Imperial Eclipse Stout - Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Heaven Hill Rittenhouse RyeImperial Eclipse Stout - Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Stout aged 175 days in Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey barrels. The 2012 version contains a small amount of beer aged in Heaven Hill Pikesville Supreme Rye Whiskey barrels.

Added by Jmoore50 on 12-29-2009

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Reviews: 168 | Ratings: 501
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a smooth dark dark brown. Looks black in the glass. Small khaki head drips to a spotty cap and creamy bubbly collar Small hints of lacing.

Smell: Big hit of whiskey. Layers of vanilla, toffee, caramel, and barrel. Nice roasted compliment with a solid push of cocoa and chocolate. Coconut and a then more whiskey. A very faint char and smoky element. Sweet bready. Bite of alcohol in the back. Some dark fruit and a hint of licorice. Whiskey definitely dominates but lets the rest of the beer work its way through.

Taste: Cocoa-infused whiskey. Straight heat on the finish with a ton of cocoa and toasted malt up front. Loaded with caramel, vanilla, coconut, toffee, and barrel. Woody with some charred malt. Vaguely smoke in the back. Whiskey hits hard. Nice roasted malt profile. Dark cocoa and some bitter dark chcolate. Sweet quickly covered up by a short smooth whiskey. Some licorice and hints of old coffee in the back.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth with a just full body. Moderate carbonation gives it a bit of life and dries out the finish just a touch.

Overall: Heads you lose, tails I win.

It's a damn solid barrel aged stout. A bit more time would help take off some of the best and the upfront aggressive bourbon. Malts are solid and have a nice depth without pushing too far. Definitely good, but not $30 good.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle opened on 8.18.13
BR 1 2012

A - Pours a dark brown with a dark tan head that fades very slowly.

S - Lots of soy at first, then some whiskey, acidic wood.

T - Whiskey, sweet chocolate, bitter malt finish, good.

D - Good carbonation with a medium to heavy body.

O - Sweeter and lots of chocolate under lots of rye whiskey. The bitterness helped and adds depht. Very nice.

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Photo of yamar68
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big old thanks to hugonaut13 for this bottle!

It pours just like the other Eclipse beers... beautifully dark with a bit of coffee brown clarity. A thin khaki head retains well, producing spotty lace and slight booze legs.

Roasty, nutty malts layered with honeycomb, vanilla, molasses, brown sugar, smooth sweet bourbon, a bit of fudge and cookie dough. It has a little bit of a Bourbon County thing going on in the nose. Very nice.

I'm getting a pretty heavy licorice flavor... not something that I typically notice with these beers... it's a welcomed change of pace. Toffee and honey leading into a chocolate bourbon sweetness. Char, honey and vanilla are present from start to finish. Awesome. Complex but approachable.


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Photo of Scotchboy
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My second Eclipse variant, courtesy of Aaron and Kurtis - green-wax-dipped bomber, BR 1 2012, poured into my Rock Island snifter.

A: Opaque brown/black pour with a tanish head that shows good carbonation in the beer and retains/laces well.

S: Pretty big rye whiskey notes, more sweetness with some subtle alcohol harshness, vanilla and slight caramel for sure, with a noticeable honey component. Rye spice is apparent in the aromas of spirit...oaky smoothness...lots of milk and dark chocolate undertones, with suggestions of molasses.

T: Pretty much the same as the nose, milky smooth chocolate counter-acts the slight hot booziness of the rye whiskey...vanilla, roast, oak, spice, some honey, burnt sugars. Alcohol burn on the finish is noticeable, a touch more harsh in nature than the Evan Williams 2012 that I tried recently.

MF: Creamy, smooth, full bodied beer. Alcohol cuts the score and drinkability some.

