Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon | FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams BourbonImperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by largadeer on 12-02-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
181
Ratings:
576
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
14.22%
 
 
Wants:
239
Gots:
289
For Trade:
25
User Reviews
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Reviews: 181 | Ratings: 576
Photo of orangesol
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to largadeer for sharing a bottle of this at the post RS tasting. 2010 bottle pored into a taster glass.

A - Pours pitch black with a small off white head leaving light lacing down the glass.

S - Oak, bourbon, bittersweet chocolate, and some alcohol heat dominate this one. A bit of caramel sweetness mixes well with the dark roasted malt core.

T - Quite similar to the nose but much more balanced. Plenty of oak and bourbon from the barrel mix well with the chocolate, caramel, alcohol, and dark roasted malt from the base beer. Very nice stuff.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderately low carbonation. A bit hot but still a pretty good feel none the less. Finish is a bit hot with some lingering dark roast.

D - Pretty high. I really enjoyed this one. I have been pretty impressed with all the barrel aged stouts I have tried form fifty fifty to date. I hope I get to try the other ones in the future.

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Photo of metter98
4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short creamy tan head that died down, leaving delicate lacing covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderately strong aromas of bourbon are present in the nose along with notes of vanilla.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but has stronger notes of vanilla and oak. Some alcohol is perceptible, but this is all from the bourbon. As the beer begins up, you can start to pick some hints of the underlying stout.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The bourbon lends some warming to the mouthfeel.
O: This beer has a lot of bourbon in the smell and taste, so much that it almost obscures the rest of the beer. It seems to mellow out a bit once the beer warms up, but this beer could use a fuller body to support all of the bourbon.

Note: Bottle Run No. 1/2013

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Photo of homebrew311
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hannydawg for sharing this one.

A: pours black with maroon highlights, appears a bit thin for style/abv, some lacing, minimal head retention

S: starts off with heavy oak the is melded nicely with notes of vanilla, marshmallow, rich cocoa, and bitter earthy hops on the finish

T: robust chocolate starts things off and gives way to mellow vanilla and a touch of coconut, a little bit of bitterness on the end. Nice balance.

MF: somewhat thin for style...doesn't really detract from the overall experience, medium carbonation

O: this is a nice exhibition of well executed bourbon barrel aging, only wish is for a little more body

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Photo of muttyd
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 version

As expected, thick black creamy pour with a thin tan head. Head settles into a faint ring. Wish the head persisted throughout. Looks rather bland at first glance.

Nose hits all the right notes: whiskey burn, coffee, roasted malts and chocolate. Some molasses in their as well. Flavor follows the nose with a very prevalent whiskey flavor in the finish. Sweet, but well rounded with enough roasty flavor to balance it out. Almost no hop flavor, as it is overpowered by the big barrel flavor. Thick and creamy, coats the mouth. Solid overall, but not as good as the Elijah Craig.

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Photo of spicelab
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bomber split 4 ways at tasting. Reviewed from notes.

Molasses-hued pour, near black in glass. Firm tan head drops stealthily over a couple of minutes to a film. Attractive lace trails on swirling.

Good amount of barrel in the nose with appreciable honey and coconut notes, but mostly emphasising the drier aspects of the barrel. Solid toasty, liqourice and rubber base beer elements underneath. Compact and contained.

Less roast, more coconut and dark brwon sugar sweetness. Big and growing chocolate fudge presence.

Quite viscous but medium bodied, with mild, dusty carbonation and emergent booze heat.

Like all the Eclipse beers, this is tight. Very easy-going with a near perfectly calibrated barrel influence.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked one of these up because I always hear about them and I have never gotten my hands on one since I've been a BA.

Pours a deep black with a one finger tan head. Dissipated to a super thin film with OK lacing.

Aroma I think is the best part. Lots of dark fruits and toasted sugars and caramel. Smells awesome.

Taste is awesome but not the best stout I've had. Very roasted but with a nice caramel malt that has some good dark fruit flavor. A slight bit of bourbon and oak. As it warms up the roast gets a little more harsh and the booz becomes a little more apparent. To me it seems to be lacking something in flavor that other barrel aged stouts have.

Mouthfeel is heavy and I wouldn't want to drink a whole 22oz by myeself.

Overall a solid BA Stout but there are some better ones for sure. I would probably get it again but $22 for the one bottle when beers like Abyss and Parabola are considerably cheaper I think I will have to pass.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Black in the glass, two finger brown head and some lacing.

