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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Bernheim Wheat Whiskey - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Bernheim Wheat WhiskeyImperial Eclipse Stout - Bernheim Wheat Whiskey

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

35 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 119
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 5.53%
Wants: 19
Gots: 46 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

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

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 119
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2012 Eclipse Bernheim, bottle purchased at Bainbridge Street Barrel House in Philadelphia for thirty dollars and consumed on August 23 2015.

As with most Eclipse beers, the painfully thin mouthfeel ruins it for me. When I drink a big, expensive, vintage beer like this, I expect a big boozy body and outrageousness. Drinkability is high, but there is no excuse for the weak profile.

The nose is spectacular, though, with intense barrel notes, wood and that sharp-and-sweet, bready aroma of the wheat. Better as it warms up, honey aromas, age.

Too bad the rest of the beer refuses to follow that beautiful nose. (616 characters)

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Beer hits the glass thick and very dark as expected. A very small head of medium brown color forms, but is really more of a bubbly film on top of the beer. Lacing is minimal from this tiny head. The smell of this beer is dark and spicy. The barrel is really the prominent flavor on the nose and is mostly sweet vanilla and peppery oak. The influence of the whiskey being wheated is present in a less aggressive spice than a normal bourbon would have in the scent.

When the beer hits the tongue the dark barrel and booze flavors translate directly to the taste. The sweet and dark malts of the base stout quickly fade into the barrel notes that match the scent almost dead-on. The whiskey flavors are a little softer than in the scent, but still very prominent. The drink is very smooth on the whole and doesn't really have an alcohol burn, but there is a boozy component to the flavor.

Overall, this beer would stand up to the more acclaimed BA stouts very well. THe barrel is prominent without being overpowering and the wheat whiskey flavor differentiates itself from bourbon barrel aged stouts of similar quality. (1,118 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

impressive beer. consumed 4-12-15. smell of bourbon and chocolate. taste is smooth. booze has mellowed out quite a lot and i get a marshmallowey flavor. age has done this wonders. quite thick as far as eclipses go too. worth seeking out. (240 characters)

Photo of Ohiovania
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I was really impressed by this one and had low expectations based on the reviews. I think this one really did well with age. Very little, if any, alcohol smell or burn in the taste. I've only had elijah craig 12 year fresh, and this, and the bernheim blew it out of the water. (276 characters)

Photo of busternuggz
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter.

Opaque brownish black with a thin finely bubbled khaki head. Not great retention but that's to be expected. Comes back nicely with a swirl.

Aromas of sweet oak, whiskey, chocolate cake, roasted malt, dulce de leche. A little dark fruit, like sweet dates. Very rich.

Rich and decadent taste. Double chocolate chip cookies, sweet whiskey, dates, german chocolate, creamy caramel. A touch of vanilla. Long finish with a twinge of bittersweet coffee beans and roasted malt. Fairly sweet but well balanced.

Chewy, velvety texture. Lost some carbonation due to age but it works. Smooth. Very nice.

Very good, rich and layered. Made a great dessert. It's aged well and taken on some sweet richness that wasn't there when it was fresh. One of my favorite barrel versions of Eclipse. (836 characters)

Photo of SLeffler27
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A tiku glass presents this very dark, chocolate brown beer as almost black. A quarter-inch, dark chestnut, creamy head settles to a ring within a few minutes leaving spotty lace above viscous legs.

Light bourbon and rich chocolate mingle, while coffee lingers around the edges. Subtle roasted malt is accentuated by dusty notes. Light coconut and oak are released as it warms.

The flavors follow the nose. Chocolate flavors are nuanced towards liqueur, while the bourbon is quite sweet. Light roasted bitterness is throughout a lingering mild finish. These flavors are, at times, clearly developed, then they morph slowly to become more of a coffee/brandy profile.

This Imperial Stout has an almost dense body as its syrupy smooth texture and fine light carbonation help the alcohol bite back. A sticky sweet residue coats the lips.

Warmth is an exceptional art form here as it refines the flavor profile. This Stout pairs perfectly for reading or contemplation. It could easily stand up to a cigar and deep, philosophic ponderings. Desserts and digestives beg for pairings like this.

