Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
149 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses BourbonImperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.90%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Red wax identifies the Four Roses version.

Added by largadeer on 11-14-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
149
Ratings:
562
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
16.98%
 
 
Wants:
275
Gots:
289
For Trade:
21
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 149 | Ratings: 562
Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was a part of cmrillo’s 40 Beers* @ 40 Birthday Bash! Shared by cmrillo at his own party! 2011 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured a dark reddish brown with a half finger khaki colored head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, wood, earth, subtle vanilla, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, earth, wood, vanilla, and sweet alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. Based on have both of the Elijah Craigs just before this one, you definitely tell the Four Roses barrel treatment from the other. This one carried a nice earthy note along with it while still carrying over a lot from the others as well. It was rather enjoyable and definitely worth getting your hands on if you do not have any in your possession currently.

 943 characters

Photo of AgentZero
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think Sean brought this to our Fedor beat-down party.

A - Black beer with a good-looking brown head that dissipated after a short time and left some sparce and thin lacing on the sides.

S - Chocolate, roasted malts. A pleasant bourbon smell that is not very harsh with mild oak, toffee, and a little vanilla. Smells very good.

T - Had a differnce of opinions on this one, but I liked the taste of this better than the Evan Williams which we had side-by-side. Good chocolate and vanilla, bourbon is present but not hot. Not too woody, this is a very well balanced and slightly sweeter. Taste is very good.

M - A little thinner than I like, but nice body and mellow carbonation.

D - Pretty drinkable and a great beer at 9.5%, might be my favorite of this year's Eclipse releases.

 784 characters

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

Batch 1 from 2013.

A: Pours jet-black with a tall, dense medium brown head. Head fades out slowly with great retention. Sparse little strings of lacing.

S: Toffee, caramel and lots of oak from the bourbon. Honey is fairly noticeable with a decent chunk of chocolate in there too. Decent alcohol sting too.

T: Stinging bourbon up front, almost stronger than the aroma betrayed (usually the other way around). Lots of caramel, toffee and burnt sugars. Fairly oaky with quite a bit of vanilla too. Quite sweet, but made even sweeter with chocolate and honey. Bourbon is pretty heavy, the booziness helps cut the sweetness down a bit. Lingering spicy alcohol, oak and burnt sugars in the aftertaste.

M: Heavy, thick, low carbonation. Only "just" cut with the booziness. Sort of a chalky mouthfeel at times.

O: Another delicious Imperial Eclipse variant. Very sweet and very thick, this one. A little boozier than most at the same time. Strong flavors with great bourbon integration. Wonderful. My only real detraction is that this is almost a little too oaky and a little too boozy at times. Still great.

 1,106 characters

Photo of gford217
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark, dark brown with a bigger head than any Eclipse I've yet seen. The head recedes slowly to a thin cap and leaves good lacing. One of the better looking Eclipse pours.

Aroma is cocoa powder and lots of bourbon and vanilla. Lots of oak character in the nose, much more than I remember in any of the versions.

Taste starts with a bit of vanilla and bourbon but there is lots of roasted malts and bakers chocolate. Also, there is a pretty heavy barrel character with lots of oak...again, really unexpected vs. the other versions.

This one seems a bit drier than the other Eclipses. It's smooth with strong carbonation and plenty of bourbon and barrel character.

All in all, I'd probably rate this as my least favorite Eclipse along with JD, but, hey, that's still better than almost everything out there. It's much heavier on oak than any of the other versions.

 871 characters

Photo of Marius
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
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 DavoleBomb
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. 2011 vintage, bottle #1063. Red wax so I have the right listing.

This is my fifth variant this year (EC12, EC20, BT, RR) and sixth ever ('10 EW).

4.0 A: This one falls between RR and all of the others in terms of appearance. Black color. One and a half fingers of creamy tan head. Retention is about average and a thick ring of lacing is left behind.

3.0 S: Everything about the nose in this one screams (or maybe whimpers) average. As always, the stout is low octane in flavor and ofters only scant chocolate and roastiness. The bourbon isn't as powerful as the other variants and I'm left with small amounts of leather, earth, and light fruits.

4.5 T: The taste is more legit, but it isn't too legit to quit. Still, quite legit. The stout offers the same minor chocolate and roast, but the bourbon adds a variety platter of tastes. The strongest note in this chorus is strangely whipped cream. It's like a something you'd find atop a fancy coffee beverage. After that I get coffee itself, a tangy almost persimmon like fruitiness, melon galore, coconut, and carmelized sugar. Barrel adds a good bit of vanilla. Moderately boozy. Aftertaste is a sugary sweetness, but until that point it isn't overly sweet. I don't know how the nose is so weak after tasting it.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Somewhat creamy, but not as much as I like. Like usual, I wish this had more body.