S-Good deal of bourbon, nice chocolate. roasted malt and slight coffee.

T-Very bourbon heavy, nice chocolate and roasted malt as well. Tad bit of vanilla and coffee.

M-Medium bodied and nice carbonation.

O-A middle of the road Eclipse variant. The bourbon really shined through. I was shocked such a bad bourbon made a good beer.

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Photo of liamt07
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by Sammy - Bottle from Premier Gourmet, 650ml into a tulip. Tasted alongside 4 other variants.

Black with a tan head. Nose has some fruitier bourbon notes, chocolate, oak, light vanilla and some brown sugar. Bourbon at the front on the palate, alcohol, and dark chocolate/roast well into the finish.

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Photo of jnn4v
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Mahogany / espresso colored - dark brown around the edges and black through the center. No visible sediment or haze. Tan colored head rose around the fringes, but barely.

S: Bourbon, oak, cola, molasses, chocolate, and a hint of vanilla. Very sharp scents, especially weighted toward the bourbon.

T: Sharp American oak is dominant. Bourbon flavors of vanilla, toasted oak and coconut blend with rich chocolate and molasses malts. Black coffee is prevalent throughout. So many bold flavors that it actually borders on harsh. Definitely not a subtle beer.

M: Good density and viscosity. Not much carbonation. Slightly tannic, likely from the oak.

O: Good bourbon-barrel aged imperial stout, but (if it's actually possible?) too much oak.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz into chouffe tulip thanks to largadeer. My first eclipse.

A- Creamed coffee colored head, 1cm that settles and frosts the glass very nicely. Beer is deep brown/black.

S- Nose is caramel, molasses. Gingerbread even. Hmm. Spicy, sweet.

T- Very bourbon heavy. Vanilla, oak, caramel, semisweet chocolate. Bit of smoke. Nice finish, good lingering flavors, a bit boozy in the finish.

M- Perhaps a bit thin? I could go for a bit more roastiness... but I appreciate the lack of a big char that leads to some pretty tasty bourbon notes. Lots of bourbon here.

D- Fairly high.. tasty... I'm curious to try the base beer. This one's all about the bourbon.

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Photo of alexhahn82
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black as Hell! 1 Finger head with medium dissipation, Poured into a 10oz. goblet (They won't sell it in anything else on tap).

S - Hints of the Evan Williams, a very distinct bourbon smell. But that takes a back seat to the HUGE toffee, chocolate, almost brownie like scent.

T/M - Taste is of thick, chewy chocolate and finishes with a bourbony oak, almost a hint of dark cherries.

Overall - When cold its a chocolate bomb, when warmed up the bourbon shows its teeth and bites in! A top tier bourbon barrel though its NOT a bourbon bomb, Very, very similar to Parablola (But waaay better!)

PP (Price Point) - $7.99 for a 10oz. goblet in June of 2011, considering with came out in December 2010, this is well worth it, wish I lived closer to the brewery so I could enjoy it more often!

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Photo of GregSVT
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz black waxed bottle into a snifter - 2010 vintage #1912

A: Pours a deep dark brown with a small brown head that fade to a ring leaving very little lacing.

S: The nose reveals huge barrel notes like vanilla, molasses, and a touch of charred oak along with the chocolate and earthy honey from the base beer.

T: The taste is a bit less impressive than the nose but still good. Nice flavors of vanilla, molasses, chocolate and a touch of honey. Not as complex or intense as the EC 12 from 2009.

M: Feel is a little thin for the style but relatively creamy.

O: One of the better Eclipse beers I've had but not the top by far. The taste falls a bit short of excellent though. Could be the age...

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Photo of Trilogy31
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle number 2018. Pours an almost midnight black with a faint espresso hue at the edges, with a thin mocha cap that quickly recedes and leaves very light lacing though the head is revived easily with aquick swirl of my duvel tulip. The nose hits you with bourbon soaked alcohol esters, booze soaked plums, dusty, earthy barrel, slight stale coffee. Taste brings rich caramel, fig, soaked dates, spicy full bodied bourbon barrel with a sprinkling of cinnamon and vanilla and a hint of molasses. The taste really saves this beer at least for me compared to the nose. Pleasant mouthfeel with the oaky tannins cleaning up after the booze and sweetness though it does finish a bit thin. Iwould love to rate this all 5's as im sitting on a lot of bottles but i cannot tell a lie. I honestly would take a kbs in quality and price over this any day - tough standards i know but for 25.99 per bottle it should have been mind blowing.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.07/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Gushue3 for sharing this. 22oz. bottle served in a snifter. Pours one shade shy of black with no head. One arc-like swath of lacing coats the glass during the tasting. Nose is exquisite - bourbon, malt, brown sugar, booze and a trace of soy sauce. Taste consistent with nose; however, the flavor profile comes off a bit thin. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body - somewhat thin for a barrel-aged beer. Carbonation is almost still. Overall, an easy drinking example of the style, but a bit too subdued in my opinion.

