Imperial Eclipse Stout - Pappy Van Winkle (23 Year) | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
125 Ratings
THE BROS
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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Pappy Van Winkle (23 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Pappy Van Winkle (23 Year)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States
fiftyfiftybrewing.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
2008. A few (aged) cases were released in 2010.

Added by Floydster on 02-02-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
125
Reviews:
60
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
10.22%
 
 
Wants:
422
Gots:
22
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 125 |  Reviews: 60
Photo of AleWatcher
2.93/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Shared by seeswo-- thanks a lot.
Here's what chris says about his bottle when I told him that my review was flagged and deleted;
it was unquestionably a Pappy Eclipse. Bottle 83? if I recall, year 2008, unwaxed. I actually asked Todd Ashman about it via bm a while ago to confirm its authenticity.

So-- anyone with an issue regarding this review, BM me. If you're just angry I didn't give your precious whale an A+, get over it. I didn't think this was very good-- people disagree.

Looks thin. Aaaaand, it's pretty thin.

Lots of reddish hues come through on this one. Weak head, weak retention, and only the the spottiest chunks of lace.
Smells: cholately, touch of smoke, some oak and just a little hint of bourbon.
The taste is a bit bland-- the nose was too, but neither were offensive at all, just not impressive. The flavor hits the same notes as the nose, but adds a pretty boozy bite on the finish that is too hot and not quite pleasant.
Very thin feel, little oily.

Overall-- wow is this mediocre. Forget the hype, buy something else!

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Photo of jeff1973
3/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of Flabbyjandro
3/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of Jeffo
3.32/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My mate Doops and I were lucky enough to be able to try the entire 2010 - 2008 series. This is apparently the grand daddy of the set, and the oldest vintage around besides the '07 Fitzgerald, so we opened this one last. A big thanks to everyone who made putting this set together possible, and cheers again to Doops for hunting this one down. Stoked to get a chance to try this one while it's still around.

Form a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2008
Bottle: 63
Wax: Pink
Third bottling, signed by the brewer.

APPEARANCE: Probably the best looking one of the series, which isn’t actually saying much. A dark brown pour, thicker than the others, yields a small, medium looking, tan head that quickly fades to a ring and slight wisp. Black body with no carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass. This is the thickest of the bunch, but the head and lacing don’t have enough jive to get it over that ever menacing average barrier.

SMELL: Medium strength nose of barrel and base beer. Oak, vanilla and bourbon alongside notes of roasted malts and dark, pure, baker’s chocolate. This is actually relatively well integrated, with the barrel and base complimenting each other, it’s just not quite bold enough to really stand out. If this had the balls that the EC ’09 has, it would probably be quite impressive.

TASTE: Like the nose, the flavors are relatively mild on this one. Initially lacks a bit up front, but later on, some oak and caramel sweetness start showing up. A touch of licorice makes an appearance later on, but unfortunately so does some notes of cabbage. Not always the best sign. This soon moves into a nice dose of bourbon barrel, vanilla and milk chocolate at the swallow, which is nice enough. Milder yet lingering aftertaste of bourbon, toffee and caramel sweetness, and some dark chocolate and roasted notes. That cabbage that was around up front has reappeared in the aftertaste as well. This one is relatively complex and interesting, perhaps more so than the others, but it is definitely milder than the other bourbon variants, and the cabbage flavors mean it’s not always interesting in a good way.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry. Good feel and enough weight, but not quite as big as the JD variant.

OVERALL: While I was never lucky enough to have this beer fresh, I can seriously imagine that it’s seen better days. The aromas and flavors are relatively mild and have probably mellowed out over time, and a light hint of cabbage is definitely detectable, which is never a positive development. Luckily it was still quite complex and interesting, and I can imagine that it would have been much more enjoyable when it was younger, more assertive, and probably in better shape overall. This is all speculation of course, but if this is the PvW Eclipse at its best, then it is a far cry from good, let alone world-class. Quite simply, at this point, this one is not worth the asking price, and is not worth tracking down if you’re looking for a quality beer. I would suggest that if you have a bottle, do something with it, as I doubt it’s going to get any better. Thanks again for sharing Doops. One of the best beer nights of all time!

 3,313 characters

Photo of MrChopin
3.42/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Disappointment at 2 years, moderate oxidation leaving light vanilla, chocolate, and oak. Almost no pappy bourbon character and very little roasted malt bitterness. The "smoothness" descriptor I see used with this one, for me, was simply a "lacking" when compared to other imperial stouts that I tries this against. Came in #2 of the five 50-50 stouts we did (EC, EW, 4R, CBros), but considerably behind the Elijah Craig and way behind other notable stouts like Rare BCS, 7000, and Barfly.