4.0 D: This is my second favorite variant. Mighty tasty. If a better stout had been used with 50's pinnacle barrel aging, this would be something to remember. In any case, it's still quite good.

 1,617 characters

Photo of jeff1973
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Schlafly tulip. Bottled 12/11, so almost 2yrs old at this point. Bought at the Bruery Provisions (RIP) in Orange CA for $28.50.

A - Pitch, glistening black. Like motor oil. Light tan head leaves good lacing.

S - Milk chocolate, coconut, vanilla, toffee. All the nice bourbon smells you want.

T - Again, milk chocolate, coconut, vanilla, toffee. Also, some dried cherry, some coffee, roast. Alcohol is still present, even after 2yrs. Has a little raw grain finish. Only flaw.

M - Thick and rich upfront. Has a slightly watery finish (for the style). Carbonation is low and gives a silky mouthfeel.

O - Barrel-aged stouts are hard not to like. There are a few flaws on this one, but it is still a great beer. I will look for these again on the next bottle.

 792 characters

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

Sampled at the Batch 3 Rosso release as part of an Eclipse tasting; huge thanks to Thorpe429, ChrisPro, callmemickey, rlmartin, corey70, and starrdogg for making this possible!

A: Black body with brown highlights under a half-inch head of fine brown foam. Nice retention and lacing. The best-looking of the Eclipses.

S: Really smooth, really clean attack of bourbon and vanilla, without much else. Charred oak really asserts itself on the tail end. Simple and wonderful.

T: Sharp, intense wave of bourbon, alcohol, oak, and vanillla. Booze and coffee on the finish. Solid.

M: Sooth medium body, light carbonation.

O: This was probably the most forgettable of the various Eclipses (although the EW comes close), but it was still delicious. Nothing really stood out, but the up-front bourbon was entirely pleasant and of course the base stout was hugely tasty.

Cheers!

 872 characters

Photo of Jeffo
3.76/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My mate Doops and I were lucky enough to be able to try the entire 2010 - 2008 series. This was the second bottle we opened. Thanks for tracking this one down mate, and a big thanks to everyone who made putting this set together possible.

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2010
Bottle: 616
Wax: Red

APPEARANCE: All the 2010 bottles basically look the same. Thin, transparent pour yields a small, medium looking, tan head with decent retention. Head fades relatively quickly to a faint wisp and ring. Black body, quite transparent, with no carbonation evident. A ring remains until the end leaving some dots of lacing down the glass. Just too light and transparent for the style, unfortunately.

SMELL: Milder nose that the other bourbon barrel variants, but a little more complex. Milder bourbon with more aromas of oak, vanilla and some milk chocolate. Dark, pure chocolate in there as well with some light smoky notes. Nice and more appealing, though not quite as bold hoped.

TASTE: Milder bourbon flavors, but more of the base beer in this one. Some oak, vanilla and milk chocolate to be sure, with dark chocolate, roasted and smoky malts and licorice mid-palate and into the swallow. Barrel comes forward again in the pleasant aftertaste with oak, vanilla and dark chocolate flavors lingering nicely on the palate. Not as bourbon heavy as the others, with more base beer showing through. Quite nice actually.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Lighter on the palate, perhaps the lightest of the series, but very creamy and very smooth. Goes down smooth and silky and finishes slightly sticky. A touch of heat lingers. Needs a bit more weight perhaps, but very creamy and smooth stuff.

OVERALL: This was another good beer in the series, and I probably enjoyed it a little more than the EW we had earlier. The bourbon is a little more restrained in this one, but that allows the oak and base beer to shine through a little more. This is one I’d gladly drink again, but probably wouldn’t hunt down either. Check it out if you get the chance. I’d surely give the 2011 batch of this a go if the opportunity presented itself. Recommended.

 2,165 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
4.01/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with a thin sand colored head and some spotty lace down the glass with each sip.

S: Rich cocoa laced with bourbon. Honey, roasted malt, charred wood and just a touch of dark fruit. Pretty nice.

T: Roasted malt and honey upfront with some toasted brown sugar, milk chocolate, molasses and a touch of char. Just a tickle of bourbon in there as well, with a finish that definitely leans towards the barrel. Mouthfeel is light and a touch lacking. I really feel like this beer would benefit from a fuller mouthfeel. A solid beer, but I'm not sure worth the price. I'd much rather take Caldera's Mogli for 10 bucks less.

