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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Vanilla Bean | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

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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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 167
Reviews by kdmcguire10:
Photo of kdmcguire10
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of scottfrie
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours near black with a thin, soft, dark mocha brown head that bubbled away into a faint collar.
S: I get strong notes of vanilla, coffee and smooth buttery oak and mild caramel. Very mellow and creamy smelling. The vanilla creates and dark flavors create bring roasted marshmallows to mind.
T: The bourbon is just barely warm, and flavors or vanilla, caramel, oak and marshmallows dominate and blend well with the chocolatey and slight coffee flavors of the base beer. Oak and buttery barrel bring up the finish, and the aftertaste is semi-sweet, rich, and lingers forever.
M: Thick, full body, mellow carbonation and smooth and lightly greasy mouthfeel. Overall very smooth, rich and drinkable.
O: A very rich, smooth and well done beer. Keeping in mind that I have not had this beer fresh, I’d say the vanilla was more subdued and subtle at this point. Marshmallows all the way.

 915 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to DocJ007 for busting this one out last night at his tasting, have wanted to try this one ever since it came out.

A - Pours jet black with a small half finger tall tan head, quickly dissipating down to a very light film, leaving only a few small trails of lace on the sides of the glass.

S - Smells of intense vanilla and marshmallows, bit of caramel and toffee, chocolate and dark roasted malts. Probably the most vanilla heavy beer I have ever had, and usually that might not be such a great thing but here it really is.

T - Starts off just like the nose does with the strong vanilla and marshmallow sweetness slowly being joined by the chocolate, dark roasted malt, oak, caramel and toffee. Finish is pretty sweet with a touch of booze burn, lingering long after the finish.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Super smooth, sweet feel yet it remains easy to consume. The sweetness is strong thanks to the added vanilla but it isn't all consuming.

O - This might be my favorite variant to date. The pappy is awesome but I just loved how it packed an insane amount of vanilla into it and it can still be this smooth and easy drinking. I would love to have this one again in the future.

 1,211 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650ml ivory wax bottle from 2015. Served in a stemless glass.

Pours a dark cola brown body, half finger offwhite head, fair amount of collar and retention, no lacing. Standard BA imperial stout here. Smells of vanilla bean, milk chocolate, bourbon, oak, cocoa. The vanilla is perfectly balanced; it's there in spades but does not overwhelm the base stout which contributes a chocolate brownie presence. Flavour is similarly vanilla-forward but not so much that you don't get the cocoa, milk chocolate, hint of molasses, oak, bourbon. Balanced. Mild raw vanilla bean bitterness with cocoa helps counterbalance the milk chocolate sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, on the lower end of the spectrum for a big barrel-aged imperial stout, but more than sufficient enough. It'll never be SR-71, but most beers don't achieve that level of thickness. That being said, I would avoid drinking say, BCBS in the same drinking session. It's one of these things where it'll be glaringly obvious when there's a thicker comparison BA stout, but less noticeable on its own. Overall, a very balanced vanilla BA imperial stout with more than enough vanilla to satisfy your sweet tooth without getting to the point of cloying or diabeetus.

 1,224 characters

Photo of Jeffo
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber brought by FX to the Moeder Lambic tasting last week. Cheers gents!

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2013
Bottle 207
White wax and signed by the brewers

APPEARANCE: Pours out a transparent black, a touch thicker and blacker than I remember all the other years, yielding a small, medium looking, dark tan head with decent retention. Head fades relatively quickly to a faint wisp and ring. Black body with no carbonation evident. A splotchy wisp and ring remain until the end leaving some nice lacing down the glass. Pretty good, and better than other years.

SMELL: Heavier vanilla on the nose, with white chocolate and vanilla whey protein. Reminds me of what I used to mix up after a workout in high school. Luckily I used to love that stuff. A bit of roasted malt finds its way through, but this is mostly two dimensional vanilla and white chocolate. Luckily it's not overpowering and doesn't come across as artificial. Actually pretty solid.

TASTE: Vanilla for sure, with some white chocolate up front. A good amount of bitterness with some vanilla and coconut at the swallow. Big and lingering finish of bourbon, some oak, lots of vanilla from the barrels and the adjuncts, white chocolate, some bitter coffee from the base beer, as well as some alcohol under it all. Pretty good really, and while the vanilla is definitely in the forefront, it doesn't come off as overpowering or artificial.

