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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)
125 Ratings
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Pappy Van Winkle (23 Year)Imperial Eclipse Stout - Pappy Van Winkle (23 Year)

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States

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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 125 |  Reviews: 60
Photo of Romulux
3.5/5  rDev -22.2%

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of mistakebythelake
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of penniwisdom
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JohnDoe8 for sharing this

Pink Wax final bottling

Look: Almost black in color with a 1/8 inch tan head that remains as a collar and leaves some spotty lacing

Smell: Oak bourbon chocolate and vanilla just a wonderful nose

Taste: The beer starts off similar to all the eclipse variations with copious amounts of chocolate and then you are hit with a vanilla and coconut sweetness which is amazing. The beer finishes with the great pappy bourbon character

Mouthfeel: Full body low carbonation and silky smooth

Overall: Exceptional beer age has been kind to this and I am stoked that I have a bottle all to myself

 625 characters

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!

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Photo of Khazadum
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Some great bsrrel on the nose. Toasted marshmellow, coconut, vanilla, tannic wood. Molasses, chocolate.

Flavors, sweet. Super barrel forward. Sweet molasses, bourbon sweet, heat. Coconut for sure, less marshmellow. Vanilla, wood power. Tannins like tongue depressors. Finishes toasted grain and marshmellow.

Nice thick body, not creamy though. It's missing that syrupy nature. Thanks so much tasting group.

 410 characters

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ehammond1
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (3rd bottling from 2008 kegs)

Thanks for opening this, johndoe8!

Very dark brown, nearly black in color, without a lot of visible carbonation and not much head. Eventually, however, this does leave sticky spots and sheets of lacing down the glass. Quite pretty.

Complex, rich aroma of chocolate, bourbon, wood, vanilla, and, earth. Incredible.

The flavor follows the aroma with lots of chocolate, earth, and barrel character present. There's not as much of the toasted coconut flavor here as I found in the fresh 2011 Elijah Craig variations--the malts as opposed to the barrel, strangely enough, steal the show. That being said, it comes together incredibly well.

Medium mouthfeel with low carbonation.

An incredible treat, and though I've never had it fresh, I have a feeling this was even better maybe a year or more ago.

 837 characters

Photo of FosterJM
4.32/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1068th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
22 oz

Seeing as I got it wrong and Rich emailed me:
3rd and final bottling though from 2008 kegs.
that's why todd wrote over the bottle # "PVW FINAL". :)

Thanks to JohnDoe8 for sharing
Shared at MrHirschybars tasting

App- Was a nice dark brown bordering on black. It had a small head and was very dense and lush in the glass. Had lost some carbonation you could tell.

Smell- It smells nice It had a fair share of bourbon, vanilla, creme, a touch of barrel and a lot of malts behind it.

Taste- Pretty upfront on the taste. Well I can say I really like the PVW treatment but this one didn’t blow me over. I felt Rare and BASC where a touch better than this one. Still undeniably an outstanding barrel aged stout. It was very rich, smooth, creamy and lush. Add in small doses of vanilla in some pockets and its quite good.

Mouth- Medium bodied to almost full bodied. Medium amounts of carbonation. Leaves residual booze notes with some oak and chocolate and maybe a touch of vanilla.

Drink- Never thought I would see a bottle of this. I just couldn’t believe after Saturday how another tasting could get better. Thank you again Richard. One of the 1st trades on BA and you busted out two huge wants of mine.

 1,255 characters

Photo of pperez38
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Jakers90
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of bespin15
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of bbb099
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to scottfrie for sharing this one!
*reviewed on 12/16/11

A - Almost completely jet black with reddish hue and brown mocha head that creates a decent amount of lacing.

S - Roasted grain relatively prominent accompanied by cocoa and vanilla.

T - Burnt coffee and dark malt flavors. Hints of bourbon and molasses are present, goes well with the strong flavors.

M - Thick and somewhat viscous. What you expect of the beer style.

O - Great combination of aroma, taste and mouthfeel. Definitely one of the most well-balanced stout I have ever had.

 558 characters

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

Second bottling. A thousand thanks for opening this, Jeff.

A: Pours black with a thin collar of a head that left a few spots of lacing down the glass.
S: That characteristic buttery Pappy barrel smell fills my nose with creamy scents of bourbon and dark malts. I get hints of vanilla and nuts.
T: Very creamy, smooth and buttery rich flavors of mellow and integrated bourbon, caramel, vanilla, sweet chocolate and molasses. The alcohol is very smooth and integrated at this point.
M: Full body, buttery smooth mouthfeel with creamy carbonation. I could drink this all day.
O: Probably the best in the series. Nothing beats a Pappy barrel. Thanks again, Jeff.

 662 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had many of the eclipse series together. This is the 08 vintage. Pour is viscous black with a dark tan thin bubbly head. The nose is of wood and bourbon, rich chocolate cake, light roasted malt, hints of lsighlty burnt caramel. It is more subtle and less intense than the rare and the best of the eclipse stouts. The flavor is a little sweeter than the nose and the rare, bourbon and wood up front, subtle chocolate cake, light toffee, sweet short finish. Full body, thinner than rare, low carbonation and smooth finish. Less rich than rare but more subtle and still very good. Best of the eclipse series.

 605 characters

Photo of ChrisPro
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of cadaugherty
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of jophish17
4.5/5  rDev 0%

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

I'll admit...when this was made available for sale at the 2011 Eclipse Release party at $125 for a 22oz bottle, I chuckled to myself. And when my buddy Kevin offered to buy a bottle for us to share at City Beer Store the following day, as repayment for me picking him up a few of the 2011 releases, I thought he was joking. Big thanks goes out to Kevin for being serious! Would likely never have sampled it without his offer.

Poured into a snifter. It's a still, dark brown color. No head formation visible from the pour I received. Viscous with clinging legs grasping the sides of the glass.

Inviting aroma included toffee, tahitian vanilla, cocoa. Picking up on some toasted wood as well. Given the strength on this beer, the nose is susprisingly smooth with alcohol being well-masked.

Flavors included some you'd expect from this burly style of beer - burnt toffee, caramel, campfire smokiness. Slightly sweet at the end. Moderately bitter.

Moderate full body. Low carbonation. Smooth and warming.

Quite a treat to have sampled this one. I realize it's considered a whale by many and I did my best to not let this cloud judgment. Certainly sampling 7 varieties of eclipse and a BART the night prior helped factor into my assessment.

Very complex, layered flavors. Exactly what I like to find in a beer of this style. Sip after sip tore off another page in the taste book and made one of the most enjoyable sessions I've had. One of the best imperial stouts I've sampled and definitely the best Eclipse I've had. Perhaps one of the many bottles from the 2011 vintage can match up given an equal amount of time in the cellar.

 1,638 characters

Photo of MrFootstones
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of ipa247
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of klipper
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of imperialking
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Pappy Van Winkle (23 Year) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.5 out of 5 with 125 ratings
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