Imperial Eclipse Stout - Vanilla-Coffee Barrel Blend
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Vanilla-Coffee Barrel BlendImperial Eclipse Stout - Vanilla-Coffee Barrel Blend
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From:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Style:
Stout - American Imperial
ABV:
11.9%
Score:
95
Avg:
4.33 | pDev: 5.77%
Ratings:
70
Status:
Retired
Rated:
Mar 30, 2020
Added:
Jun 02, 2014
Wants:
  22
Gots:
  13
SCORE
95
World-Class
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Vanilla-Coffee Barrel BlendImperial Eclipse Stout - Vanilla-Coffee Barrel Blend
Notes: None
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by mhksuccess:
Photo of mhksuccess
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by mhksuccess from California

pour is dark and nice head on it
smell is heavy vanilla coffee
taste is chocolate vanila nice coffee very smooth
the mouthfeel is creamy
overall this is a great beer very enjoyable and easy to drink

Dec 21, 2014
More User Ratings:
Photo of macrosmatic
3.96/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by macrosmatic from Florida

Thanks to eyebereej for sending this one to me! 2014 bottle, I'm gathering Bottle Run 1 from the handwriting on the label. 22 oz. bottle crowned in light sparkly purple wax. Poured into a Smog City tulip, and consumed 11/23/19.

I cannot grasp FiftyFifty's ongoing plan of keeping the various barrels and treatment so obfuscated. I don't feel like I should need to consult an online key or decoder ring or tome of the occult to figure out what I'm about to drink. That said...because of this strange approach from the brewery I tend to go into these completely blind as to what to expect, so it makes re-reading my tasting notes interesting when I discover what was supposed to be there.

A: Thick wax - a pain to get through. A mild "pop" when finally undone. Pours an opaque very dark brown, with a surprisingly high amount of visible carbonation for style. Forms a half-finger of tan head with good retention.

S: Nice dark chocolate, bourbon, and oak. Roasted malts, vanilla and caramel. A mix of coffee and tobacco with the roasted malts on the back end. Some dry oak also.

T: Chocolate and roasted malts, whiskey (or bourbon), and oak. More coffee than I got on the nose, plus some vanilla and vanilla wafers. Lesser notes of caramel and dark fruit. Dry oak, bourbon, and mocha-chocolate-coffee at and after the swallow.

M: Body is lean and mean – maybe a little thinner than other Eclipse variants I’ve had, but not watery. I think it fits the flavors though. Average carbonation sensation – not too much like the appearance suggested. The alcohol flavors are obvious but not too much for the beer to handle.

O: Nice flavors, and a nice barrel balance. I do think the body needs to be just a bit more substantial here – I think it’s thin enough to detract, especially without more of the roasty and tobacco flavors to make it come off more European-like execution. But the barrel character is spot on, and nice mesh of complex flavors. Of note - I assumed that the coffee and vanilla (and chocolate, etc.) flavors were all only from the beer and barrel itself. I don't know that finding out there was coffee and vanilla used as adjuncts / add-junks changes my mind about anything score-wise. But it was an interesting discovery.

Mar 30, 2020
 
4.5 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania on May 01, 2019
Photo of rodbeermunch
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by rodbeermunch from Nevada

I don't buy the Eclipse blends in bottle (or really any Eclipse in bottle anymore now that comparable quality ones are at the grocery store for half the price), but I always drink them at the Eclipse party.

Pours the usual black with 1/3" brown head. The coffee wins out olfactory wise over the vanilla, but its still present. Strangely, the coffee is just as strong in the blend as it is in the regulare coffee version. Or now they do Mocha? Or is it Mocha and a coffee one? I dunno, when you charge $25-30 a bottle my interest kinda falls off.

Taste is delicious. Like look, I can hate on the price point all day, but still acknowledge that this shit bumps. Man its so easy to drink and good. I could easily see on a weekend or vacation day just being like "you know what, F it, screw my morning coffee, lets get this day started, RIGHT, . . . lets pop a vanilla coffee Eclipse and partaaaaay. The vanilla bean and massive coffee character make the bourbon take a back seat, but still let it in the door. This is possibly the best Eclipse beer ever.

Jan 29, 2019
 
4.43 by Bilco from Pennsylvania on Jun 13, 2016
Photo of scottfrie
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by scottfrie from California

22oz bottle into snifter. 2014 release.

A: Pours very dark brown, near black, with a couple fingers of very dense and velvety mocha colored head that faded into a wispy and splashy film made up of large bubbles.
S: Smells exactly as advertised: coffee and vanilla. I’d say the coffee dominates with rich and roasted scents, but the vanilla is easily noticeable with a sweet whole bean smell. I get hints of toast, chocolate, and leather as well.
T: Follows the nose with flavors of black coffee, dark chocolate, roast, a touch of leather, and obviously vanilla. The finish is bitter from a blend of dark chocolate and black coffee flavors, and the aftertaste has lingering notes of roast, sweet vanilla, and a hint of tobacco leaf and caramel.
M: Thick body, chewy full mouthfeel, sweet up front and bitter in the finish, full and thick carbonation. Thicker than many of the variants from previous years.
O: The perfect blend of coffee, vanilla, and base flavors. The vanilla is not cloying and the coffee isn’t overbearing. Straightforward and delicious.