PALATE: Medium-full body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly sticky. A touch of heat lingers as well. Solid feel for the style.

OVERALL: When I heard 50/50 did a vanilla variant, I couldn't help myself but think of how nasty Bourbon Vanilla Dark Lord is. I figured this Eclipse variant wouldn't be any better. Man I'm happy I was way off base there. This is actually really good, and the vanilla works well without being obnoxious or off-putting. Certainly sweet with lots of vanilla and white chocolate, but it doesn't taste artificial or cloying. Very good variant and something I would gladly drink again. Thanks for bringing it along FX!

 2,108 characters

Photo of kevanb
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle, 2015 vintage, white/ivory wax, poured into a Goose Island Rare Day snifter. Enjoyed on 12.27.2015, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a deep, jet black color, thick and viscous with a khaki head, barely hits a finger that has moderate retention but nice lace. The aroma is great, marshmallow, vanilla bean, rich chocolate, dark, malted barley with some stone fruit and a touch of graham cracker malt that really brings out a nice s'mores quality. The flavors mirror the nose, loads of dark chocolate, graham cracker, stone fruit, and the vanilla sneaks it's way up, giving way to a nice marshmallow character that again, evokes s'mores. While many vanilla beers venture into a territory best described as sugary, cloying and beyond sweet, this has such a nice balance, the barrel character is there, but not overpowering and there is hardly any bourbon character, perhaps just the faintest oak as well, playing into the graham cracker flavor, and the vanilla is so mild, but a true vanilla flavor. I was impressed with how subtle the vanilla was, but at the same time, impactful and defining of this beer. The mouthfeel is nice, coating, thicker than most Eclipse beers, lower carbonation with a full body and a warm finish.

Verdict: A really nice vanilla stout from FiftyFifty and a great addition to the Eclipse series. This beer showcases Vanilla is one of the best ways possible, restraint. While managing to blend the vanilla with all the other flavors, it really highlights how far this adjunct can take the beer. This is not an all out vanilla bomb, it's not cloying, not one dimensional or a gimmick beer. This is a well balanced, artfully crafted beer, that really speaks to my palate, which is a sweet averse palate.

 1,753 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Callmecoon
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of JakerLou
4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of mmcurran
4.14/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of buyyourfreedom
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sourdog
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of BobbysLiquors
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of acurtis
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Elumbeer
4.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of whatname
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with a nice mocha head. Thick collar and lots of wisps.

Smell - Tons of vanilla. Some milk chocolate. Not much if any bourbon.

Taste - Lots of vanilla again. Dark malt, but not quite chocolate up front. Milk chocolate builds into the back end. Vanilla comes back with oak and booziness. Makes it seem like vanilla extract.

Mouthfeel - Boozy. Medium heavy. Well carbonated.

Overall - I don't get much bourbon at all, just some oak. The vanilla becomes intrusive.

 532 characters

Photo of mobius387
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Bieniek30
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of larryarms847
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a simple dark brown and sits near black in the glass with a thin crown of light brown foam.

Tons of chocolate and fudge notes, a hint of sweet vanilla, oak, roasty, and bourbon.

Chocolate and fudge comes out tremendously. Tons of fudge followed by roasty notes and warming bourbon.

Full-bodied, low carbonation, slick, sweet, a tad thin for my taste.

Overall, this was quite delicious and easy drinking, I just wish the price wasn't $30/pop.

 451 characters

Photo of Thurgoft
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of beefbucket
4.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Treyliff
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle poured into a snifter, most recent batch

A- pours deep black in color with a small foamy white head that disappears completely, leaving nothing behind

S- mocha fudge and vanilla bean aroma up front with heavy toasted marshmallow notes. Undertones of bourbon barrel, giving notes of oak & coconut. Basically smells like a marshmallow brownie.

T- chocolate and dark fruit up front followed by light bourbon barrel notes, giving off some toffee flavor. Mid-palate brings strong toasted marshmallow that follows the nose, along with heavy whipping cream. The finish is more vanilla and brown marshmallow with a light linger of bourbon barrel

M- medium-heavy body with moderate carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and finish

O- the vanilla addition gives that marshmallow flavor throughout, it compliments the barrel treatment to provide a nice balance

 881 characters

Photo of cyrushire
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dvmin98
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Vanilla Bean from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
4.33 out of 5 based on 167 ratings.
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