Bottle #BR/1 definitely showcases the brewer’s art, especially as it warms with tongue-tingling titillation. (1,200 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of burnt malt notes with some vanilla and black chocolate notes. Taste is a nice mxi between some deep roasted malt notes with some black chocolates notes, some vanilla and barrel-aging notes which kind of takes the rough edges of the base beer. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no deeply apparent alcohol notes. Very complex but retains some very good drinkability. Probably one of my favorite fifty-fifty stouts. (544 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

a - much like every eclipse in the series, dark as night with a great barrel shine. A bit thin looking with minimal head and lacing (par for the course). Nessentiallynidentical tomthe old fitz thatni still have left.

s - dark rich chocolatey malt but a big breath of vanilla, much more prominent than the old fitz. A bit smoother too.

t/m - the bergeim wheat definitely carries a different nose than the old fitz from the same year. Again, vanilla is bigger and bolder and gives the brew an almost candy element. Mouth is just as impressive and the beer is just as easy to drink as the old fitz, but doesnt carry as much personality in the flavor as the old fitz does, but the flavor seems more universal to me and easier to take since not as boozy.

o - overall, what can you say about any of the beers in this series other than "go get them" - to me one of the few beers that is actually worth the sticker shock. Fairly close in my opinion about the old fitz, but that one probably edges out over this one due to the personality added from the barrel. This is nice, but a bit more light and fluffy. Both are winners in my book. (1,367 characters)

Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.99/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage

Poured into a tulip glass from a 22oz bottle.

Pours a deep dark brownish almost black color with minimal head. The head forms after some swirls to about 0.25 inches and its a nice solid tan/orange color. Very dense and frothy actually. VEry nice looking brew.

Aroma starts off with delicious fudgey chocolate notes. Notes of chocolate cake and milk cocoa powder. Nice mild vanilla spice and sweetness form the barrel are notes. Deep rich caramel notes with some mild underlain dark chocolate bitterness and slight coffee roast can be perceived. There is also a nice undercurrent of dark fruits. Prunes, raisins and dates.

Flavor starts off with boozy caramel sweetness. The barrel is more pervasive in the taste than in the nose. Notes of dark fruit follow the boozy sweetness and are richer and more pronounced and blend very well with vanilla and woody bourbon notes. There is a slight boozy burn that rises above near the middle of the beer. This is perceived right before some nice chocolatey fudge notes warps up the initial fruit and caramel sweetness. The finish has some nice grainy and slightly roasted coffee notes that gives the brew some balance. Carbonation is low and body is rich and medium-heavy.

Overall. Much improved from the Rebel Yell version. Nice bourbon barrel sweetness with caramel and vanilla notes a plenty. There is also a yummy mix of chocolate and notes of dark fruits with this brew. (1,434 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 9.4.13
BR 1 2012

A - Pours a dark brown with a foamy dark tan head that fades slowly.

S - Typical bourbon, chocolate, barrel, but more sweet.

T - Subtle sweet wheat, bourbon, chocolate finish.

D - Silky soft, sweet. Lower carbonation with a thinner body.

O - Sweeter and softer then other versions. Still very good. (338 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, clear brown around the edges, one finger off white head.

S-Good deal of bourbon, coffee, vanilla and candied sugar.

T-Maybe a tad too sweet, but otherwise nice bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt and slight coffee.

M-Heavy to medium bodied, tad creamy and nicely carbonated.

O-As it warmed it didn't seem to be too sweet and the balance started coming together. A good beer that is worth the price to try it once. (434 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle, 2012 vintage, poured into Portsmouth snifter.

A: Pours like all the Eclipse do, near black/dark dark brown with a finger of short lived chocolate brown head. A bubbly film was left atop my liquid, and a few spotty specks of lace were left down the glass.
S: Sweeter than I was expecting with dominant notes of sweet whiskey and chocolate fudge. After a few swirls I get heavy vanilla and mild dark fruit.
T: Follows the nose with the addition of dark roasted grains, caramel, and raisin. The finish is full of sweet sugar and sweet dark fruits, and the aftertaste contains notes of chocolate, fudge, vanilla, coconut, and whiskey.
M: Mild alcohol booze, not hot, tingly but low carbonation, thick body and smooth.
O: A very enjoyable barrel aged stout. Perhaps not the best of the Eclipse series but far far far from the worst. Looking forward to drinking a few more of these. (894 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle.

