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
92
outstanding

116 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 116
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 8.21%
Wants: 19
Gots: 48 | FT: 7
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: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 116 | Reviews: 33
Reviews by Tucquan:
Photo of Tucquan
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2012-12-24 in Columbia, PA (from tasting notes)

A - Opaque dark brown with a 1.5-finger head from an aggressive pour. Medium lacing.

S - Whiskey aromas of coconut, vanilla. Since this is aged in a wheat whiskey barrel, it doesn't have the traditional bourbon barrel aroma, which is nice for a change. This is more mellow. There's some medium roasted grain and a whiff of chocolate. Very pleasant.

T - Oh my. Like sipping irish coffee and eating a fudge brownie with honey and molasses icing, coconut sprinkles and wheat whiskey-soaked cherries on top. It's not too sweet and is well-balanced with some char roast and bitterness.

M - Medium body and light-medium carbonation. Silky smooth.

O - Really enjoyed this one. The use of the Bernheim Wheat Whiskey barrels really works. Almost as good as Founders KBS.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Sammy
3.84/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.94/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of bootlegger1929
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into snifter.

Looks black and pours thick. Not much head but still decent carbonation throughout the drink.

Smells fantastic. Best part about this brew. Not much alcohol on the nose which is great and there's notes of chocolate and toffee along with whiskey and vanilla. Again. Great. As balanced as a barrel aged stout can be.

Taste follows the nose. Alcohol comes out more as it warms. Also has a very warming feel in the belly. Lots of chocolate/toffee/Caramel notes in the taste. Awesome.

Drank really well when a little colder. Thick and coating. Thinned out as it warmed. Not a lot of carbonation but worked well for the style.

Overall great. What I would expect from this series after those that I had last year. Have 5 more variants right now that I can't wait to break out over the next few months.

Photo of Bung
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of smakawhat
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Photo of rlee1390
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a perfect pint. "Beige" wax that can look white (like EC20) in certain lighting. Big thanks to anotherjoe for this. My bottle has the word "Reserve" written above the bottle no. box, whatever that means. 2012 vintage, BR/1.

4.0 A: Black color. Super aggressive pour yielded only one finger of creamy light brown head. Retention is decent given the ABV and a good sized ring of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Robust wheat whiskey nose. Leathery with strong wheat, coconut, melon, and a touch of spiciness. Roasted barley and lots of chocolate from the base beer. Notes of vanilla and oak. Booze is held well in check. This has a great nose. Easily one of the best from 2012.

4.0 T: Taste is nearly as potent as the nose, despite the base beer not having legs to stand on (at least not after being barrel aged). Leather, wheat, coconut, more wheat, light fruits, spice, and earthiness from the barrel along with vanilla and oak. Chocolate and a light roast from the base. Quite delectable.

3.5 M: While it still isn't thick enough for my liking, this one is a bit thicker than the other ones, though still just a heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation and super smooth with a light tannic finish.

4.0 D: I'm not quite ready to start using the new 0.25 score increments, so this gets a 4.0. One of the better Eclipses, especially if you like the taste of wheat.

Photo of liamt07
4.18/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of Rifugium
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First had: not sure where I got the bottle from.

Man, this bottle was filled to the brim. I've never seen a bottle with no headspace like this. Poured into an Eclipse snifter (second version, upraised barrel logo) at cellar temperature. Pitch black with a controlled cap of tan head that sank to a wispy layer / thick ringlet, leaving webs of lacing on the glass. Nice aroma, sweet chocolate, vanilla and whiskey, nice note of coconut in there too. Taste was very nice up front, lots of whiskey, but quite smooth and mellowed out in terms of heat, dark chocolate, vanilla, coconut; mid-palate brought in more of an oaky profile, roasty bitterness, and some leafiness, which remained into the finish. Body was medium-full, mouthfeel was again smooth up front, but thinned out a little in the finish. Moderate carbonation, low heat for a big beer. Enjoyable overall, with the aroma being the best aspect.

Photo of Ohiovania
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

Photo of WillCarrera
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle, bottle number BR1 2012, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours black with a thin tan bead, leaves spotty lacing.

S- Has a nice aroma of bourbon, vanilla, caramel and chocolate.

T- Nice blend of chocolate fudge and dry, woody whiskey. Has some sweet flavors of molasses, vanilla and bourbon, as well as some roasty coffee and grain flavors.

M- Full-bodied, has a rich, creamy feel with a very dry, roasty finish.

O- A very tasty beer, has a lot of the great chocolatey malt and bourbon flavors that make the Eclipse series so great.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Photo of PerHops
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- This one looks like you'd expect. Very dark if not jet black with a thin tan head that leaves moderate lacing.

S- Surprisingly less boozy than I expected. Thought this one would be abrasive, actually smells great!

T- Follows nose in that there is very little if any alcohol noticable. Tons of caramel, a little vanilla, chocolate, tiny bit of coffee on finish.

M- Drinks very well. Heavy on the tongue but enough carbonation to keep it lively,

O- This was much better than I expected. I'm going to grab another one for sure!

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.79/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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.

Photo of Dope
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mthomas84 for sharing this one at mrbubbler's "end of the world" tasting.

2012 vintage.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a 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, wood, and whiskey. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is strong but quite tasty.

Photo of mdfb79
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of busternuggz
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

to view more.
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Bernheim Wheat Whiskey from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 116 ratings.