Imperial Eclipse Stout - Jack Daniels | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Jack DanielsImperial Eclipse Stout - Jack Daniels
Liked This Beer
3.35 w/ 51 ratings
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Jack DanielsImperial Eclipse Stout - Jack Daniels

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Yellow Wax

Added by bulletrain76 on 11-17-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of Jeffo
2.19/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

My mate Doops and I were lucky enough to be able to try the entire 2010 - 2008 series. This was the sixth one we opened, and the last of the '09 bottles. A big thanks to everyone who made putting this set together possible, and cheers again to Doops for hunting this one down. She gets some mixed reviews, but like any real beer geek, no Eclipse series is complete without this jack-ass.

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2009
300 day version. No wax.

APPEARANCE: Pours a little darker than the others so far. Pour forms a one finger, medium looking, tan head with better retention. Black body and no carbonation evident. Relatively opaque compared to the others in the series, though still slightly transparent for the style. Head slowly fades to a good wisp and ring that remain the whole way leaving a few dots of lacing on the glass. First one in the series to at least deserve and average score for looks.

SMELL: Whisky and alcohol disinfectant. Reminds me of the alcohol sanitizer we used at the hospital before going into the preemie ward. Nail polish remover comes to mind as well. There is some oak and mild milk chocolate aromas in there as well, but it’s tough to get past the industrial floor cleaner that blasts you off the pour. Oddly enough, as the beers sits in the glass for a while, the disinfectant mellows and the nose becomes a little more tolerable, which is the only thing keeping it from being totally awful.

TASTE: There’s definitely some whisky there, but there’s also a lot of nail polish remover, disinfectant and cleaning supplies. Toilet bowl cleaner, industrial window cleaner, alcohol disinfectant; take your pick. The initial flavor is quite harsh. The oak barrel does come through after the swallow a bit, adding some oaky wood and milk chocolate flavors to the hospital taste. Aftertaste is pretty big and persistent, unfortunately, with lots of industrial cleaning supplies and, very luckily I might add, some light oak and dark, chocolaty bitterness. That really saved it. In the end, it still tastes rare.

PALATE: Medium-full body and medium carbonation. Plenty of weight and quite creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. A touch of heat lingers as well. This is by far the best part of the beer, and perhaps the best mouth-feel in the series.

OVERALL: Besides the relatively good feel, the unmistakable flavor of rarity was the only thing this beer had going for it. Actually, if it weren’t for the rarity and the pull of the Eclipse series, this beer would just end up getting mixed into various cleaning products. Perhaps that is a little too harsh. It is not as bad as some reviewers before me have described, as there are hints of the barrel and base beer in there, but overall, this one is easily the worst of the series. With the bounty this one commands, only those with a distinct taste for alcohol disinfectant, or those looking to geek out with the whole set, like Doops and I, should bother seeking it out. For those of you with some sense, however, take care to avoid this one. Thanks again for sharing Doops. This was loads of fun!

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Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of Khazadum
3.8/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Waxed bottle so much better than unwaxed.

Smells. Nice. Couldnt tell Jack Daniels whisky, but got some barrel. Bit sharp heat, dark sugars and fruit. Back end light carroway seeds.

Opens sharp Brown sugar, grainy, dark grains. Bitter middle. Dates and cranberries. Finishes nice and.dry. wood barrel is definitely oak like with a light char.

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Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of jethrodium
3.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650 ml bottle shared by colonelforbin. Thanks Mike. Pours a black that is cola brown at edges when held up to the light with small tan head that has good retention and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is big oak, some whiskey, caramel, marshmallow, quite a bit of alcohol, some light cherry, and a hint of plum. This one is certainly barrel heavy. The initial taste is sweet with oak and whiskey. Quite boozy. Then comes some marshmallow and a bit of plum. The finish is boozy and a bit astringent. Leaves a lingering oak taste. Light bodied for an imperial stout. Low carbonation. This is the worst out of the Eclipse series that I have had, but still wasn't a terrible beer. A bit too much barrel that drowns out the other flavors.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.93/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah, Christmas Day, a chance to enter in some of the backlogged reviews of yesteryear from the notes on the phone. I've had this beer a few times, once at the Bistro Barrel festival and once at the Eclipe release party (1st annual).

