Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Total Eclipse Black Ale - Hoppy Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Total Eclipse Black AleTotal Eclipse Black Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

59 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 59
Hads: 94
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 9.97%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hoppy Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Brent on 01-12-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 59 | Hads: 94
Photo of BierJager89
4.06/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with a medium brown head.

S: Chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, plum and other dark fruits in the nose.

T: Chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, really good.

M: Smoothish, and full bodied.

O: Tasty, if a bit boring. Recommended if you can find it. I think it's their best beer, but don't be fooled by the brewery's name. Their beer's are seldom very hoppy. (362 characters)

Photo of ronniebruner
2.59/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Of all the beers I have had in my life, I cannot remember having one that is so foamy! I was afraid to set the bottle down because every time I did, foam right out the top! Take a drink? Foam! Now, there are a few redeeming qualities about this brew...it does have a nice appearance of dark black molasses, but it tastes of burnt wood. The mouth feel is also going to be rated low by me as well for the unacceptable amount of foam I encountered in this beer. I even let it sit for some time thinking maybe I inadvertently shook it up, but I do not believe that to be the case. When I lived in the Sacramento area I used to frequent the Hoppy Brewery and remember it being a bit run down and I made a trip to Sacramento recently and brought back 2 cases of Hoppy brews. Gotta say I was disappointed. Oh well, next up? (816 characters)

Photo of hikanteki
4.35/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz bomber ($4.49 at BevMo) into a pint glass.

Appearance: The head rushes up. The initial pour was about 20% beer and 80% head, although it settled down pretty quickly and I was able to top it off to a reasonable amount.

Smell: Heavy citrus, with some bitter cocoa coming through.

Taste: Like it smells, and that's a good thing. Citrus and hops first, then cocoa and hops, followed by toffee and hops, and then just hops. But it's interesting how the hops come back strong with each layer. Consequently a bitter aftertaste with some citrus.

Mouthfeel: Pleasant. Not too thin, not too thick, but it coats your mouth and stayed with me. Satisfied.

Overall: I'm not sure whether this is supposed to be a Black IPA or a Stout. It simply says "Black Ale." But whatever it is, it's a darn good beer. It pushes the bitterness level for a stout, and pushes the mouthfeel for an IPA. Well done, Hoppy. (916 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.69/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle just in from Lueken Liquors. Is this how the brewer intended it? Maybe something more hoppy. As a dry stout, pretty decent, more of a light shwartzbier, with a muted hop. Very good drinkability. Light black coloured body, almost no head. Medium mouthfeel. Mollasses and light roast smell. (295 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost opaque dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is off dark roasted malt, cocoa, and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with 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 pretty good beer that is drinkable but nothing all that special for the style. (508 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours near jet black with cola brown edging. Head is light tan in color and sits 2 fingers high. Retention is decent. Resulting lace is thin, but consistent and with nice stick.

Smell - Big notes of semi-sweet chocolate and fair hints of alcohol.

Taste - Roasted malts with bitter chocolate character and finishes with quite a bit of metallic astringency. Aftertaste rings with same sharp bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body. Decent carbonation.

Overall - A bit "light in the pants" and a fairly simplistic flavor, but it's a decent brew nonetheless. Probably wouldn't buy again though. (613 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours nearly black, as expected. Good sized tan head. Good retention but not much lacing.
Smell is malt, vanilla, semisweet chocolate and light peat notes.
Taste is malt, smoke, peat and some baking chocolate. Well balanced.
On the lighter side of medium with a solid effervescence. Drying finish leaves an unsweetened chocolate and peat aftertaste. Pretty good brew but I would like a bit more body. (400 characters)

Photo of mattcrill
3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Mild chocolate, cocoa nibs, and slight roasty dark grain notes up front. More milk chocolate sweetness as the beer warms. No hop aroma. No fruity esters.

Appearance: Dark brown with ruby highlights. Moussy thick tan head that retains well.

