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

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses BourbonImperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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:
555
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
16.98%
 
 
Wants:
274
Gots:
288
For Trade:
20
User Reviews
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Reviews: 149 | Ratings: 555
Photo of Auracom
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2010, bottle #922. Part of my stout tasting on October 22nd, 2011. 2-3 oz. into snifter. The third variant we opened. Certain parts copied over from the other Eclipse reviews.

A - Thin, semi-dark brown coloring. Lacking any sort of considerable head but showing a decent amount of alcohol on the sides of my glass.

S – Vanilla, smoke, roasted almonds, walnuts, whiskey barrel, and oak. Well-blended. Wish we had an option for 4.75 here, it will score slightly lower than it ought to.

T – Sweetness contrasted by bourbon at the front. Middle of the tongue features a roasted note that follows through to a fairly tannic finish.

M - Medium body. Carbonation is expected, finish is a bit short unfortunately.

D – Despite the larger oak flavor in this version, the finish didn’t quite get to the level it needed to. The overall impression of my group is that it fell somewhere between the superior Heaven’s Hill and the lesser Evan Williams, though I think it was closer to the former. More than worthy for a tasting and all in all, when tasted in multiple versions, the Eclipse series is a great experience for learning about barrel variation.

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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.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 22oz bottle to tasting glass at my 30th Beerthday Bash on 9/23/11
*From notes

Vintage 2010

A: Dark and robust. There's a sheen to it that, when it hits the glass, looks a bit like liquid silk blowing in the wind. A standard pour yields a 1.25 finger head that fades quickly, leaving minimal lacing behind.

S: Damn do I love Four Roses bourbon, and more importantly, their wonderful barrels. This is exceptional. Roasted coconut, with hints of candied sugar. Dark, organic cocoa and a touch of mineral earth round out a superb bouquet.

T: Yet again, this is Four Roses' show. This is pretty close to perfect, as the booze cuts to the heart of the palate, allowing the charred malt and bourbon to balance perfectly. All the usual suspects are in attendance: chewy fresh coconut, baker's chocolate and espresso. And the cherry on top? You guessed it: Four Roses bourbon on the long, lovely finish.

M: The mouthfeel here holds it's own, giving the beer a leg to stand on. Without the rich, creamy carbonation and layers of smooth, silky texture, this wouldn't be quite the beer that it is.

O: FiftyFifty's Four Roses Eclipse was easily the best Eclipse of the night (#2: Evan Williams, #3: Rittenhouse Rye). This has everything you'd want in a BA ADIS, and didn't dissapoint. I look forward to tracking down more of this, and enjoying it with the closest of friends and family.

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

750 ml bottle poured into my cigar city tulip. Can't remember who sent this to me, but thanks to whomever did.

A: Pretty much black. The pour dropped a finger of light tan head that faded to a thin rim and left no lace.

A: strong vanilla aroma. The barrel imparts great notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak. I get notes of roasted black malt and molasses. Next to no hop presence.

T: pretty darn good here too. The vanilla is the dominate characteristic, but the caramel and the roasted malt balance it nicely. The beer finihes sweet with a bit of alcohol heat.

M: Actually a touch thin for this caliber of beer. But still full bodied and creamy. And just a bit too much carbonation for my liking.

O: Really good beer here. I love the vanilla character a d the nose is just about perfect. Not quite as good as the EW treatment, but still a fantastic brew. Skal.

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

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: The appearance is mahogany, almost black, with dark brown edges. A few brown bubbles appear but never form into a head or leave any lace.

Smell: The aroma here is excellent. The bourbon, vanilla, smooth roasted and chocolate malts, chocolate, but there is also a nice floral note in here. It reminds me of lilac.

Taste: The flavor starts out sweet and smooth. Briefly I feel a sensation like I am chewing on flowers. Creamy, smooth malt is on the lighter roasted side. Chocolate and espresso come in next, with a bit of oak finishing out the flavor.

Mouthfeel: The feel is a bit oily but there is also a slight dryness from the oak and bourbon. The body is fuller than medium for the style, with very creamy, smooth carbonation.

