Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Java Coffee | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

62 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Java CoffeeImperial Eclipse Stout - Java Coffee

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Fall

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).

Added by DarthKostrizer on 12-07-2012

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 395
Photo of Rutager
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 Thank you, fonduevoodo! Creamy light tan head. Great nose, fudge, roasted coffee, sweet smooth bourbon, a little red twizzler, and a touch of marshmallows.

Taste is quite sweet, smooth bourbon flavours but no heat or weird booze flavours. Coffee is there but there's a slight astringency that doesn't go well with the bitterness of it. Lots of wood.

Maybe this would benefit from a little time ...not to smooth it out booze-wise, but maybe calm down the astringent bitter. Anyways, give the baby his bottle. It's good stuff.

 532 characters

Photo of corby112
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black and completely opaque without a trace of lighter color. One finger beige head that slowly settles into a lasting ring. Decent retebtion lasting for most of the duration. Streaks of soapy lacing cling to the glass on the way down.

Complex and extremely inviting aroma with an excellent blend of robust gourmet coffee, barrel character and imperial stout notes. Coffee is only 10% of the blend but somehow stands out against the dark roast and bourbon barrel. Silky gourmet roast, coconut and slightly nuttiness sweetness. EC stands out as it warms with spicy bourbon and boozy sweetness. Delicately charred oak with toasted coconut and prominent silky vanilla/gooey mallow sweetness. Barrel notes are excellent in the nose complimenting the coffee and masking the acrid roast of the dark malts. Subtle burnt malt presence under the barrel with dark chocolate, oatmeal and charred toast. Silky dessert like sweetness with decadent German chocolate cake, fudge, bakers chocolate, caramel and toffee. This beers smells incredible!

Chewy and viscous full body with a deeply roasted, robust coffee presence that's nearly perfectly integrated into the EC version of eclipse. Dry and slightly bitter with gourmet coffee/espresso bean, some bitter dark cacao, hazelnut and light nuttiness. Great coffee flavor standing up to the barrel notes and complex malt bill. Barrel only 46% of blend but comes trough with sweet, spicy spirt l, delicately charred oak, silky vanilla, gooey mallow and toasted coconut. More roast than other variants due to heavier stout presence but it compliments the coffee and dry barrel notes. Could use more bourbon but is there just enough to meld with the coffee and sweeter dessert-like malt flavors. Chocolate coffee cake with caramel, dark cocoa and toffee. Heavy roast with charred oak, burnt toast, bakers chocolate and fudge. Nice balance of barrel, coffee bean and toasted malt. Could use a bit more bourbon to counter the wood, coffee and dry roast but this beer is deceptively smooth. The high ABV is excellently masked making this strong beer deceptively drinkable. Almost gave up on this series but this variant has given me hope for future releases.

 2,215 characters

Photo of timmy2b
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 Vintage Lavender Wax. Pours a dark almost black color with a cloudy dark brown head. Light espresso, chocolate and a small amount of bourbon in the nose. Very smooth drinking beer with a light amount of all flavors. Coffee, Chocolate, Caramel, light amount of fruit and Bourbon. Not as heavy as I expected in the mouthfeel. Amazing drinking beer, price point is high, but I would drink this again and again!

 417 characters

Photo of kevanb
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650ml bottle, 2015 vintage with lavender wax, poured into a FiftyFifty Eclipse snifter glass. Enjoyed on 2.12.16, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a deep, jet black color, thinner texture as it pours with a khaki head, two fingers that has amazing retention and fantastic lace. The aroma is of acrid coffee roast, chocolate, sweet grains, oak, bourbon and linger stone fruits. The flavors have big coffee character, rich and roasty, light fruit acidity with intense chocolate flavor, charred oak, boozy bourbon and sweet vanilla. The flavors really make up for the weak and almost unpleasant nose, complex, rich and rewarding. The mouthfeel is good, coating with a medium body, higher than needed carbonation but with an easy and warming finish.

Verdict: A nice coffee version of Eclipse from FiftyFifty. Lightly roasty, good balance and very pleasantly complex. The body is typical of Eclipse, a bit thinner and more lively than necessary, but never a distraction. The nose on this beer is definitely subpar for the series, but on the whole, this is a very good beer.

 1,084 characters

Photo of ccg
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage (lavender wax)
L: Pours with a finger of khaki foam. There is immediately noticeable lacing, and the head stays there for a long time, eventually fading into a nice layer of light-color bubbles.
S: The smell is a mellow mix bourbon and coffee with a hint of oak and chocolate and smoke. It reminds me of Big Bad Baptist.
T: Again, it is similar to Baptist, but much smoother and less bitter. At first there is a slightly metallic flavor on the finish, but at it warms and opens up, that gives way to a chocolatey sweetness.
F: The carbonation makes it a bit crisp on the tongue.
O: Quite good. The coffee is well integrated into the beer, although it does somewhat overpower the barrel character.

 709 characters

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2015 Bottle

Pours a deep black coffee colour with zero light penetration. 2 fingers of espresso crema coloured foamy head that settles to a thin lawyer around the rim.

Huge cold brewed coffee aroma, deep and rich and not acrid whatsoever, followed by dark cocoa powder, wet new leather. Round and smooth from the barrel aging.

Cold brewed sweet coffee, cocoa nibs, liqueur, and turbano sugar. Finishes with milk chocolate and slight hints of smoky wood.

 459 characters

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.

 448 characters

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.

 571 characters

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.

 620 characters

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.

 299 characters

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

 266 characters

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.

 388 characters

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.

 636 characters

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.

 412 characters

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.

 394 characters

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.

 478 characters

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.

 487 characters

Photo of Marius
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from memory. Sampled a few days after the Enijah Craig version. A solid stout, like the others in the series, but I expected to feel the coffee more.

 156 characters

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.

 274 characters

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.

 881 characters

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

 672 characters

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.

 765 characters

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.

 1,793 characters

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

 456 characters

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.

 1,195 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Java Coffee from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.