Imperial Eclipse Stout - Apple-Brandy
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Apple-BrandyImperial Eclipse Stout - Apple-Brandy
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Style:
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #613
ABV:
11%
Score:
93
Ranked #2,973
Avg:
4.23 | pDev: 8.04%
Reviews:
26
Ratings:
88
From:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  1
Gots
  6
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Apple-BrandyImperial Eclipse Stout - Apple-Brandy
Notes:
Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 88 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of StoutElk_92
4.74/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2016 vintage

Pours dark with a dense creamy tan cappuccino like foam head. Smells like sweet apple brandy, baked apples, chocolate, smoky roasted malts, coffee, molasses, dark toffee, caramel, vanilla, honey, oak, some dark fruits, with earthy piney hops. Tastes real nice and balanced with rich apple brandy, oak barrel, honey, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, caramel, dark toffee, molasses, some dark fruit, baked apples, with earthy piney hops. Feels medium fuller bodied, creamy and thick with moderate smooth carbonation. Overall a real nice apple brandy barrel aged imperial stout with honey.

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Photo of DokiDokiLitFam
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2019 Eclipse. Nice looking new label.

Pours a translucent brown with a finger of medium brown head.

Nose is bright, sweet barrel presence. Mild fruit notes. Getting some cinnamon and malt. But mostly the barrel dominates. Not overbearing but dominant. Nice scents coming out of this brew.

Taste follows the nose. Bright, sweet barrel notes. Oak is strong as well. Initial sweetness followed by a hint of tart fruit. Malt blossoms out much more. Smoky roasty quality. Coffee like. A mild sweetness persists throughout. Not too heavy or sticky.

Mouthfeel is a little thin for an Imperial Stout. Smooth, mild carbonation, very drinkable, but the thin medium body is a little disappointing.

Overall a smooth, mellow brew. Apple brandy bringing a different barrel profile than the typical bourbon. Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of black cholate notes with sweet barrel-aged notes is enticing. Taste is a mix of sweet black chocolate notes with some apple brandy notes, light woody notes with a sweet finish. Body is about average with good carbonation and faint warming alcohol notes. Enjoyable but not one of my favorite from this series.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had a 16oz crowler can filled at Park Towne Beverage in Royersford.

So smooth, considering the Style, the ABV, and the barrel aging. Far more Apple than Brandy

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a cellar temp 22 oz bottle (2017 vintage) as part of a trade with @Mikeoxlong. thanks man!
Pouring the beer into my snifter, the beer pours a pitch black color with no light passing through even when held up to the lights. A thin but dense and creamy beige head foams up and remains as a sturdy surface layer throughout the sampling.
Aroma is a little boozy right off the pour with a mix of brown sugar and some dark chocolate. I also get a bit of fruity note, apples possibly but also maybe more of something like a pear. Interesting fruit character,but difficult to place. There is definitely some booze and a bit of dry toothpick wooden note in the background, but generally the nose is sweet. Hops not present on the aroma.
First sip reveals a velvety smooth texture, surprising how soft it is on my palate! Very fine carbonation that is a little tingly and the swallow makes for a slight stickiness that coats as it glides down my gullet. A little bit of warming booze after the swallow too.
Flavor is generally sweet with chocolate, brown sugar and some apple flavors mixing together. I also get a little bit of booze and brandy sweetness here. The apple notes are definitely more green apple, like a granny smith and not sweeter like gala variety. Again, I dont find any hop character on this beer.

The beer is very enjoyable in flavor, but the physical traits caught me off guard a bit with just how smooth this beer is. Very nice Imp Stout. Would buy up any additional bottles I found of this one @mikeoxlong!!

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.22/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

On tap at the brewery in Truckee. I could not finish a 4oz sample this was so bad. Flavor was like terrible brandy, smoke, just a muddled mix of garbage. How did this not get dumped? I feel bad for anyone who bought bottles.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2018 bottle. poured into an Aslin anniversary glass and allowed to warm.

L: Small very light tan head, not much retention. Only a thin ring left. Beer is almost completely black, but still a little bit in the dark browns.