Overall: This beer topped out at the aroma. The flowery notes I got there were different and caused me to raise an eyebrow.

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Photo of jamescain
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a sniffer, big thanks to Dajtai007 for sharing this one with us. Bottle 925

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with mahogany hues around the edges. Topped off by a mocha colored head about a finger thick that fades into a thin lacing.

Aroma: Very delicate aroma, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, caramel, oak, bourbon, and a hint of licorice and cinnamon are all mixed very well.

Taste: Big and roasty, chocolatey, vanilla, bourbon, spicy, molasses, and oak.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and surprisingly carbonated, I wasn't expecting this much carbonation, probably the only down side.

Overall: Very much enjoyed this beer, would have preferred a little less carbonation, but other then that, very happy.

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

22oz bottle into a snifter - Bottle #1066, 2010 Vintage

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black in the glass, with a small dark tan head that fades to a ring and leaves a small bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose consists of molasses, dark fruits, chocolate, a touch of licorice, and bourbon. Nice sweet aromas that hint at the goodness to come.

T: Taste is big roasty chocolate malt, molasses, vanilla, slight licorice, and a bit of dark fruit. The flavors stick to the palate and allow the finish to fade very slowly.

M: The feel is creamy and thicker than past versions I've had...it's on the fuller side of medium. It's sticky which helps with the finish.

O: Sweet and decadent, this is defintely a dessert beer. Big flavors and aromas and a nice mouthfeel make this one of the better Eclipse variants I've had so far next to the Elijah Craig version.

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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.

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

Bottle courtesy of the always epic largadeer. Thanks, brosef.

A: The pour is viscous and black with a finger of khaki head on it.

S: The roast and char from the barrel come through strong on the initial sniff. Lots of bourbon and vanilla notes follow along with dark roasted coffee and a nice dark chocolate/cocoa powder aroma. There is just a hint of smoke in the background.

T: A rather strong roast up front on the palate as well. Plenty of bourbon and oak notes and a sweet vanilla flavor to round it out. Mild sweetness of molasses and dark chocolate to go with the roast and coffee notes.

M: Medium to full in body with a smooth, creamy carbonation.

O: Although almost all of the variations on this beer are solid, this one is certainly up near the top. Very nice stuff.

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Photo of Gfunk720
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Geoi for these bottles. 22oz w/ red wax into my Captain Lawrence tulip.

A- The beer pours your typical pitch black stout color, with a tannish color head. The head is healthy, and lingers for quite a while. A light frothy ring retains around the edges of the glass for as long as I drank it.

S- The smell is a rich roasted malt nose, with notes of chocolate and oak. There is a slight smokiness, and some mild booziness. I get a touch of hops and maybe a little bit of bourbon.

T- A rich creamy flavor sweeps across my mouth, hints of oak and bourbon then take over and finish with a smooth aftertaste. I get a little heat and some hops on the back end, it it is blended quite nicely. I get a lot less bourbon flavor in this one than the Evan Williams barrel batch though.

M- It's got one hell of a complex taste, and just dances across the tongue. The beer in general just gets my tastebuds dacing. While I do pefer my barrel aged stouts a litte thicker, the complex flavor makes up for it.

O- Overall an other great Eclipse variation. While I do think I prefer the Evan Williams to this barrel, it certainly is not bad. The barrel aging just isn't as prevalent. Can't wait for 2011 bottles, and to try the Heaven Hill and Brandy varieties.

-GFunk

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

Bottle picked up for me from the brewery by nerd - thanks dude! Served in a Three Floyds pint glass.

A - A finger of dark tan foam settles to a thin cap and some spotty lace. Dark brown near-black body that reveals a bit more lightness at the fringes.

S - Dark chocolate, smoke, oak, bourbon, dark fruits. It's got that typical Eclipse maple and caramel sweetness, particularly when it warms up. No obvious alcohol.

T - Heavy in oak, with notes of dark chocolate, dark fruits, and some bourbon flavor as well. Minimal roast, but perhaps a bit of espresso bitterness, as well as oak, in the finish.

M - A little thin, a common complaint I have about some Eclipse variants, although not totally out of line for the lower ABV. Medium-low carbonation, and no obvious alcohol. Finishes tannic and fairly dry.

