. Get a touch of head. Faint tan. Some alcohol feet. Lot a lot of lacing.

S: Coffee grounds. Some light chocolate notes. Initially I thought this want barrel aged at all because we didn't get a lot of barrel notes. Vanilla mixing in with the dark chocolate and coffee. Mocha.

T: Bitter cocoa and coffee. Not espresso. Tastes good. No barrel on the palate aside from the vanilla that I smelled and tasted.

M: Full bodied.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 15:54:53 | More by inlimbo77
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cbutova

Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Bomber split into seven glasses for Stoutfest III. Black body identical in appearance to the Four Roses and Evan Williams versions. Good head retention and nice blankets of lace.

S- Fair Bourbon presence but more wood and peppery whiskey feel than the other versions mentioned in the appearance. Fairly strong coffee presence above the roasted malts and oak barrel feel.

T- Coffee truly opens up here and differentiates this from the other Eclipse versions we have tasted so far. Bitter coffee grounds and fresh medium roast coffee above the bourbon and decent roast malt base. Cocoa, peppery whiskey, fresh toast oak and slight vanilla.

MF- Medium thick body like the other variants lacking a bit of creaminess it could certainly use. Carbonation at a medium level with a roast bitterness in the finish. Slight warming on the palate.

The coffee stands out quite a bit and adds an aspect that the Evan Williams and Four Roses were missing, they both lacked a base but had great whiskey flavors. Fresh roast coffee lingers on the palate, especially in the taste.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 06:32:53 | More by cbutova
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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Java Coffee from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 169 ratings.