Pours the usual black, lighter around the edges as usual, decent head to it. Customary boozy bourbon aroma blended with the heavy roast of the Totality base beer. Aroma just seemed heavier handed on this barreled version than the others, but after sipping on the beer, the aroma mellowed out and was enjoyable and became smoother.

Whiskey and chocolate dominate the palate, thankfully, the boozy aroma wasn't as heavy in the taste, mellowed into a gritty experience. This beer takes some patience and willingness to let it open up, but when you do, it really settles into a decadent chocolate and whiskey tinged experience.

Seeing as JD is the most widely known whiskey, and its relative cheapness, this beer isn't going to get any rarity or spirits aficionados to clammor over it.

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Photo of jophish17
2.5/5  rDev -25.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


200 day batch (2009) shared by Chris at Woodshop Classix, thanks!

A: Appears black with brown highlights and a light brown head.

S: Dark chocolate with some green apple and a light roast. Whiskey is evident but well integrated and there's a little vanilla.

T: More apple with vanilla and a lot of chocolate. Booze is evident but not inappropriate. The beer is moderately roasted and there's brown sugar. Whiskey is strong but pretty nice.

M: Full in body with moderate carbonation.

Overall: From all I'd heard about this I expected it to suck and it didn't. It was pretty good.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Waxless bottling. Thanks for accidentally opening this, Jeff.

A: Pours like a black hole with a thin dark brown head.
S: Sweet smelling with a bit of Jack Daniels and light cocoa.
T: Big alcohol flavor but the burn is smooth. It’s sweet, but not really from dark fruits or raisins. I get a touch of caramel, but the Jack really dominates everything. It actually boarders on nail polish, but it’s not that bad. This beer definitely tastes –bal aged.
M: Warming alcohol, a creamy mouthfeel with tingly carbonation.
O: Drinkable enough but definitely rough around the edges. Probably my least favorite of the Eclipses that I’ve had.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.15/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to Jeff for sharing this rare tick.

A: The pour is just about black in color with minimal brown head.

S: To say this smells like nail polish remover would be an understatement. It absolutely reeks of it. Other than that, lots of roasted malts, booze, and whiskey. There is just a hint of vanilla and chocolate, which is really the only good thing.

T: An incredibly harsh nail polish remover/acetone flavor, too. Intense green apple and booze, along with a bit of oak, whiskey, and vanilla. Roasted malts and dark chocolate are there in the background.

M: The body is medium and the carbonation is low to medium.

O: Just atrocious stuff. Very unfortunate, since these are generally some of my favorite imperial stouts.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
2.12/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Yellow wax

Black liquid with a small khaki head.

Maple syrup, vanilla, slight bit of charred oak and cheap JD whiskey pretty much sums up the aroma. Nothing complex. The JD really doesn't integrate into the beer and covers up some of the chocolate aromas that I found in the '09 HH and EC. It stands out like a low quality ingredient.

First notice of soy sauce in taste for the '09s. Maybe it's just more prominent in this one. Again, that ugly JD barrel stands out and mutes out all the other flavors. It was really tough drinking this one. I didn't even finish the 5-6oz sample I had.

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Photo of muttyd
2.39/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had side-by-side with the Elijah Craig and the Heaven Hill.

Really disappointed with this beer, since the Elijah was excellent and the Heaven Hill was decent.

Pours pitch black with a thin tan head that quickly fades away. Aroma is of Jack Daniels. Not in a good bourbon barrel stout way, but in a Jack'n'Coke kind of way. Little to no roast character in the aroma. Very one-dimensional. Flavor falls flat. Sweet tangy bourbon dominates the flavor profile. Unpleasant soy-sauce flavor strong in this one as well. Little carbonation, but very sticky and chewy. Overall, not too impressed.

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Photo of largadeer
3.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 edition barrel aged for 200 days, 22 oz bottle with gold wax:

Dark brown, hazy but clear around the edges. Pours with a small head that quickly settles to a collar.

Smells lightly of dark chocolate, whiskey and oak, along with a bit of anise and roasted malt. Fairly light and bland compared to other versions of Eclipse, but not bad.

The palate is decent. Chocolatey with a little caramel and licorice, light on the oak and with a rather simple sweet whiskey flavor. The body is medium-full, carbonation is moderate. Alcohol is very reigned-in, barely noticeable. It's easy to drink but ultimately nothing special.

2009 edition barrel aged for 300 days, no wax:

Same appearance as the 200 day version, but slightly more carbonated, better head retention.

