Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses BourbonImperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #238
Ranked #987
4.29 | pDev: 8.62%
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses BourbonImperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon
Notes: Red wax identifies the Four Roses version.
Reviews: 153 | Ratings: 580 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

*2014 edition

Appearance - The beer poured a deep black color with a dark tan head crowning the top of the glass.

Smell - The nose was sweet and malty. Perhaps the aging took the edge off of this one, because I did not detect bourbon.

Taste - At the front, sweet malts came with bourbon that had a sense of Earthiness. Dark chocolate, licorice, smoke, and honey notes all made an appearance. Toward the finish, there was just a touch of bitterness. The overall profile was so well balanced.

Mouthfeel - Though it was not quite chewy, the beer had a nice full body.

Overall - These fifty fifty stouts are so well done. Age makes them better.

 649 characters

Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from 2013

A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by a dense finger and a half of light tan head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of dark chocolate and fruitiness with a little bit of oak, caramel and vanilla
T: Taste is a nice amount of dark chocolate covered espresso beans before some light fruitiness and creamy vanilla comes in. Slight caramel as well along with a little more of that fruity note. There's also a hint of floralness to this one along with a little bit of wood spice providing a hint of cinnamon. On the swallow this one is more chocolate with some roasted malts, slightly charred wood, vanilla, and caramel with the roasted malts lingering the longest.
M: This beer is big and silky on the palate without being chewy. Carbonation is light but slightly effervescent while the beer has a drying finish due to the ABV.
O: Overall this is a really nice beer with some great flavors and a surprising amount of complexity. Four Roses makes some great bourbon and FiftyFifty managed to get their hands on some really great barrels. This one is definitely worth a try if you can find it.

 1,184 characters

Photo of kevanb
4.01/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle, 2013 vintage - bottle run 2, poured into a 5050 Eclipse snifter glass.

The beer pours a nice jet black color, thick, oily, great opacity with a touch of cola brown around the edges when struck by the light. A nice foamy, khaki head appears, good height, solid retention with soapy lace clinging to the glass and a firm ring of film around the circumference lasts the entire session. The aroma is very nice, loads of chocolate, charred oak, smooth bourbon, lots of brown sugar, toffee, roasted grain, vanilla and lingering stone fruits, very nicely balanced, very rich and inviting. The flavors are nice, really roasty with nice charred oak barrel, smooth barrel, lovely bourbon influence, bittersweet dark chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, lightly toasted coconut, vanilla and stone fruits linger. The mouthfeel is fine, it's thinner and more lively than one might expect for a big barrel aged stout, it lets the beer down a bit, the finish is warm and bubbly though quite easy.

Verdict: A very nice beer from FiftyFifty and another excellent edition of their Eclipse Stout. Doubly fun to enjoy this beer on the day of a total solar eclipse as well! The age hasn't really diminished nor improved the beer in my opinion, having had these beers very fresh and with some age, definitely a bit thinner, which is typical for the series, but the flavor profile is well developed and nicely balanced.

 1,419 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In review is a 2011 vintage.

A - Pitch black pour, moderately thick burnt toffee colored lacing.

S - Black licorice, light anise, molasses, sticky faint raspberry, some dark fruit.

T - Molasses, oak, dark fruit, chocolate. There is no heat at all for 11.9%.

M- Heavy and full bodied, viscous, light syrupy, lip smacking sticky.

O - Let this bottle sit too long. Enjoyable, but definitely past its prime. My fault.

 421 characters

Photo of Insert_Beer_Pun
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013. Had next to 2014 - 2013 was the clear stand out. Mouth feel was thin on 2014 but more weight on 2013. Bourbon barrel character melded with the base stout in the 2013 but only got oak from 2014.

 199 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black pour with a reddish black head. Aroma was non descript bourbon, prolly indistinguishable from others. Nice, not boozy.

Taste is always reliably quite good. Bourbon, oak, chocolate, not on the sweeter end like the rye beers. Creamy, mild smoke notes from the barrel. Really like the grand cru, this has a little of everything, does well, but not better or worse than the high and low end Eclipse beers.

 415 characters

Photo of RickGrimes
4.61/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Aroma of bourbon, vanilla, coffee, toffee, raisin, plum, Honey, even if There isn't a strong aroma. But the flavour is the same, just a little thin but absolutely fantastico, silky mouthfeel with vanilla bourboneish sweetness and a Lot of cocoa, plum, rose coconut. Absolutely umbelievable beer.

 300 characters

Photo of VeganUndead
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2014 vintage. As sweet as Four Roses is, there is a lot of sweetness remaining after a year of cellaring. Probably not the best one of the series to age, but still overall impressive

 182 characters

Photo of darktronica
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 edition of the Four Roses, red-waxed bomber. Honey, caramel apples, vanilla, nutmeg, and a particular sour tang that I've encountered before but don't know how to identify. There is some leather and tobacco smoke that I don't associate with most expressions of Four Roses; instead, once you subtract out the honey, much of the identifiable barrel character seems to be more reminiscent of what I would imagine a blend of Four Roses and George T. Stagg would take on. The barrel offers up plenty of oak and a wee bit of smoke, contributing to a long, earthy finish. Nicely carbonated and an unctuous, mouth-coating texture, but the alcohol is still pretty pronounced after a couple years of ageing.