Apr 05, 2016
 
4.72 by DVMin98 from North Carolina on Feb 21, 2016
 
4.46 by Kurmaraja from California on Jan 17, 2016
 
4.28 by IrishColonial from Texas on Jan 03, 2016
 
4.08 by largadeer from California on Dec 20, 2015
 
4.18 by EnthusedAboutBeer from New Jersey on Oct 19, 2015
 
4.52 by Mike from New Hampshire on Sep 24, 2015
 
4.44 by earljones199 from New Hampshire on Sep 24, 2015
 
4.53 by Mikeypnh from New Hampshire on Sep 24, 2015
Photo of Dan_Inreallife
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by Dan_Inreallife from Colorado

A: Pours a rich, inky black with a short but full khaki head. Pour appears thinner than expected given the ABV and adjuncts. Head is dense but fades quickly into a thick collar and tan film, similar to a freshly pulled shot of espresso. Lacing a is sticky and coats the glass with intricate fingers.
S: All the vanilla, freshly split Madagascar vanilla beans and seeds. Sweet with hints of milk chocolate.
T: Lots of layers and depth to the flavor: roasted barley/freshly ground espresso, vanilla bean, baker's chocolate, charred oak/barrel, Bourbon element is subtle on the finish. Zero alcohol presence, some residual sugar, but not cloyingly sweet by any means.
M: Could use just a bit more body, mouth feel is slightly thin for what it is. Carbonation is right on point, the beer does a good job of coating the palate without being syrupy, but again, some chewiness for this style is desired.
O: Easily the best Eclipse I have had to date. Balance, depth, overall flavor, nuance.

Sep 03, 2015
 
4.5 by PA-Michigander from Pennsylvania on Aug 02, 2015
Photo of Jeffo
4.04/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by Jeffo from Netherlands

Got this one from ScottO a while back. Cheers man!

From a bomber into a snifter
BR 1
Vintage: 2014

APPEARANCE: Pours a clear dark brown and yields a three finger, medium looking, creamy tan head with very good retention. Clear black body with lower levels of carbonation. Head slowly fades to a good full cap and leaves lots of good lacing down the glass. A ring and slight wisp remain until the end leaving lots of nice lacing as the glass empties. Good looking though slightly lighter for the style.

SMELL: Nice coffee, sweet cream, vanilla, milk chocolate, oak, bourbon, coconut and butterscotch on the nose. Cacao powder as well. Really nice, balanced and bold aromas. Lovely.

TASTE: Not quite as impressive as the nose had led on, but still nice. Coffee, sweet cream and vanilla up front. Flavorful enough, with some bitter coffee and chocolate at the swallow. A bold and lingering finish of bitter espresso, dark chocolate, vanilla, sweet cream, coconut, bourbon and oak. Sweet milk chocolate as well. Really nice stuff though the nose is perhaps a touch more impressive.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes a bit mouth-coating. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: Really good stuff all around. Nose is perhaps more impressive than the palate, but it's impressive and enjoyable non-the-less. The look could be a bit blacker, but that's really the only minor complaint worth noting. These Eclipses have really improved over the last couple years and this is good evidence of it. Recommended.

Jul 05, 2015
 
4.51 by billab914 from Virginia on May 22, 2015
 
4.5 by siege06nd from Virginia on May 22, 2015
 
4.34 by blacknyellow20 from Ohio on May 10, 2015
Photo of CHickman
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5
by CHickman from New York

Bottled 2014, Bottle Run No. 1: Pours pitch black color with zero sign of light coming through and a thick 2 finger creamy dark tan head that faded very slowly and left very good spotty lacing, a creamy layer on top and rings as it went down.

Smells of burnt coffee grinds, burnt cappuccino, smoke, cocoa powder, molasses, vanilla, oak, burnt grains, charred wood, hints of red wine, bourbon, more coffee like a burnt Starbucks and a whiff of floral hops. No clue how that light aroma of hops come through with all the rich, burnt coffee and lingering booze, but it does show up and adds even more complexities to this lovely aroma. The coffee really is the star of the show and works well with the malts and barrel notes.

Tastes like it smells with rich fresh coffee beans and burnt coffee grinds up front, followed by dark chocolate, cappuccino, smoke or ashy notes, cocoa powder, molasses, vanilla, oak, burnt grains, charred wood, light black licorice, heavy bourbon, Starbucks bold coffee, floral hops, peat moss and more woody and earthy notes. The bitterness is aggressive as I expected from the nose and initial flavor blast, but the coffee seems to give way to the chocolate and vanilla; the burnt and roast notes remain a constant, and while this beer warms you up the alcohol is not overbearing. The earthy complexities from the oak barrels come out more as it warms and I found this extremely flavorful and a nice slow sipper. Bourbon lingers with a mild sweetness as it fades.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side for such a bold brew, but it is creamy and slick, flowing down easier than it should considering the ABV. Aftertaste is pretty bitter, with the coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate and floral hops all showing up again before it fades to bourbon, oak and a mild sweetness.