This smells much more strongly of whiskey, though it has the same signature one-dimensional Jack Daniels sweetness. Chocolate, roasted malt. It's a little fatty and tarry too.

The palate has a lot of simplistic whiskey sweetness, caramel candy and chocolate, a little booziness in the finish. The body and carbonation are spot-on, but the flavors aren't impressive.

Having tried this beer several times both on tap and from bottles, I think I can safely say that Jack Daniels barrels and Eclipse simply don't mix well. It's not a bad beer, but it's far from great.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.48/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Re-review. There are two versions of this: the official release, which was aged in barrels for 200 days (beige wax), and a "bootleg" version given to brewery volunteers, which was aged in barrels for 300 days. We had a side by side of this thanks to the late chswimmer (RIP) and largadeer. Thanks guys.

A: Pours a nearly opaque mahogany body; it's darker than its cousins, upon first glance. A small beige head covers the brew and lingers for a while, leaving several scattered islands of film on top of the brew. No lacing, no legs.

S: The 200 days version has coconut, vanilla, whiskey, chocolate, caramel, roast, and a definite cigar earthiness (it becomes more apparent as the beer warms). It reminds me strongly of the Heaven Hill version, though it's not as balanced and is more sugary. The 300 days version is strongly sherry-like and well oxidized on top of the aromas noted above.

T: Whiskey, caramel, chocolate, vanilla. I pick up hints of coconut and roast. The finish brings out a tannic earthiness that, like the nose, reminds me of a cigar. Again, this is reminiscent of the Heaven Hill version but it is much less complex. It's also sweeter. The 300 days version is well oxidized, producing notes of sweet sherry that, when coupled with the beer's sugar, makes it fairly cloying / unpleasant.

M: Thicker than its cousins, indicating more residual sugar (which you also taste). There's no heat to it, which is nice.

D: I'm a big fan of Eclipse, but this is the obvious disappointment out of the many treatments 50/50 has done. There was plenty of each bottle left and I was not enthused about finishing either one.

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Photo of waltonc
2.53/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Purchased at City Beer Store and tasted in a side-by-side comparison with EC, HH and PVW versions at the Colorado stoutfest. This was easily the least enjoyable of the four versions. Unlike the others, this one had a stiller appearance, less carbonation. Smell and taste were overwhelming whiskey. Extremely sweet, hot, with lots of vanilla, oak, and what seemed to me an out-of-place vinous quality as well. The JD Eclipse probably would have benefitted from a blend with some non-BA Eclipse as well to take the edge off all the whiskey. Oh well, the other Eclipses have all been great. Interesting to see how different a stout can be when aged in different barrels.

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Photo of glid02
4.27/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another bottle in the series shared by Grant - thanks!

Pours black with a half-finger brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells phenomenal. Smooth roasted malt aromas are joined by solid amounts of milk and dark chocolate. Also present are large amounts of vanilla, smaller amounts of coconut, and smaller still amounts of oak tying everything together.

Tastes similar to how it smells, although not quite as well integrated. Equal parts dark chocolate and roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by smooth vanilla flavors. Midway through the sip the vanilla fades just a bit with the addition of oak. The oak, malt, and chocolate flavors carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have another.

Overall this beer is smoother and a bit more refined than the Elijah Craig version however it didn't have the complexity of the Heaven Hill. Still, a great beer that's well worth a shot.

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Photo of gford217
4.12/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with gold wax.

Pours a deep, dark brown that's almost completely black except for the light showing through the edges. The head is small and tan and leaves some boozy legs along the sides.

The aroma is probably the booziest of the Eclipse variants. There's lots of vanilla and whiskey but with more than a fair dose of chocolate and caramel. Hint of roasted character, though it's not overly roasty.

Much like the aroma, the whiskey is strong, especially up front where there is lots of vanilla and coconut. The roasted malts are more prevalent and blend with chocolate and tobacco. The finish is drying and has plenty of alcohol burn.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and boozy with moderate carbonation. It's not quite as creamy or smooth as the other variants.

All in all, this is an excellent beer. It's the booziest of the Eclipses and, I imagine, will age beautifully. These guys definitely know how to use the barrel-aging process.

Edit, additional review notes from JD 300 version, aged in Jack Daniels barrels for 300 days. Seriously heavy whiskey notes with lots of barrel character, oak as well. It's really in the same mold as the normal JD, much more whiskey than the other versions. I think I preferred the JD300 slightly but it might be because it's had more time to mellow since I tried the JD the first time.

