Imperial Eclipse Stout - High West Bourbon - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
4.01/5 rDev -2.9%
Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, cookie dough, and bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, char, and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but the boutbon barrel aging comes across slightly better in the smell.
12-18-2013 00:22:32 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.06/5 rDev -1.7%
22oz 'tangerine' wax capped bottle, from run number 1 of the year 2013, Anno Domani. Once again, these barrel-aged Eclipse deals are not at all easy to open with a standard tool - is this supposed to be some sort of security feature or something? Anyways, the barrel in question here comes from the High West Bourbon lineage.
This beer pours a solid, light-nullifying black, with the slightest echo of basal red cola 'highlights', and two slender fingers of thickly foamy, and loosely bubbly milk chocolate brown head, which leaves some bleeding Swiss cheese lace around the glass as things slowly subside.
It smells of roasted doughy caramel malt, bittersweet cocoa, black licorice, boozy vanilla, Bourbon-soaked gritty wood planks, a hint of Irish coffee, and weak earthy, musty hops. The taste is big on the hot vanilla notes up front, followed closely by more toasted caramel malt, charred medium chocolate, dry anise, cherry menthol cough drops, a milder grainy Bourbon besotted woodiness, and a very soft bitter earthy hoppiness. That near 12 points of ABV are noticeable, sure, but hardly a kingmaker at this junction.
The carbonation is damned-near non-existent, the body a slickly solid medium-heavy weight, smooth like glossy licorice twists, with a hint of aerosol creaminess. It finishes fairly sweet, the alcohol not to be denied in all respects, especially when combined with the lingering roasted malt and cocoa, not to mention the earthy licorice/root beer notes, and generally fading soft Kentucky barrel notes.
I've kind of always wanted to try the High Test (uh, I mean West) Bourbon that's been available around here for a while, but, yeah, its dear shelf price kind of distanced me from it. So now, ironies abounding, I get to try its mere ghost via a likewise pricey barrel-aged American stout. My takeaway here is that the whisky is well worth pursuing, given that it renders subtly desirable effects on an already heady base Imperial Stout, and nothing more. Oh, well, there would be that deal with the even further elevated alcohol, but that's a cross to bear for another day.
12-29-2013 08:09:52 | More by biboergosum
4.03/5 rDev -2.4%
this is excellent, they all are in this series, but this might be my least favorite of the lot, and while its not all the way fair, i have to rate this against its brethren, and it just isnt as fantastic as the others, at least in my opinion. its got the same inky brown color, impenetrable to light, and the same lazy mocha head. it has a radiant luster to it as well, short of greasy looking, but definitely gleaming. it smells bourbon heavy, i smell the stout less and the booze more, and high west bourbon isnt my favorite, its nice, but simple and bland compared to their other spirits. oak and chalky dark malt mix with the sweet vanilla of the bourbon and the honey in the stout. the flavor never really opens up until its warm, definitely a beer to decant for a bit before drinking. its rich and roasty, but i dont get as much of the honey in the stout as i did in others. i also get a little more bourbon than i care too, seemingly not as carefully barreled as many of the others. oak is prominent, and some of the subtleties of the base beer are lost. im not sure how much of this is a product of the ageing. the high west rye was arguably my favorite ive had of these, and this is for sure my least favorite, but they came out at the same time, confusing. the thing that made it weak for me was the feel. it just seemed so much thinner than others, and even thin in its own right for what it is. it doesnt coat the palate the same way, and as a result it seems boozier and harder to drink to me. i still love it, dont get me wrong here, but in the context of the entire series (that ive had), its the least unique and impressive.