A: Pours black with a medium sized, dense and foamy light brown head. Head fades quite slowly with great retention. Spotty little chunks of lacing, not a whole lot.

S: Pretty mellow whiskey aroma. Very sweet, lots of caramel and burnt sugars. Even get distinct and strong marshmallow. A little chocolate and some booziness float through as well. I swear I even get a little graham cracker, giving it a very s'mores-like aroma. Very interesting and delicious.

T: Burnt sugar, caramel and marshmallow again up front. Lots of marshmallow mixes with a bunch of sweet milk chocolate in the middle. Chocolate fudge in the finish with a hint of alcohol and honey. Lingering marshmallow and oak between sips. Very sweet throughout.

M: Heavy, viscous, thick. Nice.

O: Wow, this is really nice. Whiskey isn't as sharp, and doesn't stand out as much as some of the other eclipse variants. Thus, quite a mellow beer in comparison. However, quite sweet. Perhaps overly so to some people but I found it delicious. It's like drinking alcoholic brownie batter or liquid s'mores. VERY much a dessert beer but a good one at that. Drinkability suffers as a result; drinking Hershey's Syrup sounds like a good idea at first until you've gotta drink 22 ounces of it. That said, I didn't mind at all, I sipped on it for a while and it was wonderful. Just trying to accurate describe what to expect. Great beer, try the other variants if you want a sharper, stronger barrel presence. (1,479 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

D - Great barrel aged stout. The Whiskey is present but also fairly mellow. (578 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage poured in to snifter.

A - Black wiht a thin layer of mocha coloured head.

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

T - A huge charred oak presence hits the tongue first, followed by sweet whiskey, vanilla and a touch of roast. Chocolate fudge in the finish that lingers considerably in the aftertaste. There is a big warming alcohol presence throughout, which is a contrast to the other variants that I have tried.

M - Medium to full body. Light carbonation. (499 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tumbler.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this bottle!

2012 vintage (in case future vintages are made). You'd better believe I made some Macbeth/Birnam Wood jokes whilst drinking this... Anyway, this stuff pours a dark black-brown topped by a half-finger or so of tan foam. The nose is mostly filled with whiskey and oak, though some mild roasted-malt and dark-chocolate notes come through as well. The taste brings in more of the same, with the whiskey yet again dominating the proceedings. At least it seems like good whiskey... The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a relatively watery feel. Overall, a pretty good barrel-aged stout, but one that, like its brothers, suffers from a lack of strength-of-base-beer and thinness. (772 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | 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 - Bourbon, sugars, chocolate, vanilla. Eclipse aroma blah blah.

Taste - I think this is the 12th and final variant of the day. It either tastes just like the blends or I can no longer distinguish the flavors. Hefty bourbon, but indistinct. Sharpness from the whiskey isn't quite like the other single barrel variants. Chocolate and vanilla. Sweet.

Mouthfeel - Slick and creamier than the base beer. Medium carbonation. Sweet and barrel booze finish.

Overall - My palate is so fatigued by these beers. Tough to tell if doing all 12 bottles at once was a great idea or a terrible idea. (737 characters)

Photo of Bung
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Received as an extra from Siggy125, a pricey one at that.
Very dark brown/black pour, just a ring of tan head.

Aroma, vanilla, caramel oaky tanin, roast malt and dark chocolate.

Taste, a lot more chocolate here. Some molasses and brown sugar. Barrel is pretty prominent. Vanilla and peat. Cocoa dry finish.

