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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 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 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. (572 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 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 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. (903 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 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 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)

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 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 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 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 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 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 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. (1,251 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 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 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 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 DavoleBomb
3.95/5  rDev -5%
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. (1,375 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 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. (830 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 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 inlimbo77
3.89/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz, 2012 vintage
The Bruery tulip

A: Pours pitch black. Maybe some reddish hues around the edges of the glass. Thin layer of light tan soapy head. This faded more quickly than on the Mellow Corn version I recently drank. Leaves some sticky lacing bits, but not a ton.

S: Good amount of toffee and caramel. Chocolate goodness. Basically pulling more of the base stout then the barrel, even with those nice toffee aromas. Wheat whiskey notes? I guess it's more mellow.

T: Really pulling a good base stout character. The barrel is giving some added flavor, but it strangely blends well. I like this more than Mellow Corn, which I thought was extremely pronounced booze. On the finish you do get a touch of booze warmth. It's certainly mellow though.

M: Full bodied. Creamy. (776 characters)

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