 627 characters

Photo of FosterJM
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1035th Review on BA
Bottle to CBS Snifter
22oz

2011
Red Wax
Bottle 1119/2011

App- Same color as the other treatments. Fit a whole bomber into the glass with a small one finger medium brown head that left a small small bit of webbing

Smell- opens a small bit of dark fruits and then moves to a bit of coffee and bourbon. Nice well rounded notes.

Taste- Much more chocolate than I thought. Very coffee foward as well which is a far departure from the previous two variants.  When it warms a bit more some roasted oats and a little bit of vanill

Mouth-  A bit more creamy than the other two. Medium/low bodied with a low/medium carbonation. Residual coffee & chocolate with some toasted and roasted malts

Drink- As I move from each variant to the next they kinda become better than the next. This one was a bit less heady than others and kinda brings it down.

 864 characters

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

Bottle #575, 2011 Red wax
Poured into a tulip.

Appearance
Black with some garnet highlights around the edges. 3 fingers of fluffy, light brown head. Good retention for the high abv.

Nose
Sweet bourbon, toffee and honey. Dark fruit, black licorice, bittersweet chocolate and a hint of vanilla.

Taste
Moderate amount of sweet bourbon notes upfront giving off some pleasant alcohol esters. A lot of dark fruit consisting of overripe plum, fig and some maraschino cherries. Molasses, toffee and honey. Bittersweet chocolate and cocoa nib. Finishes with light notes of espresso, coffee grounds, earth and some very subtle oak.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, silky, warming and sticky.

Overall
Deceptively smooth and easy drinking for a BA Imperial Stout. Complex and sweet but lacing vanilla flavors. Worth the $30 price tag? No. I can get KBS or BCBS cheaper and those are much better quality.

 888 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.61/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, bottle 1385/2011. Pours dark brown / black with a bit creamy tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is oaty chocolate malts with some dark fruit, black licorice and light bourbon. There's some alcohol as well. It's a bit more subdued than expected.

The flavor is sweet sugary (honey?) chocolate malts and dark fruits and some grain that leads to a bitter warming alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, some harsh boozy bitterness early on, but it mellows and becomes pretty well balanced. As it warms up all the way, it becomes a bit boozy again.

 621 characters

Photo of Sean9689
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another one shared with friends @ Jason's place. Poured into Bruery tulip.

A - Pours black, mocha-colored head, some spotty lacing, and a thin filmy cap. The most head I've seen from any of the variations.

S - Rich chocolate, booze, oak, burnt/charred sugars. A touch lighter then the Evan Williams we had right before this. A little more subtle.

T - A nice dose of alcohol booze, oak, chocolate, char. As with the nose, a little more subtle when compared to the EW. Perhaps more balanced?

M - Full, good carbonation, rich and smooth, creamy finish.

D - Not quite as good as the EW we had right before this but it's better then most other imperial stouts out there. It's really a treat to try all the different variations Todd's created. He's done a stellar job. Recommend!

 779 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Super Junior Market
San Diego, CA

Very dark brown, nearly black in color, without a lot of visible carbonation and not much head. Eventually, however, this does leave sticky spots and sheets of lacing down the glass. That being said, this has significantly less carbonation than any of the other Eclipse variations I've opened this year.

The familiar coconut, bourbon, chocolate, wood, roast, and coffee elements combine here for something quite nice. Nearly as good as the white wax Elijah Craig variation, but not quite.

The flavor follows similarly, with toasted coconut, chocolate, bourbon, and earthy vanilla notes rounding this out. There's also a noticable ashey/char note to it as well, unfortunately. This is the third Eclipse variation I've tried so far, and it's unfortunately my least favorite.

Medium mouthfeel with low carbonation.

A terrific variation, but not quite as good as the Elijah Craig 18 nor the Brewmaster's Grand Cru.

 964 characters

Photo of brotherloco
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz waxed bomber. 2011 Edition. Bottle #645. Served in a snifter.

A vigorous pour gave me a very dark, opaque black body topped by about a finger of dark beige foam. Dissipates fairly quickly to a thick ring with large bubbles. Bits of lacing.

Dry and dusty barrel aroma. A little lighter than other versions. Vanilla ice cream and marshmallows dominate. Chocolate malt. Light bourbon and oak presence. A good bit of alcohol.

