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

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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 spycow
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of oline73
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was in a bottle with pink wax signed by the brewer. Served in a tasting snifter.

The beer pours a dark, almost black color with not much head at all. There isn't much carbonation but that seemed appropriate. The first thing I notices was how intense the bourbon flavor still was after over 4 years. There wasn't much alcohol heat at all, but the bourbon flavor was intense and wonderful. The sweetness from the malt compliments the pappy barrel and there is some dark fruit and mild chocolate in the mix as well. The beer smelled almost as good as it tasted. I would love to have more, but I'm not sure I'll have the chance. This was a real treat.

 653 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of largadeer
4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was shared by jh1982 and Jmoore50 - thank you, guys. This is from one of the original 2008 bottlings, not the more recent one. I've had this on tap a few times before, but this is my first taste from a bottle.

Black with ruby red highlights, a small collar of foam forms from the light carbonation. This is a beautiful imperial stout, not too oily or thick, but very inviting.

It has an outstanding aroma, like a licorice-infused chocolate truffle drizzled with caramel. There's noticeable bourbon too, but it's balanced rather than overpowering, along with hints of vanilla and dark, earthy fruit.

The palate is exceptionally mellow, displaying plenty of complex with no trace of alcohol or heat. Bittersweet chocolate flavors meet caramel and vanilla from the barrel, with undertones of black licorice and coconut. It's not terribly viscous, nor is it thin, and it's only carbonated enough to scrub the palate slightly. The finish is fruity, chocolatey, lightly tannic and bittersweet, almost vinous.

As good as this is right now, it's hard to say where this beer will go in the future. I'm inclined to say that it's pretty much at a peak and won't improve from here, because there's really nothing to improve, no heat or harshness remains. If you have a bottle, now is a safe time to drink it. I have my doubts that it will still be this good in a year.

 1,365 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to nerd for providing this at the post-Christmas tasting in Chicago. Served in my Cantillon tulip. Like others have said, this one was far and away the best of the "Pappy barrel" blind tasting we had. Unwaxed bottle from the 2nd release.

Pours near black with a very thin tan head without too much retention. Given the age, I won't complain too much. Looks pretty good, all things considered. The nose is pretty impressive with a really nice aroma that I've come to know as that coming from Pappy barrels. Really great bourbon character here. A bit of sweetness and chocolate there as well.

The taste is right up there with it. Amazing bourbon presence coming from the Pappy as well as a fantastic chocolate character and a nice amount of sweetness. Some mild roast sitting there in the background. Really quite smooth. The mouthfeel is where this really hit high gear with me--some booze but this is incredibly smooth and the barrel character is fantastic. Really incredibly smooth and drinkable all around. Thanks again, Mike.

 1,043 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of duceswild
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I traded dearly for this one. I had heard it was top notch and I was expecting it to be as such. Luckily I was no where near disappointed with what I was presented with. Served at cellar temp and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/16/2009. Bottle number 100 from the 2008 vintage.



Dark as night, black as an abyss, and this thing looked evil as it came out of the bottle. No light penetrating through at all, nothing, with a big head of two inches of chocolate foam on the top of it. Faded down gently leaving behind nothing more then sticky, very sticky webbing along the sides and tons of chocolate goop. The aroma may well have been one of the best I have ever come across, if not the best. Reminded me of BA Speedway in its thick bourbon, and vanilla notes. Just layer after layer of molasses and vanilla, sooo inviting and perfect. As I leaned in for a sip, rich waves of chocolate malts, molasses, light tobacco notes and seething vanilla just coat the tongue like a warm blanket. So smooth and delicious, this was your classic big barrel aged stout. A little bit light on the feel for me as I would have liked it to come across a bit thicker, but still another here to disappoint in any way. Super sippable, but it made for a one bottle night.



Overall an instant classic for me and something I was thrilled to be able to have I would have to tell you to go seek this one out as quickly as you can, it is really just that good.

 1,460 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From 04/30/11 notes. Got to try this at Dark Lord Day thanks to the ever generous Sean9689. After seeing Geist's review, it looks like this bottle was thanks to nerd; huge thanks man, next time we meet I owe you a beer.

a - Pours a thick, pitch black color with only a few bubbles of tan head and light carbonation evident. Not overly impressive looking, but good none the less.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, rich milk chocolate, dark chocolate, roasted malts, light fruit, and light vanilla. I've had a few PVW aged beers where I didn't think the higher quality barrels really shone through, but having had the EW and 4 Roses version of Eclipse, this one was really outstanding. Amazing nose.

t - Tastes of bourbon, milk chocolate, oak, vanilla from the oak, roasted malts, caramel/toffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits, and maybe some light coffee. Again, really great; an amazing tasting stout.

m - Medium to full bodied stout on the full size, and low carbonation. Thick and chewy, very smooth and nice for a stout. Not a lot of alcohol warmth.

o - Overall I thought this was an amazing stout. I love the 3 Eclipse stouts I've tried so far, but this one was the best. Very glad I was able to try it and would love to again sometime.

 1,237 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An enormous round of thanks to Jeff for breaking this one open at Sour Fest. I've wanted to try this one for a long time.

A: The pour is black is night and menacingly viscous. The head is about a finger's worth of dense tan/brown foam.

