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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.

35 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 120
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 15.14%
Wants: 19
Gots: 47 | 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: 120
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of kaseydad
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Second straight night of Eclipse.

Pours a black/dirty brown colored ale with a nice beige head. Minimal lacing if any.

The smell is a great whiskey/chocolate hybrid. Slight burning of the nostrils when breathed (sp?) in deep. Some dark fruits as well. Cocoa. Fudge. Alcohol.

The taste is great! Just the right amount of warm booze swirled into the stout. Chocolate fudge with a dose of whiskey. Reminds me of those booze filled chocolates. As it warms (as expected) the alcohol definitely comes out to play. It does overpower what's happening in this session, but not offensively.

The only drawback is the mouthfeel. Too thin for all that's going on here. If FiftyFifty could somehow make this a tad thicker, this would rule!

Overall I really liked this. It blew the Rebel Yell variant away. The quality of the whiskey may have made the difference. It is blended great...props to the brewmaster. I say drink this now as aging may only bring this beautiful brew down.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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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.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of bootlegger1929
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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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.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of maximum12
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, I waited over 24 hours after my box of Eclipse landed to break open the first one; I believe that shows admirable restraint. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife.

The pour of FiftyFifty Brewing Co & Wax Museum is standard dark of the moon, & always lively for a bigger stout. Nose takes a compass to find: bit of wheatiness, barrel, sweet malts. Not far off standard.

Eclipse Bernheim Wheat Whiskey blazes a new trail for the Eclipse series; this isn't the barrel-heavy stout of past variants. The whiskey barrel is fairly subtle, & the base stout of chocolate & sweet malt comes on strong. Alcohol is far more present that in the past & warms several body cavities. Very grainy, roast arrives late. There's an aftertaste I can't put words too, but it's vaguely wheaty - I'm going to assume that's the Bernheim. Lowest point on the beer is the m'feel, the distinctiveness of the whiskey leaves a thin taste to the beer. Never felt that way about another Eclipse. Disappearing quickly. Very quickly. Eyeing my wife's half.

This grew on me quickly, from "Eh, huh" to constant lip-smacking (my dear wife pointed that out). Unique barrel makes this a truly unique experience, for which points are always awarded. Another excellent Eclipse variant.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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