Flavor: Firm chocolate and roasty malt profile up front. The roasty grains provide a bittering counterpoint to the chocolate sweetness. Background earthy bitterness that is muted by the chocolate and roasty overtones. Balance is firmly roasty and bitter. Finish is crisp and clean with a lingering roasty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation. Slight astringency due to the roasted grains.

Overall impression: A roasty chocolate highlighted black ale. I'm missing the hop presence (aroma and/or flavor) that would designate this as an "American Stout" but overall an enjoyable beer. Worth a try once but there are so many other examples out there that I'm not sure I'll re-visit. (952 characters)

Photo of jbphoto88
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew starts out with an aggressive head that is thick and very much double the size of what pours from the bottle. The coffee colored foam looks like a scoop of lattte whipped cream ontop of a dark ruby colored brew.

The nose is a light malty blast of roasted grains and mild bakers chocolate. I've smelt bolder stouts but considering this one is only a simple 5.6% and NOT imperial then the simple scent is quite impressive.

The flavor ranges from roasted malts to light coffee and chocolate. Mild but flavorful which is again impressive for the size of this beer. This stout is solid in all the right places.

If there are any flaws they appear in the mouthfeel. The beer doesn't have the viscous solid feel that you would expect from a stout. Instead is a lightly carbonated, almost watered down brew. However lack luster the mouthfeel is this is still a fantastic stout. Great nose and flavors more then make up for the feel. This beer is a must try for anyone who enjoys the dark. (994 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of coffee, some chocolate. Taste is big on coffee, this would have been great in the morning. Some roasted malts are present in the flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a quality beer. (287 characters)

Photo of jvillefan
3.07/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: When poured from a 22 oz bottle into a perfect pint glass there was a 2 1/2 finger light brown head that was above the very brown/black beer that lives up to its name.

S: The smell was very unimpressive as the dominate smell coming from the beer was ethanol. In the background the only thing I could detect was a slight smell of hops.

T: The taste mirrored that of the smell. The ethanol came through despite the beer only being 5.6%. There were hoppy and malty flavors present but were not that bold compared to other black ales.

M: The mouthfeel was good as there was an element of viscosity probably created from the malted hops.

O: Overall this beer is ok, while it is better than some there is a long list of beers that I would choose over this one. (761 characters)

Photo of bonkers
3.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this as part of the tickers bif, black pour with a 3 inch rock hard, white head that leaves a ton of lacing. The aroma is big on roasted malts. It has big roasted coffee notes, some chocolate, light hoppiness, very dry. The body is medium, average carbonation, the huge head impeded the drinkability a little. I actually thought I was going to be drinking a black IPA from the name of the beer, a decent little stout, need to beef up the body. (449 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a flared pokal at Bliss.

Figured I'd donate some beer to the most recent Bliss tasting. Why not? This said bottle pours a murky blackish-brown topped by over a finger of dirty sandy foam. The nose comprises coca powder, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, very light roasted malts, and light coffee. The taste brings in more of the same, but with a bit more roast and a slightly richer chocolate flavor. The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a pretty smooth feel. Overall, a pretty meager stout: one that's way too thin and way too laid-back, but one that's generally inoffensive and easy to drink. (636 characters)

Photo of prototypic
3.1/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Total Eclipse Black Ale isn’t quite black. It is a dark chocolate fudge color, although it’s nowhere near opaque. Burgundy highlights are very apparent throughout. Carbonation looks to be active. A semi-careful pour yields a tan head that stands over three fingers tall. It recedes slowly, leaving a sticky coat of lace behind.

The nose is alright. It features a blend of roasted and chocolate malts. The roasted variety is definitely stronger. The chocolate malts smell like bittersweet dark chocolate. It doesn’t smell sweet at all. Coffee or espresso is quite prominent. That’s about it. It’s relatively simple and straight forward, but isn’t bad. Alcohol is masked well and doesn’t come through.

The flavor is mostly consistent with the nose, but is rather average. The malt base is very roasty. Perhaps a little too roasty. Chocolate is definitely in the mix and has a very bittersweet flavor. There isn’t a sweet flavor in the house. Coffee is very strong and seems bolstered a bit by the roasted malts. It has an intense coffee/charred flavor that’s just a little too strong. Alcohol isn’t noticeable. Finishes with a strong mix of roasted and charred flavors.