 702 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

With the complexity of undeniable Four Roses bourbon, the ever varying imperial stout from FiftyFifty takes on a Kentucky flare with barrel nuances of caramel, vanilla and oak to assist the wonderfully seared-in sweetness of the stout.

Inky and black, the beer seems tar-like as a patient and creamy head rises from its depths. Roasted malt layers in the nose with savory sweet fragrance and a tingle of oak-soaked booze. Its taste of black-strap molasses, dark chocolate and coffee come together seamlessly in early taste.

As those burnt sugars seep deeply into the tastebuds, they carry the bourbon tethers with it, but leading with hefty malt and syrup. With hints of grilled currant, grape and spicy licorice, the complexities of ale precede the caramel, vanilla and oak spices of bourbon.

The beer's full and lavish body is spicy and numbing with alcohol. Drying in finish, the roast and oak reveal a tinge of powdery astringency to create an aura of campfire and ash ahead of a long and savory linger of burnt toffee and roast.

 1,036 characters

Photo of EEscobar
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: black with a tan head
Smell: mmm..bourbon, chocolate, vanilla
Taste: dark chocolate, vanilla, tobacco with underlying bourbon
Overall: A very nice imperial barreled stout. I paid for the uniqueness of the flavor profile and was not disappointed. I will try a different barrel next time. One and done

 311 characters

Photo of oberon
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottled in 2014.Pours jet black with a thick one finger deep beige head atop,it's not settling.The bourbon is there but doesn't overpower there is also some roasted nut and bitter chocolate in there as well.Creamy and not overly full in the feel dept,it's a great balance.In my opinion it's not overly boozy on the palate,sure the bourbon is there but there is also roasted nut,chocolate,and roast to prop up against the vanilla tinged bourbon notes.This is top notch,I will cellar the others I have for a bit but this is fantastic!

 532 characters

Photo of rand
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle poured into an Eclipse snifter

As I'm doing for all of the Eclipse series, I'm posting my original review and noting anything unique that the whiskey brings to the brew:

A: Deep dark brown in color, small carbonation forms a small, tightly-bubbled head. Tiny patches of lacing adorn the glass after a gentle swirl.

S: The nose is bourbon-forward, quickly followed by all of the enticing aromas expected from a big craft stout - chocolate, vanilla, coffee, licorice. The alcohol is pretty strong and seems to propel the big bouquet to the nose.


T: Surprisingly, the bourbon is much more subdued than you'd think from its aromas. Instead of a hot bourbon-y blast, you get a nearly seamless package of flavors that wash over your palate. The chocolate and vanilla notes are there, licorice and coffee. But there's also rich buttery anchor to the flavor profile, almost like butterscotch. And the alcohol takes a back seat - it's there, but unlike most barrel-aged imperial stouts, this doesn't deserve the "boozy" descriptor. Finishes with a trace of lingering sweetness and alcohol warmth.


M: Rich and creamy, full-bodied. Carbonation is low, but the flavors are so harmonious you don't really need a big carb scrub.


 1,632 characters

Photo of Marius
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bomber sampled right after the 12yr Elijah Craig version. The latter has the upper hand, but this version was top notch, as well. Never thought I'd say this, but maybe it was a bit too bourbon-heavy.

 199 characters

Photo of Roguer
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Solid dark brown head; decent retention. Dark nut brown brew.

Slightly sharp and tart aroma; roasted barley and coffee (from the malt). Bourbon and oak, but very tame.

Tons of coffee and chocolate and nuts. Extremely smooth and restrained bourbon - vanilla, oak, bourbon.

Thick and chewy.

Aged one year, this has hit the sweet spot. Unbelievably good.

 355 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.58/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brief write-up. This is a nice beer, and very easy to drink for 12%. It has a nice dark fruit flavor, but the oak seems a little vegetal and green for me. The bourbon also lacks nuance. Way overpriced, so I won't buy again.

3.58/5: Easy drinking and a good beer, just not worth the price

 288 characters

Photo of SomethingClever
4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 Four Roses

22 oz bottle poured into nonic pint

A: pitch black in appearance very little head with a moderate pour vanished to nothing but a ring around the glass

S: Bourbon, toffee, vanilla, some chocolate,

T: Nice leatheresque aroma taste if that makes sense, some sweet tobacco taste, roasty, bourbon, not the huge vanilla toffee taste the nose implied

M: a slight thinness to it but that seems common with barrel aged beers it's still pretty full and the taste lays in your mouth afterwards more dry than you'd expect from one of these beers

O: it's dynamite, I've had this now Elijah Craig and Edmund Fitzgerald and while not as good as Elijah it's still quite good to excellent.

 695 characters

Photo of tkdchampxi
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a great, extremely smooth beer.