S: You can definitely sense the Laird's (or whatever the apple brandy brand is) and the barrel. Also an alcohol presence.

T: Definitely dominated by the brandy barrel and baked apples, including allspice, cinnamon, etc. Very nice in that regard. It does seem to push the base stout a bit to the side and the finish is a bit alcoholic.

F: Full-bodied. A little bit of carbonation. Construction and balance are pretty good, but I feel the base stout is overshadowed a bit much and it gets boozy as it warms.

O: It's a nice variant on a stout. I do love Laird's and the like.

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Photo of emyers
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Dark brown with a half-inch tan head

Nose: Roasted malt and apple brandy. Fairly strong alcohol presence.

Taste: Apple brandy up front with a nice base of dark chocolate and roasted malt. Mild alcohol heat on the finish. Very good balanced flavor profile.

Feel: Full-bodied, medium-low carbonation. Very smooth.

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Photo of 57md
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I was excited to sample my first ever Eclipse variant. Since the single bombers are simply too darn expensive for me, I waited until I found a variant on tap for a more reasonable price. This was the 2016 version of the Apple Brandy Eclipse.

I thought the offering was a solid and well-above-average stout with a potent roasted flavor profile. However, I got very little "barrel" in the nose or flavor. Since I enjoy Apple Brandy (especially in the Fall), I was looking forward to a nice blended flavor. That part was disappointing.

If every variant is this light on the barrel, then I must wonder both what all the commotion is about and why the price-tag for this beer is so high.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color with tan head. Aroma is earthy, leafy with wood and baked apple notes. Taste is sweetish at first with caramel, brandy and dried fruits on the finish. Medium body and carbonation. Smooth, easy drinking and complex.

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Photo of mishi_d
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dark brown color with tan head, aroma is apple compote, roasted malt, wood, honey, earthy, taste is medium sweet, lightly bitter, medium body, medium carbonation.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a finger of khaki. Head retention is great. Aroma is roasty, toasty, nutty, bready malts. Apple brandy, char, caramel, and molasses add a nice kiss of heat and sweetness. Flavor profile is roasty, toasty, bready malts with char, apple brandy, caramel, molasses, and burnt sugar. It has nice ebbs and flows of heat and bite and sweet and soothing. Mouth feel is medium-thick with a chewy, filling texture. Overall, a great beer with nice sweetness.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 22oz bottle.

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Photo of maximum12
3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another bottle liberated from the clutches of CA! It’s told me it’s happier here. Little does it know it’s slated for slaughter tonight. Blue-waxed 2017 22 oz. bottle split with my wife as a nightcap.

The pour, it is almost like a moonless night, where the moon has gone behind something. I know there’s a word for that. Aroma is muted, but there is some barrel, brown sugar, chocolate, & something in the cherry family.

Imperial Eclipse Stout – Apple Brandy Barrel Aged brings the Eclipse family to a new transit (ha!). The barrel makes a marked appearance, & almost makes the stout seem fuller somehow, but it’s far more apple than brandy, just like Wham! is more Michael than Ridgeley. Smooth green apple, more alcohol than this line usually brings, brown sugar, mild roast, & enough oak to crush a double-wide. Full frontal malts. Fuller than older Eclipses (less transit, more occultation), but still plenty easy to down.

Not the best of the series, this one needed cuddling & pillow-talk before it opened up. Is it OK to call it it? Very good brew.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by a finger of dense tan head which retains well and leaves minimal lacing
S: Smells of chocolate with some allspice and some slight apple aroma and some hints of roasted malts
T: Taste is brandy and apples with some chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt flavors. There's a little oak in there as well but not a lot. On the swallow this beer is brandy sweetness with some lingering roasted malts, coffee and chocolate.
M: This beer is on the heavier side of things with a silky and smooth mouthfeel. Carbonation is there but below prickly which is fine for the style.The beer has a slightly dry finish as well.
O: Overall, this is a really interesting take on the beer. The apple brandy barrels are a nice twist on an old favorite. I think the sweetness of the spirit hides a lot of complexity that the base beer brings to the party. It's still very good and a nice change of pace.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.64/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