O: Pretty nice barrel aged stout. I get some honey on this beer (don't know if that is common for Eclipse variants since they are brewed with honey), and the rye whiskey is quite noticeable. Lots of chocolate here too. This is a good beer, though better integration of flavors and less booze would be preferable.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle. Pours a pitch black color with a small tan head that goes down quickly. Scent is PACKED with rye whiskey aromas and sweet boozy scents. Smells like it's gonna be much more than 9.5%, but then again, the Eclipse bottles hide the booze very well in the flavor. Sweet vanilla and burnt sugar. The rye whiskey is definitely the key factor in the nose on this one. Some chocolate and hints of espresso with honey. Taste is just as it smells. Starts off pretty boozy...possibly the most boozy Eclipse I've had. IT still tastes damn good! Tons of rye spice and oak flavor. Lots of vanilla and coffee flavors. Dark chocolate with a nice, spicy, whiskey finish. Drinkability is high. Mouthfeel is full bodied with proper carbonation for a barrel aged stout. Overall, this is a fantastic variant of the Eclipse bottles. After this and the Rye Boise, I'm beginning to think a REALLY like beers aged in rye whiskey barrels.

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Photo of cvm4
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 Bottle, Green label.

A - Pours black, what head there is dissipates quickly.

S - Spicy rye, oak, vanilla, molasses and dark chocolate.

T - An undiscernible mix of oak, bourbon and vanilla. The rye spices of the barrels play a part. Secondary flavors of molasses and light licorice.

M - Thick bodied and low carbonation, very velvety.

O - Boozy and sweet, but not overly licorice, which I can deal with. More!

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Photo of pants678
3.72/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Black, minimal head foam.

Little whiskey aroma, but not that strong.

First note is that the whiskey may be a bit heavy, maybe I should've gone with bourbon barrel. The richest dark chocolate, like 90% or higher cacoa, is the base. Maybe because it's printed on the bottle but there's a kind of honey quality to it. As strong as the whiskey is, it is not terribly hot rather it just about blends in. I'm not getting coffee that usually comes with the style.

An expected fairly harsh finish. Though it's barely carbonated it does not have marshmallow texture at all, more of a stinging beer that doesn't sit all that heavy.

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Photo of n2185
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with half a finger of tan head that fades into a sudsy ring with a little lacing.

S: Oak and bourbon dominate at first with vanilla, caramelized sugar, dark fruits, and Port aromas mixed in. Roasted malts with sweet chocolates also come through.

T: Oak and bourbon dominate here as well with semi-sweet chocolate, burnt sugar, caramel, and vanilla. There are some sweeter, Port-like notes mixed in before a boozy finish.

M: Thick body with low carbonation, the alcohol presence keeps it from being smooth and creamy.

O: A good barrel-aged stout overall. It's a little on the boozy and sweet side for my tastes, but still quite good.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a touch of brown and a finger of frothy khaki-chocolate head. Fades normal.

S - Chocolate and dark caramel malts, molasses, Bourbon, vanilla, oak, rye, black licorice, dark cocoa, coffee, booze.

T - Sweet chocolate and caramel malts, Bourbon, vanilla, oak, spicy rye, molasses, coffee, black licorice, bitter dark cocoa, touch of dark fruit, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and a bit syrupy with a warming, sweet, and lightly spicy finish.

D - Great barrel aged stout. The rye bourbon comes through really nicely.

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Photo of pigc
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 Green Wax Bottle #1356. Stout brewed with honey

Served in Darkness snifter.

A - Pours pitch black with a two finger light brown sugar colored head. Tiny bubbly lacing clings to sides of the glass.

S - Sweet bourbon whiskey, brown sugar, dark molasses.

T - Starts out with a spicy rye heat up front followed by a moderate wave of whiskey with a slight hint of honey. Molasses and brown sugar dominate mid palate. Finish is semi-bitter.

M - Full bodied and smooth. Creamy texture.

O - This is my first version of the Eclipse beers. Nice spice from the rye although it may be a bit too much for my liking. Whiskey presence is moderate. Seems to drink bigger than a 9.5% abv beer. Well crafted.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.72/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into an Eclipse snifter. 2012 bottle.

Appearance - Murky black with transparent edges. Not much of a head. Wispy surface.

Smell - Whiskey smell but nothing like the other treatments. Sharp alcohol aroma. Chocolate.

Taste - Dark chocolate flavor. Whiskey but not a lot of barrel. Chocolatey sweet finish.

Mouthfeel - Slick and creamier than the base beer. Medium carbonation. Sweet and barrel booze finish.

Overall - Rye has nothing on Bourbon. Tasty base beer. Nice whiskey but not quite bourbon.

