Totality Imperial Stout | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Totality Imperial StoutTotality Imperial Stout
BA SCORE
4.05/5
179 Ratings
Totality Imperial StoutTotality Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
formerly Roundabout Imperial Stout

Added by GClarkage on 10-22-2009

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,741
Reviews:
47
Ratings:
179
pDev:
9.63%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
30
Gots:
11
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 179 |  Reviews: 47
Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

base beer for the Fiftyfifty IS series, on tap at The Blue Palm. Very dry. A small retained head on a very dark body. So-so drinkability as very roasty and a bit astringent. Roasty aroma. Thick lace. Good for the style, but not great. Have to get by the dryness.

 262 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Los Angeles, CA as part of the FiftyFifty Eclipse Release Party.

Pours an opaque black with a 1/2 inch khaki head that fades to nothing. No lacing on this one. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and some vanilla aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt, bitter cocoa, and some vanilla notes. A mild roasty bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a dry finish. Overall, this is a good stout by itself but I prefer the barrel aged versions much more.

 547 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of t0rin0
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of kojevergas
3.72/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Really excited for this one. I'm making a point of trying this before the Eclipse beers just for a point of reference. Acquired for $14.00 at a local bottle shop. 9.5% ABV according to my bottle. No best before/bottled on date is visible. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing artful label and standard unbranded pry-off cap served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high.

Served cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a healthy half-finger head of lovely stick smooth complexion; great vibrance to the colour on this one, I mean it fucking shines. Lovely creaminess. Good thickness. Nice frothiness. Supple and luscious. Really looking great. Nice even consistent lacing as the head recedes. Quite a nice head. The retention could be better, but it's quite good for the ABV - about 3-4 minutes.

Body colour is an opaque solid dark black. Not quite a jet black, but quite dark. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Right on the money for the style, with an attractive head. Quite inviting. Can't wait to try it.

Sm: Chocolate, dried grape/raisin, burnt caramel, light molasses, licorice/anise (which I can't personally stand in an imperial stout), milky notes, cream, light buried (much to my chagrin) roast, and some lightly acrid coffee. Cocoa powder. Some buried vanilla. Dark malts, chocolate malt, maybe some caramalt. No yeast character, hop character, or alcohol is detectable. On the sweeter side. Light earthiness wafts off the body. A pleasant aroma of mild strength. Not exemplary for the style, but overall it's appealing.

T: Hm. Some light earthiness and acridity towards the back end. Tolerable licorice as an undertone throughout. The body is comprised mainly of chocolate malt and dark malts. Body is pretty meh overall. No yeast character or hop character comes through. What shocks me is how well it hides its ABV; drinks more like 6-7% than 9.5. Some marshmallow. Not getting any roastiness - either from roasted barley or from the coffee - which is itself mainly bitter but not overly so. Chocolate isn't very evocative; more baker's or brewer's chocolate than a silky milk chocolate. Some cocoa dust, sure. A biteen of vanilla, but it's mostly covered by the somewhat heavy handed malty base. Very very light restrained espresso. Some cookie dough notes. Not getting any dark fruits or anything like that.

Overall, it's messy but enjoyable. Not much balance or subtlety here, but there's a lot going on - even if it does feel haphazardly tossed together.

Depth and intensity of flavour are average. Duration of flavour is also pretty average for the style.

I didn't notice honey when going through my initial review blind. When I read the label and search for it, I do find it, but I'm not convinced it really improves the beer.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Some nice creaminess. Unrefreshing. Good thickness; it's not overbearing or viscous like many beers in the style. Suits the flavour profile nicely, but doesn't come off custom-tailored specificially to it. Good carbonation. Pretty full-bodied. Sticky. Nicely soft. Not oily, harsh, biting, or gushed. Good presence on the palate.

The rolling smoothness is quite good for the style; I'm curious if they don't brew this with oats?

