Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams (23 Year)
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams (23 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams (23 Year)
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American Imperial Stout
4.27 | pDev: 6.56%
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams (23 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams (23 Year)
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 82
Photo of rodbeermunch
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Check it out, another Eclipse review where the body of the beer is black and the head is between 1/3 and 1/2" deep and brown in color. Aroma indistinguishable from the regulare Evan Williams, smells like you know, bourbon, charred oak, roasted chocolate malt. So far we're looking at a premium upon premium price for the standard fare result.

Taste, yeah, this is good, the standard things I just mentioned in the nose, charred barrel and roasted malt, dab of chocolate feels trip, bourbon, super light vanilla in the mouth feel, its fun to drink, but is it any different than the normal EW? No. I don't think you can differentiate between this and the normal one. Or really any of the standard bourbon barrel ones. If there was really any way I could venture a guess about this one, its just a little stronger in the nose as to the very same things in the normal version of Evan Williams. Like a hint bigger. I dunno, I just wish they would bring the regular EW and EC barrels back, very solid and reliable for about a decade!

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Photo of SHODriver
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by a finger of dense tan head that fades quickly to a collar around the edge of the glass leaving minimal lacing.
S: Smells of a lot of oak on the nose with some chocolate and coffee. There's a bit of vanilla and caramel but not much.
T: Taste is oak, dark chocolate and coffee with light caramel and vanilla with hints of nuts. The swallow on this one is more oak, with some more dark chocolate and coffee. Very little vanilla and oak but with the age of the barrel I'm not surprised.
M: This beer is big and thick on the palate with soft carbonation and a drying finish.
O: Overall it's a little too oaky but I'm not surprised. Still very good and an interesting experiment. The flavors and complexity are there but since the barrel was used for so long it doesn't have the same amount of sweet bourbon flavors as other bourbon barrel aged beers.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz Dark blue wax with sparkles, poured into an oversized wine glass
Bottled in 2014

A- pours a deep black color with a creamy khaki colored head that retains long after the pour, sticking around forever and leaving some lacing behind

S- lots of bourbon aroma up front, with notes of barrel juice, wet oak, caramel & coconut. Dark roasted malt gives aromas of fudge nut brownies, licorice, dark cherry, light ash & a hint of vanilla and toffee

T- bourbon isn't as prevalent up front, as it is with the aroma. Instead it opens with dark cocoa, brownie & caramel, the bourbon kicks in mid-palate, adding some spicy notes, along with toffee, vanilla and burnt marshmallow. The finish brings out notes of licorice, along with lingers of caramel and cocoa

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that turns silky into the finish, with just enough carbonation to keep it creamy, alcohol is quite mellow at this point

O- a nice showcase of the barrel treatment that has held up well over a nearly two years

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Photo of stakem
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a matching eclipse snifter, the brew appears black in color with a brown head a finger strong that fades leaving webby lace.

It smells roasty with minerals and earth with a little tangy bourbon element. Wish there was more barrel nuance to the nose on this.

Tastes bitter and charred almost acrid with roast like espresso, bakers cacao and earth. Some mineral element before getting boozy with some sweetness. The barrel is very subtle but provides nuance of raw oak, damp wood and faint caramel/raison.

This is medium in body and modestly carbonated. Its a nice brew but I wouldnt call it my favorite in the eclipse fact, it seems like these newer versions are lacking the depth of barrel flavors and are getting more mineral/metallic/bitter tasting which I dislike.

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Photo of pkalix
4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

getting a vinyl/chemical aroma/flavor from this one..... very, very smooth and I love hoe this tastes with a year behind it. even with the funky smell/aroma this is still a great brew. not sure how they do it but this is perpetually/consecutively/always a great brew!

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Photo of Houser
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

another solid eclipse from fiddy/fiddy. lots of chocolate and vanilla going on with this one. a little bit of spice, which i assume is from the bourbon barrel, even though ive never had the bourbon. great dessert beer!

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Photo of biboergosum
3.82/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle, the BR 2 2014 vintage, in a near black, speckled dark navy wax - seems that this brewery is getting a bit niggly with the differential wood they're employing, as it were.

This beer pours a sold black abyss, with the barest of basal cola edges, and three fat-ass fingers of loosely puffy, and generally bubbly tan head, which leaves some thick 'n chunky cobwebbed lace around the glass as it slowly bleeds away.

It smells of acrid Bourbon barrel straight off - semi-sweet grainy rye malt, toasted, and somewhat doughy caramel, vanilla, and a sharp independent spiciness - bittersweet chocolate, prominent black fruit esters (plum, overripe cherries, and plump Zeller's raisins), cold day-old coffee, metallic Nordic licorice, wet ash, and a bristling metallic booziness. The taste is sharpy dry cocoa powder, edgy Kentucky barrel notes - much more acerbic than yer expected average whiskey sweetness, with the spicy rye graininess, still mixed-up toasted caramel and vanilla esters, and booze-informed wood plank acridity - over a steady bready caramel/toffee maltiness, besotted dark fruit, gritty, earthy hops, and a still hanging over my head, but strangely hard to notice alcohol warmth.