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Photo of Sammy
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Certainly the best tasting, smoothest of the half dozen I have had to date in this series. Black, lacey. Coffee but also nicely undercarbonated. Very good drinkability. Bottlefrom Premier split with Liam.A moderate roast characteristic. Well integrated whiskey.

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Photo of liamt07
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Shared by Sammy - Bottle from Premier Gourmet, 650ml into a tulip. Tasted alongside 4 other variants.

Black with a tan head. Nose has a beautiful bourbon character, light wood, chocolate, a touch of the corny spirit itself and some overripe red apple. Taste has the whiskey up front, good roast and dark chocolate. Sweeter finish, roast and chocolate lingers with a light alcoholic burn.

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Photo of twowheelssoar
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle, brought it back from our last trip to Truckee. A friend had two bottles, and he didn't like it!

Poured into a classy hotel tumbler. Pours very dark with a thin light tan head. The rad disappears quickly. Aroma is of bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate. Tastes of more fudgey chocolate, smooth vanilla and well-integrated bourbon. The feel is on thicker side, with a nice mellow carbonation level. A very enjoyable, slightly grainy and roasty coffee finish develops as it warms. Seems like there are lots of bottle variation with the Eclipse series, and I think I got a good one here. Really mellow with lots of depth, enjoyed this a lot.

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Photo of standardcherry
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served into a snifter. 2012 vintage.

A: Dark brown/black color. Small brown head that disappeared quickly.
S: Lots of whiskey. A bit of spicy rye character blended with lots of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee.
T: Oaky and boozy. I like this. Spicy rye with vanilla, caramel and chocolate following. Roasty malt character.
M: Full bodied, rich and creamy. Soft carbonation. A touch of alcohol heat balanced well with the sweetness.
O: This is an excellent beer, I can't wait to try the other variants. Can't believe it's only 9.5%, feels much bigger.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2012 vintage. Poured from a 22 oz green wax bottle into a Goose Island snifter.

A- pours pitch black with a 1 finger mocha head. Big bubbly wall of lacing remains on the glass.

S- brown sugar, chocolate, bourbon, spices, some honey.

T- sweet brown sugar and honey, followed by spicy rye, bourbon, slight bitter chocolate, and a hint of vanilla.

M- full body and medium carbonation. A touch thin at first that turns syrupy and a dry finish.

O- good BA stout and like the spiciness from the rye whiskey barrels, but again not worth the money.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown body with just a slight expresso colored head that lasts less than a minute after the pour.

The whiskey smell is front and center. It's nice an boozy with vanilla, oak, and spicey notes undeniably from the rye. There's a light roasty smell, too.

The Eclipse series are just fantastic at getting the right amount of whiskey notes in it. Heavy vanilla, caramel, and a light spice. The stout contributes chocolate and roasted barley.

The mouthfeel is a catch 22 for me. Yes, it's thin. But I feel like that thin body is what helps accentuate the booze.

Overall, I thought this was another fantastic Eclipse, as usual. I just hate the $30 price tags on these and because of that I think there are very few left in my future.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, 2012
The Bruery tulip

A: Deep brown pour. Aggressive pour doesn't give any head. Couple trace bubbles if light tan. There is minimal carbonation.

S: Smells boozy. You get the dark chocolate. Soft vanilla hints. Touch of spice from the rye.

T: Dark chocolate. Fudgy brownie. Not getting tons of rye barrel. Soft vanilla. Gets better with warmth. Pull more if the toffee and caramel flavor. Feel the booze warmth down the throat.

M: Full bodied. Mouth coating.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. BR 1, Vintage 2012.

A simple mahogany color out of the bottle, hits to a dark walnut brown body, with some chestnut hues and maybe some red. Head is about 3-4mm tall and mocha colored, leaving a thin bubbly collar. Not much head, but at least made enough and certainly looks fine. Top manages a nice mocha whispy top all throughout drinking.

Interesting nose. Probably the first Eclipse I had that smells like whiskey. Spicy rye notes mixing with a sharp fruit. Hint of pine and spruce like wood heat. Charring and quite wooden splintery smelling. Hints of chocolate fudge, and sort of a chocolate sprinkles like smell. Sweetness is not very large on this. It's really well done, and one of the few whiskey smelling brews I've had.