05-27-2014 03:33:06 | More by StonedTrippin
4.21/5 rDev +1.9%
Got a couple bottles of this from my futures last year, decided to crack one open. 22 oz. bottle poured into a tulip, batch 1, 2013 vintage.
a - Pours a very dark brown color with one finger plus of medium tan head and moderate carbonation evident.
s - Smells of roasted malts, whiskey, milk chocolate, toasted malts, burnt malts, dark chocolate, oak, earthy notes, and light vanilla.
t - Tastes of sweet bourbon, roasted malts, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, toasted malts, burnt malts, vanilla, cream, oak, earthy char notes, leather, and light caramel malts. Much better as it warms up, better than the nose.
m - Thick, full body and moderate carbonation. Tiny bit of heat, great mouthfeel.
o - Overall this is a very good beer and better than the 2013 Makers Mark I had a few weeks ago, but it is not my favorite in the series by far. I've been a huge fan of this series of beers over the last 3-4 years but to be honest, all the 2013's I've tried so far (4 of the variations so far) have left me wildly dissatisfied. While they have all been very good beers, I don't feel they have lived up to the great and amazing variations of the past few years. Hopefully they get a little better with time and the other variations pick up the slack.
03-03-2014 01:40:41 | More by mdfb79
4.33/5 rDev +4.8%
650ml tangerine waxed bomber, bottle run #1 2013, poured into tulip 10/1/14
A I'm starting to sound like a broken record but shes black with a deep cola edge, two fingers of mocha foam slowly falls to a thick film leaving plenty of unorganized lace deep down the glass
S sweet bourbon, fruity booze, fudge and coco, licorice, vanilla, cinnamon, some wood, smells great
T some cold sweetened coffees added to the mix, a little spicy and I don't quite understand why but it works, the booze is well hidden with lots of vanilla and fudge, not sure why but I slightly prefer the nose
M medium full, creams up nicely, just a little heat but much like the other 50-50's very well concealed booze, sweet woody bourbon finish just keeps going
O this versions a little spicy, not the char I've found in the others but the mellowness works in its own way, smooth and sexy
FML I've drank some cash recently, another great beer no doubt but I feel a little dirty dropping the $$$ but I'm sure I'd have more regrets if I didn't, worth a try for sure but I need to make some friends to split the cost with
01-11-2014 04:11:21 | More by wordemupg
3.74/5 rDev -9.4%
650 mL bottle poured into a tulip.
Appearance - Black with a nice khaki head. Medium collar. Thin wispy surface.
Smell - Chocolate. Some vanilla. Sharp whiskey, but not much other barrel character.
Taste - Dark bitter chocolate. Dry aininess. Bourbon is even more subdued here. Sweet in the back end.
Mouthfeel - High carbonation. Kinda creamy, but drops off dry.
Overall - Not a lot of barrel, but it's a tasty stout behind it.
03-24-2014 00:58:22 | More by Alieniloquium
4.3/5 rDev +4.1%
Ah, Eclipse. Every year I look forward to my shipment, though the hand-off in the cold weather of a Minnesota December always makes me sweaty. 22 oz. orange....excuse, me tangerine...bottle split with my wife.
I am happy to say that the orange...tangerine wax of this year's bottles is slightly less hard than the setting concrete of year's past, it's almost fun to peel off. Nose is a bit light compared to other years & variants. More chocolate than anything else, light vanilla bean (three of them), & I swear I can smell the wood.
Imperial Eclipse Stout - High West has callouses on its hands. First impression is that this is harsh, an Eclipse with a biting edge of boozy whiskey that's nowhere apparent in its brothers (& sisters). There's a spicy mule-kick that hints at rye, & if I knew more about bourbon I'd know, but I'll wager these are rye barrels. Or I'm just wrong. Chocolate, wild honey, mild sweetness, with a ton of wood that sucks the moisture from my palate. Dry tongue. Swift kick of alcohol. But that spiciness really yips this up a notch. I could suck this down like oysters on the half-shell.
Before it warmed, this beer left me cold & indifferent. Once it closed in on room temperature, my meter went close to ninety degrees. Bloody hell, one excellent beer.
02-01-2014 06:10:26 | More by maximum12
Imperial Eclipse Stout - High West Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.