The carbonation is fairly supportive, if not particularity zesty or fizzy, the body a so-so medium weight, and seemingly suffering from that unfortunate thinning out of its smoothness that certain barrel treatments can effect. It finishes on a strong drying trend, the malt and barrel sweetness now beholden to an enveloping alcohol overseer.

Not the most complex of these 'special' and generally overpriced iterative B-A stouts from this brewery - the whiskey in question kind of taking its few ounces of proverbial flesh from my palate and overall bearing. Overall, though, easy enough to put back, the near 24-proof booze minding its manners for the most part, in that magnanimous southern gentleman's way.

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Photo of Smakawhat
4.77/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Navy blue sparkled wax, bottle run No. 2 vintage 2014.

Deep walnut brown and nearly black body, with a milky thick control out of the bottle and extremely opaque. Super creamy mocha brown head, with a two finger retention and nice thick rounding out collar as it settles down. Spotty leopard like lacing in tiny fragments, and a thick bubbled top as well. An excellent looking stout.

Man this aroma is just subtle and extremely impressive. Fruit cake and vanilla cream explode off this thing, with a rich sense of fudge and dark chocolate. Real subtle spicy sweetness. Hints of mild agave like syrup and light powdered sugar. Nice really controlled heat with warmth but not even boozy. Smells like dessert in a glass just incredible.

Texture has a hint of light milk but with a real classic butterscotch and fudge thickness, but not extremely. Palate washes in the middle with a rinse of interesting spice and fruit berried flavors, with a candied notes almost. Blueberry, strawberry, even jammy, light charring roast, and just excellent piping heat that makes it whaff through the palate. Excellent coating all throughout with a hint of mild honey. Tobacco and leafy notes accentuate on the finish, with a real soft soft feel, mild fudge and cherries. Not much hint of tannic, whiskey, or barrel notes until the beer is almost too warm and gone a bit thin. Even then some of the whiskey angle comes out really subtle and not overpowering. All the other complexities hit real impressively.

Wow this is a winner. Not quite perfection but the fruit notes, and finding jammy tones on a big stout is just stunning to behold.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml navy blue waxed bomber poured into tulip 12/1/15

A black liquid with two fingers of mocha foam that quickly cuts itself in half then it sticks around, a couple partial rings followed by some random patches, looks great

S lots of oak and bourbon but on their own, wet moldy wood and bourbon but not bourbon barrel, hard to explain and I know I sound crazy, some chocolate, honey, bruised plum, and chewing tobacco, would be awesome but that moldy woods in the background, like walking into a damp basement, I'm really wanting to smell some Evan Williams 23 year now

T more of the same, lots of bourbon and oak, some wet wood, honey, dark fruit, no chewing tobacco, more bourbon, a little coffee comes in late, vanilla, some booze but well concealed for the strength

M silky, enough carbonation to give it some life, a little heat, some tannin grit, lots of chocolate and bourbon on the finish

O this could be a world class beer but I'm getting just a little dankness here and there, its still great don't get me wrong but it could be better

on the cusp of greatness but there's just a little something holding it back, the booze is well concealed, drinkable, lots going on, but I'm not completely sold

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Photo of GetTheYayo
3.59/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark, dark opaque brown with nice lacing. Thin mouthfeel that leaves a lot to be desired. Decent at best barrel character. Now I know why I used to see shelves of this for sale at liquor stores. The most overpriced beer I've ever had.

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Photo of vic21234
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bomber poured into a snifter. Navy Blue colored wax.

A- Pours black with a 1.5 fingers worth of khaki colored head which hangs around for awhile.

S- Smell is heavy on alcohol, along with some oak and chocolate.

T- Chocolate is heavy on the taste in my opinion before the bourbon comes through. Very bourbon heavy on the taste.

M- Thick and chewy, drinks very hot.

Not a bad beer, very bourbon forward. Would I buy it again for $30? No. I try to purchase one Eclipse a year (the one that interests me most.)

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Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Pretty typical Eclipse appearance: black, opaque, etc. If you've seen one you've seen them all.

The aroma is quite different from any other Eclipse I've tried, though. Pretty ridiculous bourbon presence, initially it smells more like a shot than a beer. After a while that starts to give way to vanilla and fudge. There isn't much heat despite the over the top bourbon character, which is surprising.

It's similarly bourbon-heavy on the palate. Not barrel, more just straight bourbon mixed with roasty, chocolatey stout. It's sort of over the top, but thoroughly enjoyable. The body is silky, medium-full. Sweetness is somewhat reigned-in. It's different from any other Eclipse I've had. While most variants show off nuances of the barrel, this one tastes like it was aged in some particularly wet barrels. Only recommended for bourbon drinkers.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams (23 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 82 ratings