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 jrallen34
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by Sean, poured into my Hf glass... Looks better than the Evan Williams, same body but a better dark tan head, retention is better... The aroma is a lighter EW, bourbon with some vanilla... The taste is maybe a touch better than EW, more balance, sweeter with more vanilla, makes it easier to drink. Finish is too bitter, coffee isn't right.

Pretty damn good.

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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 comfortablynumb1
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed while observing Mars for the first time through my telescope. Viewing the red planet while drinking the red wax Eclipse.

A - Pours black with a one finger light brown head. Head retention is decent, and lacing is minimal...

S - Chocolate, molasses, vanilla, roast, and a good dose of Bourbon...

T - Molasses, toasted coconut, cocoa, and roast. Finishes with vanilla and smooth Bourbon kick. Very well ballanced...

M - Rich and creamy, but as with the other Eclipse variants a little thin. On the higher end of the medium bodied scale with a moderate amount of carbonation...

O - Not my favorite from the lineup, but damb solid. Would be interested to see how this one holds up with a little time...


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Photo of maximum12
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to FiftyFifty for allowing us out-of-staters to buy the Eclipse brews. After my first one last year, I was gut-hooked. 22 oz. bomber split with my wife. Bottle 995.

First, though, I'd like to know how much stock the owners of FiftyFifty have in the local wax shop. Holy crap. It's risking life & thumb to get the bloody 3/4 inch of wax off the bottle to access the nectar inside. Pour is black with crimson creeping along the edges. Smell is like every other Eclipse, with a different note of bourbon & those fantastic malts.

Four Roses treads in the footsteps of high expectations & doesn't disappoint. Heavier on the char than others in the series, the roast cuts significantly into the bourbon characteristics, though neither puts a bigger thumb on the scale. Nicely balanced. Huge malts surge behind, with damp cocoa, vanilla, & a drying wind of oak on the back-end. A true moisture-sucker in the ending; tinder-dry wood mixing with pure, heady vanilla. The lingering aftertaste is on the border between greatness & perfection.

Another excellent Eclipse. I would really like to try the base beer on its own; I am wondering if that is the secret ingredient, or the good folks at FiftyFifty, besides being gracious, just know their way around barrels like John Hughes knew a good script. I have a couple more variations to try. Can't wait.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2011, bottle #118. Opened with Nick for purposes of a video review, transcribed from the footage. 22 ounce bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Dark brown on the pour, looking completely black sitting in the glass. Some blood red hues throughout. A small tan head with moderate retention and a bit of lace.

S: Bitter bakers dark chocolate, roasted malts, sweet bourbon and certainly a bit of heat from the alcohol. You can tell it might be a little hot.

T: Like the aroma, rich dark chocolate and dark malts are up front with a sweet character to them. Middle of the palate is tons of bourbon, not necessarily boozy or hot but very flavorful. Back end brings some toffee and vanilla, and ends with more bourbon in the linger. Extremely a complex and layered flavor profile.

M: Nicely carbonated without being overdone, slight creaminess. Sticky in the linger with some residual sweetness and booze.

For my first Eclipse beer, this was great. It had a great complexity to it with the flavors ever changing to keep things interesting. I'm very excited to try out the rest of the beers in the series.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

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

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Photo of corby112
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage, bottle 1323

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears pitch black and opaque in the glass with a one finger beige head that slowly settles into a thin, lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Complex aroma with a strong barrel character that's excellently integrated into the base beer mixing notes of toasted oak, peat whiskey, spicy bourbon and luscious chocolate malt. Slightly smokey with the bourbon, vanilla and wood notes countered by burnt toast, dark chocolate, fudge and bakers chocolate. Smells great!

Chewy full body with tight carbonation and a strong barrel presence that slightly overpowers the characteristics of the base beer. Smokey, dry and slightly acrid with a strong dry oak and peated whiskey presence that lingers over hints of vanilla, marshmallow, dark chocolate, burnt sugar, toast, toffee and oatmeal. Toward the finish there is some needed sweetness with dessert like chocolate cake/fudge flavor. Still, the oak and booze dominate the flavor with slight heatbin the finish. High ABV is relatively well masked making it easybto drink.

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Photo of dbmernin83
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at blue palms.
Looks like thin motor oil. Head? Nope!
Smells like hot, sexy bourbon.
Holy coffee! The bourbon is mellow on the tongue and let's the coffee shine through. Toffee sweetness and bourbon on the back end. Vanilla and oak hiding in there too. Gets better with warmth. A little heat, but not overpowering.
Thick and viscus. Light carbonation.
Pretty delicious! ready to try the next!

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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 Chriscrundwell12
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Delerium snifter, sharred with fellow BA's.

Bottle #427

A- One finger tan head that dissipates quickly to a thin layer around the glass, splotchy lacing, dark brown almost black color.
S- The aroma was unique, slight bourbon, slight oak, cocoa, not a lot coming out.
T- Really nice taste, better then aroma, really smooth, bourbon, chocolate, slight vanilla, slight roast, really balanced.
M- Love the mouth feel, silky smooth, decent carbonation, really tasty.
O- Really enjoyable, really smooth and tasty, nice dessert beer, glad to share it with fellow BA’s.

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Photo of darktronica
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

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Photo of RichardMNixon
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%

Bomber of 2011, drank in August 2014.

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

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Photo of MrFootstones
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle # 258 poured into Bruery stemware with fellow BA hobojon.

Appearance: Dark brown, black in the middle, clear mahogany edges with a lasting tan foam cap. Looks mighty tasty.

