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)

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.

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Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 125
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.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you so much, Devin! This is one of those beers that I thought I'd have to give up an awful lot to try, and you just brought it to our regularly unscheduled tastings! 2008 release bottle # 10something.

The pour is pretty gorgeous, a jet black with a large dark brown head with great retention. Lacing is pretty outstanding for the style.

The nose is excellent. Right off the bat, I get a lot of the barrel complexity with a large amount of coconut, some bourbon heat and vanilla. While the bourbon is noticeable, there isn't really much booze character. The base beer, which I've never tried, is strong enough to hold its own against the strong barrel character, with a great combination of dark chocolate, roast and a little cream. A faint bit of licorice and molasses are apparent as well. The palate is similar, opening with bourbon and dark chocolate. Quite decadent, the coconut and vanilla appear. Rich and luscious on the palate, the dark chocolate character is quite exceptional. Mildly creamy. Hop and coffee-like bitterness is low, this is driven by flavors of dark chocolate and bourbon. The balance on this beer is quite incredible.The finish is truly exceptional, very long lasting with a beautiful dark chocolate character, bourbon and coconut. Fantastic stuff, I was sad when my glass was gone, but I'm certainly looking forward to grabbing a bottle or two with the next release. Highly recommended! I drank this side-by-side with an 08 Abyss, and this was every bit as enjoyable, though not as balanced and drinkable.

**Edit 26 March 2011**
PvW Eclipse, 2008 vintage, final bottling, bottle #32. Thank you, Joe.

The nose has that beautiful Eclipse character - chocolate fudge, creamy, as well as bourbon, flaked coconut, a little smoke. The palate is exceptional. Opening mildly sweet with milk chocolate fudge, rich toffee, caramel and just the most beautifully integrated bourbon profile I've had in quite a while. Coconut, raisins, and the bourbon are simple but well put together. A little molasses, maybe? The finish is fantastic - mildly warming with some fruit, bourbon, coconut and fudge. Tannins are mild here, not really noticeable. Not terribly complex but fantastically structure. I'm upping my T and O scores here.

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Photo of bulletrain76
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Draught at Bistro Barrel Aged Festival 2009; 2008 vintage. Just a stunning beer from start to finish, and just so happens to be my 1400th rating. Black with a small tan head that leaves a slick of foam. Super rich bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, wood and brown sugar aroma. The flavor is just as complex but with a smoothness that was out of this world. After my first sip, I just looked at my buddy mike and said "Holy shit, this is amazing!" Nothing out of place, and rich, yet not overly sweet and thick. The bourbon adds character without being at all hot or sharp, and the body is perfectly silky and smooth. The only beer at the festival that really came close was the 2009 version, though it wasn't as smooth. The best stout that I have had in a very long time, and a true testament to what barrel-aging can do to a beer.

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Photo of mjl21
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle #515 from 2008 release. Comes in at 9.5%.

A-Pours black with a sandy head that disappears at a mighty quick pace. The remaining head is a small ring with a swath of film in the middle. Not much lacing is left on the glass.

S-A great nose. Oak, whiskey, and vanilla are apparent throughout along with sweet chocolate malt. All of these different aromas blend well together and one never dominates. It is not at all roasty.

T-All of the flavors in the nose are also apparent and well balanced in the mouth. It has a nice level of chocolate sweetness from the malt and the vanilla also adds to the effect. There is oak and some subtle whiskey flavor in the back. There is no roasted taste or bitterness that can be readily detected.

M-It is fuller bodied but not an ultra thick RIS. It has a perfect level of soft carbonation and is extremely smooth going down.

D-The 9.5% is not noticeable which makes this one dangerously drinkable.

Another great offering from FiftyFifty. As previously mentioned, this one is blended perfectly and there is not one element that dominates the taste. Worthy of the praise it receives. Too bad acquiring a bottle is so difficult.

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Photo of tpd975
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another bad ass stout at our weekly tasting. This one courtesy of Gillard. Thanks Ryan for this rare gem.

Bottle #102

A: Pours a very dark flat black, no way light can get through this one. The head is nice, tall, and tan. Awesome retention, it looks as though a lace gernade went off in my glass.

S: Roasted malt from the start. One of the roastier smelling beers I have ever come across. This one also quickly let you know it was barrel aged. Tons of Bourbon, Oak, and vanilla. Hints of chocolate poke through along with a touch of acetone.

T: You guessed it very roasty followed by a bunch of barrel. The wood is rather bold here and it tastes nice and fresh. VCoffee, vanilla and chocolate play nicely with the other bold flavors. This beer is very bold, very extreme. The flavors meld together in such a wonderful way.

M: Rather full body. Rich, smooth, extreme with a touch of burn in the finish.

D: Could sip on this one for hours. I had never heard of the beer or the brewer, but now that I know they exist I want MORE!

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Photo of gford217
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber, 2008 bottle #320, courtesy of jh1982 poured into a tulip.

Pours pitch black with a small mocha head that dissipates quickly, leaving a small ring and spotty lacing.

The aroma is fantastic and has a near perfect balance between the bourbon, which is not overpowering, and the underlying stout. There are lots of dark sweet malts, chocolate and tons of molasses sweetness in the nose. The barrels add a nice dose of bourbon and vanilla on top of that.

If anything, the taste is better than the aroma. The initial taste is a hint of bourbon with a big dark malt and chocolate sweetness forming a backbone. The finish is a bit of bakers chocolate mixed with bourbon and vanilla. One of the best tasting stouts I've ever had.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation and only the slightly bourbon burn in the finish.

This beer just blew me away. Quite possibly the most effective use of bourbon barrels I've seen in a beer. I was expecting good things but never expected this to be a world-class stout. That's exactly what this is - a world-class stout.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of rye726
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours near black with a silky tan head. The nose has bourbon, oak, chocolate, roasty malts, subtle hops and dark fruits. Taste has sweet malts, bitter chocolate, coffee, molasses, vanilla, whiskey and wood. I think another six months in the barrels would only help. Body seemed a bit under weight, but still drank well.

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Photo of Floydster
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass at Toronado in San Frnacisco on 1/25/09 during their Stout Festival for a whole three dollars during happy hour, reviewed from notes, this is a bourbon barrel imperial stout and one of the better ones I have had in quite some time, color is pitch black and looks wonderful, nice creamy tan head that leaves a ton of lacing and lasts for upwards of ten minutes, aroma was full of whiskey, sweetness, milk chocolate, vanilla, wood, roasted malts, and cake batter, flavor was great too with an introductory roasty chocolate taste, some more malt mixed with vanilla in the middle, light bourbon notes in the finish with a oaky aftertaste and slight alcohol warmth, mouthfeel is sweet, roasted, boozy, and dry at times, thick full body, soft carbonation that is almost perfect, could drink a good amount of this stuff considering its strength, nice and smooth with just a hint of booze in the flavor, I would have drank a lot more of it if I could, awesome beer that I hope to revisit someday, highly recommended

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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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