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Photo of JWD
3.98/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at FiftyFifty today. I also brought home a growler which was not expected!! This was the final version which i had not tried yet all of which are very different.

A- WOW this was deep dark black with a VERY nice creamy head on it that was similar to a nitro pour. Served in 8oz pours.

S & T - Smells like good old JD!! I really liked this one, i noticed that the whiskey smell was a lot stronger than the actual taste which was a nice suprise.

M & D - Very creamy, alot thicker than the base beer which i sampled side by side with less carb. I could drink quite alot of this due to the overall balance and smoothness this beer has.

Overall great barrel stout from fiftyfifty. I purchased a 64oz growler of it so i will see how that goes, I question the ABV in this beer at 9.5 as it seems more like a 12% beer to me, i have had others mention the same thing.

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Photo of femALEist
3.65/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at City Beer Store's FiftyFifty event:
On the nose, you get a bit more caramel and sweet flavors coming out, along with the roasted and alcohol notes. It tasted the most bitter out of all of the 3. You get the roasted espresso flavors, caramel & toasted malts. You definitely feel the alcohol the most in this one. It seems like it should be 12% for the flavor of the alcohol, not 9.5%. It's a little rough around the edges still, which is probably why you couldn't buy this bottle to go- you could only buy the other 2. This one just needs some time to mellow out a bit.

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Photo of Chambic
3.62/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

01.23.10 at City Beer Store

A: sreved in a wine glass, it looks like a deep, dark wine with some tiny bubbles; got some legs, too

S: some sweetness, like caramel and molasses

T: tastes like coffee, and the sweetness is more bourbon than the scents listed above

M: defnitely fizzier than it look

D: quite nice. It's like having an iced Irish coffee

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Photo of nickd717
3.82/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at City Beer for FiftyFifty day. What do you know - I swore that morning that I wouldn't drink that day, then a couple guys convinced me to go to this, and by 4pm, I was about 5 beers in. FML. This was definitely the least of the three -bal aged Eclipse varieties, which is pretty much like calling someone the dumbest quantum physicist at CERN.

Pours jet black and viscous with a small brown head that fades to some brown bubbles. Not too much lacing to speak of, but you get some "legs" on the glass.

Whiskey and barrel notes really stand out on the aroma in this one, really dominating more than in the other versions. Some chocolate and roast smells hide behind the Jack.

Flavor is also somewhat whiskey-heavy and very good, but not quite as balanced as in the Pappy, Elijah Craig, and Heaven Hill versions. Jack Daniels gets all up in yo' grill, sort of like the person Missy Elliott was referring to in the "all in my grill" song. Hey, a chick gotta live, right? Besides the whiskey, the flavor is somewhat complex. Chocolate, roast, coffee, caramel, oak, vanilla, and booze.

Medium-full bodied, and not quite as smooth as the other varieties. A bit hot - age could probably benefit this quite nicely.

Drinkability is decent but not great. Overall a very solid RIS, but not an elite level one.

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Photo of Jmoore50
3.86/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank this on-tap at FiftyFifty in Truckee. This is by far the worst of the three versions.

Poured into a great little 8 oz snifter, this thing looks as good as the others. It is dark black in the heart and lighter on the edges. It holds a quarter finger tan head. No real lacing to speak of.

The smell has a very faint chocolate malt and roasted grain characteristic, like all the other versions. The problem with this one is that the smells are backed by a far lesser quality of whisky, Jack Daniels. The type of whisky is so obvious in this that it brings down the overall score for this. Just shows again what a barrel can do. This was also my first taste of any version of Eclipse, and I was a little worried that I was going to be disappointed.

The taste is still really good, for the base beer is a great Imperial Stout. The Jack Daniels brings a more present flavor than the other versions. This does not back the malts, but instead interrupts them. I am going to say that I would rather of had the base beer un-barreled, just to see what it tastes like. I think it also might be a little too fresh. A little age might calm down the JD.

The mouthfeel has a grainy JD flavor. The drinkability is still good, but JD compared to the other versions falls very short. I believe it goes Heaven Hill, Craig, and then JD on terms of rank.

Gotta try it still just to see the contrast in flavors.


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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Jack Daniels from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 43.1% out of 100 with 51 ratings
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