D - Not my favorite variant, but eminently drinkable. Everyone enjoyed this and wished we had more of it to pass around (or less people sharing it). I'm looking forward to my 2011 bottles. A very good barrel-aged stout.

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Photo of jethrodium
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Red waxed bottle. Pours a dark black with a little bit of light coming through at the edges. A one finger light chocolate head has good retention and leaves a large amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is big vanilla, cocoa, bourbon, light roastiness, light alcohol, a little coconut, and a little honey. The taste is sweet cocoa, vanilla, and some light bourbon. The finish is a little bitter with some dark chocolate. Medium-light body. Low carbonation. Great beer. I wish it had a slightly fuller mouthfeel, but it is still phenomenal.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

essentially black as an abyss with no light coming through on Two fingers worth of brown, frothy head then gradually formed and pushed just out over the lip of my snifter.

warm vanilla notes waft through the air and perk up my senses. I find that rich aroma comforting and soothing and a sign that it stayed in the barrel just the right amount of time. Going in closer and letting it reach its zenith at room temperature reveals a complex mixture of chocolate, hints of tobacco and leather, even the finest touches of coffee all coming together and creating a symphony of aroma.
Vanilla and bourbon notes hit first. Smooth and silky feel here, really very nicely done. It melts seamlessly and effortlessly into a spinning cauldron of coffee and chocolate that just reeks of woody tones and vanilla underpinnings. Warming really starts to bring this out now. finish belongs to the barrel as the sweet, balanced flavor leaves its mark and fades off into the night.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A head that cascades from one finger to about two and a half sits pretty on a pitch black body wonderful lacing and retention (just like all the rest of the BA Eclipse beers). Retention and lacing are perfect.

Smells of chocolate, perfume-y alcohol, oak, and the typical aromas of a fine strong bourbon (toffee, oak, chocolate, ripe fruit).

Maybe the bourboniest of the Eclipses (except for the Jack Daniels... maybe). Huge bourbon notes, accompanied by vanilla, some ripe dark fruits (subtle though), dark chocolate, vanilla, and woody notes are quite strong and in your face, yum!

More dry and alcoholic tasting than most of the rest of the series. Tannins are much more prevalent as well. Still the subtle carbonation and semi restrained thickness of the body make it surprisingly quaffable. The finish draws out as long as you want until you take the next sip.

Tannic, oaky, heavy, complex, elegant. Barrel aged beer lovers, this is one of the most barrel heavy beers I have ever tried. A true delight. This is my last bottle, so don't ask me for any, but I admonish you to seek it out.

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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!

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Photo of JAXSON
3.38/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm just gonna copy my notes here. I did pick this beer out in a blind tasting though among almost all the other Eclipse variations and some other bottles so I'll hang my hat on that for now. Notes read, "hotter than Elijah Craig. Under attenuated and hot compared to Elijah Craig, but not nearly as bad as Brandy. Some leafy tobacco. 3.4/5." I guess I was kind of drunk, heh.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Eclipse release party. Pours black, reddish brown head to this one, better than the other varieties I thought. Smell was unremarkable, not necessarily the biggest fan of 4 roses bourbon.

Good taste, as expected, bourbon, oak, good roast feel. Very similar to the EW version. Charred feel to the beer. Tiny amount of vanilla. Creamy, very easy to drink, not an alcohol bomb by any means. Goes with coffee chocolates that they had out for sampling. Dark chocolate comes out more and more the longer you sip on it.

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Photo of DosBeerigos
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

C: Black
H: Dark Black
N: Chocolate, Bourbon, Vanilla

Well this is the second Imperial Eclipse Stout that I have drank and reviewed for the blog. The Four Roses was dramatically different from the Elijah Craig barrel treatment. The body was thinner, and the flavor was a little weaker. While the Four Roses had a stronger bourbon flavor to it, it did not seem nearly as balanced as the E. Craig.
All this said the beer is still amazing but it is not nearly as good as the Elijah Craig barrel aged. I would still attempt to grab another bottle of either

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Photo of hopsbreath
3.54/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber shared at a tasting hosted by ramnuts. Fellow BA’s ChaseT, black13, MADhombrewer, Witchsbrew, TulipSnifter also helped me drink this. Thanks guys.