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Photo of CooperEllis
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 2461 from 2010. Duck Rabbit snifter.

My god, this is straight 100% alcohol in the nose. Like, way way too much booze. Still, it's delightful booze so no harm done.

That said, the flavor here is spot on, started it from the cellar temp (a touch north of 60 at the moment). There is something missing from the mouthfeel, a cleanness or a crispness or full creamy body. One of these has to be there to round this out.

Malt, chocolate-cherry, molasses cookies, woood.

This is my fourth different 50/50 this month ('11 Rittenhouse, '11 EC 18/20 and '09 EC) and this holds it's own with all of them. The '09 EC is still my favorite, and the mouthfeel on the '11 EC was pitch perfect, but this is great. It won't look so good because of the smell score, but damn this is delicious.

Have to say, once the alcohol aftertaste is gone, there is a seemingly infinite amount of joy in the aftertaste. Lingers perfectly on the palate and really increases the drinkability of this one.

(175th)

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Photo of nickfl
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Black as night with a tan head. Chocolate, and boozy whiskey in the nose. Coffee, roast grain, and a bit of chocolate flavor, medium thick body and fairly high carbonation. Nice enough overall, too much carbonation, but a nice smoke, coffee character that lingers on the palate.

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Photo of ne0m00re
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

09/15/11- Review of bottle 1302 of the 2010 release.
A: Opaque, tan creamy head, no lacing.
S: Thick sweet chocolate, brewer's licorice, nice strong vanilla, sweet cherry syrup.
T: Milky chocolate, nice vanilla caramel coffee cake, nutty (caramel-covered pecans), with crisp alcohol on the finish with a lingering brown sugar.
M: Thicker, creamy, crisp with a slowly developing carbonation.
O: I like it, but for a big bourbon stout, it's a little underwhelming.

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Photo of zhanson88
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottling.

Appearance: Pours pretty much pitch black, and moderately viscous. Forms a nice tan head that has good retention.

Smell: Bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, and quite a bit of bourbon on the nose. Not much roast to speak of. Not overly complex, but good.

Taste: Taste follows the smell. This imp. stout is not overly sweet with some dark chocolate bitterness, along with some vanilla and a moderately prevalent bourbon presence. There are many bourbons that I prefer over EW, and I can say the same about the bourbon presence in this beer. Seems a bit rough around edges. Still, I cannot complain how it is incorporated into the beer, as they got the overall level of barrel about right.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Smooth, full and silky mouthfeel. Good level of carbonation. Finishes with some bourbon and vanilla. Good. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. A very good stout, and I hope I get to try some of the other versions at some point.

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Photo of nmbr0ne
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter from 22oz bottle.

Appearance: Black with little to no lacing, and no head.

Smell: Strong bourbon smell from the barrels. I smell vanilla, molasses, small hints of caramel, and a lot of oak. You can definitely smell the alcohol, but it is not an overwhelming boozy smell.

Taste: Caramel, oak, roasted malts, slightest hints of chocolate, and a bourbon. The bourbon doesn't overwhelm the stout flavor.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thin with barely any carbonation. Disappointing.

Overall: I feel the bourbon barrels were a great choice because it gave the stout awesome bourbon flavors, but the beer in general was a bit lacking. I want more stout characteristics as well. More roasted malts, more chocolate.

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Photo of Treebs
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. Bottle # 2298. Thanks to kevanb for this one a while ago.

A: Pours a dark black color with dark brown edges. A little head forms on the pour and recedes to nothing. No lace.

S: Brownie bits with some bitter chocolate. The barrel is nice with smooth bourbon, caramel and oak.

T: The bourbon is smooth and sweet up front. There is a fine roasted malt profile with a backing of oak, unsweetened chocolate and a little toffee.

M: A tad thin for my liking. Medium light body with a medium carbonation level.

O: Very delicious. Not quite in the same echelon as the EC barrel versions, but it is right there.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, black wax ensconced bottle, batch #2 for 2013. Deadly looking, and a rather dear shelf tag, for a single beer, this one has.