Taste is rich and very sweet. Honey is there, along with vanilla and more oak than in the nose. Roasty chocolate malt meets sweet bourbon in the middle of the flavor. Elements are well integrated. Roasty bitter finish with some booze dries things up. Heat comes on after several sips.

Body is medium-full and carbonation is medium-low. Fairly oily slick feel. Goes down great.

 807 characters

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, black licorice, dark cocoa, coffee, booze.

T - Sweet chocolate and caramel malts, Bourbon, vanilla, oak, molasses, coffee, black licorice, bitter dark cocoa, raisin and other dark fruits, 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 bourbon is very present, but balanced here.

 567 characters

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the release party and finally getting around to reviewing it

Look: Pours a almost black color with 1/8 inch head and no retention

Smell: The bourbon is integrated pretty nicely with the coffee and chocolate notes but nothing truly stands out which is something I would have liked

Taste: Upfront on this one is some roasted malt with just the slightest touch of bourbon I would have really liked more and then the beer finishes with some nice coffee chocolate and oak notes

Mouthfeel: Medium body and low carbonation

Overall: They had both the 2010 and 2011 versions available for sampling at the party and this is a review of the 2011. I tried both of them and had this been a review for the 2010 version the review would be much worse and it became overpoweringly sweet and a bit off putting so I would drink this one fresh. That being said the 2011 version was still not one of my favorites of the different barrel treatments coming in slightly above the Brandy for least favorite of the night

 1,010 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to nerd for this one. Bottle #357. Shared with schen9303. Poured into a Founders snifter.

Pour yields a 1.5 finger coarse, light mocha head with moderate retention. Beer is a dark, opaque black. Lacing is ringed and thick with good stick. Decent legs. A real good looking beer that's solid in all aspects.

Nose is chocolate, molasses, sweet mocha, some sweet soy sauce, and a light sprinkling of dark fruit, all covered in bourbon. Heat is moderately strong in this one but not overwhelming. Again, solid though a touch mild.

Opens sweet molasses, chocolate, and with a creamy hop presence. In come the bourbon barrels towards the middle, adding a touch of heat and more sweetness. Some dark fruit appears later on. End is mocha characteristics and sweet brown sugar and molasses. Finishes more of the same with an aftertaste is sweet coffee beans and roasted malt. Probably one of the most mellow and subtle barrel aging qualities I've come across.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Super smooth and silky in the mouth and goes down warm, oily, and smooth. Really impressive. Finish is warm and balanced with a mellow but lingering aftertaste. Really impressive.

This offering is up there with the Elijah Craig and Pappy Van Winkle versions of the 50/50 imperial stout. Incredibly smooth with a very balanced flavor profile that incorporates, then displays the barrel aging process perfectly. Gotta more of this one.

 1,439 characters

Photo of Roguer
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
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 Overlord
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a surprisingly thin dark, deep brown with a black core. Dark brown foam bubbling. Great looking head, good looking beer once settled into glass. Really shocking amount of bubbles.

Smell is surprisingly roast-y, with a bit of molasses, a bit of charred chocolate, and a surprising amount of bourbon/alcohol heat.

Taste is a bit all over the place. The bourbon is too damned hot. 9.5% abv? Really? Uhhhh...if so, it's not well integrated into the flavor profile here. Also surprisingly acrid/roast-y ... where's the bitterness coming from? Not much vanilla. Would have really liked some sweeter bourbon/vanilla notes to balance out the bittering background. The chocolate comes across much more strongly in the nose than in the flavor. The sweetness of the chocolate/charred molasses is fighting for air.

I mean, we're not talking about volcanic ash like what we've seen from recent Abyss releases, but this flavor profile was quite a bit different from the Pappy Van WInkle I tried earlier this year. Not as sweet, hotter yet not as bulky in terms of mouthfeel or flavor profile. A good beer, but not nearly worth what I paid for it. Too much charred barrel.

 1,167 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from the brewpub.

Very dark brown in color with a one finger tan head and great lacing. Nice viscosity to it.

The bourbon in this one is a bit hotter on the nose than in, say, the Evan Williams. Behind that is your typical Eclipse awesomeness. Roasty dark chocolate and coffee notes, with a bit of oak.

The flavor has great complexity. The base stout is bomb, lending mildly sweet chocolate flavors and espresso, and the -bals do their job with considerable oak and bourbon. Not as seamless as some other versions, but still excellent.

The mouthfeel is exceedingly smooth like all Eclipses, if a tiny bit boozy with mild tannins. Fairly full body.