 488 characters

Photo of BGsWo22
3.5/5  rDev -22.2%

Photo of Romulux
3.5/5  rDev -22.2%

Photo of seeswo
3.5/5  rDev -22.2%

Photo of Crosling
3.7/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draught, Boulder Strong Ale Festival. Black color. Dark tan head. Nose shows mostly barrel elements of vanilla, toast & smores. This ale, while good, had a thin mouth feel and didn't seem to have a lot of malt left. This ale didn't stand out for me.

 249 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of CityofBals
3.75/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of akang
3.75/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of jethrodium
4/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle generously shared by cpferris. Big thanks to Chad. Pours a dark brown with a small tan head that settles to a ring and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is roasty with coffee, a bit of alcohol, some vanilla, light coconut, and light chocolate. The taste has some sweetness with vanilla, bourbon, coconut, and a decent roastiness. The finish has some oak and a light bitterness. Light body. Low carbonation. This was a good, but not great beer. I'm sure it was once great, but it seems like a lot of the barrel characteristics have faded. I would prefer most of the newer eclipse variations fresh to this.

 633 characters

Photo of trappistlover
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pappy version-courtesy of dionysus at RBWG 2011-Phoenix. Pours dark brown with tan head. Aroma has beautiful bourbon aroma which is understated, if that's possible. Sweet malt and bourbon flavors with a little heat. Full bodied and creamy texture. Finish is all bourbon. This is a good beer, but other concurred that GI Rare was a bit better.

 342 characters

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A HUGE want of mine, so I owe Joe an equally proportioned 'thank you' for crossing it off of the to-do list by providing a 2010 bottle with the pink wax at our recent tasting. This was easily one of the top 3 most anticipated beers of the weekend, and we were anxious to see if it would live up to the expectations. Poured into my Duvel tulip as the 14th brew of the tasting. The 8th on day 2.

The color is obsidian black, and it seems to have that same sheen. There is an espresso foam-colored head that reaches a half finger in height before subsiding considerably. The texture looks a bit thin, and it doesn't really fit with the rest of appearance.

One of the best smelling beers that I can remember ever having. This gives even M a run for its money. Vanilla is immediately apparent. This isn't some hint of vanilla imparted by barrels, this is potent and sweet vanilla that complements the thick dark ganache and prevalent warm bourbon notes that spring out of the bulb of my tulip. Smokey roasted malt adds another dimension as well. Finally, dark fruits make an appearance, highlighted by dates and figs.

The flavor is also very good. The contribution from the 23-year-old barrels is striking. This is a bourbon bomb, but still shows remarkable balance. Oakey and full of rich vanilla, chocolate fudge flavors come through just as they did in the flavor. These are accompanied by caramel and toffee, both of which I did not find in the aroma. Finally, commingled about in the mid-palate are dates, figs, blackstrap molasses, leather, and tobacco, ebbing and flowing in a seemingly random but always well-nuanced pattern. There is a hint of prickly warmth from ethanol in the finish, but it is fleeting and manages to tie off the profile artfully.

The mouthfeel, as others have noted, is the only real weakness of this beer. Thin for the style, and while it does all it can to be big and viscous, the base is just not there enough to really deliver. Aside from that detail, this beer is definitely up there with the best that I have had.

 2,048 characters

Photo of JAXSON
4.12/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle with pink wax. Black with a thin ring on the edges. Rich bourbon on the nose, really smooth barrel, not much pronounced malt underneath, some caramel apple. Takes the barrel nicely, and it's a great barrel of course, but there's not much malt complexity or body going on. Especially right after Rare, which was way more substantial than this. In the mouth, rich dark chocolate brownie, dark chocolate cake, barrel. Some leafy oxidation. Great flavors, almost on par with Elijah Criag, but really suffers from being overly "smooth" and without much malt character.

"Here comes Kevin's next rant."

 603 characters

Photo of illidurit
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy bulletrain76. Pours inky black with a dark brown frothy head. Aroma is bourbony but not too hot. Rich chocolate, molasses, vanilla, raisins. Complex but a little muted. Flavor is really smooth and everything is in nice proportion to everything else. Oaky, coconutty bourbon without the typical ethanol shot, dark chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruit. Rich but a bit slick in mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

 417 characters

Photo of striker2160
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of leschkie
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of QuakeAttack
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of baybum
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of cultclassic89
4.27/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Pappy Van Winkle (23 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
4.5 out of 5 based on 125 ratings.
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