Not the thickest as others have said. But it coats well enough with lower carbonation. It's a little warming, just shy of showing a little too much.
I am fairly certain none of the Eclipses are worth the price tag, but they are tasty. (544 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.84/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black, some lace. Honeyish, smooth. More coconut from the wood dominating the taste. Nicer than the bottles in the series I have had before. Mild roasty and whiskey aromas.Perhaps not as complex as any other excellent imperial stouts. Good drinkability.Bottle from Premier, split with Liam. (290 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Black, with a tan head. Nose is spirity, light fruity notes, oak and vanilla. Taste has wheat whiskey over some nice roast notes, caramel and oak. Lighter vanilla character and mild alcohol in the finish. Moderate dryness in the finish. (321 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Typical Eclipse appearance - dark cola brown body with a small beige head. Aromas of alcohol, vanilla, roast, light chocolate. Similar flavor. Slightly sweet with warming heat in the finish. Medium bodied with soft carbonation. A solid beer, but nothing terribly exciting going on here. (286 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.79/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2012 vintage shared with some friends.
Pours a solid black with a decent sized tan head that slowly dissipates. The aroma is roasty, chocolate, caramel, spices and coffee wrapped in a subtle but evident barrel treatment of vanilla, lots of ethanol 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 alcohol lasts long after every sip. Thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy creamy mouthfeel. This one while tasty seemed to be the least integrated flavor wise and had quite a harsh alcohol presence. (713 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in Chicago 2 weeks ago around the corner from Hopleaf. 22 oz. bottle with marking that say BR 1, into my Bruery tulip.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Leaves some light lacing on the glass. Looks great, like most of the other Eclipse variations, and a great stout.

s - Smells of sweet chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak, roasted malts, coconut, sweet dark fruits, and some caramel malts. Lot of chocolate and whiskey, and nice and sweet. Liking the nose a lot, and something that gets better as it warms up.

t - Tastes of whiskey, sweet chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malts, fudge, caramel malts, oak, vanilla, coconut, cream, and some alcohol. Taste is very nice and has more fruit and bourbon than the nose. Not quite as good as the nose, but still really good.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation. The body is a bit lighter and thinner than most of the Eclipses and then I would have liked. Worst part of the beer; just too thin for a big stout.

o - Overall I thought this was a really good variation; I think this one has more chocolate than most and is on the sweeter side, but I thought it worked really well, especially in the nose. The only downside is the body, which is a bit too thin. A really nice stout, and would love to have it again. (1,347 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/black...like all Eclipse bottles. Scent is boozy. Spicy, along with booze and dark chocolate. Sweet vanilla with some lovely chocolate chip cookie aromas...especially as it warms. Almost fudge-like. Taste is more boozy than the aroma implies. Spicy, cinnamon-like bourbon, with little wheat character. Boozy cherry and chocolate...more booze. This one is pretty hot. Taste is not getting any cooler. Hot booze with fudge and sweet bourbon. Some maple syrup and cinnamon. A little harsh compared to the other version. Mouthfeel is good...medium bodied, somewhat syrupy ad boozy. Drinkability is fairly high. Overall, one of the most interesting variants of Eclipse. Not the best. (697 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass. BR-3, Vintage 2012.

Very little head is produced on the pour, what does manage to form is a thin pencil head that dissolves quickly to a 1-2mm pencil thin collar. Head was a light tan mocha. Body color is a very dark walnut brown to black, quite hard to see through, otherwise looks alright, but not a giant wow looking brew.

Nose hits with caramel and salted peanuts up front. In the back some of the honey sweetness comes out, hinting even at floral sensations. A little bit of silky chocolate, with downplayed roast quality. Really nice smelling brew.

Palate brings a real unique experience. Real nice hit of honey sweetness upfront, matching a nice smooth and silky texture. Caramel whiskey sense hits in the mid palate, with malts and roasty character, with the finish concluding with a real nice whiskey sting. The most noticeable thing after the finish is a big black licorice component, that just lingers forever and nicely with a chewy property. The licorice slowly takes over and dominates, removing some of the caramel whiskey and chocolate first impressions, but the malt character starts to open up while sipping on the brew. There might even be some hop like bitterness in the finish, which matches well with the licorice.

Overall I am real impressed with this one, it's also quite unique. Wonderful stuff. (1,376 characters)

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Bernheim Wheat Whiskey from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.