Four Roses is already one of my favorite bourbons, and, as far as Four Roses is concerned, I love the smooothness and sweetness of the bourbon character. I can't say that I can tell this is Four Roses from drinking the beer, but I can tell that it is a quality Bourbon.

Great beer, reminiscent of bourbon county barleywine. Just overall amazing.

SMOOTH and DEEP is the key descriptor here, with just a touch of fruitiness that characterizes Four Roses bourbon

 501 characters

Photo of GPHarris
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


A - poured a one finger thick coffee-colored head into a snifter that left great lacing throughout. The body was dark black.
S - chocolate, roast coffee, bourbon and vanilla.
T - coffee, chocolate and bourbon.
M - medium and slick.
O - excellent. Lots of great stout flavors and the bourbon is done well.

 312 characters

Photo of pants678
3.73/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Black with retaining off white head.

Sweet bourbon.

A Black Tuesday that's easier on the alcohol, has the same phenols. Finish is earthy, pasty which is off putting. Otherwise, staunch vanilla highlights the barrel aging. Better with smaller sips. Roasted malts are subdued. Worth about a fifth of the price.

Dense, smooth, just right.

 338 characters

Photo of Damian
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 1 pint, 6 fl oz red wax dipped bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA
Bottle run no.: 1/2013
Served in a snifter

Fantastic appearance. The medium bodied, dark brown liquid was topped by a billowing, near three-finger tall, super tight and creamy, caramel colored head. Amazing retention, especially given the high ABV. The crown slowly faded to a thick, frothy cap. A drippy wall of lacing coated the glass.

The aroma was deep, dark and roasty. Espresso was immediately noticeable. Some bittersweet chocolate as well. Cocoa nibs came to mind. Touch of brown sugar-like sweetness. Slightly boozy. Subtle bourbon notes came forth as the beer warmed.

The flavor profile was punchier than the nose but not as rounded or as smooth. Lots of roasted and caramel malts on the front end. Slightly sweet in the center. Hint of brown sugar. Notes of dark chocolate were apparent. The beer finished quite boozy with loads of char and a lingering earthy and piney hop bitterness. While the alcohol was quite noticeable, the flavors from the barrel were unfortunately rather muted.

The mouthfeel was definitely the best aspect of this beer. It was super creamy and slick. Medium to full bodied for the style. Not super thick but rich and palate coating. The liquid contained an ultra fine, moderate effervescence.

Of the three beers I have tried in FiftyFifty's Eclipse series (Elijah Craig 12 Year, Evan Williams and now the Four Roses Bourbon variant), the was definitely the least impressive of the bunch. After hearing that these beers drink best without much age, I decided to crack this one a bit earlier. It seemed that the alcohol was rather intense and the flavor profile still needed time to meld. While these beers are all solid, at their price point I was hoping they would be a bit more remarkable.

 1,826 characters

Photo of RichardMNixon
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%

Bomber of 2011, drank in August 2014.

Pitch black body with thick, light brown head; persistent ring of bubbles around the glass.
Smells of dry cocoa, oak, and bourbon.
Taste is sticky sweet, a muted swish of bourbon, and a long, dry finish like dark chocolate.
Oil slick mouthfeel with bubbly carbonation at the very end and a lot of residual sugar. Alcohol is well disguised.

 382 characters

Photo of Circles413
4.74/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Picked this up on a whim & I'm glad I did!

Pour - From a 22oz bomber into a snifter. Nice things off white head with nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma - Sweet chocolate, bourbon & coffee.

Taste - Milk & bitter sweet chocolate, vanilla, caramel & of course, bourbon.

Mouth - Sticky, medium to thick body. A little chewy but not as thick as I would've liked.

Overall - This is an excellent beer. Would I ever pay $30 for another bottle of this? Maybe. Either which way, I'm glad I was able to try this. A very solid effort from 50/50!!

 540 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.68/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a tasting glass. Vintage 2013.

A: Dark with great lacing.

S: Sticky, syrupy sweet. Trace of booze.

T: Fruity and strong. This is awfully sweet. The fruit is nice, but the syrupy qualities make it taste a little like cough syrup. Finish is pleasantly bitter and cherryish,

M: Smooth and strong. Yum.

O: Tasty, but a bit too syrupy. Not my favorite Eclipse, but still worthy.

 413 characters

Photo of kaseydad
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


Pours like all the rest. Dark brown with a nice frothy beige head, good staying power and a ring around the glass. Not much lacing here.

Nice bourbon burn in the nostrils. Even though this has sat for a number of months....the bourbon will not be denied. Chocolate, cinnamon, marshmallow, cough syrup, apple and caramel. Liking the smell as it warms. Key word...warms.

The taste is cocoa/chocolate goodness. The booze is there, but rather subdued. Good blend of light bourbon and smooth chocolate here. Some coffee, toffee and more marshmallow. Blending nicely.

Silky, smooth mouthfeel.

Overall this was pretty darn good. The flavors are blending well though I would be drinking this sooner rather than later. The booze was not overpowering and the Four Roses blend is really nice for the pairing. I see why Fifty/Fifty keeps this barrel in the mix. Enjoyable session.

 879 characters

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 580 ratings