Imperial Eclipse Stout - Basil Hayden
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Basil HaydenImperial Eclipse Stout - Basil Hayden
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FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #944
Ranked #4,183
4.23 | pDev: 4.73%
Jun 04, 2023
Dec 07, 2018
No description / notes.
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Photo of jlindros
Reviewed by jlindros from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
2019 vintage
Pours a frothy 1/2 finger brownish head with moderate retention, good lacing, jet black color beer

Nose brings lots of chocolate, dark and ganache, a little sweet fudge, chocolate covered cherry, hot cocoa, a bit of vanilla oak and baking spices but little actual whiskey, hint of roast and coffee, nougat and marshmallow

Taste brings dark malts, a bit roasted with dark coffee, into more dark chocolate, but also licorice and baking spices, nougat, burnt marshmallow, chocolate ganache and cocoa, mild overall roast with mild bitterness from roast and hint of spicy hops, some vanilla from the barrel and a touch of sweet bourbon, raw cocoa and espresso notes late, a bit of a fudgey finish but sticky sweet, cocoa butter, espresso, baking spices, mild spicy hop bitterness and hint of bourbon lingering

Mouth is full bod, rich smooth creamy almost chewy, med to a bit higher foamy carb, a mild smooth warming alcohol

Overall pretty nice, the base beer is always good, barrel aging smoothed it nicely but didn't add much bourbon
Jun 04, 2023
Rated: 4.5 by dsshuck from Delaware

Apr 10, 2021
Photo of Guaro
Reviewed by Guaro from Italy

4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Almost totally black with creamy and persistent hazelnut foam. Sweet notes of vanilla, cocoa, cherries and plums, caramel, bourbon. On the palate the sweet path, chocolate, vanilla, dark fruit, is balanced by acidic notes of toasting and by a dry and bitter finish and by a nice alcoholic warmth with a warm embrace of bourbon.
Medium-full body not particularly velvety and low carbonation.
Dec 26, 2020
Rated: 4.04 by Dharmelink from Wisconsin

Nov 01, 2020
Photo of SLeffler27
Reviewed by SLeffler27 from New York

4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
A jet black (SRM 40+) beer with one-half inch, chestnut head. The head is fine and creamy, with some large, rocky spots. A coating of fine glittering lace washes away with no viscous film on a PBGC Aromatic Snifter.

Roasted malts are saturated with bourbon from the initial whiff. This is sweet, with clear notes of peat. Baker's chocolate follows, while dried fig fills the gaps along with brown sugar. Warmth reveals oak and vanilla, though only slightly. Alcohol fumes become more intense with warmth.

The sweet/bitter balance is quite well done. Both are high and neither are oppressive or distracting. Peat flavors are quite distinguished, while brown sugar is also obvious. Figs add a pleasant counterpoint. Bourbon plays the role of connecting these disparate flavors. The finish allows bitterness to slightly overtake the sweetness. Warmth has little impact initially, however, extended warmth reveals a mild and unpleasant acrid note that clings.

With a syrupy texture, this beer has a very full body. Carbonation lightly prickles, and alcohol is prominent, though short of boozy. Residual sugar builds on the lips.

The Eclipse Series is very enjoyable in general. They all seem to lend themselves to reading, with or without a cigar. I enjoyed this one at the end of a well-deserved and relaxed weekend, while storms rumbled outside.
Sep 13, 2020
Photo of hoptheology
Reviewed by hoptheology from California

4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
2018 vintage, green wax, an obscure "BH" in the identity box.
Purchased in Chatt TN on a Fifty-Fifty BOGO Sale.
Glugged into a smokestack snifter.

Deep dark pour yielding a nice 1/2 finger of beige head. Leaves some spotty lacing as the glass is swirled.

Aroma is imperial stout heaven. Tons of wonderful burning hot fudge, caramel, oak, tobacco, mineral, and molasses.

Flavor brings a basic imperial stout profile with dark roasted/charred malts and some stiff oak. The rye is strong in this one. The basil comes in but brings a weirdness that doesn't really play well with the rest of the beer. Some piney hop comes in and steals the show. It just comes across as a "stiff" tasting stout to me.

Feel is decidedly thinned out from the barrel, giving off a more medium body. Nice burning alcohol. Is smooth and slightly oily as well.

Overall, not as impressed with this as I thought I'd be. It has nearly zero sweetness, something that a barrel aged beer should have. As stated, very stiff tasting. No middle. It's still a quality beer with some noticeable depth but something definitely got lost in translation. I will definitely finish it, but I don't think I'd chunk down the change for another bottle any time soon.

Price paid : $22.99 / (also BOGO)
Would purchase again : Nope
Aug 31, 2020
Photo of maximum12
Reviewed by maximum12 from Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Green waxed 500ML bottle that hasn’t done much to increase its affordability since the line was released over a decade ago, when stouts of this quality were far harder to locate.

Black with a persistent black ‘do & a nose that’s all steely-eyed rye whiskey. Not a bad thing at all. Beer? Nein.

Imperial Eclipse BH (Basil Hayden) was summoned from moist, wet, damp, dripping barrels. The palate is immediately awash in bourbon with a distinct edge of spicy rye, white pepper, black pepper, & an herbal note I cannot pin down. The stout presents quietly as dark roast, dark caramel. Thick, rich, & very dry. Not going to have any trouble deep-throating this small bottle.

The barrel really makes this beer & the spiciness lends it an air of sophisticated aloofness rarely seen in non-whaled-up stouts. Just nudges its way into the excellent category.
Jul 04, 2020
Rated: 4.35 by BeerBeast from Florida

Jul 01, 2020
Photo of REVZEB
Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Aged bottle 1.5 years. Brownish black with tan ring and lazy lacing. Smell focuses on the oak and whiskey with accenting vanilla, light cocoa, fig, and some brown sugar. Taste follows this complexion, honey and malts come into view as well. A little thinner than other eclipse, but very smooth yet shaped by the barrel, sneaky rustic. Nice variant, not sure why people are down on the series. The wife loved it
Apr 30, 2020
Photo of BFCarr
Reviewed by BFCarr from New Jersey

4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
2019 Vintage 500ml bottle
Pours dark brown/black with a slight tan head. Aroma is light bourbon, sweeter than smoky. Taste is mild dark fruit with enough bourbon notes to let you know it's there. Feel is a nice and thick and not burning for a 13% beer. Overall, you can't go wrong with this Eclipse if you like bourbon stouts. Definitely recommended.
Mar 21, 2020
Rated: 4.68 by Gagnonsux from Texas

Mar 07, 2020
Rated: 3.53 by johnInLA from California

Mar 06, 2020
Rated: 4.17 by Sirnickatnite from Texas

Feb 06, 2020
Photo of dental
Reviewed by dental from Massachusetts

4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
(2019 vintage)
pours black with a nice and thick khaki-colored head, great looking stout. Very good retention that simmers down to a ring around the glass and a very light layer of film-like head left in the middle.

the nose has some dark chocolate, bourbon, oak, and dark fruit. the bourbon and oak really stand out when i take a big whiff, fantastic!

the taste follows the nose but with more emphasis on the dark fruit. there are also some great notes of brown sugar and caramel as well. at 13%, it's not overly boozy and the bourbon doesn't overwhelm. it compliments all of the other flavors quite well.

it's a tad bit lighter in the body than what i like in a stout of this abv, but certainly not light-bodied. a creamy and decently carbonated mouthfeel make this very easy-drinking for a beer that's 13%.

overall, a fine barrel aged-stout that doesn't need any gimmicky adjuncts to make it a great beer. i'm honestly a little surprised at how good this is, as i've never had anything by FiftyFifty. hopefully, the store i bought this at still has the high west and bookers variants next time i stop in.

Jan 21, 2020
Rated: 4.03 by FLBeerGuy from Florida

Jan 12, 2020
Photo of WickedBeer
Reviewed by WickedBeer from Alabama

4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2019 Eclipse Basil Hayden - On draft.

Good viscosity, not much of any rising head and it settles fairly flat into the glass. No noticeable lace retention.

Sweet, stewed fruits on the nose. Subtle booze from the barrel, but the raisin really shines here. Not much else happening.

Nice increased complexity on the palate, really seeing that Basil barrel come through. Still very dark fruit-forward, but undertones of oak and bourbon contrast the iconic honey sweetness on the base and balance everything out really well. You could say maybe a touch hot, but I wouldn’t wait on this too long before cracking.

Smooth, low carbonation. Mildly syrupy but the ABV goes down easily.
Jan 08, 2020
Rated: 4.25 by djrn2 from New Jersey

Jan 04, 2020
Rated: 4.29 by ColForbinBC from New Jersey

Jan 02, 2020
Photo of IKR
Reviewed by IKR from California

4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
2019 Vintage
500 ml

Appearance: Black with a generous sized thick beige head that gradually faded. The head stayed thick for a while and slowly subsided to a ring. Very good looking stout.

Smell: Moderate Bourbon notes and brown sugar aromas.

Taste: Moderate Bourbon, roast malts, mild caramel/brown sugar, a touch of black pepper spice, and drying tannic oak notes. The finish is fairly dry.

Mouth-feel: On the light side of medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. For some reason this one came off a little thinner than the other 2019 variants I've had.

Overall: I'm an Eclipse fan and this one was yet another tasty Eclipse variant. This beer was on the drier side compared to most other Eclipse variants but I found it tasty with it's own unique taste profile. Another demonstration of what different barrels used for bal-aging does to the taste profile of the same base beer.
Jan 02, 2020
Rated: 4.13 by Zazzi82 from Tennessee

Dec 18, 2019
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Basil Hayden from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 34 ratings