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

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 572 |  Reviews: 151
Photo of Evan
3.57/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Boccu
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Lacks any aroma out of a snifter. No real tones during or after each drink. Has no real complexity. Taste like a smooth stout. Not impressed.

141 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
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 Beaver13
3.61/5  rDev -15.7%
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 Arbitrator
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
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 AgentMunky
3.68/5  rDev -14%
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 oline73
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours an almost opaque dark brown with a layer of off white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Smooth roasted malt with some chocolate, peppery oak, and bourbon alcohol warmth in the finish.

Taste: Sweet, roasted malt with a nice undertone from the bourbon. The woody note is slightly peppery, just like the smell. Not quite full enough to be outstanding.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium, which seems a bit thin for this beer. Rather large bubbles with a dry finish.

Overall: This beer was a bit thin but it was still quite good. Not my favorite variation, but I would still have another.

 669 characters

Photo of Chico1985
3.71/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first experience with the Eclipse series, tried next to 3 other variants and many other stouts with good peoplez. This and the others were from the 2013 batch, 11.9% ABV.

Black pour, tan head. Great retention on this one, a thick+bubbly finger remains for the duration.

Smell is surprisingly very tame. It more or less comes off as pure bourbon, but it's even subtle in that aspect. A little more well-rounded with warmth with some dark fruits, roast and chocolate.

Taste is an improvement, but the lack of a base beer is still alarmingly clear. Although the bourbon flavor is great, all that accompanies it is some dark fruits (raisins/prunes come to mind), some roast, dark chocolate and honey - all of which are still pretty subtle.

Not much booze, pretty decent+full mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Quite drinkable.

I enjoyed it and the other variants, but I'd be lying if I said all of them weren't letdowns, especially considering the prices. The differing bourbons were all nice and distinguishable from each other, they were somewhat unique for the style, but there wasn't a whole lot going on for them otherwise. I didn't review the others I tried, but this and Evan Williams were about even for me, Elijah Craig 12 had a slight upper hand, and the Java Coffee wound up being my favorite of the bunch.

 1,321 characters

Photo of jeonseh
3.72/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle as part of Eclipse sampling

A - Dark brown with light chestnut aspects to it. Small off white foam head 3.25

S - Slight bourbon with light vanilla and caramel

T - Dark bitter chocolate, sweet caramel and vanilla. There is a light amount of oak in the finish. Overall, there is a good amount of bitterness in this one. The sweetness from the 4 roses bourbon tries to cut the overall bitterness but cannot.

M - Creamy slightly sticky body with bitterness that makes the finish slightly astringent

O - Decent eclipse with good bourbon sweetness from the 4 Roses that adds a good amount vanilla and caramel to it; however, it can't manage to cut the overall bitterness.

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Photo of pants678
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
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

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3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of calcnerd
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

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3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Four Roses Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.28 out of 5 with 572 ratings
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