Palate brings much of what is hinted on the nose but with a lighter body feel. Hints of pine and spruce wood, and dry finish. Dark black berried fruit in the mid palate, and real sense of whiskey heat and spice. Drying finish with classic charring and roasty malts to go with it.

Overall this is the most whiskey forward, and spicy, and quite enjoyable. It's probably my second favorite right after the EC12 variation

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Photo of GonzoHomebrewer
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 bottle

A- Black, no head, doesn't look very thick

S- Stout roastiness followed by some oak vanilla and rye spiciness. Love it because you can clearly sense the rye influence on the nose. Exactly what I want from a project like this

T- Smooth roast with vanilla followed up with a kick of rye spice on the finish.

M- Light, again, but it works well with this barrel

O- my second favorite so far, still have the bernheim wheat to try, but this is worth considering for a second purchase. Really showcases what a rye whiskey barrel can do for a stout

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a sampling glass. 2011 vintage. From notes. Reviewed 12 February 2013.

A: Pitch-black with cola edges and a light brownish head.

S: Beautiful, rich, and strong. Berries and booze. Sweet, with an olde ale-ish yeast.

T: This is splendid! Spicy, lightly tart, and lingeringly fruity. The aftertaste lasts forever.

M: Smooth, spicy (yay rye!), and generally nice.

O: I love this beer. Probably the best Eclipse I've tasted. Highly recommended.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a big black with a little bit of low carbonation providing some viscosity. A tannish cap appears leaving some bubbles and light lacing after a few sips

S: Initial booze burn with some charred wood, rye pepperness and chocolate

T: Initial chocolate meets rye thing going on with a booze sting. Some bourbon comes as does some wood. The finish provides heat, like fusel heat, charred wood, some rye pepperness and dark chocolate. Dry, hot.

M: Full body mainly due to lower carbonation. It is stil pretty coating and fiulling on the mouth.

O: Good but no way in Hell would pay the price tag for "Good". Over rated as most of the Fifty/Fifty wax are.

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Photo of mjtiernan
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Birthday beer!

22oz bottle poured into a small snifter. 2012 batch (BR2/2012).

A: Super black with medium brown head that disappeared pretty quickly leaving a thin ring around the edge. Lots of alcohol legs.

S: Beautiful bourbon and barrel character. Lots of vanilla, sugar cookie, chocolate and coffee.

T: Killer. All the complex flavors from the aroma are nicely incorporated. Can’t believe how smooth it is for being this fresh. Bourbon and chocolate are dominant. Vanilla, caramel, dark brown sugar in the middle and coffee and fusel alcohol in the finish.

M: Pretty darn drinkable for such a bold beer. A good amount of alcohol burn on the finish, but otherwise it’s pretty easy drinking.

O: Such an amazing beer. Tons of complexity. Makes my mouth happy.

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Photo of browniewithnuts
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Dark black pour from which no light escapes. 1 inch tan/ brown head that retains slightly around the glass. Dark bubbles rise steadily to the top of the glass. Perfect look.

S: Deep dark chocolate notes right up front. The prominent whisky notes come through after that distinctly.

T: Bitter chocolate right up front and the taste really dominates the sip. Whisky notes comes through but do not over power the taste. There is slight hop bitterness that comes through as well. Chocolate comes through again at the end of the taste and lingers long after the sip.

M: Thick and almost chewy. Coats the mouth allowing all the different flavors to have their own distinctness.

O: Great beer overall. Not as good as the Elijah Craig version that I had during New Years but still a very good overall ba stout

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Photo of Corkpuller
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Jet black with a 1" tan head which settles rapidly, leaving some decent lacing

S: LIght Roastiness, dark chocolate, burnt raisin, some complex spice aromas and very good integration of barrel aromas

T: Great mouthfeel. Oily and creamy but pretty lithe for an imperial stout. The hop bitterness blends masterfully with the roastiness. The lower abv suits it really well. Flavors are similar to nose but more intense. Finishes really long with just a tinge of warmth.

O: Outstanding. I was a huge skeptic of this beer but it reminds me a lot of Parabola, but in a lighter, more drinkable style. I drank the bottle in one sitting. I will not be trading the rest of mine.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 501 ratings.
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