A: Medium reddish brown with good clarity, pale brown short lived fizzy head that sticks around a little better than the brandy version but still recedes to a wisp ring, no legs, minimal spotty lacing. 3/5

S: Wonderful vanilla, dusty cocoa, oaky brown liquor. This is where the beer shines the most for me. 4/5

T: Caramel coated bourbon soaked wood. Not much in the end of the char I was half expecting so it’s working for me. There’s more of a milk chocolate flavor here. A little too sweet for my liking but not terribly so. 3.5/5

M: Copy/pasted from my CB Eclipse rating: Low carbonation in big stouts usually works for me but in this particular case the base is just too damn thin. Sticky finish does nothing to help but isn't as gummy as the CB. 3/5

O: I’m not sure I understand the allure of this series. Perhaps the 2009’s I haven’t had are much better than this year’s batches. For the cash, I wouldn’t buy this one again. 3.5/5

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah, my first taste of the 2010 Eclipses. I've been hugely impressed by the various incarnations of this beer that I've been fortunate enough to try, and I'm curious to try the new versions. Bottle #390

Pouring the typical very dark brown with reddish brown highlights, there's a dense, brown head that recedes to a disk, leaving some lace on my Duvel Green tulip. The nose has probably the biggest oak presence that I've encountered from these beers, woody and tannic. One of those few beers where the oak intensity comes across as spicy in addition to vanilla-like, there's a touch of ashy aromas too. Dominating the sweeter, milder stout base, some chocolate and cream are still noticeable though. And I guess I have to add that bourbon is present as well. As Arbitrator notes in his review, serving this beer too cold has a larger negative impact than you might expect. Warming this up to ~65F really brought out the chocolate and fudge behind the bourbon and oak, and some licorice, which is surprising 'cos this isn't an attribute of any of the other Eclipses I've tried.

The palate is significantly more complex than the nose. Bourbon is present up front with brown sugar and booze, along with vanilla and oak. Chocolate, fudge and cookie dough are present on the mid-palate, though this isn't as decadent as other editions (specifically the superlative Elijah Craig or Pappy versions). None of the oak harshness I picked out on the nose is present here. Medium-light in body with soft, creamy carbonation, this feels really good on the palate. Strangely, letting this breathe does wonders to the palate, bringing out the chocolate more. The finish is excellent, with the oak tannins and licorice (where did that come from?!) lending just enough bitterness to balance the sweetness, and a sufficient booze character to keep you warm. An excellent effort, though, if I had to guess, I got one of the oakier bottles here.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review 450. Cheers!

Bought at Hamilton's in San Diego. 2010 vintage, bottle number 777.

Appearance - Pours into a supplied tulip with a dark viscosity. About a finger of mocha colored head is achieved with a moderate pour. The head dissipates relatively slowly leaving nice looking lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Holy cow, this smells amazing. Great bourbon scent, oak and heavy vanilla. Roasted malts and chocolate, and more vanilla.

Taste - The taste begins as expected, with some fantastic oaky vanilla flavors up front. Fades to chocolate brownie, fudge, and hazelnut. Charred malts and hints of alcohol finish it up. This tastes fantastic.

Mouthfeel - Moderate mouthfeel, lower carbonation, chewy and creamy.

Drinkability - Quite so. I shared this with another patron at the bar to give him a taste, but I probably could have put this down completely by myself. Quite good and am very thankful I was able to try this (I have three other versions of this and was not able to get this one). A great beer.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

3/19/2011

Big thanks to largadeer for sending this bottle my way. 2010 vintage poured into a snifter.

A: Pours pretty much black, but the head is quite impressive. It rises two inches above the liquid and exhibits remarkable retention. Lacing appears in thick curtains on the sides of my snifter. Looks fantastic, especially for a barrel aged beer.