Overall this is probably my least favorite 2010 Eclipse, but it’s still amazing. Todd has these beers dialed in.

 774 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Re-review. I've had a handful of bottles. I can't stop drinking this beer to save my life. Unfortunately, as I mentioned in my Evan Williams review, the bottles vary due to FiftyFifty contracting out to a mobile bottling operation. They hope to have the problem fixed next year. Still, as someone who has the opportunity to sample multiple bottles and catalogue the variation, I'm uploading my experiences.

Some bottles seem barrel-heavy. The charred oak comes through strongest, with general burnt flavors leading the charge. When the beer warms, the bourbon kind of takes over, but not enough to eliminate the acrid, bitter barrel parts. I'd give these a B- or B.

Other bottles, on the other hand, are mind-blowing. I had two that I would rate A+. Based on those, I'd call the Four Roses the standout of this year's treatments.

Unfortunately, when the bottles cost $25 apiece, I can't simply rate off the best one. I'm averaging my experiences here. On the whole I'd say I'm disappointed by the 2010 Eclipses considering what they cost. I feel they were a huge dropoff from 2009.

~~~

Original comments:

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks, Ted.

Note: serve at 60+ F. The Eclipse series, more than other stouts, seems to suffer with chilling.

A: Pours, like the other Eclipses, a dark, clear brown that appears opaque in larger quantities. This seems a tad more carbonated than the others, or at least it exhibits better retention. The tan head retains for a good while as a small cap on the beer, with a few tendrils of lace as I sip.

S: This is more spicy and flowery than the other bourbon in the 2010 treatments (Evan Williams), reminding me of a dark honey. It has a nice vanilla scent to it. The base beer comes through as a chocolatey fudge blast: brownies, cookie dough, caramel. There's a small booze note.

T: The bourbon pickup varies from bottle to bottle. Here, it is not shy, but it integrates well with the base beer. Spicy, floral characteristics meld with caramel and vanilla. Milk chocolate and brownies are rich and tasty. Charred oak is light, seguing into flavors of anise, roast, and smoke. The finish is lightly spicy again, with some heat that delivers a small kick. Retronasal hints of hazelnut. Beautifully integrated and delicious. This is significantly different from (and better than) the other bottle I opened, which had a strong charred barrel flavor to it. Either way, Four Roses is more subtle than other brands of bourbon, and that's reflected here. This particular variety needs to be quite warm to express itself.

M: This is a little more viscous than the other Eclipses, but it's still not that hefty. And when cold, the bourbon (which is a fairly subtle brand) is muted, making for a really empty-feeling beer. It really needs to approach room temp before it hits its stride. Carbonation is very low, nearl still. There is a small warmth to it that imparts a light stinging sensation.

D: I've opened a bottle myself and partaken in a bottle shared by chswimmer (RIP). They were very different. Supposedly the beers were blended this year, but I can't account for the bottle variation here; the swing is pretty severe. That being said, the second bottle of Four Roses was the best of the 4 versions this year...

 3,271 characters

Photo of Damian
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
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 jegross2
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Eclipse Imperial Stout (Four Roses bourbon version) from FiftyFifty Brewing Company.
Score: 92

2011 vintage, bottle no. 2641. Served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 03/07/12. Review is from notes.

Appearance: Pours half a finger of creamy tan head that settles to a thin ring around the glass. Jet black with caramel strip of highlight atop the glass. Average lacing, above average retention. 4/5

Smell: Surprisingly straightforward for a barrel aged beer. Lots of dark chocolate. Then vanilla bean and a little toffee. Not much else. 4/5

Taste: Primarily a medley of various chocolate flavors. Some dark chocolate, creamy milk chocolate and some roasted chocolate. A little oak, followed by bourbon and caramel undertones. There is a modest amount of dark fruit, and a honey-like sweetness. Not very complex outside the chocolate flavors, but still very delicious. Alcohol is entirely hidden. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, minimal carbonation. Really creamy mouthfeel. The finish is dry and slightly sweet. 4.5/5

Overall: Really tasty, but not very complex. This is a super solid barrel aged imperial stout that drinks incredibly well.

Recommendation: Delicious? Yes. Worth the cost? No. At $30+ a bottle, this is one certainly overpriced for what it is. I would absolutely drink it again, but there are plenty of cheaper, easier to find barrel aged imperial stouts out there.

Pairings: Chocolate chip pancakes.

Cost: $30 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

 1,490 characters

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 562 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe