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
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #885
Ranked #4,298
4.23 | pDev: 4.96%
Apr 10, 2021
Dec 07, 2018
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Basil HaydenImperial Eclipse Stout - Basil Hayden
Notes: None
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4.5 by dsshuck from Delaware on Apr 10, 2021
Photo of Guaro
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Guaro from Italy

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
4.04 by Dharmelink from Wisconsin on Nov 01, 2020
Photo of SLeffler27
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
by SLeffler27 from New York

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
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by hoptheology from South Dakota

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
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by maximum12 from Minnesota

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
4.35 by BeerBeast from Florida on Jul 01, 2020
Photo of REVZEB
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by REVZEB from Illinois

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
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by BFCarr from New Jersey

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
4.68 by Gagnonsux from Texas on Mar 07, 2020
3.53 by johnInLA from California on Mar 06, 2020
4.17 by Sirnickatnite from Texas on Feb 06, 2020
Photo of dental
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by dental from Massachusetts

(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
4.03 by FLBeerGuy from Florida on Jan 12, 2020
Photo of WickedBeer
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by WickedBeer from Alabama

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
4.25 by djrn2 from New Jersey on Jan 04, 2020
4.29 by ColForbinBC from New Jersey on Jan 02, 2020
Photo of IKR
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by IKR from California

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
4.13 by Zazzi82 from Tennessee on Dec 18, 2019
Photo of AmeriCanadian
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by AmeriCanadian from Tennessee

Really exceptional. A little thin for 12% and largely in line with expectations based on categorization, but the aroma and taste profiles are really outstanding. Plenty of dark chocolate, earthy, roasted malts, dark fruits, and tons of barrel notes (toffee, vanilla, tobacco, brown sugar, etc). But remarkably dry for a big BA stout. There's obviously some residual sweetness in the mix -- this isn't overly bitter -- but the sweetness is very reserved, allowing for steady drinking (versus being overwhelmed by the decadent sweetness and finding it impossible to drink much, like many huge BA stouts) and a wonderful appreciation for the barrel notes without being hit by heat or booze. Really unique in its lower levels of sweetness without sacrificing anything in terms of flavors or complexity. Extremely well done, and glad to see they just released another BH version in 2019.

Dec 09, 2019
4.24 by KAP1356 from Pennsylvania on Nov 11, 2019
Photo of metter98
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by metter98 from New York

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a half finger high light tan head that has very good retention properties and consistently left a short head covering the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of bourbon whiskey are present in the nose along with associated notes of oaky vanilla.
T: The taste follows the smell and has flavors of bourbon whiskey along with notes of dark and chocolate malts. Some hints of butter and vanilla are also perceptible.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation with some warming notes from the alcohol.
O: I enjoyed the unique aromas and flavors that were imparted by the Basil Hayden barrel aging. It definitely tasted strong, but the only real alcohol you got in the taste was that from the bourbon whiskey.

Note: 2018 vintage

Serving type: bottle

Aug 23, 2019
4.25 by ppavlick from New Jersey on Jul 04, 2019
3.87 by TheGent from New Jersey on Jun 03, 2019
4.1 by Cpmitchno1 from Virginia on May 15, 2019
4.44 by nmann08 from Virginia on May 14, 2019
4.25 by Prost76 from New Hampshire on May 11, 2019
4.25 by brittanylicious from Indiana on Mar 23, 2019
4.25 by heysuz from Indiana on Mar 23, 2019
4.46 by BEER88 from Washington on Mar 02, 2019
4.27 by GreenMind from Pennsylvania on Feb 16, 2019
Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Thomas_Wikman from Texas

I was surprised how tasty this imperial stout was. I have to admit I am not very familiar with 50/50 but some of their stuff needs more attention. I should add I ordered a batch of different kinds of Eclipse. What I didn't like is that they used the same bottle for all their products except for a hand written code. Greats stouts but cheapy bottles.

Look: Black with an inch thick mocca colored head

Aroma: It has a nice aroma of roasted malts, chocolate and bourbon

Flavor: The flavor is roasted malts, chocolate, raisins, honey, but above all there's bourbon, significant bourbon.

Feel: full body, viscous, strong, but quite drinkable

Jan 07, 2019
Photo of rodbeermunch
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by rodbeermunch from Nevada

Had this last night at the FIftyFifty Eclipse Party 2018. Like all of them, this one pours black, like, . . . an. . . eclipse! Durr. Brown head 1/2" cola like. Looks like some damn good shit on tap. This one was no frills just a hefty dosing of bourbon in the nose. No adjuncts, no games, just straight up show up and take your clothes off and get down to business. This was one of the strongest smelling barrels of the night.

Taste followed the nose as they say. Hefty bourbon tones but with a mouth feel that doesn't exude booziness. I mean, these guys are the masters of this shit. While this year continues the trend of a thicker base it is exceedingly fitting for something like this. Its elegance is its force and simplicity. Just a hefty roasted malt base that doesn't have a big time bitterness despite it being well hopped, roasted and then put into a strong suggestion of a very wet barrel.

Its yet another strong bourbon quotient, I would compare it to the Josef Magnus barrel as its closest cousin in the lineup.

Dec 07, 2018
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Basil Hayden from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 33 ratings