Imperial Eclipse Stout - Woodford Reserve Bourbon
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Woodford Reserve BourbonImperial Eclipse Stout - Woodford Reserve Bourbon
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #201
ABV:
11.9%
Score:
95
Ranked #1,010
Avg:
4.37 | pDev: 5.03%
Reviews:
24
Ratings:
138
From:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  24
Gots
  59
SCORE
95
World-Class
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Woodford Reserve BourbonImperial Eclipse Stout - Woodford Reserve Bourbon
Notes:
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 138 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by ccg:
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ccg from District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Great-looking stout. Thick legs, some lacing, great head retention. Smell is full of rich chocolate, oak, vanilla, and a hint of smoke. Flavor is similar but with a bit more smoke and bitterness on the finish. Mouthfeel is the only disappointment: it could use a bit more body. This beer was a nice treat and a great dessert. Hard to believe you can find these on the shelf.

Jul 24, 2016
More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum from Canada

4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, with the light blue (Blue Pearl in brewery parlance) speckled wax. I remember enjoying myself a fifth of the Woodford Reserve many years ago, so I'm a bit moist with anticipation here.

This beer pours a solid black hole, with the barest of basal red cola edges, and two fingers of weakly puffy, tightly foamy, and kind of chunky tan head, which leaves some rocky limestone cliff lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of somewhat acrid Bourbon barrel notes, not unlike those first few sniffs of the real deal - with the rye spiciness, hot alcohol esters, and vanilla and caramel sweetness - bittersweet chocolate, milk-dosed coffee, muddled dark orchard fruit (maybe some cherry, perhaps some prune), and a faint earthy hoppiness. The taste is fairly sweet caramel/toffee malt, a further saccharine Bourbon whiskey essence, the sort that draws you in, rather than scare you away (which is the point where I start to recognize the Woodford Reserve influence), with its heady rye graininess, and bristling, but still restrained booziness, all alongside the reduced dark cocoa and cafe-au-lait Starbucks allusions, dried cherries, a touch of dime-store candied licorice, and a still tame gritty earthiness.

The carbonation is quite light and fanciful on its feet, rendered as a flitting frothiness, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight, and plainly smooth, with a certain burgeoning creaminess, no real booze interlopers caring to interfere - nice. It finishes on the tempered sweet side - lots of easy-drinking Bourbon and imperial stout notes abounding.

Yup, that one-night stand (it was longer than that, but you get the point) with Woodford Reserve prepared me well for this particular variant of the Eclipse series - it's just quite about right. Whiskey, and stout, both working together to lull my palate and better senses into blissful oblivion. This is indeed good, if not great, and likely the best of the lot that I've yet tried, but that's a difficult statement to make in isolation.

Jan 04, 2015
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MDDMD from Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

May 24, 2020
Photo of nmann08
nmann08 from Virginia

4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

May 15, 2019
Photo of ejimhof
ejimhof from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dec 24, 2016
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage from California

4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jan 01, 2016
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Derek from Canada

4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Review #3000

Black with a thin ring of tan head, shows some leg.

Awesome bourbon aroma, comes through in the flavour as well. Modest roast and acidity, good bitterness, warming finish.

Really nice body for a big brew.

Mar 12, 2017
Photo of kwgduke
kwgduke from Pennsylvania

4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jan 23, 2016
Photo of johnInLA
johnInLA from California

4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mar 16, 2017
Photo of rand
rand from California

4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From 22 oz bomber to snifter.

Blue-pearl colored wax...looks like blue with glitter.

As usual with these, I'm not going to write a new review for each spirit, but instead refer to my original and highlight unique nuances.

This one is fresh, so it's a little more bourbon-forward than others I've had, but I'm getting a lot more oak and cherry than other spirits. Woodford is such a smooth whiskey by itself, and coupling it with one of the world's great barrel-aged stouts can only lead to good things. Yum

2015 batch edit:

JUst got back from the release party, and with the exception of the Raspberry special release, there was something not quite as tasty with this year's vintage. You can tell they're still Eclipse, and they're still tasty, but the caramelly, bourbony, vanilla-y flavors that make Eclipse so delicious are pushed aside by notes of unsweetened cocoa and dry oak. They seem a little more chalky as well, and slightly more bitter. We'll see how they age - the brewers swear that these beers are just as good fresh as cellared, but that hasn't been my experience. Even the 2014 Masterpiece was more mellow and singular on the palate.

Dec 20, 2014
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Damian from Massachusetts

4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 1 pint, 6 fl oz blue pearl wax dipped bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
Bottle Run No.: BR/3 2015
Served in a snifter

Medium viscosity, dark brown/black appearance. Like all Eclipse stout variants, this too poured somewhat thin for the style. The body was capped by a frothy, near finger tall crown that slowly fell to a thick, clingy ring. Streaky lacing stuck along the glass and lasted throughout the session.