Total Eclipse has a lighter body. Carbonation is quite active and buzzy. It doesn’t feel smooth at all. Actually, it’s a little below average for a stout. Eh. It’s honestly a little tough to finish off a bomber. The flavor’s too intense and isn’t all that satisfying.

Total Eclipse is my first go with Hoppy Brewing Co. For an American Stout, it’s average. The flavor isn’t all that bad, but its intense roasty/charred flavors are too strong and grow very tiresome. If you’re into that sort of stout, then maybe this is worth a try. Otherwise, I’d suggest taking a pass. This one needs a little work. (1,813 characters)

Photo of Bung
3.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. Went into this thinking it was a Schwarzbier, I guess "black ale" just didn't lead me to think stout.

Lighter black pour, layer of off white head. Laces a little bit.

Aroma is pretty roasty, coffee some malt. Dark chocolate and cocoa.

Taste starts with a fairly assertive roast malt and coffee. Finishes dry, cocoa and coffee. Maybe just a bit acrid.

Lighter bodied for a stout. Carbonation more like a schwarz as well. Drinks easy enough, as long as you like a roasty beverage.

Thought this was fine, a fairly standard stout. At the price point I'd think about grabbing it again, though I got this in Chicago so I can't. (633 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
2.45/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Beers from this brewery have started popping up all over town recently. The labels are quite corny, but the price is low. I've been curious so I picked this one up for $4.99. I thought it was a black IPA, so I was let down when I found out it was a stout.

Appearance
A thin black, the body shows lots of reds. The head rises pretty easily, but doesn't lace the glass. The beer looks a tad on the thin side.

Aroma
Some sharp roast, but it seems weird, almost artificial. No real chocolate, just bitter black cocoa and faint coffee. The aroma has a malty, husky profile to it.

Taste
Similar to the aroma, the taste is weak, lacking a strong roastiness. Its mostly bittered by a plastic taste that stands in place of a real, rich roast.

Mouthfeel
Thin, but not overly so. Carbonation is high, but I can deal with it.

Overall
Well, at least this was only $4.99. I really wanted a black IPA when I bought this. This beer isn't hoppy, so I'm curious to try one of their hop forward styles. Since the price is right I'll probably grab the red ale or something. (1,063 characters)

Photo of DmanGTR
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my celebratory beer for *approaching* the end of the 1st year of med school. Last big final was today so I'm opening this because it's really happy (see label) yet, I'm dead tired from not having slept for like 2 days now, hence the darkness. Well, here goes (I'm a little bit out of my reviewing game...)

Poured very dark brown with hazelnut edges in the light. A frothy, beige head topped the darkness for a good while, diminishing to a thin ring with trails of lace all over. A germinal center of bubbles expand to renew the soapy film of a scant cap.

The aroma is inviting with hints of cocoa, burnt toast, biscuity grain, and a light coffee tone. Slightly lighter than I'd like it, but very nicely balanced.

Very much like the aroma. There is a lingering ashy aftertaste almost like coffee that has been sitting on the heating element for too long. However, the flavor is quite balanced and refreshing. I haven't had a good regular stout in a while (or any beer for that matter...) and this is a great everyday drinking beer.

Not the thickest, but not watery like Guinness either. This is exactly how I want a good old stout to drink like: medium body leaning towards the heavy side with an impeccably smooth texture. Not cloying or sticky, yet not thin and substanceless.

