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

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

Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 149 | Ratings: 564
Photo of DovaliHops
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Red Wax. Bottle #2286. Pours a dark brownish black color with a large tan-mocha colored head that takes quite some time to go down. Scent is dark chocolate with some roasted malt aromas. Sweet vanilla and oak with some cocoa powder and a hint of anise. More sweet chocolate with a bit of espresso. Not detecting very much bourbon in the nose. Taste is...THERE's THE BOURBON! Wow, so tasty. Where do I start? Sweet cocoa up front with some nice roasted marshmallow flavor. Sweet bourbon meshed well with vanilla, toffee, and dark cherries. A tad bit of alcohol, but a ton of roasted malt and amazing chocolate and bourbon flavors. The dark cherry finish just tops this beer off. Mouthfeel is fluffy and creamy. Drinkability is high. Overall, this could possibly be my favorite I've had from the Eclipse series so far (only had 2010 Evan Williams and 2011 18 year EC). I'd have to look at how I rated those, but this one is spectacular!

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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.

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Photo of rand
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
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.


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Photo of BEERchitect
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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

Thanks to westcoastbeerlvr and huadog I've got a couple bottles of this delicious stuff (thanks Craig and Russ!). Opening the first one tonight, cellar temp, poured into a Darkness snifter.

It pours a dark and completely opaque black, with a few fingers worth of tan head. It smells sweet and bourbon-like, dark molasses and cocoa along with a delicious dark fruits and whiskey.

It tastes hotter than the PVW version I had a few nights ago, probably because it's newer but maybe it has something to do with the particular barrel. Lots of cocoa and roasted malt character, very very nice. The only possible complaint is too much sweetness, but it deosn't get old very quickly.

Thick body, providing an excellent match to the huge flavors, velvety and satiny, just another excellent attribute. So good, these Eclipse stouts are worth every penny.

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Photo of KAP1356
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Pretty stoked to get to try this beer. Decided finding it for less than $30/bottle was a sign and went for it. Poured into a Weyerbacher tulip...

A - Eclipse ours completely pitch black - as expected. A foamy, khaki colored head forms about 1 finger thick. The head recedes to a collar that is the color of hot chocolate.

S - The aroma bursts from the glass with rich bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, caramel, toffee, molasses, and brown sugar all mixing together quite harmoniously. Dark fruits, slight coffee notes, and some licorice come through as well. The bourbon doesn’t overtake the rest of the aromas which is quite a nice touch as the remaining aromas are divine enough in and of themselves.

T - The flavor is really quite outstanding. Chocolate, roasted malts, and vanilla come first. These are followed by molasses, brown sugar and bourbon adding to the rest of the flavors. The flavors are very smooth and mellow as the barrel adds a bit of dryness to the overall flavor profile. Again, the bourbon doesn’t overpower and is almost understated here - helping to meld the other rich, unctuous flavors.

M - The mouthfeel is slightly different than what I would expect from this beer. Medium bodied and very creamy. In my opinion, I feel like this beer could be a bit thicker than it is. While not very viscous, it does roll on the tongue in a creamy, milkshake like manner.

O - Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. I loved the flavors and liked that the barrel didn’t overpower all of the great base flavors. The only real downside to these beers is their price tag.

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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, 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.

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

2010 Vintage. Huge thanks to dyan for giving me this as an extra!

A: Pours a dark brown/black with a pretty substantial tan head. Looks to be pretty carbonated for a big stout. Has some nice medium lacing.

S: Smells fantastic - bourbon, chocolate and a little bit of wood. A lot of bourbon-barrel stouts are overwhelmed by the bourbon in the smell, but this has bourbon as just one component.

T: Bourbon is present in the flavor, but like in the smell, it's just one component and doesn't overwhelm the beer. Beer has some nice dark chocolate and roasty notes as well. It's not too sweet, and has fantastic balance.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, a bit thinner than most other stouts this size with nice carbonation.

O: This really is a great stout. I love that you can really taste the flavors in the base beer while still getting some bourbon and oak added from the barrels.

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

bottle 944 - thanks Schwaeh - 2010 bottle

A: poured a deep black with one finger head that descended into a thin frothy off white lacing, decent carbonation.

S: Bourbon, roasted malts, slight vanilla, chocolate.

T: Mellow bourbon notes with a slight vanilla , deep roasted malt , slight chocolate hints.

O: Much more mellow in the bourbon taste than the 2011 12 and 18, smooth and creamy , probably my favorite of the Eclipse's so far.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from bottle #631. 2010 Vintage.
Pours a nice, solid black. The initial carbonation produces an inch and a half of dark tan head. The lace is spotted but everywhere (and long lasting.)
The smell is light and smooth. Starts with coffee, burnt chocolate and vanilla. The finish is earthy with a bit of bourbon, but not too much.
The taste is pretty balanced between roasted malt, earthy hops and oak bourbon barrel. Swiss Miss hot cocoa, slight plum, a bit of expresso, slight char, oak, whiskey, very complex. I served it at about 45 so it warmed quickly and let out a lot of flavor. Beats Evan Williams by a bit. Smooth and silky going down, nice moderate body.
I love this brew. Very expensive but worth buying a bottle. I grabbed one each of the Evan Williams, 4 Roses and Heaven Hill 2009. The Heaven Hill is still aging (too expensive not to) but so far this was my favorite.

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Photo of oberon
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
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!

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Photo of zeledonia
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 1233/2011. Tasted 25 March 2014.

Pours black and thick. Two fingers of medium tan head. Great retention, islands of lacing all over the glass.

Smell is excellent. Rich and well-balanced. Full of chocolate, bourbon sweetness, with a light alcohol bite.

Taste is rich and full. Sweet dark roasted malts, chocolate, raisins, topped with grainy bourbon. Fantastically sweet and rich, with great balance between the base and the barrel. Excellent.

Feel is excellent as well. Full-bodied, thick and chewy. Medium-high carbonation, on the high side for a big stout, but I like the way it gets the flavors moving.

I'd put this in the upper-middle tier of barrel-aged stouts. Sweet and full, as I like them. Its best feature is its balance.

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Photo of korguy123
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Edition into CBS snifter.

A- Opaque black, inky, oily, black pour. Light tan head, head and lacing are nice for a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout at almost 10%.

S- Smooth, sweet bourbon up front. Oak is there adding a nice touch. Black licorice, dark chocolate, fresh pressed coffee, vanilla and brown sugar with a touch of molasses. The bourbon has a presence that isn't too much but also adds a touch of warmth in it's aroma.

T- Smooth bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla and a good dose of fresh brewed coffee. Touch of char and some oak. Finishes with a lingering bitterness and some licorice.

M- Full bodied, creamy, low carbonation and a little on the sticky syrupy side.

O- The Elijah Craig 18 I had was fantastic. I had low expectations for this one as I assumed the EC18 was the cream of the crop. This one holds it's own. It truly is remarkable to see the difference just a barrel can do to vary a beer so many ways.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Splitting a bottle with my lovely wife tonight while playing Nintendo. Like a boss.

Served in my new FiftyFifty Eclipse shifter. Thanks Matt!

The beer is dark brown with a dense, oily, beige head that displays lasting retention and leaves copious sticky lacing on the sniffer. The aroma brings bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, hints of marshmallow. Smells great. Delicious flavor. Lots oak character. Not quite tannic, per se, but ample wood presence. Light and silky on the palate. A touch of warming alcohol in the finish, but really, this is dangerously drinkable. An outstanding barrel aged stout from the folks at FiftyFifty.

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

50/50 Eclipse aged in Four Roses is a really great bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. These beers are often hit and miss for me, but I think this is a really great rendition of the style that hits the nail right on the head. The only beer that I have had that has the balance of bourbon and stout flavors is Black Ops. The bourbon barrel aging contributes a warm, earthiness in the form of vanilla, oak, burnt caramel, while the stout has plenty of rich coffee, bitter chocolate and toasted malt, rounded molasses and maple sweetness. The beer was very smooth and adequately carbonated. Teh alcohol is definitely present, but it isn't blaring or hot just warm in the throat on the swallow. This was very tasty and I'd love to have again, but it's not exactly the easiest to get a hold of.

Thanks Dan for sharing.

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Photo of liamt07
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Marcus, 650ml into some snifters. 2011 vintage I believe.

Black in body with a few fingers of brown head. Good lacing, but only a ring of retention. Nose has chocolate, bourbon, brown sugar, a good bit of malt sweetness and some roasted marshmallow. Just enough of everything. Taste has the bourbon well integrated into some milk chocolate, light roast, a touch of oak, vanilla and brown sugar. A solid sweetness all around. Medium full feel, super smooth low carbonation. Sweet, bourbon-y and chocolate-y. Yum.

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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 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 SomethingClever
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 741 of 2010

Appearance: Pours fudge brown with a spumous head; excellent lacing

Smell: Roast, chocolate, oak, vanilla, dark fruit and, of course, the Four Roses Bourbon

Taste: From the outset, the thing that stands out is the balance; opens with all the flavors detected in the aroma; after the swallow, there is a modest amount of heat, but the finish brings back the start, with the sweetness held in check by the roast and chocolate while the dark fruit adds complexity

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation and some warmth in the gullet

Overall: Very pleased with how this brew has matured; I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did but it topped the Heaven Hill I had yesterday - three more to go

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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.


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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 StonedTrippin
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

as expensive as these are, I may unfortunately never get to try them all, so they are a rare treat indeed. this is my third thus far, and easily my favorite. 2011 vintage here, so maybe the age helped it mellow a bit. the pour is dark and thick like the rest of them coffee colored with a sturdy off white head with lots of airy bubbles. the nose indicates a very balanced brew, not overly bourbon heavy, but the oak, charcoal, and vanilla is there, which go expertly with the level of roast on the barley, which is intense but not burnt bitter yet. the honey comes through in the flavor better in this one than either of the others ive had, its sweet and summery, and actually lightens up an otherwise heavy beer. the sweetness of the bourbon also tempers the heft of the malts. very deep and layered flavors here, with the barrel not overtaking things, as is so commonly done (and indeed strived for) these days. I like this whole series for introducing the nuances of different barrel treatments to the same base beer. its an expensive learning tool, but a damn enjoyable one. ive never consumed four roses bourbon, but this beer has me primed to seek out a bottle. if you can buck up for this, and then be patient enough to wait a year, you will be handsomely rewarded!

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
4.24 out of 5 based on 564 ratings.
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