Imperial Eclipse Stout - Vanilla Bean | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Vanilla BeanImperial Eclipse Stout - Vanilla Bean
208 Ratings
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Vanilla BeanImperial Eclipse Stout - Vanilla Bean

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MasterSki on 12-06-2013

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 208 |  Reviews: 44
Photo of jaydoc
4.17/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Damian74
4.11/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.33/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Wow, what a legend I am going to review here. So many imitators since. Anyways, I dunno, 5-8 years ago by now, 5050 released this as a party bottle after the Eclipse party. It was awesome. Then they made it a regular. Good move.

Pours the usual not the blackest of black, but a dark and black beer. Brown head, 1/3". Aroma wafts vanilla nicely. Mild bourbon on the back end. The vanilla extract or bean (don't care) seems to cover up the roasty Totality base and the barrel (EC or EW I believe, Elijah Craig/Evan Williams for those playing at home).

Taste and mouth feel are where this beer excels. Just a beautiful harmony of roasted malt, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla and oak. I can crush these all day. The abv is probably hid on these better than any other version. I also reviewed Avery's bourbon barrel coconut porter today. I don't buy as much of this beer as I do that one anymore because of the price point. Is this beer "better"? Sure. Slightly. But the cost is 3x as much. That hurts the wallet and the overall score. Slightly.

 1,061 characters

Photo of IKR
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2016 Vintage
11.9% ABV

Appearance: Very dark brown bordering on black with a fairly generous dark beige head that gradually faded.

Smell: Vanilla, mild Whiskey, and mild brown sugar notes. The vanilla is the star here.

Taste: The taste profile features vanilla notes, roast malts, mild honey, and some tannic oak notes. The finish is fairly dry ending with some bitter tannic notes. The beer taste finishes on a bitter mildly acrid note.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation.

Overall: The vanilla and bal-aging notes are tasty but the bitter tannic finish is somewhat distracting.

 632 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Chuckdiesel24
3.63/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Bunuelian
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Phineasco
4.66/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of wmartin
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HermitDan
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of edthehead
4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of 50/50 Eclipse best offerings. Jet black, nice thick head and good lacing, noticeable vanilla and barrel characteristics, and medium but acceptable mouth feel.

 166 characters

Photo of swanfungus
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of CraftFan5
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle (2016 edition), thanks be once again to the ever affable rogerdandy, for procuring this for me from his wide web of globe-trotting beer contacts, when no one else locally would. That said, this US-sourced version has a wee label on it that specifies it as the vanilla variant, so take a lesson from that, lazy-ass Alberta FiftyFifty importer.

This beer pours a fairly solid black abyss, yet with prominent red cola basal edges, and three fingers of puffy, rocky, and bubbly brown head, which leaves some well-eroded limestone cliff lace around the glass as it lazily subsides.

It smells of marshmallow-forward vanilla, lightly roasted bready and doughy caramel malt, gentle cafe-au-lait, a touch of bittersweet cocoa powder, subtle anise spice, ethereal woody barrel notes, and a mildly perfumed floral and musty hoppiness. The taste is bready and grainy caramel malt, some free-range ashiness, vanilla cookies, heavy cream, ephemeral black coffee, still hard to pin down Bourbon cask essences (toastiness and spicy rye, mostly), medium dark chocolate wafers, and more understated leafy, earthy and sauced-up floral hop bitters.

The carbonation is quite tame in its low-fi frothiness, the body a solid medium-heavy weight, and mostly smooth, but for a sense of boozy woodiness making a few unwelcome inroads here. It finishes well off-dry, the vanilla, cocoa, malt, and creamed coffee essences ruling the lingering day.

Overall, this is a pretty stellar version of style, even if the vanilla character doesn't exactly rise above what one might expect from the exposure to the wood. A heady offering, one that I am glad to finally have had the chance to make an acquaintance with - so thanks again to those who performed the legwork for me!