Aroma: Smoky and roasty,spicy burnt brown sugar. Dark chocolate, vanilla and charred oaken bourbon barrel. S'mores cooked on a campfire made with barrel staves?

Taste: Smooth, and heavy on the charred bourbon barrel. Sweetness not as noticeable as in EW iteration. Chocolaty. Starts off smooth, a little sweet, and mild, finish is all spicy toasted barrel character.

Mouthfeel: medium body and medium low carbonation. Again this works well for these Eclipse beers.

Drinkability: Very good, as with the other versions I have had. I'd like it to maybe mellow and integrate a bit, so we'll see what some age does for it.

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Photo of kaseydad
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


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

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

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

Silky, smooth mouthfeel.

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

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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.

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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 bylerteck
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I got this bottle at a shop in Philly for about $30. Bottle run 3/2013.

A - Black pour with a thick, creamy and dense deep brown head that looks like it has staying power. A bit of carbonation coming up the sides. Spotty rings of lace and a film of retention.

S - Bourbon is definitely there. Fair bit of heat. Sweet maltiness there too with wood and vanilla. A bit muted, but it opened up a bit after a while. Obvious dark/bitter chocolate note there after a while.

T - Nice sweetness with lot's of bourbon, sweet malt, vanilla, lot's of layers. A bit of a dusty note. Lot's of sweet chocolate and honey with aggressive bourbon, wood and vanilla. Flavours of a strong, intense Imperial Stout. After some time a really nice sweetness reveals itself with a smooth undertone and some alcohol that is less intense than the beginning.

M - Pleasant mild carbonation, thick full body and a dry bourbony finish.

O/D - This is good. Maybe not $30 good, but good nonetheless. It's well balanced and to the point with lot's of complex notes coming out the more you investigate. This is not BCBS, but it's a well crafted BA Imperial Stout.

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


22oz bottle poured into large snifter - 2011 vintage, bottle 894

Pours a viscous black with a one-finger tanned head resting on top. Fades into some spots of film, leaving a few patches of lacing behind.

Nice barrel character in the nose with some vanilla and oak tones. Honey with roasted malts and dark sweetness and a touch of chocolate. A few hints of candied fruit as well.

Slightly sweet up front with a nice flair of dark fruit. Some candied tones with raisin and dates. The barrel felt subdued at first, but opens up as the beer sits and warms. Pleasant oak with vanilla and bourbon tones on a layer of chocolate. A nice dollop of honey adds a slight syrupy note. Hints of smoky edges and leather lurk underneath. Slowly finishes with a nice splash of bourbon and warmth.

Fuller body, decent carbonation, slick and creamy on the tongue. Delicious, yet balanced barrel character on this one - I'm looking forward to trying more.

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Photo of Insert_Beer_Pun
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

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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.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up with a great trade with Evan! 2011, #1387. Dark brown, nearly black pour with a two finger beige head with decent retention and great lacing. Sweet bourbon is the star of the complex nose along with hints of dark chocolate, espresso, molasses, licorice, caramel, vanilla, and dark fruits. The taste mirrors the nose in its complexity. The bourbon comes through nicely, but doesn't overwhelm. The barrel aging is very evident with hints of oak and vanilla along with dark fruits, cocoa, espresso, licorice, dark chocolate, and molasses. The mouthfeel is slightly thick and syrupy but very smooth and creamy with a subtle bite on the finish. Overall, this was very drinkable and complex, even though I found it leaning towards the sweet side. Anxious for the next release...

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Been wanting to crack one of these bad boys open for some time now! Happy to have most of the 2011 collection and doubles of some, this included.

Poured into my CBS snifter: Midnight black appearance with a solid finger of tan head.

Nose is dark, bitter, boozy. Vanilla is noticeable. A harbinger of good things to come, I hope...

Flavor is rich and boozy. A great barrel showcase, as I've heard. The oak and vanilla noted are definitely there. Warming from the alcohol, but in a beneficial and happy way. This is a sipper and a half. I can picture drinking this for an hour or two, as it warms and various flavor components come to the forefront.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, but still rich and coating. Not a motor-oil comparison to be had here, so please move along.

Overall, this is a fantastic brew. The base beer must be pretty damn good, but the barrel treatment is really the thing. I regret not having some Four Roses Bourbon on hand to sip along with, maybe for the next one. Great Brew 50/50!

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle number 2021 - 2011 vintage
Four Roses Single Barrel = Red

a - poured a watery black with a surprising off white head. lacing was sparse, but left some remnants. doesn't look as thick and rich as i had expected, and surprised in the lack of barrel shine.

s - nice stout with some good barrel mixed in. the barrel is a bit boozy and bourbony, but subtle and muted. it carries some sweetness and vanilla spectrum flavoring, but nothing crazy. no big chocolate, but good roastiness.

t - tastes nice. the barrel aging, although sweet, integrates nicely with the base beer...which boasts big roasted notes and the chocolate i was missing in the nose. leads with the roast and complimented by the barrel sweetness. not a strong bourbon flavoring.

m - silky smooth. medium bodied and overall light for the style. the booze was not too intense which was nice.

o - overall a nice treat, but certainly not the highlight of the series. surprisingly light and easy to drink.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage. Bottle #1419.

A: Pours black with a half-inch mocha head which fades to the rim and cap leaving globs and spots of lace.

N: Chocolate marshmallows soaked in bourbon, then roasted with a trace char and sprinkled with vanilla and caramel.

T: Dark cacao, vanilla, roasted oak barrel, char, sweet bourbon, dark fruits.

M: Full body and moderate carbonation. A bit syrupy although rich and creamy.

O: With some age on it, this is drinking really well. Glad to still have 1 left.

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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

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.

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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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