Dr: Barrel aging must really even this out if the Eclipse series is so well regarded. I'm interested to see what happens to this base with barrels; that's quite convenient since I have the Elijah Craig 12 year on hand. An interesting brew from FiftyFifty, but I'm not convinced it's worth the price. It's drinkable, though, especially for the high ABV which is well concealed. I see potential in this, but I'm doubting I'm going to love Eclipse. The barrel aging would have to really develop and complement this base to make a great beer. I definitely wouldn't buy this again at its current price; maybe for $7.00-$8.00 a bottle.

I'm unsure what to make of it overall. Regarding it aside from the obvious relationship to its famous barrel aged grandpas, I still think it's pretty good stuff. But it does seem strangely neutral and noncommittal to its flavours; I feel like it was brewed with an eye towards barrel aging it, and as a result it's nowhere near as rich or evocative as it could (should?) be.

The acridity and earthiness fade substantially as it warms, leaving a more enjoyable brew.

Drank fine out of a stem-tulip, but a snifter or teku would be ideal methinks.

High B

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Photo of oline73
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on-tap at Capone's during Philly beer week. Served in a sample glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a black color with hardly any head. The head that is there goes away quickly.

Smell: This beer smells quite sweet and very roasty. I'm getting some warm alcohol and dark fruit.

Taste: Sweet and roasty with some dark fruit and brown sugar notes. I'm getting a slight bitterness with vanilla and dark chocolate notes as well. Complex and easy to drink.

Mouthfeel: The body is thick and there isn't enough carbonation. The finish is dry.

Overall: This is a very nice stout and I can see why it holds up so well to barrel aging. I would have another.

 659 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of LXIXME
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at FiftyFifty, served in a brandy snifter.

Black with a dense mocha head that shows strong retention and sticky lacing, this is a great looking beer.

Licorice and espresso are prominent on the nose. Chocolate fudge and cookie dough lend some sweetness, but this is more of a bitter, earthy imperial stout.

The first sip makes me think of chocolate covered coffee beans. Further imbibing brings out licorice, charred malt, firm bitterness both from dark malt and hops. Medium in body, not particularly sweet. The finish is heavily roasted, quite bitter and sticky. With this as a base beer I can see why Eclipse is so good.

 632 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Thorpe429
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of Rifugium
3.74/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

This was a decent beer, but considering how good the barrel-aged versions are, I was a bit let down by this one. As far as appearance goes, this one really can't be beat: served in a snifter, a dark, opaque, brown-black, with an overflowing, creamy head that looked like melted chocolate ice cream. No problem giving a perfect 5 for that. Aroma is pretty standard for a stout, dark roasty malts and bakers' chocolate. Taste was similar, roast conquers all, dark malts, slightly bitter chocolate, caramel, nutshells, and distant dark fruits. This beer needs to be aged on bourbon barrels, essentially. It's almost like it's literally incomplete without it. Body is on the heavier side of medium, and still fairly smooth. Not bad by any means, but compared to the Eclipses, it just doesn't stack up.

 844 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of nathanmiller
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of drewone
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to yourefragile for sharing this at our big Eclipse tasting; thanks Michael. Poured into a pint glass.

a - Pours a pitch black color with one inch of dark tan head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, sweet dark fruits, toasted malts, and some light coffee. Very roasty, nice nose.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, sweet chocolate, coffee, toasted and burnt malts, and some light cream. Little bit of bitterness but pretty nice.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty easy to drink beer.

o - Overall a very nice stout; can see how it is a very good base for the Eclipse variations. Lots of roasted malts and some light nice chocolate; would like to have it again.

 730 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with some transparency. Not much of a head. Thin khaki collar. Wispy on the surface.

Smell - Lots of black patent malt, molasses, and even some honey. Chocolatey.

Taste - Sweet, nice chocolate flavor. Lots of honey. Very sweet. Bitter dark chocolate in the back.

Mouthfeel - Highly carbonated. Not quite creamy. Kind of a sharp finish. No booze.

Overall - Tasty and a nice start to our Eclipse tasting.

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Totality Imperial Stout from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 179 ratings
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