 1,759 characters

Photo of bgold86
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of leitmotif
4.19/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.2/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with tan head. Aroma has some chocolate dessert notes and some propolis. Taste is sweet at first with some dessert notes but couldn't really say it's vanilla. Finish has some bitter baker's chocolate notes. Body is quite light for the style but it's really smooth. Overall it's a nice stout but not one of the best in the Eclipse series.

 354 characters

Photo of dar482
4.01/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer hits of marshmallow, vanilla ice cream, vanilla frosting, cream soda for days. Followed with some brown sugar and honey sweetness, without much roast to back up the beer. Bourbon melds with the light notes of milk chocolate with a sharp tannic oak finish and alcohol drying and warming on the way down.

 311 characters

Photo of BWood
4.52/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: midnight, slightly carbonated, decent head, good lace.

S: great vanilla aroma. Marshmallow is there too. Melted all together with the barrel. Very good smell. One of my favorites.

T: strong vanilla bean front. Soon backed up by roasted malt and oak. There is a slight spice at the end. Almost clove like. Very faint.

F: melts on the tongue. Slightly a little more bitter at the end than I would like. But still nice.

O: fantastic beer. Just like every other eclipse variant. Very costly though. Black Tuesday is the same price for a 750 and is a little better.

 570 characters

Photo of Duff27
3.97/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bitter and sweet, the cream filled flavor of Vanilla Bean Imperial Eclipse Stout comes with severe roasty brunt but with the soothing vanilla cream flavor to balance. Its assertive roast and dry sensibility comes together in harmony on the palate.

Pitch black and completely opaque, ominous looking beer swirls with a short mocha froth, looking off espresso in nature. Scents of all things burnt lead with espresso, dark chocolate, black walnut, toast and sweet cream. Its taste is lightly sweet, but robust with the carbonized taste of burnt milk, molasses, brown sugar and marshmallow.

As the stout pangs away at the tastebuds, the flavors trend roastier and roastier. Sweetness fades and the taste of extreme espresso, charred oak, bourbon, campfire and burnt toast continues its intense dominance while the stout continues to dry. Caramel, cream, and bitter baker's chocolate apply a soothing and then bitter medley on the back end of taste.

Full, roasty and deviantly dark, the finish is filled with char and heavy whipping cream. The vanilla is no match for the burnt malt, its smoky cocoa counterpart or its tannic oak aridness. Though it takes an edge off the the severe roast, its balance only takes it so far en route to a taste of over wrought coffee deep in aftertaste.

 1,285 characters

Photo of cherche
4.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DaverCS
4.28/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with a 1.5 finger head that is caramel colored. Great lacing with ample alcohol legs. Bottled 2016.

Aroma reminds me of vanilla scented potpourri. A bit artificial smelling in regards to the vanilla. Some strong, almost burnt coffee notes, marshmallow, and bitter/unsweetened cocoa. However, really phenomenal smelling beer!

Taste, to be honest, is a substantial letdown. For 30$, I would take many others before this one. I must also state that this beer is best consumed out of the fridge, do not over-chill this beer. The beers feel is on the thinner side. The beer starts with a strong roasted bitterness, dark chocolate, and burnt espresso. The middle of the moth gets some charred oak notes, with maybe just a kiss of vanilla. I’m surprised on how much this beer is lacking vanilla on the palate compared to the nose. The finish is a bit conflicted, it starts off slightly sweet, but quickly transitions into an alcohol burn and hop-like bitterness.

Overall, I probably won’t spring for another bottle from eclipse after this showing. I would happily try it at an event, but the cost is nowhere near the final product. My biggest complaint is that the beer is just too thin. It isn’t sweet enough to handle the vanilla flavor, and there just isn’t enough actual vanilla taste overall. I see this pairing well with a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream. It gets an 85.5/100.

 1,407 characters

Photo of rodmanfor3
4/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Vanilla Bean from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.35 out of 5 with 208 ratings
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