S: A blend of dark and milk chocolates and an evident earthy hop note. Light notes of caramel and cookie dough. There's a damp wood profile that is pretty unique that blends with vanilla and a well integrated bourbon character. Brown sugar is tame, and there's the faintest note of coffee. Roasted malt is restrained. On the whole, the aroma gives the impression of bourbonic oaken chocolate.

T: More aggressive than the nose suggested, but that's not really a bad thing. Tannic and moderately roasted, with a very drying oak profile. Bourbon is well integrated like it was in the nose. Dark bittersweet chocolate is pronounced, but there are some milk chocolate notes in there as well. Some cookie dough is apparent. The beer displays an upper moderate sweetness with an unabashed booziness that seems to fit. The finish is dry, with big chocolate and bourbon notes.

M: Lower full body with a moderate level of carbonation. The mouthfeel is chewy, silky, sticky, tannic, and dry. Alcohol warming is substantial.

Overall: A very nice addition to the barrel aged Eclipse series. I know there's been a significant amount of bottle variation with the 2010 batches, but this particular bottle was really great. Highly recommended.

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

First time trying this beer, even though I have two bottles of the Evan Williams in the cellar.

Thanks to Mrbubbler for bringing this over.

Red Wax dipped bottle, 22oz bomber poured into a Bruery tulip glass.

The beer pours a dark, deep, mocha black, with a chocolate brown hue at the edges. A tiny 1/10 of an inch of head, that was more of bubble floating on top, so no real lacing as a result.

I actually picked up honey first and foremost on the aroma. But the bourbon notes definitely come through strong as well. Layers of roasted oak, chocolate, vanilla, and a little booze.

The honey gave the backbone for me in the taste, followed by roasted chocolate notes up front. In the middle, the oak and vanilla come through a bit, bound by the bourbon notes, which is well blended in with all of these flavors, and the alcohol does not come off too much, although these days 9.5% is not as high as a lot of Barrel Aged Imperial stouts.

Mouth feel was smooth, heavy, and rich. Some warming from the alcohol, and just subtle carbonation.

Overall, more than anything I'm curious what the subtle or perhaps not so subtle differences will be when I get the chance to try some of the other versions. It is up there with some of the best barrel aged Imperial Stouts though, no doubt.

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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.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2010 Bottle #463. Shared with nhindian! From notes.

A: Opaque to the max. Dark brown with a tan head. Decent retention, which laces down the side of my tulip glass nicely.

S: Oak and vanilla on the smell. Chocolately hints as well as a bit of coffee. Bourbon is present, but not overwhelming.

T: Really smooth taste. Very complex as well. Bourbon oakiness up front. Chocolate in the middle. Huge coffee aftertaste at the end. Truly amazing how all three phases of the beer are so pronounced and the bourbon is integrated so well. Nothing but a hint of alcohol.

MF: Dark, heavy, creamy, wonderful.

D: Very good, bourbon and alcohol don't overpower you at all. Instantly became a favorite.

I enjoyed this a second time at a tasting that included 5 Eclipse variations: Elijah Craig 12 and 18, Four Roses, Heaven Hill Rittenhouse Rye, and Brewmaster's Grand Cru.

2011 Vintage Bottle #489. $25 for a 22oz bottle.

A: All of them pretty much poured the same. Finger or two of brown to light brown head. The color is black with noticeable bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass. This one specifically had the best head.

S: Hardly any bourbon on the aroma surprisingly. The focus here is roast, charred malts, and chocolate. Very different from the other bourbons. I really wish FiftyFifty would release the base beer for these, so we could see what the barrel treatment is doing to it.

T: Much more barrel aged notes on the taste as it actually seems to be the focus. Complete 180 from the aroma. This is the oakiest of the 5 probably. The bourbon treatment seems to be a bit intrusive. Too boozy and not as balanced.

MF: Lighter body overall than I expected, and lower than average carbonation. Big booziness on all of them, with a warming alcohol feeling to finish. The dryness on the palate varies with the different bourbons. This one was even lighter than the average, very boozy and dry.

O: Sort of disapointing, especially considering I loved it when I had it before. Probably would be great alone, but just didn't stack up well to the other variations. This came in last place.

The rating above comes from an average of what I thought of the two different bottles.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 149 ratings.
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  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

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