S: The nose is what you expect from a great barrel aged imperial stout. Rich and smooth chocolate, a hint of vanilla, maple syrup, graham cracker, and soft notes of roasted malt.

T: The flavor is even better. Lots of semi-sweet chocolate, vanilla, dark and overripe fruits, bourbon, and a hint of maple syrup. This is decadence in a bottle.

M: The body is thick and full, but not overly heavy or syrupy. Subtle carbonation that works almost perfectly.

D: This beer was just way too easy to drink. Absolutely wonderful flavor to it and no discernible alcohol/heat at all.

 811 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by nerd. Thanks Michael!

Served in my Darkness tulip before Paul, in his infinite sense of entitlement, broke the goddamn thing. The beer is near black, with a thin, tan head that hangs out briefly before leaving a few random spots of lacing behind. The aroma is very inviting, with bourbon and roast at the forefront. The beer tastes wonderful, is well balanced, and full of flavor. The feel is exceptional, and is silky smooth on the palate, though not as big or full bodied as I might have expected. Terrific feel nonetheless. The PVW barrels shine through brilliantly. This is so easy to drink. Overall, a terrific barrel-aged stout, and one I would really enjoy having again...and again.

 707 characters

Photo of stakem
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 unwaxed bomber poured into a matching Eclipse snifter. The brew appears black in color and still looking with no head. As it warms up and is swirled, some large brown bubbles collect around the edge of the glass. No real head/lacing effect other than the clear legs of alcohol that droop down the side of the glass.

The smell includes notes of wood and spicy bourbon. Some raw oak and raisin-like fruit character. More sniffs reveal a deeper sence of dark fruit like dates/plum mixed with soft roasted grain and chocolate to vanilla that was extracted from the oak during the aging. It is mildly tangy and spicy with alcohol across the back.

The taste is unmistakeable boozy and slightly spiced pappy bourbon. Mid-palate are flavors of chocolate covered raisons and some earthen oak notes. There is a slight oxidative quality to this that lingers with a musty oak quality that layers the flavors and does not distract like oxidation sometimes can.

This is a medium bodied brew with a very low amount of carbonation. This really is a stellar offering that is a boozy sipper. Having now consumed nearly every Eclipse barrel treatment/blend with the exception of some of the newest ones, I can firmly state this is a standout. I cant wait to try this again side by side with the 20 year when it gets released.

 1,314 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of imperialking
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of t2grogan
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of MasterSki
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to jhenry04 for this one. I tried multiple ISOs before he hooked me up. Shared at Derek's insane tasting, and definitely one of the highlights of the evening.

A - Looks a lot like the Czar Jack consumed beforehand. A hint of transparent brown at the fringes of an otherwise black body. Dark mocha foam that slowly dissipates to a thin cap and ring, and leaves some patchy lacing.

S - Full of earthy barrel, dark fruits, smoke, caramel, vanilla, and maple. You can definitely tell this is a high-end bourbon barrel in use, as this is rich in flavor and low in booze or harshness. Let this one warm to get the full impact of all the flavors.

T - The taste is even better than the smell, with a superb balance of sweetness, wood, Pappy Van Winkle bourbon, and all the aforementioned flavors from the nose. The sweetness is definitely in the maple and caramel realm rather than the typical chocolate flavors and I think it works well to keep the beer from becoming to bitter or harsh. This is a reference quality barrel-aged stout.

M - Medium-thick body that is more than sufficient for the 9.5% ABV. Lightly tannic, and also sticky and chewy. Lower carbonation, but still lively.

D - I am depressed that this beer is going to be almost impossible to acquire again, and isn't one of the announced 2010 offerings from FiftyFifty. Among a utterly spectacular lineup of beers that included Yellow Bus, M, Dirty Horse, and Zhukov's Final Push this was "best in show" for me.

 1,483 characters

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of yourefragile
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of fthegiants
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of HopHead84
4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

7/30/2010

Shared by Jeff at Sour Fest 2010, but it was a bit hectic so I was unable to review it, thanks though. This review is from a bottle purchased from City Beer Store a few months back. 2008 vintage, the only vintage, poured into a snifter. The beer is impenetrable black with a one inch silky dark brown head.

The aroma is a beautiful blend of brown sugar, bourbon, maple, dark chocolate, sugar cookie dough, and oak. It's very well balanced and incredibly expressive, one of the best aromas I've beheld on a beer of this style. Light vanilla notes are evident with further warming. There's a light booze sting in my nostrils when I plant my nose deep in the glass and inhale. Exceptional.

Booze, oak, bourbon, and chocolate define the opening. Sweetness picks up midpalate with notes of brown sugar and vanilla. The beer possesses a moderate, and desirable, level of booze heat. This is lovely...lovely! There's a nice and prominent bourbon presence. Light baker's chocolate notes harmonize with oak. The decadent finish displays caramel with lingering chocolate, bourbon, and booze. There's a shade of roasted character.

The mouthfeel is full, creamy, and silky. In a word: perfection. This is one of the best Barrel Aged Imperial Stouts I've ever had. I enjoyed this side by side with the 2009 Heaven Hill Rye, which is an excellent beer in its own right, but juxtaposed alongside the Pappy it was clearly inferior (though still a bit young). Seek this out! This was delicious with a sharp cheddar cheese.

 1,520 characters

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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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