This beer pours a solid black, with the barest of basal dark cola, erm, 'highlights', and two fingers of dense, weakly puffy, and mostly challenging in its bubbly essence, light brown mocha head, which leaves some random cobwebbed lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of semi-sweet caramel/toffee malt, mildly acrid wood grain, prune, raisin and dried cherry fruit, vanilla pudding, a hint of cocoa, middle-shelf Bourbon whiskey, one with a surprisingly subtle booze astringency. The taste is big on the chocolate liqueur up front, the woody Bourbon alcohol essence closely following, with some baking vanilla, black licorice, well-sugared coffee grounds, cream, weak earthy hops, and further booze notes fleshing things out.

The bubbles are rather light, and mostly just happy to provide a simple frothiness, the body a solid full weight, for any sort of style, and generally smooth, nothing other than the burgeoning alcohol capable of fucking this one up at the current juncture. It finishes still quite sweet, the caramel, toffee, woody booze, coffee and cocoa, and weak as shit earthy and leafy hops not really providing any real sort of balance here.

Another agreeable enough boozy, American whiskey-enhanced version of the base RIS, one which, once again, it would seem, doesn't really need the extra oomph provided here, whatever the added barrel notes may otherwise indicate. Pleasantly rendered, though, an attribute that carries on beyond the end of this affair, which make me wonder whether I might have chosen this one first for the evening, inadvisable drain pours and all that.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottles shared by Lunch and Thorpe429. Thanks Paul and Mike!

The beer appears very dark brown, nearly black. The head is 1/4", and generates a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

The aroma brings bourbon and a general boozy quality, as well as roasted malt. Unsurprisingly, it smells like a barrel-aged stout.

I actually thought the beer tasted better than the aroma would have led me to believe. The beer is slightly sweet throughout, making this a good bottle for sharing a few ways, as one snifter was just right. Bourbon and roast are up front, with more subtle flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and coffee playing a secondary role.

The feel is medium bodied, with alcohol presence throughout, though not necessarily in a negative or distracting way.

Overall, a tasty brew, and one I would happily enjoy again.

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Photo of schmoopsbeer
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage
Poured in to Stone snifter

Color: Black at the core but if held to the light hints of a dark brown appear around the top ring of this beer. It forms a nice dark tan head, about 1 1/2 fingers worth. Light lacing left behind on the glass.

Nose: Warm bourbon flavors hit the nasal passages: vanilla, molasses, and hints of caramel. Also present are scents of honey, coffee, charred oak, and roasted malts.

Palate: Full bodied with decent carbonation. It drinks warm, so it can use a bit of aging. Here the bourbon coats the mouth and later its soothed by chocolate and honey. The beers hop profile makes a show here but not totally noticeable.

Finish: Warm, long, and complex. Much like bourbon, this beer can use some time in the cellar before it reaches it max potential

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Photo of Roguer
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Huge, dark brown head, with absolutely fantastic retention. Brew is black as night. Slick, thick lacing as the head slowly dies down. Beautiful beer.

Whiskey, oak, and vanilla notes are very prominent, but they don't quite drown out the chocolate malt and roast barley, accentuated by a hint of cream. Similar aroma proportions to BCBS, but a different overall feel. Whiskey notes are sharp but not overpowering.

Thin, sweet whiskey up front; chocolate malt and roast barley next; strong finish of whiskey; vanilla, oak, and berries are present throughout. Very, very tasty, but not genre-defining like BCBS has become.

Slightly thin for the style. I would definitely prefer it a lot thicker. Very full-flavored; lively, with a nice alcohol and carbonation sting. A little heat, but not too bad.

The contrasts to BCBS are worth mentioning, because this is where the beer falls just shy of true greatness. It's a very, very tasty beer, very drinkable, and the Evan Williams barrels definitely gives it a distinct and unique flavor. Maybe that's enough to make this your personal favorite; it's a little pricey to try on a whim, though.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a finger of head that dies down to a thin layer of bubbles.

Aroma is rich toffee sweetness, toasted malt, marshmallow, oak, booze, and some floral character. Huge aroma.

The flavor is roasted malt and burnt toast up front, with a dry oaky finish. Lots of bitter dark chocolate. The oakiness and booze are a bit astringent.

The body is fuller than medium but not quite what I would call creamy. Low carbonation which I prefer in a stout.

Overall this beer was pretty nice, but the flavor didn't live up to the fine aroma. Just a bit too harsh to get to that "next level." Still, I definitely recommend it to lovers of barrel aged stouts.

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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 181 ratings.
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