i have had a fair few of these now, and this might be the best of the lot for me, priced insanely fairly downtown at tupelo honey, cheaper than i have seen at retail, 2016 vintage. the beer is rich and heavy in the glass, dense shiny black with deep brown head, low rising but very stiff and lasting, sticky looking and a little intimidating. the smell of this is crazy, i still get the distinctive floral honey of the base beer right up front, amazing that it can come through such a huge dark malt base, it gets me every time. the apple brandy is intense too, i used to get whacked off of the stuff every christmas eve, and this certainly brings back some of those memories and feelings, it is impossibly forward here as well. the flavor is absurd, the fruitiness and richness of the brandy bringing up the honey in a wonderful way, its fall and winter in one, oaky and robust, earthy and intense, still packed with a ton of roast and coffee character, but made delicate by the apple element as well as the honey, both almost in front of the grain in the taste, but mild in nature comparatively speaking. espresso and maple syrup and toffee, its sweet, but there is plenty of bitter almost charred grain at the end to balance, slippery and smooth, sleek and gentle, not even boozy when it warms up. the brandy instead of whiskey is brilliant for this impressie base stout, it highlights its best features in a new way to my palate, and all at our table are blown away by the unique flavor profile and insanely high quality of this beer. this has to be my favorite version of this so far!

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Deep dark brown body, looks black at first. Couple of fingers of beige head, oily legs, ample lacing. About as good looking as an imperial stout can get.

Smells of chocolate, burnt brown sugar, and tar. There's a whiff of coconut, some toffee and/or salted caramels, and a touch of yeasty spice as well. Chocolate and some slightly acidic burnt malts take center stage.

Tastes of chocolate, some brown sugar, a hint of tootsie rolls, and plum/raisin sweetness. There is a touch of honey. The finish is a bit sweet, but mostly tar.

Mouthfeel is a bit lighter than many BA stouts at this abv. Still some stickiness to it. Finish is quite dry, despite some sweet notes on the palate.

The more BA Imperial Stouts I have, the less I like the style. But the Eclipse series never fails to impress. If you can find it, try it!

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Photo of Chcshammonde
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best Eclipse's i've had, hands down. The apple brandy barrel element was beautifully balanced with the base stout in this. A little sweet, little smoke, char, roasty malt, caramel. Really good.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Looks like the others, dark thick black with one finger of dark tan head. Dark chocolate, roasted malts, burnt malts, sweet apples, boozy sweet brandy, and toasted notes. Thick full body and moderate carbonation.

Overall another good beer but not my favorite variant...was hoping for a little more. Boozy and sweeter than some of the others, but still great if you like this series.

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Photo of stakem
3.4/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Blue wax bomber purchased via futures directly from the brewery and poured into a matching eclipse snifter. The brew is black in color with a brown head a finger tall that holds pretty decent leaving patchy lace as it slowly fades.

The aroma is roasty with earth, char, chocolate and faint oak/booziness. As it breathes the nose gets quite solvent with very subtle fruited alcohol appeal.

The taste has a bitter almost acrid character upfront of charred grain, earth, anise and a greeness akin to almost vegetal matter/yeast. There is also a mineral/carbonic character to this that is not very enjoyable. The alcohol is neutral and solvent feeling not at all like other apple brandy barrel aged examples. A faint apple note is vaguely noticed long in the aftertaste.

This is light in body with modest carbonation. A true disappointment as far as im concerned. Not sure what has happened to this brewery and line of beers but for the last ~3 years something just seems off. I sipped on this bottle for more than an hour and it wasnt until my sense of taste was nearly numbed in the last 8oz that I felt this beer turned slightly above mediocre.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pour just shy of pitch, but the blackness take form in the glass; fat thick, creamy head of dark tan... Chocolate and apple with vanilla and molasses on the nose; the taste has hints of bright apple nestled deep in rich chocolate and molasses, with honey, vanilla, and espresso running through it; rich and full-bodied, silky smooth, with a tickle of alcohol on the roof of the mouth; finishes with some sticky honey-chocolate in the corners of the mouth, and a bittersweet chocolate flavor on the tongue...