Interesting aroma. Somewhat roasty and chocolatey. Powdered cocoa was noticeable. Bit of chocolate fudge. Huge dark fruit notes. Plums, raisins and figs came through big time. Somewhat grape-y too. Port or Cognac barrel notes perhaps. Fairly sweet overall. Slightly savory. There was also a subtle, dry yeasty quality that quickly dissipated. The nose became sweeter and more robust as the beer warmed. Some booze appeared as well. Absolutely no bourbon was detectable however.

The flavor profile was similar to the aroma but perhaps not as complex. Big roasty notes up front. Dark chocolate was noticeable. Brown sugar too. Plums and raisin notes appeared in the center. Touch of espresso. More roast on the back end. Bit of molasses. Char-like notes came through in the finish. Like the nose, there was no bourbon presence whatsoever.

Frothy and slick mouthfeel. Somewhat lighter bodied for the style. The liquid contained a zippy, bubbly effervescence that turned smooth on the palate.

While few of the Eclipse variants really floored me, I love the fact that they all have their own unique character. Strangely, this beer displayed no bourbon notes at all, but it did demonstrate an intense, deep fruity quality that made me think that this could have been aged in Port or Cognac barrels.

Mar 15, 2017
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metter98 from New York

4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short tan head that died down and left a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of bourbon are present in the nose along with notes of oak and associated vanilla.
T: Moderate flavors of bourbon from the barrel aging are present in the taste along with notes of dark malts and bits of roasted malts. The oak becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The barrel aging lends some warmth to the finish.
O: This is a nice beer to sip and savor. Although there are some traces of alcohol in the taste it is still rather drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

Jan 01, 2017
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largadeer from California

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Dec 11, 2014
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uvm2003 from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Oct 04, 2015
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StraightNoChaser from Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look: Like the other variants, dark dark brown as an Imp Stout should be, nearly opaque. Some cola highlights. Big ass tan head for a nearly 12%'r and thick creamy lacing.
smell: Much like the High West Rye. A bit of spice, in a honey roasty milkshake.
taste: does not lose anything to the nose. Chewy fudge thing on top. A slight spicy bite in the finish. As the other variants, mellow and easy drinking.

Mar 20, 2016
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mar 31, 2016
Photo of GreenMind
GreenMind from Pennsylvania

4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mar 15, 2015
Photo of maximum12
maximum12 from Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my marvelous mule, er, wife for dragging back a couple of expensive FiftyFifty bombers from her vacation, er, work trip to San Diego. 22 oz. bottle with ’Pearl Blue’ wax.

First, heartfelt thanks to FiftyFifty for ceasing their use of three pounds of wax per bottle - this was the easiest bottle of Eclipse to open yet. The pour is black with minimal red-edged highlights. The nose promises high-class whiskey; I’m not sure how to describe that, but it just reeks of silver cuff links & Wagyu steaks.

Eclipse - Woodford reserve reminds me why I spent all that money ordering these from the brewery in 2012 & 2013. The whiskey is front & center but mixed it up with the malt, bringing a charred taste (barrel or malts) & a thick sweetness reminiscent of Wisconsin maple syrup. Lovely spicing - do these barrels have any rye in them? Closes with oak, vanilla, brown sugar. Thicker than previous versions I’ve had, & tasty enough to drink with breakfast, lunch, & dinner. With naps in between, of course.

No angels singing, as has been the case with some of the Eclipse variants, but this is at least Alison Brie tasty (though I’d give her higher ’appearance’ marks - sadly, I’ve never gotten to the ’taste’ or ’feel’….what was I saying?). The barrel is the focus here, as it should be. Excellent beer.

Jan 21, 2016
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass. Vintage 2014, bottle run No. 1. Blue pearl wax.

Simple dark walnut brown nearly black body and opaque. Comes out quite shiny out of the bottle, with a chestnut hue. Head manages just under two fingers of mocha tan, with a whispy top and somewhat bubbled and thin collar. Quite clear from under the head when held to the light.

Excellent aroma on the beer. An interesting mix of berried fruit, light roast and a good nutty peanut butter sense. Mild sense of charred wood a little but with a hint of cream sensations but without the vanilla. Big and full quite excellent.

Palate comes a little wet for barrel aging. Hints of spiked whiskey, with a boozy and heated character. Mid palate fills with a good sense of cream but more of a milky sense almost like a condensed milk. Mild hinting nutty action almost gives off a coconut sweetness but not quite. Huge notes of char and roast character in the finish, nearly almost ashen and smokey. Hints of whiskey that are a bit more indistinct in flavor, but highly noticeable and doesn't seem as integrated into the beer all around.

Another interesting take on the Eclipse series, but comes off not as excellent as some of the others, and almost tastes like a spiked brew. Still quite delicious and drinkable though.

Jan 14, 2015
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BirdsandHops from Oregon

4.31/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Oct 22, 2016
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oriolesfan4 from Maryland

4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Apr 18, 2016
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billab914 from Virginia

4.29/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Jan 19, 2015
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jaydoc from Kansas

4.41/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Feb 06, 2015
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GRG1313 from California

4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dec 22, 2016
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MickeyHops from California

4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 31, 2018
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Woodford Reserve Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 138 ratings