Approved. (1,302 characters)

Photo of BigBry
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bobmber that I brought back from our bi-annual trip to BevMo in San Jose.
No brewed on / best before date, "Great Food - Awesome Beer - Cool People!!!"
Opaque, black color with reddish brown highlights. Large, chocolate milk colored head, thick sheets of lace. Smells of roasted barley malt, slightly bitter black coffee, and a little chocolate.
The flavor has lots of coffee, like a strong, bitter roast. Some unsweetened chocolate as well. Some hopiness at the end, but not enough to stand up to the coffee, cocoa, chocolate bitterness. Although dark, almost black color, the body is light. Medium mouthfeel, dry and slightly tart finish.
I was expecting more of an 'American Stout': big, heavy, bold, and sweet. Instead got a light, bitter, coffee dominanted ale. I'm not complaining, just not what I expected. (821 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Just saw this new arrival at my local beer store earlier today so I thought I'd give it a try. 22 ounce bottle. Served in a Guinness pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with an inch frothy tan head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and some grassy hops. The taste is pretty much like the aroma, with the bitter, roasty flavors being the strongest. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it seems a bit thin and is well carbonated. Overall I think it's a good brew, it's smooth, easy and enjoyable to drink. (563 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
3.81/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle 

A- Pours a dark black color with a light tan head with really nice lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts, coffee notes and some hops.

T- The taste like the aroma is dark and roasty malts up front with some coffee flavors and some bitterness in the finish from the hops.

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this Total Eclipse is a solid Black Ale that is worth a try. (470 characters)

Photo of theboozecruise
3.04/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a imperial pint glass.

It's a dark brown beer, fairly impenetrable with a light brown bubble head. Good retention and lacing. All the Hoppy Brewing beers I've tried have been lookers, that's for sure.

The smell is faint of chocolate and roasted malts... a little metallic twinge to it.

The taste is a little subdued too... mostly a roasted flavor to it, like charred malts. There is a charred aftertaste and really no hops to speak of. It's alright, but nothing special.

It's kinda thin, not much body to speak of... I'd drink it again, but I wouldn't hunt it down. (603 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.21/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber, this beer was overcarbonated, resulting in a very foamy, overexaggerated head. After giving that plenty of time to settle, the beer has a very typical black, opaque appearance. The smell is muted, but very distinctly malty and sweet. Taste reveals coffee flavors with a moderately bitter aftertaste. Very drinkable; likely similar to pounding a couple of pots of coffee. Have had better Black Ales, and would likely seek out one of the others in the future. (479 characters)

Photo of meatyard
3.36/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, clear, black/ruby color with a huge, densely foaming, light tan head that has good retention and lacing. Quite a few active carbonation streams are visible when held to a light.
The smell is pretty mild though I can pick out some darker, roasted malt, a little coffee and chocolate.
The taste is also on the mild side but has the same elements as in the aroma.
Mouthfeel is medium to thin and stays actively carbonated.
Drinkability" There isn't anything in particular happening with this beer in a good or bad way. At a moderate 5.6% it won't affect you too much that way anymore than the taste does. Not bad/not good. (633 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle. Review from notes...

A- Pours a well black color. Light red hues on the sides of the glass when held to the light. Two finger fluffy dirty white head that shows great retention. Ringy lacing left on the glass.

S- Light roasted malts collide with a chocolate bitterness. A real gentle smelling beer with a hint of toasted brown bread as well. Just plain and simple...I like that!

T- Light roasted malts dominate the beer for the most part. Some chocolate notes in this along with some light prune hints as well. The backing of this has a bitter hop bite to it. This almost reminds me of a black IPA with a little less hop bite to it.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the beer. Roasted malts left on the palate with some light hops in the aftertaste. Light drying on the palate. Flavors were bland overall and distant or faded.

D- This was a drinkable beer that at first I wasn't too sure about but found to love overall. I will be looking for more from this brewery. I think this is a good beer for non-stout drinkers to try to get into the style of stouts or even porters. (1,115 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.59/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

One of my first really dark beers I got into. Its not exactly what I've come to know and drink as stout beers. Its a definite class defying beer. Stout and. . . baltic porter? schwarz?

Looks plenty dark enough, but doesn't have the thickness to match. Great lacing/retention thereof. Taste is coffee, choco, dates, fig, smoke, hay, vanilla. Decent amount of dry, perhaps astringent bitterness to it. Remains lighter on palate than looks and tastes though. Hopping is ample. Cascade. Nugget? This beer is unique, check it out, might not work for you, but its different and not for the sake of being weird. (606 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Total Eclipse Black Ale from Hoppy Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.