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Photo of REVZEB
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Typical brownish black shimmering body with a brown head. Smell has slight brandy sweetness with the honey, bigger vanilla and dark chocolate. Taste livens up the usual complexion of the eclipse with apple brandy, vanilla, a kiss of cinnamon, and really brings out the various dark fruits. Feel is lighter and sweeter than normal in the series, yet still thick and smooth. The wife loved it

Aging Note: Didn't change the complexion too much, aged well enough

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle purchased at AJ's Beer Warehouse in Henrietta, NY.

This one pours a very dark glossy black, with a small head, and no lacing.

Smells like oak, sweet sugar syrup, light apple brandy, chocolate fudge, and charred malt.

For whatever reason, this iteration feels way more roasty than other versions of Eclipse. It's almost got a charred feel to it. There's more apple brandy as it warms, but there's definitely not a ton. There is a good amount of very woody oak flavor, and some fudgy chocolate. The booziness level is very high, though- it makes it a bit hard to drink at times.

This is medium bodied, not quite thick enough, with a long boozy finish.

This is not the best variation in this series- it's a bit hard to drink. There are some very good aspects, though.

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Photo of IKR
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2016 Vintage
11.0% ABV

Appearance: Very dark brown bordering on black with a moderate sized dark beige head that gradually faded. consistent with other Eclipse variants this is a nice looking Imperial Stout.

Smell: Brown sugar, Apple-Brandy notes, and moderate roasted malt aromas. A unique and good smelling beer.

Taste: The Apple-Brandy bal-aging features prominently with the apple and some grape-like notes that are not present in the Whiskey bal-aged Eclipses. The profile also features roast malts, brown sugar and tannic oak notes. The tannic oak notes also feature in the taste profile and the beer finishes fairly dry. The alcohol presence is mild for the listed ABV.

Mouth-feel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation.

Overall: A good Eclipse variant with a unique taste profile. The Apple-brandy bal-aging results in a tasty and different taste profile than the usual bourbon bal-aged Imperial Stouts.

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Photo of metter98
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high dark tan head that left a large patch of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of apple brandy are present in the nose along with notes of dark, roasted malts. The apple brandy comes a bit stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste follows the smell, starting off with initial flavors of apple brandy from the barrel aging and transitioning to flavors of roasted and burnt malts.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The apple brandy lends some warmth to the mouthfeel.
O: This beer is quite drinkable considering its strength as the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of biboergosum
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz, sapphire blue waxed bottle - aged in apple brandy oak barrels, apparently.

This beer pours a solid black abyss, with very subtle basal cola edges, and a voluminous tower of puffy, rocky, and chunky brown head, which leaves a splendid array of sudsy webbed lace around the glass as it gently subsides.

It smells of semi-sweet, roasted caramel malt, rich high-test apple cider, bitter dark cocoa, biscuity toffee, black licorice, further boozy wine barrel woody notes, a twinge of day-old coffee grounds, and some very, very tame earthy and musty hoppiness. The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, alcoholic and woody applesauce, bittersweet chocolate, Scandinavian anise candies, a bit of free-agent ashiness, cafe-au-lait, and more timid leafy, weedy, and musty hop bitters.

The carbonation is actually fairly active in its caressing frothiness, the body a solid medium-heavy weight, and mostly smooth, but for a touch of tacky booze ingress slowly worming its way in. It finishes on the sweet side, with the sugary and woody apple mixing with the lingering caramel to provide a summer carnival concession stand sort of experience.

Overall, the aspects of the barrel here certainly shine through into the end product - as noted, it's a whole schwack of apple, liquor, and caramel, with some cocoa and hops tossed in for good measure. Quite good, actually, as it is at least differentiated from all those other Bourbon County expressions, and pleasantly sippable for its elevated ABV.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Apple-Brandy from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 88 ratings