This was in my wheelhouse and really enjoyable. It may be too bitter and too coffee heavy for some people, but I love a great coffee stout especially with bourbon barrel aging to enhance the dynamics and complexities. I will definitely seek this out and try to drink it again. Thanks to my cousin 'Boccu' for hooking me up with this bottle.

May 09, 2015
 
4.5 by bcm75 from Illinois on May 02, 2015
 
4.45 by aquazr1 from California on Apr 16, 2015
 
4.83 by Swervine44 from California on Apr 15, 2015
 
4.34 by kiki3drt292 from California on Apr 10, 2015
Photo of maximum12
3.79/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
by maximum12 from Minnesota

Thanks to Riprap for this bottle in my continuing quest to ingest all things Eclipse. And for the haters that say it’s thin or this or that? Well, they’re idiots. All of them. You too, if you’re one of them. 22oz. bottle with purple & white wax split with my wife.

The pour is after dark. Looks like every other Eclipse stout, which speaks to its consistency. Or maybe speaks to it being a stout? I’d be really confused if it was green. The smell is what I want to have shoved up my nose when I’m in a coffin: vanilla, coffee, marshmallow, sweet chocolate. But mainly vanilla. Real, lovely vanilla.

Eclipse Stout – Vanilla Java has less of the title & more of the Hershey. Strong chocolate is on the front lines mingled with a shot of strong coffee, the combo reminds me of a lovely chocolate shop in Belgium where we stuffed our faces with enough chocolate to kill a small sperm whale. Except less good. The vanilla has an unreal edge. Strong bitterness mid-palate, bare echo of barrel, nice sharp oak. Finish is winter skin dry, I can feel the skin flaking off my tongue.

I have a reverence for the Eclipse stouts, but this one just didn’t measure up to what you'd find on ancestry.com. The components just don’t work together well enough. Good.

Apr 04, 2015
 
4.12 by fehrminator from North Carolina on Mar 21, 2015
 
4.52 by LakerLeith from California on Mar 16, 2015
Photo of Sumdeus
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Sumdeus from Indiana

Pours black with a brown head that quickly dissipates into thin a thin ring.

Great vanilla aromas! Decently sweet aroma.

Taste is initially vanilla sweet but transitions into a roasty coffee with bitter coffee flavors.

It feels good, but I wish it was abut thicker or more syrupy. But that's a personal preference.

Mar 04, 2015
Photo of stakem
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
by stakem from Pennsylvania

Bomber poured into a matching eclipse snifter. I guess they have officially run out of wax color options as this one utilizes a double dip/color pattern. The brew is dark brown in color with a khaki head. As the cap fades, some webby lace sticks.

The smell is big with vanilla upfront and almost a nutty grain aspect. Some citrus and earth/char roast. Once warm a fairly noticeable coffee character emerges that was previously muted.

The flavor has sticky vanilla sweetness upfront blending to some nutty grain. A hearty carbonic character is noticed as well as herbal earthiness and day old coffee oils. More coffee comes out as it warms but it fails deliver any fresh coffee inclusion.

This is medium bodied with a very smooth feel somewhat exaggerated by the vanilla additon. It has a moderate level of carbonation and the alcohol is well integrated. I thought something was up with this bottle, but after drinking a couple other versions of eclipse this year ive found that im not really digging the base beer this year.

Mar 03, 2015
 
4.12 by thegerm87 from Massachusetts on Feb 28, 2015
 
4.2 by Kegatron from Pennsylvania on Feb 28, 2015
Photo of steveheady
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by steveheady from South Carolina

One of the best coffee stouts I have ever had. Not too much vanilla notes here but very well balanced. Needs a thicker mouthfeel to send it over the top

Feb 17, 2015
 
4.48 by Marco_Gtz from California on Feb 09, 2015
 
4.23 by MarkyMOD from Colorado on Jan 31, 2015
 
4.5 by pmarlowe from Virginia on Jan 27, 2015
 
4.42 by Soneast from Wisconsin on Jan 25, 2015
 
4.27 by brotherloco from California on Jan 25, 2015
 
4.5 by Corburk from Pennsylvania on Jan 25, 2015
Photo of SHODriver
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by SHODriver from North Carolina

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep black with a half finger of dense dark tan head that fades somewhat quickly to a small collar around the edge of the glass
S: Smells fantastic with notes of espresso, chocolate, roasted malts, a little bourbon and some vanilla
T: taste is coffee, vanilla, a little bourbon and caramel with some oaky barrel flavor and more coffee with a little roasted malt. swallow is coffee, roasted malt, a little more of that bourbon barrel and some slight lingering vanilla
M: big and viscous in the mouth with soft carbonation and a slightly drying finish
O: Absolutely an incredible experience. Huge coffee and vanilla notes with some great complexity from the base beer. I can't sing this beer's praises enough. It was expensive but my goodness is it worth it.

Jan 24, 2015
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Vanilla-Coffee Barrel Blend from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 70 ratings